“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, of what you do, Aware.”- Surah Nisa verse 135
These are words of justice and one of the hearts of a Muslim’s values and beliefs. Not only can we apply this in our dealings in our personal lives with our family and friends, but in the professional world too, more specifically in the legal world with the element of justice being its core.
When you work in the legal field you are taught to be objective, you are taught to gather ideas and arguments and you are taught to deliver justice in its entirety. You will find in every area of law, justice is a prominent theme. For example: when you are drafting a Will, you aim for the contents to be in the favour of the parties who are the most deserving of the assets. When you are making a deal, you seek to see if both sides are content with the transaction. When you are trying to negotiate a financial settlement for a family departing their ways, you seek to do this with equity and fairness. The list is never ending.
With this in mind, being a Muslim in the legal field whether that is professionally or academically can be gratifying and pleasant, spiritually and emotionally, providing a layer to our purpose of life and our vision. Having this as an inherit value gives us the potential to excel in our quality of work and drive when working with the people around us.
Prima facie, Muslims in Britain specialising in Law may seem disadvantageous. Contextually it may seem as though the odds are against our community; due to the immense misconstrued backlash we face from individuals/entities like the media who have misunderstood the peaceful reality of Muslims. However, the truth is that it is our values which drive us to become one of the most suitable agents in upholding the rule of law. When relating back to Islamic history you will find Muslim leaders who upheld the rule of law despite having the power to divert decisions in their own favour. Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) of whom was named by Michael H. Hart as being one of the top 100 most influential persons in history, designed a constitution which gave rights and protection to minority groups of Madinah and held them to the same standard as the Muslim folk.
Thus, it is in our religion to work selflessly and aim to build harmonious relationships and a fruitful society amongst the many multi-cultural and faith groups.
Muslim Lawyers/aspiring lawyers’ have the potential to thrive in Britain due to this inherent drive and just like our predecessors we ought to take the onus of maintaining justice. This is only possible if Muslims enter the profession, if Muslims study the law, enter higher education, enter institutions, and eventually work on greater scales. Muslim lawyers and legal academics are already making a significant impact and breaking barriers in the UK. It is only now that the work and the value of justice in carrying out the law are to be continued and upheld by the current generation and the next.
The Muslim Lawyers’ Action group seeks just to do that, by allowing Muslim Law students to closely network and work with well reputable and experienced Muslim Legal practitioners by working on various projects/initiatives. This platform allows Muslim aspiring lawyers and already experienced lawyers to thrive in their own careers and to make a difference to British society. The Muslim Lawyers’ Action group also allows Muslim Legal practitioners to stay connected and work on important issues affecting the community and wider society in order to achieve justice.