Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- There is nothing wrong in standing in front of a judge in a non-Muslim court or a Muslim court. Standing is a form of showing respect not necessarily to the judge himself, but to the values he/she carries, which are the values of justice.
Responding to the question, Dr. Taha Jaber Al-`Alwani, the late President of the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, states:
To answer the question, I need to highlight the following main points:
1- To respect and follow the regulations and laws of a country in which a Muslim accepts to live in is one of the Muslim characteristics, as long as it does not contradict or oppose an Islamic rule that has been supported by obvious and clear text from the Qur’an, or an authentic Hadith said by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
2-When a person chooses to come to a country, it is implied that he will follow the laws and regulations of that country. Regarding the case at hand, it seems that there is no Islamic rule that obliges the accused not to stand up in court. Here, standing up does not contradict the Islamic law.
Yet, it was narrated in Al-Bukhari that a funeral procession passed before the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and when he saw it he stood up (showing respect to it). Then it was said, it is a funeral of a Jew. The Prophet replied, “Isn’t it a soul!”
Keeping the differences aside, rising up for a judge in court is a form of showing respect not necessarily to the person himself, but to the values he/she carries, which are the values of justice.
We Muslims accept to live in this society and to deal with it, and by such actions we may separate and isolate ourselves from the society, and some groups may take advantage of such actions to promote the idea that Islam does not respect the regulations and laws, while Islam says, obedience to creature should not involve disobedience to the Creator.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.