Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Does going to non-sharia courts in the presence of sharia courts take one out of the folds of Islam?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum, I hope you’re well insha’Allah.

Going to non-Islamic courts does not entail disbelief, even if Islamic courts are accessible. In fact, sometimes it is necessary to go through such courts in many countries these days.

Generally speaking however, if there are genuine and trustworthy Islamic courts, and one has the option, then one should go to an Islamic court. Please be aware, that the words or the concept of a ‘Shariah court’ is used quite loosely at present, so depending on the location, one should try to ascertain the legitimacy and background of the scholars who are on the judicial panel. In many Muslim countries, Islamic courts are an established part of the governmental legal system.

Please also note that not all rulings given in a secular court are compatible or binding according to the Shariah, such as inheritance, marriage and divorce cases etc., and in such instances, it would be advisable that you consult a reliable local scholar for advice.

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Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

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