Recording the words of another in order to use them against him in court

26 Feb 2018 Ref-No#: 258

Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Mufti Sahab,

A sister asks:

“I would like to know if it’s permissible or haram to record someone’s speech and opinions in order to use them against him as a proof in a law court
(Italian civil one, not Islamic court)?”

Jazakallahu khayran,

Wassalam

Answer

Wa’alaykum as Salām wa raḥmatullāhi wa barakātuhu,

There are two issues which will not be permissible in this situation:

1) Recording someone’s speech illegally.

2) Appointing a Kāfir jury (in the Italian court) to judge between two Muslims.

The first issue is prohibited in verse 12 of Surah al-Ḥujurāt:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا اجتنبوا كثيرا من الظن إن بعض الظن إثم ولا تجسسوا ولا يغتب بعضكم بعضا أيحب أحدكم أن يأكل لحم أخيه ميتا فكرهتموه واتقوا الله إن الله تواب رحيم

“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.”

The second issue is prohibited in verse 144 of Surah an-Nisā:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تتخذوا الكافرين أولياء من دون المؤمنين أتريدون أن تجعلوا لله عليكم سلطانا مبينا

“O you who have believed, do not take the disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah against yourselves a clear case?”

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