[4:107] Do not argue on behalf of those who have wronged their own souls; GOD does not love any betrayer, guilty.
[4:108] They hide from the people, and do not care to hide from GOD, though He is with them as they harbor ideas He dislikes. GOD is fully aware of everything they do.

You Do Not Help Them by Being “Nice”

[4:109] Here you are arguing on their behalf in this world; who is going to argue with GOD on their behalf on the Day of Resurrection? Who is going to be their advocate?
[4:110] Anyone who commits evil, or wrongs his soul, then implores GOD for forgiveness, will find GOD Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[4:111] Anyone who earns a sin, earns it to the detriment of his own soul. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.
[4:112] Anyone who earns a sin, then accuses an innocent person thereof, has committed a blasphemy and a gross offense.
[4:113] If it were not for GOD’s grace towards you, and His mercy, some of them would have misled you. They only mislead themselves, and they can never harm you in the least. GOD has sent down to you the scripture and wisdom, and He has taught you what you never knew. Indeed, GOD’s blessings upon you have been great.
[4:114] There is nothing good about their private conferences, except for those who advocate charity, or righteous works, or making peace among the people. Anyone who does this, in response to GOD’s teachings, we will grant him a great recompense.
[4:115] As for him who opposes the messenger, after the guidance has been pointed out to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, we will direct him in the direction he has chosen, and commit him to Hell; what a miserable destiny!

If you are debating a moral decision, imagine what you would do if your actions were to be on the front page of the news the next day. Would you be comfortable with your actions?

[11:5] Indeed, they hide their innermost thoughts, as if to keep Him from knowing them. In fact, as they cover themselves with their clothes, He knows all their secrets and declarations. He knows the innermost thoughts.

In the below example we see Abraham argued on behalf of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

[11:74] When Abraham’s fear subsided, and the good news was delivered to him, he proceeded to argue with us on behalf of Lot’s people.
[11:75] Indeed, Abraham was clement, extremely kind, and obedient.
[11:76] “O Abraham, refrain from this. Your Lord’s judgment has been issued; they have incurred unavoidable retribution.”

Is it wrong to be a public defendant? What does it mean to “not argue on behalf” of the transgressors?

As believers we don’t condone sinful behavior. At the same time it is our utmost responsibility to uphold the truth and maintain justice. The Quran consistently advocates being equitable and just, and tells us that God abhors the opposite. Therefore there should be no issue being someone’s defendant to make sure that they are being represented fairly and equitably. We don’t want to be in a situation where people are deemed “transgressors” and therefore lose the right to have legal representation under the law.

Also, there is a difference between someone who claims to be innocent and someone who is open not only in their stance on a item of discussion, but openly defends it. For instance people like Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins openly proclaim their disbelief and make it their business to disbelieve. It would be wrong on our part to argue on their behalf to support their stance. On the other hand someone who claims to be a believer and is deemed as a disbeliever by others can’t fall in the same camp as they may be misunderstood or misrepresented by others. If these are wrong then they would fall under hypocrites and God tells us not to divide ourselves regarding the hypocrites among us.

[4:94] O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, “You are not a believer,” seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do. 

How to Deal With the Hypocrites

[4:88] Why should you divide yourselves into two groups regarding hypocrites (among you)? GOD is the one who condemned them because of their own behavior. Do you want to guide those who are sent astray by GOD? Whomever GOD sends astray, you can never find a way to guide them. 

Northern California Innocence Project-Maurice Caldwell’s Story: Wrongfully Incarcerated for 20 years

Innocence Project of Florida: Unlock the Truth

Innocence Project – Chris Ochoa

Jennifer Thompson & Ronald Cotton in the Picking Cotton: 60 Minutes Special

Gross Sin

[24:23] Surely, those who falsely accuse married women who are pious believers have incurred condemnation in this life and in the Hereafter; they have incurred a horrendous retribution.

When we make a judgement we need to be absolutely sure. A perfect example of this is with David. Despite making the right judgement for all practical purposes David was so cautious that he still repented.

David’s Exemplary Piety

[38:24] He said, “He is being unfair to you by asking to combine your sheep with his. Most people who combine their properties treat each other unfairly, except those who believe and work righteousness, and these are so few.” Afterwards, David wondered if he made the right judgment. He thought that we were testing him. He then implored his Lord for forgiveness, bowed down, and repented.*

*38:24 In this clear example, 99 on one side vs 1 on the other side, David’s extreme care to render the correct judgment caused him to ask forgiveness. Are we this careful?

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