The Biden dilemma: Justice or family?

Qasim Choudhary, USA

Hunter Biden is on the verge of becoming a notable figure in American history, though not perhaps in a manner that he or fellow Americans might have anticipated. He is potentially the first child of a sitting US president to face trial on felony gun charges along with allegations of drug use—a situation that has significant implications for the upcoming reelection campaign.

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley calls this trial “An albatross around President Biden’s neck and weighs very heavily on his psyche.” (“What to know about the federal gun trial Hunter Biden faces this week”,

So, what does the President of the United States have to say about his son’s criminal escapades?

Officially, there is no comment from the president, but as a father, he expresses “boundless love” for his son, a sentiment shared by many parents in similar situations. But how would the teachings of Islam guide individuals through such an emotionally and psychologically complex situation?

The Holy Quran, in very clear terms, states:

“O ye who believe! Be strict in observing justice, (and be) witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (against) parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both (than you are). Therefore, follow not low desires so that you may (be able to) act equitably. And if you conceal (the truth) or evade (it), then (remember that) Allah is well aware of what you do.”  (Surah an-Nisa, Ch.4: V.136)

This verse emphasises the importance of justice in eradicating any kind of injustice in society, serving as a remedy against all forms of prejudice.

In fact, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa himself lived by setting the highest standards of justice, saying that if his beloved daughter Fatimara were guilty of a crime, she would be punished in the same manner as any criminal would be. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-hudud, Bab karahiyati sh-shafa‘ati fi l-haddi idha rufi‘a ila sh-shaytan, Hadith 6788)

These are not just empty words, the Prophet Muhammadsa practically demonstrated fairness and impartiality as the leader of the state. Once, a dispute arose involving a Jewish citizen of Medina and a Muslim. After hearing the evidence, Prophet Muhammadsa judged in favour of the Jewish man, demonstrating that justice would prevail over any bias.

Again, emphasising the importance of absolute justice and the perils of not holding true to this principle, the Prophet Muhammadsa stated, “The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich.” (Ibid.)

It should be remembered that the teachings of Islam consider justice as the most basic of virtuous deeds, whereas others may consider it a mark of high integrity. As the world waits and fixates on the jury’s decision, we hope that this very basic virtue will be adhered to. 

Recently, President Biden explicitly said, “No one is above the law.” Let’s hope this standard of justice prevails in this case as well. Our leaders must set aside their egos and desires for justice and peace to truly thrive. As Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa once eloquently stated, 

“The world’s peace is being undermined by a variety of factors, such as the one-eyed policies of political leaders and governments who place their personal and national interests above fairness and equity. Such injustice can never lead to peace and prosperity.” (““In Our Selfish Quest for Wealth and Power, We Are Ruthlessly Destroying The Prospects of Today’s Youth” – Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad”,

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