This has provoked me as it is being used in different ways as a jock material from non-Muslims. What I understand is Sharia law, made it almost impossible to prove adultery by either requesting four witnesses who testify the intercourse has happened or confessing by the offender himself/herself (which I consider it extremely merciful by closing the door of accusing people and let their conscience lead them). However, widely spread among non-Muslims and websites this jock that Who are the four witnesses that can testify they witnessed this and they did not do anything to help the victim. For example here. I understand this website and others are devoted to attack Islam (Ironically, I do not see websites attack other religions with a passion like this). However, I need some supported answer for this and preferably if there is any reference from Islamic countries laws scriptures that I can refer to and how the court deal this kind of cases.
You asked for a reference from Islamic countries laws scriptures.
In Islam there are different ways that an accusation of crime can be proved in Islamic court.
According to laws of Islamic Republic of Iran (which are fully based on Jafari Fiqh) proving of crime can be accepted for jude by any of these methods:
- Qusameh (قسامه)
- Certainty of judge
The text of related law in Persian language is:
بخش پنجم ـ ادله اثبات در امور كيفري
فصل اول ـ مواد عمومي
ماده 160- ادله اثبات جرم عبارت از اقرار، شهادت، قسامه و سوگند در موارد مقرر قانوني و علم قاضي است.
According to the no. 5 one way of certainty of judge is the certificate of Iranian Legal Medicine Organization.
Being raped can be proved for judge by any method that can ensure the judge. in such cases the raped woman can ask for legal certificate from the local office of Iranian Legal Medicine Organization and use it at court. this organization makes different tests and investigations from cloths and body of woman and issues the official assessment. this is the usual procedure in such cases in Iran.
The four witnesses mentioned in Quran is for accusation of adultery to a chaste woman which is a different case.
This is a very good question , as this mis-conception is still not clear among many many muslims as well.
I will divide the asnwer in 3 sections:
- First of all, you must know that Islam is a religion from our creator, means this religion is best in all ways. No matter where, when we apply it, it works perfectly. In case of justice and criminal cases,
Islam provides solutions, which eradicate any chance of any woman getting raped at all.
Some solutions include, dis-allowing free mixing of men and women, dis-slowing anything vulgar, like pornography, sexuality and vulgarity in media, Men and women getting married early,
- Even in that case, if still some woman is raped, then there is absolutely NO bases of this absrd claim that she needs to provide 4 witnesses that she was raped. The 4 witness thing is only related to this issue in Quran:
"And those who accuse chaste women (of adultery) and then do not produce four witnesses — lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after." [Quran 24:4]
- Now, as its clear that Islam does not puts burden of proof of rape on shoulders of women, if a woman gets rapes, what islam says about it . that how she should prove it? Her own testimony and other available ways to prove rape, will be used. Here is a hadith about such incident:
“Narrated Wa’il ibn Hujr: “When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet (P) for prayer, a man attacked her and overpowered [raped] her. She shouted and he went off, and when a man came by, she said: That [man] did such and such to me. And when a company of the Emigrants came by, she said: That man did such and such to me. They went and seized the man whom they thought had had intercourse with her and brought him to her.
She said: Yes, this is he. Then they brought him to the Apostle of Allah (P).
When he [the Prophet] was about to pass sentence, the man who [actually] had assaulted her stood up and said: Apostle of Allah, I am the man who did it to her.
He [the Prophet] said to her: Go away, for Allah has forgiven you. But he told the man some good words [Abu Dawud said: "meaning the man who was seized"], and of the man who had had intercourse with her, he said: “Stone him to death.“
For more details, you can consult following scholarly views:
And Allah knows the best