0

Assalamu alaikum,

Why isn’t a women’s testimony accepted in cases where a Hadd punishment is involved, or taken into account for the Hadd punishment?

1

1 Answer 1

1

A woman's testimony is not accepted in Hudood and Qisas under normal circumstances. This is the view of the vast majority of the madhabs, including the Hanafis, Malikis, Shafi'is and Hanbalis.

The evidence cited for it includes:

  • The Quran requires four male witnesses for Zina, and does not mention anything about female witnesses:

    والذين يرمون المحصنات ثم لم يأتوا بأربعة شهداء فاجلدوهم ثمانين جلدة

    And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses - lash them with eighty lashes

    Quran 24:4

    So any combination which falls short of four males will be contrary to the literal requirement of the verse, such as having three males and two females.

    Similarly the following verse indicates that the witnesses be from men rather than 'our women':

    واللاتي يأتين الفاحشة من نسائكم فاستشهدوا عليهن أربعة منكم

    Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse of your women - bring against them four [witnesses] from among you.

    Quran 4:15

    And there are also grammatical clues in the verses that male witnesses are meant. And the requirement for Hudood is judged to be the same by using analogy.

  • The Quran prescribes male witnesses in divorce and bequests:

    شهادة بينكم ... اثنان ذوا عدل منكم

    Testimony [should be taken] ... [that of] two just men from among you

    Quran 5:106

    وأشهدوا ذوي عدل منكم

    And bring to witness two just men from among you

    Quran 65:2

    And the requirement for Hudood is judged to be the same by using analogy.

  • The Quran mentions female witnesses in loans only, when enough male witnesses are not available:

    يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا تداينتم بدين إلى أجل مسمى ... واستشهدوا شهيدين من رجالكم فإن لم يكونا رجلين فرجل وامرأتان ممن ترضون من الشهداء

    O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term ... bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses

    Quran 2:282

    Financial transactions are treated similarly based on analogy, however Hudood are not. That is because the concession in transactions is for the sake of convenience, whereas what is prescribed in Hudood is rigorous proof and aversion of the punishment due to doubts.

  • The Quran and Ahadith declare a defect in the testimony of women, i.e. a higher chance of error in it:

    فإن لم يكونا رجلين فرجل وامرأتان ممن ترضون من الشهداء أن تضل إحداهما فتذكر إحداهما الأخرى

    And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her.

    Quran 2:282

    قال أليس شهادة المرأة مثل نصف شهادة الرجل ‏ قلن بلى‏‏ قال ‏ فذلك من نقصان عقلها

    He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her 'aql."

    Bukhari

    This raises doubt and Hudood and Qisas are averted because of doubts.

  • There exist several reports attributed to the sahaba and tabieen that the testimony of women is not valid in hudood. See Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah and Musannaf Abdur Razzaq. Similarly the jurists after them adopted the same stance. And a number of scholars treated this like an agreed upon matter, meaning that any dissent to it was considered rare and not credible.

Ibn Hazm, Ata ibn Abi Rabah and Tawus are among those who dissented with this and considered it valid for two women to replace one man, similar to the case of financial transactions.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .