shahadah assignment.docx

Thus the criteria for evidence al bayyiinah can be

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proven, by whichever means, the judge decides in his favour. Thus, the criteria for evidence [al- bayyiinah] can be achieved by the testimony of one or more men. It can also achieved by the testimony of one or more women, depending on the specific type of testimony that the judge requires to issue a decision.
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Ibn Al-Qayyim commented by saying, ‘The Qur’an does not state that a judgment must be passed by only two male witnesses, or one man and two women. God [swt] stipulates that two witnesses are to be brought by those who have [financial] rights in order to secure their [financial] rights with the number of witnesses. However, He does not order judges to pass their rulings according to it. Therefore, the judge can pass judgment in the event that someone refuses to give a testimony, or refuses to take an oath. Also, the judge could use the testimony of one woman, or of women without the presence of men. In these cases, the judge would further investigate the case in regards to the reputation, age, and number of those providing their testimony.3 Ibn Taymiyah justified the wisdom of making the testimony of two women equal to that of one man in financial issues, by arguing that women did not usually deal with these types of financial transactions in their social context. However, if a woman gained experience and fully understood these matters, then her testimony would be regarded as equivalent to that of a man. He said, ‘There is no doubt that the purpose of plurality is experience with finance. However, if a woman acquires such experience and her truthfulness is recognized, then the evidence [al-bayyanah] can be proven by her testimony and it is accepted in religious issues. Therefore, her sole testimony is accepted in certain situations. The testimony of two women and the oath of the claimant are accepted according to Imam Malik and a narration of Imam Ahmad.’ 4 The same view was mentioned by Muhammad ‘Abdu who justified the reason for the distinction between the number of men and women in the verse. He clarified that within the social context of the time, women typically did not attend meetings related to financial transactions or business,
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and so, they did not acquire considerable experience in that field. Historically, this social context is subject to development and change and does not generalize the inherent nature of women throughout the ages. He then said that the interpreters of the Qur’an discussed this matter and attributed it to the mood, and said: ‘The reason for this is that women did not participate in financial dealings like men; not due to their nature of forgetfulness, but rather that they did not have experience in dealing with commutative contracts. The memory of a woman is not inherently weak but was considered to be related to her daily experience, and may have been regarded as stronger than a man’s memory in certain domestic matters with which she typically has more expertise. This is human nature; that the memory of both males and females is weak in areas that are outside their expertise or regular routine.’5
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  • Fall '19
  • witness, oath, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Al-Qayyim

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