Testimonies and witnesses

Testimonies and witnesses

source :Osoul Global Center

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Giving testimony pertaining to the rights of human beings is a collective duty, witnesses must not refuse when they are called in. it is an obligation if one is summoned to testify which confirms Islam's protection of rights.

Testimonies and witnesses

Linguistically speaking, the term shahadah means a ‘confirmed piece of information’, and it is derived from a root that means ‘to see’. According to Muslim scholars, it means ‘telling about a right belonging to someone other than oneself against another person, who is not oneself, in a court of justice.’ It is also defined as ‘telling what the witness knows in a particular form, which is to say “I give witness that so and so...”, or “I have seen so and so...” or words to this effect.’[1]

Ruling: To bear witness that pertains to the rights of human beings is a collective duty. If some people undertake it and they are enough to establish the rights of everyone, all others are exempt. If anyone is needed to bear testimony in order to clarify the rights of the parties in a particular dispute, then it is the duty of that person to give testimony.

:Allah says

‘Witnesses must not refuse when they are called in.’

(2:282)

 To give testimony in a court of law is a personal obligation and a duty if one is summoned to testify.

:Allah says

‘You shall not withhold testimony, for he that withholds testimony is sinful at heart.’

(2:283)

Giving evidence is required according to the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the unanimity of scholars. In the Qur’an,

:Allah says

‘Witnesses must not refuse when they are called in.’

(2:282)

 ‘And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah.’ 

(65:2)

 

Ibn Mas'ud reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to one of his Companions that judgement in his dispute was dependant onyour two witnesses; or esle, his oath.

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 2,669; Muslim, hadith No. 138

:Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said

‘Evidence must be presented by the claimant, and an oath is taken by the defendant.’

Related by al-Tirmidhi, hadith No. 1,341; al-Daraqutni, hadith No. 4,311; al-Bayhaqi in Al-Saghir, hadith No. 3,101

All scholars agree that giving testimony is required to prove people’s rights.[2]


references

  1. Ibn Qudamah, Al-Mughni, vol. 9, p. 216.
  2. Ibn Qudamah, Al-Mughni, vol. 9, p. 164.

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