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Woman's Testimony in Islam

7177 2010/12/04 2024/05/27
Article translated to : العربية עברית

with regard to the subject of women's testimony, allah dictates in the noble qur'an that in financial transactions two men or a man and two women should testify (al-baqarah: 282). however, in other situations the woman's testimony is equal to that of a man and it could render a man's testimony invalid. if a man accuses his wife of being unchaste, he is required    in accordance with the qur'anic text to take oath five times as evidence to condemn her but if the wife denies that and swears five times she is deemed not guilty in any case the marriage ends (an-nur: 6-11). it should be noted here that woman in the jewish community are not allowed to testify and she is considered unable bear this responsibility. according to judaism, this is one of the nine curses caused by the fall of man. we also should note that women in israel today cannot testify before the rabbinic courts because it is proven that sarah, prophet ibrahim's wife lied as detailed in genesis (18: 9-15):  "and he said, i will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, sarah thy wife shall have a son. and sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. now abraham and sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with sarah after the manner of women. therefore sarah laughed within herself, saying, after i am waxed old shall i have pleasure, my lord being old also? and the lord said unto abraham, wherefore did sarah laugh, saying, shall i of a surety bear a child, which am old? is anything too hard for the lord? at the time appointed i will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and sarah shall have a son. then sarah denied, saying, i laughed not; for she was afraid." worse still, "the testimony of one hundred jewish women is equal to the testimony of one jewish man" as we have mentioned above. in addition, western christian woman was not allowed according to both civil and ecclesiastical laws to testify until late last century. [81] if a man marries a woman and then accuses her of non-virginity her testimony is invalid and her parents must bring a testament to her virginity from city leaders; otherwise, she is stoned to death on the doorsteps of her father's house. (see deuteronomy, 22: 13-21)


[81] matilda j. gage, woman, church, and state (new york: truth seeker company, 1893), p. 142.

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