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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 87251 Find in a Library
Title: Means of Evidence in Islamic Law (From Effect of Islamic Legislation in Saudi Arabia - Proceedings, P 149-192, 1976 - See NCJ-87248)
Author(s): S I M Al-Laheidan
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 42
Sponsoring Agency: Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interior
Riyach, Saudi Arabia
Sale Source: Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interior
Crime Prevention Research Ctr
P.O. Box 3743
Airport Road
South Africa
Language: English
Annotation: This paper describes the type of evidence permitted in trying cases under Islamic law as well as the procedures for presenting evidence.
Abstract: Islamic law defines evidence as an evident indication of the commission of an offense by a certain person. This evidence can be either a testimony, a confession by the offender, a solemn oath taken by the plaintiff, or a testimony given by the plaintiff. The evidence required for a conviction differs from one offense to another. Some crimes require only two witnesses while others necessitate four witnesses (adultery, for example). Some crimes are legally proven only by oathtaking, such as in 'Qasamat' where 50 solemn oaths are taken by claimants to prove a punishable crime. Other crimes are proven by the testimony of the claimant, such as in 'Lia'an' when a husband accuses his chaste wife of adultery but has no witnesses to support his accusation. People are encouraged to participate as witnesses in the courts, and they are warned against concealing facts or committing perjury. The requirements for witnesses are that they be sane adult Muslims who are objective in their testimony. An unbeliever is not permitted to testify against a Muslim. Testimony by non-Muslims against other unbelievers is acceptable provided such testimony conforms to the witness' traditions and conception of justice. The testimony of children is acceptable provided such testimony has not been influenced by parents or relatives. The significance of circumstantial evidence is emphasized. This paper is discussed by symposium participants.
Index Term(s): Islamic law; Rules of evidence; Saudi Arabia; Witnesses
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