Rape case


salaam What are the four schools of thoughts views on rape cases, especially that a female needs four male witnesses to prove a case. Can modern technology be used now? Also is there a website or a book where I could read more about this subject..thank you


Salam alaykum,

Wa’il ibn Hijr al-Kindi narrated that a woman went out in the time of the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — to go to prayer, and a man who met her attacked her and got his desire of her. She shouted and he went off. Another man passed by and she said: “That man did such-and-such to me.” Then she met a company of the Muhajirun [Muslims who had moved from Mecca to Madina] and said: “That man [#2] did such-and-such to me.”  They went off and seized the [second] man she believed had raped her and brought
him to her, whereupon she said: “Yes, that is him.” They brought him to Allah’s Messenger. When the latter ordered that the man be stoned,* the first man — the one who had raped her —  came forward and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I am the one who was with her.” The Prophet then said to the woman: “You are free to go away, for Allah has forgiven you,” then he placated the man [Abu Dawud said: “meaning the one who had been
seized”]. As for the man who had raped her, he said: “Stone him to death.”** Then he added: “He [the culprit] has repented with a kind of repentence that, if the people of Madina [or: of a city] were to offer it, it would be accepted from them.”***

*Meaning: after due course of investigation, interrogation, cross-examination etc. on his part (Fath al-Wadud).
** His name was Ma`iz ibn Malik. (`Awn al-Ma`bud)
*** Meaning: if this kind of repentence existed in any city, it would benefit the entire people of that city. (al-Qari)

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharib sahih) and Abu Dawud. Ahmad narrates a slightly different version.

The above report shows that circumstancial evidence, namely the woman’s accusation on the spot, was enough to initiate the legal process. Yes, today DNA analysis and other modern methods may be used.

For further reading see “The Islamic Law of Evidence”  by Dr. Anwarullah.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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