Islam’s Requirement for Testimony of Rape

I have heard from some Imams and online sources that Islam requires women who allege that they have been raped to produce 4 witnesses who can testify that the rape has taken place. The problem with this statement is that it becomes very difficult to catch the rapist this way and the victim might end up being jailed instead. Correct!

But, who exactly believes this ruling? And through what kind of logic? A close friend of mine explained the above-mentioned concept to me this way: If there are 4 witnesses to rape, then why didn’t they catch the rapist instead and testified against the rapist? What are they doing testifying against the victim and attempting to protect the woman from her own lie when they couldn’t protect her at the time she was raped? Doesn’t the word “witness” mean that “someone was always watching”. But, how can you be always watching without trying to intervene and attempting to stop the abuse even before the case is taken to the court? Brilliant explanation!

Later, I researched the net and found that Islam doesn’t ask for 4 testimonies from the women but from the accusers’ in case someone is trying to frame the women for committing adultery. This also means that it is easy to confuse women to have sex—through use of circumstances, Stockholm Syndrome, and “tend & befriend response“—which is why the rapist or accuser must produce 4 testimonies to prove that the woman is the real criminal. The correct ruling is also built around the idea that false rape allegations are very rare; come to think about it, this was true thousands of years ago and it is still true. Now, you are going to notice that the rapist or any other sort of accuser won’t be able to win against the chaste woman at all. It would become very difficult to frame her because the witnesses won’t be able to back up the claims of the accuser in a consistent way. For instance, every time you ask the rest of the testimonies about the woman’s personality and favourite foods, they won’t know anything at all, which tells me that the man was hiding the girl from the rest. The idea is to discuss very critical things that only the woman knows to figure out if she slept with this man willingly or if she was being raped; for example, the man might be stating that he slept with her for some months but didn’t rape her, but he is unable to state which city she is originally from. And, the case cannot progress at all given that 4 witnesses aren’t there to help out. But, it will become easier to figure out which side is lying because there will be too many witnesses and situations to investigate. Here is a relevant reading.

…And those who calumniate chaste woman but bring not four witnesses — flog them eighty stripes and do not admit their evidence ever after-(An-Nur 24:5; Quran)

Copyright © 2010 by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

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