Case of sexually abused woman in absence of any witness


by Allama Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer,


It is an obligatory duty of every Muslim to respect other Muslim and must not take any step to defame harass and insult him.According to the sayings of Rasool salal laho aliehi wasalam the respect and integrity of Muslim and his blood is more sacred than city of Makkah and Day of Hajj.It is also not allowed for any Muslim man to harass Muslim woman.The only way to approach a strange Muslim woman in Islam is through Nikah.Islam has condemned Zina and has announced severe punishments for adulterer and adultress.Islam has demanded four witnesses against this crime so that no one can defame Muslim women.
Quran says:

And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever, they indeed are the Fâsiqûn (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allâh). (An-Nur 24:4)

This verse clearly indicates that four witnesses are demanded so that innocent women are not defamed.
But in case where family unit is in danger and husband is eye witness of this crime than this condition of four witnesses is waived.
It has been mentioned in Quran:
And for those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (i.e. testifies four times) by Allâh that he is one of those who speak the truth. And the fifth (testimony) (should be) the invoking of the Curse of Allâh on him if he be of those who tell a lie (against her). (An-Nur 24:6-7)

But even in this critical situation Islam does not degrade Muslim woman and gives her full right of defence .
Quran says:

But it shall avert the punishment (of stoning to death) from her, if she bears witness four times by Allâh, that he (her husband) is telling a lie. And the fifth (testimony) should be that the Wrath of Allâh be upon her if he (her husband) speaks the truth. (An-Nur 24:8-9)

Now it is obvious that condition of four witnesses is to avoid any offense against innocents.But it should be kept in mind that Islam does not support crime and criminal in any case.
Allah swt says:
Surely! Allâh wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a small ant), but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward. (An-Nisa 4:40)

And any one who commits a crime he will have to face the penalty of his wrong doing.
Allah swt says:

Then whoever transgresses the prohibition against you, you transgress likewise against him. And fear Allâh, and know that Allâh is with Al-Muttaqûn (the pious - see V.2:2) . (Al-Baqarah 2:194)

And any one who is victimized has full right to raise voice against this victimization.
Allah swt says:
Allâh does not like that the evil should be uttered in public except by him who has been wronged. And Allâh is Ever All¬Hearer, All¬Knower. (An-Nisa 4:148)

This verse makes it clear that any one who has been victimized has full right to raise voice publically and Allah swt has delegated this right to the oppressed one.

Now coming to the point if a girl is accusing a person and she has no witness with her there are two probabilities.
1) She is innocent and has been victimized
2) She is criminal and accusing an innocent person

In both cases there should be transparent judicial investigation and DNA and other techniques can be used to probe the case.If the person who has been accused admits during free judicial inquiry that he has committed the crime than there is no dispute that he should be lashed with 100 lashes in case he is bachelor and will be stoned to death if he is married person.But if he does not admit that he was guilty but is proved guilty by DNA or other means he may be punished on discretion of Judge .This punishment may be decided by keeping in view the intensity of crime and if it reaches to the extent of haraba which means severe attack and physical abuse than it can be even death penalty.
However if the person is innocent than that woman should be punished with 80 lashes due to attempt of qadaf which has been mentioned earlier:

And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever, they indeed are the Fâsiqûn (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allâh). (An-Nur 24:4)

Islam preserves the human rights and does not support any crime and oppression against humanity.So if a woman does not find four witnesses she does not need to be worried and she is allowed to fight her case and if it is proved by free and fair judicial trial that man was guilty than he will be given severe punishment and dealt according to Islamic law.May Allah guide us to right path ameen.