Q. As-Salam-Alaikum – Sultan Kazi, I am in service – I would like to pose a certain question to Dr Zakir Naik. For evidence… given to prove evidence, why are there two female witness, against one male witness?

A. (Dr. Zakir): The brother asked a very important question, that why are 2 women witness, equal to one witness, in Islam. 2 women witnesses are not equal to one man witness – 2 women witness are not equal to one man witness, in all the cases – only in certain cases. There are at least 5 Verses in the Qur’an, which speak about the witnesses, without specifying male or female In one place there is an indication, in which two women witnesses is equal to one witness of man, and that is in Surah Baqarah, Ch. No. 2, Verse No. 282, which happens to be the longest Verse of the Qur’an. It says that… ‘When you involve in financial transaction, in which future obligations are there, reduce them in writing, and take 2 witnesses among the men’. If can not… sorry… if you can not find 2 men witnesses, take one man, and 2 women, so that if one of them gets confused, the other will remind her – This Verse of the Qur’an, Surah Baqrah, Ch. No. 2, Verse No. 282, only deals with finan­cial aspects. Only in financial aspects, it is said that take 2 men as witnesses, preferable – only if you can not find 2 men as witnesses, take one man, and 2 women. Let me give you an example, for a better understanding – Suppose a person wants to undergo a surgery, he wants to go under an operation… but natural he would prefer taking the advice of 2 qualified surgeons. If he cannot find 2 qualified surgeons, he would take the advice of one qualified surgeon, at least backed with 2 normal general practitioners, who have got a normal M.B.B.S. degree, because a surgeon is more qualified in the filed of surgery, as compared to a plain M.B.B.S. doctor. In the same fashion, since the responsibility of the financial aspects, has been laid on the shoulders of the man, in Islam… he is more well Versed in finance, as com­pared to the women – That is why the best option for witnesses in financial transactions, is 2 men. If you can not find 2 men, then one woman… sorry, one man and 2 women.           Again, if you read in Surah Maidah, Ch. No. 5, Verse No. 106, it says that… ‘Anyone writes a will of inheritance, take two men as witnesses’ – Again dealing with financial transactions, men are pre­ferred. Some of the Jurists say that… ‘Even while giving witnesses in cases of murder, the feminine nature may obstruct her, and she may get scared in cases of murder – That is why even in cases of murders, 2 women witness are equal to one witness of man. Only under these 2 conditions… of finance and cases of murder, are two women witness, equal to one. Some of the scholars say, “No, Islam says, one place in Surah Baqrah, Ch. No. 2, Verse No. 282, that… ‘Two women equal to one man’ – Therefore under all circum­stances 2 women is always equal to one man”. Let us analyse… as I said let us analyse the Qur’an as a whole. If you read the Qur’an, in Surah Nur, Ch. No. 24, Verse No. 6, it states that… ‘If any of you put a charge against your spouse, and if they have no evidence, if they have no evidence, their solitary evidence is sufficient’. Means, if a husband wants to put a charge against the wife, the wife has to put a charge against the husband – if they have got no witnesses, their solitary evidence is sufficient. This Verse clearly indi­cates that one woman witness, is equal to one witness of man. There are several cases, which the Jurists agree that even in cases of sighting of moon, one woman witness is sufficient. Some Jurists say that… ‘In the beginning of Ramzan, one witness is required – At the end of Ramzan, two witnesses are required – It does not make a difference, whether they are man or woman. There are certain cases in which man’s witness cannot be accepted… only woman’s witness is accepted. All are waiting for the answer, I be­lieve. Suppose you want to give a witness for the burial bath of a woman – After a woman dies, the witness for a burial bath, can only be given by a woman. And only in extreme cases, when you cannot find women, then can the husband give, the witness – so here the woman witness is preferable – Hope that clarifies your doubt, brother. 

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