Why Does Islam Make the Testimony of Two Women Equal to That of One Man?

Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Hamdy Zaqzouq

  • | Wednesday, 10 January, 2018
Why Does Islam Make the Testimony of Two Women Equal to That of One Man?

     1- In Reality, Islam does not consider the testimony of one man equal to the testimony of two women in all cases. This is true only of cases of transactions and documentations. There are cases when the testimony of men is not accepted specifically in cases involving women issues. This signifies that the testimony is not based upon the gender of the witness but on his or her experience and knowledge. In addition, this rule which is applicable in one special situation does not necessarily mean that a woman is viewed as an inferior being. The primary concern behind such a rule is merely to confirm the validity of a testimony, as it is with other crime cases where the testimony of four men is required, and where, here again, the purpose is not to jeopardize the integrity of the witness but simply to be reassured about the truth of the testimony.
     2- When we are concerned with affairs that entail purchasing, selling, and financial transactions, we realize that, generally speaking, women's experience is limited when compared to that of men, who spend most of their time looking after their trade. Accordingly, the rule applies in such cases, since the experience of one man is equal to the experience of two women. Thus it is not a matter of lack of confidence in women or considering them inferior to men, but it is a matter of one's experience in the dealings of life, and a judge has the right to accept the testimony of one woman if he deems it fit to do so. Furthermore, no judge would accept the testimony of an illiterate, inexperienced man and refuse the testimony of an educated woman who is successful in her career.
     3- Moreover, it is a well-known fact that medical research has proved that, for few days each month a woman is not in her normal mental and psychological states. During these few days, women experience hormonal changes, pain and physical discomfort that affect their disposition as well as their memory. They are more emotional and highly strung than men and they might be emotionally influenced by the position of a person on trial and might sympathize with him/her and that might unintentionally influence their testimony. The Holy Qur‘an stated that if there were two woman witnesses and one of them forgot any point or was mistaken concerning it, the other woman could remind her or correct her. Allah, the Almighty says, “If one of the two women should forget, the other can remind her” (Al-Baqara: 282)


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