Rafed English

Sworn Allegation in Permanent Marriage

Adopted from the Book : "Temporary Marriage in Islamic Laws" by : "Sachiko Murata"

VII. Sworn Allegation (Li'an)

'Sworn allegation' is a procedure whereby a man may take his wife before a qadi and either accuse her of infidelity or deny his fathering her child. The man then pronounces this formula four times: 'I testify before God that I speak the truth concerning what I say about this woman.' The qadi will then counsel the man concerning the gravity of his accusation. If he should repent of his words, he will receive the punishment for false accusation (eighty lashes). If he maintains the truth of his accusation, he must repeat a second formula four times: 'God's curse be upon me if I am a liar'.
The judge then turns to the wife. She may either face the penalty for adultery (stoning to death) or repeat this formula four times: 'I testify before God that he is a liar'. The judge will counsel her concerning the gravity of falsely swearing before God. If she continues to maintain her innocence, she must pronounce a second formula four times: 'God's wrath be upon me if he is telling the truth '. If she refuses to pronounce the formula, she will suffer the penalty for adultery.
After sworn allegation, the man and woman are forbidden to each other forever, without divorce. If the husband denies the parentage of a child, the child is illegitimate. If the man should ever repent of his allegation, he must suffer the penalty for false accusation. In case a child is involved, its legitimacy will then be restored; according to the Sunnis, in such a case the father and the child inherit from each other, but according to the Shi'is, the father may not inherit from the child.1 The woman continues to be forbidden to the man.

1. Sharh al-lum'a, VI, 210-12; Riyad, II, 217-18.

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