Rafed English

The rule of repetition and doubt

Adopted from the book: "The rights of prisoners according to Islamic teachings" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"

It is also reported from the reign of governor al-Shefti, that a woman complained to him that "one of the well-known and influential individuals has managed to usurp (my) orchard that is adjacent to his orchard, and as he has the influence and the money, he has made many people to act as witness that the orchard is his, and all of this was done in my absence.

Now that I have found out about this, I do not seem to have evidence to counter his, to prove that the orchard is mine. Do you think you could do something for me?"

After he satisfied himself of her honesty, governor al-Shefti decided to pursue the matter further. He first approached the individual concerned and said to him that this woman claims the orchard is hers, what do you have to say in this matter? The man refuted the allegation and presented the papers to prove the property belonged to him, along with the signatures of numerous witnesses testifying to that effect. The governor noted the evidence and discharged him.

After a while the governor asked that man "For how much did you buy the orchard?" and the man replied, "I did not buy the property." . . . Some time later the governor asked the man "Who gave you this orchard?" and the man replied, "Nobody gave me it."

On yet another occasion the governor asked the man "Did you inherit it from your father or from someone else?" and the man replied negative. In this way and on different occasions the governor continued to ask the man questions about how came to possess the property, and on each occasion the man answered negatively without realising the consequences of his replies.

The set of questions the governor had asked and the set of answers the man had given proved that he was not the rightful owner of the property. The governor then turned to the man said "You denied all possible ways of owning the orchard, so how did you come acquire this orchard?

" The man tried to justify his actions but failed to present a viable case for his claim, and given the replies he had previously given, it became apparent that the documents and the witnesses were all false. The rights of prisoners according to Islamic teachings then ordered the documents to be destroyed, and decreed that the orchard belongs to the woman unless someone else could prove otherwise.

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