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The Rules of Conduct for the Witness in the Qur'an

Judgement has a particular basis on which the judge relies when giving his judgement. If it is strong, then the ruling is correct and in keeping with the facts, not otherwise. Like the judge, the witness must be knowledgeable and just. The difference between the two is that the judge must have a knowledge of the Divine law, while the witness must have knowledge of the matter that has been witnessed.

He must comply with two points: firstly, he must have been present at the event in order to have witnessed it himself; secondly, he must be present in the court to report it (2:282) without alteration or evasion. He must not avoid, conceal, or alter testimony, because "the one who conceals it, his heart is sinful; and God has knowledge of the things you do" (2:28). Allah, the Exalted, says:

"O believers, be you securers of justice, witnesses for God, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents and kinsmen, whether the man be rich or poor; God stands closer to you than either of the two. Then follow not desire, so as to swerve; for if you twist or turn, God is aware of the things you do." (4:135)

The conclusion of this noble verse is that no personal, communal or economic factor should interfere with the testimony, not even the love of oneself or of parents or kinsmen. Similarly, economic factors, such as prosperity or poverty, should not influence the mode of giving witness or abstention from it. That is because Allah, the Exalted, is aware of the actions of His servants and witness to them, whatever they may be. Whoever knows that protects himself against lapses and humiliation.

The verse also shows that kinship is no hindrance to acceptance of the evidence of one of the relatives, even if it is the child's against the father. The details concerning the verse can be found in the books on law.

Adapted from the book: "The Islamic System of Judiciary in the Qur'an" by: "Jawadi Amuli"

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