Throughout the centuries, various countries have adopted a legal system for its people against crime and violence. Investigating for physical evidence before reaching a guilty or not guilty verdict is a crucial part in the legal system of the U.S. and many other countries. Fortunately, God has already established the necessity of this vital element before conviction in the Quran more than 1400 years ago ; a believer or a disbeliever must be associated with a clear evidence to prove or disprove his/her conviction in a crime or any other form of violations.
It is not a surprise, however, that many of the so-called Islamic countries have lost this important Quranic principle to better suite some man-made, bias ideologies. All the inhumane practices and laws in regard of women, or the unjust capital punishments such as beheading, stoning, or hanging without a solid evidence in hand reflect the corruption of the legal system and the severe deviation from the word of God in these societies.
God has provided us with a scripture that is complete, and fully detailed (7:52). In this infallible and clear scripture, God has established the foundation of justice towards our souls and towards others through physical proofs. His basic demonstration of that is how He has manifested Himself to us and let us reach for the conviction of His presence by the means of proofs - proofs that were sent with His messengers or within His scriptures. He has also showered us with trillions of proofs of His supremacy, all around us and within ourselves:
[2:164] In the creation of the heavens and the earth, the alternation of night and day, the ships that roam the ocean for the benefit of the people, the water that GOD sends down from the sky to revive dead land and to spread in it all kinds of creatures, the manipulation of the winds, and the clouds that are placed between the sky and the earth, there are sufficient proofs for people who understand.
[7:101] We narrate to you the history of those communities: their messengers went to them with clear proofs, but they were not to believe in what they had rejected before. GOD thus seals the hearts of the disbelievers.
[6:157] Nor can you say, "If only a scripture could come down to us, we would be better guided than they." A proven scripture has now come to you from your Lord, and a beacon, and a mercy. Now, who is more evil than one who rejects these proofs from GOD, and disregards them? We will commit those who disregard our proofs to the worst retribution for their heedlessness.
[41:53] We will show them our proofs in the horizons, and within themselves, until they realize that this is the truth.* Is your Lord not sufficient as a witness of all things?
To implement this crucial need of proofs before reaching for any solid conviction, He revealed 17:36 as a general warning that we are fully responsible for using our own brains, eyesight, and hearing to investigate matters and establish justice:
[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.
He also clearly commanded us to NEVER bear a false witness to emphasize the need of the regime of witnesses when we investigate issues and try to achieve justice:
[4:135] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether the accused is rich or poor, GOD takes care of both. Therefore, do not be biased by your personal wishes. If you deviate or disregard (this commandment), then GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
[5:8] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses. Do not be provoked by your conflicts with some people into committing injustice. You shall be absolutely equitable, for it is more righteous. You shall observe GOD. GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
Do not be provoked by your conflicts with some people into committing injustice.This statement also teaches us that baseless accusations promotes injustice on earth which is evil as it is against what God advocates. We all could casually fall into this trap, and accuse someone without knowledge or evidence simply because we have a conflict with him/her or just because we do not like that person!!
A good teaching lesson to establish evidence before proceeding to accusations or reaching for any solid conclusions is narrated in the story of prophet Joseph:
- When Prophet Jacob was able to recognize that the blood produced on Joesph's shirt was fake, that was his proof that Joseph was still alive:
[12:18] They produced his shirt with fake blood on it. He said, "Indeed, you have conspired with each other to commit a certain scheme. All I can do is resort to a quiet patience. May GOD help me in the face of your conspiracy."
- The location of where Joseph's shirt was torn provided an evidence against the accusation of the governor's wife:
[12:26] He said, "She is the one who tried to seduce me." A witness from her family suggested: "If his garment is torn from the front, then she is telling the truth and he is a liar.
[12:27] "And if his garment is torn from the back, then she lied, and he is telling the truth."
[12:28] When her husband saw that his garment was torn from the back, he said, "This is a woman's scheme. Indeed, your scheming is formidable.
- As a part of Joseph's scheme to retain his biological brother with him, he never accused him with stealing without placing a cup in his stuff as an evidence for that:
[12:74] They said, "What is the punishment for the thief, if you are liars?"
[12:75] They said, "The punishment, if it is found in his bag, is that the thief belongs to you. We thus punish the guilty."
[12:76] He then started by inspecting their containers, before getting to his brother's container, and he extracted it out of his brother's container. We thus perfected the scheme for Joseph; he could not have kept his brother if he applied the king's law. But that was the will of GOD. We exalt whomever we choose to higher ranks. Above every knowledgeable one, there is one who is even more knowledgeable.
While the above is an illustrative way to fully comprehend and apply the concept of having evidence before reaching for a conviction, the following are clear and straightforward commands that mandate the need of several eye witnesses to eliminate any kind of doubts and provide solid proofs while ruling out certain situations. The Most wise is fully cognizant of our human, bias nature and He perfectly estimates our weakness in front of Satan:
A person is considered a liar if he/she fails to produce FOUR witnesses before accusing another with fornication. Spouses are liars if they fail to produce FOUR witnesses for the same abomination, even if they swear by God four times while the wife testifies otherwise and swears by God, four times, that she is innocent. Her testimony, in this case, is valid and is superseding, and her affairs at this point are very well known to God:
[24:4] Those who accuse chaste women of adultery, then fail to produce four witnesses, you shall whip them eighty lashes, and do not accept any testimony from them; they are wicked.
[24:6] As for those who accuse their own spouses, without any other witnesses, then the testimony may be accepted if he swears by GOD four times that he is telling the truth.
[24:7] The fifth oath shall be to incur GOD's condemnation upon him, if he was lying.
[24:8] She shall be considered innocent if she swears by GOD four times that he is a liar.
[24:9] The fifth oath shall incur GOD's wrath upon her if he was telling the truth.
[4:15] Those who commit al-fahisha among your women, you must have four witnesses against them, from among you. If they do bear witness, then you shall keep such women in their homes until they die, or until GOD creates an exit for them.
[4:16] The couple who commits that fahishah shall be punished. If they repent and reform, you shall leave them alone. GOD is Redeemer, Most Merciful.
- Witnessing a will:
[5:106] O you who believe, witnessing a will when one of you is dying shall be done by two equitable people among you. If you are traveling, then two others may do the witnessing. After observing the Contact Prayer (Salat), let the witnesses swear by GOD, to alleviate your doubts: "We will not use this to attain personal gains, even if the testator is related to us. Nor will we conceal GOD's testimony. Otherwise, we would be sinners."
- Witnessing the writing of any financial transaction:
[2:282] O you who believe, when you transact a loan for any period, you shall write it down. An impartial scribe shall do the writing. No scribe shall refuse to perform this service, according to GOD's teachings. He shall write, while the debtor dictates the terms. He shall observe GOD his Lord and never cheat. If the debtor is mentally incapable, or helpless, or cannot dictate, his guardian shall dictate equitably. Two men shall serve as witnesses; if not two men, then a man and two women whose testimony is acceptable to all. Thus, if one woman becomes biased, the other will remind her. It is the obligation of the witnesses to testify when called upon to do so. Do not tire of writing the details, no matter how long, including the time of repayment. This is equitable in the sight of GOD, assures better witnessing, and eliminates any doubts you may have. Business transactions that you execute on the spot need not be recorded, but have them witnessed. No scribe or witness shall be harmed on account of his services. If you harm them, it would be wickedness on your part. You shall observe GOD, and GOD will teach you. GOD is Omniscient.
- Witnessing the transaction of giving back the mature orphans their own assets:
[4:6] You shall test the orphans when they reach puberty. As soon as you find them mature enough, give them their property. Do not consume it extravagantly in a hurry, before they grow up. The rich guardian shall not charge any wage, but the poor guardian may charge equitably. When you give them their properties, you shall have witnesses. GOD suffices as Reckoner.
- Witnessing the divorce:
[65:2] Once the interim is fulfilled, you may reconcile with them equitably, or go through with the separation equitably. You shall have two equitable witnesses witness the divorce before GOD. This is to enlighten those who believe in GOD and the Last Day. Anyone who reverences GOD, He will create an exit for him.
All of the above expresses the divine justice system in the Quran based on evidence and eye witnesses in order to eliminate any kind of baseless accusations. Verification is a well- established law, mandated by the Most Gracious who has blessed us with all the tools, physical and intellectual, to distinguish, analyze, and establish His laws on earth. May God shield us against committing any kind of injustice or oppressing any soul:
[4:110] Anyone who commits evil, or wrongs his soul, then implores GOD for forgiveness, will find GOD Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[4:111] Anyone who earns a sin, earns it to the detriment of his own soul. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.
[4:112] Anyone who earns a sin, then accuses an innocent person thereof, has committed a blasphemy and a gross offense.
[55:1] The Most Gracious.
[55:2] Teacher of the Quran.
[55:3] Creator of the human beings.
[55:4] He taught them how to distinguish.
[55:5] The sun and the moon are perfectly calculated.
[55:6] The stars and the trees prostrate.
[55:7] He constructed the sky and established the law.
[55:8] You shall not transgress the law.
[55:9] You shall establish justice; do not violate the law.
Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.