Abbas Mohammad Elsiddik


This research attempts to provide a fresh evaluation of a testimony in general and an evaluation of the weight of woman's testimony in particular. By using an empirical methodology, the research responds to the equality issue between women and men as competent witnesses, as Western jurisprudence claims, and the issue of non-equality between women and men as competent witnesses, as Islamic Sharia scholars claim. This study found numerous results, one of which was that womanhood affects a woman's ability to bear in mind a witnessed fact. Therefore, womanhood should be dealt with as a discrediting her testimony factor. Another result was that woman's testimony is admissible, even if she was alone; because womanhood is a factor relating to the weight of a testimony not a stipulation for the admissibility of testimony. Moreover, the research classified testimony in regard to its weight into two kinds. The first kind is Attestation, which always requires corroboration from a man or woman to renders it admissible as evidence. The second kind is Testimony, which does not generally require corroboration, even if the witness is a woman. However, corroboration may be necessary if the testimony has been affected by any discrediting factor regardless the sex of the witness. One more result of the research was that corroboration for testimony is affected by womanhood in certain cases, can be attained by summoning another woman as a witness, inferring factual presumptions, or examining the surrounding circumstances.


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