CAN ONE WOMAN BE A WITNESS IN ISLAM?

A LONE ORCHID: blooms in South Africa

HADITH: How the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, changed the Condition of Women

 

The Prophet, pbuh, accepted ONE woman’s witness in a crucial matter in spite of opposition by a man. Some people incorrectly think that One woman’s witness is not acceptable in Islam. Not true:

“Uqba bin Harith narrates: I had married a woman but a Black woman came and said that ‘I have breastfed both of you as children.’ I Said to the Prophet, pbuh, I had married such and such woman but this Black woman said that she has fed both of us, and she is a liar. The Prophet, pbuh, turned his face away. I again approached [him] and said: she is a liar. The Prophet, pbuh, said: How can you keep your wife when she [the Black woman] says, she breastfed both of you. Let her go.”

[Hadith in Sahih of Bukhari, kitab-un-nikah.]

Thus in a matter as serious as the annulment of a marriage, Islam accepts ONE WOMAN’s witness. Let none say otherwise. This was at a time when most of the world believed that women are chattel or have no souls.

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About Kaukab Siddique PhD

Professor of English, World Literature and Journalism at Lincoln University. Research specialization in Women and Islam

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