Oaths and Witnesses in Islamic Law

In Islamic law, oaths and witnesses play important roles in legal proceedings as they contribute to the establishment of truth and the administration of justice. Here are some key aspects of oaths and witnesses in Islamic law:

Oaths (Qasam)
Oaths are solemn affirmations or declarations made by individuals to assert the truth of their statements or claims. Oaths serve as a means of establishing credibility and encouraging truthfulness. In Islamic law, oaths are given high regard as they invoke the fear of divine consequences for lying or breaking the oath.

Voluntary oaths: A person may voluntarily take an oath to assert the truth of their statement or claim. By doing so, they assume the responsibility of upholding the oath and facing consequences if they are found to be dishonest.

Oaths as evidence: In some cases, an oath can be considered as evidence to support a claim or settle a dispute. However, an oath alone may not be sufficient to establish a fact, and it may need to be accompanied by other evidence or testimony.

Oaths in legal disputes: Oaths may be administered by the court or a judge as part of the legal proceedings. Parties involved in a dispute may be required to take an oath to affirm their position or refute the claims made against them.

Witnesses (Shahid / Shaheed)
Witnesses are individuals who provide testimony based on their firsthand knowledge of events or facts relevant to a case. Islamic law places great importance on witness testimony as a means of establishing the truth and ensuring justice.

Witness qualifications: Witnesses are expected to be trustworthy, of sound mind, and of good character. They should have firsthand knowledge of the facts they testify about and be able to provide accurate and reliable information.

Number of witnesses: Islamic law often requires the testimony of two or more witnesses to establish certain facts or claims. However, the number of witnesses required can vary depending on the nature of the case and the specific legal issue being addressed.

Cross-examination: Witnesses may be subject to cross-examination by opposing parties to test the accuracy and credibility of their testimony. Cross-examination aims to clarify any inconsistencies or potential biases in the witness's account.

Witness testimony in contracts: In matters such as contracts and financial transactions, witnesses may be present at the time of agreement to attest to its validity and ensure transparency and accountability.

While oaths and witness testimony hold significant value in Islamic law, they are not the only means of establishing truth or resolving legal disputes. Islamic legal systems also consider other forms of evidence, such as written documents, physical evidence, and expert opinions, in addition to evaluating the credibility and consistency of testimonies. Furthermore, the application of oaths and witness testimony may vary across different legal systems and interpretations of Islamic law, as there are diverse schools of thought within Islamic jurisprudence.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.