Whose Testimony is not Accepted?
Testimony is something general, and there are not different testimonies for marriage, business or cases requiring punishment, etc. In all of those incidences, there should be common characteristics of the person who will testify. Let us summarize the qualifications necessary the person who will testify according to the Islamic Law:
The first requirement is that the testifier must be fair. A fair person is the one whose good deeds are superior to his wrongdoings. This quality becomes evident through keeping away from great sins and not insisting on small sins. A person who commits great sins is called depraved (fasiq). In the 6th verse of Chapter al-Hujurat, it is obviously stated that the testimony of such a person is not accepted:
O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done.
People who commit the greatest sins do not mind telling lies. Since people who defraud orphan of their rights, are known as charging interest, drink alcohol continuously, gamble and who commit similar sins do not respect laws and tell lies easily, their testimony is not accepted.
The testimony of people who are known as liars and tell lies frequently is not referred to.
There should not be a worldly animosity between the defendant and the testifier.
The testimony of people who are famous with meanness, areknown as close-fisted on giving zakat (alms) and meeting the needs of their family is not accepted. They may bear false witness.
The testimony of insane, senile, dumb and blind people is not accepted.
The testimony of saucy people, who do not mind whether what they say is licit or illicit, who are used to uttering phrases that are not considered decent in terms of religion and ethics is not accepted.
Imam Abu Yusuf, who acted sensitively in the issue of testimony and who was one of the establishers of Hanefi School, also performed as qadi (Muslim judge) in Abbasids period. He heard many cases appealed. He never granted privilege even to governors who had high ranks and treated everybody fairly.
Imam Abu Yusuf had rejected the testimony of Fadil, who was one of the viziers of the Caliph. He gave this following answer to people who asked what the reason was: This vizier had described himself as your slave when addressing the Caliph. If he told the truth, the testimony of a slave is not accepted. If he lied; the testimony of a liar is not accepted either.
That incidence shows the dignity of Islamic discipline, the nonexistence of flattery in Islam and the importance of personality and character.
The testimony of people who do deeds that contradict general manners, the blessed conducts and practices of the Prophet (PBUH), and customs of the community is not acceptes. Conversing with shameless people, making fun of people, playing humiliating jokes on people are all deeds that are contrary to the conducts of the Prophet (PBUH) and ethics. The testimony of people who habitually practice those deeds is not accepted.
The testimony of the people of bidah (religious innovation) who malign the righteous ones of the first generations of Islam like Imam Azam (Abu Hanifa) and Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) is not accepted.
All of those manifest the importance Islam gives to the issue of testimony that assists the realization of justice.
Reference: Mehmet Paksu- Çağın Getirdiği Sorular
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