False Witness (Ahadith 2319 – 2320)
Volume 3, Book 48, Number 821 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was asked about the great sins He said, “They are:- (1 ) To join others in worship with Allah, (2) To be undutiful to one’s parents. (3) To kill a person (which Allah has forbidden to kill) (i.e. to commit the crime of murdering). (4) And to give a false witness.”
Volume 3, Book 48, Number 822 :
Narrated by Abu Bakra (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said thrice, “Should I inform you out the greatest of the great sins?” They said, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)!” He said, “To join others in worship with Allah and to be undutiful to one’s parents.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) then sat up after he had been reclining (on a pillow) and said, “And I warn you against giving a false witness”, and he kept on saying that warning till we thought he would not stop.
There’s mention of false witness in the Quran as well:
وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ
“And [they are] those who do not testify to falsehood..” [Al-Furqan: 72]
Ibn Kathir comments:
These are further attributes of the servants of the Most Gracious. They do not bear witness to falsehood, including lies, immorality, disbelief, foul speech and false words…
“And those who do not bear witness to falsehood” refers to giving false testimony, which means lying deliberately to someone else…
From the context it seems that what is meant by those who do not bear witness to falsehood is those who do not attend it or are not present when it happens.
The above ayah talks about false witness, which is a major sin. Allah also talks about hiding witness/testimony in the Quran:
وَلَا تَكْتُمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ ۚ وَمَن يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ
“And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it – his heart is indeed sinful, and Allah is Knowing of what you do.” [Al-Baqarah: 283]
Ibn Kathir comments:
﴿وَلاَ تَكْتُمُواْ الشَّهَـدَةَ﴾
(And conceal not the evidence) means, do not hide it or refuse to announce it. Ibn `Abbas and other scholars said, “False testimony is one of the worst of the major sins, and such is the case with hiding the true testimony.” This is why Allah said,
﴿وَمَن يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ ءَاثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ﴾
(For he who hides it, surely, his heart is sinful).
As-Suddi commented, “Meaning he is a sinner in his heart.”
This is similar to Allah’s statement,
﴿وَلاَ نَكْتُمُ شَهَـدَةَ اللَّهِ إِنَّآ إِذَاً لَّمِنَ الاٌّثِمِينَ﴾
(We shall not hide testimony of Allah, for then indeed we should be of the sinful) ﴿5:106﴾.
﴿يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَآءِ للَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَلِدَيْنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبِينَ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيّاً أَوْ فَقَيراً فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا فَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ الْهَوَى أَن تَعْدِلُواْ وَإِن تَلْوُواْ أَوْ تُعْرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيراً ﴾
(O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you avoid justice; and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do) ﴿ 4:135
P.S. We have talked previously about a similar subject: false oaths.
Testimony of a Sinner (Ahadith 2314 – 2315)
Volume 3, Book 48, Number 816 :
Narrated by ‘Urwa bin Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu)
A woman committed theft in the Ghazwa of the Conquest (of Mecca) and she was taken to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) who ordered her hand to be cut off. ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) said, “Her repentance was perfect and she was married (later) and used to come to me (after that) and I would present her needs to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).”
Volume 3, Book 48, Number 817 :
Narrated by Zaid bin Khalid (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) ordered that an unmarried man who committed illegal sexual intercourse be scourged one hundred lashes and sent into exile for one year.
Can the testimony of a sinner be accepted?
In case of slander, Allah has prescribed three punishments. They are: the hadd punishment; rejection of testimony; and describing the slanderer as an evildoer (Faasiq). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever. They indeed are the Faasiqoon (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allaah). Except those who repent thereafter and do righteous deeds; (for such) verily, Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [al-Noor 24:4-5].
With regard to the hadd punishment, the fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that the hadd punishment for slander is eighty lashes if the slanderer is a free person [i.e., not a slave], man or woman, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“flog them with eighty stripes” [al-Noor 24:4].
As for his testimony not being accepted, the scholars are unanimously agreed that the testimony of the slanderer should not be accepted so long as he has not repented, because he has committed a major sin, namely slander, and has not repented from it, so he cannot be described as being of good character, and good character is a condition of testimony being accepted; and because he is a liar and an evildoer according to the text of the verse: “They indeed are the Faasiqoon (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allaah).”
“Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they (the slanderers) have not produced witnesses! Then with Allaah they are the liars” [al-Noor 24:13].
The testimony of the evildoer and liar cannot be accepted, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And take as witness two just persons from among you (Muslims)” [al-Talaaq 65:2]. So it is stipulated that the witness should be of good character, and the evildoer and liar are not of good character.
If he repents from slander and admits that he was lying, then the majority of scholars (Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad) are of the view that his testimony may be accepted. They said:
1. Because repentance erases the sins that came before it, so if he repents his sin and its effects are erased completely, and non-acceptance of testimony is one of the effects of that sin.
Imam al-Shaafa’i said in al-Umm (7/94):
If he admits that he lied, his testimony may then be accepted, but if he does not do that then his testimony cannot be accepted, until he does that, because the sin for which his testimony is rejected is slander, but if he admits that he was lying then he has repented. End quote.
2. Because the expression “forever” in the verse applies so long as he persists in evildoing. Hence after that the verse mentions after the ruling that he is an evildoer: “and reject their testimony forever. They indeed are the Faasiqoon (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allaah).” If the description of evildoer ceases to apply to him, then the reason for rejecting his testimony also ceases to exist.
3. It was narrated from ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said to those who had slandered al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah, after he had carried out the hadd punishment of flogging on them: “Whoever repents, his testimony will be accepted.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari in a mu’allaq majzoom report.
His repentance means that he admits that he was lying about the slandered person whom he accused of zina. Hence the words of ‘Umar according to Ibn Jareer were, “Whoever admits that he was lying, his testimony will be accepted.”
If the slanderer repents and mends his ways, his testimony will be accepted, like any other Muslim of good character.
Al-Mughni (12/386); al-Majmoo’ (22/98-101).
Taken from IslamQA
Don’t Judge (Hadith No. 417)
Narrated ‘Itban bin Malik:
who was one of the companions of Allah’s Apostle and one of the Ansar’s who took part in the battle of Badr: I came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle I have weak eyesight and I lead my people in prayers. When it rains the water flows in the valley between me and my people so I cannot go to their mosque to lead them in prayer. O Allah’s Apostle! I wish you would come to my house and pray in it so that I could take that place as a Musalla. Allah’s Apostle said. “Allah willing, I will do so.” Next day after the sun rose high, Allah’s Apostle and Abu Bakr came and Allah’s Apostle asked for permission to enter. I gave him permission and he did not sit on entering the house but said to me, “Where do you like me to pray?” I pointed to a place in my house. So Allah’s Apostle stood there and said, ‘Allahu Akbar’, and we all got up and aligned behind him and offered a two-Rak’at prayer and ended it with Taslim. We requested him to stay for a meal called “Khazira” which we had prepared for him. Many members of our family gathered in the house and one of them said, “Where is Malik bin Al-Dukhaishin or Ibn Al-Dukhshun?” One of them replied, “He is a hypocrite and does not love Allah and His Apostle.” Hearing that, Allah’s Apostle said, “Do not say so. Haven’t you seen that he said, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’ for Allah’s sake only?” He said, “Allah and His Apostle know better. We have seen him helping and advising hypocrites.”
Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah has forbidden the (Hell) fire for those who say, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’ for Allah’s sake only.”
Whoever declares ‘la ilaha illa Allah‘, is officially a Muslim. He/she will be treated as a Muslim. You have no right to judge them and make assumptions about their belief or disbelief. You can’t say that a certain person will definitely go to Hell. Similarly, saying a certain person will definitely go to Jannah is also not right. Allah is the Judge. Not you.
One Woman (Hadith No. 88)
Hadith no. 87 is a repeat. Read it here.
You know it’s said that Islam goes against the rights of women? That it doesn’t give them freedom of speech and expression? And the famous issue of ‘half witness’ (testimony of one woman is not accepted, two are needed). Well, it’s true. I won’t be going into the details. But here, I’m presenting an exception. That one woman CAN be enough to witness in exceptional situations..
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Abi Mulaika:
‘Uqba bin Al-Harith said that he had married the daughter of Abi Ihab bin ‘Aziz. Later on a woman came to him and said, “I have suckled (nursed) Uqba and the woman whom he married (his wife) at my breast.” ‘Uqba said to her, “Neither I knew that you have suckled (nursed) me nor did you tell me.” Then he rode over to see Allah’s Apostle at Medina, and asked him about it. Allah’s Apostle said, “How can you keep her as a wife when it has been said (that she is your foster-sister)?” Then Uqba divorced her, and she married another man.
It was one woman. Prophet (SAW) believed her and not ‘Uqbah. Get it? ;)