Muwatta Imam Malik Book of Judgements, Hadith 7

Malik related to me that he heard that Abu Salama ibn Abd ar- Rahman and Sulayman ibn Yasar were both asked, "Does one pronounce judgement on the basis of an oath with one witness?" They both said, "Yes."
Malik said, "The precedent of the sunna in judging by an oath with one witness is that if the plaintiff takes an oath with his witness, he is confirmed in his right. If he draws back and refuses to take an oath, the defendant is made to take an oath. If he takes an oath, the claim against him is dropped. If he refuses to take an oath, the claim is confirmed against him."
Malik said, "This procedure pertains to property cases in particular. It does not occur in any of the hadd-punishments, nor in marriage, divorce, freeing slaves, theft or slander. If some one says, 'Freeing slaves comes under property,' he has erred. It is not as he said. Had it been as he said, a slave could take an oath with one witness, if he could find one, that his master had freed him.
"However, when a slave lays claim to a piece of property, he can take an oath with one witness and demand his right as the freeman demands his right."
Malik said, "The sunna with us is that when a slave brings somebody who witnesses that he has been set free, his master is made to take an oath that he has not freed him, and the slave's claim is dropped."
Malik said, "The sunna about divorce is also like that with us. When a woman brings somebody who witnesses that her husband has divorced her, the husband is made to take an oath that he has not divorced her. If he takes the oath, the divorce does not proceed . "
Malik said, "There is only one sunna of bringing a witness in cases of divorce and freeing a slave. The right to make an oath only belongs to the husband of the woman, and the master of the slave. Freeing is a hadd matter, and the testimony of women is not permitted in it because when a slave is freed, his inviolability is affirmed and the hadd punishments are applied for and against him. If he commits fornication and he is a muhsan, he is stoned. If he kills a slave, he is killed for it. Inheritance is established for him, between him and whoever inherits from him. If somebody disputes this, arguing that if a man frees his slave and then a man comes to demand from the master of the slave payment of a debt, and a man and two women testify to his right, that establishes the right against the master of the slave so that his freeing him is cancelled if he only has the slave as property, inferring by this case that the testimony of women is permitted in cases of setting free. The case is not as he suggests (i.e. it is a case of property not freeing). It is like a man who frees his slave, and then the claimant of a debt comes to the master and takes an oath with one witness, demanding his right. By that, the freeing of the slave would be cancelled. Or else a man comes who has frequent dealings and transactions with the master of the slave. He claims that he is owed money by the master of the slave. Someone says to the master of the slave, 'Take an oath that you don't owe what he claims'. If he draws back and refuses to take an oath, the one making the claim takes an oath and his right against the master of the slave is confirmed. That would cancel the freeing of the slave if it is confirmed that property is owed by the master."
Malik said, "It is the same case with a man who marries a slave-girl and then the master of the slave-girl comes to the man who has married her and claims, 'You and so-and-so have bought my slave-girl from me for such an amount of dinars. The husband of the slave-girl denies that. The master of the slave-girl brings a man and two women and they testify to what he has said. The sale is confirmed and his claim is considered true. So the slave-girl is haram for her husband and they have to separate, even though the testimony of women is not accepted in divorce."
Malik said, "It is also the same case with a man who accuses a free man, so the hadd falls on him. A man and two women come and testify that the one accused is a slave. That would remove the hadd from the accused after it had befallen him, even though the testimony of women is not accepted in accusations involving hadd punishments."
Malik said, "Another similar case in which judgement appears to go against the precedent of the sunna is that two women testify that a child is born alive and so it is necessary for him to inherit if a situation arises where he is entitled to inherit, and the child's property goes to those who inherit from him, if he dies, and it is not necessary that the two women witnesses should be accompanied by a man or an oath even though it may involve vast properties of gold, silver, live-stock, gardens and slaves and other properties. However, had two women testified to one dirham or more or less than that in a property case, their testimony would not affect anything and would not be permitted unless there was a witness or an oath with them."
Malik said, "There are people who say that an oath is not acceptable with only one witness and they argue by the word of Allah the Blessed, the Exalted, and His word is the Truth, 'And call in to witness two witnesses, men; or if the two be not men, then one man and two women, such witnesses as you approve of.' (Sura 2 ayat 282). Such people argue that if he does not bring one man and two women, he has no claim and he is not allowed to take an oath with one witness."
Malik said, "Part of the proof against those who argue this, is to reply to them, 'Do you think that if a man claimed property from a man, the one claimed from would not swear that the claim was false?' If he swears, the claim against him is dropped. If he refuses to take an oath, the claimant is made to take an oath that his claim is true, and his right against his companion is established. There is no dispute about this with any of the people nor in any country. By what does he take this? In what place in the Book of Allah does he find it? So if he confirms this, let him confirm the oath with one witness, even if it is not in the Book of Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic! It is enough that this is the precedent of the sunna. However, man wants to recognise the proper course of action and the location of the proof. In this there is a clarification for what is obscure about that, if Allah ta'ala wills."

وَحَدَّثَنِي مَالِكٌ، أَنَّهُ بَلَغَهُ أَنَّ أَبَا سَلَمَةَ بْنَ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، وَسُلَيْمَانَ بْنَ يَسَارٍ، سُئِلاَ هَلْ يُقْضَى بِالْيَمِينِ مَعَ الشَّاهِدِ فَقَالاَ نَعَمْ . قَالَ مَالِكٌ مَضَتِ السُّنَّةُ فِي الْقَضَاءِ بِالْيَمِينِ مَعَ الشَّاهِدِ الْوَاحِدِ يَحْلِفُ صَاحِبُ الْحَقِّ مَعَ شَاهِدِهِ وَيَسْتَحِقُّ حَقَّهُ فَإِنْ نَكَلَ وَأَبَى أَنْ يَحْلِفَ أُحْلِفَ الْمَطْلُوبُ فَإِنْ حَلَفَ سَقَطَ عَنْهُ ذَلِكَ الْحَقُّ وَإِنْ أَبَى أَنْ يَحْلِفَ ثَبَتَ عَلَيْهِ الْحَقُّ لِصَاحِبِهِ . قَالَ مَالِكٌ وَإِنَّمَا يَكُونُ ذَلِكَ فِي الأَمْوَالِ خَاصَّةً وَلاَ يَقَعُ ذَلِكَ فِي شَىْءٍ مِنَ الْحُدُودِ وَلاَ فِي نِكَاحٍ وَلاَ فِي طَلاَقٍ وَلاَ فِي عَتَاقَةٍ وَلاَ فِي سَرِقَةٍ وَلاَ فِي فِرْيَةٍ فَإِنْ قَالَ قَائِلٌ فَإِنَّ الْعَتَاقَةَ مِنَ الأَمْوَالِ . فَقَدْ أَخْطَأَ لَيْسَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى مَا قَالَ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى مَا قَالَ لَحَلَفَ الْعَبْدُ مَعَ شَاهِدِهِ إِذَا جَاءَ بِشَاهِدٍ أَنَّ سَيِّدَهُ أَعْتَقَهُ وَأَنَّ الْعَبْدَ إِذَا جَاءَ بِشَاهِدٍ عَلَى مَالٍ مِنَ الأَمْوَالِ ادَّعَاهُ حَلَفَ مَعَ شَاهِدِهِ وَاسْتَحَقَّ حَقَّهُ كَمَا يَحْلِفُ الْحُرُّ . قَالَ مَالِكٌ فَالسُّنَّةُ عِنْدَنَا أَنَّ الْعَبْدَ إِذَا جَاءَ بِشَاهِدٍ عَلَى عَتَاقَتِهِ اسْتُحْلِفَ سَيِّدُهُ مَا أَعْتَقَهُ وَبَطَلَ ذَلِكَ عَنْهُ . قَالَ مَالِكٌ وَكَذَلِكَ السُّنَّةُ عِنْدَنَا أَيْضًا فِي الطَّلاَقِ إِذَا جَاءَتِ الْمَرْأَةُ بِشَاهِدٍ أَنَّ زَوْجَهَا طَلَّقَهَا أُحْلِفَ زَوْجُهَا مَا طَلَّقَهَا فَإِذَا حَلَفَ لَمْ يَقَعْ عَلَيْهِ الطَّلاَقُ . قَالَ مَالِكٌ فَسُنَّةُ الطَّلاَقِ وَالْعَتَاقَةِ فِي الشَّاهِدِ الْوَاحِدِ وَاحِدَةٌ إِنَّمَا يَكُونُ الْيَمِينُ عَلَى زَوْجِ الْمَرْأَةِ وَعَلَى سَيِّدِ الْعَبْدِ وَإِنَّمَا الْعَتَاقَةُ حَدٌّ مِنَ الْحُدُودِ لاَ تَجُوزُ فِيهَا شَهَادَةُ النِّسَاءِ لأَنَّهُ إِذَا عَتَقَ الْعَبْدُ ثَبَتَتْ حُرْمَتُهُ وَوَقَعَتْ لَهُ الْحُدُودُ وَوَقَعَتْ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنْ زَنَى وَقَدْ أُحْصِنَ رُجِمَ وَإِنْ قَتَلَ الْعَبْدَ قُتِلَ بِهِ وَثَبَتَ لَهُ الْمِيرَاثُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ مَنْ يُوَارِثُهُ فَإِنِ احْتَجَّ مُحْتَجٌّ فَقَالَ لَوْ أَنَّ رَجُلاً أَعْتَقَ عَبْدَهُ وَجَاءَ رَجُلٌ يَطْلُبُ سَيِّدَ الْعَبْدِ بِدَيْنٍ لَهُ عَلَيْهِ فَشَهِدَ لَهُ عَلَى حَقِّهِ ذَلِكَ رَجُلٌ وَامْرَأَتَانِ فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ يُثْبِتُ الْحَقَّ عَلَى سَيِّدِ الْعَبْدِ حَتَّى تُرَدَّ بِهِ عَتَاقَتُهُ إِذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ لِسَيِّدِ الْعَبْدِ مَالٌ غَيْرُ الْعَبْدِ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يُجِيزَ بِذَلِكَ شَهَادَةَ النِّسَاءِ فِي الْعَتَاقَةِ فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَيْسَ عَلَى مَا قَالَ وَإِنَّمَا مَثَلُ ذَلِكَ الرَّجُلُ يَعْتِقُ عَبْدَهُ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي طَالِبُ الْحَقِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِهِ بِشَاهِدٍ وَاحِدٍ فَيَحْلِفُ مَعَ شَاهِدِهِ ثُمَّ يَسْتَحِقُّ حَقَّهُ وَتُرَدُّ بِذَلِكَ عَتَاقَةُ الْعَبْدِ أَوْ يَأْتِي الرَّجُلُ قَدْ كَانَتْ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ سَيِّدِ الْعَبْدِ مُخَالَطَةٌ وَمُلاَبَسَةٌ فَيَزْعُمُ أَنَّ لَهُ عَلَى سَيِّدِ الْعَبْدِ مَالاً فَيُقَالُ لِسَيِّدِ الْعَبْدِ احْلِفْ مَا عَلَيْكَ مَا ادَّعَى فَإِنْ نَكَلَ وَأَبَى أَنْ يَحْلِفَ حُلِّفَ صَاحِبُ الْحَقِّ وَثَبَتَ حَقُّهُ عَلَى سَيِّدِ الْعَبْدِ فَيَكُونُ ذَلِكَ يَرُدُّ عَتَاقَةَ الْعَبْدِ إِذَا ثَبَتَ الْمَالُ عَلَى سَيِّدِهِ . قَالَ وَكَذَلِكَ أَيْضًا الرَّجُلُ يَنْكِحُ الأَمَةَ فَتَكُونُ امْرَأَتَهُ فَيَأْتِي سَيِّدُ الأَمَةِ إِلَى الرَّجُلِ الَّذِي تَزَوَّجَهَا فَيَقُولُ ابْتَعْتَ مِنِّي جَارِيَتِي فُلاَنَةَ أَنْتَ وَفُلاَنٌ بِكَذَا وَكَذَا دِينَارًا . فَيُنْكِرُ ذَلِكَ زَوْجُ الأَمَةِ فَيَأْتِي سَيِّدُ الأَمَةِ بِرَجُلٍ وَامْرَأَتَيْنِ فَيَشْهَدُونَ عَلَى مَا قَالَ فَيَثْبُتُ بَيْعُهُ وَيَحِقُّ حَقُّهُ وَتَحْرُمُ الأَمَةُ عَلَى زَوْجِهَا وَيَكُونُ ذَلِكَ فِرَاقًا بَيْنَهُمَا وَشَهَادَةُ النِّسَاءِ لاَ تَجُوزُ فِي الطَّلاَقِ . قَالَ مَالِكٌ وَمِنْ ذَلِكَ أَيْضًا الرَّجُلُ يَفْتَرِي عَلَى الرَّجُلِ الْحُرِّ فَيَقَعُ عَلَيْهِ الْحَدُّ فَيَأْتِي رَجُلٌ وَامْرَأَتَانِ فَيَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ الَّذِي افْتُرِيَ عَلَيْهِ عَبْدٌ مَمْلُوكٌ فَيَضَعُ ذَلِكَ الْحَدَّ عَنِ الْمُفْتَرِي بَعْدَ أَنْ وَقَعَ عَلَيْهِ وَشَهَادَةُ النِّسَاءِ لاَ تَجُوزُ فِي الْفِرْيَةِ . قَالَ مَالِكٌ وَمِمَّا يُشْبِهُ ذَلِكَ أَيْضًا مِمَّا يَفْتَرِقُ فِيهِ الْقَضَاءُ وَمَا مَضَى مِنَ السُّنَّةِ أَنَّ الْمَرْأَتَيْنِ يَشْهَدَانِ عَلَى اسْتِهْلاَلِ الصَّبِيِّ فَيَجِبُ بِذَلِكَ مِيرَاثُهُ حَتَّى يَرِثَ وَيَكُونُ مَالُهُ لِمَنْ يَرِثُهُ إِنْ مَاتَ الصَّبِيُّ وَلَيْسَ مَعَ الْمَرْأَتَيْنِ اللَّتَيْنِ شَهِدَتَا رَجُلٌ وَلاَ يَمِينٌ وَقَدْ يَكُونُ ذَلِكَ فِي الأَمْوَالِ الْعِظَامِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْوَرِقِ وَالرِّبَاعِ وَالْحَوَائِطِ وَالرَّقِيقِ وَمَا سِوَى ذَلِكَ مِنَ الأَمْوَالِ وَلَوْ شَهِدَتِ امْرَأَتَانِ عَلَى دِرْهَمٍ وَاحِدٍ أَوْ أَقَلَّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ أَوْ أَكْثَرَ لَمْ تَقْطَعْ شَهَادَتُهُمَا شَيْئًا وَلَمْ تَجُزْ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَكُونَ مَعَهُمَا شَاهِدٌ أَوْ يَمِينٌ . قَالَ مَالِكٌ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَقُولُ لاَ تَكُونُ الْيَمِينُ مَعَ الشَّاهِدِ الْوَاحِدِ . وَيَحْتَجُّ بِقَوْلِ اللَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى وَقَوْلُهُ الْحَقُّ {وَاسْتَشْهِدُوا شَهِيدَيْنِ مِنْ رِجَالِكُمْ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُونَا رَجُلَيْنِ فَرَجُلٌ وَامْرَأَتَانِ مِمَّنْ تَرْضَوْنَ مِنَ الشُّهَدَاءِ} يَقُولُ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَأْتِ بِرَجُلٍ وَامْرَأَتَيْنِ فَلاَ شَىْءَ لَهُ وَلاَ يُحَلَّفُ مَعَ شَاهِدِهِ . قَالَ مَالِكٌ فَمِنَ الْحُجَّةِ عَلَى مَنْ قَالَ ذَلِكَ الْقَوْلَ أَنْ يُقَالَ لَهُ أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ أَنَّ رَجُلاً ادَّعَى عَلَى رَجُلٍ مَالاً أَلَيْسَ يَحْلِفُ الْمَطْلُوبُ مَا ذَلِكَ الْحَقُّ عَلَيْهِ فَإِنْ حَلَفَ بَطَلَ ذَلِكَ عَنْهُ وَإِنْ نَكَلَ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ حُلِّفَ صَاحِبُ الْحَقِّ إِنَّ حَقَّهُ لَحَقٌّ . وَثَبَتَ حَقُّهُ عَلَى صَاحِبِهِ فَهَذَا مَا لاَ اخْتِلاَفَ فِيهِ عِنْدَ أَحَدٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلاَ بِبَلَدٍ مِنَ الْبُلْدَانِ فَبِأَىِّ شَىْءٍ أَخَذَ هَذَا أَوْ فِي أَىِّ مَوْضِعٍ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَجَدَهُ فَإِنْ أَقَرَّ بِهَذَا فَلْيُقْرِرْ بِالْيَمِينِ مَعَ الشَّاهِدِ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ ذَلِكَ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَأَنَّهُ لَيَكْفِي مِنْ ذَلِكَ مَا مَضَى مِنَ السُّنَّةِ وَلَكِنِ الْمَرْءُ قَدْ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يَعْرِفَ وَجْهَ الصَّوَابِ وَمَوْقِعَ الْحُجَّةِ فَفِي هَذَا بَيَانُ مَا أَشْكَلَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى .


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