29.4.1 COURT PROCEDURE
Court proceedings start with complaints, da’awa, by the
plaintiff. The specific charge must be read out to the defendant with care being taken to make sure he or she understands
all elements of the charge. If the claim is false it is ignored. If the claim is true the defendant is asked to enter a plea
of guilty or not guilty. Care must be taken to ensure that the defendant understands and appreciates the implications of a
guilty plea. If the defendant pleads guilty, he is convicted and punishments or other legal sanctions will apply. If the defendant
pleads not guilty the plaintiff must produce evidence. If the plaintiff cannot produce evidence the word of the defendant
is accepted on taking an oath, al yamiin ‘ala al mudda’e ‘alayhi.
If the plaintiff produces evidence the defendant is allowed the right of cross-examination. The defendant can also introduce
evidence of character as a defense. The plaintiff, mudda’i, has to
prove his claim, al bayyinat ‘ala al mudda’e. The defendant is
considered innocent until proved guilty. Evidence is oral testimony that fulfils all the conditions of ‘adalat and is
binding on the court. Testimony by witnesses is a communal obligation that cannot be refused (2:83). Professional evidence
is evaluated like any other source of evidence and need not be accepted all the time. In cases of huduud the judge is not
allowed to base his judgment on his personal knowledge of the circumstances of the case. In non-huduud cases the judge can
base his judgment on personal knowledge of the circumstances of the case. Attestation of good character is by both men and
women is considered by the court.
29.4.2 METHODS OF PROVING A CLAIM
The methods of proving a claim are admission or confession, iqraar, oral evidence, shahadat, oath,
yamiin, documentary evidence, wathaiq,
medical evidence, and expert witness, ra’y al khabiir. Circumstantial evidence is not used as a basis of judgment.
29.4.3 CONDITIONS FOR ACCEPTING EVIDENCE
The conditions for accepting evidence: qat’i and not dhanni
ie proof beyond any doubt, capacity and competence of the witness, acceptable witness, ‘adl:
(free with full civil liberties, hurr, legally responsible, mukallaf, can speak, mentally awake, of upright character, outwardly respectable, mur’at). The defendant may give testimony voluntarily. He however has a right of silence as a privilege
against self-incrimination. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. The physician is not obliged to volunteer as a witness.
29.4.4 CRITERIA OF ASSESSING EVIDENCE
In civil cases the standard of proof is balance of probabilities. In criminal cases the standard is
proof beyond any reasonable doubt: dhabt, jarh & ta’adiil. Dhabt is used to refer to rigor in memory. Jarh and ta’diil
refers assessing the reliability of the witness. 'Adl is a term is used by scholars
to hadith to refer to a Muslim who is an adult, intellectually competent, who does not commit major sins, and does not repeatedly
commit minor sins, and who has no trait that destroy social respectability, muru'at. Dhaahir
al Muslim al adaalat. Yajuuz li al qaadhi an yahlifa al shuhadaa. The internal consistence of the evidence can also
be used as a criterion of validity. Judgment can be made on the basis of only one witness.
29.4.5 FORENSIC EVIDENCE
In munakahaat medical evidence is used to determine age at marriage, degree of consanguinity, impotence
& other causes of failure to consummate marriage, disputed parenthood, period of gestation, mental capacity, and medical
defects for marital dissolution. In mawariith, medical evidence is used to determine intellectual competence of the testator,
life of inheritor at death or the inheritee, gender, possible contribution of inheritors to death. In mu’amalaat, psychological
assessment of competence of contractees and orphans (to be given their property). Forensic evidence us used for conviction
and determination of diyat in homicide and body injury. In sexual crimes forensic
science is used for determination of rape but not for zina for which a hadd punishment is prescribed.