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Justice

1. To establish the rule of justice is a basic responsibility of an Islamic State. The demand for justice prevails in all walks of life, but here we shall talk only about the judicial justice (that which pertains to the domain of law). The Quran also provides the required guidance for justice-dispensing agencies i.e. the courts of law. It is necessary to understand one basic principle about JUSTICE. According to the common concept of justice in the world, the duty of a law-court is to decide the disputed affairs according to the code of law that is prevalent; therefore a decision made accordingly shall be considered as based on justice. But, if the law itself is not based on justice, then the decision based on it can never be considered just. Thus the principle laid down by the Quran is that the law of the land should also be based on justice. In this respect the Quran does not indulge in a philosophical debate as to what is meant by "law on the basis of justice" and what is the definition of justice. It addresses the Islamic sovereign state decisively as follows: (5:44)

"If any do fail to judge by what Allah has revealed, they are the infidels."

It means that where the rule is based on Quranic Laws, it shall be an Islamic government and if it is not based on Quranic Law, it shall be a government of non-believers. Only that law shall be considered as based on truth which conforms to the Book of Allah; any law contrary to it shall be based on 'zulm' (injustice). Thus the judges are addressed as follows: (7:158) "They guide people towards the Truth (the Quran), and dispense justice in accordance with what it dictates."

The real justice, in fact, is the justice based on Truth. If the law is not based on Truth, then any judgement according to this law cannot be considered as meeting the requirements of justice. Truth is, in fact, another name for the Book of Allah. The same is the difference between an Islamic state and a secular state.

In Surah 'Saad' it is said: (38:26) "O David! We did indeed gave you the rule on the earth, so decide between men in truth, and do not follow the lust of their hearts, for they will mislead you from the path of Allah."

This makes clear two issues: firstly that the law of the land ought to be based on Truth (the Book of Allah); secondly, that the court of law should remain above its personal sentiments that is it should remain neutral. That is what is called 'a just decision'.

2. For a system of justice the Quran has ordained: (4:58) "And when you decide between man and man, you must do so with justice."

Even when you make peace between parties, do so with justice (49:9) In Surah Al-Hujuraat it is ordained that if two factions of Muslims develop a dispute (and wage war against each other) "Sort out their mutual conflict with justice".

3. Even enmity with a nation should not incline you to act unjustly. (5:8)

"Let not the enmity of others make you swerve from justice; be just, that is only nearer to (Taqwa) piety."

4. Not only the cases of Muslims, but the cases of non-Muslims also should be decided with justice. The Rasoole was ordained: "Even if the non-Muslims come to you for the judgement of their cases: (5:42) "Judge between them with equity".

5. The Rasool was told: "We have sent this Book to you with the truth": (5:48) "So judge between them as Allah has revealed and follow not their vain desires."

6. Al-Kitaab (The code of Divine Laws), power to enforce this code and scales of justice are the basic ingredients of an Islamic government as stated earlier. The various aspects of the subject are thoroughly discussed in Surah Al-Hadeed: (57:25) "For this purpose Allah has so arranged that He sends His Messengers to different people (nations) with clear, unambiguous arguments and each one of the messengers brings with him a code of law. He establishes an Order in accordance with this Code wherein every-body's deeds produce their designated results and thus people adhere to the rule of justice and equity. For the stability and strength of such a society We have sent, along with the code of laws, steel (to provide the enforcing power) in which there is much of stiffness (strength); because power provided by (the strength of) this steel becomes instrumental in establishing an order based on justice and equity and providing protection to the oppressed. Therefore, instead of being harmful, it becomes greatly beneficial to mankind. The establishment of this Order also brings into open those faithful and loyal persons who contribute towards achieving this goal (the establishment of the Order) which takes practical shape through the efforts of Allah's Messengers. Although the refulgent results of the establishment of this Order have not, as yet become visible, these faithful and loyal people, on the strength of their conviction only, offer every type of personal sacrifice and thus establish the system ordained by Allah, wherein lies inherent Power and Sovereignty."

7. During the course of justice, do not make any distinction between relatives and non-relatives or between your people and those of the other factions, neither the status of rich and poor, nor even your personal benefits, should affect your judgement. The judgement must be based on justice, even if it goes against yourself. Thus it is ordained: (6:153)

"When you say something, say it according to justice, even if the concerned person is your relative."

Justice depends on evidence and for evidence the Holy Quran has set up such a high standard the like of which you may not find elsewhere. Thus it is said: (4:135) "In order to establish this system in which you find pleasures of the present life as well as of the future, the basic condition for justice is that you stand as a witness, neither from the plaintiff, nor defendant, but present your own evidence in all truth and equity, even if it goes against yourself or your parents or your other relatives. Do not differentiate between rich and poor in this respect: for Allah can best protect both, so much so that you must do justice even to your enemy (5:8). Do not favour anyone after swerving from what is just, as Allah Almighty himself takes care of them. Keep it in your mind that your sentiments may not come in the way of justice. Do not talk in a crooked manner, nor try to avoid being a witness. Remember that Allah's law of requital is well acquiantal with what you do. He knows the inclination of your mind as well as your sentiments."

8. As said earlier, Allah ordains both 'Adl' and 'Ihsaan' [(7:20); (16:90)]. To punish the criminal for his crime is 'Adl' (justice) and making good the loss of the claimant is Ihsaan. This is the basic responsibility of an Islamic state.

Basic orders about the enforcement of Justice.

1. To punish the criminal according to law is the duty of the government. This is called 'Qisaas'. In this lies the secret of the life of people. There shall be no distinction between small or big. Thus it is said: (2:178)

"O you who believe! As regards punishment, it has been made incumbent upon you that the murderer must be punished. (It means that the crime should be considered as a crime against society or against the system itself and not against the victim only). Thus while giving punishment, the basic principles of justice and equality must be kept in mind, which means that there should be no distinction between big and small. It is not a question of the position of the murderer or the murdered; the real question is the enforcement of justice according to which every human life is of equal value. For example if the murderer is a free man he alone shall be punished for his crime; likewise if she is a woman she shall not be spared because of her sex. She will have to undergo punishment.

Murder can be of two types _ murder by intent, or murder by mistake. In the case of willful murder, the punishment is death (not ransom money) or any other punishment proportionate to the nature of the crime, i.e. anything less than the capital punishment (4:93). But the punishment should not exceed the nature of the crime [(42:40); (17:33)]. "But if it is not a willful murder but a murder by mistake, the punishment according to verse (4:92) is ransom money (blood money). But if a remission is made by the heirs of the slain out of their own goodwill, they are allowed to do so (17:33). In such a case it is incumbent on the murderer to abide by what has been settled and pay it in a commendable manner. In determining the punishment of murder by mistake, Allah has provided facility for relaxation, so that the potentialities of all of you may keep developing.

But if anybody transgresses after the settlement has taken place, he shall be punished heavily."

Thus it is clear that a compromise can take place only in case of unintentional murder, not in willful murder. In willful murder the murderer shall be punished. This is the law of QISAAS about which it has been ordained: (2:179) "O you men of understanding! In the Law of Qisaas (Retribution) there is (saving of) collective life to you". It means that if you think over it dispassionately, the reality shall come to the surface, that in the Law of Qisaas (Retribution) there is a secret of individual as well as collective life, so that society can be saved from the dangers inherent in lawlessness.

2. Only the criminal _ and not any other person in his place _ shall receive punishment, nor shall any innocent person be prosecuted in place of a guilty person. Everybody shall bear his own burden: (6:165) "Every person draws the meed of his acts on none but himself; no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another."

3. The system of justice ought to be such that nobody might provide any benefit to the criminal, nor the recommendation of any person be accepted, nor the criminal be released through bribery, nor anybody could help him to escape punishment by any other means. Thus it is said: (2:48) "Then guard yourself against a day when one person shall not avail of another, nor shall the intercession be accepted for any person, nor any compensation be taken from somebody, nor shall anyone be helped (against the law)."

[This will happen when the Quranic System of Justice is established in this world; and in the life. Hereafter, all affairs shall be settled subject to the Law of Requital].

4. The punishment of a criminal shall be proportionate to, and not exceed his crime. In this respect the principle is (42:40) "The recompense of an evil is punishment like it". This has been explained further in [(2:194); (10:27); (16:126); (22:60); (40:40)].

5. If there exists possibility of mending one's self, he can be forgiven. (42:40) "But if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah."

6. Before an offence is proved, the accused ought to be considered innocent. Thus during investigation he should not be treated with excess. To consider him guilty at this stage is against the Islamic Code. In Surah 'An-Noor' there is a tale about a woman during the time of Rasoole. It is said that some evil-monger brought about a false accusation against a virtuous woman and gave it publicity. The Quran took strong notice of it and said: Evil-mongers had given publicity to a false accusaion but what had happened to you that you accepted it as true, without any investigation When you had heard about it, you ought to have a favourable opinion about her and your first reaction ought to have been (24:12) "It is an obvious lie"; (This is an obvious lie) and (24:16)"This is most serious slander". From this the principle is deduced that unless a crime is proved against a person, he should not be considered guilty, i.e. an accused should not be considered a criminal, but a favourable opinion should be formed about him until such time that he is proved guilty.

7. When a legislation is passed none shall be held accountable for what he has done before its enactment. (4:23) "What has been done before (the enactment of a law) shall not be dealt with in accordance with this law." [Also see (2:275) and (5:95)].

8. Only a willful act shall be considered a crime. Thus it is said (33:5)

"There is no blame on you if you make a mistake: what counts is the intention of your hearts". i.e., only an act committed intentionally is accountable; if someone commits an offence on account of ignorance and thereafter repents and amends (his conduct), he can be excused for it. (6:54) But that does not mean that people may become careless about the law. Carelessness itself should be considered a separate offence. For example the punishment for willful murder is death and the punishment for murder by mistake is ransom money (4:92-93). It means that carelessness is also a crime but not as serious as a willful act.

9. If one is forcibly made to commit a crime he shall not be considered a criminal (16:106). The use of force may be of varied types; however, this is not the place for giving details about them.

10. A small mistake by those who always avoid big crimes may be considered excusable. About Mumineen it is said: (53:32) "These are the people who avoid major crimes, though they may fall into small slips".

11. Anybody who puts another on the wrong path, he becomes a partner in crime. About such people it is said: (16:25) "Let them bear on the Day of Judgement their own burden in full and also (something) of the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled. Alas! How grievous are the burdens they will bear!"

Likewise is the one who commits a crime and throws it on another; he commits a double crime: (4:112) "And if any one commits a mistake or a crime himself and then foists it on to the innocent, he carries (on himself) (both) the burden of a calumny and a flagrant sin."

12. While declaring a judgement, the circumstances, upbringing, mentality and psychological condition of the criminal must be kept in mind. That is why the punishment, for a slave woman who commits adultery (zina), is laid down as half of that for a free woman (4:25); and double for the consorts of the Rasoole (33:30). It should be clearly understood that this commandment pertains to that period of Arab history when slavery was still rampant. Since the Quran closed the door of slavery, the question of the captive women, or of the consorts of Rasoole does not arise. However, principles can be deduced from such verses which could be applied to present-day society.

13. Remove evil by doing good. It means to create such an atmosphere in society that people shall avoid crime automatically. (28:54); (23:96); (11:114) is a universal principle of the Quran. It means that bad deeds ought to be countervailed by doing good. This principle serves as a means to bring about a pleasant and comprehensive resolution. Thus while declaring punishment for a crime, the prevailing conditions in the society ought to be kept in mind.

14. The object of justice is not only to punish the offenders but also to compensate the loss of the oppressed. In this connection the example of the crime of murder as laid down in the Quran, can be presented. The one who is murdered leaves this world but the compensation for the loss that his heirs suffer is also necessary. Thus it is said: (17:33) "If anyone is slain wrongfully, We have given his heirs the right to demand (QISAAS) or to forgive.)" From this example you can draw a principle which can be applied to other occurrences like this. As far as the compensation of the loss of the oppressed is concerned, the oppressed shall be the plaintiff and the government shall be the defendant in such a case. Thus it shall be incumbent upon the government to protect the life, property, honour of all who live within its territory. Moreover, except for the loss suffered by a person on account of his own neglect or carelessness, its compensation shall lie on the government and this loss includes not only life and property but also mental torture, because the government guarantees to the people to provide for them an atmosphere wherein (2:38) "on them there shall be no fear nor shall they grieve". In fear the physical loss, is included and in grief, mental torture is included.

15. The government shall be answerable to the judiciary for each of its responsibilities, like other individuals. Even the Rasoole who was the first head of an Islamic state, was made to declare: (6:14) "I am the first to submit to Divine Law; and If I disobey Divine Command, I indeed fear the penalty of the Mighty Day."

Therefore none is exempt from this law _ neither the government, nor its functionaries, nor even the head of state.

16. The Quranic philosophy concerning crime is as under:

a) Every crime leaves an effect on the offender himself (as well), so that, to begin with, the offender inflicts injury on his own person: (4:111) "If anybody earns a sin, he earns it against his own self".

It means that the first effect of committing wrong is on the personality of the offender and this effect cannot be erased by punishment from the court.

b) The effect of some offences is limited to the personality of the offender; it does not affect another person e.g. the treachery of the eyes and evil intentions of the heart (40:19). These offences do not normally come under the jurisdiction of the courts of law: yet even such offences which affect only the personality of the offender (for example addiction to narcotics) if declared as crimes by the law, shall come under the jurisdiction of the court.

c) Only those offences come under the jurisdiction of a court which the offender has actually committed. For example if one intends to commit theft but does not find an opportunity to do it, although the effect of his intention shall be imprinted on his own 'self', he shall not be considered as an offender in the eyes of the law. The Quran says that Allah's Law of Requital takes account of even the ideas that pass in your mind. It means that such a person shall not be an offender in the eyes of the law-court, yet he shall be an offender according to Allah's Law of Requital. That is why the Quran lays stress on the reformation of human ideas and intentions. If the human intentions are rectified, the crimes cannot occur. Thus it is the duty of an Islamic state to give wide publicity to educate its citizens on the philosophy of crime, so that the individuals of the society begin to comprehend the eventual loss for wrongdoing and the violation of law. Verses (4:107-112) are an eye-opener and provide effective guidance for eradication of crimes from society. As a matter of fact Eemaan on Allah's Law of Requital and the life Hereafter, substantiated by reason and argument is a great rectifying force.

17. In matters relating to punishment, it ought to be kept in mind that the punishments prescribed by the Holy Quran itself, are the maximum punishments and were proposed according to the socio-economic conditions that prevailed during the days of its revelation. These punishments shall be ordered only under similar conditions. If the conditions change, an Islamic Rule can make changes in them. An example of it is found in the Quran itself. The punishment for revolt against the Islamic Rule is:

o Beheading,

o Crucification,

o Cutting off hands and feet, or

o Banishment (or detention) - (5:33)

The object of prescribing a number of punishments is that these should be enforced according to the prevalent conditions. These punishments are neither abrogated, nor can they he annulled but these are conditional to the prevailing circumstances. On the other hand the Islamic Government itself shall determine punishments that have not been prescribed by the Quran, the Islamic Government shall also decide as to which of the social laws can be included in the list of penal laws.

Corporal punishment.

The Holy Quran has prescribed corporal punishments for crimes. Imprisonment as punishment is nowhere mentioned in the Quran. (For general immodest behaviour on the part of women which leads towards adultery, the punishment prescribed is "confinement to houses"): (4:15) "If any of your women are guilty of an immodesty (which can result in leading towards adultery) take the evidence of four reliable witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them or the law of Allah creates a situation which takes them away from such shameful acts; such as she gets married". [Punishment for fornication is mentioned in (24:2) and punishment for making a false accusation in (24:4)].

Internment can also be imposed as a punishment in crimes relating to disorder and rebellion as has been previously explained (5:33-34).

In Surah "Ahzaab" (33rd chapter of the Quran) a verse points towards banishment also. It starts with address to the Nabie: (33:59)

"O Nabi! Tell your wives and daughters and the believing women, that they should cast (a loose) outer garment over their persons when going out, (24:31). It is necessary for their recognition as honourable women, so that no vulgar people may molest them. According to the Divine Law this shall serve as a means of their protection as well as training. (33:60-61)

"So (You be careful to this extent but if after this) the hypocrites, whose hearts are diseased with wickedness and those who stir up sedition in the city desist not, then force shall have to be used against them; thus after a while they shall not be able to stay amongst you. They shall be deprived of all the privileges (they received, on account of their being the citizens of an Islamic State). In case they still persist in their rebellion, they shall be prosecuted and put to death."

In the above passage the words points to the possibility of their banishment.

Testimony (Evidence).

1. In evidence be just. In Surah Al-Maa-idah (5th Chapter of the Quran) it is said: (5:8) "O you who believe! Stand out firmly as witnesses to maintain and perpetuate justice and do not do it for personal gain but merely for the sake of Allah."

The singularity of believers has been described as: (70:33) "Those who stand firm in their testimonies."

2. Always come forward with just narration even if it goes against you or your parents or other relatives, in your testimony do not differentiate between the rich and the poor, nor should your sentiments be allowed to prevail upon you. Never speak in a crooked way. Do not evade standing as a witness. Stand not as a witness for the plaintiff or for the respondent, but do so for Allah alone. (4:135) "In order to establish a system in which you can receive the pleasant things of the present, as well as of the future, the basic condition is that you should become the custodians of justice in this world (5:8); and for justice the basic element is truthful evidence. Therefore stand out firmly for justice as witnesses for Allah, even as against yourself, or your parents, or your kins, and whether it be (against) rich or poor; do not become their well-wishers at the cost of leaving the course of truth, for Allah can best look after them. Follow not

the behest of your passions lest you swerve. Nor say anything deceitful or refuse to present your testimony; verily Allah is well acquainted with what you do (even with your passions and inclinations)."

3. Do not conceal testimony; (2:283) "And do not intermix truth with falsehood in your evidence".(2:42) "Nor present untrue (false) testimony". The singularity of the believers has thus been stated: (25:71) "They never present false (untrue) testimony."

4. You should present your testimony only on matters that you personally know: Allah ordains: (17:36) "And pursue not that of which you have no personal knowledge, for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of feeling in your mind, will be questioned into. It means that you reach conclusions through personal enquiry by the use of your sense and mind. If any link of this chain is broken, your enquiry shall remain defective. This is a great responsibility that Allah has laid upon you. Allah has endowed you with "discretion and choice, so that you can choose between right and wrong; you are not a helpless machine, and with this, He has provided you with means to investigate; and not to use such means is to avoid your responsibility."

5. Witnesses should not refuse to attend when called for: (2:282) On the other hand stress has been enjoined upon: (2:282) "Let neither scribe nor witness be harmed."

6. If the testimony of certain witnesses is doubtful, the court can call other witnesses: (5:107-108) "If it is found that the witnesses are guilty of perjury, let two others (from the party against which the wrong evidence has been presented) stand forth in their places and swear by Allah that their testimony is truer than those who appeared earlier and that they will not exceed (beyond the truth); and if they do so they shall become guilty.

(In the Divine Law, testimony over and above the first testimony is allowed because) therein lies the possibility of witnesses giving true evidence for fear of contradiction in which case they shall be considered as criminals and this shall bring them a bad name in society. Now it is necessary for you, therefore, to remain conscious of the Divine Law and listen carefully that if you leave the right path and take up the wrong instead, it would never lead you to your destination."

7. Witnesses ought to be from amongst your own people except where it is not possible to do so: (5:106) "O you who believe! When death approaches any of you, take witnesses amongst yourselves while making a will, because making a will has been made incumbent upon you (2:180) _ Take two just men as witnesses of your own (brotherhood), or others from outside if you are journeying through the land (or where your own people are not available) and the probability of death befalls you.

Then at the time when their testimony is needed, if you doubt their truth, let your judges detain them both, after prayers (in the mosque) and let them both swear by Allah: We wish not in this for any worldly gain; even though our (beneficiary) be our near relatives; and that we shall hide not the true evidence. If we do that, then the sin will be upon us, i.e. we shall be considered as offenders."

8. In transacting financial matters take two male witnesses and if two male witnesses are not available, take one male and two females. The Holy Quran has even given the bylaws in this respect to the minutest details for the reason that it gives utmost importance that matters of financial transactions should be clear and firm. We, therefore consider it necessary to append below complete guidance given by the Quran in this regard: (2:282)

"O you who believe! When you borrow money for a fixed period, reduce the agreement to writing. Let a scribe write down this mutual transaction faithfully: let the scribe not refuse to write; as Allah has given him the knowledge; but he should keep the Divine Law before him and not make any alterations in it (nothing more or less). If the one who takes the loan is mentally deficient or weak or is unable himself to dictate, let his guardian dictate faithfully; and take two witnesses out of your own men and if there are not two men, then a man and two women such as both parties agree to: the purpose behind taking two women in place of one man, so that if one of them errs or is confused, the other can remind her. The witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (for evidence), disdain not to reduce to writing your contract whether it be small or big, it is closer to the demands of justice in the sight of Divine Laws. This is the best method to make the testimony firm and free of any doubts among yourselves.

But if it be a transaction which you carry out on the spot among yourselves (which you do normally), there is no blame on you if you reduce it not to writing, but even then take witnesses whenever you make such a deal; and let neither scribe nor witness suffer harm. If you do (such harm) it would be tantamount to flouting the Divine Law. So guard Allah's Law well, for it is He Who makes these laws known to you. And Allah is well-acquainted with all things.

And after this it is said: (2:283) "If you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let the trustee (faithfully) discharge his trust and thus abide by the Law of the One Who is his Sustainer.

Conceal not evidence, for whoever conceals it, his heart gets tainted with sin. Even if other people do not know of it and he continues to be a reliable person among others, his 'self' does get injury and its nurturing forces do diminish and get weakened; because nothing can remain hidden from Allah's Law of Requital."

As far as the question of two women in lieu of a man is concerned, the Quran itself has explained the reason; i.e., if one woman forgets or is confused, the other shall remind her. This clarifies two points:

i) Firstly that in that period the women were such (due to illiteracy) that they were not able to describe their own case properly (43:18) and that it was seldom that a chance arose for them to take part in the collective affairs; it was not unexpected of them to get confused before a court of law.

ii) Secondly the need for a second woman arose only when the first one got confused and forgot. If the first woman remained free of confusion and forgetfulness, the second woman could neither interfere nor her testimony was needed.

This fully explains that, in fact, two women are not appearing as separate witnesses; one would suffice provided she does not suffer confusion in the court.

It makes clear that women are not considered unreliable as against men on the basis of being women. It is only the special conditions that are kept in view. When such conditions remain no more, the testimony of one man and one woman shall be considered equally trustworthy.

9. As explained in item (7), at least two witnesses are required while making a will (5:106).

10. For acts of immodesty (leading towards adultery or fornication) at least four witnesses are required: (4:15) "Remember! This testimony is for cases of general shameless acts (leading towards adultery) and not for adultery itself."

11. In cases of calumny against chaste woman, (at least) 4 witnesses are required (24:4) "And those who make an accusation against chaste women and provide not four witnesses (to support their accusation), scourge them eighty times and reject their evidence ever after; for such men are wicked transgressors. (Also deprive them of such privileges that are available to the citizens of an Islamic State, and if they still continue with their nefarious designs inflict upon them a more grievous penalty (24:23) because these people go astray leaving the right path.

But if the charge (of adultery) is against one's own wife and other witnesses are not available, it is sufficient to take an oath. Thus it is said; (24:6-9) "And for those who raise a charge (of adultery) against their spouses and have (in support) no evidence but their own _ the solitary evidence of the husband (can be received) if he bears witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that he is solemnly telling the truth. And the fifth (oath should be) that he solemnly invokes the curse of Allah on himself if he tells a lie. But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that (her husband) is telling a lie. Again the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the imprecation of Allah on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth. With this she shall be acquitted."

12. Two witnesses for the last stage of divorce: (65:2) "When they complete their Iddat (term of counting) _ ('Iddat' shall be discussed in detail under injunction 12 of the family laws) _ either take them back on equitable terms or part from them on equitable terms and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice who stand as witnesses (to this last stage of divorce) as a duty towards Allah."

The detailed injunctions about divorce shall be described later on; the issue described here is regarding 'Evidence'.

13. Circumstantial Evidence:

Testimony can be deduced from circumstantial evidence; like it was done in the accusation against Joseph. Here the witness was not an eye-witness, but he argued: (12:26-28) "If it be that his shirt is rent from the front, then her tale is true and he is a liar, but if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then she is the liar and he is telling the truth; so when he saw his shirt torn at the back, (her husband said) Behold! It is the guile of you women; how deep are your treacheries and how dangerous are your deceptions."

(It should be understood clearly that the Quran has described it only as an incident).