Book of Testimony

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 55. Book of Testimony

I: What has come about the claimant producing clear proof

The words of Allah Almighty, "O you who believe! When you take on a debt for a specified period, write it down. A writer should write it down between you justly. No writer should refuse to write; as Allah has taught him, so he should write. The one incurring the debt should dictate and should fear Allah his Lord and not reduce it in any way. If the person incurring the debt is incompetent or weak or unable to dictate, then his guardian should dictate for him justly. Two men among you should act as witnesses. But if there are not two men, then a man and two women with whom you are satisfied as witnesses; then if one of them forgets, the other can remind her. Witnesses should not refuse when they are called upon. Do not think it too trivial to write down, whether small or large, with the date that it falls due. Doing that is juster in Allah's sight and more helpful when bearing witness and more likely to eliminate any doubt – unless it is an immediate transaction hand to hand, taken and given without delay. There is nothing wrong in your not writing that down. Call witnesses when you trade. Neither writer nor witness should be put under pressure. If you do that, it is degeneracy on your part. Show fear of Allah and Allah will give you knowledge. Allah has knowledge of all things." (2:282)

And the words of Allah Almighty, "O you who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, Allah is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, Allah is aware of everything you do." (4:135)

II: When a man claims that another is just and says, "We only know good of him," or says "I only know good of him."

2492. It is related from 'Urwa, Ibn al-Musayyab, 'Alqama ibn Waqqas and 'Ubaydullah about the story of 'A'isha - and some of their report confirms other parts - when the people of the lie spoke against her, and, when the revelation was delayed, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, summoned 'Ali and Usama to consult them about divorcing his wife. Usama said, "Keep your wife. We know only good about her." Barira said, "I have not seen her do anything for which I could criticise her beyond the fact that she is a young girl who sleeps, neglecting her family's leaven so that the sheep comes and eats it." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Who will help us against a man whose injury in the people of my house has reached me? By Allah, I only know good of my wife. They mentioned a man about whom I only know good."

III: The testimony of the eavesdropper

'Amr ibn Hurayth allowed it and said, "That is how one behaves with a iniquitous liar."

Ash-Sha'bi, Ibn Sirin, 'Ata' and Qatada said, "Hearing is testimony."

Al-Hasan would say, "They did not make me a witness to anything, but I heard such-and-such."

2493. It is related that Ibn 'Umar said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Ubayy ibn Abi Ka'b al-Ansari went out, making for the palm grove where Ibn Sayyad was located. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went in, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, began to conceal himself behind some palm trunks, trying to hear something from Ibn Sayyad before he saw him. He was lying down on his bed in a sheet of his murmuring. Ibn Sayyad's mother saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, concealing himself among the palm trunks and she said to Ibn Sayyad, 'Saf! This is Muhammad.' So Ibn Sayyad stopped. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'If she had left him, it would have become clear.'"

2494. It is related from 'A'isha that the wife of Rifa'a al-Qurazi came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, "I was the wife of Rifa'a and he divorced me and it was a final divorce. I married 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn az-Zubayr, but he is like the frayed end of cloth [i.e. impotent]. He said, "Do you want to return to Rifa'a? No, not until you have enjoyed his sweetness and he has enjoyed your sweetness." Abu Bakr was sitting with him while Khalid ibn Sa'd ibn al-'As was waiting at the door to be given permission to enter. He said, "Abu Bakr! Do you hear what this woman says openly in the presence of the Prophet?"

IV: When a witness or witnesses testify to something and other people say, "We do not know that," judgement is given according to what was said by the one who testified.

Al-Humaydi said, "This is as Bilal reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed in the Ka'ba when al-Fadl said, "'He did not pray.' People accepted Bilal's testimony."

Similarly if two witnesses testify that so-and-so owes so-and-so a thousand dirhams, and two others testify that it is one thousand five hundred, the higher amount is adjudged to be correct.

2497. 'Abdullah ibn Abi Mulayka narrated that 'Uqba ibn al-Harith married a daughter of Abu Ihab ibn 'Aziz. Later a woman came to him and stated, "I nursed both 'Uqba and the woman he married." 'Uqba said to her, "I did not know that you nursed me and you did not tell me." So he sent to the family of Abu Ihab to ask them and they said, "We do not know that she suckled our girl." He travelled to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in Madina and asked him and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "How can you keep her when that has been said?" So 'Uqba separated from her and she married another man.

V: Upright witnesses

The words of Allah Almighty, "Call two upright men from among yourselves as witnesses," (65:2), and "with whom you are satisfied as witnesses." (2:282)

2498. It is related that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab was heard to say, "Some people were dealt with by the revelation in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The revelation has ceased. Now we deal with you according to what is clear to us from your actions. If anyone shows us good, we trust him and honour him. We know nothing of his inward. Allah will call him to reckoning in respect of his inward. If anyone shows us evil, we do not trust him and do not believe him, even if he says that his inward is good."

VI: How many witnesses enable someone to be considered upright?

2499. It is related that Anas said, "A funeral procession passed by and they were praising the dead man. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'It is mandatory.' Then another passed and they were speaking ill of the dead man - or he said, something else. He said, 'It is mandatory.' It was asked, 'Messenger of Allah, why did you say it is mandatory for this one and mandatory for that one?' He said, 'The testimony of the people [is accepted]. The believers are the witnesses of Allah on the earth.'"

2500. It is related that Abu'l-Aswad said, "I came to Madina during an epidemic and people were dying quickly. I was sitting with 'Umar ibn al-Khattab when a funeral passed by and the dead man was praised. 'Umar said, 'It is mandatory.' Then another passed by and they praised the dead. 'Umar said, 'It is mandatory.' Then a third passed by and they spoke ill of the dead. 'Umar said, 'It is mandatory.' I said, 'What is mandatory, Amir al-Mu'minin?' He said, 'I say what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Any Muslim to whose goodness four people testify will be admitted by Allah to the Garden." We asked, "And if three do?" He said, "Three as well." We asked, "And two?" He said, "Two also." Then we did not ask him about one.'"

VII: Testimony about lineage and known suckling when death happened in the past

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Thuwayba suckled me and Abu Salama."

Establishing the truth of that

2501. It is related that 'A'isha said, "Aflah asked for permission to visit me and I did not give him permission. He said, 'Do you veil yourself from me when I am your uncle?' I asked, 'How is that?' He said, 'My brother's wife suckled you with the milk of my brother.'" She said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about that and he said, 'Aflah spoke the truth. So give him permission.'"

2502. It is related that Ibn 'Abbas said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said about Hamza's daughter, "She is not lawful for me. What is unlawful by suckling is unlawful by lineage. She is my brother's daughter by suckling."

2503. It is related from 'Amra bint 'Abdu'r-Rahman that 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, informed her that while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was with her she heard the sound of a man asking permission to enter the house of Hafsa. 'A'isha said, "I said, 'Messenger of Allah, I think it is so-and-so.' Hafsa's uncle by suckling." 'A'isha said, "Messenger of Allah, this man is asking permission to enter your house." She said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'I think it is so-and-so,' the uncle of Hafsa by suckling." 'A'isha asked, "If so-and-and (her uncle by suckling) has been alive, could he have visited me?" The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Yes, suckling make unlawful what birth makes unlawful."

2504. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to me while a man was with me. He asked ''A'isha, who is this?' I said, 'My brother by suckling.' He said, ''A'isha, look into your brothers. Suckling is from hunger [i.e. for infants]."

Ibn Mahdi corroborated it from Sufyan.

VIII: The testimony of a slanderer, a thief and a fornicator

The words of Allah Almighty, "Never again accept them as witnesses. Such people are the degenerate – except for those who after that repent." (24:4-5)

'Umar flogged Abu Bakra, Shibl ibn Ma'bad and Nafi' for slandering al-Mughira and then he told them to repent, saying, "Whoever repents, I will accept his testimony."

'Abdullah ibn 'Uqba, 'Umar ibn 'Abdu'l-'Aziz, Sa'id ibn Jubayr, Tawus, Mujahid, ash-Sha'bi, 'Ikrima, az-Zuhri, Muharib ibn Dithar and Mu'awiya ibn Qurra allowed it [i.e. accepting the testimony of someone who has received a hadd punishment after he has repented.]

Abu'z-Zinad said, "The business with us in Madina is that if a slanderer retracts what he said and asks forgiveness of his Lord, then his testimony is accepted."

Ash-Sha'bi and Qatada said, "If he says that he lied, he is flogged and his testimony accepted."

Ath-Thawri said, "If the slave is flogged and then set free, his testimony is permitted. If someone who had a hadd judgement against them is made a qadi, his judgements are permitted."

Someone [i.e. Abu Hanifa] said, "The testimony of a slanderer is not permitted, even if he repents. Then he said, "A marriage is not permitted without two witnesses. A marriage witnessed by two people who have had hadd judgements against them is permitted. If someone is married by the testimony of two slaves, it is not permitted. " He allows the testimony of the one who has had a hadd judgement against him, the slave, and the slavegirl about the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan.

How one's repentance is recognised.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, exiled the fornicator for a year. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade speaking to Ka'b ibn Malik and his two companions until fifty nights had passed.

2505. 'Urwa ibn az-Zubayr narrated that a woman stole during the expedition of the Conquest of Makka and she was brought to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who commanded that her hand be cut off. 'A'isha said, "She repented truly and then married. She used to come after that and I would present her needs to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace."

[The woman was Fatima bint al-Aswad.]

2506. It is related from Zayd ibn Khalid that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, e commanded that the one who committed fornication and had not been married should receive a hundred lashes and be exiled for a year.

IX: One should not bear witness to an injustice if called upon to do so

2507. It is related that an-Nu'man ibn Bashir said, "My mother ashed my father to give me a gift from his property and then. after hesitating. he gave it to me. She said, 'I will not be content until you have the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as a witness. So he took my hand while I was boy, and brought me to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said, 'His mother is the daughter of Rawaha and she asked me to give this boy a gift.' He asked, 'Do you have other sons?' He said, 'Yes.' I think that he said, 'Do not call on me to witness an injustice.'"

Abu Hariz reported from ash-Sha'bi, "I will not be a witness to an injustice."

2508. It is related that 'Imran ibn al-Husayn was heard to say that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,  said, "The best of you are my generation and then those who follow them and then those who follow them." 'Imran said, "I do not know whether the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said it twice or three times." "Then after them will come a people who betray and are not trustworthy, who testify when they are not asked to testify, and who make a vow and do not fulfill it. Fleshiness will appear among them."

2509. It is related from 'Abdullah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The best of people are my generation and then those who follow them and then those who follow them. Then there will come people whose testimony will precede their oaths and whose oaths will precede their testimony."

Ibrahim said, "They used to beat us for rushing to swear and take oaths."

[This was in order that it did not become a habit for them.]

X: What is said about false testimony

The words of Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, "Those who do not bear false witness." (25:72)

Regarding Concealing testimony

"Do not conceal testimony. If someone does conceal it, his heart commits a crime. Allah knows everything you do." (2:282) "If you twist" (4:135) your tongues with testimony.

2510. It is related that Anas said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked about the greatest of wrong actions,' and he said, 'Associating with Allah, disobedience to parents, murder and false witness."

2511. It is related from the father of Abu Bakra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Shall I inform you of the greatest of wrong actions?" They replied, "Please do, Messenger of Allah!' He said, "Associating with Allah, disobedience to parents." He had been reclining and now sat up and said, 'And false witness.' He continued to repeat it until we said, 'I wish he would be quiet.'"

Another isnad.

XI: The testimony of a blind person, his business, his marriage and giving in marriage, his buying and selling, his accepting him for calling the adhan and other things, and what is recognised by means of voices

Qasim, al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin, az-Zuhri and 'Ata' allowed his testimony.

Ash-Sha'bi said, "His testimony is allowed if he is intelligent."

Al-Hakam said, "It is permitted in many things."

Az-Zuhri said, "If Ibn 'Abbas were to give testimony, do you think that you would reject it?"

[Ibn 'Abbas went blind whenhe was old.]

Ibn 'Abbas would sent a man to see when the sun set in order to break his fast. He would ask about dawn and if he was told that dawn had risen, he would pray two rak'ats.

Sulayman ibn Yasar said, "I asked permission to visit 'A'isha and she recognised my voice and said, 'Sulayman, enter. You are still a slave while you still owe something [of your price.]"

Samura ibn Jundub allowed the testimony of a veiled woman.

2512. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard a man reciting in the mosque and said, 'May Allah have mercy on him! He has reminded me of such-and-such a verse which we forgot in such-and-such a sura.'"

'Abbad ibn 'Abdullah reported from 'A'isha, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did tajahhud prayers in my house and he heard the voice of 'Abbad praying in the mosque. He asked, ''A'isha, is this the voice of 'Abbad?' 'Yes,' I replied. He said, 'O Allah, have mercy on 'Abbad!'"

2513. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Bilal calls the adhan during the night, so eat and drink until the adhan is called - or he said "until you hear the adhan of Ibn Umm Maktum." Ibn Umm Maktum was a blind man who did not call the adhan until people tol dhim, 'The morning has come.'"

2514. It is related that al-Miswar ibn Makhrama said, "Some cloaks came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and my father Makhrama said to me, 'Let us go to him. Perhaps he will give us one of them.' My father stood at the door and spoke. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recognised his voice and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out with a cloak whose beauties he was displaying. He said, 'I kept this for you. I kept this for you.'"

XII: Women's testimony

The words of Allah Almighty, "And if there are not two men, then a man and two men." (2:282)

2515. It is related from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Is not the testimony of the woman half of the testimony of the man?" The women replied, "Yes." He said, "That is due to the deficiency of her intellect."

XIII: The testimony of slavegirls and slaves

Anas said, "The testimony of the slave is permitted if he is just." Shurayh and Zurara ibn Awfa allowed it. Ibn Sirin said, "His testimony is permitted, except in the case of a slave testifying on behalf of his master." Al-Hasan and Ibrahim allowed it in something insignificant. Shurayh said, "All of you are sons of slaves and slavewomen."

2516. Ibn Abi Mulayka was heard to relate, "'Uqba ibn al-Harith related to me - or I heard from him - that he married Umm Yahya bint Abi Ihab. He said, "A black slavewoman came and said, 'I nursed both of you." I mentioned that to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he turned away from me.' He said, 'I went to the side and mentioned that to him. He asked, "How can you keep her when she states that she nursed both of you?"' So he forbade him to remain with her."

XIV: The testimony of wet-nurses

2517. It is related that 'Uqba ibn al-Harith said, "I married a woman and then a woman came and said, 'I nursed both of you.' I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he asked, 'How can you keep her with what has been said? Leave her,' or words to that effect."

XV: Women attesting to the good character of other women

2518. It is related from 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, about when the people of the Lie said what they said about her and she was exonerated of it. (Az-Zuhri said that all of a group related some of her hadith and some remembered more than others and confirmed its exact transmission. I memorised from each of them the hadith which was related to me from 'A'isha and part of the hadith verifies other parts. They claim that 'A'isha said,) "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wanted to go on a journey, he drew lots between his wives and he took with him whoever had her lot drawn. Lots were drawn between us for an expedition which he went on and my lot came out, so I went out with him. It was after the veil has been revealed. I was carried in a howdah and was brought down in it. We travelled until the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, finished that expedition and returned and we drew near to Madina. The announcement was made at night to travel. I got up when they announced travel and walked until I had gone past the army. When I finished my need, I went to the camp to leave and then I touched my chest and my necklace made of onyx had broken. I went back to look for my necklace and looked for it delayed me. Those who were carrying me came and picked my howdah and put it on my camel which I was riding. They thought that I was in it. At that time women were light and not heavy and did not have a lot of flesh on them. They used to eat only a little.So the people did not notice the difference in the weight of the howdah when they lifted it up as I was a young girl. They made the camel move and set off.

"I found my necklace after the army had left. I came to their site and there was no one there. I went to the place where I had been, thinking that they would miss me and return for me. While I was sitting there, drowziness overcame me and I fell asleep. Safwan ibn a-Mu'attal as-Sulami, then adh-Dhakwani, was behind the army and he reached my spot in the morning. He saw the dark form of someone asleep, so he came to me. He had seen me before the veil. I woke up when he said, 'We belong to Allah and to Him we return!' Then he made his camel kneel and he put its leg down and I mounted it. He went leading the camel until we reached the army after they had alighted to camp at the height of midday. Then whoever was destroyed was destroyed. The one who led the lie was 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul.

"We reached Madina and I was ill there for a month while they were spreading the talk of the people of the lie. I imagined in my illness that I did not see from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the kindness which I used to see him show when I was ill. He would enter and give the greeting and then ask, 'How is the girl?'

"I was not aware of any of that until I recovered and I went out with Umm Mistah to al-Manasi'. We used to go the lavatory there and we only went out to it from night to night. That was before we put up lavatories near our houses. We followed the custom of the Arabs at first in the desert, or in open land. So Umm Mistah bint Abi Ruhm and I went out walking. She tripped on her dress and said, 'May Mistah stumble!' I said to her, 'What you have said is bad. Would you curse a man who was present at Badr?' She said, 'O you there! Have you not heard what they have said?' And she told be about what the people of the Lie said. Then I became even more ill.

"When I returned to my house, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and visited me and said, 'How is that one?' I said, 'Give me permission to go to my parents.'" She said, "At that time I wanted to make sure of the report from them. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave me permission and I went to my parents. I asked my mother, 'What are the people saying?' She said, 'O my daughter! Do not make too much of the business. By Allah, seldom has there been a woman of beauty with a husband who loves her with co-wives but that they talk against her.' I said, 'Glory be to Allah! The people have been saying this?' I spent the entire night until morning unable to stop weeping and could not sleep at all.

"Then in the morning the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, summoned 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and Usama ibn Zayd when the revelation had been delayed to consult them about divorcing his wife. Usama pointed out what he himself knew of their love and trust. Usama said, '"Keep your wife. We know only good.' 'Ali ibn Abi Talib said, 'Messenger of Allah, Allah has not constricted you and there are many women besides her. Ask the slavegirl to tell you the truth.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, summoned Barira and said, 'Barira, have you seen anything in her which would make you doubt her?' Barira said, 'I have not seen her do anything for which I could criticise her beyond the fact that she is a young girl who sleeps, neglecting her family's leaven so that the sheep comes and eats it.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Who will help us against a man whose injury in the people my of house has reached me? By Allah, I only know good of my wife. They mentioned a man about whom I only know good who has not entered where my family is except with me!'

"Sa'd ibn Mu'adh got up and said, 'Messenger of Allah, by Allah, we will help you against him. If he is from Aws, we will chop his head off, and if he is from our brothers of Khazraj, command us and we will carry out what you command about him.' Sa'd ibn 'Ubada, the leader of Khazraj, got up, - before then he had been a virtuous man, but tribal zeal had carried him away, and said, 'You lied, by the life of Allah! You will not kill him and you are not able to do that!' Usayd ibn al-Hudayr got up and said, 'You have lied, by the life of Allah! By Allah, we will kill him! You are a hypocrite arguing on behalf of hypocrites!' The two sides of Aws and Khazraj were stirred up against one another until they were ready for war while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was on the minbar. He came down and calmed them until they were silent and he was silent. That day I could not stop weeping and I could not sleep.

"In the morning my parents were with me and I had wept for two nights and a day until I thought that weeping would split my liver. While they were sitting with me while I was weeping, a woman of the Ansar asked for permission to enter and I gave her permission. She sat down weeping with me. While we were like that, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came in and sat down. He had not sat with me since before the day when what was said about me was said. A month had passed without any revelation coming to him regarding my business."

She said, "He said the tashahhud and then said, ''A'isha, such-and-such about you has reached me. If you are innocent, then Allah will show you innocent. If you have done anything, then ask forgiveness of Allah and turn to Him in repentance. If the slave of Allah admits his sin and then repents, Allah turns to him.' When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, finished what he was saying, my tears stopped so that I was not aware of a single tear. I said to my father, 'Answer the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, for me.' He said, 'By Allah, I do not know what to say to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.' I said to my mother, 'Answer the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, for me regarding what he said.' She said, 'By Allah, I do not know what to say to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'"

She said, "I was a young girl and did not recite much of the Qur'an, so I said, 'By Allah, I know that you have heard what people are saying and it has become fixed in yourself and you have believed it. If I were to say to you that I am innocent - and Allah knows that I am innocent - you would not believe me when I said that. If I were to confess to something to you - and Allah knows that I am innocent - you would believe me. By Allah, I can find no example for you and me except for that of the father of Yusuf when he said, "Steadfast patience is beautiful. It is Allah alone who is my Help in face of the event that you describe." Then I turned over on my bed, hoping that Allah would proclaim me innocent. However, by Allah, I did not think that any revelation would be sent down regarding me. I thought too little of myself that something would be said in the Qur'an regarding me, however I hoped that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would have a dream in which Allah would exonerate me.

"By Allah, he did not get up from where he was sitting nor did any of the people of the House leave before the revelation descended on him and he and seized by the intense sweating which usually seized him and the sweat was pouring from him like pearls of sweat although it was a wintry day. Then it left the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he was smiling. The first word that he spoke was that he said to me, ''A'isha, praise Allah. Allah has exonerated you.' My mother said to me, 'Go the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.' I said, 'No, by Allah! I will not go to him and I will only praise Allah.' Then Allah Almighty revealed the verses, 'Those who propagated the lie are a band of you. . .' (24:11)

"When Allah sent down this to exonerate me, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, who used to provide maintenance for Mistah ibn Uthatha because he was related to him, said, 'By Allah, I will never provide anything for Mistah ever again after what he said about 'A'isha!' Then Allah Almighty sent down, 'Those of you possessing affluence and ample wealth should not make oaths that they will not give to their relatives and the very poor and those who have emigrated in the way of Allah. They should rather pardon and overlook. Would you not love Allah to forgive you? Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.' (24:22) Abu Bakr said, 'Yes, by Allah, I want Allah to forgive me.' So he returned to his past custom with Mistah."

"The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, also asked Zaynab bint Jahsh about my business. He said, 'Zaynab, what do you know? What have you seen?' She said, 'Messenger of Allah, I protect my hearing and sight. By Allah, I only know good of her.'" 'A'isha said, "She was my rival but Allah protected her by scrupulousness."

The like of it is related from Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr.

XVI: When one man attests to the good character of a man, that is enough

Abu Jamila said, "I found a foundling. When 'Umar saw me, he said, 'Perhaps the little cave may be filled with calamities,' as if he suspected me. My chief said, 'He is a virtuous man.' He said, 'That is the case. Go and we will provide [for the child].'"

2519. It is related that Abu Bakr said, "A man was mentioned in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, 'Bother you! You have severed you companion's neck. You have severed your companion's neck,' repeating that several times. Then he said, 'If one of you must praise someone, he should say, "I think such and such, and Allah is enough for him. I do not commend and praise anyone in front of Allah. but I think him to be such-and-such," if he knows that of him.'"

XVII: What is disliked of excessive praise, and one should say what he knows

2520. It is related that Abu Musa said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard a man praising another man, and he went to excess in praising him. He said, 'You have destroyed - or you have broken - the man's back.'"

XVIII: Children coming of age and their testimony

The words of Allah Almighty, "Once your children have reached puberty, they should ask your permission to enter." (24:59)

Al-Mughira said, "I reached puberty when I was twelve."

Women reach puberty by menstruation by the words of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, "In the case of those of your wives who are past the age of menstruation ... The time for women who are pregnant is when they give birth." (65:4)

Al-Hasan ibn Salih said, "I met a woman neighbour of ours who was a grandmother when she was twenty-one."

2521. It is related from Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, turned him away on the day of Uhud when he was fourteen and did not allow him (to participate). [He said,] "Then he summoned me on the Day of the Ditch when I was fifteen and allowed me [to participate]." Nafi' said, "I went before 'Umar ibn 'Abdu'l-'Aziz when he was Khalif and related this hadith to him. He said, 'This is the border between the child and the adult.' He wrote to his governors to allocate a portion for those who had reached fifteen.'"

2522. It is related from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Taking a ghusl on Friday is obligatory for everyone who has reached puberty."

XIX: The judge asking the claimant, "Do you have a clear proof?" before the oath

2523. It is related from 'Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever swears an oath in which he lies in order to take the property of a Muslim by it, will meet Allah with anger covering him." He said that al-Ash'ath ibn Qays said, "By Allah, that was about me. There was some land that was between me and a Jewish man, and he disavowed me, so I took him to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked me, 'Do you have a clear proof?' I said, 'No.' He said to the Jew, 'Swear.' I said, 'Messenger of Allah, then he will swear and take away my property.' Then Allah Almighty revealed, 'Those who sell Allah's contract and their own oaths for a paltry price, such people will have no portion in the Next World ....' (3:77)"

XX: The oath should be taken by the one against whom the claim is made regarding property and hadd punishments

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Either produce your two witnesses or he takes an oath."

It is related from Ibn Shubrama, "Abu'z-Zinad spoke to me about the testimony of the witness and the oath of the one again whom the claim is made. I said, 'Allah Almighty says, "Two men among you should act as witnesses. But if there are not two men, then a man and two women with whom you are satisfied as witnesses; then if one of them forgets, the other can remind her." (2:282)' I said, 'If the testimony of one witness and the oath of the one against whom the claim is made were enough, then there would be no need for one to remind the other, so why would this one remind the other?"

2524. It is related that Ibn Abi Mulayka said, "Ibn 'Abbas wrote that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, decided that one against whom the claim was made should take an oath."

2525. It is related that 'Abdullah said, "Whoever swears [falsely] by oath that he deserves property, will meet Allah and He will be angry with him." Then Allah Almighty revealed to confirm that, "Those who sell Allah's contract and their own oaths for a paltry price, such people will have no portion in the Next World ...to..a painful punishment."' (3:77) Then al-Ash'ath ibn Qays came out to us and said, 'What has Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman {i.e. 'Abdullah] related to you?' We told him. He said, 'He has spoken the truth. This was sent down about me. There was a dispute between me and another man about something. We took the dispute to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The Messenger of Allah,may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Either produce your two witnesses or he takes an oath.' I said, 'Then he will take an oath without caring.' The Prophet*, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,said, 'Whoever swears by an oath that he deserves soemthing and lies in his oath, will met Allah who will be angry with him.'" Then Allah sent down the confirmation of that. Then he recited this ayat.

XXI. CHAPTER: When someone makes a claim about someone or slanders, he can seek the proof and is allowed to seek out the proof

2526. It is related from Ibn 'Abbas that Hilal ibn Umayya accused his wife of adultery with Sharik ibn Sahma' in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Produce clear proof or the hadd will be enforced on your back.' He said, 'Messenger of Allah, if one of us were to see a man on top of his wife, would he then go looking for the proof?' He continued to say, 'The clear proof or the hadd will be enforced on your back.'" He mentioned the hadith of the li'an divorce.

XXII: The oath after 'Asr

2527. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace s aid, "There are three whom Allah will not speak to or look at the Day of Rising and will not purify and who will have a painful punishment: a man who had excess water on the road and withheld it from travellers; a man who gave allegiance to an Imam and only gave allegiance for this world, and when he is given some of it is pleased and is angry when he is not given any of it; and a man who puts out his goods after 'Asr and says, 'By Allah, I have been offered such-and-such for them,' and someone takes them."

XXIII: The oath of the one against whom the claim is made when he is obliged to take an oath, and he does not have to move from his place to another place [to take it]

Marwan decided that Zayd ibn Thabit should take an oath on the minbar and he said, "I will swear it where I am," and Zayd began to take the oath and refused to swear on the minbar. Marwan was surprised at him.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Either produce your two witnesses or he takes an oath," and he did not specify one place rather than another.

2528. It is related from Ibn Mas'ud that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever swears an oath in order to [wrongfully] take the property of a Muslim by it, will meet Allah with Him anger with him."

XXIV: When people race one another to take the oath

2529. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, offered the oath to some people and they hurried, so he commanded that lots be drawn between them about which would take the oath.

XXV: The words of Allah Almighty, "Those who sell Allah's contract and their own oaths for a paltry price." (3:77)

2530. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa was heard to say, "A man set up his goods and swore by Allah that he had been offered a sum for them which he had not been offered and it was sent down, 'Those that sell the faith that they owe Allah and their own plighted word for a small price.'" Ibn Abi Qafa said, "The one who lies about the value is a treacherous person who consumes usury."

2531. It is related from 'Abdullah that the Prophet*, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever swears a false oath in order to take the property of a man - or he said, his brother - by it, will meet Allah while He is anger with him." Allah Almighty revealed to confirm that, "Those who sell Allah's contract and their own oaths for a paltry price, ...to..a painful punishment."' (3:77) Al-Ash'ath met me and asked, "What has 'Abdullah related to you today?" I replied, "Such-and-such." He said, "It was sent down about me."

XXVI: How one is asked to take an oath

Allah Almighty says, "They swear to you by Allah," (9:62) and He, the Mighty and Majestic, says, "Then they come to you, swearing by Allah, 'We desired nothing but good and reconciliation." (4:62)

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A man swore a false oath by Allah after 'Asr." One does not swear by other than Allah.

2532. It is related that Talha ibn 'Ubaydullah was heard to say, "A man came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked him about about Islam. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'It is five prayers a day.' He asked, 'Do I have to do any more?' He said, 'No, unless you want to do voluntary prayers. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, then said, 'And you must fast Ramadan.' He asked, 'Do I have to do any more?' He said, 'No, unless you want to do so voluntarily.'"

He said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, mentioned zakat to him. He asked, 'Do I have to do any more?' He replied, 'No, unless you want to do so voluntarily.' The man withdrew, saying, 'By Allah, I will not do more than this nor less than this.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'If he speaks the truth, he will have success.' [i.e. he will be granted Paradise]"

2533. It is related from 'Abdullah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever swears an oath, should swear by Allah or be silent."

XXVII: The one who establishes the clear proof after the oath

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Perhaps one of you will be more eloquent than another with his argument."

Tawus, Ibrahim and Shurayh said, "The just clear proof has more right than the false oath."

2534. It is related from Umm Salama that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Litigants come to me and it may be that one of them are more eloquent with his argument than the other and so I and give judgement on some of his brother's right in his favour accordingly. Then I am cutting a piece of the Fire for him, so he should not take it." (Muwatta, Book 36, 1)

XXVIII: The one who commands that a promise be carried out

Al-Hasan said that and he mentioned Isma'il, "He was true to his promise." (19:54) Ibn al-Ashwa' judged the promise  should be carried out and reported that from Samura ibn Jundub. Al-Miswar ibn Makhrama said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,mention one of his sons-in-law and say, 'He promised me this and fulfilled it.'"

Abu 'Abdullah said, "I saw that Ishaq ibn Ibrahim used to use the hadith of Ibn Ashwa' as a proof."

2535. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas reported that Abu Sufyan had reported to him that Heraclius said to him, "I asked you what he commanded and you stated that he commanded you to pray, speak truthfully, be chaste, fulfil the promise and carry out the trust." Then he said, "This is the description of a Prophet."

2536. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There are three signs of a hypocrite: whenever he speaks, he lies; whenever he is trusted, he betrays his trust; and whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it."

2537. It is related that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died, some money came to Abu Bakr from al-'Ala' ibn al-Hadrami. Abu Bakr said, 'Whoever is owed a debt by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, or had a promise from him should come to us." Jabir said, "I said, 'The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, promised to give me such-and-such, such-and-such and such-and-such,'" and he spread out his hands three times. Jabir said, "He counted out in my hands five hundred and then five hundred and then five hundred."

2538. It is related that Sa'id ibn Jubayr said, "A Jew from the people of al-Hira asked me, 'Which of the two terms did Musa fulfil?' [indicated in 28:27]. I said, 'I do not know until I see the scholar of the Arabs and ask him.' I went and asked Ibn 'Abbas. He said, 'He fulfilled the longer and better of them. When a Messenger of Allah says something, he does it.'"

XXIX: The people of the idolaters are not asked to give testimony and the like

Ash-Sha'bi said, "The testimony of the people of one religion against another is not allowed by the words of Allah Almighty, 'So We stirred up enmity and hatred between them ' (5:14)"

Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not believe the People of the Book and do not say that they are liars. Say, 'We believe in Allah and what has been sent down.'"

2539. It is related that Ibn 'Abbas said, "O company of Muslims! How can you ask the People of the Book when your book which was sent down on His Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is the most recent of the reports by Allah. You recite and it has not been altered. Allah has reported to you that the People of the Book have altered what Allah wrote and changed the Book in their possession. They said, 'It is from Allah' in order to sell it for a small price. Does not the knowledge that has come to you spare you from asking them? No, by Allah, we have not seen a man among them asking you about what was sent down on you!'"

XXX: Drawing lots in [the solving of] problems

His words, "When they cast their reeds to see which of them would be the guardian of Maryam." (3:44) Ibn 'Abbas said, "They drew lots [by throwing their arrows in the river] and the arrows went with the stream, but Zakariyya's arrow went against the flow, so Zakariyya was put in charge of looking after her."

His word, "fa-sahama" means to agree to draw lots, "and he was among the condemned" (37:141) means those who were defeated.

Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, offered the oath to some people and they raced to take it and he commanded that lots be drawn between them to see who would take the oath."

2540. It is related that an-Nu'man ibn Bashir was heard to say that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The example of the one who thinks little of the limits of Allah and falls into them is like like some people who draw lots on a boat. Some of them get the lower part and some of them the upper part. Those who in the lower part had to pass by the upper to get water and they annoyed him. So he took an axe and began to make a hole in the bottom of the ship. They came to him and said, 'What is the matter with you?' He said, 'You annoyed me and I must have water.' If they take hold of his hands to stop him, they will save him and all save themselves. If they leave him, they will destroy him and they will destroy themselves."

2541. It is related from Kharija ibn Zayd al-Ansari that Umm al-'Ala', a woman of the Ansar who gave her allegiance to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, reported to him that when the Muhajirun were allotted lodging by drawing lots, the lot of lodging 'Uthman ibn Maz'un fell to them. Umm al-'Ala' said, "'Uthman ibn Maz'un lodged with us. Then he became ill and we nursed him until he died and we put him in his clothes. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to us and I said, 'The mercy of Allah be upon you, Abu's-Sa'ib. I testify to you that Allah has honoured you.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, 'How do you know that Allah has honoured him?' I said, 'I do not know, may my father be your ransom, Messenger of Allah!' He said, 'As for 'Uthman, by Allah, the Certain has come to him. I hope for the best for him. By Allah, I do not know what He will do with him in spite of my being the Messenger of Allah.' She said, 'By Allah, I will never vouch for anyone after him.' That grieved me." She said, "I went to sleep and I dreamt I saw 'Uthman as a flowing spring. I went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and told him and he said, 'That is his actions.'"

2542. It is related that 'A'isha said, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wanted to travel, he would draw lots between his wives, and he would travel with whichever wife had her lot drawn. He used to give each woman her day and night although Sawda bint Zam'a gave her day and night to 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, desiring by that to please the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

2543. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "If people only knew what was in the call to prayer and the first row, and could find no other way to get it than drawing lots for it, they would draw lots for it. If they only knew what was in the prayers of 'Isha' and Subh, they would come to them even if they had to crawl."