Al-Maidah · Juz 7 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 107

Testimony of Two Just Witnesses for the Final Will and Testament

In ayah 106, we learned about the responsibility of the dying person to two take just people and give them instructions regarding his property. We then learned that if these two people commit treachery or theft in the will that they were made responsible for then they will be made to swear in the Name of Allah. After they swear they will be left alone.

However, there could be a situation where the heir has proof that the witnesses are lying what should he do then? This is what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala addresses in ayah 107.

He says,

فَإِنْ عُثِرَ عَلَى أَنَّهُمَا اسْتَحَقَّآ إِثْماً فَآخَرَانِ يِقُومَانُ مَقَامَهُمَا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَحَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الاٌّوْلَيَانِ فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِاللَّهِ لَشَهَـدَتُنَا أَحَقُّ مِن شَهَـدَتِهِمَا وَمَا اعْتَدَيْنَآ إِنَّا إِذاً لَّمِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ

“If it then becomes known that these two had been guilty of sin, let two others stand forth in their places, nearest in kin from among those who claim a lawful right. Let them swear by Allah (saying): ‘We affirm that our testimony is truer than that of both of them, and that we have not trespassed (the truth), for then indeed we should be of the wrongdoers.’”

If the two witnesses are found guilty of treachery and theft i.e. they cheated in the will or stole some money then two of the nearest rightful inheritors should stand for witness in their place. In their place means in the same place and at the same time where the two witnesses stood i.e. in the masjid and at the time of Asr Salah.

Now these two inheritors will swear by Allah saying our Sahadah against these two people is truer than the testimony of these two (i.e. the two witnesses). Why is their Sahadah truer? It is because they will bring some solid evidence. They will say they are not standing here just to negate the two witnesses because if they do so then they’d be among the wrongdoers.

This is the oath of the heirs, and preference is to be given to their saying. Just as in the case with the oath of relative of a murdered person if he attempts to tarnish the case of the murdered person. So his family takes an oath in defense of his honor. This is discussed in the studies of the oaths in the books of Ahkam.

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