Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 24 Jumada al-Akhirah 1438
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What is the legal ruling for resorting to the bihs'a (ordeal)?

What is the legal ruling for resorting to the bihs'a (ordeal)? It involves the suspect licking a red hot copper utensil. If the tongue is harmed, the suspect is considered guilty, otherwise he is not.

Answer

Trial bybish'a has no basis in Islamic law for proving accusations or identifying the perpetrator. It is prohibited and impermissible to resort to this practice because it involves harm and torture and raises false claims under the pretext of establishing rights. We must follow the legal ways determined by our refined Islamic law which lead to either a mutual agreement or litigation. Moreover, we must follow the words of the Messenger of Allah who said, "The claimant must offer evidence [for his claims] and the defendant must swear [to his innocence]" [Recorded by Ad-Darqutni].This noble hadith sets the manner of seeking and establishing truth and denying false claims. Muslims must adhere to the means set forth by Islamic law and reject any offensive means which have no textual basis. The only manner prescribed by Islamic law for verifying accusations include confessions, proof and the like.
Allah the Almighty knows best.
 

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