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SAMAAJ KHAYAAL: FORENSIC EVIDENCE AND ISLAMIC JURISPRUDENCE

The NUMS Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (DSBS) held its seventh meeting of “Samaaj Khayaal”, a monthly series, which aims to transcend disciplinary boundaries, find connections and bring to light issues of social relevance. The session titled “Admittance of Forensic Evidence in the Courts of Islamic Jurisprudence” was held on January 28th, 2020 at DSBS, NUMS. The guest speaker for the said session was Dr. Javed I. Khan who has over 35 years of combined experience as a forensic scientist and compliance regulator and auditor of clinical, diagnostic and forensic facilities in the USA. He has also authored a book titled “Basic Principles of Forensic Chemistry”.

The speaker opened up the session by asking the audience to challenge some of the dominant ideas in our religion in order to bring more clarity to our religious concepts. The speaker narrated how the misrepresentation and mockery by the international media of the implementation of divine laws related to theft, murder and adultery practiced in Pakistani courts motivated him to research on this issue.

Explaining the concept of evidence, the speaker stated that ‘sign’ can be taken as a close synonym of evidence in English language while in Arabic, one can understand that ‘Ayaats’ are actually evidences. Citing the diverse types of evidences presented in the Quran, the speaker briefed the audience about the physical, intellectual, analytical and scientific evidences.  Giving an example of a hydro-biological evidence from Surah Ambiya (21:30), he mentioned how water is the source of life and modern day science and NASA are now venturing into the space to look for water for sustenance.

With the help of verses from the Holy Quran, the speaker shared numerous examples to illustrate how the proceedings on the Day of Judgement as mentioned in the Quran are also reflected in the modern day courts. He stated that based on the understandability of the individual, the charge sheet will be handed over in sealed envelopes, in right or left hand to signify the pious from the sinful. The speaker discussed how Allah will not charge us based on his omnipotence; rather the just court will announce charges based on forensic evidence. He shared a Quranic verse “On a Day when their tongues, their hands and their feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do” (Noor 24:24) which tells us how our body can be an example of evidence. Today we also see the significance of finger prints in modern day courts.

After the speaker session, the audience shared examples of modern day court cases, kind of evidences presented and how the Holy Book. 1400 years ago, offered plethora of evidences to show the mightiness of Allah.