Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 2)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 158  

(    158   )



On pro¬

Number of

kinds of
oaths and

The judge demands from the suitor a document written
against the accused person in a well-known writing
which is thought suitable for writs of the kind, and
in the document the well-established proof of the jus¬
tice of his suit. In case there is no written document,
the contest is settled by means of witnesses without a
written document.

The witnesses must not be less than four, but there
may be more. Only in case the justice of the deposi¬
tion of a witness is perfectly established and certain
before the judge, he may admit it, and decide the ques¬
tion alone on the basis of the deposition of this sole
witness. However, he does not admit prying about in
secret, deriving arguments from mere signs or indica¬
tions in public, concluding by analogy from one thing
which seems established about another, and using all
sorts of tricks to elicit the truth, as 'lyas Ibn Mu'a-
wiya used to do.

If the suitor is not able to prove his claim, the de¬
fendant must swear, but he may also tender the oath
to the suitor by saying, " Swear thou that thy claim is
true and I will give thee what thou claimest."

There are many kinds of the oath, in accordance with
the value of the object of the claim. If the object is
of no great importance, and the suitor agrees that the
accused person shall swear, the latter simply swears
before five learned Brahmans in the following words :
  Page 158