Is the Accused is Innocent until Proven Guilty

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

What is in the principle: The Accused is Innocent until Proven Guilty, can you explain the rule of Sharī’ah about that: It is the plaintiff who should provide the evidence, and the oath is obliged on the one that contests?

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

الجواب و بالله التوفيق

In a tradition, it is narrated from Abdullah Bin Abbas (R.A) that the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘If people were given according to their claims, then some would claim the wealth and blood of others. However, the burden of proof is upon the claimant and taking the oath is upon the one who denies.’ (Baihaqi who considers it as Hasan (Good).

From this hadith, the principle of a person is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ can be derived. It tells us that if someone makes a claim against you, then you will be given the benefit of the doubt until he brings evidence to prove that you are guilty of what he accuses you of.

The claim made by the plaintiff cannot be accepted until the defendant is questioned about it. Where the defendant denies the claim, the plaintiff will be ask for his evidence/proof of the claim. If he cannot provide his proof, then the defendant will be ordered to take the oath that the claim against him is not true. When this is done, the matter is ruled in his favour.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.


This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.