Al-Sharīf al-Murtaḍā (d. 436/1044) on Judges’ Use of Personal Knowledge

In this excerpt, al-Sharīf al-Murtaḍā (d. 436/1044) cites a number of opinions regarding whether judges are permitted to rule according to their personal knowledge of a case. He focuses specifically on the question of how many additional witnesses are needed alongside a judge’s use of his own knowledge to render a valid verdict. In his chapter on circumstantial evidence in Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts, Hossein Modarressi cites this source to illustrate some Shīʿī jurists’ endorsement of the validity of judicial knowledge.

This source is part of the Online Companion to the book Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts, ed. Intisar A. Rabb and Abigail Krasner Balbale (ILSP/HUP 2017)—a collection of primary sources and other material used in and related to the book.

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