“Certainly were there in Joseph (Yousaf AS) and his brothers signs for those who ask” (Holy Quran: 12:7)
Forensic Criminology or Criminal Forensics is a branch of Forensic Medicine and defined as:
“The scientific study of crime and criminals for the purposes of addressing investigative and legal issues.”
Thus this science is useful in criminal cases presented in court e.g. murder, rape, attempt to murder, attempt to rape etc
An application of the basics of the science of Forensic Criminology can be found in the Holy Quran Chapter 12 (Sura Yousaf) Verses 27,28
As this famous Quranic story relates, Hazrat Yousaf AS had just been picked up from a well into which he had been thrown by his brothers and was sold to a wealthy, respected person named Aziz.
Aziz’s wife (named Zulaikha) fell in love with Hazrat Yousaf AS and one day taking opportunity of being alone, she expressed her desire to Hazrat Yousaf to which he refused.
In desperation she ran after him and tore his shirt right when her husband appeared at the door. Hazrat Yousaf AS and Zulaikha both pleaded their innocence.
And then these verses are mentioned in the Holy Quran:
“And a witness from her family testified. “If his shirt is torn from the front, then she has told the truth, and he is of the liars.
But if his shirt is torn from the back, then she has lied, and he is of the truthful.” (Holy Quran: 12-27-28)
When they saw the shirt torn from the back, Aziz immediately realized that his wife was at fault and let him go…..
This is because in accordance with one of the basic principles of forensic criminology, in a sexual assault case, if the shirt of the male (accused) is torn from the back, it is MOST likely caused by the person (female as in this case) who is in pursuit of her DESIRE. Thus the female is MOSTLY at fault.
And if the shirt of the accused male is torn from the front, it is most likely caused by the victim (mostly female in rape cases) trying to prevent an ASSAULT (which may turn sexual) by the male. Thus in this case the male is MOST likely at fault.
Of course this important forensic evidence has to be collaborated with other evidence including scratches, wounds, injuries etc on male and female as well as other circumstantial evidence.
This basic principle of forensic criminology mentioned in the Holy Quran is still being applied today after 1400 years. This particular case mentioned in the Holy Quran is MOST LIKELY an indication that FORENSIC EVIDENCE may be used in a court of law to prove or disprove a RAPE case, because in this case (forensic) expertise was sought!
This is opposed to the Four-Witnesses rule required to prove a case of FORNICATION/ADULTERY. The impossibility of four people witnessing the act was meant to make it tougher for the society to slander a woman.
The author agrees with the logic that why should a rape victim be expected to produce four witnesses to prove her story when rape is mostly committed in secrecy unless its a gang-rape; nevertheless making it almost impossible for her to produce the four witnesses! It is indeed heart wrenching to witness it being used to encourage violence against women and cultivate a culture of silence and shame.
The problem is with our Ulema/Muftis/Islamic Scholars who are not well aware of the science of forensic medicine/forensic criminology and/or completely overlooked the implications of this famous case mentioned in the Holy Quran.
(This was written in rebuttal to interview conducted of Ameer-Jamaat Islami Mr. Syed Munawwar Hassan presented below)
Your rape culture is not my religion
Anchor: Why did you vehemently oppose the women protection act?
Munawar Hasan: Women protection act was not aimed at protecting women instead it is meant to promote vulgarity and obscenity in the society.
Anchor: What is the basis of your allegations?
Munawar Hasan: On the basis of which we opposed the act.
Anchor: The fundamental purpose of the women protection act was (is) to provide women with the right to file cases on the basis of circumstantial and forensic evidence, making convictions of rape easier. Where is the obscenity in that?
Munawar Hasan: This bill has been part of law for years, how has that affected the rights of women in Pakistan? What is the one issue that can be pointed out as a success of this law?
Anchor: One blaringly obvious problem with the Hudood law was the need to present four witnesses in order to convict a rapist, failure to do so resulted in the arrest of the woman on charges of confession to adultery, that was the main issue.
Munawar Hasan: What is the problem in that?
Anchor: The problem is this sir, that according to the 2003 national commission status of women report 80 per cent women were forced to languish in jails because of inability to produce witnesses of their rape.
Munawar Hasan: The objective of Islam is to discourage such acts, no one can be shameless enough to commit such an act in the presence of four people. Making it impossible to prove such acts, therefore the whole idea is to discourage bringing such acts into public light. Discouraging it to the extent that the act is never quoted. If such a crime occurs and since there are no witnesses than both men and women are suppose to keep it under wraps and not discuss it in public.
Anchor: Sir, are you suggesting that a woman should stay silent after she is raped? That she should not report the crime?
Munawar Hasan: I am saying she should keep quite if she has no witnesses. If she has witnesses than she should present them.
Anchor: What kind of an argument is that? A woman is raped and she has to look for witnesses to prove the crime?
Munawar Hasan: Argue with the Quran and not me.
Anchor: I am not questioning the Quran, I am questioning your argument.