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O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as Allah Has taught him, so let him write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord Allah, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, Let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. The witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (For evidence). Disdain not to reduce to writing (your contract) for a future period, whether it be small or big: it is juster in the sight of Allah, More suitable as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves but if it be a transaction which ye carry out on the spot among yourselves, there is no blame on you if ye reduce it not to writing. But take witness whenever ye make a commercial contract; and let neither scribe nor witness suffer harm. If ye do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So fear Allah; For it is Good that teaches you. And Allah is well acquainted with all things. If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let the trustee (faithfully) discharge his trust, and let him Fear his Lord conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it, – his heart is tainted with sin. And Allah knoweth all that ye do.

The following excerpt is taken from “The Quran with Annotated Interpretation” by Ali Unal note 161:

The reason why the Qur’ân demands two women in place of one man in commercial
transactions is straightforward. It does not at all mean that the Qur’ân regards a woman as
half of a man. For what is important here is not the relative status of women or men but
reliability, justice and equity in business transactions, particularly transactions involving
Typically, across the diverse cultures in the world, men engage in business more than women, and men are directly responsible for the livelihood of the family. Furthermore—again,
typically (but not always)—women are more emotional than men and more susceptible to
forgetting. Accordingly, it is reasonable to expect that, in matters wherein they are not typically engaged, women may be more susceptible to erring or forgetting than men. Of course,
there will always be some women with a keener memory than some men, and some men
more emotional than some women. However, rather than exceptions, the norm and the
typical majority are considered in matters relating to institutions for the community.
Islam does not demand two women in place of one man in all cases of bearing testimony.
For example, whether it be a wife or husband, whoever accuses his/her spouse of adultery,
he or she must swear by God four times. Likewise, there is no difference between a man
and woman in scanning the sky and bearing testimony to seeing the crescent, in order to
establish whether a lunar month has begun or ended. In addition, the testimony of two
women is not sought in place of a man in the matters in which women have greater knowledge or specialty than men.
It is of considerable significance that this verse contains the rules necessary for the establishment of the office of “notary public.” It is one of the many proofs for the universality of
the Qur’ân, for its being timeless, that it established these rules at a time when, and for a
society in which, there were few who knew how to read and write, and there was almost no
paper to write on. These rules are based on justice, equity, ensuring accuracy in testimony,
and removing all doubts concerning the terms of the transaction, thus reducing the potential for future disagreement


Unal, Ali (2006). The Quran with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English. (p. 155)

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