There are certain media outlets who have fair number of mental retards among their writing crews.
Saroop Ijaz’s latest attack on reason “War on Reason” is an interesting read. He brings up some examples of unscientific views from the classical scholarship and links it to CII’s latest opinion that DNA is not acceptable as primary evidence in rape cases. I will comment on the DNA as primary evidence issue and its relation to what he mentioned regarding the classical jurists sometimes soon in-sha’Allah. Here I would only like to share an insight into what he mentioned regarding jurists’ opinions on maximum gestation period. He wrote;
… the intention today is to draw attention to something else. Imam Abu Hanifa believed that the maximum period a woman can remain pregnant (gestation period) with a child was two years; Imam Malik, Imam Shaafaee and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal believed it to be four. We now know that to be medically impossible.
Though he himself clarified that, “the scientific facts we hold to be self-evident today were not completely established or, at least, known to them at the time”, the very tone in which he put up the entire thing has a good potential to get the ordinary skeptics excited.
Firstly, it needs to be seen as to what formed the basis of these opinions. The answer simply is that they thought it was actually possible. In fact they based their opinions on what they had learnt as real happenings in/by their time. It’s only that that best possible they could know about this back then was not really true in the light of what is now known to us.
For, some details on the basis of these opinion see, Dr. Abdul Azeez bin Alee Al-Ghaamdee, Minimum and Maximum Periods of Pregnancy between Jurisprudence and Medicine and their Effect on the Inheritance of the Fetus, Quarterly al-Adl, Ministry of Justice, KSA, issue 43, pp.202-203
The paper tells us precisely as to why the classical jurists could not get the thing scientifically correct;
Therefore, physicians term the events of prolonged periods of pregnancy mentioned by jurists, assuming they were true, as false pregnancy (pseudo pregnancy). A woman may remain falsely believing to be pregnant for one year or more because she has the symptoms of pregnancy like the cease of the menstruation, vomiting, pains and big abdomen. She may have a real pregnancy after that and thus she thinks to have pregnancy from the time she falsely believed to be so. In modern times, it is easy to diagnose such a case by ultrasound which was not available in old days. (p.209)
Next I’ll, in-sha’Allah, write on Saroop’s failure on the account of reason in commenting about something he, it appears from his write up, is “certainly not equipped to” i.e. the issue of acceptability of DNA as primary evidence in rape cases.