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Mutual repudiation. A Quranic institution governing cases in which a husband accuses his wife of adultery without supplying witnesses. Quran 24:6–9 explicitly instructs the husband to swear four times that his accusation is true, followed by a fifth oath in which he invokes the wrath of God upon himself if he is lying. The wife may then neutralize this claim by responding with four oaths of her own, the fifth of which calls upon her the wrath of God if her husband is telling the truth. If she refuses to take the oath, she is presumed guilty and subject to the punishment for adultery. If she takes the oath, she is declared innocent and permanently divorced from her husband. Her husband, in turn, forfeits any paternity claims over children born subsequent to their sworn oaths.

Subjects: Islam.


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