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Egypt: Appellate Court Rejects DNA Results That Contradict Shari’a Rules of Evidence

(Oct. 20, 2010) In October 2010, a family court in Egypt rejected the DNA results in a case concerning a parental relationship. The primary reason for rejecting the test results is that DNA testing does not adhere to Islamic law, shari'a.

A husband who doubted his paternal relationship with his daughter conducted a DNA test to prove that his daughter was fathered by another man. The DNA testing proved his allegations to be correct. Accordingly, he filed a law suite against his wife, insisting that his name be removed from the girl's birth certificate. The court denied his petition on the grounds that DNA is not mentioned in the Quran or the Sunnah (the words and practices of Mohammed). The court noted that DNA test results contradict the rules of evidence under Islamic law in cases of proving a paternal relationship. In its decision, the court stated that under Islamic law two requirements must be met in order to prove a paternal relationship: 1) sexual intercourse must have taken place between the husband and wife and 2) the marriage contract must be valid. In this case, the court found that both requirements had been met. Therefore, it dismissed the results of the DNA test, arguing that religious evidence is more compelling than technical evidence. (Religious Evidence More Compelling than DNA [in Arabic], AL GOMHURIA (Oct. 8, 2010),