There is a widespread misunderstanding that the testimony of women is accepted and counted as half in all cases in Islam.
This is a myth and only false propaganda by Muslim apologists. The reality is far worse for women, and they have been far worse degraded by Muhammad.
In reality, their witness is only accepted in a few matters that are not of primary importance:
- Women's testimony is accepted and counted as half only in financial matters.
- And a woman's testimony is accepted and counted as full only in a few matters that are about her body or related to her (like the birth of a child, breastfeeding a child, and her testimony if she is menstruating or not, or if she has hidden physical handicaps in her body etc.). These are the matters where men could not get firsthand information, and thus one is compelled to rely on the testimony of women.
- In Hudud(Arabic: حدود) and Qisas (Arabic قصأص) cases (like adultery, rape, robbery, theft, and murder, Hirabah, drinking alcohol, etc.), the testimony of women is absolutely not accepted (not even as half).
- Similarly, in all other cases (which are not related to a woman's body or affairs), then again women's testimony is absolutely not accepted. These cases are like nikah (marriage), talaq (divorce), raju' [restitution of conjugal rights], Ila (الإيلاء), Zihar, apostasy, parentage, al-Wakalah, wills, etc.). Nevertheless, a few Islamic scholars accepted half testimony of women in these cases too, but the majority absolutely denied any testimony from women in these cases.
Table of Contents:
- Ijma (i.e. unanimous decision):
- Dire consequences of not accepting women's testimony in Hudud and Qisas cases:
- First Reason for depriving women of their testimonies: Muhammad deemed them to be deficient in memory and deficient in intelligence
- Second Reason for depriving women/slaves of their testimonies: Muhammad discriminated against people on the basis of their STATUS
- Excuses by Muslim apologists:
- 4th Excuse: Some Zahiri scholars also accepted women's testimony as half in Hudud cases
There is a case of Zina (adultery), where testimony of four people is needed, and women could not be included in those 4 witnesses (i.e. they all should be men). Quran say:
وَٱلَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ ٱلْمُحْصَنَٰتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَأْتُوا۟ بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَآءَ فَٱجْلِدُوهُمْ ثَمَٰنِينَ جَلْدَةً وَلَا تَقْبَلُوا۟ لَهُمْ شَهَٰدَةً أَبَدًا ۚ
Translation: And those who accuse the chaste women, then not they bring four (male) witnesses (Arabic شُهَدَآءَ, which is genitive masculine plural noun), then flog them (with) eighty lashe(s) and (do) not accept their testimony ever.
... And there are few cases where testimony of only 2 people is needed, but women are not included in them (i.e both witnesses should be men). These cases are of Hudud and Qisas, for example cutting hands for stealing, drinking alcohol, Hirabah (i.e. treason), and all Islamic scholars agree upon it.
And then there are cases, (which are not about woman's body and affairs, and thus) men could get direct information about them, and they are also not about the financial matters. These cases are like Nikah, Talaq, Raju' [restitution of conjugal rights], Ila (الإيلاء), Zihar, Apostasy, parentage, al-Wakalah, will-testaments etc., then according to majority of Fuqaha (Islamic jurists) testimony of 2 men is needed, but women are not included in it.
And a proof for it lies in this Quranic verse of divorce too:
فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ وَأَشْهِدُوا۟ ذَوَىْ عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلشَّهَٰدَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ
Translation: Then when they have reached their term, then retain them with kindness or part with them with kindness. And take witness two men (Arabic ذَوَىْ accusative masculine dual noun) just among you and establish the testimony for Allah.
And also, proof is found in the Quranic verse of will-testament:
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ شَهَٰدَةُ بَيْنِكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ ٱلْمَوْتُ حِينَ ٱلْوَصِيَّةِ ٱثْنَانِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ أَوْ ءَاخَرَانِ مِنْ غَيْرِكُمْ إِنْ أَنتُمْ ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَأَصَٰبَتْكُم مُّصِيبَةُ ٱلْمَوْتِ ۚ تَحْبِسُونَهُمَا مِنۢ بَعْدِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ فَيُقْسِمَانِ بِٱللَّهِ إِنِ ٱرْتَبْتُمْ لَا نَشْتَرِى بِهِۦ ثَمَنًا وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَىٰ ۙ وَلَا نَكْتُمُ شَهَٰدَةَ ٱللَّهِ إِنَّآ إِذًا لَّمِنَ ٱلْءَاثِمِينَ
Translation: O you who believe! (Take) testimony among you when approaches one of you [the] death, (at the) time (of making) [the] a will two men (Arabic ٱثْنَانِ: nominative masculine dual noun), just, among you, or two other men (Arabic اخَرَانِ: nominative masculine dual noun) from other than you if you (are) travel(ing) in the earth then befalls you calamity (of) [the] death. Detain both of them from after the prayer and let them both swear by Allah if you doubt, "Not we will exchange it for a price even if he is (of) a near relative, and not we will conceal testimony (of) Allah.
And about Nikah (marriage) too, the holy prophet (pbuh) said:
( لا نكاح إلا بولي وشاهدي عدل )
Translation: Nikah could not be held without the guardian and 2 male witnesses.
This tradition has been recorded by Imam Bayhiqi.
While Imam Malik narrated from Imam Zuhri:
مضت السنة بأنه لا تجوز شهادة النساء في الحدود ولا في النكاح والطلاق
Translation: It has been a regular practice according to Sunnah that testimony of women is not accepted in Hudud, Nikah and Talaq.
But Ahnaf (i.e. follower of Imam Abu Hanifa) differed from it. They accept the witness of women in these matters too, but consider their witness to be half than of men. ...
Nevertheless, majority of jurists denied the testimony of women in these cases too, and limited the half testimony of women in the financial matters only.
And then there are few matters where only the testimonies of women are accepted, and these are matters like birth of a child, breastfeeding a child, and those matters/physical handicaps which are hidden in her body, upon which men could not get firsthand information. In all these cases testimony of women is accepted (and counted as a full witness).
Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah recorded the following tradition in his book al-Musannaf (link):
حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا حفص وعباد بن العوام عن حجاج عن الزهري قال مضت السنة من رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم والخليفتين من بعده ألا تجوز شهادة النساء في الحدود
Imam Zuhri said: It has been a regular practice since the time of the holy prophet and the first 2 caliphs (i.e. Abu Bakr & Umar) that the testimony of a woman is not accepted in the cases of Hudud.
This is a very clear tradition that women were not allowed to testify in the cases of Hudud.
Nevertheless, Muslim apologists try to use their old tactic and they try to get rid of this Hadith by declaring it a weak tradition.
But fortunately, this tactic by Muslim apologists does not work here while Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah also made a whole chapter regarding witnesses of women in Hudud cases, and there he recorded 7 more Ahadith. And all of these Ahadith are supporting each other and unanimously tell the same fact that women's testimonies are not allowed in Hudud cases.
These traditions are as under (link):
( ( 109 ) في شهادة النساء في الحدود )
28714 - حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا حفص وعباد بن العوام عن حجاج عن الزهري قال مضت السنة من رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم والخليفتين من بعده ألا تجوز شهادة النساء في الحدود
28715 - حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا بيان عن إبراهيم سئل عن ثلاثة شهدوا على رجل بالزنى وامرأتان وقال لاتجوز حتى يكونوا أربعة
28716 - حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا وكيع عن شعبة عن الحكم عن إبراهيم قال لا تجوز شهادة النساء في الطلاق والحدود
28717 - حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا عبد الرحيم بن سليمان عن مجالد عن عامر قال لا تجوز شهادة النساء في الحدود
28718 - حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا علي بن هاشم ووكيع عن زكريا عن الشعبي قال لا تجوز شهادة امرأة في حد ولا شهادة عبد
28719 - حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا عبد الأعلى عن يونس عن الحسن قال لا تجوز شهادة النساء في الحدود
28720 - حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا عبدة بن سليمان عن جويبر عن الضحاك قال لا تجوز شهادة النساء في حد ولا دم
28721 - حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا وكيع عن سفيان قال سمعت حمادا يقول لا تجوز شهادة النساء في الحدود
28722 - حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا معن بن عيسى عن بن أبي ذئب عن الزهري قال لا يجلد في شيء من الحدود إلا بشهادة رجلين
((109) Regarding the testimony of women in cases of crimes committed in Hudud Cases (like Zina, theft, robery, killing etc.)
28714 - Abu Bakr narrated to us, he said: Hafs and Ubaid bin Al-Awam narrated to us, from Hujaj, from Az-Zuhri, who said: "A year has passed since the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and the two Caliphs after him, and the testimony of women is not allowed in cases of crimes committed in Hudud."
28715 - Abu Bakr narrated to us, he said: Bayan narrated to us, from Ibrahim, who was asked about three people who testified against a man for adultery, and two women, he said: "It is not permissible until there are four (male) witnesses."
28716 - Abu Bakr narrated to us, he said: Wakee' narrated to us, from Shu'bah, from Al-Hakam, who said: "The testimony of women is not allowed in cases of divorce or crimes committed in Hudud."
28717 - Abu Bakr narrated to us, he said: Abdul-Rahim bin Sulaiman narrated to us, from Mujalid, from 'Aamir, who said: "The testimony of women is not allowed in cases of crimes committed in Hudud."
28718 - Abu Bakr narrated to us, he said: Ali bin Hashim and Wakee' narrated to us, from Zakariya, from Ash-Sha'bi, who said: "The testimony of a woman is not allowed in cases of crimes committed in Hudud, nor is the testimony of a slave."
28719 - Abu Bakr narrated to us, he said: Abdul-A'la narrated to us, from Yunus, from Al-Hasan, who said: "The testimony of women is not allowed in cases of crimes committed in Hudud."
28720 - Abu Bakr narrated to us, he said: 'Abdullah bin Sulaiman narrated to us, from Juwair, from Ad-Dahhak, who said: "The testimony of women is not allowed in cases of crimes committed in Hudud, nor is it allowed in cases of bloodshed."
28721 - Abu Bakr narrated to us, he said: Wakee' narrated to us, from Sufyan, who said: "I heard Hammad say: The testimony of women is not allowed in cases of crimes committed in Hudud."
28722 - Abu Bakr narrated to us, he said: Ma'n bin 'Isa narrated to us, from Ibn Abi Dhi'b, from Az-Zuhri, who said: "No one should be punished for any of the crimes committed in Hudud without the testimony of two men."
Moreover, these Ahadith are also supported from the facts that:
- There is not even a single hadith directly from Muhammad, which claims otherwise i.e. where Muhammad ever directly allowed the testimony of women in any Hudud case.
- And there is also not even a single incident during Muhammad's and later during Caliph's time, where any woman ever testified in any court in Hudud cases.
Please understand the tactics of Muslim apologists. They are themselves unable to provide a single hadith in their favour, but all they do is try to declare all those multiple Ahadith to be weak, which go against their wishes.
There has been an Ijma (i.e. unanimous decision) of all the Muslim Jurists and the whole Ummah of the last 14 centuries that the witness of women is not allowed in Hudud cases.
Actually, not a single Muslim woman ever testified in any Islamic court during the last 1400 years in any Hudud case.
Muslim women suffered a lot. There is not a single incident during the last 1400 years, where a Muslim woman was raped, and then any Islamic Court accepted her testimony in her own rape case.
Please think about it:
- What if theft took place at home, where only women were present and witnessed it?
- What if a murder took place at home in front of women only?
- Why can't they testify against the culprits and thieves if they are the sole witness?
- Does Islam consider all women to be totally BLIND (if not from eyes, then from the mind) that they could not identify the culprits?
And the case of rape is even more strange and the biggest madness, while:
- Women (who are raped) are the first eyewitness of this crime, but their own witness is rejected by Islam.
- Even worse, if they go to the courts to get justice, but fail to produce 4 men as eyewitnesses of their rape, then the Islamic court put those poor women in prison and lashed them 80 times in name of 'false Accusation/slander' against their rapists.
- Even if the poor woman does not go to Islami court, still her pregnancy can be used as proof against her: Cases of rape were converted into a case of adultery if a woman could not prove the rape. Her pregnancy and her reporting of rape were taken as her admission of fornication.
Madness!!! Madness!!! Madness!!!
Pakistani government imposed these Sharia laws in name of Hudud Ordinance in 1979 in the country. And the result was (link):
- Hundreds of women were sent to prison by the courts. Why? While they went to court for seeking justice after they were raped. But Pakistani Courts rejected their own testimonies while they were women. And since those women were unable to produce 4 men as eyewitnesses, thus, courts charged them with offence of making false slanders against their rapists.
- A permanent state of harassment for women: This law was used very successfully by the rapists to harass, exploit, control and blackmail the women.
- Moreover, investigation shows that women in jail on charges of Zina had been put there by their own fathers, brothers and husbands. It was used to torment women who marry of their choice, wives wishing to get a divorce, divorced women wishing to re-marry or who try to get custody of the children etc.
It is an unbelievably big oppression of Islam against women!!!
Remember, this is 1400 years long history of oppression of Islam against women.
You cannot find a SINGLE case in the last 1400 years of documented history of Islam, where a woman was raped, and then she was able to get justice through any Islamic court while they rejected their witnesses for being a woman, and there were never 4 male eyewitnesses present as she was raped. There were a few cases where the rapists themselves accepted their crime and thus punished, but no raped woman was able to produce 4 men as eyewitnesses during the last 1400 years.
First Reason for depriving women of their testimonies: Muhammad deemed them to be deficient in memory and deficient in intelligence
Muhammad deprived women of their testimonies completely in Hudud cases, and made their testimonies half in financial matters, while he believed that:
- Women are deficient in memory and they forget often.
- And women are also deficient in intelligence.
O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him fear Allah, his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs (through forgetfulness), then the other can remind her.
Allah's messenger (ﷺ) said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."
Muhammad considered women as creatures with low intelligence and memory. But still, women were allowed to have their own wealth and to manage their finances (perhaps Muhammad was unable to deny them this right while his first wife Khadija had her own wealth and she fed Muhammad through it when he was poor). Therefore, if women were managing their own finances, then there was no reason to deny their testimony in financial matters. Nevertheless, still Muhammad decreased the value of their testimony to half in the financial matters too.
And as far as Hudud's cases are concerned, then Muhammad considered them too low in intelligence and memory to be considered worthy enough to testify in these cases.
If women have a bad memory or forget or easily err and are deficient in intelligence, then 'Aisha and other female companions must have told many wrong Ahadith.
These contradictions appear in Islam while there is no Allah sitting in the heavens, and all these revelations were only made by Muhammad himself. Thus, we see these contradictions and human mistakes in the revelation.
Second Reason for depriving women/slaves of their testimonies: Muhammad discriminated against people on the basis of their STATUS
Muhammad considered women to be lower in status than men.
ٱلرِّجَالُ قَوَّٰمُونَ عَلَى ٱلنِّسَآءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ ٱللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَآ أَنفَقُوا۟ مِنْ أَمْوَٰلِهِمْ
Men stand superior to women in that God hath preferred some of them over others, and in that they expend of their wealth.
It is also proven by the fact that Muhammad also deprived the slaves (even the male slaves) and the non-Muslims of their testimonies, while he considered them to be lower in status than the free Muslims.
Imam Shafii wrote in his book “Ahkam-ul-Quran, vol 2, page 142 (link):
And the testimony should be from the free men, and not from the slaves. Similarly, these free men should be the follower of our religion (i.e. they should be Muslims), while the testimony of non-Muslims free men is not accepted
Imam Abdullah Ibn Abi Zayd writes in his Fiqh Book (link):
ولا تجوز شهادة المحدود ولا شهادة عبد ولا صبي ولا كافر
The testimony of someone who has been given a fixed punishment, or of a slave, a minor or a Kafir, is inadmissible.
A male slave and a male Kafir didn't suffer from deficiency of memory and intelligence according to Muhammad, but it is their lower status which Muhammad used in order to discriminate against them and deprive them of their testimonies.
There were people who used to force their slave girls into prostitution.
When those slave girls complained to Muhammad, then he didn't punish their owners for compelling them to fornication.
But why didn't he punish them?
The answer is, that the witness of those slave girls was not admissible in Islamic courts.
This incident is present in the Quran itself.
And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, if they desire chastity, to seek [thereby] the temporary interests of worldly life. And if someone should compel them, then indeed, Allah is [to them], after their compulsion, Forgiving and Merciful.
Sunnan Abu Dawud, Kitab-ul-Talaq (link):
Musaykah, a slave-girl of some Ansari, came and said: My owner forces me to commit fornication (in order to earn money from it). Thereupon the following verse was revealed: "(Quran 24:33) And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, if they desire chastity, to seek [thereby] the temporary interests of worldly life. And if someone should compel them, then indeed, Allah is [to them], after their compulsion, Forgiving and Merciful."
Actually, slaves are absolutely not allowed to go to court against their owners in any matter.
Therefore, a slave girl could cry as much as she can about her rape, but her witness is not accepted in any Islamic court, which makes it impossible to punish her owner.
That is why, the writer of the Quran (i.e. Muhammad), at maximum, only recommended the owners not to force the slave women into fornication, but he was unable to punish the owners for forcing their slave girls into prostitution.
Muhammad blamed women for having low memory and low intelligence. But Muslim apologists added one blame from their own pockets i.e. Women's testimony is rejected in hudud cases (or it is half in financial matters) while they are emotional and make mistakes while testifying due to their emotions.
But contrary to this claim by Muslim apologists, we have data of several millions of testimonies of women in non-Muslim countries, and nowhere it is suggested that women were making mistakes in their testimonies due to emotions.
Therefore, Muslim apologists don't have to come up with empty conjectures from their own pockets that women make mistakes in their testimonies due to their emotions, but they have to bring scientific studies which support their claim.
Note: The question is not if women are emotional or not, but the question is if women are emotional to the extent where they become unable to testify and where they make mistakes on that huge level where the disadvantages of their testimonies outperform the advantages of their testimonies.
Ghamidi came out with this excuse regarding 2 female witnesses as compared to 1 male witness (link):
Islam asks for two female witnesses against one male in the case of financial transactions as a means of relaxation of responsibility as it is not very suited to their temperament, sphere of interest, and usual environment.
As compared to this conjecture of Ghamidi, the holy prophet of Muslims himself told that the testimony of a woman is half while they are deficient in intelligence. While Quran gave the reason that women err due to their deficiency in memory.
So, who is correct here? Ghamidi or Prophet Muhammad/Quran?
The truth is, all these 3 are wrong. The data of witnesses of millions of women in non-Muslim countries prove that:
- Neither are they deficient in intelligence.
- Nor do they err due to memory
- Nor do they need any so-called relaxation of responsibility, so that their single half testimony is rejected without the support of 2nd woman.
This rejection of the witness of a single woman is not called a relaxation in responsibility, but a burden upon her, as she has to carry another woman along with her in order to complete her singular half-witness. And it is a burden upon the second woman while she is compelled to go the court against her temperament, sphere of interest, and usual environment.
Muslim apologists also bring this one tradition in their defence:
Furthermore, some hadith record the presence of only single female testimonies in the cases of one murder and the assassination of Caliph Uthman. Respectively, the acceptance of these testimonies resulted in the death penalty for the murderer and start of a campaign against the state.
Citing this singular incident is again a deception from Muslim apologists.
Neither was any court held, nor the wife of Uthman (i.e. Naila) was asked to bring her testimony there.
It was not the case of murder and witness, but it was the case of Hirabah (i.e. treason). And there were hundreds and thousands of people from Uthman's family (Banu Umayya), who were witnesses to this treason.
Therefore, the fact remains the same during Muhammad's era, or era of his caliphs, or during the last 14 centuries, the testimony of a Muslim woman was never accepted in any Islamic court in any case of Hudud.
Muslim apologists bring this argument (link):
According to Averroes (i.e. Ibn Rushd), certain scholars said that in these cases a woman's testimony is unacceptable regardless of whether they testify alongside male witnesses. However, he writes that the school of thought known as the Zahiris believe that if two or more women testify alongside a male witness, then (as in cases regarding financial transactions, discussed above), their testimony is acceptable.
Ibn Rushd. Bidayatu’l-Mujtahid, 1st ed., vol. 4, (Beirut: Daru’l-Ma‘rifah, 1997), p. 311 ...
Furthermore, some hadith record the presence of only single female testimonies in the cases of one murder and the assassination of Caliph Uthman. Respectively, the acceptance of these testimonies resulted in the death penalty for the murderer and start of a campaign against the state.
If it is true, then it is good that few Zahiri scholars accepted women's testimony. Any sane person with some logic will automatically reject this injustice against women. Nevertheless, it has nothing to do with Islam, as the Quran and Muhammad and his Caliphs never accepted their testimony and never let them witness the whole of their lives. Islam is what Quran and Muhammad said, and not what few Zahiri scholars later said (provided they really said it).
Who were those Zahiri scholars actually? Why are their names not given and why is it not told what they wrote? It is only a vague statement.
How many centuries after Muhammad those Zahiri scholars came (like Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim came 7 centuries after Muhammad)?
Did any Zahiri scholar before them accept women's testimony too? If not, why then they went against the Ijma of Islamic scholars (including Zahiris) before them?
What was their proof from Quran & Sunnah? As we already have Quranic verses and Ahadith, which all are unanimous about women having no right to testimony in Hudud cases.
Without any proof from Quran/Hadith, how can merely a CONJECTURE by any Zahiri or non-Zahiri scholar defend Islam in this case?
Did women in their era, or after their era, testify in Islamic courts in Hudud cases? In fact, even if they did after their era, still it is not going to save Islam itself from this injustice again women, while Islam is Quran and what Muhammad did, and not what later any Zahiri scholar said, based upon his own conjecture.
As far as proof from Quran and Hadith is concerned, then there exists no proof of women having any right to testify.
At maximum, present-day Muslim apologists are able to bring up the incident of the killing of Uthman and her wife Naila. But we have already discussed in detail above that this claim is false while neither any court was held, nor Naila ever testified it there. But it was the case of Hiraba for which there were thousands of (male) witnesses were present.
Muslim apologists also come up with this excuse today:
Even if Islamic courts don't give the stipulated Hudud Punishments in case of murder, theft, fornication etc., but still they can give Tazir (i.e. is a lighter punishments) in light of witnesses of women, or in case if less than 4 witnesses are present in cases of fornication and rape. For example, the stipulated punishment of fornication (known as Hadd) in presence of 4 male witnesses is 100 lashes. But if only 4 female witnesses are present, then an Islamic court can give half the punishment (i.e. 50 lashes).
Firstly, Tazir in Hudud cases (i.e. murder, rape, fornication, theft ...) is a Biddah (a newly invented thing in Islam).
There was no concept of Tazir punishments in Hudud cases in the mind of Muhammad (or Allah, if He really exists and is different from Muhammad). That is why neither Quran ever mentioned Tazir nor ever mentioned that it is a substitute system in the absence of male witnesses. And Muhammad never let any woman testify in cases of Hudud in his whole life, neither for full Hadd punishment nor for any lighter Tazir punishment.
And after Muhammad, Abu Bakr and Umar and then the whole Ummah too in the last 1400 years never let any woman testify in Islamic courts neither for Hadd punishment nor for any lighter Tazir punishment.
It is only in this century (rather only a few years ago) that they introduced the use of Tazir punishments in Hudud cases in light of testimonies of women. In Pakistan, only in 2006, a Bill was presented in the National Assembly for introducing Tazir punishments in cases of Hudud where women were also allowed to testify (link). Even then Muslim scholars were deadly against it, but human rights groups and women put a lot of pressure, and in the end, they had to change the Sharia rules and made the witness of women admissible in cases of Hudud too (link).
Moreover, law experts also point out how ridiculous the Islamic system of punishment becomes due to these two parallel systems of Hadd and Tazir. There are 2 different punishments for the same crime. According to experts, in the eyes of law either a crime has 100% taken place, or 100% didn't happen. There is no such thing as 50% or 60% or 70% crime and thus only 50% punishment or 60% punishment. In case of doubt, you could not punish any human being. But this parallel system of Islam says if witnesses are females, then reduce the punishment for the same crime to half.
These contradictions in the Islamic system of law are happening only due to reason that there is no All-Wise and All-Knowing Allah sitting in the heavens, but all those revelations were made by Muhammad himself. And while he was a human being (and not all-wise), thus we see these human errors in Sharia laws.