What is The Minimum Number Required For Mutawaatir
Some scholars have attempted to specify a minimum, varying from as low as four, to as many as twenty, forty and seventy up into the hundreds. All of these figures are based on analogies (qiyaas).
Opinion 1) The required number of four is based on the similar number of witnesses that constitues legal proof. Allaah says, “And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever, they indeed are the Fasiqun (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [24:4] Based on this aayah, they say that 4 witnesses constitutes undoubted proof.
Opinion 2) Twenty is analogous with the Quraanic aayah, “If there are twenty steadfast men among you, they will overcome two hundred (fighters).” [8:65] The first one to speculate twenty was a Mu’tazilee by the name of Aboo Al-Hudhayl, he said regarding this aayah, “They cannot fight unless they represent a number that establishes them as proof against their enemy.”
Opinion 3) The next number, that is seventy, represents an analogy with another Quraanic passage where we read that, “Moses chose seventy men among his people for an appointment with Us.” [7:155] Thus proving that seventy was required to constitute a decisive proof.
Opinion 4) Some have drawn an analogy with the number of participants in the battle of Badr.
[See “Principles Of Islaamic Jurisprudence”, by Muhammad Haashim Kamali, p.93, and “The Sunnah, And Its Role In Islaamic Legislation”, by Mustafa As-Sibaa’ee, p.196]