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In the Name of God بسم الله
Jaf

Sex With Slaves ?

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I seem to be running out of arguments when someone asks me why did Quran allow sex with a female slave without wedlock ? :unsure: I know slavery does not exist any longer therefore those Islamic laws are no longer valid right ? I am extremely confused. They tell me it's forced sex ? If the master was also allowed to have sex with a slave without her will too ?

By the way, The female masters were also allowed to have sex with their male slaves without wedlock ? :squeez: :squeez: :squeez:

Please If you don't want to reply in details here, then only refer to me to specific posts instead of threads :)

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Anyone Please. I would greatly appreciate your help. I tried to search the forum but could not find any thread. alright now you can refer me to the threads where this topic was discussed :)

Edited by Jaf

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As far as I know, there are two categories of slaves where one is, in Qur'anic terms "that which your right hand possesses" and your regular working slave. If you sleep with your slave, then she is considered that which "your right hand possesses" and you are thus not allowed to sell her (but only free her) and the general rules of marriage apply. If she is of the other category, then you don't sleep with her and you can sell her.

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If you sleep with your slave, then she is considered that which "your right hand possesses" and you are thus not allowed to sell her (but only free her)

Do you have the reference for that, by any chance? I've heard this too, but I've not seen the ahadith that mention this.

and the general rules of marriage apply.

The rules for slave-girls are actually somewhat different than that for free women, from what I've read.

The waiting period of a temporarily married woman is equal to that of slave-girl which is

different from the permanent married woman since temporary marriage is a

"weaker" marriage much the same as marriage with slave-girl is a "weaker"

marriage.

Imam al-Baqir (as) said:

"The waiting period of a divorced (free) woman is three months, ...

and what is required of a wife by Mut'a is the same as what is

required of a slave." (Wasa'il al-Shia, v14, p484)

It has been narrated from both Imam Baqir (as) and Imam Musa (as) that:

"To divorce a slave, one must pronounce the formula of divorce twice;

her waiting period is two menstrual periods." (Wasa'il al-Shia, v15,

p469).

http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/shia6a.txt

As for the original poster's questions, I don't really know what there is to discuss here. It is a fact that Islam does allow sexual relations with slave-girls out of wedlock. In fact, a slave owner can have sex with a slave-girl who is already married to someone else as well. ([4:24] Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess)

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As far as I know, there are two categories of slaves where one is, in Qur'anic terms "that which your right hand possesses" and your regular working slave. If you sleep with your slave, then she is considered that which "your right hand possesses" and you are thus not allowed to sell her (but only free her) and the general rules of marriage apply. If she is of the other category, then you don't sleep with her and you can sell her.

Thanks for your reply. But you didn't reply the basic questions asked in my post. Which are often raised by anti-islamic groups of people. And one of them asked me, and seriously i didn't have any tangible argument to present in that debate, call it my ignorance, therefore i started this thread here. and I am seriously shocked that noone from the admins/mods/ or other knowledgeable people here so far replied to it or referred to me a specific thread where it was discussed.

I meant What do our scholars say, why did God allow us to have sex with slaves out of wedlock ? 2nd was the permission of slave necessary to have sex with her ? Were the female masters were also allowed to have sex with male slaves which i pretty much doubt but just asking since these topics are not discussed very often on any religious forums.

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As for the original poster's questions, I don't really know what there is to discuss here. It is a fact that Islam does allow sexual relations with slave-girls out of wedlock. In fact, a slave owner can have sex with a slave-girl who is already married to someone else as well. ([4:24] Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess)

Bro, it's further confusing what you have revealed to me. That we Muslims were allowed to have sex with a married slave girl as well. :unsure: :wacko:

alright, the reason is don't you find it 'confusing' or 'disturbing' at least i do, I need to know the reason behind it. Also when a non-Muslim ask that Islam allow forced sex or as they call it 'rape' of women how do we reply to this argument. I was asked the very same question and honestly i was disturbed by his arguments, therefore I am trying to get answer, because I believe there would be some good logic behind it and our scholars might have explained it. :unsure:

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Bro, it's further confusing what you have revealed to me. That we Muslims were allowed to have sex with a married slave girl as well. :unsure: :wacko:

alright, the reason is don't you find it 'confusing' or 'disturbing' at least i do, I need to know the reason behind it. Also when a non-Muslim ask that Islam allow forced sex or as they call it 'rape' of women how do we reply to this argument. I was asked the very same question and honestly i was disturbed by his arguments, therefore I am trying to get answer, because I believe there would be some good logic behind it and our scholars might have explained it. :unsure:

When you say 'slave girls' I believe you are refering to women who fall under the category of 'mulk al yamin' (possesions of the right hand, a literal translation which doesn't mean anything in English). The English word 'slave girl' is much different from the term 'mulk al yamin'. From what I know, mulk al yamin were women who were captured during wartime, flead their non muslim husbands after they had become muslim and their husbands refused to accept Islam, or women who became dislocated and homeless due to a general war and disorder (refugee women who had lost contact with their husbands). These were basically women who had no husband or protector and thus care for them was assigned to certain men who were capable of taking care of them. You have to remember that at the time of the Prophet(p.b.u.h) and early Islamic ages, most women were not able to be self sufficient due to various circumstances and had to rely on a husband/protector in order to survive. A single women in those days with no male relatives or a husband to protect her would have become the actual slave or worse of anyone, maybe a non beliving male, so Rasoulallah designating these women as 'mulk al yamin' was actually a much better position for them than the alternative, which would probably be exploitation and then death, due to social circumstances at that time.

I think in this particular case, times are now different and it is very possible for a women to be self sufficient and there are not many women these days that fit into the category of 'mulk al yamin' so the term is not often discussed and that is probably why there are many people that have no idea even what this term means.Of course, this could change if there is a general war and disruption that is worldwide in nature and throws us back into a time that is reminiscent of earlier days.

This could very well happen but is not the case at the present moment.

So Christian groups mistranslate 'mulk al yamin' as 'slave girl' and exploit muslims lack of knowledge of this subject in order to build fictitious scenarios in which a muslim man is allowed to have 'sex slaves'. This is not the case at all and even women who were 'mulk al yamin' had rights and responsibilities that were outlined in hadith and do not include what the Christian fundamentalists and propagandists imagine. If some brothers could post ahadith concerning the status of 'mulk al yamin; it would probably clear things up. I don't have time to do a search right now but may post later if requested. Salams

Edited by Abu Hadi

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@abu hadi, Thanks for your reply and it clarifies the confusion to a great degree. I appreciate it, Yes they were referring to what right hand possess verses which i knew but frankly didn't have much knowledge about that all i could figure it referred to slaves owned by someone. So you mean only those women who were captured during war times (displaced etc) were allowed to have sex with ? not the other slaves which people used to buy or gifted etc ?

2ndly as above member posted that we Muslims were allowed to have sex with married slave girls ? i guess he is misinterpreting the verses right ?

Edited by Jaf

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(bismillah)

I just thought that I would add to the discussion by including a modern Sunni commentator, Muhammad Asad, and his thoughts on this term. Below is the verses (his translation) and relevant commentary.

4:24

And [forbidden to you are] all married women other than those whom you rightfully possess [through wedlock]:26 this is God's ordinance, binding upon you. But lawful to you are all [women] beyond these, for you to seek out, offering them of your possessions,27 taking them in honest wedlock, and not in fornication. And unto those with whom you desire to enjoy marriage, you shall give the dowers due to them; but you will incur no sin if, after [having agreed upon] this lawful due, you freely agree with one another upon anything [else]:28 behold, God is indeed all-knowing, wise.

COMMENTARY

26 The term muhsanah signifies literally "a woman who is fortified [against unchastity]", and carries three senses: (1) "a married woman", (2) "a chaste woman", and (3) "a free woman". According to almost all the authorities, al-muhsanat denotes in the above context "married women". As for the expression ma malakat aymanukum ("those whom your right hands

possess", i.e., "those whom you rightfully possess"), it is often taken to mean female slaves captured in a war in God's cause (see in this connection 8:67, and the corresponding note). The commentators who choose this meaning hold that such slave-girls can be taken in marriage irrespective of whether they have husbands in the country of their origin or not. However, quite apart from the fundamental differences of opinion, even among the Companions of the Prophet, regarding the legality of such a marriage, some of the most outstanding commentators hold the view that ma malakat aymanukum denotes here "women whom you rightfully possess

through wedlock"; thus Razi in his commentary on this verse, and Tabari in one of his alternative explanations (going back to 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abbas, Mujahid, and others). Razi, in particular, points out that the reference to "all married women" (al-muhsanat min an-nisa'), coming as it does after the enumeration of prohibited degrees of relationship, is meant to stress the prohibition of sexual relations with any woman other than one's lawful wife.

4:25

And as for those of you who, owing to circumstances, are not in a position29 to marry free believing women, [let them marry] believing maidens from among those whom you rightfully possess.30 And God knows all about your faith; each one of you is an issue of the other.31 Marry them, then, with their people's leave, and give them their dowers in an equitable manner - they being women who give themselves in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love- companions.32 And when they are married, and thereafter become guilty of immoral conduct, they shall be liable to half the penalty to which free married women are liable.33 This [permission to marry slave-girls applies] to those of you who fear lest they stumble into evil.34 But it is for your own good to persevere in patience [and to abstain from such marriages]: and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.

27 Lit., "with your possessions" - i.e., offering them, as the Law demands, an appropriate dower.

28 Cf. verse 4 of this surah, and the corresponding note.

29 The phrase lam yastati tawlan is often taken to mean "he is not in a position to afford", i.e., in the financial sense; but Muhammad 'Abduh very convincingly expresses the view that it applies to all manner of preventive circumstances, be they of a material, personal or social nature (Manar V, 19).

30 In this context, ma malakat aymanukum (lit., "those whom your right hands possess") denotes women who were captured in a holy war and have subsequently embraced Islam. In the above phrase, the pronoun "you" refers to the community as a whole.

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@ OP

if you are asking because you yourself want to understand this issue, then I'm willing to answer (although it really is a difficult subject).

If, however, as you're indicating are willing to discuss this just because some anti-Islam people are bugging you, then there's really no need.

Because if those were Christians, then they know the Bible allows slavery (even selling YOUR OWN daughter to slavery) and yet they're being extremely hypocritical about it... if those are Atheists, then there's no point of discussing with them, because nothing less than your total rejection of religion would satisfy them.

regards.

Edited by individualist

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So you mean only those women who were captured during war times (displaced etc) were allowed to have sex with ? not the other slaves which people used to buy or gifted etc ?

Let me clarify something first. There is no such a thing in Islam as sex without marriage. The only difference between the groups, free women, slave women, and mulk al yamin is the conditions for marriage.

As far as if you are allowed to marry a slave girl, which is purchased, and then have sex with her, I don't know. Maybe some more knowledgeable br and sis could answer that question.

Since I do not own any slaves and noone that I ever have known or met has owned slaves, it has never been an issue that has come up. In this day and age, I do not believe that a mu'min person would ever own or trade a slave and as for non mu'min people who might own slaves, they probably would not care whether it was halal or not to marry them or have sex with them. See why it is not really an issue?

During the time of the Prophet(p.b.u.h) and Imams(a.s), it was sometimes necessary to own slaves and purchase them because of the fact that there was no such a thing at that times as employee/employer, unions, bill of rights, etc. Islam was actually the first religion to introduce the idea of selling your labor and skills in an open market as opposed to conquering and exploiting people as slaves.

Some people said the Imams had slaves. It is true that sometimes the Imams(a.s) purchased people that were being sold as slaves, but they definitely did not treat them as slaves. After being purchased, the Imams paid these people, taught them, housed them in the same house that they lived in, clothed them with the same cloths that they wore, and fed them with the same food that they ate. After their terms of employement were finished, they freed them and most of the time the 'slaves' refused to leave but wanted to stay on voluntarily to serve the Imams(a.s). Does that sound like slavery to you? Yet the fact that they were purchased is used by some groups to denigrate the position of the Imams. At the time of the Imams, there was no such a thing as employement contracts since the vast majority of the people were illiterate.

If you needed work done, and there weren't enough people in your immediate family to complete the task, the only option was to purchase someone for the job. There was no monster.com or employement agencies, lol.

As for mulk al yamin, they were in a different category from slaves since they were'nt purchased for a specific task but were women who were without protection from a husband or relatives and were thus vunerable given the social conditions at the time. Like I said before, these women were given to muslim men who had the ability to care for them. Some of these women had non muslim husbands that they had left, some of them were widows, and some of them had lost contact with their husbands and did not know if they were alive or dead. In normal circumstances, a married women is off limits to a muslim man. If they are mulk al yamin, it means that their marriage is not considered legitimate in Islam (married to a kaafir or mushrik) or that their marital status is not known and so in order for them to maintain their dignity, be protected, and have a somewhat normal life, they were allowed to be married to muslim men, and then the men could have sex with them. If I am wrong, someone please correct me but this is how I understand the issue.

2ndly as above member posted that we Muslims were allowed to have sex with married slave girls ? i guess he is misinterpreting the verses right ?

As I said above, I am not sure but some of this is addressed above.

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@ OP

if you are asking because you yourself want to understand this issue, then I'm willing to answer (although it really is a difficult subject).

If, however, as you're indicating are willing to discuss this just because some anti-Islam people are bugging you, then there's really no need.

Because if those were Christians, then they know the Bible allows slavery (even selling YOUR OWN daughter to slavery) and yet they're being extremely hypocritical about it... if those are Atheists, then there's no point of discussing with them, because nothing less than your total rejection of religion would satisfy them.

regards.

Yes bro I got your point. However i also wanted to learn. Because I kindda got myself confused. :blush: So it's better to ask your fellow Muslims brothers if you don't know something. that's why i started this thread. :)

And since this does not relate to Sunni or Shia Islam I won't mind if anyone can link to sources which are even Sunni. Meanwhile i found an article on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_slavery which says Slaves benefited from Islamic dispensations which improved their situation relative to that in pre-Islamic society. that alone is enough to burst the bubble of Christians etc. However i also wanted to get educated myself :)

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Thanks for your efforts and reply. It's very much helpful. I was not confused about slavery, i know it was a common thing in that time. I was rather confused of having sex with them. because it really complicates this issue esp., when it's out of wedlock then another question arises if the permission is required or not ? and so on. Like in marriage woman has already given her permission to have sex with her. I also understand this issue looks more complicated because it relates to a time that we don't live in.

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From what I know, mulk al yamin were women who were captured during wartime, flead their non muslim husbands after they had become muslim and their husbands refused to accept Islam, or women who became dislocated and homeless due to a general war and disorder (refugee women who had lost contact with their husbands).

Actually, mulk al yamin are only the non-Muslim women who were captured as prisoners of war. Muslim women who fled from their non-Muslim husbands, or Muslim women who became homeless or lost their husbands were not counted as mulk al-yameen and could not be given such a status in Islam.

I seriously doubt that sex with a married person can possibly be allowed. Is that what Tafseer also says ?

Which tafseer?

Bro, it's further confusing what you have revealed to me. That we Muslims were allowed to have sex with a married slave girl as well. :unsure: :wacko:

Yeah, I never liked this either. I know for sure that Muslim men could have sex with the females who were captured as prisoners of war (in wars against non-Muslims) even if their non-Muslim husbands were still alive, since their marriage was annulled by Islamic law upon being captured. But I'm not sure whether Muslim men were allowed to have sex with other types of slave girls who, for example, were purchased by them.

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Well this is what the Tafseer of Agha Pooya says for ayat 4:24 (usually one of the most commonly accepted commentaries)

"Save those whom your right hands own" signifies "such married women as shall come in your possession as prisoners of war". Such women, when not taken back on payment of ransom or through negotiation, are lawful as wives, even though their previous marriage has not been formally dissolved, provided the infidel woman becomes a Muslim.

So no, fyst isn't making things up.

I don't really have a way of justifying the institutionalizing of slavery in Islam, but if you look at the social circumstances of Arabia during the time of the Prophet, slave women were really mistreated. Institutionalizing slavery, while unfair in nature, actually helped regulate the way masters could treat slave women - and they were treated much better in Islamic Arabia due to the laws in the Quran than any other western country at the time.

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