Islam on slave girls/concubines

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Islam on slave girls/concubines

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  1. #1
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    Default Islam on slave girls/concubines








    It is true that a lot of people push this subject ‘under the rug’ and do not understand it or are sometimes ashamed of this concept. That is because, today’s society and behavior is absolutely different from the conditions prevalent 1500 years ago at the time of Revelation of the Quran. There is no place on earth where this concept is practiced today, thus to really understand the concept in its entirety, we must try to imagine the times of the Revelation of the Glorious Quran.





    Since time immemorial, slavery was an accepted practice; thus it was not Islam that started this practice, but rather Islam was the first system to inculcate the freedom of slaves and take steps to make them equal citizens of society. Slavery was abolished in modern society only a couple of centuries ago, and was openly practiced in almost all parts of the civilized world even until the early 1900s. But Islam made it a virtue to free slaves, and inculcate them into society as equal citizens, almost 1500 years ago



    The prophet said regarding the rights of slaves:



    Your servants and your slaves are your brothers. Anyone who has slaves should give them from what he eats and wears. He should not charge them with work beyond their capabilities. If you must set them to hard work, in any case I advise you to help them.



    Source: Bukhari, Iman, 22; Adab, 44; Muslim, Iman, 38–40; Abu Dawud, Adab, 124



    Ali reported that the last words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, were: "The prayer! The prayer! Fear Allah concerning your slaves ! "



    Source: Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari , Nr. 158.



    · Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, advised that slaves should be well-treated. He said, 'Feed them from what you eat and clothe them from what you wear. Do not punish what Allah has created.' "



    Source: Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari , Nr. 188.



    · Sallam ibn 'Amr reported from one of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Your slaves are your brothers, so treat him well. Ask for their help in what is too much for you and help them in what is too much for them."



    Source: Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari , Nr. 190.



    · Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The slave has his food and clothing. Do not burden a slave with work which he is incapable of doing."



    Source: Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari , Nr. 192.



    Not one of you should [ when introducing someone ] say ‘This is my slave’ , ‘This is my concubine’. He should call them ‘my daughter’ or ‘my son’ or ‘my brother’.



    Source: Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 2 ,4



    For this reason ‘Umar and his servant took it in turns to ride on the camel from Madina to Jerusalem on their journey to take control of Masjid al-Aqsa. While he was the head of the state, ‘Uthman had his servant pull his own ears in front of the people since he had pulled his. Abu Dharr, applying the hadith literally, made his servant wear one half of his suit while he himself wore the other half. From these instances, it was being demonstrated to succeeding generations of Muslims, and a pattern of conduct established, that a slave is fully a human being, not different from other people in his need for respect and dignity and justice.



    "The masters were obliged not to put slaves under hardship; slaves were not to be tortured, abused or treated unjustly. They could marry among “themselves with their master's permission - or with free men or women ! They could appear as witnesses and participate with free men in all “affairs. Many of them were appointed as governors, commanders of army and administrators. In the eyes of Islam, a pious slave has precedence over “an impious free man." Source: Al-Tabataba'i, Tafsir ( vol.16, pp. 338-358 )



    The Prophet, had stipulated in his "last pilgrimage" speech:



    "And your slaves ! see that you feed them such food as you eat yourselves and dress them what you yourself wear. And if they commit a “mistake which you are not inclined to forgive then sell them, for they are the servants of Allah and are not to be tormented! "



    Source: Ibn Sa'd, op. cit., vol. II:1, p. 133



    "Serve God, and join not any partners with Him ; and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours “who are strangers, the Companion by your side, the way-farer (ye meet), And what your right hands possess : for God loveth not the arrogant, the “vainglorious" Surah An Nisa, verse 36



    The phrase "What your right hands possess" refers to one’s slaves (male and female). Allah swt ordains the kind treatment of slaves in the same verse where He commands man to worship Him and to treat his parents, relations and neighbours generously, and this signifies the importance of this ruling.



    What were the rights of concubines?



    The status was similar to that of wife. The children were exactly like the other children from the person’s legally wedded wife. They were to be given exactly the same rights as his other children. The children of the slave girl would inherit the property exactly as the other children. There was absolutely no difference amongst the children. And once any slave girl bore a child, she could not be sold to anybody else and thus became a permanent member of the household.



    Then you will probably ask how is this any different from the modern days concept of a mistress/prostitution/adultery?



    There is a huge difference between the slave girls of those times and the system of prostitution which is so prevalent as a disease in today’s society.



    The slave girl was a social issue of the times, which if not solved by Islam would give rise to adultery and prostitution. In prostitution, the woman sells here services for a fee to anyone who is willing to pay. The slave girl was taken into a household as a full member.



    In prostitution, the woman has sexual relationships with many men. The slave girl would have sexual relations only with the person she was given to; very similar to the husband-wife relationship, the only difference being that the wife came into the house through a marriage contract, and the slave girl was allotted to the person by the state.



    Prostitution is a result of illegal lust, and is a huge sin in the eyes of Allah.


    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

  2. #2
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    The allocation of slave girls was a issue of the times to envelope the woman taken as slaves in a war into the Islamic society. Prostitution and adultery do not have any responsibility attached to it. The man- woman have a one-off relationship and depart. The slave girls were a responsibility of the person, who spent on them, gave them a place to live, fed them, clothed them, and raised their children as his children.



    The children from adultery and prostitution are regarded as born out of wedlock and grow up without the name and without the shadow of a father. The children of the slave girls were known as the children of the person, grew up with his other children, and had exactly the same rights and inheritance as the other offspring. The system of slave girls was accepted and respected by the Islamic society of the times. The slave girl was treated like his wife, and the children from these slave girls were treated like their children by society. No religion, no state, no moral society accepts and respects the institutions of prostitution and adultery. This is a disease of society and every moral society has tried to eradicate this disease with little success.



    Despite this, it was not simply a case of forcing someone into having sex to satisfy your desires.



    Below are three English translations to the Verse where Allah commands the Muslim men to not force their slave women into sex.



    The following translations were taken from http://mama.stg.brown.edu/webs/quran...r/pqeasy.shtml



    Translation: Yusufali:



    "Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until God gives them means out of His grace. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which God has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is God, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them), (The Noble Quran, 24:33)"



    Translation: Pickthall:



    "And let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till Allah give them independence by His grace. And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), write it for them if ye are aware of aught of good in them, and bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He hath bestowed upon you. Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful. (The Noble Quran, 24:33)"



    Translation: Shakir:



    "And let those who do not find the means to marry keep chaste until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace. And (as for) those who ask for a writing from among those whom your right hands possess, give them the writing if you know any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah which He has given you; and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world's life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (The Noble Quran, 24:33)"



    In all three translations, we clearly see that if the slave woman desires to keep chaste, then her Muslim master must not compel her into sex. It might sound odd to us today, but pagans back then were used to having sex with and raping their slave girls, even the ones who were married:



    Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah: "Musaykah, a slave-girl of some Ansari, came and said: My master forces me to commit fornication. Thereupon the following verse was revealed: "But force not your maids to prostitution (when they desire chastity). (24:33)" (Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud, Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Book 12, Number 2304)"



    So to women back then, it was something normal for a married slave woman to sleep with her master. It was something normal in the society at that time.



    Allah Almighty in the Noble Quran not only allows for the slave man or woman to earn their freedom from their Muslim master, and receive money from their Muslim master to help them start their free life, but also commands the Muslim men to not compel their slave women into sex.

    Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him also said:



    Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari: "The Prophet said, "Give food to the hungry, pay a visit to the sick and release (set free) the one in captivity (by paying his ransom)." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Food, Meals, Volume 7, Book 65, Number 286)"



    Islam came to liberate all slaves and to end the Judeo-Christian and Pagan slavery that was practiced before Islam. When Allah Almighty made lawful for the Muslim men to have sex with their slave women, He did it to keep the Islamic society back then during Islam's weak, partial and venerable times under control.



    Also, if any compulsion was made unto the slave woman, then Allah Almighty will add more mercy and forgiveness unto her in the Day of Judgement. Below is the commentary on this exact section and point in Noble Verse 24:33 by Minister (Sheikh) Abdullah Yusuf Ali; may Allah Almighty rest his soul:



    "The poor unfortunate girls, who are victims of such a nefarious trade (i.e., slave trade), will yet find mercy from Allah, whose bounties extend to the lowest of His creatures."



    When Islam was reveled to Prophet Muhammad, slavery was a worldwide common social phenomenon; it was much older than Islam. Slavery was deeply rooted in every society to the extent that it was impossible to imagine a civilized society without slaves.



    In spite of this social fact, Islam was the first religion to recognize slavery as a social illness that needed to be addressed. Since slavery was deeply rooted in the society, Islam did not abolish it at once. Rather, Islam treated slavery in the same manner it treated other social illnesses. Islam followed the same methodology of gradual elimination in dealing with this social disease as it did with other social illnesses, for example: the prohibition of alcohol in three steps.



    Concerning having slave women, we would like to let you know that it happens to be a practice necessitated by the condition in which early Muslims found themselves vis-à-vis non-Muslims, as both parties engaged in wars. Slave women or milk al-yameen are referred to in the Qur'an as “Those whom your right hand possess” or “ma malakat aymanukum”; they are those taken as captives during conquests and subsequently became slaves, or those who were descendants of slaves.



    Thus, it was a war custom in the past to take men and women as captives and then turn them into slaves. Islam did not initiate it, rather, it was something in practice long ago before the advent of Islam. And when Islam came, it tried to eradicate this practice, bit by bit. So it first restricted it to the reciprocal practice of war, in the sense that Muslims took war captives just as the enemies did with Muslims.



    But as it aimed at putting an end to such issue, Islam laid down rules which would eventually lead to eradicating the practice. So it allowed Muslims to have intercourse with slave women taken as captives of just and legitimate wars. In so doing, the woman would automatically become free if she got pregnant. What's more, her child would also become free.



    Not only that, Islam also ordered a Muslim to treat the slave woman in every respect as if she were his wife. She should be well fed, clothed and given due protection. In the family environment, she had the opportunity to learn about Islam and was free to accept it or reject it. She also had the opportunity to earn her freedom for she could be ransomed.



    In the light of the above-mentioned facts, and the nature of the question posed by people, it's clear that some people misunderstand the wisdom behind the permissibility of having female slaves and think that it is meant to unleash men’s desires and give them more enjoyment. Never! That is not the point! It is, rather, means of freeing slaves; and this is clarified above in the fact that if a master got a female slave pregnant, then he could neither sell her nor give her away as a present. And if he died, she would not be considered part of his property. She'd receive her freedom and her baby would also be free.



    But, we have to stress that this case should not be confused with that of female servants or maids, for they are free and not slaves. Therefore, it is forbidden to engage in sexual relations with them except through an Islamic marriage.



    Slavery has been abolished by international conventions, and goes in line with aims and objectives of Islam, as it has called for centuries ago.



    As for marrying slaves, it is something permissible under two conditions: first, if one is unable to pay the dowry of a free woman. Second, if there is fear of committing adultery if one doesn’t get married. This is clarified by the following verse: “And whose is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess. This is for him among you who feareth to commit sin. But to have patience would be better for you.” (An-Nisaa’: 25)



    This verse shows that Muslim men should abstain from illicit relations and seek enjoyment through marriage to free women or through their female slaves.



    In conclusion, Allah has forbidden certain types of behavior and permitted other kinds of behavior as a safeguard to the individual and to the society. Allah has forbidden fornication and adultery. However, in the case of captives whom your right hands posses, it's something necessitated by the special circumstances which were created when the Muslims were at war.



    This is not a practice for today which allows men to take extra sexual partners in addition to his wife, or a loophole as you put it. You have the same responsibilty to the slave girl as you would to the wife, with the same inheritence rights for the children born out of such relations hence it is more of a burden than a loophole to escape the 'treating wives equally' concept. Regardless of that, it is not a concept which is in practice today or encouraged for today. It was something specifically utilised and designed for 1500 years ago where the practice was already widespread. All Islam did was to bring structure to what was already in existence, and eventually aim to remove it all together. One may say it should be banned straight away, why the long drawn out process.



    The reality is however human nature does not allow for such action. People gradually get use to change, and the Quran itself was revealed over a long period of time for this reason so people could gradually get use to the injunctions and guidelines and thus adapt better. That is exactly the case with this issue, rules were bought in to slowly eradicate the practice and give rights to women who without Islam would have nothing equivalent to rely upon
    نقره لتكبير أو تصغير الصورة ونقرتين لعرض الصورة في صفحة مستقلة بحجمها الطبيعي

    تحمَّلتُ وحديَ مـا لا أُطيـقْ من الإغترابِ وهَـمِّ الطريـقْ
    اللهم اني اسالك في هذه الساعة ان كانت جوليان في سرور فزدها في سرورها ومن نعيمك عليها . وان كانت جوليان في عذاب فنجها من عذابك وانت الغني الحميد برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين

Islam on slave girls/concubines

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Islam on slave girls/concubines

Islam on slave girls/concubines