I am going to raise a different topic today. One that does not get much attention maybe due to its sensitive nature or the lack of knowledge but I believe that everyone has the right to know as well as it’s our duty to preach. Islam is a beautiful religion and its teachings have been instilled in many worldly constitutions and worldly establishments. All are aware of the religion’s teachings about matrimony and one’s life partner. What most people might not be aware of is the clause of slave women and man’s relations with them. So in our article of today we’ll discuss this topic according to different schools of thoughts and scholars.
Let me quote verse from Quran our holy book that every Muslim believe in. In Surah (Chapter) Al- Mumineen before we go any further.
“And they who turn away from ill speech, and they who are observant of zakah, and they who guard their private parts, except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed”
In this ayah (verse) Allah has mentioned the qualities of Mumineen (true believers) saying that they are the ones who are polite and abstain from ill talk, never forget their charity and protect themselves from indulgence in vulgarity except their wives and what they possess. The very same words have been used in Surah Al- Ma’arij.
Now this is the where the sensitivity begins. Now let’s try to understand what is being said here. Mostly scholars have similarly deduced that from the property of right hand, it is pointed towards that one’s slave which was quite common those days. So according to this ayah we understand that it is not a sin to indulge in sexual relation with one’s slaves.
Once again a similar reference is found in Surah Al’ Aihzab Ayah No. 50
“O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you.”
This ayah again points us that it has been allowed to man that to have sexual intercourse with slaves. Now another issue here is slavery.
Dr. Zakir Naik On Sex with Slave women in Islam
What is slavery in Islam and their rights
The time that Islam prevailed was a time of slavery, when it was a norm of living and everyone had slaves. Muslims especially used to get a handful of them when they fought wars with the non-believers. In their victories they used to captivate slaves of their opponents. These slaves received as bounties in wars were then distributed among the Muslims hence making them their properties then.
We also need to understand that though slavery has been banned in the world today yet the concept of slaves and slavery in Islam was quite different from that of non-believers or the people of other religions and lands. Slaves for the people back then were not even considered humans. They were treated with as inhumane behaviour as possible. In Islam the slaves were treated respectfully as a human being deserves to be. They could follow any religion they wanted and be the person they wanted. Tales of more than respectable behaviour towards their slaves of the holy prophet and his companions are still sung and people get admired and inspired from them. So in this scenario we should not consider a slave as an object but a respectable living human being.
However as spoken in the opening paragraph, we have different schools of thought and different points of view in this case. Another opinion of the scholars in this case is that one could marry a slave if he wanted her. A Muslim could marry her slave hence freeing her and making her his wife thus making it completely lawful and allowed. Some scholars say that yes they could do it only in the case of agreement of the slave women. They could not force themselves on her.
As said earlier that it is a sensitive topic and one needs to be very careful when talking about topics like religion, slavery and sexual relations but on the other hand zero or worse little or wrong knowledge about these topics too can be disastrous. So one needs to make himself aware and known about these topics and be careful when preaching too. In a nutshell, Islam does allow man to have sexual relations with their slaves, captured by them in wars and battles. Yet today slavery, being abolished it is not practicable and lawful. I hope it set some of your facts straight.
Feel free to disagree or share your comments