Is slavery permissible in Islam? Is sex with slave girls owned by a person is legitimate?
Submitted by on Sun, 08/03/2009 - 11:19
Dear Brother / Sister,
The First Answer:
In Islam, slavery and concubinage were not the positions that Islam brought, but they were the status that firstly been tried to be reformed and in the course of time aimed to be removed completely. And as the result of nations all over the world came to the same reason, it has been vanished. However, we should not forget this that, today, in many parts of the world, there are starvelings, the unemployed and the homeless, and many of them are being used as old slaves and bondmaids. Poverty and freedom cannot be together and also deprivation enslaves people. Thus, humanity by removing slavery only has done a small portion of what they should have done. The aim of Islam is to offer freedom and just for the people all over the world. Unless accessing those two aims in a new world order, humanity of the world will be in a big responsibility, furthermore, they will be in consequences of that action. Those who do not believe in, therefore, their conscience must twinge (For the blood, tears flowed unjustly and suffering that experienced.). And those who believe in must not forget that Allah, one day, will interrogate them for that.
The Second Answer:
Marriage contract is an agreement which is done between a free man and woman (in this respect also those who possess their bodies as well) in order to establish a family and benefit from each other in sexual way and accepting that conditions. The agreement and disposal which provide to possess (to buy or to get with heritage, booty or donation) the bondmaid are a legal transaction. And this legal transaction provides a right to live like a husband-wife between the owner and bondmaid. And also that way stands for marriage contract and is stronger and more comprehensive than it. (Prof. Dr. Hayrettin Karaman)
Two kinds of marriage are mentioned in the following verses, in the Qur’an: One is about the marriage that solemnized with a free woman, and the other is about a bondmaid.
“They/Believers, guard their modesty. Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (in their case) they are free from blame.” (The Qur’an, Al-Muminun, 23/5-6).
“If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess.” (The Qur’an, An-Nisaa, 4/3).
- The marriage which is done with a bondmaid is mentioned in the verse as “whom their right hands possess”. That is in another saying called “milku’l yemin” or “akdu’l milk” (the contract which shows the ownership of a bondmaid).
In Islamic jurisprudence, one more important concept concerning with that subject is the concept of “tasarri”. Its meaning is to decide to own a slave maid as a wife and to live with her henceforth. According to the Islamic law, the case of “tasarri” does not occur merely with getting a bondmaid. Except for the agreement of marriage (nikah), all of the conditions must be prepared in accordance with a marriage that solemnized with a normal woman. According to the sect of Hanafi, there are two conditions in order the “tasarri” to be carried out: The first is he must prepare a house for (bondmaid) her like his other wives who are free. And the second is he must have time for her, as he has time for his other free wives. According to Ebu Yusuf, man’s being in a desire of having a child from her (bondmaid) is a condition as well (see al-Badai, 8/344-45-shamile). These two conditions are valid in the sect of Shafii (see Muqni’l Muhtac, 20/316; Nihayetu’l Muhtac, 29/343- shamile).
Why there is no need for a marriage contract with a bondmaid?
Because, the agreement of “milq” is more efficient than a marriage contract. A marriage contract is an advantage contract. But in the agreement of Milq, there is an ownership to a concerned person, so the contract of Milq requires owning that concerned person. And the advantage contract occurs depending on that agreement (see the article called as “Mahmud Hamdi Zakzuk, at-Tasarri”).
-The arbiters on that subject are Islam scholars and fiqh sources. The judgments that the Ummah (the community of Our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) whom follow Islam) complied with has been in accordance with those sources.
- According to the Islam scholars, in order that a man can be together with a woman is possible only in two ways: The contract of marriage or the contract of Milqul Yemin (keeping the personality of a bondmaid in his hands with a contract) (see Reddu’l Muhtar, 3/163).
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