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    Female Concubines

    :salams

    I've always been really confused about the concept of concubines and slavery in Islam...could somebody please explain this to me. The whole concept of being able to have a female slave and then being able to have sex with her (which I doubt is consensual) doesn't really make any sense to me.

    I've also been asked this by non muslims as well and it's a little embarrassing to have aspects of my religion that I don't understand and can't explain or rationalize. This ends up giving me doubt and as I have only recently began to become more religious I don't want this to affect my imaan.

    :jkk:

    #2
    Re: Female Concubines

    ---
    Last edited by Umar Khattab; 31-08-12, 02:48 AM.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Female Concubines

      Originally posted by Umar Khattab View Post
      Brother, Islam didn't begin slavery, slavery already existed,

      A very rewarding act which Abu Bakr (ra) would do is buy slaves in order to free them e.g. how he freed Bilal (ra) from slavery.

      Also Islam does allow slavery, but Islam gave slaves many many rights, and like I say, many of the companions would free slaves as it is a very rewarding act, i.e. to free a slave.

      Abul Ala Maududi reports that Muhammad (saw) freed as many as 63 slaves.

      Meer Ismail, a medieval historian, writes in Buloogh al Muram that his household and friends freed 39,237 slaves [wikipedia]

      (I'm not very knowledgable about the subject, maybe because I don't have any slaves or know anyone that does, and haven't really studied it in great depth,
      but I must say for you not to feel embarassed about your religion, it is a beautiful religion) :up:
      :jkk:

      But brother I already know that islam gave many rights to slaves and the reward of freeing a slave is immense (which I think the wisdom behind it was to eradicate slavery over time), my issue is not so much with slavery but with concubines. I don't understand why muslim men are allowed concubines I can't imagine this being consensual and it seems almost like rape in my eyes.

      Also I am not ashamed/embarrassed of my religion I'm ashamed and embarrassed of not understanding it and not being able to defend it and allowing others to give me doubt as well as letting them continue to have these bad opinions of islam.

      (also I am not a brother I am a sister).

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Female Concubines

        We no longer have slaves, and it is clear from the various rulings on giving up a number of slaves as expiation for certain sins that the intent was (as well as 'payback' for the sin itself) to eradicate slavery altogether from the early years of Islam.

        In older times, women were indeed taken as slaves to begin with, and of these a number of them might be freed and taken as wives by Muslim men. The wanton rape of slaves was outlawed, though, and it was upon the owner to treat them kindly and steer them towards accepting Islam (presumably to prepare them for being freed and taken as a second or subsequent wife, or freed and married to another). In some areas (although I have no proof to support the 'legality' of it under Islamic law) such as Turkey, certain women were selected for exceptional qualities and trained as concubines for the owner's sexual pleasure.

        This is entirely in keeping with Islamic values, though, in that the women taken as slaves would be from defeated armies or nations and thus would have little to no means of supporting themselves and it was a far better thing they be taken as slaves and treated with kindness than left to their own devices and fall into sinful ways just to live from day to day. The owner, even when faced with a slave who would not accept Islam, was still obligated to treat her well and not abuse her.

        As I understand it (again I do not have a proof for this, so anyone who has knowledge please help out here) the CONCEPT of concubinage is still halal in Islamic law, but the PRACTICE of it is no longer followed.
        Last edited by John Muhammad; 31-08-12, 03:25 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Female Concubines

          See what I don't understand is how does having a concubine keep with Islamic values? Slaves who so happen to be female is one thing but the whole idea of having a concubine is to have a female slave that will satisfy your sexual desires. This is a demeaning position to be put into as a woman, it does not matter any rights you might have a slave they are still not like the rights a wife would have on her husband. So why is there intimacy allowed between a man and his female slave?

          Also there is a difference between muta and concubines no man can force you into a temporary marriage (although like you mentioned earlier the validity of these temporary marriages are disputed amongst muslims), if a master approaches his slave for sexual purposes does the slave have the option of saying no?

          Also I believe that the Quran from the time it was revealed til the day of judgement is applicable. Just because nobody has had a reason (no major wars between muslims and kufar in which muslims have won) in this present moment does not mean that there won't be and the option of slavery and concubinage will be available.

          :jkk: for your post though.
          Last edited by Qreus; 31-08-12, 03:08 AM.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Female Concubines

            Originally posted by John Muhammad View Post
            As I understand it (again I do not have a proof for this, so anyone who has knowledge please help out here) the CONCEPT of concubinage is still halal in Islamic law, but the PRACTICE of it is no longer followed, other than the limited muta' type of Shi'a practice.
            This is nothing to do with mutah, which is a form of marriage not slavery.
            But otherwise partially correct, in that it is rarely practiced, not not practiced at all today and have been instances under the taliban of some of the ismailis taken as slaves.
            Abu Saalehah

            OUTREACH4ISLAM - Calling the not yet Muslims of Leicester to Islam since 2006

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Female Concubines

              Originally posted by Qreus View Post
              See what I don't understand is how does having a concubine keep with Islamic values? Slaves who so happen to be female is one thing but the whole idea of having a concubine is to have a female slave that will satisfy your sexual desires. This is a demeaning position to be put into as a woman, it does not matter any rights you might have a slave they are still not like the rights a wife would have on her husband. So why is there intimacy allowed between a man and his female slave?

              Also there is a difference between muta and concubines no man can force you into a temporary marriage (although like you mentioned earlier the validity of these temporary marriages are disputed amongst muslims), if a master approaches his slave for sexual purposes does the slave have the option of saying no?

              Also I believe that the Quran is from the time it was revealed til the day of judgement is applicable. Just because nobody has had a reason (no major wars between muslims and kufar in which muslims have won) in this present moment does not mean that there won't be and the option of slavery and concubinage will be available.

              :jkk: for your post though.

              It is a slippery topic- that much is understood- and one that is better addressed by someone more scholarly then myself.

              Until an appropriate answer can be given for this, it is my personal opinion to simply avoid this type of subject when speaking with the kuffar. You are learning (or re-learning) your faith and nobody expects you to know everything all at once. Believe me, it's far better to say "I don't know" than rattle off something that might be completely untrue. (At that point, it's on you to find the correct answers and settle the questions, as you're doing now.) Just don't ever let non-Muslims throw you off the path; for someone who doesn't know all of Islam it's easy to trip them up on details and concepts we're not clear on in the beginning. Concubines and slavery are details and footnotes in history that can be learned later; best to concentrate now on the basics of perfecting your worship and improving your deen.

              Stand fast, hold the line, stay the course, and don't let anyone mess with your imaan

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Female Concubines

                Originally posted by abu saalehah View Post
                This is nothing to do with mutah, which is a form of marriage not slavery.
                But otherwise partially correct, in that it is rarely practiced, not not practiced at all today and have been instances under the taliban of some of the ismailis taken as slaves.
                My meaning was a reflection of the first line of my post, in which I noted the only thing comparable to concubinage today is muta', and I noted that it is indeed a form of marriage (as opposed to slavery). Forgive me if my wording on this was misleading; it was not intentional. I have amended my post on this to remove the entire reference to muta'- thank you for bringing it to my attention !
                Last edited by John Muhammad; 31-08-12, 03:26 AM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Female Concubines

                  Originally posted by John Muhammad View Post
                  It is a slippery topic- that much is understood- and one that is better addressed by someone more scholarly then myself.

                  Until an appropriate answer can be given for this, it is my personal opinion to simply avoid this type of subject when speaking with the kuffar. You are learning (or re-learning) your faith and nobody expects you to know everything all at once. Believe me, it's far better to say "I don't know" than rattle off something that might be completely untrue. (At that point, it's on you to find the correct answers and settle the questions, as you're doing now.) Just don't ever let non-Muslims throw you off the path; for someone who doesn't know all of Islam it's easy to trip them up on details and concepts we're not clear on in the beginning. Concubines and slavery are details and footnotes in history that can be learned later; best to concentrate now on the basics of perfecting your worship and improving your deen.

                  Stand fast, hold the line, stay the course, and don't let anyone mess with your imaan
                  Honestly concubinage was something that seriously bugged me about a year ago when my imaan was at an all time low. I was on vacation with my family in Kenya and my mother decided to have me learn more about islam while I was the there and the interpretation that the sheikhs had completely turned me off, every question I asked was shut down and I was made to feel like I was an apostate just because I wanted explanations (I'm not a native arabic speaker so just making me memorize ayahs from the quran will not magically turn me into a better muslim). So I turned away from islam and unfortunately (and may allah forgive me for this) wanted nothing to do with it and my culture. Alhumdullah, I had a wake up call this summer as did my mom and we're both educating ourselves about islam in the correct way but this is still something that sort of tugs at me in the back of my mind. Of course I will not question the wisdom of Allah (swt) for allowing this but I just want to understand.

                  I don't think it's a crime to want to understand...

                  Also I feel it is my duty as a muslim to be educated enough so that when somebody like myself asks a question I can correctly answer it. Can you imagine being surrounded by people who just said "I don't know" when it comes to the quran. That is a terrible practice that muslims have and it irritates me so much. Most my elders are hafizs (and the ones who aren't are pretty darn close) and you ask them the meaning and they don't know! So if they don't know...who will teach the children?

                  Sorry for the rant .. <<

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Female Concubines

                    If a person genuinely doesn't know an answer, then maybe it would be better for them to simply say "I don't know", I wouldn't call that a terrible practice ...


                    Also have you read this thread - http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthrea...Misconceptions
                    Last edited by Umar Khattab; 31-08-12, 03:44 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Female Concubines

                      No need to apologize; we all want to have all the answers at our fingertips. We're just not built to house all that knowledge all at once, though, so it's up to us to pick it one piece at a time and apply it and move on to the next.

                      Your thirst for this knowledge is commendable, though, and insha'Allah you will learn all you desire to know. Just not all at once !

                      Don't get discouraged, by any means, and don't let some people's gruff answers or comments throw you off. If one person can't give you a factual answer, just move on to someone else who can. Just be aware, too, not to keep looking until someone gives you the answer you *want*- you want the answer that is *correct*.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Female Concubines

                        I think it is a bad practice when you don't seek the knowledge and let doubt grow in the minds of your children especially if you are raising them amongst non muslims, a lot of the people I grew up with who were born into muslim households lead double lives, treat islam like their culture as though it is something they can discard once they get older and leave the house. Or they end up resenting it altogether and pull an Ayaan Hirsi Ali where they claim they are atheists and disavow the religion altogether. It could have all been avoided if they had been sufficiently taught and not just forced to memorize the quran in a language they do not on weekends when they were younger.

                        And I did read the thread and the links provided and I found a few parts that just didn't sit well with me.

                        It seems clear from Research that Women would beautify themselves before battle for either of two realities they would have to face;

                        1) to Support their Men and ‘Cheer them on’.
                        2) If their men lost – they would be beautiful and therefore valuable and Expensive for the one who caught her.
                        So women are now cattle to be caught? The more beautiful the better the price? This is reminiscent to the West African slave trade where the best looking slaves fetched the highest price so slave traders would oil them up to make them look as attractive as possible.

                        Again my issue is not with the practice of slavery in itself I know slavery as an islamic concept is completely different to the slavery that was practiced by non muslims in the West African slave trade. But why go to a woman who is not your wife for sexual intimacy? Would it not be better to free and then marry that woman if you desired her I don't understand why that is halal? Because if the goal is to at some point eradicate slavery in society why give men the option of an endless supply of booty? That would not be a great motivator for freeing her as a slave..in fact it would be more likely that a man would collect multiple female slaves to have a "harem" and then say "well it's not haram!"
                        Last edited by Qreus; 31-08-12, 04:07 AM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Female Concubines

                          Originally posted by John Muhammad View Post
                          Just be aware, too, not to keep looking until someone gives you the answer you *want*- you want the answer that is *correct*.
                          :jkk: for the uplifting post brother, it means a lot to me that other people also want to seek knowledge and are not content to just blindly following other people.

                          And I completely agree, if I wanted a watered down islam that let me do whatever I wanted I'd go off and follow Irshad Manji ;)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Female Concubines

                            Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

                            Islam Slavery - Islam-Slavery.blogspot.com


                            A new blog responding to common doubts Muslims have about slavery.



                            Extract:


                            Women Slavery: Slavery in Rape, Expulsion, or Prison

                            A nation who faces war, their men will be killed [in the war], and their women will go through either of these 3 circumstances;
                            1 – Imprisonment - because she was part of her people who were at war with the Victor. (she will most likely be raped in prison, and this happens even in the modern world. [search Abu Ghraib prison if in doubt.)

                            2 - Exhile - because the defeated peoples property has all been taken by the enemy. (so she will have to run to another land, where she will probably also face harm and probably rape . And she will not have a male provider. [if in doubt - study the effects of the Iraq war on Muslim women. (many have had to become prostitutes to USA soldiers or contractors or men from other lands! because their men have been killed)

                            3 - Being a Concubine - this is the best practical solution. She has a Believing male provider , she has similar rights to a wife. She learns about Islam from the Muslims in an Islamic society. She soon earns her freedom [see Um al Walad ]. And the male who is Responsible over her may even; teach her, free her and marry her (since that is twice-fold rewardable for him – as stated in the Qur’an and Ahadith [see surah Nur 24:32 ) [Sahih al Bukhari Vol1,Book3 (Knowledge),#97]




                            Women Slavery - Conclusion:
                            1 – Islam provides a positive, Practical and helpful solution to Women who lose their men in war.

                            2 – Slave women have similar rights to Wives.
                            3 – Slave women are not allowed to be Raped because they are our ‘sisters’ in faith or a trust we are responsible over, – they have one man who they are associated with, a relationship which society recognises. This relationship is based on mercy and love.
                            4 – A Slave woman has different means by which she can find freedom.
                            5 – There is no limit to how much slaves someone can have – since that will only increase the probability of more slaves being freed in the near future.
                            6 – Teaching, Freeing and Marrying a slave brings a great deal of reward – hence, Believers’ will strive hard to buy and free, and marry slaves.



                            Read the other posts
                            :



                            http://Islam-Slavery.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Female Concubines

                              :salams
                              :start:

                              Indeed, many people will be worried about this subject when we are born in this world.Where the word slavery means rude and oppressed behavior.However, this is slavery is indeed rude and oppressed condition I do not deny it.Before when Islam came down, there was jahiliyah known to the people.They used to have slaves and their children were slaves as well.There was an arabic poet, he was born to his being her mother's master.But he does not have the right to call him father.And he is again slave rather a free man.

                              Islam was practiced by the pious prophets of Allah.An example of it is Syedinna Ibrahim may peace be upon him and his wife Bibi hajar the mother of Arabs.It was when syedinna ibrahim may peace be upon him and his wife Sarah were traveling.A tyrant king gifted her the slave ( Hajar ) who later gave birth to child Syedinna Ismail may peace be upon him.Thus it is widly known that Syedinna Ibrahim may peace be upon him has two wives.One is Sarah and the other is Hajar.For she gave birth to Syedinna Ismail may peace be upon him.

                              You may find this in scripture of jewish and christianity as well.Thus, consider the example of Syedinna Ali radiallah anhu.Who later gave up all the richness to the poor, he used to work.Then free one slave a week by buying it and freeing it.Thereby, Islam removed the slavery rather than making it prevalent and spoiling the life.Another example is widely known of Syedinna Bilal radiallah anhu, he was a slave before accepting Islam.He used to wear the same clothes as what syedinna rasulallah salellahualaihiwasalam used wear and was the person who would give Adhan ( a call Salah).
                              صلى الله على حبيبه محمد و على آله و أصحابه و سلم
                              Al-Muslimeen

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