Concerns with Islam: Sexual Slavery in Islam
Islam has a long history of the enslavement of women. Of course, this was never mentioned to me at all. It was always said that a Muslim man can marry up to 4 women but 1 is better and hardly anybody actually did that any more. I never understood that part about “And that which your right hand possesses” but in truth, upon further study, it is quite clear that sexual slavery was practiced by the first Muslims.
There are hundreds of Hadith that deal with slavery and whole chapters of Hadith are dedicated to dealing with the taxation, treatment, sale, and jurisprudence of slaves. In addition to this, many Hadith mention slaves, and their relation to their Muslim masters. Here is a well known example that deals directly with our topic of female slaves used for sexual purposes according to Sahih Bukhari.
So, the Muslim warriors took prisoners of war and used them for sexual purposes. Mohamed doesn’t address this at all. He doesn’t say, “Do not have sex with them,” or “Ask for their hand in marriage and if they don’t agree, leave them alone.” Instead he addresses their question which is frankly, “During sex, can we pull out our members before we ejaculate (coitus interruptus) so as to not get them pregnant?” There is no mention of the emotional state of these women. No mercy for the feelings of those who had just seen their men-folk captured or killed and then taken off to a foreign land in which they were inevitably traumatized, scared, and far from everything familiar. Muhammad simply states that there is no reason to not ejaculate inside of them because whatever happens is destiny anyways, i.e. if they get pregnant, so they get pregnant. It’s Allah’s will.
This Hadith is similar to the above. However, additional details are added:
Related Hadith show that they didn't want to get the women pregnant because they wanted the option to sell them or negotiate them for a ransom later on. Under Islamic law, they couldn’t sell pregnant female slaves.
In effect, Muhammad Okayed non-consensual sex. Could anyone believe that these women actually wanted to have sex with these men? Everyone always says what a mercy Islam was for woman because it erased the practice of burying girls alive. While that is true, I think that an issue as important as a woman’s choice of sexual partners is also an integral issue that should have been dealt with in a vastly different way.
The note for this Hadith says "Buraida hated Ali because he had taken a slave girl frorm the booty and considered that as something not good."
Here Ali took a newly captured slave girl, and had sex with her. It seems that when Muhammad was told about it, he didn’t have a problem with this, and further stated that Ali deserved more than this.
This Hadith details the attack on the Jews of Khaibar. Again, many of the women and children were taken and made into slaves.
There are hundreds of other Hadith that deal with the topic of slavery in Islam, too numerous to mention. But does the Qur’an deal with the issue of female sexual slavery? Most definitely, and in vivid detail.
This is a special command that Muhammad handed down to himself, allowing virtually unlimited concubines. Although Muslims are limited to four wives, but they may also have sex with an unlimited number of slaves, as long as they are obtained in Jihad.
This verse allows the slave-owner to have sex with his slaves.
This is a direct reference to concubines taken in Jihad.
So in other words, (once they enter Muslim territory) sex with married slaves is permissible because they were taken in Jihad.
Muslims will constantly say that these verses are taken out of context, but then they will never explain the context to a Western female. Instead they will question your Iman and ask questions regarding your questions which try to make you feel insecure and imply that you are weak, at least that was my experience.
However, Maududi, a respected Islamic writer of Tafseer clearly writes regarding this issue:
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, Tafhim al-Qur'an
According to Mufti Ebrahim Desai, a prominent sheikh of the Marasah In'aamiyyah in Cape Town, South Africa, when asked if female slavery could be implemented in this day and age, he responded with the following:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai, Ask-Imam.com, Question 14421
It may be argued that American slave-owners committed sexual crimes against their slaves before the Civil War (1861-1865), so who are Americans to complain about Islam?
In fact, the two situations are different i.e. apples can not be compared to oranges. First, it is wrong to compare the US with the Muslim community founded by Muhammad, who claimed divine inspiration. Instead, it is best to compare the founder of a religion for example Jesus or Buddha with another founder, Muhammad. Second, in no place in the New Testament or in the Diamond Sutras does God give permission to men, to have sex with slave-girls. If Americans in a bygone era did this, then they were simply being immoral, but it was not religiously sanctified. The Quran, however, codifies and legalizes these sexual acts. I just don’t know how any clear-thinking individual can not see that having sex with women in a very desperate condition i.e. being enslaved is wrong.
One might say, but how does this affect you and most women in this day and age? First of all, anything done in Islamic history can be revived at any time, so if Muslims gained power over Western nations, which many have every intention of doing, and practiced Jihad as the followers of Islam actually did, which they are commanded to do, it is plausible that this could happen. Secondly, again, Mohamed was presented to me as a spiritual leader, not a military warlord, so inevitably, a person assessing Islam has to ask himself, “Are these the actions of the person who should be followed and admired for all time?”