In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
It is sheer ignorance for the critic(s) of Islam to say that the Qur’an allows Muslims “to cohabit” with their female slaves, when the Qur’an forbids adultery and fornication. Islam, having abolished slavery, there could be no such law allowing intimacy with female slaves when there is no such institution as slavery.
Though Mohammad had “fifteen wives,” he had no “concubines and those who serviced his sexual desires,” as one Christian preacher claims.
Islam does NOT allow sex outside of marriage. Allāh says: “Go not near to fornication/adultery”–(Qur’an 17:32; 25:68). Going not near to fornication/adultery means to not even indulge in acts that lead to them–such as amoral speech and touching.
Qur’an 23:1-6 states: “Successful indeed are the believers, who are humble in their prayers…And who restrain their sexual pas-sions–Except in the presence of their mates or those whom their right hands possess…” It is a mistake to believe that this verse sanctions concubinage with slave-girls. Muhammad Ali points out:
“The words au ma malakat aimanu-hum, of which a literal rendering is given in the translation, usually indi-cate slaves. It should be noted that this chapter is a Mak-kan revelation, and the conditons under which slave-girls could be taken as wives were given later at Madinah; see 4:25a. If the reference here is to sexual relations, the permission regarding those whom their right hands possess must be read subject to the conditions of 4:25. It may be added that slave-girls, when taken as wives, did not acquire the full status of a free wife, and hence they are spoken of distinctly. It may, however, be added that hifz al-farj in a wider sense means the covering of parts of the body which it is indecent to expose, and in this connection it must be borne in mind that according to Islamic rules of decency, the exposure of such parts of the body, as are generally exposed in ballrooms and theatres, is disallowed, but a certain degree of freedom is allow-ed to women in the presence of their husbands and female servants and to men in the presence of their wives and male servants.”
Women slaves are to be taken as mates in marriages only. In Qur’an 4:3 and 4:25 Allāh makes it clear that these “slave-girls” are to be married:
-“And marry not the idolatresses until they believe”–(Qur’an 2:221);
-“marry such women as seem good for you, two, or three, or four; but if you fear you will not do justice, then (marry) only one or that which your right hand possess”–(Qur’an 4:3);
-“And whoever among you cannot afford to marry free believing women, (let him marry) such as your believing maidens as your right hands possess”–(Qur’an 4:25);
-“And marry those among you who are single, and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves”–(Qur’an 24:32).
And the Prophet Mohammad taught: “The man shall have a double reward who has a slave-girl and he trains her in the best manner and he gives her the best education, then he sets her free and marries her”–(Bokhari Vol. 4 # 655; & 3:720).
Again, Allāh says: “Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil”–(Qur’an 29:45); and adultery, whether with slave-girls or with the free, is indecency. To enjoin decency and allow concubinage is a contradiction.
It would be a contradiction of the most glaring kind for Allah to enjoin chastity and decency, to instruct us to come not near to adultery/fornication and still sanction “concubinage.” And there are no contradictions in the Qur’an–(4:82).
Conversely, while Islam requires freeing of captives–(Qur’an 47:4), and Mohammad had no concubines, the Bible (and Christian’s God, Jesus), commanded:
“thou shalt smite every MALE thereof: But the WOMEN, and the little ones (LITTLE GIRLS, as “every male” was slain)…shalt thou TAKE UNTO THYSELF” –(Deuteronomy 20:12-17).
“Then the Lord spake unto Moses, saying…And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses…And they brought the CAPTIVES and the prey and the spoil to Moses, and Eleazar…And Moses said unto them…Now therefore kill every MALE among the LITTLE ONES (of the captives), and kill EVERY WOMAN who hath known man by lying with him but ALL THE WOMEN CHILDREN, that have not known a man by lying with him (virgin girls) KEEP ALIVE FOR YOURSELVES…And the BOOTY, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught was…of WOMEN that had not known man by lying with him (virgin girls), were 32,000. And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was …16,000 persons (virgin girls). And of the congregation’s half portion of these 16.000 virgin girls, 320 were given to the Levite priests, as “the Lord commanded Moses.” And the LORD’S TRIBUTE (of the (booty) was 32 persons….the men of war had taken SPOIL (BOOTY), EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF”–(Numbers 31:1-53).
(Surely, these 16,000 young “virgin” girls who were “booty’ were taken by the “warriors” not for ploughing fields. And the 320 given to the Levite priests could have hardly been for “altar”-girl service.
And as Christians say Jesus is God, according to Christians it was Jesus who commanded these little virgin girls be taken as sex slaves and even assigned some for himself).
This is another law of the Bible that the Qur’an abrogates–Qur’an 2:106). There must have been quite a haul of attractive women and budding girls “who serviced” the “sexual desires” of their Biblical captors.
Solomon had “three hundred concubines;” his son, Rehoboam, had “three score concubines” (plus their 318 wives)–(1Kings 11:3; 2 Chr. 11:21. And Solomon is said to be ‘wise’).
These two alone reduce Mohammad’s “fifteen wives” to a speck on the horizon. And Christians mouth off at Mohammad.
(Christians must know the days when they can libel Islam and go unchallenged went out with the pony express).
It is Judaism and Christianity that allow their followers to have sex with their women captives.
In any event, since it was allowed for Solomon and his son to have hundreds of “concubines”, since it was allowed for Abraham to have sexual relations with his “handmaid” and to even father a son, Ishmael, with her,1 and allowed for Jacob to have sexual relations with Bilhah and Zilpah, handmaids of his wives Rachel and Leah, respectively,2 and even had sons with them that became Tribes of Israel,3 since Judah can commit adultery with his daughter-in-law, Tamarr, fathering twins, 4 and can be a Tribe of Israel5 and David can commit adultery with Bathsheba6 and be prophet, where is the problem if Mohammad allowed his men to have sex with their “slave-girls?”
However, unless and until he received Divine revelation in a matter the Prophet Mohammad followed the Bible; if the Prophet allowed his followers to engage in concubinage then he was following the Bible. Once he received Divine revelation there would be no going back to the past. The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance.
(Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
1. Gen. 16:1-4.
2. Gen. 30:1-13.
3. Rev. 7: 5-8.
4. Gen. 38:11-27.
5. Rev. 7: 5-8.
6. 2 Samuel 11:2-5.