Chapter 10: Dynamics of Islamic Jihad by Dr. Muhammad Sharif Chaudhry



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Dynamics of Islamic Jihad

By Dr. Muhammad Sharif Chaudhry



  1. Injunctions of the Qur’an

  2. Traditions of the Prophet of Islam

  3. Kind Treatment to the Slaves

  4. Steps for abolition of Slavery

  5. Status of Bondwomen

We have already mentioned that those captives of war who are not released gratis or on ransom are distributed by the supreme commander among the Muslims and thus they are made slaves. Although the institution of slavery stands legally abolished and does not exist in the world of today, yet it is being discussed as the institution is deeply connected with Jihad and the failure of the Muslims to abolish legally has brought very harsh criticism against Islam.

The institution of slavery had been in existence since times immemorial. It was much before the advent of Islam that the institution was well established in the social system of every nation. However, the treatment given to the slaves was inhuman and very cruel. They were considered a mere commodity and not human beings. They were marketable and heritable and like cattle or property they could be disposed of by bequest or will. A slave had no rights whatsoever although he was burdened with cumbersome duties and obligations. They had no legal status and led a life of unmitigated drudgery in the hands of the pitiless masters. They were never fed properly but given provisions just sufficient to keep them alive and fit to do their master’s work. While working in the fields they were fettered in heavy chains so that they could not run away. They were often beaten for small mistakes and sometimes even without mistake just for the savage pleasure of their sadist masters. Their masters had absolute right even to kill them or exploit them in any way. They were mercilessly and brutally treated without any right to complain even. Such was the miserable plight in which the slaves were living in Roman Empire, Persia, Egypt, India and everywhere when Islam arrived on the scene to deliver them from this condition. Al-Islam the most benevolent and humanitarian religion took many practical measures to improve the lot of this down-trodden section of humanity. It wonderfully mitigated their sufferings by encouraging its followers to emancipate the slaves, helping the slaves to purchase their freedom, forbidding enslavement of Muslims, putting and end to the sources which perpetuate slavery, restoring the slaves their human status and dignity, encouraging marriages of slaves and inter-marriages between free Muslims and Muslim slaves, and above all by granting them legal rights.

Today slavery is abolished and the credit for its abolition has been taken by the Western man who promulgated laws during nineteenth century to remove this curse from humanity. The question arises : Why Islam – despite being a champion of slaves emancipation—did not abolish slavery by making a law as it did in case of usury, drinking and gambling? There is no easy answer to this question. The institution of slavery was well-rooted in the social system of every nation of the world at that time. There were many social, psychological and political problems involved with this institution that no legal enactment or social reform could have abolished it at once. It is perhaps due to this fact that Islam did not abolish it by making a law. However, by taking effective and practical measures Islam set a stage for its ultimate abolition. The steps taken during the reign of the Prophet (PBUH) and his immediate successors had brought slavery almost to an end practically if not legally. But the later caliphs and Muslim rulers stopped the process for obvious reasons. Inspite of that the efforts made by Islam to eliminate the curse of slavery from the yoke of humanity through voluntary and evolutionary process did not go waste. The process had been set in motion and so slavery was abolished legally in nineteenth century though it was not the Muslim but the Western man who did this noble act.

Now let us discuss in brief the rights granted by Islam to the slaves and the measures taken by this great religion for ultimate abolition of the institution of slavery through evolutionary process.

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I. Injunctions of the Qur’an

Some of the verses of the Holy Qur’an which directly refer to the rights of slaves and the treatment which is to be given to them are reproduced as under :-

1.       It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the Angels and the Scripture and the Prophets; and giveth his wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and setteth slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due, and those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress, such are they who are sincere. Such are the God-fearing.

–––(2:Al-Baqarah : 177)

2.       Wed not idolatresses till they believe; for lo! a believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! a believing slave is better than an idolater though he please you……

–––(2:Al-Baqarah : 221)

3.       And whoso is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess. Allah knoweth best (concerning) your faith. Ye (proceed) one from another; so wed them by permission of their folk, and give unto them their portions in kindness, ………


4.       And serve Allah and ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the fellow – traveller and the wayfarer and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess.


5.       It is not for a believer to kill a believer unless (it be) by mistake. He who hath killed a believer by mistake must set free a believing slave, and pay the blood-money to the family of the slain, unless they remit it as a charity. If he (the victim) be of a people hostile unto you, and he is a believer, then (the penance is) to set free a believing slave. And if he cometh of a folk between whom and you there is a covenant, then the blood-money must be paid unto his folk and (also) a believing slave must be set free. And whoso hath not the wherewithal must fast two consecutive months. A penance from Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise.


6.       Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will take you to task for the oaths which ye swear in earnest. The expiation thereof is the feeding of ten of the needy with the average of that wherewith ye feed your own folk, or the clothing of them, or the liberation of a slave, and for him who findeth not (the wherewithal to do so) then a three day’s fast. This is the expiation of your oaths when ye have sworn; and keep your oaths. Thus Allah expoundeth unto you His revelations in order that ye may give thanks.


7.       The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise.


8.       And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maid-servants. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means, Aware.


9.       And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), write if for them if ye are aware of ought of good in them, and bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He hath bestowed upon you.


10.   Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, Lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful.


11.   But he hath not attempted the Ascent-

Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Ascent is! -

(It is) to free a slave.

And to feed in the day of hunger,

An orphan near of kin,

Or some poor wretch in misery.


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II. Traditions of the Prophet of Islam

Rights of the slaves and the duties of their masters towards them have been stressed by the Prophet of Islam in his following traditions:-

1.       Abdullah-b-Umar reported that a man came to the Holy Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! How many times shall we pardon a servant? He remained silent. Then he asked the question to him again, but he remained silent. Then it was asked for the third time, he replied: Pardon him 70 times every day.

–––(Abu Daud, Tirmizi)

2.       Abu Zarr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Your brethren-Allah has placed them under your hands; whosoever’s brother Allah has placed under his hand, let him feed him out of what he himself eats, let him clothe him out of what he clothes himself with; and let him not be entrusted with a work which will overcome him. If he entrusts him with what will overcome him, let him assist him therein.

–––(Bukhari and Muslim)

3.       Abu Hurairah reported: I heard the father of Qasem say: Whoever imputes foul accusation to his slave while he is innocent of what he is charged with, will be whipped on the Resurrection Day unless he commits what he imputed.

–––(Bukhari and Muslim)

4.       Ibn Umar reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Whoso scourges his slave for an ordained crime which he did not commit or slaps him, then his expiation is to emancipate him.


5.       Abu Masud al-Ansari reported: I was assaulting my slave when I heard a voice from behind me: Know, O Abu Masu’d! Allah is powerful over you more than what you have got over him. Then I looked when lo! he was the Messenger of Allah. I said: O Messenger of Allah! He is free for the sake of Allah. He said: Beware! Had you not done it, the Fire would surely have burnt you, or the Fire would have touched you.


6.       Rafe-b-Makis reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Good treatment with persons under control brings fortunes, and bad treatment with creation misfortunes.

–––(Abu Daud)

7.       Abu Zarr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whosoever from your slaves obeys you, give him food out of what you yourselves eat, clothe him out of what you yourselves clothe. And whoso among them does not obey you, sell him and do not inflict punishment on the creation of Allah.

–––(Bukhari and Muslim)

8.       Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: There are three (persons) whose help is a duty on Allah; a covenanted slave who intends to pay, a married man who wishes to pay dower and one who fights in the way of Allah.

–––(Tirmizi, Nisai)

9.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Holy Prophet said: Shall I not inform you of the worst of you! - One who eats alone, scourges his servant and refuses him help.


10.  Abu Hurairah reported that the messenger of Allah said: A slave shall get his food and clothing and shall not be troubled with work but what he is capable of.


11.  Ali reported that he had made separation between a slave-girl and her child. The Holy Prophet prevented him from that. Then he cancelled the transaction.

(Abu Daud)

12.  Abu Bakr siddiq reported that the messenger of Allah said: One who treats badly with those under authority shall not enter Paradise. They enquired: O Messenger of Allah! Have you not informed us that this people will certainly be the foremost of the peoples in respect of slaves and orphans? ‘Yes, replied he, ‘so honour them as you honour your children, and give them food out of what you yourselves eat…..

(Ibn Majah)

13.  Abu Musa al-Ash’ari reported that the Messenger of Allah said: A man with whom there is a slave-girl, who teaches her manners and then makes her manners good; who gives her education and imparts it well, and who then emancipates her and afterwards takes her in marriage-there are double rewards for him.

(Bukhari, Muslim)

14.  Abu Hurairah reported that messenger of Allah said: The Almighty Allah said: There will be three persons whose opponent I shall become on the Resurrection Day: A man who gave a promise in my name and then broke trust, and a man who sold a free man and enjoyed his price, and a man who engaged a labourer and enjoyed full labour from him but did not pay him his wages.


15.  Abu Hurairah reported that the Apostle of Allah said: whoever sets free the neck of a Muslim, Allah will redeem from the fire a limb in exchange of every limb.

(Bukhari, Muslim)

16.  Abu Zarr reported: I asked the Apostle of Allah: which action is best! He said: Faith in Allah and Jihad in the way of Allah. I asked: which neck is best (for emancipation). He said: That which is dearest of them in price and most valuable of them near its master.

(Bukhari, Muslim)

17.  Samorah-b-Jundab reported that the Prophet said: The best charity is an intercession wherewith a slave is set free.


Having glanced through the verses of the Holy Qur’an and Traditions of the Prophet of Islam , we shall now discuss the kind and humane treatment given to the slaves and the steps taken for their emancipation by Islam.

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III- Kind Treatment To the Slaves

1.   First thing which Islam did regarding the slaves was that their lost status and dignity as human beings was restored to them. Common descent of the human beings was emphasised by the Qur’an, the revealed book of Islam, which declared:  “Ye (proceed) one from another….” (4:25). Common parentage of all humankind was mentioned by the Qur’an when it said: “ O Mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women…..” (4:1). The Prophet of Islam, in his famous Sermon delivered during the Farewell pilgrimage, announced:  “You are all children of Adam and Adam was created from dust….” Thus Islam treats all the human beings as equal since they have common parents and they come from the same human stock. There is no distinction between Arab and non-Arab, between white and black, between master and slave, and between rich and poor in Islam.

The Qur’an calls the believers as brothers of each other (49:10), while the prophet of Islam declared that one Muslim is brother of another Muslim. About the slaves, prophet Muhammad (PBUH) enjoined upon his followers:  Your brethren Allah has placed them under your hands….. So feed them out of what you eat and clothe them with what you clothe yourselves."

Islam permitted marriages between masters and slaves and the prophet of Islam, as a mark of respect for the feelings of the slaves, commanded his companions:  “Don't say: This is my slave and this is my slave-girl: rather say: This is my man and this is my maiden.” Prophet (PBUH) married his cousin Zainab to his freed slave Zaid and appointed son of Zaid to command an army which included great companions like Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali.

Thus Islam not only raised the status of the slaves to the level of human beings but also exalted them to the position of leaders, military commanders and nobles. A common bond of Islamic brotherhood was established between them and their masters. Umar the second caliph of Islam declared:  “Had Salim, the slave of Abi Huzaifa been alive, I would have appointed him my successor.”

2.       The Qur’an enjoins upon the believers to show kindness to the slaves. The Prophet (PBUH) has given instructions to his followers that they should treat the slaves like their own children and should give them food out of what they eat. The Muslims should consider the slaves like brothers. The slaves must be provided food, clothes and residential place. They should not be entrusted with a work which they are unable to do. If the assignment is difficult, the master should assist the slave. The Prophet declared that the worst of the men is he who beats his slave and does not help him in performing a difficult task. If a slave makes mistakes, he should be pardoned as many as seventhly times a day. In case he disobeys, he may be sold but no punishment should be inflicted on him. False allegations should not be made against an innocent slave. One who treats a slave badly will not enter paradise. The families of the slaves should not be separated from them.

3.       Marriages between free Muslims and believing slaves have been permitted. The Qur’an has rather exhorted the Muslims to prefer the believing slaves over the idolaters and non-believers who are free and who may be wealthy and good looking. It says: “Wed no idolatresses till they believe, for lo! a believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you; and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe, for lo! a believing slave is better than an idolater though he please you…..” (2:221). Those Muslims who could not afford to marry free believing women were encouraged to marry believing maids. The Qur’an says: “And whoso is not able to afford to marry free believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess……” (4:25)

Slaves were not allowed to marry according to prevalent custom, as the owners would be partly deprived of their service on account of the preoccupation of the slaves with their families. However, Islam abolished such restrictions. The Qur’an says: “And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maid servants……” (24:32). Thus the Qur’an has enjoined upon the believers not only to permit those male and female slaves who are capable of assuming the responsibilities of marriage to marry but also to make arrangements for such marriages.

4.       Besides granting them human status and ensuring them benevolent treatment, Islam gave the slaves many legal rights. In Islam the slaves enjoy the same rights to life, honour and property as the free Muslims have. The Prophet of Islam declared: “He who kills his slave, we shall kill him; who multilates his nose, we shall cut his nose; and who gelds our slave, we shall get him gelded in return”.

According to the criminal law of Islam, anyone who kills a slave, steals his property, dishonours him or inflicts any injury on him, will be punished in the same way as the slave or any other free man would be punished for committing the same offences. Similarly civil law of Islam recognises their right to own property and even their masters have no right to use their property without their will.

5.       The slaves in Islam enjoyed ranks and positions unparalleled in the history of man. The first Muazzen in Islam was Bilal, a Negro slave. He was a close companion of the Prophet (PBUH) and was appointed commander of an army. Zaid, who was a freed slave of the Prophet (PBUH) was married to Zainab, a cousin of the Prophet. The prophet himself appointed Zaid as commander of an army in the Muta expedition. The Prophet also appointed Usama, son of Zaid, as commander of a Muslim army which included the great companions of the Prophet (PBUH) like Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali and Uthman. Salman Farsi was slave and Ali said about him that “he was one of our household (family member)”.

Subaketgin, founder of Ghaznavid dynasty of rulers and father of famous king and conqueror of India Mahmood of Ghazna, was a slave. Qutb-ud-Din, Iltutmash and Balban were famous sultans of slave dynasty of India. The Mamluks ruled over Egypt for centuries and their name suggests that they were all slaves.

Besides distinguishing themselves in politics, statecraft and military, the slaves also distinguished in learning, knowledge and piety. Zain-ul-Abidin was son of a slave-girl (though a former princess of Persia) whom Imam Hussain had married. Jurists and Muhaddith like Salim-b-Abdullah, Qasim-b-Muhammad, Muhammad-b-Sairin, Nafiy, Ikramah, Muhammad bin Ishaq, etc. were either slaves or descendants of slaves.

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IV- Steps for Abolition of Slavery

1.   For freedom of slaves, Islam adopted two measures: Voluntary emancipation by the masters (called al-Itq) and writing of their freedom (called Mukatabah). These are discussed in detail as under:-

            Islam motivated voluntary manumission of slaves by positive injunctions. According to the Qur’an, to set a slave free is no doubt an uphill task save for those who are the righteous. In the sight of the Qur’an one of the virtues of the righteous and pious is that they free the slaves. Freeing of slaves has been made by the Qur’an an expiation for certain sins and offences like murder, breaking of oath, divorce by Zihar, etc. Some rules and regulations have been laid down by the Quran and Hadith for atonement of certain sins and religious irregularities through emancipation of slaves. Beating of a slave is a great sin and it can only be atoned by setting that slave free. Liberating of slaves is one of the eight heads of expenditure on which Zakat funds can be spent by an Islamic state.

Slaves have been encouraged by Islam to purchase their freedom from their masters. If a slave shows interest to purchase his freedom and proposes to execute deed of emancipation, the offer cannot be rejected by his master according to the opinion of some leading Muslim jurists. The master has to accept the offer though the amount of consideration can be settled by mutual negotiations. Once the amount is settled, the owner would not only provide the time to the slave enabling him to earn the stipulated amount but he is also expected to show magnanimity in reducing or remitting the amount. Other Muslims and Islamic state are also expected to help such slaves who have entered into agreements of emancipation. According to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Allah considers it His duty to help a covenanted slave who intends to pay for his freedom.

Islam considers it a great act of piety to free a slave or help him in getting his freedom. There are many verses in the Qur’an and Ahadith of the Prophet (PBUH) which encourage the believers to free their slaves for the pleasure of Allah. Manumission of slaves is an act which takes its doer to Paradise. The more expensive and loved a slave is, the greater would be the goodness and virtue in setting him free. Whoever frees a Muslim slave, it becomes his redemption in protecting him from Hell. One who has a slave girl and who teaches her manners, frees her and then marries her would receive double rewards from the Almighty. The Prophet (PBUH) declared that nothing is more dearer to Allah than manumission of slaves. The Prophet also said that even pleading for manumission brings reward.

Inspired by the teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophet of Islam, Muslims vied with each other in liberating as many slaves as they could. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself liberated as many as 63 slaves. His companion Abu Bakr liberated more than 100 slaves. Prophet’s wife Ayesha liberated 67, Abbas liberated 70, Abdullah bin Umar liberated one thousand slaves. Slaves were purchased and liberated by the early Muslims as an act of worship. The result was that by the end of the period of pious caliphate, almost all the old slaves of Arabia had been freed.

2.       Islam tried to put an end to all those sources whence slavery sprang up. Let us see to what extent it was successful. There were two sources of perpetuating slavery, namely: capture of free men, women and children in peace times and their sale in markets; and prisoners who were taken in a war and later on made slaves.

Islam brought an end to both the sources. So far as the first source of giving birth to slavery is concerned, Islam has strictly forbidden and condemned catching free people and making them slaves. According to a Hadith, the Prophet of Islam is reported to have said that Allah would be an opponent of three persons on the Day of Resurrection, one of them being a person who sold a free man and enjoyed his price.

The Qur’an says: It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land……”(8:67). This means that no person may be taken or for any time retained as captive unless he was taken prisoner in a jihad. Thus acquisition of a slave by “peaceful” means, and the keeping of a slave thus acquired, is entirely prohibited, which, as Muhammad Asad understands, amounts to prohibition of slavery as a social institution.

Regarding the second source i.e. the captives taken in a war, though Islam permits to make them slaves, yet the most preferred and recommended course of action about them is that they should be freed either by grace or against a ransom. The Qur’an says: “Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then make fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burden……” (47:4). This means that the Muslims, when they meet the disbelievers in a battle, should first of all crush the enemy and defeat them completely, and afterwards they may take prisoners. But even such prisoners of war may be freed either with grace (without consideration) or with ransom (with consideration such as money or exchange of prisoners with the enemy or for some service from the prisoners). The verse reproduced above also lays down that it is only in a battle with the disbelievers that the captives can be taken and not in a battle with the Muslims. It means that if there is a battle between the Muslims (God forbid), the Muslims would not be taking the defeated Muslims as prisoners and making them slaves. That is why the Prophet of Islam is reported to have said that no Muslim can be made slave.

During the reign of the Prophet (PBUH), seventy-eight expeditions were organised against the enemies of Islam and only in very few of them prisoners were taken. In most of the cases the prisoners were set free gracefully without any consideration and in very few cases ransom was accepted. This example of the Prophet (PBUH) was followed by his immediate successors known in history as the rightly guided caliphs. During their reign many new countries were conquered but no prisoners of war were taken.

The Prophet of Islam is also reported to have said that no Arab can be made a slave and this principle was later on extended during the reign of caliph Umar to all the inhabitants of conquered countries.

3.       One of the major factors which promoted slavery and encouraged the trade in slave-girls was that the slave-girls were used for prostitution. Even the rich persons enjoying high status in society did not feel any shame in earning income through prostitution. It is reported that rich man like Abdullah-bin-Ubbey who was a tribal chief (and a hypocrite) had purchased some slave-girls whom he forced to earn for him as prostitutes. Islam abolished this evil custom. The Qur’an says: “Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world……” (24:33). In addition to that Islam prohibited fornication and adultery in all forms. Adultery was declared a major sin and punishable crime. The Qur’an says: “And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way” (17:32). Very severe punishment was prescribed for those who indulge in this crime. Hudd or prescribed punishment for adultery has been ordained by the revealed book of Islam in its verse No.2 of Chapter No.24 as follows: “The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge, ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah……” (Al-Qur’an 24:2). Thus by abolition of prostitution and banning adultery in any form, Islam removed one of the prime reasons which encouraged purchase and sale of slave-girls.

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V- Status of Bondwomen

Although the foregoing discussion made in this chapter relates both to the male and female slaves equally, yet we feel inclined to dilate a little more on the institution of bondwomen and slave-girls separately because the existence of this institution in Islam has not only instigated criticism from the enemies of Islam but also the institution has been misused by the licentious and lustful Muslims among the ruling and wealthy classes during the imperial era of Islam.

Bondwomen or slave girls are those non-Muslim females who fall prisoners of war in the hands of the Muslim troops. Their marriage ties, in case they are married, are broken by the fact that they have come into the Islamic Zone while their husbands have been left behind in war zone (Dar-ul-Harb). It is lawful to marry such women and it is also lawful for those, in whose possession they are, to have sexual relations with them without entering into a formal marriage contract.

Syed Abdul ‘Ala Maududi, a great scholar and jurist of Islam, has explained the Islamic law about the slave-girls as follows:

1.       It is not lawful for a soldier to have conjugal relations with a prisoner of war as soon as she falls into his hands. The Islamic Law requires that all such women should be handed over to the government, which has the right to set them free or to exchange them with the Muslim prisoners in the hands of the enemy or distribute them among the soldiers. It is lawful for a soldier to cohabit only with that woman who has been formally given to him by the government.

2.       Even then, he shall have to wait for one monthly course before he can cohabit with her in order to ensure whether she is pregnant or not; otherwise it shall be unlawful to cohabit with her before delivery.

3.       It does not matter whether the female prisoner of war belongs to the people of the Book or not. Whatever her religion, she becomes lawful for the man to whom she has been given.

4.       None but the one whom the slave girl is given has the right to “touch her”. The offspring of such a woman from his seed shall be his lawful children and shall have the same legal rights as are given by the Divine Law to children from one’s loins. After the birth of a child she cannot be sold as a slave girl and shall automatically become free after her master’s death.

5.       If the master marries his slave girl with another man, he forfeits his conjugal rights over her, but retains other rights such as service from her.

6.       The maximum limit of four has not been prescribed for slave girls as in the case of wives for the simple reason that the number of female prisoners of war is unpredictable. The lack of limit does by no means provide a license for the well-to-do people to buy any number of slave girls for licentious purposes.

7.       The proprietary rights over a slave male or female as given to a person by the government are transferable like all other legal proprietary rights.

8.       The handing over of the proprietary rights over a slave girl to a man formally by the government makes her as much lawful for him as the giving of the hand of a free woman to a man by her parents or guardian by means of nikah (marriage ceremony). Therefore there is no reason why a man who does not hold marriage in detestation should hold sexual intercourse with a slave girl in detestation.

9.       When once the government hands over the female prisoner of war to some one, it has no right whatever to take her back from him, just as the parent or guardian has no right after the woman is handed over to a man through nikah.

10.   It should also be noted well that if a military commander temporarily distributes female prisoners of war among the soldiers for sexual purposes, or permits them to have sexual relations for the time being, such an act shall be unlawful and there is absolutely no difference between this and fornication, and fornication is a crime according to the Islamic code.

Contrary to the above view, some scholars hold that cohabitation with bond women and slave-girls without marriage is unlawful. Muhammajd Asad, who is one of such thinkers, while commenting on verse 3 of Surah 4 in his book “The Message of the Qur’an” writes that condition of having maximum four wives is applicable in the case of free women as well as slave-girls. According to him. “Contrary to the popular view and the practice of many Muslims in the past centuries, neither the Qur’an nor the life-example of the Prophet provides any sanction for sexual intercourse without marriage”. Yet at another place, while commenting on verse 25 of surah 4, he says: “This passage lays down in an unequivocal manner that sexual relations with female slaves are permitted only on the basis of marriage, and that in this respect there is no difference between them and free women, consequently, concubinage is ruled out”.

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