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Slavery and Rape in Islam

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org
Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt

Question:

Recently, I have heard that Islam allows sexual relationships with female slaves and that the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) did this. I have gone farther and did some research and found unpleasant things such as condoning rape. Can you please clarify and explain the statues of female slaves and rape.

Answer:

In the Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Kind

Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for contacting us for your question.

Slavery is detestable and rape is prohibited in Islam.

Slavery existed long before Islam. Slavery was generally a result of wars through prisoners, which was prevalent before the advent of Islam. War is as old as human beings. Islam rather introduced proper etiquette, treatment and behavior with slaves. Concubines was part of this common understanding in the culture of all communities of that time. Islam only allowed cohabitation with free women through a marriage contract and with a concubine through a legal contract wherein rights are secured under the rule of law. Islam put an end to the injustices and ill treatment towards slaves.

Ultimately, Islam encouraged liberating slaves and setting them free, thus abolishing the concept of all forms of slavery. The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) and his Companions are known to have set thousands of slaves free.

And Allāh Knows Best

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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