Ma malakat aymanukum and sex
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In Islamic Divine law (Arabic: Sharia), Ma malakat aymanukum ("what your right hands possess" ما ملكت أيمانکم) is the term for prisoners of war. More specifically slaves, as only prisoners of war could be legally enslaved.
al-Muminun 6 and al-Maarij 30 both, in identical wording, draw a distinction between spouses and "those whom one's right hands possess", saying " أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ" (literally, "their spouses or what their right hands possess"), while clarifying that sexual intercourse with either is permissible. Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi explains that "two categories of women have been excluded from the general command of guarding the private parts: (a) wives, (b) women who are legally in one's possession".
The verse can be broken into three parts:
Regarding rules for having sexual intercourse with Ma malakat aymanukum, a man may not have sexual intercourse with a female slave belonging to his wife. Neither may he have relations with a female slave if she is co-owned. He may have sex with a female captive who was previously married prior to captivity, provided their Idda (waiting) period had come to an end.
If the female slave has a child by her master, she then receives the title of "Ummul Walad" (lit. Mother of the child), which is an improvement in her status as she can no longer be sold and is legally freed upon the death of her master. The child, by default, is born free due to the father (i.e., the master) being a free man. Although there is no limit on the number of concubines a master may possess, the general marital laws are to be observed, such as not having sexual relations with the sister of a female slave.
People are told that if they do not have the means to marry free-women, they can marry, with the permission of their masters, slave-women who are Muslims and are also kept chaste. In such marriages, they must pay their dowers so that this could bring them gradually equal in status to free-women.
Fornication (sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married to each other) is regarded as an offence. Muhammad gave exemplary punishment to owners of brothels that were operated using their slave-women for such pleasures. Muhammad also told people that they are all slaves/servants of Allah and so instead of using the words عَبْد (slave-man) and اَمَة (slave-woman), the words used should be فَتَى (boy/man) and فَتَاة (girl/woman) so that the psyche about them should change and a change is brought about in these age-old concepts.
- Surah - Al - Muminoon
- P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs (ed.). "Abd". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912.
- USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts
- Lovejoy, Paul E. (2000). Transformations in Slavery. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-78430-1., p.2
- Quran 4:25
- Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. Mizan, The Social Law of Islam, Al-Mawrid
- Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Mizan, The Penal Law of Islam, Al-Mawrid