Years ago when the topic of slavery and its stance within an Islamic perspective interested me, I crawled the length and breadth of the WWW for articles, insight and rulings.

The one that disturbed me, and still does, is the issue of “right hand posesses”, “slavery” and “sex”.

Now the issues of slaves, back in the time of Prophet (saws) it was not viable to free all the slaves, as then they would be without support. Slaves come under what the “right hand posesses” and so initimate relations are permissible without marrying them/performing nikah.


But what I don’t understand is the following:

Your family has been slaughtered in a bloody war. Chaos everywhere, nothing and no-one is left. You are captured as part of war booty. Subsequently distributed to the respective individuals who are entitled to a share of this war booty. You now become what his “right hand possesses”.

The issue of sex relates to the master and slave having “mutual sexual relations”. How can one have “mutual” sexual relations with the knowledge that these people killed your family members, your father, brothers, uncles etc?

Maybe if the master treats the slave in a fine manner, provides, clothes her, she may grow to love his compassion, kind nature etc. And so may THEN engage in a mutually agreed sexual relationship.

But who on earth thinks about that these days? These days where people actually debate if rape within marriages exists? Whether rape is just about sex, or is it about yielding power and control? The topic of whether the slave can refuse her master if he approaches her for sex musters up a similar reaction.

I have read that YES, she can refuse her master. Then when you trawl about for another answer, it goes on about this showing “disobedience” and so he has the right to “correct” her by….yes…by “hitting”. Miswaak light tap version.

If someone tapped me with a miswaak during a heated argument…i’d probably cackle in bewilderment as to whats going on!

Islam is a relgion of compassion, based on mutual understanding, imaan, love and justice. Sometimes people’s interpretation of Islam confuzzles me.

Why are Muslims so touchy when the topic of sex and rape come up? Why assume miswaak tapping is going to help relations? Why do men assume sex is their sole right upon a woman, and well she’s going to get serviced whether she likes it or not?