Quran 4:25 says: “If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: And Allah hath full knowledge about your faith. Ye are one from another: Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: They should be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours: when they are taken in wedlock, if they fall into shame, their punishment is half that for free women. This (permission) is for those among you who fear sin; but it is better for you that ye practise self-restraint. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Yusuf Ali's translation)
In my opinion, we will need to dissect it to understand what this verse really tells us about marrying “slave-girls” by Muslims, when slave-girls are by-default bound to serve sex to them.
The first sentence, "If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women", is addressed to indigent Muslim men. Allah told them that if they did not have money to wed free believing women (i.e. free Muslim women), - here, wedding implies buying the 'free Muslim women for sex -, they should do what is stated in the second sentence.
The Arabic word "Nikaha" in the verse is generally taken to denote a "sexual penetration," though it can also be taken to mean wedding or marriage. Arabic speaking people on the streets of the Middle Eastern countries take this word to mean the first one, i.e. sexual penetration of women by men.
It reads: "They may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess."
Interestingly, the word 'you' in the first sentence changed to "they" in the second sentence! The sentence is confusing. Let's leave it as it is to keep this write up short!
The directive is to the indigent Muslim men. They are told that if they didn't have money to buy free Muslim women, they can have sex with those slave girls whom 'their right hands possess."
In the eyes of the merciful Allah, the price of the Muslim slave-girls is cheaper than the free Muslim women, hence the former will get half of the punishment reserved for the latter, if the former indulge themselves in fornication and other sexual acts that are not approved by the all-knowing Allah!
There is another aspect in the lives of the male and female slaves: they are created by Allah, so they are his slaves. But when they become the slaves of the Muslims, their ownership is also transferred to their human masters. This means that each slave has or will have two masters and two owners: Allah is one; the other was, and will be, his or her human master. Therefore, each slave served or will have to serve two masters, simultaneously!!
We ought to remember that Allah also had a share in the war booty, which consisted of women and girls, among others. We know what the Prophet had done with his share of the slaves, but how Allah used them is not mentioned in the Quran. We need to find out the answer to this question so that we can separate him, and his needs, from humans and their physical needs, as well as their day-to-day chores!
The word "wed" in this sentence implies sex, as no Islamic wedding can take place without paying women a dowry, which is a fancy word for the "purchase price." We can refer to verse 33:50 where it is clearly stated that those wives of the Prophet were halal for him whom he had 'paid' their dowers. Those women whom he had not paid dowries were not halal for him!
What does the phrase 'believing girls' imply here?
It implies Muslim girls taken captive in wars then sanctioned and participated by the Prophet of Islam, now to be sanctioned by an Islamic Imam. The word "imam" refers to a religious leader, who does not only lead Muslims in their prayers, but is also the one who can, and sanctions, war by Muslims on the non-Muslims, and also on the Muslims themselves.
I am certain that the second sentence is not referring to the non-Muslim girls who had converted to Islam after their capture by the Muslim warriors. As it will become clear from what I am going state below, non-Muslim captives of war had or will have no incentive to accept Islam, as they would continue to remain in the slavery of their masters for so long as they would live, even after they have converted to Islam. Their offspring would also be the slaves of their masters, so why they should accept a belief-system that gives them no relief whatsoever from their extremely arduous, humiliating, and undignified way of existence?
So how the Muslim men can expect to have believing Muslim girls in their possession to wed, or to have sex with?
I think they can get the possession of their right hand after waging wars on, and defeating, their Muslim brethren. They do not have any other options to lay their hands on the believing Muslim girls. So Muslim must wage wars on Muslims, defeat them; capture their girls and women and turn them into their sex slaves.
But if it is argued that by the believing Muslim women, Allah has talked about those non-Muslims girls who were captured in wars. and who, subsequently, accepted Islam, in that case, it must also be accepted that slave girls remain slaves even after converting to Islam and that the "offspring of a female slave by another slave, by any man other than her master, or by her master, in case he does not acknowledge the fatherhood of the child, is likewise a slave, but the offspring of a male slave by a free woman is free” (Phillip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, p. 235).
This means that when the master of a Muslim slave girl makes her pregnant and he does not acknowledge the fatherhood of his biological daughter, he can have sex with her, who, to him, is not a daughter, but a slave!!
Since having sex with slave-girls and women is halal for Muslim men, the question that becomes confounding is this: why they would need to marry their slave girls when they were available to them free of cost, and with no social and financial responsibility?
They say, "when milk is available free, why buy a cow"? It appropriately applies to the Muslim men!
The third sentence reads: "And Allah hath full knowledge about your faith. Ye are one from another:"
I do not know why Allah had to reiterate the ken of his knowledge here. It is vexing to me. However, the phrase "ye are one from the another" relates to something that the fourth sentence in the verse, which reads as under, makes clear:
"Wed them with the leave of their owners, according to what is reasonable: they should be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours:
when they are taken in wedlock," if they fall into shame, their punishment is half [of] that for free women. This (permission) is for those among you who fear sin; but it is better for you that ye practice self-restraint: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
Muslims belong to a single Brotherhood (Quran; 49:10). So they are supposed to help other in need. "Ye are one from another" tacitly refers to the help that the owners of slaves are required to extend to those Muslim men who do not own slave girls.
The indigent Muslim men are required to pay a reasonable price to the owners of slave-girls before wedding or taking them to bed.
But their are certain conditions, which the buyers of the slave girls will have to make sure before paying their prices. The buyers will also have to make sure that their merchandize (slave girls) did not have sex with their owners; are not crazy for sex and that they will not take other lovers after they were, or are, bought by their new owners. How Muslim men are supposed to make sure that their acquisitions would not do what Allah did not, or does not, want them to do is not made clear in the Quran.
Allah granted permission to those indigent Muslims to buy slave girls whose conscience did not allow them to have sex with the slave girls without paying them their price. Allah also had, or has, a solution for such Muslim men. If they could not, or cannot, pay a reasonable price to the sellers of the slave-girls, they were, and have been, advised to exercise self-restraint where their sexual drive was, or is, concerned.
Masturbation was not, and is not, ruled out! The Quran says nothing on this subject, though it imparts detailed lessons to Muslim men on sexuality, how and where they could and can engage their women in sexual acts, and in which manner.
Because Muslim men have a wide ranging and open permission to do whatever they wanted and want to do to their women, the Quran prescribes no punishment for rape. This is weird because the Quran has punishments against lesbianism and homosexuality, but nothing against rape! The question is why?
Also, Allah's divine decrees have not made a few other things clear:
Where from the poor Muslim men were or are supposed to get money or goods to pay for, or exchange with, the slave-girls they were, and are, expected to buy from their seller-masters?
What if the owners of the slave-girls demanded a high price for them and they buyers could not afford it?
Was, or is, the demand to have self-restrained intended for those Muslim men who could not, and not cannot, convince the Muslim owners of slave girls to sell their commodities at a cheap price?
If Allah was, or is, Most Merciful in comparison to other lesser Merciful Allahs, why he did not, or will not, have mercy on the ill-fated and unfortunate slaves, especially the female ones, who had, and will have to suffer in future, the most heinous, most inhuman and the most despicable treatments from their human masters?
I am looking forward to being corrected by anybody if I have gone wrong in my analysis of the verse.
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