Please can you explain this Hadith and similar ones?

I don't understand that if the Muslims had just won a battle and killed the captive's husband, brother, son or other relatives or the men of her village why would she be ready and willing to have sex with the victors? I read this Hadith and it's like the Muslims won but were feeling horny as they hadn't had intercourse for a while so did so with the captive women and pulled out at the critical moment to avoid a baby.

by Imam Muslim, translation by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, Volume: The Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah) 3371:

Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa'id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him):

Abu Sa'id, did you hear Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) mentioning al-'azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) on the expedition to the Bi'l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing 'azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah's Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born. -- Sahih Muslim 1438 a (sunnah.com)

  • Could you clarify the question? I read it as "was the female slaves' consent required", but I'm not sure that's the intended question.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 22:55
  • <comments deleted> Comments are intended for constructive criticism and seeking clarification, not for argument and debate.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 19:00
  • Wikipedia article for this event, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Banu_Mustaliq
    – Tauseef
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 19:09

2 Answers 2


Can you explain the hadiths regarding having sex with captive women?

The hadith is about the expedition of Banu Mustaliq. According to Islamweb:

The following are the most important reasons behind this Battle

A- The tribe of Banu Al-Mustaliq supported Quraysh and joined it during the Battle of Uhud against the Muslims. It was among the block of Ahaabeesh tribes who participated in the battle supporting Quraysh.

B- The tribe of Banu Al-Mustaliq governed the main road leading to Makkah. It was a strong barrier that prevented the Muslims from reaching Makkah.

C- News came to the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) that Banu Al-Mustaliq were mobilizing an army to fight him under the leadership of Al-Haarith bin Abi Dhiraar. Having heard about that, the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) set out and met them in one of their watering areas called Al-Muraysee‘ in the direction from Qadeed to the sea coast. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) made them taste a bitter defeat there.

Around 200 families were taken captives. The women were the family members of the adversaries of Muslims and were distributed to Muslim fighters. The daughter of the chief of Khuzaa was captured in that battle and she later married the prophet (and no one forced her. She willfully consented to the marriage). Her family wanted to take her by giving ransom but she refused and stayed with the prophet and accepted Islam.

I don't understand that if the Muslims had just won a battle and killed the captive's husband, brother, son or other relatives or the men of her village why would she be ready and willing to have sex with the victors?

We don't have much information regarding the consent of the captive women but there are reports that indicate that the woman who married the prophet consented to the marriage.


And only the fighting men were killed. Those who didn't fight were taken captives. This hadith is often used by the critics of Islam to accuse Islam of supporting rape which is not true.

Raping in the battlefield is haram and punishable. It was forbidden to have sex with them until they were distributed and their iddah period was over (that's a long time). The prophet said regarding the treatment of captives:

Allah has put them in your care, so feed them with what you eat, clothe them with what you wear. and do not burden them beyond their capacities; but if you burden them (with an unbearable burden), then help them (by sharing their extra burden).


The Quran prohibits forcing captives to have sex:

But let them who find not [the means for] marriage abstain [from sexual relations] until Allah enriches them from His bounty. And those who seek a contract [for eventual emancipation] from among whom your right hands possess - then make a contract with them if you know there is within them goodness and give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you. And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, if they desire chastity, to seek [thereby] the temporary interests of worldly life. And if someone should compel them, then indeed, Allah is [to them], after their compulsion, Forgiving and Merciful. [24.33]

And classical Muslim scholars also enforced harsh punishments for those who committed rape:

In Islamic military jurisprudence, classical jurists laid down severe penalties for rebels who use "stealth attacks" and "spread terror". In this category, Muslim jurists included abductions, poisoning of water wells, arson, attacks against wayfarers and travellers (highway robbery), assaults under the cover of night, and rape. The punishment for such crimes were severe, including death, regardless of the political convictions and religion of the perpetrator.

-- [Wikipedia][3]

Also, captives had freedom of movement and the freedom to complain if their masters treated them badly.

Narrated: 'Umair, the freed slave of commanded me to cut up some meat, then a poor man came so I gave him some. When my master fund out about that, he beat me, so I went to the Messenger of Allah and he came to him and said: 'Do not beat him.' He said: 'He gave away my food without me telling him to.' He said: 'The reward will be shared between you both."' https://sunnah.com/urn/1077150

It is important to note that many of the fighters weren't Muslim.

Many hypocrites went out with the Muslims to the Battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq even though they had often refrained from participating in previous Battles. Nevertheless, when they saw the Muslims win one battle after another, they joined them craving the booties.


  • 1
    Not that I downvoted, but could you explain "Your assumptions aren't quite correct." when the text says almost exactly what the OP suggested? They had sex with newly captured women because they felt like it and didn't want them to get pregnant so they could sell them later and didn't have to care for a child. Thinking that the women happily gave themselves to their new masters is naive at best. Imagine you just lost your family, your home and are now nothing more than a possession of the enemy. Speaking as if there couldn't have been rape because it was forbidden is, again, naive at best. Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 8:06
  • <comments deleted> Comments are intended for constructive criticism and seeking clarification for the purposes of answering the question asked. They are not intended for argument and debate of controversial points.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 16:14
  • @TheRavenQueen Malik :: Book 28 : Hadith 28.14.33 Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Ubaydullah ibn Abdullah ibn Utba ibn Masud from his father that Umar ibn al-Khattab was asked about a woman and her daughter who were in the possession of the right hand, and whether one could have intercourse with one of them after the other Umar said, "I dislike both being permitted together." He then forbade that. Hope now you get that, OP is trying to deviate and disguise by not answering what is required.
    – user31480
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 19:06

Do remember at that time, it was survival by association aka spousal relations and/or under someone's care IE, either tribal relations and/or as captives, it was the harsh unforgiving desert. See it from both the point of view or the captors( Muslims) and the captured(slaves/ men and women). Both sides knew this was normal and the tradition of that time(IN BOTH MUSLIM AND NON-MUSLIM LANDS), slaves exist in war and women were captured also. But under Islamic law, they had protections which were not practiced/ enforced anywhere else. They had a right to not be ill treated and were given care as written by the commentator above. Regarding the duties, as slaves, men had to do hard work and women had to do light work and perform sexual relations only if she consesnted to it, provided she was not menstruating and the act wasn't illegal. However, she could ask her owner to not have sexual relations with her, although a majority needn't ask as they were given to the wives to the captors as cooks and cleaners and odd chores. Also keep in mind that she was under the owner's protection and he/ she was responsible for her welfare. While it is hard to comprehend, having slaves; even females was the norm at that time. Until the last century, the United States had slaves too, Islam unlike the rest of the world had strict rules about slaves. whereas in the U.S the children of slaves were considered as slaves also. In Islam, slaves had the right to ask their price and could earn their freedom, Many slaves became Muslim, and as soon as a slave accepted Islam, he/she was no more a human slave, but welcomed as a brother and sister/wife. Moreover, Islam highly encourages freeing slaves.

let me add this too........plz check the authencity, i got it from somewhere else and havent checked it from the hadith book

Ash-Shafi’ee said (and obviously according to the Shafi'i school)

وَإِذَا اغْتَصَبَ الرَّجُلُ الْجَارِيَةَ ثُمَّ وَطِئَهَا بَعْدَ الْغَصْبِ وَهُوَ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَهْلِ الْجَهَالَةِ أُخِذَتْ مِنْهُ الْجَارِيَةُ وَالْعُقْرُ وَأُقِيمَ عَلَيْهِ حَدُّ الزِّنَا

If a man acquires a slave girl by force and then he rapes her, and he is not an ignorant person, then the slave girl is taken from him. He must pay the fine and the legal punishment for adultery will be applied to him.

Source: Kitab Al-Umm 253

check this too... http://www.islamweb.net/en/fatwa/84431/

  • let me add that this practise is obviously not done now, thing is traditions and practises change (take for example the whole gay marriage thing-50 to 100 years ago was viewed as sick, now it being promoted everywhere from parliment to classrooms). if slavery comes back islam has rules for it, always will Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 8:24
  • do note the legal punishment for adultery is either getting lashed around 100 times i guess or if married, then stoning to death .......plz check tho and allah alone knows best Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 8:30
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    As a registered user you might be able to edit your own posts instead of adding comments that might be later deleted automatically by the system or a mod.
    – Sassir
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 10:44
  • There are some wrong claims here. The text from Kitab Al-Umm is about غصب i.e. about a person who forcefully takes the slave belonging to someone else. Having relations with such a slave is Zina. The text does not say anything about the owner having relations with his own slaves.
    – UmH
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 4:24

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