5

Being recognized as free woman in order to not get molested

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful

-- Surat Ahzab, verse 59

In the tafsirs, its mentioned that the words an yo'rafna means: That they would be known to be free women, and not slave women.

So the conclusion of the following verse would be; if its known that they are free women, they should not get abused! ...but if its not known that they are free women, they might get abused by sick people (or hypocrites). This is what makes my question, i.e are the sick/hypocrite then to get away with this....

This is from the tafsir Ibn Al Kathir:

كان ناس من فساق أهل المدينة يخرجون بالليل حين يختلظ الظلام إلى طرق المدينة يتعرضون للنساء، وكانت مساكن أهل المدينة ضيقة، فإذا كان الليل، خرج النساء إلى الطرق يقضين حاجتهن، فكان أولئك الفساق يبتغون ذلك منهن، فإذا رأوا المرأة عليها جلباب، قالوا: هذه حرة، فكفوا عنها، وإذا رأوا المرأة ليس عليها جلباب، قالوا: هذه أمة، فوثبوا عليها، وقال مجاهد: يتجلببن فيعلم أنهن حرائر، فلا يتعرض لهن فاسق بأذى ولا ريبة.

When they saw a woman which wasn't wearing jilbab (hijab/niqab), they said; "this is a slave", then they jumped on her.
(only translated the bold sentence)

And from Tafsir Tabarsi:

{ ذلك أدنى أن يعرفن فلا يؤذين }
أي ذلك أقرب إلى أن يعرفن بزيّهن أنهنَّ حرائر ولسن بإماء فلا يؤذيهن أهل الريبة فإنهم كانوا يمازحون الإِماء وربما كان يتجاوز المنافقون إلى ممازحة الحرائر فإذا قيل لهم في ذلك قالوا حسبناهنَّ إماء

And the hypocrites maybe used to go beyond teasing the free women, and when they were criticized about their behavior towards the women, they would say: "we thought they were slaves".

Would you get away with abusing slave women in the time of the Prophet?

The question is derived from the hypocrites abusing free women, when according to Tabarsi, they would just say that they thought they were slaves. If they could escape with that excuse, that would imply that one would get away (legally) when abusing a slave woman. Please make some comments around this reasoning in your answer.

1

Not all translations use the word 'molested' many others use words such as 'annoyed' and 'maligned'

Examples:

M.M Pickthall Translation:

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar:

O Prophet! Say to thy spouses (f) and thy daughters and the females, ones who believe to draw closer their (f) outer garments over themselves (f). That is more fitting so that they (f) be recognized and not be maligned. And God had been Forgiving, Compassionate

Muhammed Asad Translation:

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters, as well as all [other] believing women, that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments [when in public]: this will be more conducive to their being recognized [as decent women] and not annoyed. But [withal,] God is indeed much- forgiving, a dispenser of grace!

And no you wouldn't get away with abusing a slave woman Or a slave/captive/ those whom your right hands posses in general:

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

From Muwatta Malik(and according to Maliki jurisprudence):

Malik related to me from Ibn Shihab that Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan gave a judgment that the rapist had to pay the raped woman her bride- price. Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "What is done in our community about the man who rapes a woman, virgin or non-virgin, if she is free, is that he must pay the bride-price of the like of her. If she is a slave, he must pay what he has diminished of her worth. The hadd-punishment in such cases is applied to the rapist, and there is no punishment applied to the raped woman. If the rapist is a slave, that is against his master unless he wishes to surrender him."

Source: https://sunnah.com/urn/414630

From Sahih Al Bukhari:

Safiya bint Ubaid said:

"A governmental male-slave tried to seduce a slave-girl from the Khumus of the war booty till he deflowered her by force against her will; therefore 'Umar flogged him according to the law, and exiled him, but he did not flog the female slave because the male-slave had committed illegal sexual intercourse by force, against her will." Az-Zuhri said regarding a virgin slave-girl raped by a free man: The judge has to fine the adulterer as much money as is equal to the price of the female slave and the adulterer has to be flogged (according to the Islamic Law); but if the slave woman is a matron, then, according to the verdict of the Imam, the adulterer is not fined but he has to receive the legal punishment (according to the Islamic Law).

Source: https://sunnah.com/bukhari/89/10

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, said:

مَنْ ضَرَبَ غُلَامًا لَهُ حَدًّا لَمْ يَأْتِهِ أَوْ لَطَمَهُ فَإِنَّ كَفَّارَتَهُ أَنْ يُعْتِقَهُ

Whoever strikes his slave without limit or slaps him, then the expiation for his sin is to emancipate him.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1657, Grade: Sahih

Suwaid ibn Muqarrin reported: He had a servant girl and someone slapped her, so he said to him:

أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ الصُّورَةَ مُحَرَّمَةٌ فَقَالَ لَقَدْ رَأَيْتُنِي وَإِنِّي لَسَابِعُ إِخْوَةٍ لِي مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَمَا لَنَا خَادِمٌ غَيْرُ وَاحِدٍ فَعَمَدَ أَحَدُنَا فَلَطَمَهُ فَأَمَرَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْ نُعْتِقَهُ

Did you not know that it is forbidden to strike the face? I was the seventh of my brothers during the lifetime of the Prophet and we had only one servant. One of us became enraged and slapped him, so the Prophet commanded us to set him free.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1658, Grade: Sahih

This verse of the Quran prohibits people forcing slave girls into the "sex trade":

وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاءِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا لِّتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا

Do not compel your slave girls to prostitution if they desire chastity, seeking thereby the interests of worldly life.

Surah An-Nur 24:33

While this one commands kind treatment of slaves:

وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا

They give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, saying: We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We do not desire from you reward or gratitude.

Surat Al-Insan 76:8-9

Ibn Kathir explained this verse stating:

وَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ كَانَ أُسَرَاؤُهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ مُشْرِكِينَ وَيَشْهَدُ لِهَذَا أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَمَرَ أَصْحَابَهُ يَوْمَ بَدْرٍ أَنْ يُكْرِمُوا الْأُسَارَى فَكَانُوا يُقَدِّمُونَهُمْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ عِنْدَ الْغَدَاءِ وَهَكَذَا قَالَ سَعِيدُ بْنُ جُبَيْرٍ وَعَطَاءٌ وَالْحَسَنُ وَقَتَادَةُ وَقَدْ وَصَّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِالْإِحْسَانِ إِلَى الْأَرِقَّاءِ فِي غَيْرِمَا حَدِيثٍ حَتَّى إِنَّهُ كَانَ آخِرَ مَا أَوْصَى أَنْ جَعَلَ يَقُولُ الصَّلَاةَ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ

Ibn Abbas said: Their captives on that day were idolaters. The evidence for that is that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, commanded his companions to be generous to the prisoners on the day of Badr and they would give preference to them in meals over themselves. Such was reported by Sa’eed ibn Jubair, Ata’, Al-Hasan, and Qatadah. The Messenger of Allah had enjoined good treatment towards captives in more than one tradition, so often that one of the last things he said was: Guard the prayer and those whom your right hand possesses.

Source: Tafseer Ibn Kathir 76:8

This Hadith also shows that slaves had to be treated well:

Abu Aziz ibn Umair reported:

كُنْتُ فِي الأُسَارَى يَوْمَ بَدْرٍ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ اسْتَوْصُوا بِالأُسَارَى خَيْرًا وَكُنْتُ فِي نَفَرٍ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ وَكَانُوا إِذَا قَدَّمُوا غَدَاءَهُمْ وَعَشَاءَهُمْ أَكَلُوا التَّمْرَ وَأَطْعَمُونِي الْخُبْزَ بِوَصِيَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِيَّاهُمْ

I was among the prisoners of war on the day of Badr. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I enjoin you to treat the captives well.” After I accepted Islam, I was among the Ansar and when the time of lunch or dinner arrived, I would feed the prisoners dates as I had been fed bread due to the command of the Prophet.

Source: Mu’jam Al-Kabeer 18444, Grade: Hasan

The Prophet (saw) also stated:

لَا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ سَيِّئُ الْمَلَكَة

He will not enter Paradise who is evil to his slaves.

Source: Musnad Ahmad 32, Grade: Hasan

The Prophet (saw) advised Muslims:

أَطْعِمُوا الْجَائِعَ وَعُودُوا الْمَرِيضَ وَفُكُّوا الْعَانِيَ

Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and set the captives free.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5058, Grade: Sahih

And Umar ibn Al Khattab (ra) famously said:

مذ كم تعبدتم الناس وقد ولدتهم أمهاتهم أحراراً

Since when did you enslave the people though they were born from their mothers in freedom?

Source: Futuh Masr 290

Ma’rur ibn Suwaid reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِخْوَانُكُمْ وَخَوَلُكُمْ جَعَلَهُمْ اللَّهُ تَحْتَ أَيْدِيكُمْ فَمَنْ كَانَ أَخُوهُ تَحْتَ يَدَيْهِ فَلْيُطْعِمْهُ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ وَلْيُلْبِسْهُ مِمَّا يَلْبَسُ وَلَا تُكَلِّفُوهُمْ مَا يَغْلِبُهُمْ فَإِنْ كَلَّفْتُمُوهُمْ فَأَعِينُوهُمْ عَلَيْهِ

Your slaves are your brothers. Allah has placed them in your hand, and he who has his brother under him should feed him with the same food he eats and clothe him with the same clothes he wears, and do not burden him beyond his capacity, and if you burden him then help him.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1661, Grade: Sahih

أَطْعِمُوهُمْ مِمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ وَأَلْبِسُوهُمْ مِنْ لَبُوسِكُمْ وَلاَ تُعَذِّبُوا خَلْقَ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

Feed them from the same food you eat and clothe them from the same clothes you wear, and do not torture the creation of Allah the Exalted.

Source: Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 188, Grade: Sahih

Abu Mas’ud reported: I was beating a boy (slave) of mine when I heard a voice from behind me:

اعْلَمْ أَبَا مَسْعُودٍ لَلَّهُ أَقْدَرُ عَلَيْكَ مِنْكَ عَلَيْهِ

Know, O Abu Mas’ud, that Allah has more power over you than you have over him.

I turned around and it was the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. I said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have freed him for the sake of Allah.” The Prophet said:

أَمَا لَوْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ لَلَفَحَتْكَ النَّارُ

If you had not done so, you would have been burnt in the Hellfire.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1659, Grade: Sahih

Anas ibn Malik reported:

النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَعْتَقَ صَفِيَّةَ وَجَعَلَ عِتْقَهَا صَدَاقَهَا

The Prophet emancipated Safiya and made her freedom as her marriage dowry.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 4798, Grade: Muttafiqun Alayhi

I showed this Hadith because it showed the Prophet doing away with the "shame" of marrying a slave.

The Quran instructs Muslims to marry slaves:

وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, for Allah is Encompassing and Knowing.

Surah An-Nur 24:32

Umar condemned a man to death for raping a female captive he had acquired during war.

Harun ibn Al-Asim reported: Umar ibn Al-Khattab sent Khalid ibn Al-Waleed with the army and Khalid sent Dirar ibn Al-Azwar along with a company and they invadnd Dirar was impressed with her. He asked his companions to give her to him and ed a district belonging to the tribe of Asad. They captured a beautiful girl athey did, then he had intercourse with her. A letter was sent to Umar and he replied:

فَكَتَبَ عُمَرُ أَنْ أَرْضِخْهُ بِالْحِجَارَةِ

He should be stoned to death.

Source: Sunan Al-Kubra 1671

Comments about jilbabs:

A jilbab is a loose garment that covers the body e.g: abaya. It is not a hijab. What we call a hijab know is usually referred to as a khimar. (Most pictures under jilbab will usually be a jilbab and a khimar)

Conclusion:

In conclusion, it would be illegal to abuse a slave/slave woman in the time of the Prophet (saw) the slave would have to be emancipated, the 'master' would be punished or both. It is obligatory to treat slaves fairly if not kindly and strongly recommended to free them. The people mentioned in the above tafaseer are not representative of the early Muslim community and that is why At Tabari refers to them as hypocrites.

P.S : Tabari's work is a mixture of reports of varying authenticity. He collected everything reported to him without isnaad or matn criticism. His work according to Yasir Qadhi was supposed to be an encyclopedia-type tafsir for scholars and not something for the general public.

  • I quoted Tabarsi not Tabari. But as mentioned in my question, most mufassirin explain "أنْ يُعْرَفْنَ" to mean recognized as free women and not slaves. This includes Tabari, Zamakshari, Razi, Ibn kathir, Qurtubi, Baydawi, al-Baghawy and so on... I am aware of the other translations of the word which is a minority understanding. Razi also mentions in his tafsir that "أنْ يُعْرَفْنَ": "قيل يعرفن أنهن حرائر فلا يتبعن ويمكن أن يقال المراد يعرفن أنهن لا يزنين لأن من تستر وجهها م". Also, "maligned" is a synonym of "abused". Even the Swedish translation which is based on Asads, has "molested" – Kilise Jul 5 '17 at 11:54
  • Also I would like to thank you for your answer and welcome you to Islam SE the Q&A site about Islam. We are not a typical an internet forum. Therefore we expect answers to be well elaborated, see "how to answer" for more information. I strongly recommend you to take our 2 min. tour and visit our help center to learn more about this site and the stack exchange model. – Kilise Jul 5 '17 at 11:56
  • Btw, most of the ahadith and info seems not to be much related to the question. If you could edit and comment about this i mentioned in my question: " if its known that they are free women, they should not get abused! ...but if its not known that they are free women, they might get abused by sick people (or hypocrites). This is what makes my question, i.e are the sick/hypocrite then to get away with this...." – Kilise Jul 5 '17 at 12:19
  • sorry about me going off on a tangent during the answer. I was just trying to elaborate on the fact that fair treatment of slaves is an obligation and that to abuse them would be a crime – amrahx Jul 5 '17 at 13:24
  • Yes I understand and thank you for your answer! I am aware of that fair treatment of slaves is an obligation and that to abuse them would be a crime and not something a believer would do, as you showed in your quotes. But in my question with "abuse" I do not mean like hit slaves or such, it is more related to abuse them with zina because they are slaves (i.e molest or such). And by "get away" i am talking about the fussaq/munafiqin.. If you could add something about my earlier comment that would be great! – Kilise Jul 5 '17 at 13:31

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