As you know, in Islam sexual relations are allowed between spouses and possessions of the right hand, with the latter being gained from war. Is it halal for a women to voluntarily submit as a slave to a man? In this hypothetical situation a proper contract would be put in place, no coercion would take place, the potential slave would be of sound mind and treated with respect.

I haven't found anything in my research to indicate that this isn't Islamic. Thoughts?

  • The question is why would anyone do such a thing?
    – The Z
    Mar 11, 2018 at 23:23
  • Maybe the women wants a man to maintain her? Slaves in Islam get same food and clothes as their master. In return the master gets help around the house and sex.
    – user81942
    Mar 11, 2018 at 23:25
  • They could just get married.
    – The Z
    Mar 11, 2018 at 23:28
  • Maybe so, but is the scenario above haram? If it isn't then it's an option.
    – user81942
    Mar 11, 2018 at 23:37
  • @user81942 "with the latter being gained from war" that's not entirely correct. you could obtain a slave in a gift or buy it from someone. Mar 31, 2018 at 19:37

3 Answers 3


There are no means of getting slaves today, voluntarily or involuntarily. In Adwā' al-Bayān, Vol. 4, pp. 29, Mohammad al-Amīn ash-Shanqīti said that the only venue for right-hand possession is through prisoners from wars with disbelievers that are intended for Allah so that Allah's word prevail, this is if the ruler of the Muslim army does not elect to set them free or swap them with Muslim prisoners of war [47:4].

Voluntary slavery is not Islamic.


Slavery as a whole is allowed in Islam.

There are no authentic hadiths or verses where it says one cannot be a slave even if he/she is a volunteer. It may be true that very few people would want to present themselves as a volunteer to become a slave but it may well happen.

There are no Islamic scripts preventing them from that.

  • Why down vote when you have no explanation why you disagree? Mar 31, 2018 at 23:02
  • 2
    Hadith Qudsi of Bukhari explicitly forbids the enslavement of a free person. The only form of enslavement that is permitted is through disbeliever captives of war, if the caliph so choses [33:50]. Someone who is already enslaved may be bought, sold, gifted, inherited etc. ... though this isn't a thing which admits one to slavery in the first place.
    – UmH
    Mar 31, 2018 at 23:06
  • I have edited my answer to give room for the hadith you mentioned. So, capturing and enslaving free persons to sell them and eat the money is forbidden.. However, if you remove the selling part then it does seem OK. So if a free person is transformed into a slave you can only give it as a gift but cannot sell to eat the price. Mar 31, 2018 at 23:25
  • "though this isn't a thing which admits one to slavery in the first place." Whether it may happen or may not happen... However If it does than its not forbidden. Mar 31, 2018 at 23:26
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    You'd still be eating the price since you would get benefit from him\her such as labor etc. If you gift them you'd again be getting benefit as the goodwill, for which otherwise you would have had to spend your own money. Overall your answer seems to be based on nothing but your personal musings which aren't thought through well enough and you are twisting scripture and tradition every which-way to defend your position (which goes against the orthodox position) ... as such your answer is of little use to the wider audience who expect an authoritative and reliable answer based on sound premiss.
    – UmH
    Apr 1, 2018 at 0:02

Voluntary Slavery is allowed in Islam. As evident from the following incident regarding Zaid-ibn-Harith.

"Zayd’s father and uncle set out for Mecca. They found Muhammad (pbuh) at the Kaaba and promised him any ransom if he would return Zayd to them. Muhammad replied that Zayd should be allowed to choose, if he wishes to return to his family and that Muhammad (pbuh) would release him without any ransom.

They asked Zayd, who recognised his father and uncle, but told them that he did not want to leave Muhammad, “for I have seen something in this man, and I am not the kind of person who would ever choose anyone in preference to him.”

Source: "Landau-Tasseron/Tabari pp. 8-9"

This incident is sufficient evidence to prove that despite being offered freedom, Zayd voluntarily accepted to remain in slavery of the Prophet (pbuh) without thinking about or knowing any outcome. The prophet (pbuh) even tried to change his status from that of a slave to an adopted son but that decision was over-turned by Quran, banning the practice of the kind of adoption at the time altogether.

When it comes to a woman, its better that she proposes a marriage rather than accepting volunteer slavery of a man. Because being married to a man she has the advantage to seek divorce whenever she deems it necessary. The only difference between the rights of a wife and that of a female slave is that the female slave cannot invoke Faskh (A kind of divorce initiated by the female without the consent of her male husband). Except this distinction, each and every other right of a woman remains the same for both a wife and that of a female slave.

Therefore, in extreme circumstances where a man is already married to four wives and there is a fifth female who wants to indulge in sexual relations or simply wants to stay closer to a man, her only option would be to become his slave.

Remember, slavery had not been abolished by Islam but rather discouraged. Its only the man-made governments of today who have abolished slavery. In Islam it is still allowed and Islam cannot be changed.

Lastly, war is not the only way to obtain a slave. A slave could be bought or be given as a gift too. Zaid-bin-Harith and Maria-al-Qubtia were both slaves of the prophet pbuh, and both were not obtained in war but rather gifted by others.

  • 2
    Didn't Zaid get freed and become an adopted son? It isn't really slavery. Not my downvote.
    – The Z
    Mar 31, 2018 at 20:50
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. Mar 31, 2018 at 21:34
  • <comments deleted> Comments are intended for constructive criticism and seeking clarification, not for argument and debate.
    – goldPseudo
    Mar 31, 2018 at 21:45
  • 2
    Zayed was already freed by the Prophet when he first received him as a gift from Khadijah, and this happened before the event mentioned in your answer [ See Qurtubi: فوهبته خديجة للنبي ... فأعتقه وتبناه ، فأقام عنده مدة ، ثم جاء عمه وأبوه يرغبان في فدائه ] He chose between staying with the Prophet or returning with his family, not between slavery and freedom.
    – UmH
    Mar 31, 2018 at 22:40
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    The posted incident shows -in best case- that Arabs had slaves no more no less. Note that still nowadays in Arabic countries people consign their sons -in first place- a few years in to care of good and honourable families (or scholars etc.) hoping they learn from these people and will be well educated, is this slavery? Basing a conclusion about Islam on this is far-fetched.
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 3, 2018 at 6:44

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