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So I came across few of these Hadiths about selling/ransoming a human being.

Sahih Muslim 1438 a

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

O 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 Mes- senger (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. Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa'id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): 0 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 Mes- senger (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.

The Hadith has been interpreted multiple times:

Sunan Abi Dawud 2172

Muhairiz said “I entered the mosque and saw Abu Sa’id Al Khudri . I sat with him and asked about withdrawing the penis (while having intercourse). Abu Sa’id said We went out with the Apostle of Allaah(ﷺ) on the expedition to Banu Al Mustaliq and took some Arab women captive and we desired the women for we were suffering from the absence of our wives and we wanted ransom, so we intended to withdraw the penis (while having intercourse with the slave women). But we asked ourselves “can we draw the penis when the Apostle of Allaah(ﷺ) is among us before asking him about it? So we asked him about it. He said “it does not matter if you do not do it, for very soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.”

Muwatta Malik Book 29, Hadith 95

Yahya related to me from Malik from Rabia ibn Abi Abd ar-Rahman from Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Habban that Ibn Muhayriz said, "I went into the mosque and saw Abu Said al-Khudri and so I sat by him and asked him about coitus interruptus. Abu Said al-Khudri said, 'We went out with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the expedition to the Banu al-Mustaliq. We took some Arabs prisoner, and we desired the women as celibacy was hard for us. We wanted the ransom, so we wanted to practise coitus interruptus. We said, 'Shall we practise coitus interruptus while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is among us before we ask him?' We asked him about that and he said, 'You don't have to not do it. There is no self which is to come into existence up to the Day of Rising but that it will come into existence.' "

There are other Hadiths as well beside intercourse with female captives while observing coitus interruptus:

Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1958

It was narrated from 'Aishah: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) set Safiyyah free, and made her ransom her dowry, and he married her.

Sahih al-Bukhari 2537

Some men of the Ansar asked for the permission of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and said, "Allow us to give up the ransom from our nephew Al-`Abbas. The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to them), "Do not leave (even) a Dirham (of his ransom).

Sunan Abi Dawud 2691

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) fixed the ransom of the people of pre-Islamic Arabia at four hundred dirhams per head on the day of the battle of Badr.

So my question is, Does Islam allow human trafficking?

By human trafficking I meant to ask that you "acquire" a person either from war or trade & selling and ransom them for labor and sexual exploitation. Isn't that what you basically call human trafficking? Regardless of whether that person is a captive or prisoner, he/she is still a human being and Ashraful Makhluqat.

  • Salam and welcome to IslamSE the Q&A site about Islam. To learn more about our site and the stackexchange model consider taking the tour and checking our help center. – Medi1Saif Nov 29 '18 at 13:18
  • I've deleted that comment as I've added it to your post where it belongs as any information which is necessary to clarify a question should be added in your post. Comments are not meant to last forever. – Medi1Saif Dec 1 '18 at 7:39
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In the aftermath of war, Islam gives the caliph the option to treat prisoners of war in the following ways depending on what serves the interest of the state:

  • They may be set free
  • They may be executed
  • They may be ransomed or exchanged
  • They may be enslaved

The hadith you have quoted are about these, specifically about the the last two. Outside of prisoners of war, a free human can not be enslaved. There are already several questions on the site about this topic so you should use the search feature, for example those under the tag.

  • <comments deleted> Comments are intended for constructive criticism and seeking clarification, not for argument and debate or extended discussion of tangential points. – goldPseudo Dec 2 '18 at 20:30
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As‘salaamu alaikum.

Human trafficking, as we know it, is a dirty and sometimes vicious business wherein:

  • People are kidnapped, by violence or sometimes after being drugged;

  • Children are sold off by their poverty stricken or drug-addicted family members; and

  • Young people (females AND males) are typically forced into prostitution and are then kept under control by being fed heroin or other hard narcotics.

Your question was asked in the context of war captives being taken and enslaved as spoils of war, and @UmH answered it from that angle. But I suspect that, in your question, you are also asking if Islam condones and allows someone to partake in human trafficking as a business enterprise as I described it above. In that sense, the answer to your question is an emphatic “NO!”.

Anyone who makes A BUSINESS of abducting people is “making mischief in the land” by creating an atmosphere of fear where people can‘t feel safe, and they are profiting off of the distress and grief of others.

Abu Hurairah related that the Prophet (alaihi salaam) said, “By Allah, he is not a believer!” And he said this three times. He was asked, “Who is not a believer?” and he answered, “The one whose neighbor is not safe against his mischief.”

If human trafficking is okay under Islam then Prophet Joseph‘s brothers were not wrong for selling him into slavery. But they themselves say that they were wrong , (Qur‘an 12:91).

No, those who partake in human trafficking are criminals, and they should be killed.

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    Thanks for the answer. But in Islam, you are eventually "aquiring" a person either from war or trade & selling and ransoming them for labour and sexual exploitation. Isn't that what you basically call human trafficking? Regardless of whether that person is a captive or prisoner, he/she is still a human being and Ashraful Makhluqat. – Slowu Nov 29 '18 at 15:59
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First of all in my opinion human trafficking is a crime as it is defined in Wikipedia as follows:

Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage,or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal. Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally. Human trafficking is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim's rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation. Human trafficking is the trade in people, especially women and children, and does not necessarily involve the movement of the person from one place to another. (Source: Wikipedia)

Some of the above terms certainly will apply to slavery too, but slavery is not per se declared haram in Islam, but is rather an accepted, but legally restricted matter.

Some of the limitations of Islam are that:

  • a free individual can't be enslaved! (And that is exactly the connection with the modern understanding of human trafficking)
  • Only a war prisoner can be enslaved if the Muslim leader sees a benefit in this, else he may order to kill him or even set him free -without any conditions- or set free him after the payment of a ransom or in exchange of a Muslim war prisoner. Most of this are customs which were applied by all nations until a few centuries ago, so there's or was nothing wrong in doing so in past.
  • and a children of (married) slaves in a Muslim household is a slave.

Sexual exploitation of a slave by a Muslim man by concubinage has certain limits for both the slave owner and the female slave, and a female slave has been given some rights even a wife can't have. For instance: if the slave got pregnant and gave birth her duties in the household would be lower and she has a certainty of being freed once her owner died and it is not allowed to sell her. It's also not allowed to have intercourse with a "new concubine" unless she had one menses or gave birth to a child which was in her womb.

It is also important to remark that to become a prisoner of war you must be at the battlefield or participating in the fight. Else Muslims are ordered not to harm those who didn't actively harm them in case of a fight.

The ahadith you are quoting are basically describing the situation after a battle (war) and in this case the enemy was planing an invasion of Medina. So there were woman among what we may call the war booty. Some of the sahabah () were hoping for a rather "material" decision on these prisoners of war or had some sexual urges as it seems. But the prophet () was hoping that he could find a long-term peaceful solution with Bani al-Mustaliq by freeing the captives. And this is actually what happened and the prophet () toke Juwairiah bint al-Harith () the daughter of their leader who was part of his war booty and accepted Islam later as his wife with the agreement of her guardian. Note that beside this Muslims are asked to respect and fulfil contracts and Islam has no ruling that supports slavery on one site and many rulings and expiations that supports freeing slaves on the other hand.

As many people Muslims and non-Muslims confound between rulings of Islam or shari'a and the practice of Muslims I think it is necessary to say that during the Muslim history not all enslavements of other people were shari'a conform. I myself grow up in a city that was formally known for what Muslim call "Al-Jihad al-Bahry الجهاد البحري" while non-Muslims call it Piracy the point is most of the leaders of the Mujahideen (of this city in example) or pirates where former non-Muslims or Muslims that have been expelled from Europe (mainly Spain) in the 16th or 17th century (these people had only a minor knowledge of the rulings of Islam as most of the scholars and people of knowledge and wealth left Spain much earlier), so many family names in this city -even if it is in an Arabic speaking country- don't sound Arabic at all and therefore you may often read about many acts of enslavements and interactions with slaves that are hardly shari'a conform (For more information refer also to Are Muslim men allowed to take "sex slaves?" and Islam and the enslavement of children: Punishing the sons for the sins of the fathers).

Finally you used the expression "Ashraful Makhluqat أشرف المخلوقات" referring to humans by this is not agreed upon among scholars, Sufis certainly will call our prophet () this way or entitle him with this "title". The Qur'an says:

And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference. (17:70)

This verse had a big influence on some humanists of the renaissance in Europe. And that's the best description of how humans have been honoured by Allah. And it should be one out of many hints in the Qur'an that all human beings are equal.

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