Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah is Most Wise in the laws that He decrees for His
slaves, but this wisdom is only apparent to those who seek it and believe
that Allaah is All Wise, and looks at the interests that are served by the
laws of Allaah which no man can see unless he ponders the matter, especially
when there are those who attack those laws because they go against what they
think are right and wise.
With regard to your question about it being permissible for a
master to be intimate with his slave woman, the answer is that that is
because Allaah has permitted it. Allaah says (interpretation of the
“And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts,
from illegal sexual acts)
6. Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their
right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame”
[al-Mu’minoon 23:6; al-Ma’aarij 70:30]
That is subject to the
condition that he has acquired her in a proper manner, and that this slave
woman has not been given by her master in marriage to another man to whom
she is still married. The reason why this is permitted is that this slave
woman belongs to him, either because he has paid money to buy her or he has
fought for the sake of Allaah (and acquired her among the war booty).
Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (may
Allaah have mercy on him) said: The reason for which people may be taken as
slaves is if they are kaafirs who are waging war against Allaah and His
Messenger. If Allaah grants victory to the mujaahid Muslims, who are
offering their souls, their wealth and all their resources and everything
that Allaah has given them so that the word of Allaah might prevail over the
kuffaar, then these kuffaar may become slaves, unless the imam chooses to
let them go or to ransom them if that serves the interests of the Muslims.
Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 3/387
Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
If it is said: If the slave is a Muslim, how can he be kept
as a slave if the reason for which people may be taken as slaves is if they
are kaafirs who are waging war against Allaah and His Messenger? The answer
is that the basic principle which is well known to the scholars and all wise
people is that a right that is already established by shar’i means cannot be
superceded by rights that are established later on.
When the Muslims take prisoners of war, they are given the
right to enslave them by the law of the Creator of all, and He is the
All-Wise, All-Aware. If this right is established, then the slave becomes a
Muslim after that, his right to be freed from slavery because of his Islam
is superceded by the right of the mujaahid whose right to enslave him took
effect before he was a Muslim. It is not just or fair to waive the former
right because of a latter right, as is well known to all wise people.
Yes, it is good for the owner to set him free if he becomes
Muslim, and Islam enjoins that and encourages it, and opens the door to
doing so in many ways – he is referring to the fact that Allaah has decreed
that when expiation takes the form of freeing a slave, the slave in question
should be a Muslim –
Glory be to the All Wise, All Aware: “And the Word of your
Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words.
And He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Knower” [al-An’aam 6:115].
“In truth” means in what
He has told us; “in justice” means in His rulings.
Undoubtedly that justice includes owning slaves and other
rulings that are mentioned in the Qur’aan.
Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 3/389.
With regard to Muslims
owning slaves, he should be very careful to establish that those who are
bought or sold now are indeed slaves, because Islam has limited the sources
of slaves which were many before the coming of Muhammad (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), and has allowed only one source, which is
kaafir prisoners of war, when the kuffaar are fighting the Muslims. There is
no other way in which they may be enslaved except those who are captured as
a result of fighting between kaffirs and Muslims, or their children. See
also questions no.
26067 and 12562
for more information.
And Allaah knows best.