Rape is Not Necessarily Wrong in Islam


by Ex-Leftist

I’ve had either dishonest or ignorant Muslims try to assert Islam is perfectly compatible with Western values by offering vague concepts of “justice” without defining what the Islamic concept of it is and how that concept is compatible with Western ideas of justice. It seems that they all too often are trying to get us to accept Islam by speaking in such vague terms and avoiding specifics, hopefully we’ll accept rosy speeches with little content. (But can you blame them? It seems to be how we cast our votes.)

If you are given a Muslim apologist website for more explanation, I will guarantee you that you will not be given the whole picture of what Islamic Law is and how it is practiced in the Islamic world.

Always try to seek primary sources if possible. This means not just Quran, but popularly accepted Quran commentaries such as Tafsir ibn Kathir as well as collections of verified Hadiths (sayings of Muhammad and his companions which form the basis of Islamic Law only behind the Quran itself) and theological writings preferably published in the Islamic world itself for a fuller and less laundered version of the religion. I have only very rarely come across Muslim literature published in the Western world for Western readers which is not watered down for palatability for the Western audience. Such books do not contain a full and unfiltered presentation of Islam. This short essay will offer a display of the type of dishonesty encountered in Western media and publications which then embeds itself in the Western mind which is why we see all too many Western apologists on the topic of Islam who admittedly have little to no exposure with actual Islamic theology.


The topic here is rape: Our Western concept of it and the definition used within Islam. They are not the same by any means. In Islam, a man (and only a man) having sex with his slaves or captives taken in war is not only not considered adultery, it’s not considered rape. Is this compatible with Western morality?

A fatwa (Islamic ruling) on the topic: Ruling on having intercourse with a slave woman when one has a wife (In the below quotation, Quran verses are quoted directly in italics.)

Islam allows a man to have intercourse with his slave woman, whether he has a wife or wives or he is not married.

A slave woman with whom a man has intercourse is known as a sariyyah (concubine) from the word sirr, which means marriage.

This is indicated by the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and this was done by the Prophets. Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) took Haajar as a concubine and she bore him Ismaa’eel (may peace be upon them all).

Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also did that, as did the Sahaabah, the righteous and the scholars. The scholars are unanimously agreed on that and it is not permissible for anyone to regard it as haraam or to forbid it. Whoever regards that as haraam is a sinner who is going against the consensus of the scholars.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice”

[al-Nisa’ 4:3]

What is meant by “or (slaves) that your right hands possess” is slave women whom you own.

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O Prophet (Muhammad)! Verily, We have made lawful to you your wives, to whom you have paid their Mahr (bridal‑money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), and those (slaves) whom your right hand possesses — whom Allaah has given to you, and the daughters of your ‘Amm (paternal uncles) and the daughters of your ‘Ammaat (paternal aunts) and the daughters of your Khaal (maternal uncles) and the daughters of your Khaalaat (maternal aunts) who migrated (from Makkah) with you, and a believing woman if she offers herself to the Prophet, and the Prophet wishes to marry her a privilege for you only, not for the (rest of) the believers. Indeed We know what We have enjoined upon them about their wives and those (slaves) whom their right hands possess, in order that there should be no difficulty on you. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Ahzaab 33:50]

“And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts).

Except from their wives or the (women slaves) whom their right hands possess for (then) they are not blameworthy.

But whosoever seeks beyond that, then it is those who are trespassers”
[al-Ma’aarij 70:29-31]

Al-Tabari said:

Allaah says, “And those who guard their chastity” i.e., protect their private parts from doing everything that Allaah has forbidden, but they are not to blame if they do not guard their chastity from their wives or from the female slaves whom their rights hands possess.

Tafseer al-Tabari, 29/84

Ibn Katheer said:

Taking a concubine as well as a wife is permissible according to the law of Ibraaheem (peace be upon him). Ibraaheem did that with Haajar, when he took her as a concubine when he was married to Saarah.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/383

And Ibn Katheer also said:

The phrase “and those (slaves) whom your right hand possesses — whom Allaah has given to you” [al-Ahzaab 33:50] means, it is permissible for you take concubines from among those whom you seized as war booty. He took possession of Safiyyah and Juwayriyah and he freed them and married them; he took possession of Rayhaanah bint Sham’oon al-Nadariyyah and Maariyah al-Qibtiyyah, the mother of his son Ibraaheem (peace be upon them both), and they were among his concubines, may Allaah be pleased with them both.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/500

The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is permissible.

Ibn Qudaamah said:

There is no dispute (among the scholars) that it is permissible to take concubines and to have intercourse with one’s slave woman, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts).

Except from their wives or the (women slaves) whom their right hands possess for (then) they are not blameworthy.”

[al-Ma’aarij 70:29-30]

Maariyah al-Qibtiyyah was the umm walad (a slave woman who bore her master a child) of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and she was the mother of Ibraaheem, the son of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), of whom he said, “Her son set her free.” Haajar, the mother of Isma’eel (peace be upon him), was the concubine of Ibraaheem the close friend (khaleel) of the Most Merciful (peace be upon him). ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) had a number of slave women who bore him children, to each of whom he left four hundred in his will. ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) had slave women who bore him children, as did many of the Sahaabah. ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad and Saalim ibn ‘Abd-Allaah were all born from slave mothers

Al-Mughni, 10/441

Al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts).

Except from their wives or the (women slaves) whom their right hands possess for (then) they are not blameworthy.”

[al-Ma’aarij 70:29-30]

The Book of Allaah indicates that the sexual relationships that are permitted are only of two types, either marriage or those (women slaves) whom one’s right hand possesses.

Al-Umm, 5/43.

The wife has no right to object to her husband owning female slaves or to his having intercourse with them.

And Allaah knows best.


In the Sahih Bukhari Hadith collection, which is considered the single most authentic collection of Hadiths in Sunni branch of Islam which is practiced by 85% of the Muslims in the world, we have in the section titled Sales and Trade (#34) a lovely mention of captives:

Book 34, Hadith #175:

Narrated Anas:

Amongst the captives was Safiya. First she was given to Dihya Al-Kalbi and then to the Prophet.


It’s not adultery if you’re having sex with a married captive says a verse delivered from On High right on cue:

Book 12, Hadith #110:

Abu Sa’id Al Khudri said “The Apostle of Allaah(ﷺ) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of Apostle of Allaah(ﷺ) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So, Allaah the exalted sent down the Qur’anic verse “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hand posses.” This is to say they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period.

From the book The Sale of Slaves, Book 34, Hadith #176:

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:

that while he was sitting with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) he said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.

From the book Judgments Book 93, Hadith #74

Narrated `Aisha:

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to take the Pledge of allegiance from the women by words only after reciting this Holy Verse:–(60.12) “..that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah.” (60.12) And the hand of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) did not touch any woman’s hand except the hand of that woman his right hand possessed. (i.e. his captives or his lady slaves).

And yes, Muhammad himself was a slave trader.

From the book Commercial Transactions Book 23, Hadith #33

Narrated Jabir:
The Prophet (ﷺ) bought a slave for two slaves.
His child bride Aisha also had slaves. From the Book of Divorce Book 27, Hadith #58
It was narrated that Al-Qasim bin Muhammad said:
“Aishah had a male slave and a female slave. She said: ‘I wanted to set them free, and I mentioned that to the Messenger of Allah. He said: Start with the male slave before the female slave.'”
Note nothing is said about seeking the consent of the captive before the sex act. There are no rules prescribed for Muslims in this regard, even though that Islam is otherwise so exhaustive in its rules for everyday thought and action, that there are even rules on how to properly wipe oneself after using the toilet. Of course not. After all, nobody is taken slave or is a captive in war by consent, so suffice it to say, the sexual acts aren’t consensual, either. This includes women taken captive by the men who murdered their entire family. There are some Islamic online apologist webpages that attempt to rationalize the issue, but none address the requirement (at least in the eyes of civilized nations) to seek consent, let alone give evidence that consent was not only not coerced, but either sought or given by these women. There are rules on sexual relations with female captives but those rules apply to how the captive was acquired; was she taken lawfully, not did she consent.

So we have intimate, detailed sexual advice and direction from Muhammad regarding withdrawal during intercourse but nothing on seeking the consent of slaves and captives?

Rape or not?

Would you like to live in a country with a majority population, culture, and legal system practiced in this manner?

Mind you that this definition of rape within Islam is only applicable to the Muslims themselves. How often have we heard Muslims complaining of either corrupt American soldiers or even as far back as the Crusades committing acts of rape against Muslim war captives? They didn’t bother addressing whether or not the captive was taken lawfully but that they performed sexual acts on them at all.


So even then within the Muslim mindset, lawful rape of captives and slaves are only not rape if the person committing the act is a Muslim.

And yes, it is still going on today.