Q 1: How can a man
marry a bondwoman from the People of the Book?
What is meant by the statement "a man may have sexual intercourse with his bondwoman whom his right hand possesses"? Please explain how the Prophet (peace be upon him) married (Part No. 18; Page No. 272)
Can she be given the title of
the Mother of the Believers?
What is meant by possessing a captive woman by right hand?
It is not permissible for a man to marry a bondwoman except when he cannot afford the Mahr (dowry given to the bride by the groom) given to a free, chaste and believing woman. In such case, he is allowed to marry a chaste believing bondwoman after asking her master's permission. He, however, is neither allowed to marry a Kafir (disbelieving) slave, whether she is from the People of the Book or not, nor an unchaste female slave. Allah (Exalted be He) states,
And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free, believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those (slaves) whom your right hands possess, and Allâh has full knowledge about your Faith; you are one from another. Wed them with the permission of their own folk (guardians, Auliyâ’ or masters) and give them their Mahr according to what is reasonable; they (the above said captive and slave-girls) should be chaste, not committing illegal sex, nor taking boy-friends. And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit illegal sexual intercourse
A Muslim is permitted intimacy with a bondwoman whom his right hand possesses, i.e. She is lawful to him without concluding a marriage contract. Allah (Exalted be He) states when praising the successful believers,
And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts)
Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, - for then, they are free from blame;
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was intimate with
Mariyah Al-Qibtiyyah whom his right hand possessed and who bore him his son (Part No. 18; Page No. 273)
Ibrahim. She cannot be considered one of his wives
nor be given the title of the Mother of the Believers. Possessing a captive or slave woman by right hand means that the master is allowed intimacy with her as a husband with his wife, whether she bears him a son or not. The Prophet (peace be upon him) did so with his slave woman,
Mariyah Al-Qibtiyyah. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.