Those whom the right hand possesses

Q 2: What is the exact modern definition of ...or (the slaves) that your right hands possess. that was mentioned in the following Ayah (Qur'anic verse): 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 ? Is it permissible to marry four women at the same time and have a countless number of slave girls? (Part No. 18; Page No. 329) Are there any slave girls nowadays? What is the ruling on them if they are non-Muslims? Should a marriage contract be concluded, or does it depend on the master's wishes? Does she have the same rulings as a free woman when having intercourse with her, or should she be left to assume her role as a slave until she becomes pregnant and her baby emancipates her?


A: First, those whom your right hand possesses are the slave girls who are lawfully possessed in a way that agrees with the Shari`ah (Islamic law). Second, it is permissible for a man to marry four women at the same time. He can also have a number of slave girls, whether he has four wives or less, or even if he has no wife. He can have intercourse with whoever he likes from his slave girls, provided that she is not married. In case she is newly bought in a way that agrees with the Shari`ah or the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), he has to wait until she has at least one menstrual period. There is no need to conclude a marriage contract. She does not have the same rulings as a legal wife in terms of treating her on equal terms as he treats his wives regarding the days he spends with each. She might be non-Muslim, but her owner still has the right to have intercourse with her on the grounds of being possessed by the right hand. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.


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