Traditionalist View on Sex SlavesWell, why doesn't he have the decency and honesty to leave Islam? Is his ignorance typical of converts?
Traditionalist View on Sex Slaves
In early fall 2004, I started attending a class in Islamic Rules and Law(Fiqh) according to the Shafi'i school in order to learn more about this traditional school. Years ago, when I first learned about Islam, one point that bothered me was that Islam appears to tolerate slavery, at least according to traditional opinion. My Muslim friends responded to my concern with the usual traditional apologetic logic: They said, Islam tolerated slavery only to avoid a social and economic collapse and therefore made slavery vanish not suddenly but slowly over time. When I heard this the first time, I assumed slavery disappeared in the course of a few generations. Several years after I became Muslim I was shocked when I learned that in fact, slavery lasted on for more than a thousand years, until the nineteenth century, when international agreements between Muslim and Western countries banned slavery, and it clearly seems the Western countries were the driving force behind this move.
According to traditional schools of thought, not only was slavery permitted, but they also approved that every male master had the right to force any of his female slaves to have sex with him. To me, this became a prime example for the necessity to reconsider the traditional rulings. I asked the Shaykh, what was the ruling on slaves, and whether it was permitted for a male master to sleep with slave women against their will. He simply said yes. I asked to clarify, so if there was a slave market today, I could go and buy a fourteen year old girl just in order to sleep with her? He said yes, and he added, not only was it permitted, it was also common practice among early Muslims. Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the shaykh said, had children from his slaves. The class was shocked, especially the female students.