Thursday, July 11, 2013

Voluntary Slavery

A cyber friend had thankfully entrusted me with a query on Voluntary Slavery; or "An adult woman offers herself to be a free proprietary of a Muslim man".. Of course; I’m not a formally authorized Sheikh or a Cleric, but a literate Muslim person; with an access to the "Linguistics" of Islamic rituals, doctrine and culture, which inevitably were in Arabic..

This controversial and exotic issue is only "linguistic rather than doctrine".. yet, got the publicity by Muslim Radicals and Salafiests, who are famous in triggering controversial (mostly outdated) issues..

Certainly, logically and practically; there is nothing called Voluntary Slavery.. No mature person would voluntarily offer herself or himself to be propriety of another person, male or female.. unless forced or bullied by public or hidden motives.. This logic of "Freedom and Free-will" was the foundation of urbanity and civilization.. A pillar within the Intellectual Estate, for all Mankind.. Typically Islam had advocated for the Free-will; even to believe or not..!

Muslim Matrimony is always public, someway or another.. Therefore, when a woman offers herself to be propriety of a man; it is an expression of love, respect or need.. Actually; she either aggressively persuading him to marry her.. or shamelessly declaring been irrevocably and irreversibly his life-time-maid (or a voluntary slave in this context).. A man (embarrassedly or uncontrolledly) may accept any of these two scenarios..

The 2nd seems irrational or unpractical in today’s world, yet stills a probability; despite how is practiced in the remote Muslim villages of Sub-Continent and Sub-Sahara..

Therefore, it is all about the 1st scenario, which in our Today’s Muslim World; would mean her choice to marry him "without a guardian’s consent or a dowry".. Yet; witnesses would be there.. This is not a propriety nor a voluntary slavery.. It is just another form of marriage..

If couple of Muslim met somewhere at non-Muslim community, yet; decided to swiftly marry: How would they proceed..?
Certainly; without Muslim Guardian, Dowry or Witnesses..  

In the history of Islam; Proprietary of Others”; it had never been advised or encouraged; unless to relief a believer-slave from the suppression imposed by a non-Muslim owner.. Islam had made the emancipation of slaves as one of the tools for penance or sentence in most of judiciary processing.. Medieval Islam had followed the same till the formal termination of slavery in the modern times..

Proprietary or (ملك اليمين) had been mentioned in 10 Ayahs:

Surah Al-Mo’mienon 23/7: Definition of lawful believers, who only mate their wives “or” a proprietary

Surah Al-Ma’riej 70/31: Ditto/Same        

Surah Al-Ahzaab 33/50: Specified role for the Prophet PBUH      

Surah Al-Ahzaab 33/52: Ditto/Same

Surah Al-Niesaa 4/24: Role on women's eligibility for marriage subject to Dowry; which is only for the "free"              

Surah Al-Niesaa 4/3: Role to marry more than one women “or” a proprietary     

Surah Al-Niesaa 4/36: Definition of whom charity should be given            

Surah Al-Noor 24/31: Definition of who may observe Muslim women without their "full" modesty

Surah Al-Noor 24/58: Definition of who may enter the parents’ room during their rest times  

Surah Al-Ahzaab 33/55: Definition of who may observe Muslim women without their "Full" modesty 
Accordingly, only 3 are addressing mating the proprietary, subject to a clear “OR” condition.. Meaning, "Not to Mate a Proprietary" if the person has the means to marry a free Muslim woman.. Adding to it, to mate a proprietary; she should be given a Dowry, which is only eligible to a free woman..

Therefore, if a Muslim Man wants; or finds no other way but to marry a proprietary; he should "Emancipate" her 1st, gives a Dowry and then "Announce" her as a legitimate wife..

It is notable that the process to emancipate was "Not" conditioned to be public, unless the owner prefers.. The dowry can only be an iron ring.. Therefore; it Is most likely that many female slaves had been set free, timely with mating.. Yet, Scholars are still debating the doctrine of witnesses, without annulling such practice..

The Islamic Code had never included "Mating a Salve or a Proprietary"; as both definitions are economic rather than sociocultural.. Both are temporary.. Therefore, they denounce the eligibility for marriage (which legitimizes mating) as surrounding circumstance may change, shift or invalid..
The confusion about this matter is historical, when early Muslim men had mated their female slaves or proprietaries.. Then became a custom among wealthy Muslims and Statesmen, who created the brand "Hareem"..

There was "untold code" within such questioned practice: Owner-men had never sold away the female salves they had mated.. Nor set free the voluntary slaves they had.. It was a form of "irrevocable" marriage..

Eventually, as how such a woman will be a wife of yours; you can’t marry more than four of her-alike at any given time.. Simply; the practices among Ottoman, Mamluk or Mogul monarchs were deviations from the merit of Islam.. Hareem was the most wrong term in Muslim History, and the most destructive one as well.. 

1970th had witnessed the formal termination of slavery in Muslim communities; worldwide apart from Mauritania and Mali.. Some few remote communities still in practice; which form socioeconomic challenges..

Today; there is no way to take a woman into proprietary, even in these classic interpretations of war, feudal or outdated social system.. What is carried out for practice in South Asia or African Sahara is not Islamic but revival of ancient social systems.. Therefore, these practices are NOT Islamic..!

Regretfully, many scholars and historian defend those odd practices in their aim to defend Islam..  yet, Islam is only honored, defended and advocated by true, integral and clear admission of Right and Wrong..!

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