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The Slave Girl's Punishment for Adultery is Half that of a Free Unmarried Woman Print E-mail

Allah said,

﴿فَإِذَآ أُحْصِنَّ فَإِنْ أَتَيْنَ بِفَـحِشَةٍ فَعَلَيْهِنَّ نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَـتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ﴾

(And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit Fahishah, their punishment is half of that for free (unmarried) women.) this is about the slave women who got married, as indicated by the Ayah;

﴿وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَـتِ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ فَمِنْ مَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُم مِّن فَتَيَـتِكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ﴾

(And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess,) Therefore, since the honorable Ayah is about believing slave girls, then,

﴿فَإِذَآ أُحْصِنَّ﴾

(And after they have been taken in wedlock,) refers to when they (believing slave girls) get married, as Ibn `Abbas and others have said. Allah's statement,

﴿نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَـتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ﴾

(their punishment is half of that for free (unmarried) women.) indicates that the type of punishment prescribed here is the one that can be reduced to half, lashes in this case, not stoning to death, and Allah knows best. Allah's statement,

﴿ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَشِىَ الْعَنَتَ مِنْكُمْ﴾

(This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body;) indicates that marrying slave girls, providing one satisfies the required conditions, is for those who fear for their chastity and find it hard to be patient and refrain from sex. In this difficult circumstance, one is allowed to marry a slave girl. However, it is better to refrain from marrying slave girls and to observe patience, for otherwise, the offspring will become slaves to the girl's master. Allah said,

﴿وَأَن تَصْبِرُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾

(but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

﴿يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ - وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَتِ أَن تَمِيلُواْ مَيْلاً عَظِيماً - يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً ﴾

(26. Allah wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is unlawful) to you, and to show you the ways of those before you, and accept your repentance, and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.) (27. Allah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away (from the right path)) (28. Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak. ) Allah explains to the believers what He has allowed and prohibited for them in this and other Surahs,

﴿وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ﴾

(And to show you the ways of those before you,) meaning their righteous ways and how to adhere to the commandments that He likes and is pleased with.

﴿وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ﴾

(and accept your repentance) from sin and error,

﴿وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ﴾

(and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.) in His commands, decrees, actions and statements. Allah's statement,

﴿وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَتِ أَن تَمِيلُواْ مَيْلاً عَظِيماً﴾

(but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the right path)) indicates that the followers of Shaytan among the Jews, Christians and the adulterous, wish that you would take the horrendous path of falsehood instead of the truth.

﴿يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ﴾

(Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you'') His legislation, orders, what He prohibits and what He decrees for you. This is why Allah has allowed free men to marry slave girls under certain conditions, as Mujahid and others have stated.

﴿وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً﴾

(and man was created weak.) and this is why it is suitable in his case that the commands are made easy for him, because of his weakness and feebleness. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Tawus said that,

﴿وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً﴾

(and man was created weak), "Concerning women''. Waki` said, "Man's mind leaves when women are involved.''

﴿يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَـطِلِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَـرَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنْكُمْ وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيماً - وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذلِكَ عُدْوَناً وَظُلْماً فَسَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِ نَاراً وَكَانَ ذلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيراً - إِن تَجْتَنِبُواْ كَبَآئِرَ مَا تُنهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَـتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُمْ مُّدْخَلاً كَرِيماً ﴾

(29. O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.) (30. And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire, and that is easy for Allah.) (31. If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).)

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