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Does Islam Allow Muslims to Rape Female Captives and Slave Girls?

By David Wood

Critics of Islam and Sharia frequently claim that the Qur’anallows Muslim men to rape their female captives and slave girls (i.e. those “whom their right hands possess”). Westernized Muslims, however, are appalled at the thought of their religion allowing rape, so they insist that Islam prohibits this practice. Unfortunately, Islam isn’t defined by Westernized Muslims; it’s defined by Allah and Muhammadin the Qur’an and the Hadith. So instead of inventing a religion based on the feelings of Westernized Muslims and calling it “Islam,” let’s turn to the Qur’an and the Hadith to see what Allah and Muhammad have to say about this issue.

As Muhammad’s armies raided town after town, they captured many women, who would often be sold or traded. Yet, since the Muslim men were a long way from their wives, they needed wisdom from Allah to guide them in their treatment of their female captives. Allah revealed:

Qur’an 23:1-6—The Believers must (eventually) win through—those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess—for (in their case) they are free from blame. 
Qur’an 70:22-30—Not so those devoted to Prayer—those who remain steadfast to their prayer; and those in whose wealth is a recognized right for the (needy) who asks and him who is prevented (for some reason from asking); and those who hold to the truth of the Day Of Judgement; and those who fear the displeasure of their Lord—for their Lord’s displeasure is the opposite of Peace and Tranquility—and those who guard their chastity, except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess—for (then) they are not to be blamed.

Notice that Allah commands Muslims to abstain from sex, except with their wives and with “those whom their right hands possess.” Allah gave the same sexual rights to Muhammad:

Qur’an 33:50—O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war …

The Muslim practice of having sex with captured women is reported often in the Hadith, where we learn that Muhammad’s only objection to sex with captives was his condemnation of birth control…

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