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Selling the Sinful Slave Girl (Ahadith 1857 – 1858)


Ahadith 1855 & 1856 are repeats. They’re a summary of most of the things we’ve learnt in the Book of Sales and Trade that are prohibited.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 360 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Do not go forward to meet the caravan (to buy from it on the way before it reaches the town). And do not urge buyers to cancel their purchases to sell them (your own goods) yourselves, and do not practice Najsh. A town dweller should not sell the goods for the desert dweller. Do not leave sheep unmilked for a long time, when they are on sale, and whoever buys such an animal has the option of returning it, after milking it, along with a Sa of dates or keeping it. it has been kept unmilked for a long period by the seller (to deceive others).

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 361 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever buys a sheep which has been kept unmilked for a long period, and milks it, can keep it if he is satisfied, and if he is not satisfied, he can return it, but he should pay one Sa of dates for the milk.”

Today’s Ahadith:

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 362 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If a slave-girl commits illegal sexual intercourse and it is proved beyond doubt, then her owner should lash her and should not blame her after the legal punishment. And then if she repeats the illegal sexual intercourse he should lash her again and should not blame her after the legal punishment, and if she commits it a third time, then he should sell her even for a hair rope.”

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 363 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid (radiallaahu `anhumaa)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was asked about the slave-girl, if she was a virgin and committed illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If she committed illegal sexual intercourse, lash her, and if she did it a second time, then lash her again, and if she repeated the third time, then sell her even for a hair rope.” Ibn Shihab said, “I don’t know whether to sell her after the third or fourth offense.”

This is for an unmarried, virgin slave girl. The punishment for a married slave girl is mentioned in Surah an-Nisa: 25.

Punishment is only prescribed when the crime is proved beyond doubt. Lashes for the first two times and selling off for even the lowest price the third time around without lashes. Why? Because if lashes don’t do her any good, changing her master and surroundings just might.

Hadith No. 49 – Sahih al-Bukhari


Hadith no. 48 is a repeat. Read here.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 49:

Narrated An-Nu’man bin Bashir:

I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and most of the people have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and his honor. And whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the Hima (private pasture) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it. (O people!) Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.

What I take from this Hadith is: Islam has its teaching described clearly in black and white. But some lie in the grey area in between. This is the suspicious territory. It may be legal or it may not be. We don’t know for sure. A person going into that territory can assure himself that he isn’t necessarily doing wrong. But! Look at what the Prophet (SAW) said:

Whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and honor.

One might still argue that it’s not possible to save yourself from these things, especially in ‘this time and age’. Well, here’s the answer to that: if you knowingly enter the grey area, you can save yourself. Because you knew! And if you did it unknowingly and unwillingly, then there shall be no blame on you, inshaAllah.

Coming back to my point, we should try to stay away from suspicious things, things that we don’t know are legal or not. Because stepping into the grey area will be like opening a window to illegal stuff. It might become the stepping stone to something you can’t imagine yourself doing.

So I take my lesson. There are a lot of things, I feel, that clear guidance hasn’t been given in Islam about. For example, to exactly which extent can we indulge with our male cousins. We know they’re non-mahrams, but they’re family as well. Hence, I never get to know where the boundary is. Avoiding suspicion would mean I should avoid spending a lot of time with them. Talk only when necessary. It’s doable!

May Allah make us realize our boundaries and keep us from going even near them. Ameen.


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