Marry those among you who are single and (also marry) the capable ones of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). Those who do not find the financial means for marriage must keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His Bounty. Slaves who seek a writing (of emancipation), give them such writing. Do not force your maidservants to prostitution, if they desire chastity. Quran 24:32-33

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Quran: Chapter 18 ‘Qad Aflaha’ ‘Successful indeed are’, Sura: 24 ‘An Nur’ ‘The Light’, Verse: 32- 33

Verse 32: And marry those among you who are single (man who never married and also man whose wife died) and (also marry) the pious- fit- and capable ones, the Salihun, of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people).

Verse 33: And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His Bounty. And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), give them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty in them. And give them something (yourselves) out of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you. And force not your maids to prostitution, if they desire chastity, in order that you may make a gain in the (perishable) goods of this worldly life. But if anyone compels them (to prostitution), then after such compulsion, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Explanation by Ibne Kathir (702 Hijri- 774 H/ 1301 Christian Era–1373CE)

The Command to marry

These clear Ayat include a group of unambiguous rulings and firm commands.

وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَى مِنكُمْ …                        

And marry those among you who are single (Al-Ayama)….

This is a command to marry.

The Prophet said:

يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ، مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ

O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him marry, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting the private parts. Whoever cannot do that, then let him fast, for it is a protection for him.

This was recorded in the Two Sahihs from the Hadith of Ibn Mas`ud.

In the Sunan, it was recorded from more than one person that the Messenger of Allah said:

تَزَوَّجُوا تَوَالَدُوا تَنَاسَلُوا فَإِنِّي مُبَاهٍ بِكُمُ الْأُمَمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

Marry and have children, for I will be proud of you before the nations on the Day of Resurrection.

The word Al-Ayama, the plural form of Ayyim, is used to describe a woman who has no husband and a man who has no wife, regardless of whether they have been married and then separated, or have never been married at all. Al-Jawhari reported this from the scholars of the (Arabic) language, and the word is applied to men and women alike.

… وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ …

and the pious of your servants and maidservants.

… إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاء يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ …

If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas:

“Allah encouraged them to get married, commanded both free men and servants to get married, and He promised to enrich them.”

It was recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said:

“Seek the richness through marriage, for Allah says: وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ (If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty).”

This was recorded by Ibn Jarir.

Al-Baghawi also recorded something similar from Umar.

… وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٣٢﴾

And Allah is All-Sufficient, All-Knowing.

It was reported from Al-Layth from Muhammad bin Ajlan from Sa`id Al-Maqburi from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said:

ثَلَاثَةٌ حَقٌّ عَلَى اللهِ عَوْنُهُمْ:

النَّاكِحُ يُرِيدُ الْعَفَافَ،

وَالْمُكَاتَبُ يُرِيدُ الْأَدَاءَ،

وَالْغَازِي فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ

There are three whom it is a right upon Allah to help:

one who gets married seeking chastity;

a slave who makes a contract with his master with the aim of buying his freedom; and

one who fights for the sake of Allah.

This was recorded by Imam Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.

The Prophet performed the marriage of a man who owned nothing but his waist wrap, and could not even buy a ring made of iron, but he still married him to that woman, making the Mahr his promise to teach her whatever he knew of the Qur’an.

And it is known from the generosity and kindness of Allah that He provided him with whatever was sufficient for her and for him.

The Command to keep Oneself Chaste if One is not able to get Married

Allah’s saying:

وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمْ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ …

And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His bounty.

This is a command from Allah to those who do not have the means to get married: they are to keep themselves chaste and avoid unlawful things, as the Prophet said:

يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ

O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him marry, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting the private parts. Whoever cannot do that, then let him fast, for it is a protection for him.

This Ayah is general in meaning, and the Ayah in Surah An-Nisa’ is more specific, where Allah says:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ (And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women) until His statement; وَأَن تَصْبِرُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ (but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint.

meaning, it is better for you to be patient and refrain from marrying slave-girl, because any child that is born will also be a slave.

وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ (and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful). (4:25)

وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا …

And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste,

Ikrimah said,

“This refers to a man who sees a woman and it is as if he feels desire; if he has a wife then let him go to her and fulfill his desire with her, and if he does not have a wife, then let him ponder the kingdom of heaven and earth until Allah grants him means of livelihood.”

The Command to grant Slaves a Contract of Emancipation

Allah’s saying:

… وَالَّذِينَ يَبْتَغُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِمَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا …

And such of your servants as seek a writing (of emancipation), give them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty in them.

This is a command from Allah to slave-owners: if their servants ask them for a contract of emancipation, they should write it for them, provided that the servant has some skill and means of earning so that he can pay his master the money that is stipulated in the contract.

Al-Bukhari said: “Rawh narrated from Ibn Jurayj:

`I said to Ata’, “If I know that my servant has money, is it obligatory for me to write him a contract of emancipation.”

He said, “I do not think it can be anything but obligatory.”

Amr bin Dinar said: “I said to Ata’, `Are you narrating this from anybody?’

He said, `No,’ then he told me that Musa bin Anas told him that Sirin, who had a lot of money, asked Anas for a contract of emancipation and he refused. So he went to Umar (bin Al-Khattab), may Allah be pleased with him, and he said, `Write it for him.’

He refused, so Umar hit him with his whip and recited, فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا (give them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty in them).

Then he wrote the contract.”

This was mentioned by Al-Bukhari with a disconnected chain of narration.

Difficult words: Al-Bukhari: Muslim religious scholar (196 H- 256 H / 810 CE- 870 CE)

It was also narrated by Abdur-Razzaq who said Ibn Jurayj told them:

I said to Ata’, “If I know that my servant has some money, is it obligatory for me to write him a contract of emancipation.”

He said, `I do not think it can be anything but obligatory.”’

It was also said by Amr bin Dinar who said,

“I said to `Ata’, `Are you narrating this from anybody?’

He said, `No.”’

Ibn Jarir recorded that Sirin wanted Anas bin Malik to write a contract of emancipation and he delayed, then Umar said to him,

“You should certainly write him a contract of emancipation.”

Its chain of narrators is Sahih.

Allah’s saying:

… إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا …

if you find that there is good and honesty in them.

Some of them said (this means) trustworthiness.

Some said: “Honesty,”

and others said: “A skill and ability to earn.”

… وَآتُوهُم مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ …

And give them something out of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you.

This is the share of the wealth of Zakah that Allah stated to be their right.

This is the opinion of Al-Hasan, Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and his father and Muqatil bin Hayyan.

It was also the opinion favored by Ibn Jarir.

… وَآتُوهُم مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ …

And give them something out of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you.

Ibrahim An-Nakha`i said,

“This is urging the people, their masters and others.”

This was also the view of Buraydah bin Al-Husayb Al-Aslami and Qatadah.

Ibn Abbas said:

“Allah commanded the believers to help in freeing slaves.”

The Prohibition of forcing Ones’s Slave-Girls to commit Zina

Allah’s saying:

… وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاء …

And force not your slave-girls to prostitution…

Among the people of the Jahiliyyah, there were some who, if he had a slave-girl, he would send her out to commit Zina and would charge money for that, which he would take from her every time.

When Islam came, Allah forbade the believers to do that. The reason why this Ayah was revealed, according to the reports of a number of earlier and later scholars of Tafsir, had to do with Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul. He had slave-girls whom he used to force into prostitution so that he could take their earnings and because he wanted them to have children which would enhance his status, or so he claimed.

Reports narrated on this Topic

In his Musnad, Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Amr bin Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Bazzar, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Az-Zuhri said,

“Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul had a slave-girl whose name was Mu`adhah, whom he forced into prostitution. When Islam came, the Ayah وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاء (And force not your slave-girls to prostitution…) was revealed.”

Al-A`mash narrated from Abu Sufyan that Jabir said concerning this Ayah,

“This was revealed about a slave-girl belonging to Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul whose name was Musaykah. He used to force her to commit immoral actions, but there was nothing wrong with her and she refused. Then Allah revealed this Ayah:

وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاء (And force not your slave-girls to prostitution), until His saying; وَمَن يُكْرِههُّنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِن بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ (But if anyone compels them, then after such compulsion, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful).”

An-Nasa’i also recorded something similar.

Difficult word: An-Nasa’I: Muslim religious scholar (214 AH – 303 AH/ 829 CE– 915 CE)

Muqatil bin Hayyan said,

“I heard — and Allah knows best — that this Ayah was revealed about two men who used to force two slave-girls of theirs (into prostitution). One of them was called Musaykah who belonged to (the Ansari), and Umaymah the mother of Musaykah belonged to Abdullah bin Ubayy.

Mu`adhah and Arwa were in the same situation. Then Musaykah and her mother came to the Prophet and told him about that. Then Allah revealed: وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاء (And force not your slave-girls to prostitution), meaning Zina.

… إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا …

if they desire chastity,

means, if they want to be chaste, which is the case with the majority of slave-girls.

… لِّتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا …

in order that you may make a gain in the goods of this worldly life.

meaning, from the money they earn and their children.

The Messenger of Allah forbade the money earned by:

the cupper,

the prostitute and

the fortune-teller.

Difficult word: the cupper: the person who draws blood from the body by scarification and the application of a cupping glass, or by the application of a cupping glass without scarification, as for relieving internal congestion.

According to another report:

مَهْرُ الْبَغِيِّ خَبِيثٌ

وَكَسْبُ الْحَجَّامِ خَبِيثٌ،

وَثَمَنُ الْكَلْبِ خَبِيثٌ

The earnings of a prostitute are evil,

the earnings of a cupper are evil, and

the price of a dog is evil.

… وَمَن يُكْرِههُّنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِن بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٣٣﴾

But if anyone compels them, then after such compulsion, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

meaning, towards them, as has already been stated in the Hadith narrated from Jabir.

Ibn Abi Talhah narrated that Ibn Abbas said,

“If you do that, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, and their sin will be on the one who forced them to do that.”

This was also the view of Mujahid, Ata’ Al-Khurasani, Al-A`mash and Qatadah.

 

{Disclaimer;  Explanation by Ibne Kathir is researched and written by  http://www.quran4u.com/Tafsir%20Ibn%20Kathir/024%20Noor.htm#وَأَنْكِحُواْ   – I just copy-pasted from that site. I only added the date of births, date of deaths of the scholars and the places at which they took place. I also added some more text color than in the original article.}

Notes by samia2010oct: Islam encourages men to get married as soon as they earn enough money to pay the bride money, Mahar, and to be able to sustain marriage financially because Allah put the financial burden of a household on men. Those who are unable to get married because they are not financially sound enough they must remain chaste till Allah make them financially sound enough. Allah forbids men to force their maidservants to prostitution. If a maid is compelled to prostitution against her will, the sin will be on her master and not on the maid.

It is Big Sin, Gunaahe Kabira, for men not to marry and fall into sinful life, when they earn enough to sustain a marriage and at the same time they are mentally and emotionally fit and capable of keeping a marriage. It is Big Sin, Gunaahe Kabira, as well to hinder marriage of a person who has the means and who wishes to get married. Also it is Big Sin, Gunaahe Kabira, to force a person to prostitution. For Big Sins, Gunaah e Kabira, there is the punishment of unbearable burning of whole body by Unending Fire. 

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