MA MALAKAT AIMANUKUM

The term “Ma Malakat Aimanukum” is one of the most misunderstood, misused and abused term of the Quran. It is usually taken as to mean “female slave”. Before we discuss the correct meaning of this term, it must be borne in mind that there is a specific word in Arabic language for female slaves and this word has been used at least twice in the Quran, once as a singular [“Amatun” which is used in 2:221] and secondly as a plural [“imaikum”, which is used in 24:32].

The common interpretation of the term “Ma Malakat Aimanukum” as captive girls (with whom one can have free sex) is not warranted by the Quran. Many traditional Muslims have abused this term. They have followed corrupted scholars who have innovated and fabricated laws that have no basis in the true Islam and contradict the laws of Allah in the Quran.

AN ANALYSIS OF THE TERM

The term “Ma Malakat Aimanukum” literally has the following meanings:

-What your right hands possess
-What you rightfully have
-What you [already] have
-What is rightfully yours

Now it could be any of the following:

-Your wife
-Your spouse
-Your servant

-Your employees/workers
-Your possession, or property

 

The Term “Ma Malakat Aimanukum” refers to a neutral gender which is applicable to both male and female.

NOW LET US EXPLORE EACH KEY WORD IN THE TERMMA MALAKAT AIMANUKUM”, A LITTLE FURTHER

The word “Malakat” has the root meem-laam-kaaf [M-L-K]. It primary signification is:

-To possess or own [something or someone], particularly with ability to have it to oneself exclusively

Other meanings include:

-To have power to command or exercise authority
-To acquire
-To take over
-To Marry

As can be seen that one of the meanings is “to marry”. This is according to one of the most authentic dictionaries of Arabic language [Lisan-ul-Arab by Ibn-Manzoor Vol. 13, page 184]. Another authentic dictionary of Modern Arabic also describes this meaning [The Hans Wehrs Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, page 1081].

According to Lisan-ul-Arab, Al-Milaak means

-Marriage
-The bond of holy matrimony

According to the same dictionary, Milaakun also means

-Wife

The word “Milkun” which has plural “Amlaak” means:

-Possessions
-Lands
-Fortune
-Wealth
-Real estate
-Property

The word “Mulkun” means:

-Sovereignty
-Kingship
-Possession
-Right of possession [what is rightfully yours]

In the term “Ma Malakat Aimanukum”, the word MALAKAT is in the PAST tense, which signifies “What you ALREADY have”, or “what you ALREADY possess” or “what CAME in your possession”. The word, grammatically, cannot be taken as to mean “what you WILL possess” or “what you WILL have”. The future or present tense form of this word is altogether different and has been used in various verses of Quran [5:17, 5:76, 10:31, 13:16, 16:76, 17:56, 19:87, 20:89, 25:3, 29:7, 34:22, 34:42, 35:13, 39:43, 43:86, 82:19]

NOW LET US SEE THE WORD “AIMANUKUM”

The word “Aimanun” is the plural of “Yaminun” and means “Right hands”. The root of this word is ya-meem-noon [Y-M-N].

The word “Yaminun” also means:

-A covenant
-An oath

The word “Yumnun”, has the same root Y-M-N and means:

-Prosperity
-Good luck
-Good fortune
-Good omen
-Auspiciousness

Now think of “Marriage” which is also a covenant [as described in Quran] and an event of auspiciousness, then see the suitability of the use of word “Aimanun” in context of marriage, as well.

From the above it can be seen that “Ma Malakat Aimanukum”, may refer to:

-Spouse
-Wife
-Servants
-Prisoners of war
-Subordinates
-What is rightfully yours

Before we move further, another important word [which is used as conjunction] must also be explained. The word is “AW”, used in the phrase “aw ma malakat aymanukum”. “AW” is usually translated as “OR”. There is no doubt that “OR” is one of the meanings of “AW” but as a matter of fact, this word is used in no less than 12 different ways [also explained in Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon]. One of the uses of this word is TAFSEEL, [i.e. elaborative or explanatory]. In other words, “AW” is also used to add some meaning to the previous word or to explain a previous word or to give some attribute or characteristics of the previous word.

Please refer to 17:110. In this verse, there is a phrase “odAAoo Allaha aw odAAoo alrrahmana”. Note carefully how “Allah” and “Rahman” are separated by the word “AW”. Now here “AW” does not imply that “Allah” and “Rahman” are two different Beings. Without doubt, “Allah” and “Rahman” is one and the same Being. “Rahman” is an attribute of “Allah”.

THE TERM MA MALAKAT AYAMANUKUM IN VARIOUS VERSES OF THE QURAN

In verse 4:3, the term “Ma Malakat Aymanukum” means “what you rightfully possess” or “What you [already] have” or ” Your wives”.

4:3 And if you fear that you cannot be just to the orphans, then you may marry those (Mother of Orphans) who are agreeable to you of the women: two, and three, and four. But if you fear you will not be fair, then only one, or what you [already] have (Ma Malakat Aimanukum). This is best that you do not face financial hardship.

In 4:24, the term “ma malakat aymanukum” means “what you rightfully possess” [through wedlock].

4:24 And (forbidden to you are women) who are already married (Muhsanatu), except what you rightfully possess (Ma Malakat Aimanukum) [through wedlock]; This is the law prescribed to you by Allah; and All (women), except these, have been permitted for you to seek (to marry) through your wealth as married women (Muhsinina) without being adulterous fornicators (Musafihina). Then as to those whom  you have already had joy with, then you shall give them their dowries as an obligation. There is no sin upon you for what you agree on after the obligation. Allah is Knowledgeable, Wise.

In verse 4:25 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means “what you rightfully possess” from believing female servants.

4:25 And whoever of you cannot afford to marry the free women (Muhsanati) believers, then what you rightfully possess (Ma Malakat Aimanukum) from believing female servants. And Allah is more aware of your faith, some of you to each other. You shall marry them with the permission of their parents, and give them their dowries in kindness to be married women (Muhsinatin) and not adulterous fornicators (Musafihatin) nor those who take [secret] lovers. If they commit lewdness when they are married, their punishment should be half that of free women (Muhsinati).  This is for those who fear hardship from among you. But if you are patient it is better for you, and Allah is Forgiver, Merciful.

In verse 4:36 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means Your servants [male or female].

4:36 And serve Allah and do not set up anything with Him, and do good to the parents, and the relatives, and the orphans, and the homeless, and the neighbor who is a relative, and the neighbor nearby, and the friend nearby, and the traveler, and those male and female servants (Ma Malakat Aimanukum). Allah does not love the arrogant, the boastful.

In verse 16:71 Ma Malakat Aimanuhum means “what they rightfully possess” Their servants [male or female].

16:71 And Allah has preferred some of you over others in provision. Yet, those who have been preferred will not relinquish their provision to their servants [male or female] (Ma Malakat Aimanuhum), that they may become equal in it. Is it the favor of Allah that they deny?

In 24:31, the term “Ma Malakat AymanuHunna” means “what they rightfully possess” or Their servants [male or female].

24:31 And tell the believing females not to stare in a lustful manner and guard their private parts, and that they should not reveal their Zeenatahuna (Dressed up bodies) except what is apparent (head, hairs, face, hands, feet), and And that (Wal) They should strike (Yadribna) With (Bi) Their covers (khumuri hinna) Upon (AAala) Their BOSOMS (juyoobi hinna). And let them not reveal their Zeenatahuna (Dressed up bodies) except To their husbands, or Their fathers, or Fathers of their husbands, or Their sons, or The sons of their husbands, or Their brothers, or The sons of their brothers, or The sons of their sisters, or Their women, or Their servants (Ma Malakat AimanuHuna), or The male dependents without [sexual] desire, or The child who has not yet understood the composition (Awrati) of women (Al-Nisai). And that they should not strike with their feet in a manner that reveals what they are keeping hidden (Breasts and Buttocks) of their Zeenatahuna (Dressed up bodies). And repent to Allah, all of you believers, that you may succeed.

In 24:33, the term “Ma Malakat Aymanukum” means “what you rightfully possess” servants [male or female].

24:33 And restrain themselves (YastaAafifi) [from illicit relations] those who are not able to marry until Allah enriches them of His Bounty. And those who seek a contract [for eventual emancipation] from among (Ma Malakat Aimanukum) [male or female servants] then make a contract with them if you know there is within them goodness and give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you. And do not compel your young servants to prostitution, if they desire chastity, to seek [thereby] the temporary interests of worldly life. And if someone should compel them, then indeed, Allah is [to them], after their compulsion, Forgiving and Merciful.

In verse 24:58 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means “what you rightfully possess” or Your servants [male or female].

24:58 O you who believe, let those among you who are your servants [male or female] (Ma Malakat Aimanukum), and those who have not attained puberty, request your permission regarding three times: before the dawn Salat, and when you put off your garments from the noon time, and after the evening Salat. These are three private times for you. Other than these times, it is not wrong for you or them to intermingle with one another. Allah thus clarifies the revelations for you. And Allah is Knowledgeable, Wise.

In verse 30:28 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means “what you rightfully possess” Subordinates/Employees/Workers [male or female].

30:28 An example is put forth for you from among yourselves: are there any from among those who are your subordinates [male or female(Ma Malakat Aimanukum) that are partners to you in what provisions We have given you that you become equal therein? Would you fear them as you fear each other? It is such that We clarify the revelations for a people who have sense.

In 33:50, the term “Ma Malakat Yaminuka” means What is rightfully yours (Wives of the Prophet).

33:50 “O prophet, We have made lawful for you The Wives To Whom You Have Already Given Their Dowries, And Those Who Are Rightfully Yours (Ma Malakat Yaminuka), As Granted To You By Allah; And The Daughters Of The Brothers Of Your Father, And The Daughters Of The Sisters Of Your Father, And The Daughters Of The Brothers Of Your Mother, And The Daughters Of The Sisters Of Your Mother-Those Who Emigrated With You. Also, The Believing Woman Who Had Decreed Herself To The Prophet, The Prophet May Marry Her If He Wishes, As A Privilege Given (Khalisatan) Only To You (Laka) And Not To The Believers. We have already decreed their rights in regard to their spouses and those who are rightfully theirs (Ma Malakat Aimanuhum). This is to spare you any hardship. Allah is Forgiver, Merciful.”

In 33:52, the term “Ma Malakat Yaminuka” means What is rightfully yours (Wives of the Prophet).

33:52 (Prophet!) No women are lawful to you beyond this, nor that you change them for other wives, even though you may be attracted by their beauty, except who are rightfully yours (Ma Malakat Yaminuka) [wives from Prisoners of war 60:10]. And Allah is Watcher over all things.

In 33:55, the term “Ma Malakat AimanuHunna” means “what they rightfully possess” or their female servants.

33:55 There is no sin upon them before their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or their women, or those female servants (Ma Malakat AimanuHuna). And be aware of Allah, for Allah is witness over all things.

In both the above verses 23:6 & 70:30 “Ma Malakat AymanuHum” means “what they rightfully posses” or their Wives.

23:6 Illa AAala azwajihim aw ma malakat aymanuhum fainnahum ghayru maloomeena

70:30 Illa AAala azwajihim aw ma malakat aymanuhum fainnahum ghayru maloomeena

In both the above verses, “azwajihim” and “ma malakat aymanuhum” are separated by “AW”. Here it does not mean that “azwajihim” and “ma malakat aymanuhum” are two different objects. Actually, they refer to one and the same object. “azwajihim” ARE “ma malakat aymanuhum” i.e. “their spouses” are “what they rightfully possess”.

CONCLUSION

Scripture has never permitted men to engage in sex outside the institution of marriage whether this is from the category of free believing women, or from the category of “Ma Malakat Aymanukum”.

The phrase used in following verses of the Quran

4:3 Ma Malakat Aimanukum
4:24 Ma Malakat Aimanukum
4:25 Ma Malakat Aimanukum
4:36 Ma Malakat Aimanukum
16:71 Ma Malakat Aimanuhum
23:6 Ma Malakat Aimanuhum
24:31 Ma Malakat AimanuHuna
24:33 Ma Malakat Aimanukum
24:58 Ma Malakat Aimanukum
30:28 Ma Malakat Aimanukum
33:50 Ma Malakat Yaminuka
33:52 Ma Malakat Yaminuka
33:55 Ma Malakat AimanuHuna
70:30 Ma Malakat Aimanuhum

In verse 4:3, the term “Ma Malakat Aymanukum” means “what you rightfully possess” or “What you [already] have” or ” Your wives”.

In verse 4:24 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means women “what you rightfully possess” [through wedlock].

In verse 4:25 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means “what you rightfully possess” from believing female servants.

In verse 4:36 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means “what you rightfully possess” or Your servants [from male or female].

In verse 16:71 Ma Malakat Aimanuhum means “what they rightfully possess” or Their servants [from male or female].

In verse 24:33 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means “what you rightfully possess” or Your servants [from male or female].

In verse 24:58 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means “what you rightfully possess” or Your servants [from male or female].

In verse 24:31 & 33:55 Ma Malakat AimanuHuna means “what they rightfully possess” or Their female servants.

In verse 30:28 Ma Malakat Aimanukum means “what you rightfully possess” Subordinates/Employees/Workers [from male or female].

In verse 33:50 & 33:52 Ma Malakat Yaminuka means “what is rightfully yours” or Wives of the Prophet.

In verse 23:6 & 70:30 Ma Malakat Aimanuhum means “what they rightfully posses” or Their Wives.

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4 Responses to MA MALAKAT AIMANUKUM

  1. rahman says:

    The best explanation that I ever have…
    Thank you very much

    • Saeed Talpur says:

      Thanks brother. May God guide us further. Alhamdulilah

      • Kareem says:

        Thank you brother. This is the best explanation I ever have. It really really makes sense. Many scholar or book that I read, which still interpret ma Malakat aymanukum as female slaves. It is very contradicted with law of Allah.
        May Allah blesss you.
        _
        Wassalamualalaikum

  2. One of the truth seekers says:

    Thank you for this article. This once again strengthened my loyalty to Islam. I have been searching for an explanation that does not contradict the teachings of Islam. Once again thank you.

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