Author [EN] [PL] [ES] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [TR] [SR] [AR] [RU] Topic: Captives of War

Offline Mubashir

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Captives of War
« on: August 11, 2012, 12:58:48 PM »
Dear All, Salam

I just read a verse that says:

[Asad] 33:50 O PROPHET! Behold, We have made lawful to thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowers, as well as those whom thy right hand has come to possess from among the captives of war whom God has bestowed upon thee. And [We have made lawful to thee] the daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and the daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who have migrated with thee [to Yathrib]; and any believing woman who offers herself freely to the Prophet and whom the Prophet might be willing to wed: [this latter being but] a privilege for thee, and not for other believers - [seeing that] We have already made known what We have enjoined upon them with regard to their wives and those whom their right hands may possess. [And] in order that thou be not burdened with [undue] anxiety - for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace –

How do we understand the above verse against another that says captives of war must be released or exchanged (for ransom or prisoners)? Sorry, forgetting the verse number.

Thanks.

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1843
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Captives of War
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2012, 01:56:42 PM »
Salamun Alaikum.

When Arabic words are interpreted with a theological bias then many problems are introduced. As I find no warrant to restrict the term ‘what your right hands possess’ to captive girls exclusively, I will leave others who support such a view to answer your question. My humble perspective on the term can be seen below:

SEX WITH SLAVE GIRLS
http://quransmessage.com/articles/sex%20with%20slave%20girls%20FM3.htm

Having already discussed my perspective at length, I am not sharing my article to the wider readership as a cue for further debate on my perspective. My evidence and position is clearly cited in the article. I merely offer it with a view to contend with the interpretive bias that is usually introduced by both traditionalists and many Quran focused reformists.

Please view it in that light.

Regards,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Sardar Miyan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 970
    • View Profile
Re: Captives of War
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2012, 10:31:52 PM »
Mashallah well explained in detail bro Joseph.It is crystal clear from your presentation of relevant  Ayaat that under no circumstances a captive girl/woman could be used as wife without lawful marriage.
May entire creation be filled with Peace & Joy & Love & Light

Offline Mubashir

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Captives of War
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2012, 11:11:48 PM »
Salam

So the answer to my question is that even captive girls [who are willing are to be married] must not taken to bed without marriage. I got that. However, that was not my issue. My issue was whether taking prisoners of war as captives not against the Qur'an? Are they not supposed to be released?

I can understand the issue from another perspective where women runining away from disbelieving husbands and offering themselves as captives to the Muslim community:

4:24 It is also against God’s law to marry married women, unless they have fled the tyranny of their disbeliever husbands who are at war with you. Apart from the above mentioned ones, you may engage in marriage (and not consenting adult sex) contract, with any other woman as long as you mutually agree upon a gift (or a sum) upon the wedding; if you mutually decide later to renegotiate this sum, you may do so as God is the Knowing and the Wise.

Thanks.

Offline Joseph Islam

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1843
    • View Profile
    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Captives of War
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2012, 11:56:34 PM »
Salamun Alaikum,

With respect brother Mubashir, I feel the apparent contradiction has only been ‘apparently’ introduced because you have cited verse 30:50 and taken an unwarranted restrictive interpretation in red to offer it as a seeming contrast with verse 47:4

047.004
"Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been God's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of God,- He will never let their deeds be lost"

Verse 30:50 has little to do with verse 47:4. The first verse is talking about the category of 'right hands possess' (30:50) and the issue of Prophetic spousal legality, and verse 47:4 is implying captives and the need for them to be set free.

I feel if one understands 'right hands possess' correctly, then there is no confusion. The comparison of 30:50 with 47:4 then becomes akin to comparing chalk and cheese.

Please also note that the almost exclusive term for 'captives' or 'prisoners' in the Quran is 'asir' (2:85, 8:67, 7:68) (plural: asra or verb - asara to take captive). This is not the term used in 30:50.

So the simple answer is that there is no confusion, only one seemingly introduced by comparing two unrelated, thematically unconnected verses.  :)

I hope that helps, God willing.
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 500
    • View Profile
    • What does The Quran really say?
Re: Captives of War
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 10:21:28 AM »
salaam all,

As a side note, for a more probable translation of 47:4 please see section 1, part 17: http://www.quran434.com/wife-beating-islam.html#part1

Quote
fa darba al rriqabi hattaitha athkhantumoohum = so strike the necks until when you have overcome them
[47:4]

Some use "hit", "smite", "strike-off". Whilst this is the most common translation, it should be noted that it is taken by many as an idiom (e.g. Al-Jalalayn, Ibn Kathir), meaning slay or kill. This seems a plausible interpretation as in a battle of swords and arrows no commander would order his soldiers to aim for the necks alone. Similarly, "put forth" could also be used. Interestingly, Mustansir Mir's book mentions a similar expression "daraba raqabatahu" and renders it as "to cut off somebody's head / kill somebody".

However, upon closer examination, there is an alternative translation, which seems the most likely based on the evidence:

So, when you encounter those who have rejected/concealed, then put forth /bring about the captives; until when you have subdued/overcome them, then strengthen the bind. Then after either grace/favour or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. That, and had God willed, surely He would have gained victory Himself from them, but He tests some of you with others. And those who get killed in the cause of God, He will never let their deeds be put to waste.

Notes for the above translation:
1) "darba" is a verbal noun, indicating the act of doing as well as the noun itself, e.g. then putting forth / bringing about the captives.
2) In a battle of swords and arrows no commander would order his soldiers to aim for the necks alone.
3) RQB is NEVER used to mean neck elsewhere in The Quran, as the word for neck is "unuq" (as used in 8:12 also with DRB). RQB is always used to mean slaves/captives.
4) If they were supposed to be beheaded, there would not be a need for an instruction regarding captives. Thus to overcome this apparent omission, many traditional commentators translate "fa shuddoo al wathaqa" as "then tie the bond" and say this refers to taking prisoners of war. However, the word "strengthen/tighten (Arabic: shuddoo)" implies a pre-existing thing to strengthen/tighten (see its usage in 38:20, 76:28, 28:35, 10:88, 20:31), but if this is true, where is it in context? It can only relate to "darba al rriqabi", and thus provides strong proof that this phrase is about bringing about captives from the enemy.
5) This translation makes sense because during open/active fighting, the captives may not be totally secure, and could only really be secured once the enemy has been subdued/overcome. Thus, this verse is implying aim to bring about captives, not necessarily kill them, which shows mercy and less aggression in such a situation, even if it means getting killed.
6) One meaning of DaRaBa found in Lane's Lexicon is "he made or caused to be or constituted" which is similar to the suggested meaning discussed above.
7) I am not aware of a Classical Arabic Dictionary which references verse 47:4 under the root entry of DRB or RQB.
8 ) 47:4 refers to those mentioned in the previous verses, going by its use of connective particle "fa", then these people were not fighting or killing, thus killing them may violate the law of equivalence [2:190, 4:90, 5:8, 16:126, 42:39-43].
9) Interestingly, Traditional Tafsirs (altafsir.com) also mention this possibility along with the common understanding. Ibn 'Abbas: "...and taken them prisoners, (then making fast of bonds) keep the prisoners in captivity...". Tafsir al-Jalalayn: "...take them captive and bind firmly, the bonds (al-wathāq is what is used to bind [yūthaqu] a captive).".

As a side note, it is interesting to note the difference in phrasing of this verse compared to 8:12, giving further weight to each of them having different meanings as discussed.

Also additional information:
http://learn-about-islam.com/2011/11/01/islam-and-the-quran-promotes-slavery/

Offline Mubashir

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Captives of War
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 07:06:33 PM »
Salam and thanks for your response Brother Joe. I get your point.

You may be surprised to read that for some reason (probably reading secondary sources into the Qur'an) majority of translators have added "captive" to these women!! This is really confusing for common people relying on such translations:

www.islamawakened.com

Regards