I haven't written much in a while because, a. I am the only OPNO currently residing in Oman until next month, and b. I haven't had much to say, and alot to read. I have been loving the active blogging of others. I admired, as a Muslim, the post by the Linoleum Surfer [http://thelinoleumsurfer.blogspot.com/2011/06/electric-mufti.html] on internet fatwas (religious rulings).
I am 100% against people blindly following Islamic rulings, without understanding the evidence behind them. I personally, don't care what Al Ahzahr, Saudi, or Iran says about ANYTHING if they don't present ALL the reasonings behind their rulings. And this means, using ALL the valid evidence. If you really want to know if something is okay for you as a Muslim or not, you can't just "shop" for the easy answer that suits your desires (if I were to do that I could even find a fatwa that says I don't have to pray or fast ect), or be so lazy as not to find out all the evidence behind a ruling. Someone (A Shiekh, Mufti, Imam) may indeed know more than you, but they may not have the right answer despite. That means, if they are saying something different than God/Allah in the Qu'ran or the Prophet Mohamed (peace and blessings be upon him) in his seerah (story of his life including all sayings and actions) then it is not a religious ruling to be followed. If you care enough to try and find out a fatwa, why not try and find out if it is the correct one, also?
The Linoleum Surfer also did a great post on prostitution and human trafficking as an accepted practice in the GCC [http://thelinoleumsurfer.blogspot.com/2011/05/arabs-got-prostitution.html] . From there Suburban shared this article [http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/middle-east/men-should-have-sex-slaves-says-female-kuwaiti-politician?amp] about a Kuwaiti politician [Salwa Al Mutairi] who thinks importing prostitutes (as sex slaves) is totally okay because she got an electric mufti style ruling from Saudi saying it was. Errr, okay, but that ruling is very, very wrong. And I will soon tell you how. I can advocate it as an Islamic practice, but that is, knowing the conditions of Islamic slavery and the circumstances that make it an option. Which, does not denote slavery in the English/European/Western/African or even Omani dictionary definition of it. ***Islamic slavery is never for the purposes of economic gain or sating of lusts***. So, on to Salwa Al Mutairi on a rant with her fatwa from Saudi, and then, later, why the issue of "electric muftis and even so-called respected scholars" is so important and makes me so excitable, and why people should never ever follow these fatwas to their own whims or lazy lack or research.
On a trip to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Kuwaiti female politician Salwa Al Mutairi asked Saudi Sheikhs for a fatwa on owning sex slaves because she was travelling with a "womanising male collegue". The religious authority (same authority BTW, that says women cannot drive cars even though women from the Prophet Mohamed's time rode all means of transport available during their time period) told her that in the context of a Muslim nation conquering a non-Muslim one that prisoners of war made into slaves could be legal for sexual intercourse with Muslim men. So Ms. Salwa Al Mutairi, concluded that a man just has to "buy" a female prisoner from, say, a place like Chechnyia, and then, this would meet the Islamic requirements for legal slavery and would thus make that woman available sexually for any man who happens to "buy" her. Apparently, the Kuwaiti religious authority seconded this "fatwa" by saing that the only solution for a decent man who has the means who is overpowered by desire and who does not want to committ fornication is to aquire a female sex slave. Ms. Al Mutairi even went so far as to suggect that offices could be opened to run the sex trade, the same way recruitment agencies provide domestic labourers. Ms. Al Mutairi went so far as to say that "our shariah law allows it" and to quote caliph Haroun al Rashid who had concubines as an example (not all Caliphs were what we Muslims like to call, Rightly Guided, following the example set by the Prophet Mohamed and the Holy Qu'ran) .
Well, sorry to bust your bubble lady, but OUR Shariah law does not allow it, at least, not how you are thinking, as a means for sex sation. Unfortunately, the fatwa you recieved has alot of holes it in it. It is "half" a fatwa.
There are two kinds of slavery in Islam. The first was the owning of slaves or purchasing of slaves from those who were made slaves from before the advent of Islam. This kind of slavery pre-existed Islam and was for economic gain. Islam discouraged this kind of slavery, telling Muslims to set free slaves in this state that they already owned, and made the taking or giving of loans with interest a sin for Muslims so such slaves could not be made. Also, any children born from the Muslim slave owner and the slave, the child would be born free in Islam. This is not the kind of slavery the Saudi Sheikhs were addressing so there is no need for me to go into detail here about the rights of such slaves, as the rights are the same as the rights I am about to go into after detailing the second type of slave in Islam.
The second type of slavery is the slavery of captives. This is SPECIFIC in the Qu'ran to the Prophet Mohamed's lifetime, and not outside of it. The Saudi fatwa? Forgot to mention that.Why do I say this?
The Qu'ran says "Muhammed, God has made lawful for you [for sexual intercourse] the wives who have been given their dowries and the slave-girls who have been captured at war... This privellage is yours alone and is granted to no other believer." 33:50. That is not to say, that captives taken during the same were not allowed in sexual intercourse for other men during the Prophet Mohamed's time, as believing men were allowed the same in 24:58 & 70:22 of the Qu'ran. WHY this is specific to the Prophet's time was only he was allowed or said to have the wisdom to entrust the captives justly to men who would honor their rights.
One such important right?
While a man DOES have a right to keep a slave taken as a captive if/when this captive was entrusted to his care by the wisdom of the Prophet Mohamed, a man cannot/could not force himself upon any woman in Islam. His being entrusted to her care as her captive to him, meant, if she wanted him, then it was allowed for him. But if she didn't... unlike what that Kuwaiti politician lady thinks, her captivity in Islam does not give him that right over her. About any slave girls being forced to have sex? Not allowed. The slave has the right preserve their chastity (that means, even if divorced, widowed, or married ect), as stated in the Qu'ran: "You shall not force your slave girls into prostitution if they wish to preserve their chastity. If anyone forces them, the sin will not be with them." 24:33-34. Many of the captives in the Prophet Mohamed's time, such as Saffiyah who became his wife, chose to have intercourse with their captors, they were not forced.
Why were the captives taken in the first place during this time period? Well, their family, husbands, and protectors/providers had died in many cases, the captives had to be provided for in equal to a man's own household, meaning what he gave his wife in manner of clothes and food and lodging, a captive slave woman would have also, and what a slave child had, boy or girl, they would be given the same gifts as a man's own children. So slave women were never for economic gain, also they were not for the purposes of sating lust, as they were entrusted by the Prophet Mohamed to men famed for their chaste manners.
Knowing these things, how can someone other that the Prophet Mohamed decide who captive women be fairly entrusted to? Will they be entrusted to men of good Muslim manners who would make them likely wish to become Muslims and afford them with all their legal shariah rights? Probably not, if they are given to men like Ms. Al Mutairi's womanising workmate. And her saying they be set up in a way to make money? Disgusting, serriously, disgusting.
That's the problem with fatwas, and following them, if you don't seek out ALL the Islamic evidence pertaining to the rulings, and other possible rulings.