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What is Right Hand Possession or Maa Malakat Ayimanukum in Quran? Wanton Practices That Apostles And Reformers Wanted Changed Were Considered Confronting Paradigms By Practitioners

By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

3 July 2021

The Scripture Quran In No Uncertain Terms Forbids A Human Being From Imposing Itself As Maula- Master Over Another Human Being, Male Or Female

Main Points:

1.    Sexual Relation is strictly restricted within conjugal Marriage with ONE spouse at a time, without exemption.

2.    Slavery, captivity of both male and female, to serve the owners multiple purposes has been an established practice since time immemorial.

3.    The meaning for “your right hand possess” is etched in concrete as 'your property that you posses'.

4.    Extra marital relationship is forbidden.


Entrenched and Wanton practices of society, when challenged by Reformers are universally opposed since large sections of that society consider them as privileges which were handed down to them by their forefathers; as they were then in vogue. This is often pointed out in Quran Eg.7:28 etc. Consequently this mindset has been the bane of Reformers through the ages who attempted to bring paradigm shifts in their own society's behaviour for the better.

For example, Slavery, captivity of both male and female, to serve the owners multiple purposes has been an established practice since time immemorial, and slaves are and were from ancient times, considered as mere 'property objects'.


Also Read:   The Quran’s Holistic Message Conclusively Prohibits Sex With Slave Girls or Female Captives And Those (Televangelists) Who Advocate Or Justify This Are Grievously Misguided


A subset within those services from captives has been the use of female slaves by male owners as concubines and sexual objects to be used for gratification without any moral and ethical qualms. This was the case in most of the civilised societies of the past too.

To abolish the sordid, immoral and inhumane practice, attempts have been made throughout human history, even by ordinary well meaning Reformers. Nevertheless slavery has always bounced back in all its ancient meaning and forms.

Among Muslims, sexual servitude obtained from females and to be availed freely, uses Maa Malakat Ayimanukum – a phrase often repeated in the Scripture Quran as being the justification for it. It has been debated for and against for centuries, and now on this forum, in excellent articles and penetrating comments and questions.


Also Read:  The Law on Adultery in the Quran


But the entrenched and ancient mindset that gives the meaning for “your right hand possess” is etched in concrete as 'your property that you posses', and so refuses to go away from the human vocabulary that it is belief of the so called learned Believers; as is the case in most of the world Religions too.

Since most of mankind is Right-handed, so much so that in some cultures writing or eating with Left hand is considered wrong; the phrase Right-hand denotes the written, signed and sealed agreement between the parties and NOT a property title deed!

Sexual gratification is considered as an integral part and even a “must” of marriage agreement and so the male in particular has assumed the Right to demand it. This notion is so strong that, it is facilitated and resorted to polygamous marital relationship among Muslims; hence the extension to four wives, caped by slaves and captive females as property for the gratification of an Animal instinct.


Also Read:  Should Muslims Be Following A Sharia Which Promotes Religious And Sexual Discrimination?


However an overall review of the entire subject of marriage and Sexuality, in the text and context of the Scripture Quran, whether in and out of the marital sphere; in the right frame of mind, demonstrates that like many other commands, this reference in the Book to Right Hand Possession of property is given a paradigm change from its ancient and general meaning and contrarily places an extra burden on the wealthy and well-to-do Believers to undertake protective responsibilities towards the less fortunate such as widows, war prisoners and slaves. But for pragmatic purposes it limits the maximum dependents taken under care to four only, including the first as a married wife. This quantum 'four' by no stretch of imagination means four wives!

The nexus of sexual service from females, as purported by the learned people, mainly males, is that hand-me-down mindset established for self-serving male sexuality and supremacy through history. One example is of the phrase in the Book; Ar-Rijaalu Qawwamuna a'lal Nisa...:4-34: Men are maintainers of women...taken as blanket coverage of male rights over female, as the word Qawwamuna, derivative of Qaim is given the meaning of “male establishment over female” as an authority. Yet the whole context throws a complete opposite idea with the command of extra responsibility placed on males for equitable protection of females to compensate for their natural, physical, biological and economic weakness and not as an extra privilege and perk for sexual gratification.


Also Read:   Why Is Liwat (Sodomy) So Horrifying?


Thus the Right hand Possession for sexual gratification taken by males from females is the exercise of male power as any reference to male-female relationship in most Religions and cultures cannot be imagined without sexual connotations.

This extra marital relationship is forbidden. And placed by the Book strictly in the marriage-bed and that too with only one spouse from the choice of four under one's care. The Malakat Ayimanukum is not a sugar and cream coating over and above the polygamous marriage of four wives that is promoted falsely in Religions and Muslim practices universally. A comedian recently coined an apt phrase for this practice humorously by saying “ Aik Haath Ki Chaar Ungliyan Aor Aik Anguttha”! Here the Angutha/Thumb reference is noteworthy!

Marriage- Nikah and Malakat Ayimanukum – Right Hand Possession are two different and distinct packages; one of conjugal marriage and the other of societal obligations under emergency conditions and have a strong moral protective and economic basis for mankind as a whole.

The Nikah/ Marriage, unfortunately has always been given the exclusive meaning, from ancient times, to mean primarily the Right to sexual relationship and for its animal gratification, and also for the purposes of procreation as its important function, as a male Right to satisfy this instinct. Whereas in Human intelligent terms it is to be considered thoughtfully for mutual benefit.

The monogamy and protective responsibility of a man and Leader is demonstrated by the Apostle Muhammad's conjugal marriages to two different women, years apart, and the birth of his children from those two only; in spite of the many “Wives” and concubines, young and old, allotted to him as his “possession” of many females.

Please see:

Was the Prophet exempted from normal sexual rules of conduct for Muslims as alleged by Islamic Apocrypha? Logical and Biological Refutation of the Right Hand Possession

The issue of Slavery as understood generally is closely tied up with this subject and any justification given for its practice today is slanderous, immoral and inhumane, irrespective of ancient practices of forefathers.

Further segmentation of gender within it takes it beyond the pale of human 'reasoning'; particularly in this day and age of enlightenment.

And further, the Scripture Quran in no uncertain terms forbids a human being from imposing itself as Maula- Master over another human being, male or female. That title is strictly the prerogative of the Creator of the Universe 6-62, 10-30 etc.

To conclude therefore:

I) Sexual Relation is strictly restricted within conjugal Marriage with ONE spouse at a time, without exemption ... ii) Possession of Humans as Slaves/Property by other humans is forbidden. and...iii) Therefore the two, three or four refers to the maximum limit of three extra dependent females taken under man's capable protection, without the conjugal rights.


A regular contributor to, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer


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