Response to: Ibn Umar Buying Slave Girl

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The following is a response to SlaveOfAhlubait’s article entitled: Ibn Umar Buying Slave Girl. The article was published on the 8th of June, 2012, and can be found here.

SoA, in regular fashion, quotes a Sunni narration without recognizing the repercussions:

Naf’i narrates from Ibn Umarr that he whenever he (Ibn Umar) bought a slave girl, he exposed her legs and put his hand between her breasts and her bottom/hips and when he did that, he did it from behind the clothes

SoA, seems to be implying that Ibn Umar had sexual motives when he examined slave girls. However, SoA does not seem to be aware that this was because slave girl trade was similar to other trades, in which buyers had to rely on their senses, and not solely on the word of the salesperson. It is in this light that Ibn Umar saw it as permissible to touch slave girls (not directly, but with clothes as a separation) in order to inspect if they meet his requirements. If Ibn Umar’s actions were purely sexual, then he may as well have touched her from under her clothes.

One should be aware that slaves were bought and sold and that some matters that surrounded them were seen as permissible when they usually would not be.

Similar to the above, we find that Ali, the first infallible imam, in an authentic Shia chain, did the same thing:

[Mohammad Al-Baqir narrated from Ali (alaihi al-salam) that when he wanted to buy a slave girl, he would expose her legs and look at her.]

Shia source: Qurb Al-Isnad (p. 103) by Al-Himyari.

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