Skip to main content
waman
وَمَن
And whoever
lam
لَّمْ
(is) not
yastaṭiʿ
يَسْتَطِعْ
able to
minkum
مِنكُمْ
among you
ṭawlan
طَوْلًا
afford
an
أَن
to
yankiḥa
يَنكِحَ
marry
l-muḥ'ṣanāti
ٱلْمُحْصَنَٰتِ
the free chaste
l-mu'mināti
ٱلْمُؤْمِنَٰتِ
[the] believing women
famin
فَمِن
then (marry) from
مَّا
what
malakat
مَلَكَتْ
possess[ed]
aymānukum
أَيْمَٰنُكُم
your right hands
min
مِّن
of
fatayātikumu
فَتَيَٰتِكُمُ
your slave girls -
l-mu'mināti
ٱلْمُؤْمِنَٰتِۚ
[the] believing women.
wal-lahu
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
aʿlamu
أَعْلَمُ
knows best
biīmānikum
بِإِيمَٰنِكُمۚ
about your faith.
baʿḍukum
بَعْضُكُم
You
min
مِّنۢ
of
baʿḍin
بَعْضٍۚ
(one) another.
fa-inkiḥūhunna
فَٱنكِحُوهُنَّ
So marry them
bi-idh'ni
بِإِذْنِ
with (the) permission
ahlihinna
أَهْلِهِنَّ
(of) their family
waātūhunna
وَءَاتُوهُنَّ
and give them
ujūrahunna
أُجُورَهُنَّ
their bridal due
bil-maʿrūfi
بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ
in a fair manner.
muḥ'ṣanātin
مُحْصَنَٰتٍ
(They should be) chaste
ghayra
غَيْرَ
not
musāfiḥātin
مُسَٰفِحَٰتٍ
those who commit immorality
walā
وَلَا
and not
muttakhidhāti
مُتَّخِذَٰتِ
those who take
akhdānin
أَخْدَانٍۚ
secret lovers.
fa-idhā
فَإِذَآ
Then when
uḥ'ṣinna
أُحْصِنَّ
they are married
fa-in
فَإِنْ
and if
atayna
أَتَيْنَ
they commit
bifāḥishatin
بِفَٰحِشَةٍ
adultery
faʿalayhinna
فَعَلَيْهِنَّ
then for them
niṣ'fu
نِصْفُ
(is) half
مَا
what
ʿalā
عَلَى
(is) on
l-muḥ'ṣanāti
ٱلْمُحْصَنَٰتِ
the free chaste
mina
مِنَ
of
l-ʿadhābi
ٱلْعَذَابِۚ
the punishment.
dhālika
ذَٰلِكَ
That
liman
لِمَنْ
(is) for whoever
khashiya
خَشِىَ
fears
l-ʿanata
ٱلْعَنَتَ
committing sin
minkum
مِنكُمْۚ
among you
wa-an
وَأَن
and that
taṣbirū
تَصْبِرُوا۟
you be patient
khayrun
خَيْرٌ
(is) better
lakum
لَّكُمْۗ
for you.
wal-lahu
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
ghafūrun
غَفُورٌ
(is) Oft-Forgiving,
raḥīmun
رَّحِيمٌ
Most Merciful.

Wa mal lam yastati' minkum tawlan ai yankihal muhsanaatil mu'minaati famimmaa malakat aimaanukum min fatayaatikumul mu'minaat; wallaahu a'lamu bi eemaanikum; ba'dukum mim ba'd; fankihoohunna bi izni ahlihinna wa aatoohunna ujoorahunna bilma'roofi muhsanaatin ghaira musaa fihaatinw wa laa muttakhizaati akhdaan; fa izaaa uhsinna fa in ataina bifaahi shatin fa'alaihinnna nisfu maa 'alal muhsanaati minal 'azaab; zaalika liman khashiyal 'anata minkum; wa an tasbiroo khairul lakum; wallaahu Ghafoorur Raheem

Sahih International:

And whoever among you cannot [find] the means to marry free, believing women, then [he may marry] from those whom your right hands possess of believing slave girls. And Allah is most knowing about your faith. You [believers] are of one another. So marry them with the permission of their people and give them their due compensation according to what is acceptable. [They should be] chaste, neither [of] those who commit unlawful intercourse randomly nor those who take [secret] lovers. But once they are sheltered in marriage, if they should commit adultery, then for them is half the punishment for free [unmarried] women. This [allowance] is for him among you who fears sin, but to be patient is better for you. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

1 A. J. Arberry

Any one of you who has not the affluence to be able to marry believing freewomen in wedlock, let him take believing handmaids that your right hands own; God knows very well your faith; the one of you is as the other. So marry them, with their people's leave, and give them their wages honourably as women in wedlock, not as in licence or taking lovers. But when they are in wedlock, if they commit indecency, they shall be liable to half the chastisement of freewomen. That provision is for those of you who fear fornication; yet it is better for you to be patient. God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.

2 Abdul Haleem

If any of you does not have the means to marry a believing free woman, then marry a believing slave- God knows best [the depth of] your faith: you are [all] part of the same family- so marry them with their people’s consent and their proper bride-gifts. [Make them] married women, not adulteresses or lovers. If they commit adultery when they are married, their punishment will be half that of free women. This is for those of you who fear that you will sin; it is better for you to practise selfrestraint. God is most forgiving and merciful,

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And whosoever of you has not ampleness of means that he may wed free believing women, let him wed such of the believing bondswomen as the right hands of you people own. And Allah noweth well your belief, ye are one from the other. O Ye may wed them then, with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers reputably as properly wedded women, not as fornicateresses, nor as those taking to themselves secret paramours. And when they have been wedded, if they commit an indecency, on them the punishment shall be a moiety of that for free wedded women. This is for him among you, who dreameth perdition; and that ye should abstain is better for you, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess; And Allah hath full knowledge about your faith. Ye are one from another; Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable; They should be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours; when they are taken in wedlock, if they fall into shame, their punishment is half that for free women. This (permission) is for those among you who fear sin; but it is better for you that ye practise self-restraint. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

And those of you who cannot afford to marry free, believing women (muhsanat), then marry such believing women whom your right hands possess. Allah knows all about your faith. All of you belong to one another. Marry them, then, with the leave of their guardians, and give them their bridal-due in a fair manner that they may live in the protection of wedlock rather than be either mere objects of unfettered lust or given to secret love affairs. Then if they become guilty of immoral conduct after they have entered into wedlock, they shall be liable to half the penalty to which free women (muhsanat) are liable. This relaxation is for those of you who fear to fall into sin by remaining unmarried. But if you persevere, it is better for you. Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.

6 Ahmed Ali

If one of you cannot afford to marry a believing gentlewoman (let him marry) a maid who is a believer. God is aware of your faith: The one of you is of the other; so marry them with the consent of their people, and give them an appropriate dowry. They are women (seeking) wedlock, and not lechery, nor secretly looking for paramours. But if they are married and guilty of adultery, inflict on them half the punishment (enjoined) for gentlewomen. This is for those who are afraid of doing wrong. In case they can wait, it is better for them. God is forgiving and kind.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And whoever among you does not have in marriage free, believing women due to poverty, should marry from the believing bondwomen you own; and Allah knows well your faith; you are from one another; therefore marry them with the permission of their masters, and give them their bridal money according to custom, they becoming (faithful) wives, not committing mischief or secretly making friends; so when they are married and commit the shameful, for them is half the punishment prescribed for free women; this is for one among you who fears falling into adultery; and to practice patience is better for you; and Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

As for those of you who cannot afford to marry faithful free women, then [let them marry] from what you own, from among your faithful slave-women. Your faith is best known [only] to Allah; you are all [on a] similar [footing]. So marry them with their masters’ permission, and give them their dowries in an honourable manner—[such of them] as are chaste women, not licentious ones or those who take paramours. But should they commit an indecent act on marrying, there shall be for them [only] half the punishment for free women. This is for those of you who fear falling into fornication; but it is better that you be continent, and Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful.

9 Ali Ünal

If any of you cannot afford to marry free, believing women, (let them marry) believing maidens from among those whom your right hands possess. (Do not regard marriage to such believing maidens as a degradation. Rather, degradation is deviating into licentiousness without marrying.) God knows well all about your faith (and measures you by it); and (whether you be free or slaves) you are one from another (belonging, as believers, to the same faith and community). Marry them, then, with the leave of their guardians, and give them their bridal-due according to religiously lawful and customary good practice, they being women who give themselves in honest chastity, not in licentiousness, nor having secret love-companions. Then if they commit indecency after they have entered into wedlock, they shall be liable to half the penalty to which free (unmarried) women are liable. That (permission to marry slave-girls) is for those of you who fear to fall into sin (by remaining unmarried). But if you persevere (in self-restraint with no fear of falling into sin), that is better for you. And God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And those of you who have not the means (- social or financial) to marry free believing women (may marry) such of your believing bonds women as your right hands own (by being captives in war). Allâh knows very well (the state of) your faith, you are all (sprung) one from another, so marry them with the permission of their guardians and give them their dowers with equity, they being properly married, not (committing fornication), to pursue their lust nor taking secret paramours. And if after they are married they commit adultery then they incur (the punishment of fifty strips which is) half of that (punishment prescribed) for free women. This (permission to marry a bonds woman) is for him among you who fears (that otherwise he will fall into) sin. But it is better for you to exercise restraint. Allâh is, indeed, Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

11 English Literal

And who is not able, from you wealth/capability (means) that he marries the chaste, the believing (F) (free women), so from what your rights owned from your youths (girls) the believers (F), and God (is) more knowing with your (P) faith/belief, some of you (are) from some, so marry them (F), with their families`/relations`/(masters`) permission, and give them (F) their rewards/fees (dowries) with the kindness marrying, not fornicating/adulterating, and not taking (P/F) lovers/secret friends, so if they (F) married, so if they committed with an enormous deed/atrocious deed/adultery, so on them (F) half what (is) on the chaste/married (woman) from the torture, that (is) to who feared the exertion/corruption from you, and (to) be patient (is) better for you, and God (is) forgiving, merciful.

12 Faridul Haque

And whoever among you does not have in marriage free, believing women due to poverty, should marry from the believing bondwomen you own; and Allah knows well your faith; you are from one another; therefore marry them with the permission of their masters, and give them their bridal money according to custom, they becoming (faithful) wives, not committing mischief or secretly making friends; so when they are married and commit the shameful, for them is half the punishment prescribed for free women; this is for one among you who fears falling into adultery; and to practice patience is better for you; and Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Allah wishes to turn towards you in mercy, but those who follow their own lusts (desires, prejudices, addictions, superstitions) wish that you should go far astray!

14 Hilali & Khan

And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free, believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those (captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess, and Allah has full knowledge about your Faith, you are one from another. Wed them with the permission of their own folk (guardians, Auliya' or masters) and give them their Mahr according to what is reasonable; they (the above said captive and slave-girls) should be chaste, not adulterous, nor taking boy-friends. And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit illegal sexual intercourse, their punishment is half that for free (unmarried) women. This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body; but it is better for you that you practise self-restraint, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And all married women except those whom your right hands possess (are forbidden); (this is) Allah’s ordinance to you. And lawful for you are (all women) besides those, provided that you seek (them) with your property, taking (them) in marriage, not committing fornication. Then as to those whom you profit by (by marrying), give them their dowries as appointed. And there is no blame on you about what you mutually agree after what is appointed (of dowry). Surely Allah is every Knowing, Wise.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And whoever among you has not within his power ampleness of means to marry free believing women, then (he may marry) of those whom your right hands possess from among your believing maidens; and Allah knows best your faith: you are (sprung) the one from the other; so marry them with the permission of their masters, and give them their dowries justly, they being chaste, not fornicating, nor receiving paramours; and when they are taken in marriage, then if they are guilty of indecency, they shall suffer half the punishment which is (inflicted) upon free women. This is for him among you who fears falling into evil; and that you abstain is better for you, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And whoso is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess. Allah knoweth best (concerning) your faith. Ye (proceed) one from another; so wed them by permission of their folk, and give unto them their portions in kindness, they being honest, not debauched nor of loose conduct. And if when they are honourably married they commit lewdness they shall incur the half of the punishment (prescribed) for free women (in that case). This is for him among you who feareth to commit sin. But to have patience would be better for you. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

If any of you do not have the means to marry a chaste believing woman, marry your believing slave-girls. God knows best about your faith. You have the same faith. Marry them with the permission of their masters and if they are chaste and have avoided fornication and amorous activities, give them their just dowries. If after marriage they commit adultery, they should receive half of the punishment of a free woman who has committed the same crime. This is for those who fear falling into evil. It is better for you to have self-control. God is All-forgiving and All-merciful.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

If any one of you do not have the affluence to be able marry free believing women, (let him marry) from among the believing women that your right hand owns. Allah knows best your belief, you are from each other. Marry them with the permission of their people and give them their wages (dowry) honorably being women in marriage and chaste, not taking lovers. If, after marriage they commit adultery, they shall be liable to half the punishment of a married (free) woman. That is for those of you who fear fornication, but it is better for you to be patient. Allah is the Forgiver, the Most Merciful.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess, and Allah has full knowledge about your faith, you are one from another. Wed them with the permission of their own folk (guardians) and give them their due in a good manner; they should be chaste, not fornicators, nor promiscuous. And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit Fahishah, their punishment is half that for free (unmarried) women. This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body; but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

If any of you cannot afford to marry a free believing woman let him marry one of his believing maids whom he possesses. God best knows your faith. You are one of another. So marry them with their owner's permission, and give them their dower according to what is fair, neither committing fornication nor taking secret paramours. And if, after they are married, they commit adultery they shall have half the punishment prescribed for a free woman. This is for those of you who fear lest he should fall into sin. But that it is better for you to practise self restraint. God is most forgiving and merciful.

22 Talal Itani

If any of you lack the means to marry free believing women, he may marry one of the believing maids under your control. God is well aware of your faith. You are from one another. Marry them with the permission of their guardians, and give them their recompense fairly—to be protected—neither committing adultery, nor taking secret lovers. When they are married, if they commit adultery, their punishment shall be half that of free women. That is for those among you who fear falling into decadence. But to practice self-restraint is better for you. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And whoever has not the means wherewith, [whoever] is not wealthy enough, to be able to marry believing (al-mu'mint, `believing', is in accordance with the prevalent practice, and does not add to the import), free, women in wedlock, let him take, in marriage, believing maids whom your right hands own. God knows very well your faith, so suffice yourself with its outward manifestation and leave the innermost matters to Him, for He is the One to know her [true] merit; many a slavegirl may be more excellent [in faith] than a free woman, and this is meant to encourage marriage with slavegirls; the one of you is as the other, being equal in religion, so do not disdain to marry with them. So marry them, with the permission of their folk, their guardians, and give them their wages, their dowries, honourably, without procrastination or diminution, as women in wedlock (muhsant, a circumstantial qualifier), in decency, not illicitly, openly fornicating, or taking lovers, companions fornicating in secret. But when they are given in wedlock, [when] they are married off (a variant reading [for the passive uhsinna, `they are given in wedlock'] has the active ahsanna, `they enter into wedlock'), if they commit lewdness, such as adultery, they shall be liable to half the chastisement, the legal punishment, of married, free, virgin, women, who commit adultery, and are thus given fifty lashes and banished for half a year; [male] slaves by analogy are liable to the same punishment. Here, God has not made wedlock the precondition for the prescribed punishment to show that stoning does not apply in their case [sc. slavegirls]. That, marrying of slavegirls on account of insufficient means, is for those of you who fear the distress of sin, fornication (al-`anat originally means distress, but is used to mean zin, `fornication', because of the distress that it causes in the way of the punishment in this world and in the Hereafter), as opposed to those of you who might not have such a fear [of distress] with regard to their free women and for whom it is unlawful to marry her [the slavegirl]; likewise for one who has sufficient means to marry a free woman [it is unlawful for him to marry a slavegirl instead]; this is the opinion of al- Shfi`. Moreover, God's words `believing maids' precludes unbelieving women, whom it is unlawful to marry, even if one should find no believing women and fear [the distress of fornication]; yet it is better for you to be patient, and abstain from marrying slavegirls, lest the child should become enslaved also. God is Forgiving, Merciful, by allowing room for manoeuvre in these matters.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Marrying a Female Slave, if One Cannot Marry a Free Woman

Allah said,

وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ

And whoever of you have not,

Allah said, those who do not have,

مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً

the means,

financial capability,

أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْمُوْمِنَاتِ

Wherewith to wed free believing women,

meaning, free faithful, chaste women.

فَمِن مِّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُم مِّن فَتَيَاتِكُمُ الْمُوْمِنَاتِ

They may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess,

meaning, they are allowed to wed believing slave girls owned by the believers.

وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَانِكُمْ بَعْضُكُم مِّن بَعْضٍ

and Allah has full knowledge about your faith; you are one from another.

Allah knows the true reality and secrets of all things, but you people know only the apparent things.

Allah then said,

فَانكِحُوهُنَّ بِإِذْنِ أَهْلِهِنَّ

Wed them with the permission of their own folk,

indicating that the owner is responsible for the slave girl, and consequently, she cannot marry without his permission. The owner is also responsible for his male slave and they cannot wed without his permission.

A Hadith states,

أَيُّمَا عَبْدٍتَزَوَّجَ بِغَيْرِ إِذْنِ مَوَالِيهِ فَهُوَ عَاهِر

Any male slave who marries without permission from his master, is a fornicator.

When the owner of the female slave is a female, those who are allowed to give away the free woman in marriage, with her permission, become responsible for giving away her female slave in marriage, as well.

A Hadith states that;

لَاا تُزَوِّجِ الْمَرْأَةُ الْمَرْأَةَ وَلَاا الْمَرْأَةُ نَفْسَهَا فَإِنَّ الزَّانِيَةَ هِيَ الَّتِي تُزَوِّجُ نَفْسَهَا

The woman does not give away another woman, or herself in marriage, for only the adulteress gives herself away in marriage.

Allah's statement,

وَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

And give them their due in a good manner;

meaning, pay them their dowry with a good heart, and do not keep any of it, belittling the matter due to the fact that they are owned slaves.

Allah's statement,

مُحْصَنَاتٍ

they should be chaste,

means, they are honorable women who do not commit adultery, and this is why Allah said,

غَيْرَ مُسَافِحَاتٍ

not fornicators,

referring to dishonorable women, who do not refrain from illicit sexual relations with those who ask.

Ibn Abbas said that;

the fornicating women are the whores, who do not object to having relations with whomever seeks it, while,

وَلَا مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ

nor promiscuous.

refers to taking boyfriends.

Similar was said by Abu Hurayrah, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Ad-Dahhak, Ata Al-Khurasani, Yahya bin Abi Kathir, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi.
The Slave Girl's Punishment for Adultery is Half that of a Free Unmarried Woman

Allah said,

فَإِذَا أُحْصِنَّ فَإِنْ أَتَيْنَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ فَعَلَيْهِنَّ نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَاتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ

And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit Fahishah, their punishment is half of that for free (unmarried) women.

this is about the slave women who got married, as indicated by the Ayah;

وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْمُوْمِنَاتِ فَمِن مِّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُم مِّن فَتَيَاتِكُمُ الْمُوْمِنَاتِ

And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess.

Therefore, since the honorable Ayah is about believing slave girls, then,
فَإِذَا أُحْصِنَّ
(And after they have been taken in wedlock), refers to when they (believing slave girls) get married, as Ibn Abbas and others have said.

Allah's statement,

نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَاتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ

their punishment is half of that for free (unmarried) women.

indicates that the type of punishment prescribed here is the one that can be reduced to half, lashes in this case, not stoning to death, and Allah knows best.

Allah's statement,

ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَشِيَ الْعَنَتَ مِنْكُمْ

This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body;

indicates that marrying slave girls, providing one satisfies the required conditions, is for those who fear for their chastity and find it hard to be patient and refrain from sex.

In this difficult circumstance, one is allowed to marry a slave girl. However, it is better to refrain from marrying slave girls and to observe patience, for otherwise, the offspring will become slaves to the girl's master.

Allah said,

وَأَن تَصْبِرُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ



but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.