Concubineage in Sunni Sufi Islam


Dear Shaykh Gibril Haddad, Assalamu alaykum.

I am very confused about concubinage in Islam. Islam came to abolish slavery; there is no slavery anymore. I am a free Muslim woman. May I still, in modern times, become “what the right hand possesses”.

I mean, I am 46 and marriage is just not happening for me; I feel desperate and need to know from you please, that if I work for a Muslim man, say, as his housekeeper etc and take money for that, then am I permitted to have intimate relations with him, aside from the financial arrangement or not?? Furthermore, if there were any child(ren) from such a union, would they be considered legitimate or otherwise, please?

I am sorry for my ignorance and inadequacies. Humbly yours Forever, inshaAllah. May Peace and Blessing be upon you. Salawat.


Alaykum Salam,

Islam abolished concubinage (keeping a “mistress”), and slavery is also a thing of the past. A person working for another person never makes the employee a slave to the employer, whether a housekeeper, gardener, cook, driver, etc. or any and all other kinds of employment. So any sexual cohabitation they might have outside of a marriage contract is zina –no matter what fraudulent justifications to the contrary certain employers might attempt in Gulf countries or elsewhere (as I have heard some do); but a simple, ordinary, uncomplicated mutual contracting in the presence of two witnesses and a judge makes such a relation valid and lawful.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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