'A slave woman would give birth to her mistress.'
Fatwa No: 39111

  • Fatwa Date:23-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 22, 1435
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Question

What is the meaning of the following Hadeeth: “A slave woman would give birth to her mistress?”

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

There are different narrations for this Hadeeth such as “A slave woman giving birth to her mistress.” In another narration “A slave woman giving birth to her master.” In a third narration “A slave woman giving birth to her husband.”

As for the meaning of this Hadeeth, Al-Mubaarakfoori  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Sharh At-Tirmithi: Most scholars are of the opinion that this Hadeeth indicates the great number of slave women and their children. That is because the son of a slave woman from her master takes the same status as her master. It has also been said that it means that the slave woman would give birth to kings so his mother would be one of his subjects and he is her master and the master of all of his subjects. Moreover, it was said that it means that people would become corrupt so the selling of slave women who have sons would become widespread until the son of the slave woman buys her while he does not know that she is his mother.

Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “A slave woman giving birth to her master” means that there will be widespread undutifulness among children, so that a child will treat his mother as a master treats his slave woman, with humiliation, insults, hitting and servitude. Thus, he was figuratively referred to as her master, or it means the master who has control over her, and thus it was used in its real sense, and this is the soundest opinion for me, for it is general and because this condition of people, although unusual, indicates immorality and corruption".

Allaah Knows best.

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