This is what Concubinage was like.

Like the rest of the Middle East, slave concubinage was an accepted social institution in the Persian Gulf and broader Indian Ocean world and was legitimated and regulated by Islamic law. Islamic law considered all unmarried female slaves to be sexually available to their male master, but law and custom recognized a special status for slaves purchased for primarily sexual or reproductive purposes. No corresponding legal or customary right existed for the sexual use of male slaves by their female masters. A slave who bore her master’s child theoretically gained the status of an umm walad (mother of a child). In gaining the status of an umm walad, a female gained legal protections against sale until her master’s death, after which she would gain her freedom. Any children born from the union with her master would be free and considered legitimate heirs to their fathers’ estate.

Come back to this page to find more insight on:

  • What concubinage entailed
  • What concubinage looked like.
  • The experiences of concubines.
  • Statements from concubines.
    • More on Islamic Law and slavery