Umm al-Walad
(3,241 words)

(a.), a slave-girl who has borne her master a child.

1. The master’s right to take his slave-girls as concubines was recognised by Muḥammad in continuation of a general practice of Arab paganism. In regard to the position of the children of such unions a change of view had been perceptible among the Arabs in the period just before the coming of Islām. In place of the previous unrestrictedness in marriage and concubinage a certain decree of regulation had grown up, and a higher value began to be attached t…

Cite this page
Schacht, Joseph, “Umm al-Walad”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann. Consulted online on 16 January 2019 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004082656, 1913-1936

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