Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Umm al-Walad
(3,280 words)

(a.), denotes in classical Islamic law a slave-girl who has borne her master a child.

1. The pre-Islamic period

The master’s right to take his slave-girls as concubines was recognised by Muhammad 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 Islam. In place of the previous unrestrictedness in marriage and concubinage, a certain decree of regulation had gr…

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Schacht, J., “Umm al-Walad”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 28 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_1290>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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