Rules and Rewards

The Booty

Booty, which includes the wives and daughters of the unbelievers you killed or enslaved, played a significant part in attracting men to Islam.

Narrated Marwan bin Al-Hakam and Al-Miswar bin Makhrama:

When the delegates of the tribe of Hawazin after embracing Islam, came to Allah's Apostle, he got up. They appealed to him to return their properties and their captives.

Allah's Apostle said to them, "The most beloved statement to me is the true one. So, you have the option of restoring your properties or your captives, for I have delayed distributing them."

The narrator added, Allah's Apostle had been waiting for them for more than ten days on his return from Taif.

When they realized that Allah's Apostle would return to them only one of two things, they said, "We choose our captives."

So, Allah's Apostle got up in the gathering of the Muslims, praised Allah as He deserved, and said, "Then after! These brethren of yours have come to you with repentance and I see it proper to return their captives to them. So, whoever amongst you likes to do that as a favor, then he can do it, and whoever of you wants to stick to his share till we pay him from the very first booty which Allah will give us then he can do so."

The people replied, "We agree to give up our shares willingly as a favor for Allah's Apostle."

Then Allah's Apostle said, "We don't know who amongst you has agreed and who hasn't. Go back and your chiefs may tell us your opinion."

So, all of them returned and their chiefs discussed the matter with them and then they (i.e. their chiefs) came to Allah's Apostle to tell him that they (i.e. the people) had given up their shares gladly and willingly.

Bukhari 38.503

In making war on the unbelievers, God reminded the believers not to let the booty distract them from their immediate goal: shedding the blood of those who refused to submit to His Will.

8:67 It is not up to any Prophet to take captives except after too much blood is shed (after the enemy is hard hit and subdued) in the land. You desire the fleeting goods of this world, but Allah desires the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

A revealed truth confirmed the inalienable right of a believer to the property of an unbeliever he has slaughtered or enslaved, including his wives and daughters.

8:68 But for a prior ordinance of Allah, you would have been afflicted on account of what you have taken (an ordinance which made it lawful for Muslims to take spoils and captives) by a terrible punishment.

If sharing in the booty is not sufficient to convince you to submit to Allah’s Will, remember that in God’s eyes you are traitors, with all the horrifying consequences that implies, with your continued enslavement the best that you can hope for.

8:70 O Prophet, tell those captives in your keeping: “If Allah knows of any good in your hearts, He will give you in return better than what has been taken from you and forgive you.” Allah is All-Forgiving, Merciful.

8:71 But if they wish to betray you, they have previously betrayed Allah, and so He subdued them. Allah is All-Knowing, Wise.

Sex and the Booty

It was a given that you could have sex with your female booty, with or without consent. However, until Muhammad offered his considered opinion, some holy warriors were unsure about whether coitus interruptus was halal. They consulted with the Prophet who made his—and what has to be assumed is God's view—clear on a believer withdrawing from his captive prior to ejaculation.

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

That while he was sitting with Allah's Apostle he said, "O Allah's Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?"

The Prophet said, "Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence."

Bukhari 77.600


As reported by the BBC, Muhammad's views on coitus interruptus and by extension contraception have encouraged "more conservative Islamic leaders have [to] openly campaigned against the use of condoms or other birth control methods, thus making population planning in many countries ineffective." While a majority of Islamic Schools of Law allow contraceptives within a marriage setting, all are against men having a vasectomy or women a tubal ligation for this would be interfering with Allah's right to schedule a pregnancy at some point in the future.


A revealed truth within a hadith (both reinforcing each other) was meant to reduce the resistance of the believers to raping their female captives in front of their husbands.

The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives.

Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (4:24) "And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess."

Abu Dawud 2.215

The revelation in question:

4:24 Or married women except those your right hands possess (captives of war or slave-girls). This is Allah’s decree for you. Beyond these it is lawful for you to seek, by means of your wealth, any women, to marry and not to debauch. Those of them you have enjoyed, you should give them their dowry as a matter of obligation; but you are not liable to reproach for whatever you mutually agree upon, apart from the obligatory payment (the dowry). Allah is indeed All-Knowing, Wise.

Greetings and the Booty

4:86 And when you are greeted with a certain greeting, greet back with a better one or return it; for Allah keeps count of everything.

4:94 O believers, if you journey in the Way of Allah, be discerning and do not say to him who greets you: “You are not a believer”, seeking the fleeting goods of the present life. For with Allah are abundant gains. This is how you were before and Allah has been gracious to you; so discern well. Allah is indeed fully aware of what you do!


In the early days of Islam the greeting as-salam 'alaykum ('peace be on you') was a distinguishing symbol of the Muslims. When a Muslim greeted another Muslim with this expression it signified that he was a member of the same community from whom he need entertain no fear of hostility and towards whom, in return, he should not behave with hostility.

[This caused a problem] on the battlefield. Whenever a Muslim was in danger of being harmed inadvertently by other Muslims during the fighting, he resorted to either the Islamic greeting (as-salam 'alaykum) or the Islamic creed There is no god save Allah' (ili-Jl) in order to indicate that he was their brother-in-faith.

The Muslims, however, often suspected this to be merely a ruse of the enemy and therefore sometimes disregarded the utterance of the Islamic greeting or of the Islamic creed, and killed such people and seized their belongings as booty.

God solved the problem by revelation. The purport of the verse is that no one has the right summarily to judge those who profess to be Muslims, and assume them to be lying for fear of their lives… The error of letting an unbeliever go unpunished is preferable to that of killing a true believer.