A believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
Stage – 1, Verse – 221b of 286, Section – 27 of 40 (Part - 2)
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
And lo! A believing bondwoman is better than an idolatress though she please you;
Wa la-‘amatum-mu’-minatun khayrum-mim-mushrikatinw-wa law ‘a’-jabat-kum.
In the first part of this verse, it has been described that marriage with any idolatress woman is unlawful. Now Allah Almighty commands that if any idolatress woman has the entire kinds of beauties and qualities, apparently she has each type of attraction, but when she has not the light of belief then she would not have any allurement for a Muslim. Comparatively, if any Muslim woman doesn’t have blessings like freedom, she is better to be wed a Muslim man.
There may be some reasons to like any idolatress or non-Muslim woman, for instance; she may be rich, she may have a lot of wealth and property, she may be beautiful and elegant, she may be well educated, she may belong to a higher family/dynasty, she may be unraveled, she may be excellent and worthy, she may have all qualities which should be in a complete woman, but all these characteristics of an idolatress woman are valueless before a Believer woman still the basic principles of the life of this idolatress are wrong.
Conversely to her, many reasons may be found to dislike a believing bondwoman. For example, she may be ugly, poor or illiterate and maidservant/female slave. But in spite of all these things; she is superior to the idolatress in the Court of Allah Almighty because of her belief. So, it has been commanded that this type of woman should be preferred for wedding.
The life of husband becomes difficult automatically if he weds any idolatress woman. Difference of opinion and dispute in every matter, contention in domestic affairs, difference of opinion in the matters of children’s education and civilization, this type of strife effects badly not only upon the husband but there is a risk of affect also upon the children. The children don’t find the straight path in front of them. The father teaches them according to his religion whereas the mother advises them some other thing.
However if any Muslim bondwoman is wedded then these types of difficulties and entanglements will not be faced. Because the children will remain anyhow Muslims, and being a Muslim is better than infidelity and ascribing plurality to Allah Almighty, whether they are children of a bondwoman. Nowadays, although, the reproach of slavery has been finished from the world due to remedies of Islam, there is no slave male or female now. So this verse strengthens only the restriction which has come in the first part of the verse about marriage with any idolatress and infidel woman.
When this verse was revealed, at that time, the slaves and bondwomen were present. At the same time, it was admonished that there were some social harms also to wed any Muslim bondwoman. But those are less than the badness and intricacies which grow due to wedding a non-Muslim life partner (woman). Today also, we can understand from it that Islamic way of life is the best to produce married relationships and connections. It should be kept in mind about the matter of bondwomen that their children will be slaves till the time they are not the children of the master of bondwoman. The children of free woman will remain independent, whether their father is from any race, and it is final that nowadays bondwomen and slaves do not exist.