Islam and Sharia frequently claim that the Qur’an allows Muslim men to rape their female captives and slave girls (i.e. those "whom their right hands possess"). Westernized Muslims, however, are appalled at the thought of their religion allowing rape, so they insist that Islam prohibits this practice. Unfortunately, Islam isn't defined by Westernized Muslims; it's defined by Allah and Muhammad in the Qur'an and the Hadith. So instead of inventing a religion based on the feelings of Westernized Muslims and calling it "Islam," let's turn to the Qur'an and the Hadith to see what Allah and Muhammad have to say about this issue.
As Muhammad's armies raided town after town, they captured many women, who would often be sold or traded. Yet, since the Muslim men were a long way from their wives, they needed wisdom from Allah to guide them in their treatment of their female captives. Allah revealed:
Qur’an 23:1-6—The Believers must (eventually) win through—those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess—for (in their case) they are free from blame.
Qur’an 70:22-30—Not so those devoted to Prayer—those who remain steadfast to their prayer; and those in whose wealth is a recognized right for the (needy) who asks and him who is prevented (for some reason from asking); and those who hold to the truth of the Day Of Judgement; and those who fear the displeasure of their Lord—for their Lord’s displeasure is the opposite of Peace and Tranquility—and those who guard their chastity, except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess—for (then) they are not to be blamed.
Notice that Allah commands Muslims to abstain from sex, except with their wives and with "those whom their right hands possess." Allah gave the same sexual rights to Muhammad:
Qur’an 33:50—O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war ...
The Muslim practice of having sex with captured women is reported often in the Hadith, where we learn that Muhammad's only objection to sex with captives was his condemnation of birth control.
Sahih Muslim 3371—We went out with Allah’s Messenger on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing azl (withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger, and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.
Sahih al-Bukhari 4138—We went out with Allah’s Apostle for the invasion of Bun Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus [same as "azl" above]. So when we intended to do coitus interruptus, we said: "How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah’s Apostle who is present among us? We asked (him) about it and he said: "It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul till the Day of Resurrection is predestined to exist, it will exist."
Sahih Muslim 3384—Jabir bin Abdullah reported that a person asked Allah’s Apostle saying: I have a slave-girl and I practice azl with her, whereupon Allah’s Messenger said: This cannot prevent that which Allah has decreed. The person then came (after some time) and said: Messenger of Allah, the slave-girl about whom I talked to you has conceived, whereupon Allah’s Messenger said: I am the servant of Allah and His Messenger.
Clearly, Muslims were taking full advantage of Muhammad's teachings about female captives and slave girls. Nevertheless, Muslims eventually captured women along with their husbands, so they wondered if Allah would allow them to have sex with these married captives (since adultery is otherwise forbidden in Islam).
Allah gives his answer in the Qur'an:
Qur’an 4:24—Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess ...
Here's the historical background for this verse:
Sunan Abu Dawud 2150—The Apostle of Allah 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 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: “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” That is to say, they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period.
Thus, the Qur’an allows men to have sex with their female captives and slave girls, and the Hadith provides numerous examples of how this was practiced. Yet we must follow this fact through to its logical conclusion. Muslims decided to have sex with their captives, whom they were later going to sell. Some of these captives were women whose husbands and families had been slaughtered by Muslims. Others had husbands who had been captured by Muslims. Would these women gladly consent to sexual intercourse with men who had killed their families or taken their families captive, and who were simply going to sell them into slavery when they arrived at the next town? Certainly not. But since the Qur’an and Muhammad authorized sex with these women (and said nothing about seeking their permission), we can only conclude that Muhammad allowed his followers to rape their captives.
For more on women in Islam, click here.
To see some of the practical consequences of Muhammad's teachings about raping captives, watch this: