Update
The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Dismiss

Related Content

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Religion

GO

Show Summary Details

Overview

Umm al-Walad


Quick Reference

Mother of the son. Refers to a slave woman impregnated by her owner, thereby bearing a child. In the opinion of many classical jurists, such a slave woman cannot be sold. In sociohistorical practice, slave girls used their beauty and intelligence to attract the attention of powerful men and then used the birth of male children to place themselves in positions of power. In some cases they were raised to the rank of queen after giving birth to a son, especially under the Abbasids and Ottomans. Children, male or female, born of this union are legally free and enjoy all rights of legitimate parentage, including inheritance and use of the father's name.

Subjects: Religion


Reference entries