Al-Athari replies: "There is no doubt that taking the women of the combatant infidels captive – whether they are from Ahl Al-Kitab [i.e., Christians or Jews] or pagans – is permitted according to the shari'a... That being said, it must be done only after [the spoils] has been divided by an imam in Dar Al-Islam; if there is no imam at hand, prisoners may not be taken..."
Al-Athari emphasizes that before deciding to take infidel women captive, "one must consider the gains and losses that will result from this deed, which is to say that if the imam of the Muslims in a given country believes that taking the infidels' women captive will lead the infidels to band together and rape the Muslims' women, and that the Muslims are in too weak a state to prevent this, he should forbid taking [infidel women] captive..."
Al-Athari notes that "there are too many proofs of the permissibility of taking the infidels' women captive to enumerate here, but we can divide them into two categories: 'general proofs' and 'concrete proofs.'" He explains that the "general proofs" are those which clarify that it is forbidden to violate the honor of Muslim women, but that this does not hold true regarding the infidel women...
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