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After slave girls were purchased by their owners and brought to the owners' Islamic hometowns, was it acceptable for these girls to be topless in public?

Abdullah Sameer quotes Sheikh Hamza Yusuf's speech in which he said this was indeed the case:

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf says,

In an Islamic system in Medina there were women walking around bare breasted, and that is a fact, that is a historical fact and you can read it and look it up in the books.** Umar did not allow the ima (slave girl) to wear the hijab.
Source: Video on Youtube at 1min 16seconds

I found a couple of sources which briefly mention the presence of topless slave women in public spaces in cities. The following is stated by this resource:

And the practice of the slave-women going around bare-breasted, although it was common, was however strongly disapproved of by the 'ulama. Read this quote from "Kitab al-Jami'" of al-Imam Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani al-Maliki (died 386 AH):

"He (i.e. al-Imam Malik ibn Anas) strongly disapproved of the behaviour of the slave women of al-Madinah in going out uncovered above the lower garment. He said: "I have spoken to the sultan about it, but I have not received a reply." He said: "Beat slave women if they do that."

The following has been stated on this web page:

Anas bin Malik said: "The slave-girls of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) were serving us with uncovered hair, their breasts (were) shaking [their hair hits (reaches) their breasts (in length)]."

This leads one to believe it was not taboo for slave girls to be topless even in the presence of men who were strangers to them (i.e. not their owners).

This web page also states that slave women used to be topless in public in some Islamic societies:

Jurists in the following centuries allowed Muslim slave women to pray without a head covering, and walk topless in public.

The information above, though useful, lacks thoroughness and confirmation by additional historical sources.

Are there more detailed accounts of how slave women were dressed in early Islamic societies?

  • 1
    May I know why my question is being downvoted? – a_sid Mar 24 at 18:21
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    Perhaps because you have failed to perform even the most rudimentary research , such as in Wikipedia: "Sources for these civilizations are not extensive, and are limited to archaeological evidence, accounts written outside of Arabia, and Arab oral traditions later recorded by Islamic scholars." This is well known, very basic information about the pre-Islamic Arabs. – Pieter Geerkens Mar 27 at 16:36
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    @PieterGeerkens I do not understand the point you are trying to make here. Is this not a stack exchange platform for history questions? Are you implying I should not ask questions about Arabs because the historical sources about them are not extensive enough? I am essentially asking what the existing historical sources (archaeological evidence, oral traditions, foreigners' accounts, etc.) state about a very specific aspect (slave clothing) of ISLAMIC arab culture. – a_sid Mar 27 at 17:49
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    @PieterGeerkens This is well known, very basic information about the pre-Islamic Arabs. Why do you mention pre-Islamic Arabs? I stated explicitly in my question that I am interested in the times of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the empires/Muslims who followed him. – a_sid Mar 27 at 17:52
  • @PieterGeerkens As far as I know, history about Muslims after the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is fairly comprehensive. In the Wikipedia link you gave, one can find extensive descriptions of the various caliphates (Rashidun, Umayyad, etc.) that followed his death. – a_sid Mar 27 at 17:55

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