Kariyeh or Kariyes is a name and term used to refer to a category of enslaved female concubines in the Islamic world of the Middle East. They are particularly famous in history from the time of the Ottoman Empire, where they legally existed until the mid-19th century.
1.1. History. General sense. (Общий смысл)
The General meaning of the term Kariye is a woman enslaved during the war. This remained the formal definition of the term in the Islamic world. The rights of an enslaved woman are governed by Islamic law.
The enslavement of women was permitted only during a war that was considered "just," i.e., a war against non-Muslims. Only a non-Muslim woman can be enslaved during war, as Islam forbids Muslims from enslaving other Muslims.
In Islamic law, the enslavement of a woman was the only case in which the law permitted concubinage. A woman taken as a concubine by a Kariye was supposed to obey her male master as her husband. The son of a Carian was not considered a slave, but was born free. A daughter born as a slave was nevertheless born as a slave, although it was customary to manumit her.
1.2. History. Ottoman empire. (Османская империя)
The Kariye system existed in the Ottoman Empire as early as the 19th century and is best known in the Ottoman Imperial harem of the Ottoman court.
The Ottoman system formally followed the original Islamic law, but in practice differed from it. After the Ottoman Empire conquered most of the Middle East and the borders with Christian Europe came to a standstill, it was virtually impossible to capture women through military action.
Due to the General ban on enslavement of Muslims, non-Muslim Kariye was instead granted to the Ottoman slave market from Christian Europe through the Crimean slave trade and the barbarian slave trade. Being from non-Muslim countries, with which the Ottoman Empire could be considered to be in passive war, this was considered tantamount to enslaving prisoners of war, and thus in accordance with Islamic law.
When the Crimean slave trade was closed after the Russian conquest of the Crimea in 1783 and the barbaric slave trade in the early nineteenth century, the Carian slave trade went through another transformation. From then on, most of the Carians were Circassians from the Caucasus, with a small minority coming from the white slave trade. While Circassians were usually Muslims, the ban on enslaving Muslims was omitted in their case, and their original Muslim status was an "open secret".
Kariye has always been considered sexually available to the owner of the house, and if she gives birth to a child by him, she can no longer be sold. It was common for Kariye to be mannumitted. However, the dismissal does not mean that Kariye can simply leave the house. In a Muslim society based on gender segregation, if women lived in seclusion, it would not be possible for a manumitated woman to simply leave the house and walk down the street, since a free, unmarried woman without a family would not be able to feed herself. Instead, the manumission of a woman usually meant that a marriage had been arranged for her, often by a man who had freed the woman, married her himself, or arranged for her to marry another man.
There is a difference between women bought to be domestic servants of Muslim women and women bought by men, slaves who are formally the property of a Muslim woman, although legally available to the master of the house, can also be sold by its owner.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, slavery began to be viewed in the Western world as morally wrong. The liberal Sultan Abdulmejid I, influenced by these views, included anti-slavery laws among his westernized reforms and formally banned the Kariya slave system. This was, however, a formal ban, and in reality the Kariye continued unofficially until the end of the 19th century.
1.3. History. The Ottoman Imperial Harem. (Османский Императорский Гарем)
The Kariye were provided for the Ottoman Imperial harem through the Crimean slave trade and the barbarian slave trade, or recruited within the Empire. They were selected from among the most beautiful and intelligent girls, and they came to the harem as children. Upon arrival, they were converted to Islam and given a new name. They were trained in the discipline of the Palace harem and the achievements for which they had a talent. They were then promoted according to their abilities.
Kariye was the lowest ranking female in the Imperial harem. They differed from odalisques in that they were all technically concubines of the Sultan. However, in practice, they can never be chosen for the joint bed of the Sultan, so they often acted as servants to the Sultans walide, as well as wives and children of the Sultan.
Kariye, who proved to be a valuable servant, could be promoted to kalfa or usta, which meant that she received a salary. If Kariye was neither promoted to kalfa nor chosen as a sexual partner by the Sultan, She was released after nine years of service. In practice, her manumization would mean that she would have to marry, since an unmarried free woman without a family had no means of supporting herself in the gender-segregated society of the Ottoman Empire.
The karians with whom the Sultan shared a bed became members of the dynasty and rose in rank to reach the status of Gozde-the favorite, Iqbal-the lucky one, Kadin-the woman / wife, or the legitimate wife of Haseki Sultan. The highest position was held by the Valide Sultan, the Sultans legal mother, who herself was the wife or Kariye of the Sultans father and rose to the highest rank in the harem. No, Tigris could not leave or enter the premises of the harem without the Express permission of Valide Sultan.
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