the Misconception about Slavery

Last Post: * * | == == | Last Post: * * | == == | 2 Last Post: | == == | Last Post: | == == | - 2 - Last Post: * * | == == | Deux nonnes tombes enceintes aprs une mission en Afrique Last Post: * * | == == | ! Last Post: * * | == == | ( ) Last Post: | == == | Vs Vs ( ) Last Post: | == == | : ! Last Post: | == == |










the Misconception about Slavery

Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: the Misconception about Slavery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Last Activity
    01:33 AM

    Default the Misconception about Slavery

    Reply to the Misconception about Slavery

    Sixth: Slavery system in Islam contradicts Islamic concepts of equality and full personal freedom. This, too, is an encroachment upon human rights.

    The reply:

    We would like to present, in brief, the standpoint of Islam against slavery. Islam accepted the slavery system because of the existence of peculiar economic and social conditions of the society in order to meet their economic, when Islam made first appearance. The entire society, then, depended heavily on the slavery system in taking care of the economic and social needs. In fact, this system of slavery was not restricted to the society of the Arabian Peninsula but it was worldwide. Moreover, the slavery system was well adopted and recognized in the previous religions. It is stated in the Bible, Deuteronomy 20:10-17,

    " When you come neigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.
    And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.
    And if it will make no peace with thee, but it will make war against thee, then thou shall besiege it.
    And when the Lord Thy God has delivered it into thine hands, thou shall smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword.
    But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shall you take unto yourself, and you shall eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God has given thee.
    Thus shall you do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.
    But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God does give you for an inheritance, you shall save alive that breathes.
    But you shall utterly destroy them. "
    Islam followed a gradual and long-term plan to eliminate slavery from the Islamic society, like the banning of all types of liquors. Liquor (or wine) was not banned at once in Islam but rather gradually in stages. In the first stage, the Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur'n Sura al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:219 the meaning of which is translated as: They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the benefit [profit]. They ask thee how much they are to spend; say: What is beyond your needs. Thus does Allah make clear to you His Signs: in order that ye may consider.

    However, with people widely accepting Islam as a way of life and a religion to follow, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) revealed the following verse in Qur'n, Sura al-Nisa (The Women), 4:43 the meaning of which is translated as: Oh you who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until you can understand all that you say.

    Then, when Muslims became firm in faith and began learning and studying Islam thoroughly, showing full respect and obedience to the Commands of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and the commands and the instructions of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) issued a full ban for liquor. The Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur'n Sura al-Maedah (The Table) 5:90 the meaning of which is translated as: Oh you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: eschew such (abomination), that you may prosper.

    Similarly, Islam followed an identical approach to eliminate slavery from the Islamic society. Islam did not command to abruptly stop all dealings with slavery, but rather wisely drained all the sources of slavery. Islam aimed at reaching a stage where all activities will vanish completely. Islam started with the first stage; liberating themselves from within their hearts and minds. They were instructed to feel strong, healthy and capable within. They were taught to quit feeling weak, inferior, about themselves. Islam reconstructed the human feeling and integrity in the hearts and minds of slaves by making them, or rather calling them, brethren to their masters or owners. Slavery never remained a permanent phenomenon in the Islamic society. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said: Your workers are your brethren. The Almighty Allah placed them under you [for your services]. Whosoever has one [of his brethren] under him [working for him] must feed him of what he eats, clothe him of what he clothes himself and do not assign them to do what they cannot do. If you do, then help them[109].

    Islam, further, establishes the rights of slaves to life. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said: Whosoever kills a slave will be killed. Whosoever cuts off the nose of a slave, his own nose will be cut off [in punishment]. Whosoever removes the testicles of a slave, his own testicles will be also removed[110].

    Moreover, Islam commands Muslims to be kind and good to their slaves and maids. The Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur'n Sura al-Nisa (The Women) 4:36 the meaning of which is translated as: Worship [Serve] Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet) and what your right hands possess: for Allah loves not the arrogant, the vainglorious.

    In fact, Islam upholds the feelings of the slaves with honor as it bans slave masters to remind their slaves about their slavish background. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said: One should not say 'this is my slave' or 'this is my maid', but rather one should say 'this is my boy' or 'this is my girl.

    However, slavery, according to Islamic teachings is limited to physical slavery only and not mental and philosophical. A slave has the right to maintain his own faith if he wishes to do so. Furthermore, Islam sets forth the best example in human equality by making the superiority based on piety and righteousness. In fact, Islam made brotherhood or unity ties between slaves and their masters. Yet, Islam went a step further by presenting an excellent example of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he offered in marriage his cousin; Zainab bin Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with him), a noble Korishite lady, to his slave fellow; Zaid bin Harithah. The latter was also assigned as a leader to the army that consisted of some leading and well-known Companions of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

    Islam followed two main methods to eliminate slavery from the Islamic society and practiced them in a very subtle manners as to avoid any confusion or chaos in the society. These methods did not create any animosity, hatred between various classes of the Islamic society or cause detriment to the prevailing socio-economic situations.

    The first method: Draining the sources of slavery, which were very vast at one point during the Islamic history. Slavery sources were as follows:
    Wars of all types where the defeated army fighters will be either killed or captivated, and consequently, enslaved.
    If a person is in a financial debt and could not pay it back fully, such indebted person would become a slave to the debtor.
    The practice of fathers to sell their children, male or female, if they chose to do so.
    Personal decline of freedom. If a person was in need for something, he sells himself to another person in order to get what he needed.
    All acts of piracy, kidnapping and abducting of people. Such kidnapped people were treated like slaves.
    A punishment for crimes such as killing, theft and adultery, which imposed slavery on the doer. The criminal person will become a slave to the victim or his family members or heirs.
    Reproduction of slaves even if the father was a freeman.
    The aforementioned were just few sources for slavery, which were practiced in the world before the advent of Islam. Thus, Islam has forbidden all these sources. Two remained as exceptions:
    War captives, or prisoners of lawfully declared wars by a Muslim ruler. However, such prisoners of war were not all declared as slaves. Some of them were set free while others paid ransom or else. This is based on the verse in the Glorious Qur'n Sura Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 47:4 the meaning of which is translated as: Therefore, when you meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are you commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost. This, however, was at the beginning of the advent of Islam. The enemies of Islam then attempted to stop its progress and spread to others. Non-Muslims at that time held Muslims as prisoners-of-war. Islam did the same.

    An inherited slavery, on the other hand, is the child who is born for two slave parents. Such a born child is considered a slave as well. However, if the master of a slave girl had an intercourse with her, the product of this relation is a free child who is also attached in lineage to his free father. In such case, the slave-girl is called "a mother of a boy" who is not sold and not given as a gift, but she will be freed upon the death of her master.

    The second method involves expanding the exits of liberation of slaves from slavery. Originally, the only way for freedom was the will of the master to free the slave or the slave-girl. A slave, prior to advent of Islam, was considered a slave throughout his entire life. Yet, a slave master who would liberate his slave or slave-girl, had to pay a fine.
    Islam introduced the practice of liberation of slaves through their own masters and contracting of slaves with masters to pay a specific amount of money to purchase their freedom or liberty. Moreover, Islam widely opened this door before the slave master was given latitude to liberate his slave at any time and without any obligation or financial fine. Yet, it opened other doors and means for liberating the slaves as well, such as:
    Atonement for sins:
    Islam set an atonement for killing by mistake, a liberation of a Believing, faithful Muslim slave, in addition to the blood-money to be given to the affected family. This is based on the verse in the Glorious Qur'n Sura al-Nisa (The Women) 4:92 the meaning of which is translated as: Never should a Believer kill a Believer; but (if it so happens) by mistake, (compensation is due); if one (so) kills a Believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased's family, unless they remit it freely.

    Atonement for Thehar oath[111]:
    This is based on the verse in the Glorious Qur'n Sura al-Mujadalah (The Disputing One) 58:3 the meaning of which is translated as: But those who divorce their wives by Thehar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered, (it is ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other: these are you admonished to perform: and Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that you do.

    Atonement for breaking an oath:
    This is based on the verse in the Glorious Qur'n Sura al-Maedah (The Table) 5:89'89 the meaning of which is translated as: Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths you have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His Signs, that you may be grateful.

    Atonement for breaking the fast during the month of Ramadan:
    This is based on the incident of the man who came to Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) telling him: Oh Prophet of Allah! I have destroyed myself! Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked the man, Why? The man informed Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that he had an intercourse with his wife during the fasting hours of the day of Ramadan. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked the man, Do you have a slave to free? The man answered negatively. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked the man again, Do you have the means to feed sixty poor people? The man replied negatively. While the man and the rest of the people were sitting, Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was presented with an amount of fresh dates. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked about the man who committed that sin, and he came forward. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to the man, Take these dates and give them to the poor people in charity [atonement for your sin]. The man replied, Oh Prophet of Allah! By Allah! There is no poorer family in the entire city of Madinah than my family. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) upon hearing this smiled in such a way that his fangs appeared, saying, Then, take the dates and feed your family[112]. A person who has, however, committed one of these sins and is required to pay atonement for his sin, and he is financially capable, but does not possess a slave to liberate, must purchase a slave [if possible] and liberate it in atonement for his sin.

    Islam declares liberating of slaves as one of the most beloved charitable acts of worship in the Sight of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala):
    This is based on the verse in the Glorious Qur'n Sura al-Balad (The Town) 90:11-13 the meaning of which is translated as:
    But he has made no haste on the path that is steep.
    And what will explain to thee the path that is steep?
    (It is:) freeing the bondman.

    Moreover, the statements and actions of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in this regard were one of the best incentives for people to free the slaves and liberate them for the cause of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Whosoever frees a slave will get a reward to free one of his organs from the fire of hell for every organ of the slaves organs[113]. In addition, Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said: Visit the ill, feed the hungry and release the suffering slave[114].

    Announcing freedom to the slave:
    If a slave master announces any word or synonyms of freedom, liberation, releasing or relieving a slave from his slavery, though jokingly, the slave is freed instantly. This is based on the statement of the Hadith of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying: [There are] three matters if you utter them seriously or jokingly, you will commit yourself to do them. These are: divorcing [one's wife], accepting a marriage [to a woman] and freeing or liberating a slave[115].

    Liberating a slave by a will:
    One of the means of liberating a slave is through the death-will. The will may be written, announced verbally, pronounced to someone or the like. If a slave master declares, in any form, that his slave will be a freeman upon the master's death, the slave has secured his freedom after the death of the master. Therefore, as a precautionary measurement Islam bans to sell or give away such a slave after this declaration. If a slave-girl is given such a promise and the owner has an intercourse with her, the child who is a product of that cohabiting is born as a freeman also. Similarly, the slave girl, in such a case, is not to be sold or given away as a gift to a third party, but rather liberated as well.

    Slave liberation is one of the proposed channels of Zakah:
    This is based on the verse in the Glorious Qur'n Sura al-Tawbah (The Repentence) 9:60 the meaning of which is translated as: Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.

    Atonement for slapping on the face:
    Islam requires freeing a slave if the slave master slaps or hits his slave on the face. This is based on the Hadith of Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): Whosoever slaps his slave or hits him/her on the face must pay an atonement by freeing him[116].
    Contracting a slave:
    This involves a situation when a slave requests his master to sell him his freedom for a sum of money they both agree upon. If a slave requests his master to issue him such a liberation contract, it will become binding on the master to grant the slave such a contract. In such a case, the slave will have the liberty to buy, sell, trade, own and work in order to accumulate the needed money against his freedom contract. Even working for his master will be for a specific wages for his labor. In fact, Islam went a step further by asking donations, assistance and support for such people from the wealthy people and donors in the Islamic society. Even the master is urged to discount some of the money agreed upon, or to give him some easier payment facilities to help the salve obtain his freedom. This is based on the verse in the Glorious Qur'n Sura al-Noor (The Light) 24:33 the meaning of which is translated as: And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if you know any good in them; yet, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you.

    We can confidently say, in brief, that Islam did not legalize slavery. Conversely, it established laws and regulations that contributed significantly and effectively to help restrict the sources of slavery and helped slaves to be freed once and forever.

    The Ministry of Justice in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia held three symposiums during the month of Safar 1392 H (1982 G). The Minster of Justice and eminent scholars and university professors attended along with four eminent European canonists and scholars:
    Ex Foreign Affairs Minister of Ireland and the Secretary of the European Legislation Committee.
    A well-known scholar of Oriental and Islamic Studies Professor.
    An eminent professor of Law and the Director of the Human Rights Magazine published in France.
    Some of the eminent lawyers of Appellate Court in Paris.
    The Kingdom's scholars explained the concept of Islam as a way of life, in comparison with other competing concepts, illustrating the main rules of Islam and the Shari'ah and the details of such general rules and principles. Muslim scholars also illustrated that the Shari'ah preserves the real interests of people. The Muslim scholars also illustrated the value, the benefits and the effectiveness of the Islamic capital punishments that are prescribed against serious crimes committed against innocent people and society. Muslim scholars further explained that such capital punishments are rational penalties that preserve the peace, safety and security of the society at large. Furthermore, such punishments will reduce the percentage of crimes in the society.

    At their own, the Europeans expressed their admiration of the detailed explanations given by the Muslim scholars on these types of punishments. Europeans even admired the concept of the human rights in Islam.

    Mile Pride, the head of the European delegation, declared then:" From this place, and from this Islamic country the human rights must be declared and announced to people all over the world and not from any other country. Muslim scholars must declare these unknown human rights to the international public opinion. In fact, due to the ignorance about these human rights and lack of proper knowledge about them, the reputation of Islam and the Islamic ruling and governing is distorted in the rest of the world ".


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Last Activity
    01:33 AM


    Slavery in Islam and Christianity
    Kab bin Malik narrates: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, fainted for an hour. When he had a relief he said: Fear Allah! Fear Allah! In the treatment of what your right hands posses (i.e. slaves). Cover their backs (i.e. clothe them), fill their bellies and be kind to them in speaking. (Ibn Sads Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Translated by S. Moinul Haq, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi 2009 vol.2 p.317 The narration has been authenticated by Albani in Sahih al-Targhib wal-Tarhib Hadith 2288)

    This is what the Prophet of Islam said on his death bed amongst the last of his advices to his Ummah. And yet the adversaries of the truth say that he added to the troubles of humanity in the name of slavery and the treatment of slaves. What can be said of this attitude?

    Why injunctions on slavery?

    Some missionary haters of Islam, like silly Silas, try to fool people by saying that Islam justifies slavery as Quran often mentions slaves and that Whole chapters of Hadith are dedicated to dealing with the taxation, treatment, sale, and jurisprudence of slaves.

    Now the reason why Quran and Hadith do actually make a mention of and give rulings about slaves is the fact that slavery was such an essential and deep rooted practice in the pre-Islamic times that it was just not prudent to abolish it at once. Had it been so done, it would have created much upheaval in the society. The slaves, who were too large in number, owned virtually nothing and there was hardly any possibility for them to sustain in a reasonable and honorable way if they were all liberated at once. Their masters were at least providing free board and lodge.

    This exactly is the reason no religious movement could ever do away with slavery in one go. L.D. Agate assigns the same reason for Paul and others in being slow in condemnation of this institution;

    the immediate abolition or attempted abolition of slavery in Roman empire would probably have led to the collapse of the society. (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Edited by James Hasting, T & T Clark, London 2003 vol. 11 p.602 Art. Slavery (Christianity))

    To summarize, the more we look at the background in which Quran and Hadith dealt with this issue and therefore gave instructions about it, the less, to put in the wording used by Agate in the Christian context, shall we be inclined to be surprised. (pp. 602-603)

    Religious injunctions and practical steps to do away with slavery:

    Islam adopted a more pragmatic approach. While it accepted it at its place it made it obligatory on the believers to treat them justly and inspired people to set them free and to raise them to equal social status.

    Virtues of manumitting a slave:

    Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him, listed three people who will get the double reward. One of them is;

    Master of a slave-woman; who teaches her good manners, educates her in the best possible way (the religion), manumits her and then marries her. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2358)

    Practical examples:

    And he practically did it. The Prophet, may Allah bless him, manumitted Safiya bint Huyay, may Allah be pleased with her, and then married her. Same is true for Juveria, may Allah be pleased with her. These are the practical examples where the Prophet, may Allah bless him, raised the women from the status of slaves and thus they were blessed with the honor of being Mothers of the Believers, always to be respected by all Muslims essentially as a part of faith.

    A large number of slaves were manumitted by him. Names of 22 of them are preserved in Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir of Ibn Sad. 6 additional are recorded in Tarikh al-Tabari. Maududi after a detailed study said that number of slaves manumitted by the Prophet, may Allah bless him, is 63. His wife Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, set 67 of them free. Another 70 slaves were liberated by al-Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, the uncle of the Prophet. The number of those manumitted by another close companion Abdul Rahman bin Awf runs into thousands. (See Human Rights in Islam by Abu Al-Ala Maududi. Chapter 3, subsection 5)

    On the other hand there is hardly any parallel to it in any other religious setup. The deeds and teachings of Jesus, may Allah bless him, as known through the Bible say nothing on this.

    L.D. Agate had to accept;

    There is no explicit condemnation of slavery in the teaching of our Lord. (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics vol.11 p.602)

    Infact Agate even goes on to say that;

    Our Lord accepted the political and social conditions of His time, leaving His teachings to work out its consequences in the Christian Church and in the course of history. (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics vol.11 p.602)

    Even Paul, the real founder of the religion attributed to Christ, did nothing in this regard;

    Same author writes;

    It is a mistake to say that St. Paul consciously addressed himself to the task of abolishing slavery (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics vol.11 p.603)

    He then quotes M.R. Vincent, who said;

    It is not likely that he saw the way to its destruction at all. (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics cf. The Epistle to the Philippians and Philemon (ICC), Edinburg 1897, p.166)

    Manumission of slaves in the Law:

    There are many verses of the Quran and countless Ahadith about manumission of slaves. In the following lines we briefly see the situations in which manumitting a slave is asked for in the Islamic sources.

    For many sins, Islam has determined manumission of slaves as a penalty along with sincere repentance as a way to seek atonement.

    If someone kills one of his fellows by mistake then as a way to seek repentance, freeing of a slave is required;

    Never should a believer kill a believer; but (If it so happens) by mistake, (Compensation is due): If one (so) kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave (Quran 4:92)

    Among the Arabs at the time of the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him, people at times used to make their own wives unlawful to themselves calling them akin to their mothers. The practice was called Zihar. Islam not only condemned this senseless practice but also asked for freeing of slaves in case one does it;

    "But those who divorce their wives by Zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered, (It is ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other: Thus are ye admonished to perform: and God is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do." (Quran 58:3)

    There are more examples of this kind.

    Other than this, manumission of slaves has been emphasized as a great deed of virtue generally too.

    Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari: The Prophet said, "Give food to the hungry, pay a visit to the sick and release (set free) the one in captivity (by paying his ransom)." (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 4954)

    The Prophet, may Allah bless him, ordered people to manumit slaves on many other occasions too. One Hadith says;

    The Prophet, may Allah bless him, ordered people to manumit slaves during the solar eclipse." (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2335) The same is true for lunar eclipses cf. Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2336

    All these facts clearly indicate that Islam by virtue of its clear injunctions worked out the abolition of slavery. But when we look at the Christian side, there is not even a remote similarity.

    Agate had to confess;

    But it remains true that the abolitionist could point to no one text in the Gospels in defence of his position, while those who defended slavery could appeal at any rate to the letter of Scripture. (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics vol.11 p.602)

    Treatment of slaves:

    The importance of just treatment of slaves, before they are manumitted, is very clear from the what the Prophet, may Allah bless him, said in his final advice to the Ummah;

    Fear Allah! Fear Allah! In the treatment of what your right hands posses (i.e. slaves). Cover their backs (i.e. clothe them), fill their bellies and be kind to them in speaking. (Ibn Sads Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir)

    Furthermore Islam made it compulsory for a person to set the slave free if he had beaten him in order to receive please Allah.

    The Prophet , may Allah bless him, was narrated to have said; "He who slaps his slave or beats him, the expiation for it is that he should set him free" (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 3130)

    Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari reported: "When I was beating my servant, I heard a voice behind me (saying): Abu Mas'ud, bear in mind Allah has more dominance over you than you have upon him (i.e. that slave). I turned and (found him) to be Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). I said: Allah's Messenger, I set him free for the sake of Allah. Thereupon he said: Had you not done that, (the gates of) Hell would have opened for you, or the fire would have burnt you." (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 3136)

    Abdullah Ibn Umar narrated that a man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him, and asked: "Messenger of Allah! How often shall I forgive a servant?" He gave no reply, so the man repeated what he had said, but he still kept silent. When he asked a third time, he replied: "Forgive him seventy times daily." (Abu Dawud, Hadith 5164 Classified as Sahih by Albani)

    The Bible nowhere takes exception to maltreatment of the slaves. At one point Bible tells us;

    If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. (Exodus 21:20-21)

    So Bible says, one can beat the slaves, he only ought to make sure he or she doesnt die.

    The New Testament is mum like anything on this issue.

    The Prophet, may Allah bless him, even took into consideration the condition of slaves among those who came to fight him. The ransom taken from the slaves amongst the pagans captured at Badr was half of that demanded from freemen. For freemen it was 40 ounces of silver and for the slaves it was 20 ounces cf. Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith 37889

    Status of freed-slaves:

    Also let us also consider the status of freed-slaves in the society whether they were given equal rights and just treatment or were they still consider the other.

    The same writes, Leonard D. Agate, tells us that in the Roman Empire, The existence of a large class of freedmen was a further misfortune, for their freedom was not entireit took several generations to remove the stigma of slavery, and freedmen still retained many of the vices of the slave. (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics vol.11 p.604)

    And he could count three Roman bishops who had been slaves. They were, Evaristus, Anicetus, and Calixtus I. (p.603)

    While in the House of Islam the situation was entirely different. The freedmen were easily assimilated into the society and enjoyed full respect, many times more than people of esteemed lineage.

    Salim, who was the freed-slave of Abu Hauzaifa, may Allah be pleased with them both, was held in utmost esteem both by the Prophet, may Allah bless him, and his companions.

    The Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him, recommended four people to learn Quran from. Salim, may Allah be pleased with him, was one of them. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 3475)

    He used to lead the companions in the prayers. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 651)

    And Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, used to say;

    If Salim, the freed-slave of Abu Huzaifa were alive I would have made him the Caliph. (Tarikh al-Tabari 2/420)

    The Prophet, may Allah bless him, said; "You should listen to and obey, your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (negro) slave whose head looks like a raisin." (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 6609)

    Can anyone show a parallel to this from any religious scripture? Did any religious leader ever say something like this for the slaves?

    The Prophet, may Allah bless him, married one his freed-slaves, Zaid bin Harith, may Allah be pleased with him, to one of his own cousins.

    Also we have learnt that; From thirteen to nineteen mawlas (i.e. freed-slaves) were present at Badr. Proper shares were allotted to them [in booty]. (Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 2 p.21)

    Salman the Persian and Bilal, two highly respected companions of the Prophet were also freed-slaves.

    Ikrama who is one of the greatest authorities in Tafsir (i.e. Quranic commentary) among the second generation of Muslims was a freed-slave of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him.

    Similarly Tawus, who was one of the well known students of Ibn Abbas, Ibn Masud, Ibn Umar, Zaid bin Thabit etc., Allah be pleased with them all, and one of the top scholars of his time was a freed-slave.

    Ata bin Rabah, Zaid bin Aslam, Hassan al-Basri, Nafi, all of whom were the leading scholars of the generation after the companions were freed-slaves. Same is true for Kab al-Qurazi and many others. Ibn Sirin, another undisputed authority of the same era was son of a freed-slave. Abu Hanifa, recognized as the greatest Muslim jurist of all times, was also from such a family.

    Thus we find that while Christians can boast of three, or may be few more, among the Church bishops who managed to rise to their religious stature after having been slaves; more often than not freed-slaves were the leaders of the Muslims in the religious sciences.

    I think the above is enough to give a glimpse of how the two great religions look at the problem of slavery. The details of various aspects ought to be dealt with separately. To conclude Ill simply quote a narration from a companion and a student of the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him which best sums up the purpose of a Muslims life inspired by his faith.

    Rabi bin Amir said in the court of the Persian warlord, Rustam; Allah has raised us to rescue whoever he wills from the slavery of (fellow) humans and to make them (devoted) servants of Allah. And to deliver them from the cage of materialism guiding them to the magnanimity of spirituality. And to liberate them from tyranny of [different religions and] systems] leading them to the equity of Islam. (al-Bidaya wal Nihaya 7/46)

    Indeed Allah knows the best!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Last Activity
    01:33 AM


    The Condemnation of Slavery in Islam
    Shehzad Saleem

    Among many other misconceptions about Islamic is the notion that it gives sanction to slavery and permits its followers to enslave prisoners of war, particularly women and establish extra-marital relations with them. We strongly affirm that Islam has not the slightest link with slavery and concubinage. On the contrary, it completely forbids these practices. It is quite outrageous to associate such barbarities with a religion revealed to upgrade humanity.
    The point which needs to be appreciated and which, perhaps, is the real cause of the misconception is that Islam had adopted a gradual process to abolish the institution of slavery because of the social conditions prevalent in Arabia at that time. It must be kept in mind that slavery was an integral part of the pre-Islamic Arab society. There were scores of slave men and women in almost every house. This was largely due to two reasons: First, during those times, the standard practice of dispensing with prisoners of war was to distribute them among the army who captured them. Second, there were extensive slave markets in Arabia in that period where free as well as men and women of all ages were sold like animals.
    In these circumstances, in which slavery had become an essential constituent of the Arab society, Islam adopted a gradual way to eliminate it. An immediate order of prohibition would have created immense social and economic problems. It would have become impossible for the society to cater for the needs of a large army of slaves, who were, otherwise, dependent on various families. Also, the national treasury was in no position to provide them all on a permanent basis. A large number among them were old and incapable of supporting themselves. The only alternative left for them, if they were instantly freed, would have been to turn to beggary and become an economic burden for the society. The question of slave girls and women was even more critical, keeping in view their own low moral standards. Freeing them, all of a sudden, would have only resulted in a tremendous increase in brothels.
    Perhaps, the reason behind this gradual eradication can be understood better if one considers the position which interest occupies in our economy today. No one can refute that our national economic structure is interest oriented. How the parasite of interest has crippled the national economy is apparent to every keen eye. However, there is no denying the fact that without it our present economic system cannot sustain itself. Every reasonable person will acknowledge that today if a government wishes to rid the economy from this menace then, in spite of its utter prohibition in Islam, it will have to adopt a gradual methodology. During this interim period interest oriented deals will have to be tolerated and temporary laws will have to be enacted to handle them, just as the Quran had given certain provisional directives about slaves during the interim period of their gradual eradication. An alternative economic framework will have to be steadily incorporated in place of the existing one. A sudden abolition, without another parallel base, will only hasten the total collapse of the economic system, which, of course, will be disastrous for the country.
    To avert a similar disaster and to ward off a similar catastrophe, Islam had adopted a progressive and a gradual scheme, fourteen hundred years ago, to do away with the inhuman institution of slavery. Following are some of the measures it took in this regard:
    1. In the early Makkan period, it pronounced that slave emancipation was a great deed of piety. The very initial Makkan surahs appealed to the Muslims to liberate as many slaves as they could.
    2. The Prophet (sws), unequivocally, directed the Muslims to raise the standard of living of the slaves and bring it equal to their own standard. This, of course, was meant to discourage people from persisting with them.
    3. For the atonement of many sins manumission of slaves was divinely ordained.
    4. All slave men and women who could support themselves in the society were directed to marry one another, in order to raise their moral and social status.
    5. A permanent head in the public treasury was fixed to set free slave men and women.
    6. Prostitution, which was largely carried out through slave women, who were mostly forced by their masters do so, was totally prohibited.
    7. The affronting names of `abd and amah by which slave men and women were called, were abrogated so that people should stop regarding them as slaves. In their place, the words fata (boy) and fatat (girl) were introduced.
    8. Finally, the law of mukatibat provided very easy access for the slaves to the gateway to freedom. Every slave who was capable of supporting himself was allowed by law to free himself, provided that he either gave a certain monetary amount to his master or carried out certain errands for him. After this, he could live as a free man. A special head in the treasury was fixed for this purpose; also, wealthy people were urged to help the slaves in this regard. The net result of this law was that only handicapped and old slaves were left to be provided for by their masters, which not only went in their own favour but also prevented them from becoming an economic burden on the society.

    As far as the case of prisoners of war was concerned, the Quran directed the Muslims to set them free, either as a favour or against some ransom. There was to be no second option:

    When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads, and when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind your captives firmly then grant them their freedom (either as a favour or) against some ransom until the war lays down its armour. (47:4)

    How the Prophet (sws) went about obeying this directive is a golden chapter of Islamic history, and we shall now briefly describe some of its salient features.
    It is a well known historical fact that in the battle of Badr the first main encounter with the Quraysh about seventy prisoners were captured by the victorious Muslim army. Most of these prisoners were freed against some ransom money, while those who could not arrange for this money were freed if they taught a certain number of children of the tribe of Ansar how to write.
    In the battle of Bani Mustaliq, the prisoners captured were either freed in the battlefield as a favour while some others were freed on ransom. The Prophet (sws) brought the remaining prisoners to Medinah and while waiting for their families to procure them, gave them into the temporary custody of his Companions. Among them was Sayyidah Jawairiyah as well. Her father arrived with some camels as ransom. The Prophet (sws) inquired about the two well-bred camels he had hid behind. This astounded him so much for he knew that there could be no way that the Prophet (sws) could have had knowledge of them that he accepted faith. At this, Sayyidah Jawairiyah also accepted faith. The Prophet proposed for her to which her father consented. Upon this, the marriage was solemnised. The result of this marriage was that all the remaining prisoners of war were set free by the Muslim soldiers, since they thought that it was not appropriate to keep the Prophets in-laws in captivity.
    In the battle of Khaibar, after a peace treaty had been concluded with the enemy, the Muslim forces came across Safia binti Huyee a helpless widow of an aristocratic family. Her father, Huyee bin Akhtab a prominent leader of the Jews had been killed in the battle of Quraizah. The Prophet (sws) set her free and gave her the option to go to back to her family or to marry him if she wanted. Saffiyah showed her consent to marry the Prophet. The marriage subsequently took place.
    In the battle of Hunain, thousands of prisoners were captured by the Muslim army. The Prophet (sws) waited for many days for their people to come and fetch them but they never turned up. At this, the Prophet (sws) returned to Medinah and distributed them among the soldiers. However, after a lapse of many days, their people showed up. The Prophet (sws) said that he had no objection in giving away his share back to them but as far as the other tribes were concerned, he could only appeal to them. Later on, almost all the people surrendered their prisoners when the Prophet (sws), subsequently, offered six camels for each prisoner from the spoils they would obtain in the very next battle. This was enough for them to forfeit their share as well.
    Thus the Prophet (sws) throughout his reign followed the Quranic directive of setting free the prisoners of war either as a favour or against some ransom. However, there is, perhaps, just one instance in the Prophets life which may become a source of misconception in this regard. This was the battle with the Jewish tribe of Banu Quraizah in which all the male prisoners were executed and the women and children were made slaves. An analysis of the whole matter shows that the Muslim army had surrounded their fortress for almost a month. At last, they requested to appoint Saad bin Muaaz (rta), the leader of the tribe of Aus, as an arbitrator and promised to willingly accept his decision. They reckoned that since they had remained the allies of the Aus, Saad would be lenient to them in his decision. But Saad bin Muazz, much to their dismay, gave his decision in accordance with the Jewish Shariah. According to the Jewish Shariah, the male prisoners were to be executed while the women and children were to be enslaved1. It is, therefore, clear that the Islamic Shariah could not have come to their rescue in this regard since they were dealt with according to their own law by a person they themselves had appointed as an arbitrator.
    During the term of the Rightly Guided Caliphate also, the practical abolition of the institution of slavery continued with full force. However, in spite of all these extensive measures spanning almost half a decade, it is known fact that it was not until the turn of this century that mankind was actually able to rid itself completely of this institution. We believe the reason for this must be sought in the social complexities which exist in a community. It is extremely difficult to eradicate customs and traditions which are deeply rooted in a society. The society, as a whole did not accept the reformation started by Islam. A similar instance can be observed in the case of the political set up envisaged by Islam. It totally condemned the institution of dictatorship in which a despotic ruler and his few henchmen exercised absolute powers. It established a government which was democratic in the sense that it came into power by a majority mandate. Throughout the term of the Rightly Guided Caliphate this principle remained in force for the election of the ruler. However, after the end of the Rightly Guided Caliphate, the Arab society rejected this system and reverted to dictatorship.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Activity
    04:44 PM


    Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje*, who had visited Mecca during his journey in the Hijaz.
    He states in his book Mohammedanism that "Slaves in the Arab world are generally not that different from servants and workers in Europe and that their masters handled them with a genial humanity that made their lot no worse - perhaps better, as more secure - than that of a factory worker in nineteenth-century Europe."
    *=(8 February 1857 26 June 1936) was a Dutch scholar of Oriental cultures and languages and Advisor on Native Affairs to the colonial government of the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Activity
    04:44 PM


    The Islamic Position of Slavery

    Posted by: Dr. Hatem AlHaj | Posted on: December 18th, 2011
    This article was a response to the following question:
    In Islam if there is a war between Muslims and kafirs and Muslims win Muslims can take their women and children as slaves. With the slave women Muslim owner can have intercourse.
    I am not sure any woman would like to sleep with the man who killed her father, husband, brother or son.

    Does that mean owners of these women can force them to have intercourse and it will not be regarded as rape and it is permitted in Islam to forcefully have intercourse with slave women? Mind you there can be young girls in these captives who had no part in the actual war.

    Does that mean that crimes that Serbs committed against Muslim Bosnian women were justified as they were also in a state of war?

    All praise be to Allah, and may his peace and blessings be on the last and best prophet and messenger, Muhammad

    Thank you for your interest in learning to clarify unfair misconceptions about Gods last message to humanity.
    The excellent treatment of slaves is a fact that I will try to highlight by proofs from the textual and historical accounts, including testimonies by non-Muslim historians and thinkers.
    In the Quran there are several verses commanding the good treatment of slaves, including:
    * * *
    We pointed out to him[man] the two conspicuous ways [of good and evil]? But he would not attempt the uphill road [to righteousness].
    What will make you comprehend what the uphill road is? It is the setting free of a slave.
    It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic.
    Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.
    (Q:2:177) ǔ
    Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess [the slave]: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious;- (Q:4:36)
    The Messenger of Allah commanded us so repeatedly to treat the slaves with mercy and compassion.
    One of his last recommendations to the Muslims prior to his death was to fear Allah regarding their slaves.
    A quick review of the following ahadeeth will further testify to the excellent treatment of slaves instructed by him: Abu Huraira narrated: The Prophet said,
    Whoever frees a Muslim slave, Allah will save all the parts of his body from the (Hell) Fire as he has freed the body-parts of the slave.
    Said bin Marjana said that he narrated that Hadith to `Ali bin Al- Husain and he freed his slave for whom `Abdullah bin Jafar had offered him ten thousand Dirhams or one-thousand Dinars.
    [Al- Bukhari: 3:46:693] Abu Huraira also narrated: The Prophet said,
    Whoever frees his portion of a common slave should free the slave completely by paying the rest of his price from his money if he has enough money; otherwise the price of the slave is to be estimated and the slave is to be helped to work without hardship till he pays the rest of his price.
    [Al-Bukhari: 3:46:704] And he also narrated: The Prophet (saw) said:
    None of you should say: My slave (abdi) and My slave-woman (amati), but he should say my boy, my girl (Muslim), and In a different narration, he added, for you are all (Allahs) slave and the Lord is Allah, Most High.
    [Abu Dawood: 41:4957] Al-Marur bin Suwaid Narrated: I saw Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari wearing a cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a cloak.
    We asked him about that (i.e. how both were wearing similar cloaks).
    He replied, Once I abused a man and he complained of me to the Prophet. The Prophet asked me,
    Did you abuse him by slighting his mother? He added, `Your slaves are your brethren upon whom Allah has given you authority.
    So, if one has ones brethren under ones control, one should feed them with the like of what one eats and clothe them with the like of what one wears.
    You should not overburden them with what they cannot bear, and if you do so, help them (in their hard job).
    [Al-Bukhari: 3:46:721] The Prophet unequivocally prohibited the separation between a mother and her slave child.
    Abu Musa reported that he (peace and blessings be upon him) said
    May he be cursed, he who separates a mother from her child or a brother from his sibling (reported by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and others) And for one who humiliates his slave by beating him or slapping him, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
    He who slaps his slave or beats him, there is no expiation for this but to free him. (reported by Muslim).
    Because of the aforementioned examples of the divine and prophetic instructions regarding slavery, no other nation or religious group in the world treated slaves better than the Muslims did, and here are the testimonies of the non-Muslim historians and leaders regarding this very fact: (quotations from https://www.alislam. org/slavery/) On the attitude of Muslim master with his slaves, Will Durant says,
    he handled them with a genial humanity that made their lot no worse perhaps better, as more secure than that of a factory worker in nineteenth-century Europe., Hurgronje C., Mohammedanism,(N.Y., 1916), p.128 as quoted by W. Durant, The Story of Civilization, vol.IV (N.Y., 1950), p. 209.
    At the end of the 18th century, Mouradgea dOhsson (a main source of information for the Western writers on the Ottoman empire) declared: There is perhaps no nation where the captives, the slaves, the very toilers in the galleys are better provided for or treated with more kindness than among the Muhammedans.
    https://www.alislam. org/slavery/3.htm#r22, As quoted in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol.I, p. 35. P. L Riviere writes: A master was enjoined to make his slave share the bounties he received from God.
    It must be recognised that, in this respect, the Islamic teaching acknowledged such a respect for human personality and showed a sense of equality which is searched for in vain in ancient civilization, Riviere P.L., Revue Bleaue (June 1939).
    Napoleon Bonaparte is recorded as saying about the condition of slaves in Muslim countries: The slave inherits his masters property and marries his daughter.
    The majority of the Pashas had been slaves.
    Many of the grand viziers, all the Mamelukes, Ali Ben Mourad Beg, had been slaves.
    They began their lives by performing the most menial services in the houses of their masters and were subsequently raised in status for their merit or by favour.
    In the West, on the contrary, the slave has always been below the position of the domestic servants; he occupies the lowest rug.
    The Romans emancipated their slaves, but the emancipated were never considered as equal to the free-born.
    The ideas of the East and West are so different that it took a long time to make the Egyptians understand that all the army was not composed of slaves belonging to the Sultan al-Kabir., Bonaparte et lIslam (Paris, 1914).
    And before I answer your specific question, let me highlight the following facts:
    Islam restricted the tributaries of slavery and widened the out channels, which ultimately depleted the entire river of slavery.
    Islam did for the slave what the previous religions, including the divine legislations prior to Islam either failed to do or fell short from or simply God saved the salvation of the slaves to be the work of the last message.
    In the previous religious traditions, slavery is sanctioned without any hint to treating the problem.
    Here are some mentions of slavery in the Bible (the new translations as if that was the right of a translator changed the word to servant, to be politically correct!): Leviticus 25 44-46 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
    Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
    And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour. EXODUS 21:2-11
    (2) If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
    (3) If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. {By himself: Heb. with his body}
    (4) If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her masters, and he shall go out by himself.
    (5) And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: {shall: Heb.
    Saying shall say} 6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
    (7) And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
    (8) If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.{Please: Heb. be evil in the eyes of, etc}
    (9) And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
    (10) If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
    (11) And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
    EXODUS 21:20-21
    (20) And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
    {Punished: Heb. avenged}
    21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
    So, the system of slavery is not an Islamic invention.
    Will Durant describes the position of the Church as follows: The Church did not condemn slavery.
    Orthodox and heretic, Roman and barbarian alike assumed the institution to he natural and indestructible.
    Pagan laws condemned to slavery any free woman who married a slave; the laws of Constantine [a Christian emperor] ordered the woman to be executed, and the slave to be burned alive.
    The Emperor Gratian decreed that a slave who accused his master of any offence except high treason to the state should be burned alive at once, without inquiring into the justice of the charge.
    Lecky, W.E., History of European Morals, vol.II (New York, 1926), p.61, as quoted by Will Durant, op. cit., vol. IV, p.77.
    * Slavery in Islam was color blind, so there were Asians and Europeans who were slaves as well as the Africans.
    The following quotation shows how the issue of color was irrelevant to the early Muslims: Take away the black man! I can have no discussion with him, exclaimed the Christian Archbishop Cyrus when the Arab conquerors had sent a deputation of their ablest men to discuss terms of surrender of the capital of Egypt, headed by Negro Ubaydah as the ablest of them all.
    To the sacred Archbishops astonishment, he was told that this man was commissioned by General Amr; that the Moslems held Negroes and white men in equal respect judging a man by his character and not by his colour.
    https://www.alislam. org/slavery/2.htm#r9, Leeder, S.S., Veiled Mysteries of Egypt (London, 1912), p.332.Now, slavery was so established in the joints of the economic, political and social life of the world before Islam that it needed courage combined with wisdom to address the issue of slavery, and that is where God miraculously laid down a system by which all the tributaries feeding into the river of slavery would be cut off except for the captives of war ( which helped protect their lives, and it would have been unexpected of the Muslims to be taken as captives if they lost and be mandated to free all the captives if they won.
    Despite that, the Prophet recommended the freeing of the captives in a hadeeth in which he said:
    Free the captives, feed the hungry and visit the sick reported by al- Bukhari.
    Islam also encouraged the freeing of slaves as explained here above and made the expiation of many sins by the freeing of slaves (much better than giving money to the church, isnt it.
    Yet, the most genius system Islam legislated was to give the slaves control over their passage into the world of the free. Allah says:
    ۡۡۡ ٱ ٰ ۡ ٱ ۡ ٱ ۡ ٱٰۡ ۡ ٰۡۡ ۡ ۡ ۡۡ ۡ ۡ۟ ٱ ٱٓ ٮٰ ۡ ۡ ٰۡ ٱۡ ۡ ۡ ۟ ۡ ٱٰۡ ٱۡ ۡ ٱ ۢ ۡ ۡٲ ۟ ۟
    And let those who do not find the means to marry keep chaste until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace. And (as for) those who ask for a writing from among those whom your right hands possess, give them the writing if you know any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah which He has given you; and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this worlds life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Q:24:33)
    This was good for the slave who has to be weaned from independence on the master for provisions, which could make them face problems if suddenly found themselves responsible to provide themselves with food, clothes and shelter (you should not underestimate what this could have meant to the stability and security of the society if the frees were all freed at once by a mandate).
    And it was good for the masters who were to a great extent dependent on the slaves for their businesses.
    This was also good for the community who will have responsible people, who know the value of work and labor move from the ranks of the slaves to those of the free.
    With regard to your question about the slave girl, let me tell you that the Prophet encouraged the masters to free the female slaves and marry them. He said:
    He will be doubly rewarded,the man who had a slave girl, and he fed her well, taught her manners and educated her, and then freed her and married her reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
    A female concubine was given a special status once she delivers a child, and was not thereafter sellable, and was freed upon the death of the master.
    Let us also remember that prostitution by definition is sex outside the socially acceptable context, and in the ancient times the concubine like the wife was allowed to have sex with the master, and her rights and those of the child were preserved.
    The child was a legitimate son of the master (unlike what the Jews and Christians may like to say about Ismael son of Abraham and Hagar) This system was not new or introduced by Islam, but all the prophets before Islam acknowledged it and used it.
    There is no argument between the Jews, Christians and Muslims that Hagar was the concubine of Prophet Abraham and in the Old Testament, there are countless stories about concubines including those of the prophets such as David and Solomon (peace and blessings be upon them all).
    With regard to your question about the POWs, Allah allowed us to enslave the captives, but encouraged us to free them.
    So if the different countries of the world sign treaties by which they exchange the captives during the time of war, we would be the first to sign such a treaty that will be a double win for us.
    On one side, we will reclaim our own people, and on the other side we will free the captives, as we are encouraged by God and His Messenger.
    And if we Muslims sign a treaty they live up to it, since this is Allahs command to us, He said:
    ٰٓ ٱ ٓ ۡ ٱۡ ۡ ٱٰۡۡ ٰۡ ۡۡ ۡ ٱۡ ۡ ٱ ۡ
    O ye who believe! fulfill (all) obligations.Lawful unto you (for food) are all four-footed animals, with the exceptions named: But animals of the chase are forbidden while ye are in the sacred precincts or in pilgrim garb: for Allah doth command according to His will and plan. (Q:5:1)
    Finally, I have to admit that I am quiet shocked at the example you have given, for no one in his right mind would after knowing the difference compare what was done by the Serbs to what was legislated in Islam.
    That is for the following reasons:
    The war of the Serbs against the Bosnians was unjustifiable.
    Such war is a blatant act of terrorism, unlike the wars waged by the early Muslims to spread the justice of Islam and liberate the people from the oppressive unfair conditions they lived under.
    (At your request, I can send historical testimonies by the non- Muslim people of the opened lands that testify to this fact)
    The families are not disrupted in the Islamic wars.
    The captives are usually returned as a show of kindness, exchanged for Muslim captives or money.
    In the case they were taken as slave women, they were taken by one man.
    They were considered legitimate partners with rights guaranteed for them and their offspring who were treated exactly like the mans other children.
    How is that like the gang raping in the battlefield by scores of soldiers?
    Such women were often freed and married their masters and if not, and had a child, they had a special status and became unsellable and became free upon the death of the master.
    Such women prospered.
    They bore and raised children who became khaleefas, sultans, princes, great leaders and scholars in the history of Islam.
    That is an indication on how they were treated.
    I hope that this was a satisfying answer, and I ask Allah to open your chest to His guidance and light.
    Allah knows best.
    Last edited by 1; 28-12-2012 at 02:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Last Activity
    01:33 AM



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Activity
    04:44 PM


    A Trajectory of Manumission: Examining the Issue of Slavery in Islam

    I am especially interested in this issue as someone trained as a historian of East Africa, where the abolitionist movement predated and then became part of the first wave of European colonization of Africa, post 1885. My position is that the Islamic tradition has already developed an abolitionist ethos and a strong commitment to liberation, out of a set of social and political struggles, including resistance to European colonialism, that took place in the historical encounters between Islam, Africa and the West in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Afrocentrists often point to the Quran and Hadiths sanction of slavery. It is true that Islam accepted slavery as a part of Arabian society, but there is no evidence the tradition actively encouraged the taking of slaves. If one wishes to speak of a particular trajectory of Islamic interpretation based on the Quran and Sunnah, it is a trajectory of manumission, not abolition.1 The Prophet Muhammad assumed that if manumission continued to regularly occur, then slavery could continue to exist without being a trans-generational status, and would eventually die out.

    The Prophet Muhammad challenged the practice of slavery in Arabian society by compelling the powerful to care for and protect the less powerful.2 If masters and slaves could share some basic moral assumptions, powerful masters would feel a social obligation to protect and show kindness to their slaves. In Islam this is exemplified by a hadith enjoining the believer to treat their slaves as they would treat their own children.3 Slaves in Islam would (ideally) function more like kin and less like a separate caste of sub-humans.4 Their offspring, again ideally, would be free to assume their place alongside the freeborn. None of these reforms radically challenged the natural reality of slavery itself.5

    Why didnt Muslims abolish slavery earlier? This is a valid question and it is worth it for Muslims to reflect very hard and critically about, especially if one is seriously committed to practicing the tradition. But when Afrocentrists ask Muslims why Islam did not abolish slavery, there is a hidden assumption that non-Muslim African societies had already abolished the practice. But in fact many powerful non-Muslim African societies depended on slavery for their wealth and resented European imposed abolition for that reason, for instance, the Asante empire of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

    Abolition as an ethical dilemma only occurs because we inhabit a very different time from the early Muslims, as well as most pre-colonial African societies. We often forget that for Jesus, Muhammad and other moral teachers of the past, the master-slave relationship was both a fact of life and a metaphor of our relationship with the Divine.6 The more relevant question then, is not why didnt Muslims abolish slavery?, but what makes our time different from the time of the early Muslims?

    One possible answer to that question is that we now live in a global society where we take the freedom of an individual as an irrevocable human right. Although this ideal is often traced to Western origins, it is important to note that it has other global, non-Western genealogies that are both Muslim and African. Haitian revolutionaries, among whom were African Muslims, were first among those insisting on this freedom in their struggle to end slavery in the late 1700s. At around the same time, the West African Muslim ruler Abdul Kader Kane sought to abolish the slave trade in his realm, in order to protect his subjects from the French-controlled slave trade at Saint Louis.7

    Formerly enslaved Muslims also helped to reshape community perceptions of slavery. In East Africa especially, the abolition of slavery coincided with the new popularity of Sufi brotherhoods as tools for the mass propagation of Islam. Sufism became the language by which formerly servile people appropriated the message of Islam to undermine the ijma around the social status of slaves and ex-slaves. In Lamu, Kenya, the Alawi shaykh Habib Saleh angered the towns former slaveholding elite by teaching ex-slaves. In Bagamoyo, Tanzania, an ex-slave from the Congo rose to become a Sufi shaykh and one of the most knowledgeable scholars of the region; he faced strong opposition from former slave owners.8 The first five decades of the twentieth century in Africa revealed Muslims reshaping the consensus on slavery. This process of reshaping ijma was not only an elite scholarly one; it included formerly enslaved Muslims, who contested their rights within the idioms of Islam, molding Islamic cultural repertoires to critique the exclusionary social practices of Muslim elites.

    Traditions, Islam included, are not closed caskets but open conversations and debates often characterized by shifting notions of what is permissible. Slavery is one such shifting notion. There is nothing in the Islamic tradition mandating slavery. Thus, the overwhelming majority of Muslims today find slavery distasteful and have no desire to practice it. They have internalized a desire not to own people that is very modern. This is a direct result of the most oppressed and vulnerable elements of human global society forcing the world to accept a more robust and inclusive concept of individual freedom. Concepts of abolition and freedom are the product of centuries of struggle by enslaved Africans and others to radicalize and decolonize the values of the societies they found themselves forcibly dragged into. They constitute a valuable tool that a range of activists today, from the Rabaa Square protests in Egypt to the garment worker strikes in Bangladesh to Black Lives Matter activists in the US, use to launch more radical critiques of global inequality, exploitation, and other conditions analogous to slavery.

    The Prophet Muhammads attempt to protect the enslaved and to grant them protections and rights, without abolishing slavery, was not a moral failing, but the advancement to the limits of what it was possible to envision within his era. If we do not acknowledge this, we will continue to reproduce two stale arguments of past Muslim apologists: that abolition is a Western concept that fetishizes consent and freedom, or that the Prophet Muhammad was an abolitionist. Neither of these are tenable positions, and there are severe moral costs to holding them, that compromise the moral compass of Muslims and leave serious and inquisitive outsiders with a suspicion that Muslims are more interested in theological apologetics than an honest reckoning with history. For instance, it is but a short step from the saying abolition is a Western concept to making the argument, like the late Islamist philosopher Abu Ala Mawdudi, that we need to retain slavery as a mark of Muslim moral independence from the West.9 And there is simply no evidence from our tradition that the Prophet Muhammad ever contemplated abolishing slavery.
    My argument is distinct from both of these extremes. I have argued that Western notions of abolitionist freedom have already fused with Islamic values, and that it is dangerous to try to extract one from the other. There are a number of positive benefits from embracing this position. For one thing, it provides Muslims with a powerful language not only to challenge slavery, but many other forms of similar domination and exploitation that go by different names. It seems to me that Muslims who are using this fusion of moral horizons to critique both Muslim and Western complacency with regards to forms of oppression analogous to slavery are engaged in an urgently necessary and positive reinvigoration of the Islamic tradition.

    1 Trajectory hermeneutics originated with Christian theologian William Webb. For more on their use, see his 2001 book, Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis.
    2 Jonathan Glassman. The Bondsmans New Clothes: The Contradictory Consciousness of Slave Resistance on the Swahili Coast Journal of African History 32(2): 1991, 277-312.
    3 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī º30; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim º1661
    4 The walāʾ system then, whatever its faults, was a social compact between master and slave, and thus often a tool of integration of the latter. See Ulrike Mitter. Unconditional Manumission of Slaves in Early Islamic Law: A Hadith Analysis. In The Formation of Islamic Law (ed. Wael Hallaq). New York: Routledge, 2008.
    5 Unlike the status of ex-slaves even many postbellum Western societies, the formerly enslaved in the Islamic world could raise their status considerably. But that did not erase an existing hierarchy placing the enslaved at or near the bottom of society.
    6 Luke 12:43-48; Qurān (Sūra az-Zumar) 39:36. The Apostle Pauls advice to the runaway slave Onesimus in the Book of Philemon is filled with admonishments about a new community of belief between slaves and masters that does not upend the social hierarchy but nevertheless creates a sense of moral obligation between the two.
    7 For the Haitian revolutionaries and their creation (not merely co-optation of) Enlightenment values, see Laurent Dubois, Enslaved Enlightenment: Rethinking the Intellectual History of the French Atlantic Social History 31(1): Feb 2006, 1-14. For the abolitionists, see Adam Hochschild. Bury The Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free An Empires Slaves. London: Mariner Books, 2006. For Abdul Kader Kane and the abolition of slavery in Futa Toro, see Rudolph Ware, The Walking Quran, Chapter 3.
    8 For Habib Saleh, see Patricia Romero. Where Have All the Slaves Gone? Emancipation and Post Emancipation in Lamu, Kenya. The Journal of African History 27 (3): 1986, 497-512. For Shaykh Ramiya, see August Nimtz Jr. Islam and Politics in East Africa. The Sufi Order in Tanzania. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980, 45.

    9 Abu Ala Mawdudi was unabashed about this stance. See W.G. Clarence-Smith, Islam and the Abolition of Slavery, 188.

    By: Nathaniel Mathews.
    He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at SUNY-Binghamton. He received a B.A. in History from Howard University, an M.A. in Global, International and Comparative History from Georgetown University in 2009, and a Ph.D. in African History from Northwestern University in 2016, focusing on family networks and the Swahili-speaking diaspora in the Indian Ocean.

the Misconception about Slavery

LinkBacks (?)

  1. 27-01-2018, 04:43 PM
  2. 23-01-2018, 09:25 PM
  3. 06-03-2013, 12:37 AM
  4. 27-12-2012, 03:01 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Misconception clear up about Islam
    By vietazn325 in forum English Forum
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 04-07-2013, 09:21 PM
  2. The slavery and captive of war, Islam/Christianity
    By bassan_1 in forum English Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-12-2012, 01:23 AM
  3. The Misconception about Shari'ah
    By in forum Slanders Refutation
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27-12-2012, 01:59 PM
  4. The Misconception about Hudud
    By in forum Slanders Refutation
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27-12-2012, 01:54 PM
  5. the Misconception about Marriage to a non-Muslim
    By in forum Slanders Refutation
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27-12-2012, 01:49 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

the Misconception about Slavery

the Misconception about Slavery