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    SLAVERY & ISLAM

    SLAVERY & ISLAM

    While there are many examples of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) saying that it is good to free slaves slavery was alive and well in the Middle East throughout Islamic history. The Ottomans kept slaves. The Arabs kept slaves. There were slave uprisings from time to time. The African slave trade was an important part of the economy in several Muslim countries.

    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), 570 - 632 AD, said "He will not enter paradise who behaveth ill to his slaves.

    Annemarie Schimmel in "Islam: An Introduction" Slavery was not abolished by the Koran, but believers are constantly admonished to treat their slaves well. In case of illness a slave has to be looked after and well cared for. To manumit [free] a slave is highly meritorious; the slave can ransom himself by paying some of the money he has earned while conducting his own business. Only children of slaves or non-Muslim prisoners of war can become slaves, never a freeborn Muslim.

    Islam allows the taking of slaves as "booty", or reward for fighting. This has led to numerous "jihads" by Muslim states and tribes to attack other non-Muslim groups and obtain slaves. Islamic jurispudence laid down regulations for the proper treatment of slaves. However, abuses have occured throughout history.

    Muslims were enslaving black Africans long before any slave ships sailed for the New World. Muslims were taking and making slaves all over the lands it had conquered. Later, when slave ships were loaded with black slaves, often, a Muslim slave broker had the human cargo all ready to go. The white Southerners rarely had to go into inland to capture slaves, they were already waiting there, courtesy of some Muslim ruler, and/or slave broker! In many cases, if the black slaves were not sent to the New World, they were sent to the Mideast to be enslaved by Arabs, or kept by other black Muslims as slaves.

    SLAVES & SLAVERY IN THE QURAN
    [al-Ahzab 33:50] O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war

    This verse clearly shows that muslims believe that taking slaves in war was a God-given right. These slaves were considered 'booty' or the spoils of war.

    [al-Mu'minun 23:5] And who guard their modesty -

    [al-Mu'minun 23:6] Save from their wives or the (slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy

    Muslim males are allowed to have sexual relations with their wives and slave girls. Implicit in this is that Muslim males had slave-concubines. Ayath 70:30 is basically a repeat.

    [an-Nisa' 4:3] And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.

    The verse legalises sex anytime with females slaves.

    [an-Nahl 16:75] Allah coineth a similitude: (on the one hand) a (mere) chattel slave, who hath control of nothing, and (on the other hand) one on whom we have bestowed a fair provision from Us, and he spendeth thereof secretly and openly. Are they equal ? Praise be to Allah! But most of them know not.

    The verse says - Slaves are as helpless before their masters as idols are before God.

    The Quran also instructs muslims not to force their female slaves into prostitution (24:32-34), and even allows muslims to marry slaves if they so desire (4:24), and to free them at times as a penalty for crime or sin (4:92, 5:89, 58:3) and even allows slaves to buy their liberty, if they meet certain of their master's conditions (24:33). [90:10 'freeing of a bondsman' refers to muslims ransoming other muslims who were slaves of non-muslims.]

    It's nice to allow a slave to obtain his freedom, (at his master's discretion) it is tragic that Islam allows them to be enslaved in the first place. There are numerous Hadith that deal with slavery. Whole chapters of Hadith are dedicated to dealing with the taxation, treatment, sale, and jurisprudence of slaves. In addition to this, numerous Hadith mention slaves, and their relation to their Muslim masters.

    THE MUWATTA OF IMAM MALIK, AND SLAVERY
    The Muwatta is a book of Islamic jurisprudence. It is full of regulations on dealing with slaves:

    Chapter 368 - "Who takes the Property of a Slave When He is Freed"

    Chapter 371 - "Slaves who cannot be set Free in the Obligatory Freeing of a Slave"

    Chapter 383 - "Cohabitation with a Slave Girl after Declaring Her 'Mudabbir'" (free after the master's death).

    Chapter 387 - "Who is Entitled to the Property of a Slave or Slave Girl at the time of Sale."

    Chapter 388 - "The Limit of Responsibility of the Seller in the Sale of a Slave or Slave Girl."

    Chapter 389 - "On Defect in a Slave or Slave Girl."

    Chapter 390 - "On the Conditional Sale of a Slave Girl."

    WHO COULD BE MADE SLAVES UNDER ISLAM?
    1) Islam allows muslims to make slaves out of anyone who is captured during war.

    2) Islam allows for the children of slaves to be raised as slaves

    3) Like #1, Islam allows for Christians and Jews to be made into slaves if they are captured in war. After Muslim armies attacked and conquered Spain, they took thousand of slaves back to Damascus. The key prize was 1000 virgins as slaves. They were forced to go all the way back to Damascus.

    4) Christians and Jews, who had made a treaty with the ruling muslims could be made into slaves if they did not pay the "protection" tax.

    CONCLUSION
    As Britain and France were working to shut down the Atlantic slave trade and abolish slavery in their empires, it was picking up in East Africa, and most of the slaves were being sold to kingdoms in Arabia and the Persian Gulf. The Arabian peninsula in 1962 became the world's final region to officially abolish slavery, yet even afterward Saudi Arabia alone was estimated to contain a quarter of a million slaves.

    An estimated 10 - 20 million Pakistanis (mainly Hindus,Christians and lower-caste Muslims) are now being held in bondage. [Reference: “Slavery” Newsweek May 4, 1992, pp. 30-39, p. 37.]

    Arab Muslims in the northern Sudan have been systematically starving the Black African adherents of traditional African religions and Christians in the south; raids have also been taking slaves, a practice Sudan had once abolished.[ "Slavery," Newsweek, May 4, 1992, p. 32.]

    In the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Arab-Berber Muslims from the north hold possibly over 100,000 Black African slaves from the south; aside from the shantytowns and a strip of land along the Senegal River, virtually all blacks are slaves and they are more than half the population. ["Slavery," Newsweek, May 4, 1992, p. 30 - 32.]

    The importation of Black slaves into Islamic lands over 1200 years may have involved more slaves than the European slave trade did, and, some African writers have suggested that both the West and the Middle East should pay reparations to Africa. [Bethwell Ogot, "The Muslim Trade," in the Daily Nation of Nairobi, Kenya, responding to Ali Mazrui and citing substantial historical data (reprinted in World Press Review, Aug. 1993, p. 23).]


    #2

    Logical

    Before you start quoting cut'n'pastes from predominantly Western Caucasian sources, can you please confirm when slavery actually commenced?

    Once you've done this small task, we can then deal with Slavery within Islam, Christianity,Judaism,Hinduism,Sikhism, Buddhism and Atheism.

    Before criticism, one must always look in his backyard!

    Comment


      #3
      Fundamentalists believe that all Quran is ETERNAL and has all answers for all ETERNITY.

      QUESTION:
      ========
      Can something like Slavery be for all eternity? That is what the Quran says.

      How about Quranic & Sunnah position on muslim women that relegates them to inferiority for all eternity. Can this be considered answer for all eternity?

      How about Islamic provisions on Apostasy, Blasphemy, Homosexuals, Penal codes like limb amputations for petty thieves,etc,etc.

      How about the potential for ABUSE of concept of Jihad? Recall the Quranic & Sunnah description & provision of Heaven with its houris for the martyrs.

      Are these and more to be considered "SOLUTIONS or ANSWERS" for all eternity?

      NOTE:
      ====
      The above are FUNDAMENTALS of Islam for majority of muslims and their "literal" interpretation & practice is what makes Fundamentalist Islam = Extremist Islam.

      [This message has been edited by logical (edited September 27, 2001).]

      Comment


        #4

        Logical

        Please answer my question!

        Otherwise you will be going round and round in circles, similar to the way you are now!

        I sincerely hope you have gained knowledge throughout your life and you are not another statistic ie. (Islam Hater).

        I await with anticipation.

        Comment


          #5
          sholay writes:

          "Please answer my question!"

          Sholay, you wish that I comment on
          'when slavery actually commenced'?

          I am not quite sure how that is related to the Divine Revelation of Quran.

          Sure, Slavery exits in the Old Testament of Judaism but does that mean - that Slavery has to continue in Islam and that too, for all eternity. Is Islam just a "reformed Judaism" reformed by Muhammed(pbuh)or was it revealed to offer solutions/answers to mankind for all the future? If it is the latter then surely Islam has failed miserably and I touch upon the reasons briefly in my post of September 27, 2001 09:06 AM.

          Sholay, you also write:
          "I sincerely hope you have gained knowledge throughout your life and you are not another statistic ie. (Islam Hater)."

          I am a hater of anything & everything that represents intolerance & inhumanity. No dogma is worth blind obedience if it is not based on humanism.

          Comment


            #6

            Logical

            As I had suspected, you are not aware of the birth of Slavery. But are very quick to associate slavery with ISLAM totally ignoring your own Faiths and other world Faiths contributions to Slavery.

            Sadly just another statistic.

            An interesting question for me arises.

            Is it even worth trying to educate someone concerning Slavery, who himself does not know what his people committed?

            Maybe or maybe not?

            In the meantime, can you please confirm what Religious Faith you belong to if any, so that at least I know where you are coming from or going to before I drop the bombshell!


            Comment


              #7
              sholay

              I don't get it. What does the origins of Slavery has anything to do with its continuation under the 'modern religion of islam'?

              If I am quick to associate Slavery with Islam then because Slavery is alive & valid sharia'h of Islam and Islam was "supposedly" revealed to "ABROGATE" all other religions; instead, it re-validated most sharia'h of Judaism including slavery, degradation of women and infidels, for example.

              sholay,
              Then you say:
              "Is it even worth trying to educate someone concerning Slavery, who himself does not know what his people committed?"

              You are going to educate "someone" about slavery or justify slavery in the present context as DIVINE revelation of Allah meant for all eternity, then, go ahead.

              sholay then says:
              "In the meantime, can you please confirm what Religious Faith you belong to if any, so that at least I know where you are coming from or going to before I drop the bombshell!"

              So, you think - I am attacking Fundamentalist Islam and distorting its teachings?

              There is hardly anything I write or have written about any subject that you or your scholars can invaildate. Consider this a challenge.

              PLS NOTE:
              For me Humanism comes before any insane dogmas i.e Religion or Revelation.

              I really don't care being called "what-ever" you wish to call me as long as you do not associate me with Fundamentalist teachings of Islam in any way, shape or form.

              Comment


                #8


                Logical, Logical

                Calling Islam Fundamentalism is nothing new from the likes of you. This has been happening for donkeys years. One extra voice from the winds is not going to change facts and ways of life!

                Now for a little education.

                The practice of slavery dates to prehistoric times, although its institutionalization probably first occurred in early historical times, when agricultural advances made possible more highly organized societies.

                Slaves were needed for various specialized functions in these societies and were obtained either through raids or conquests of other peoples or within the society itself, when some people sold themselves or their family members to pay debts or were enslaved as punishment for crimes.


                Slavery was a feature, often essential to the economy and society, of all ancient civilizations. The ancient Mesopotamian, Indian, and Chinese civilizations employed slaves, either domestically in homes and shops or in gangs for large-scale construction or agriculture. The ancient Egyptians used slaves on a mass scale to build the royal palaces and monuments. The ancient Hebrews also used slaves. In the more advanced civilizations of pre-Columbian America, for example, those of the Aztec, Inca, and Maya, slave labor was also used on a large scale in both agriculture and warfare.

                Roman slavery differed in several important aspects from that of ancient Greece. Roman masters had more power over their slaves, including, by law, the power of life and death.

                The introduction of Christianity, its adoption as the official religion of the Roman Empire, and its subsequent spread over Europe and parts of the Middle East during the Middle Ages tended to improve the conditions but did not eliminate the practice of slavery!!!

                The coastal exploration of Africa and the invasion of North and South America by Europeans in the 15th century, and the subsequent colonization of the Americas during the next three centuries, provided the impetus for the modern slave trade. Portugal, lacking in agricultural workers, was the first modern European nation to meet its labor needs by importing slaves. Under the banner of Christianity!!

                England,Portugal,France,Holland,Denmark, and the American colonies all subsequently entered the Slave trade as competitors also under the banner of Christianity! Using the Bible as evidence and justification.

                I can rant and rave about when the modern Slave trade was abolished, but that would be of no use at the moment.

                The fact still remains that all civilisations have participated in the Slave Trade. But you conveniently keep quiet and only air your concerns against Islam!!

                Surely you are not biased in any way are you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                Slavery was practiced during the Old and New Testament.

                Please read:

                Genesis 9:25-27:

                "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japeth live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave.' "

                Exodus 20:17

                "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's."

                Deuteronomy 5:21

                "Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor's.

                Exodus 21:20-21 "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money [property]."

                Exodus 21:1-4: "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself."

                Exodus 20:10: "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:"

                Islam has tolerated slavery but has never approved of it, and that all its teachings and prescriptions in this regard lead to its alleviation as far as possible in the short term, and, in the longer term, conduce to its progressive suppression. To abolish it would have been impossible in a world in which it was generally practiced by all the states which bordered on the new Muslim empire, and in which the idea of challenging the principle itself had not occurred to anyone.

                I haven't touched on the Hindu and Atheist Slave Trading yet!!


                Slavery was prevalent way before the Qur'aan was revealed.

                The question you need to ask yourself is did Christianity and Judaism come as a World religion for all mankind, or did they come just for the select few. Namely the 12 Tribes of Israel?

                Whichever way you lean, you will see that Slavery was Condoned and not Condemned by both these Faiths.

                Who's the Fundamentalists here??

                Like I have previously stated, 'look into your own back yard before jumping the fence and crying thief'.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sholay, logical didn't start this thread to learn or even have an intellectual discussion!!!

                  Comment

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