Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

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Slavery in Quran & Hadith (and Human Rights)


In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatuhu


What brings slavery into society is either from slave markets or war captives turned as slaves

Jihad rulings & rulings on taking war captives & slaves

Firstly, The existence of Islamic State or Reasons for Legality of waging war/jihad [to wage Jihad it does'nt necessarily requires a pre-existent Islamic state ,if  Islamic state is present then its fine, if its absent even then jihad becomes valid provided the situation demands it .Jihad can be waged in alliance with non-muslim state against Non-muslims & terms and conditions can be laid down mutually but when it comes to establishing administration of the conquered land only Islamic law will abide.

Secondly, The Islamic State is offering other territories to join Islam or to have treaties on humanitarian grounds in accordance with Islamic excellence & those territories refuse all kinds of offers. Then Jihad will be announced or if they announce war.

Thirdly, During a war, If inshallah muslims win then spoils of war can be distributed by the Khalifa/the chief & prisoners can be dealt it four ways. (a) They may be killed. (b)They may be freed on ransom. (c)They may be freed generously as a favour. (d) They may be kept as slaves. Women are basically not killed unless & until they are charged with crimes. If both sides capture prisoners, and they exchange mutually, then there are no slaves.

If captives are freed either as favour or by ransom, they can live under Islamic law as Dhmmis or they may choose live outside Islamic state.


4:74. Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah whether he is slain or gets victory soon shall We give him a reward of great (value).

4:75. And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who being weak are ill-treated (and oppressed)?  Men women and children whose cry is: "Our Lord! rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; and raise for us from Thee one who will help!"

4:76. Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil: so fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

*Note: [One of the reason for jihad]

18:18. Those who listen to the Word and follow the best (meaning) in it: those are the ones whom Allah has guided and those are the ones endued with understanding.

9:71. The believers men and women are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers practice regular charity and obey Allah and His apostle.  On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power Wise.

Islam recognizes the existence of slavery and propagates its emancipation

16:71. Allah has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others; those more favored are not going to throw back their gifts to those whom their right hands possess so as to be equal in that respect.  Will they then deny the favors of Allah?

Slaves come from two sources at the time of Prophet Muhammad pbuh

1. Slave markets: slave trade in slave markets was major source of economy, an immediate order of prohibition would have created immense social and economic problems. Such problems pose burdensome threat to society/state to cater the needs of a large number of slaves, who's dependence was on various families. Also, the national treasury was in no position to provide them all on a permanent basis. The old & the young ones were 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.

2: When it comes to war captives/slaves, releasing them would have made the purpose of war null & void. It would tear the spirit of muslims who willing fight at the risk of their lives. Allah subhanawatala says subdue them, by means of ransoming some ,killing some ,freeing some by favour &  keeping some as slaves. Had they been completely freed, the evil minded people would have created further mischief by attacking again or employing other methods of mischief. 

In today's world both cases are still available.

Inshallah when Jihad will occur, Inshallah then muslims will win & spoils of war will be distributed by the Khalifah & in that property there will be Prisoners of war. They will be subjected to any of these categories, Killed, freed, ransomed, enslaved depending on the demand of the situation.

Difference between slaves and prisoners

To better understand slavery in today's world is to compare it with the case of prisoners in jail. Islam gives slaves the equal or better right on food .while prisoners are not treated with such care. Equal clothing for slaves as of the masters is commanded, Prisoners do not get such treatment. Slaves can earn their freedom but prisoners cannot .Slaves can marry & start a family but prisoners start a family. Slaves can have property but prisoners cannot have property. A master can sell the slave to another person but he should not separate families but a prisoner is separated from his family. Hence keeping a slave can become burden on Islamic state, this is a subtle way of discouraging slavery.

Further reason for both freeing slaves & enslavery

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 Muslim 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 (slave-man) and amah (slave-woman) 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/she either gave a certain monetary amount to his master or carried out certain errands for him. After this, he/she could live as a free man/woman. 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.

Spoils of war will be handled by Prophet Muhammad pbuh and after his demise by the Khalifahs

8:1. They ask thee concerning (things taken as) spoils of war.  Say: "(Such) spoils are at the disposal of Allah and the apostle: so fear Allah and keep straight the relations between yourselves: obey Allah and His apostle if ye do believe."

8:41. And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war) a fifth share is assigned to Allah and to the apostle and to near relatives orphans the needy and the wayfarer if ye do believe in Allah and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the day of testing the day of the meeting of the two forces. For Allah hath power over all things.

33:26. And those of the people of the Book who aided them Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts (so that) some ye slew and some ye made prisoners.

*Prisoners release is possible either by ransom, freeing by favour. But if they are enslaved then if they want freedom then they'll have to buy it by making a contract where in a specified amount has to be paid by the slave to the master. The slave will be permitted to earn & save money.

Slaves will be treated according to their conduct because they come from the enemy camp

8:70. O apostle! say to those who are captives in your hands: "If Allah findeth any good in your hearts He will give you something better than what has been taken from you and He will forgive you: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful."

71     But if they have treacherous designs against thee (o apostle!) they have already been in treason against Allah and so hath He given (thee) power over them and Allah is He who hath (full) knowledge and wisdom.

*Note: The captives can either remain slaves or freed. The decision is solely made by the khalifah/chief.

8:67. It is not fitting for an apostle that he should have prisoners of war until he hath thoroughly subdued the land.  Ye look for the temporal goods of this world; but Allah looketh to the hereafter; and Allah is Exalted in might Wise.

[Taking prisoners of war/slaves is permitted after subduing the land.]

Jizya/protection tax

9:29. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His apostle nor acknowledge the religion of truth (even if they are) of the People of the Book until they pay the Jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.

*Note:[These are the oppressors who themselves disbelieved & further oppressed the believers for their faith. They're told to pay Jizya, it is a protection tax,it cannot be taken from prisoners/slaves but from people living with freedom under Islamic law, they are called Dhmmi's]

A Deed In Writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum)

24:33. Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste until Allah gives them means out of His grace. 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 ye know any good in them; yea give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you.  But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life.  But if anyone compels them yet after such compulsion is Allah Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful (to them).

Investigate Carefully

4:94. O ye who believe! when ye go abroad in the cause of Allah investigate carefully and say not to anyone who offers you a salutation: "Thou art none of a believer!"  Coveting the perishable goods of this life: with Allah are profits and spoils abundant.  Even thus were ye yourselves before till Allah conferred on you His favors: therefore carefully investigate for Allah is well aware of all that ye do.

*A note further: Non-muslim captives/slaves if they accept Islam then they become muslim captives/slaves.] 

4:5. O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day; That is best, and most suitable for final determination.

*Note: [It's the Khalifah [caliph] who will decide what to do with prisoners, whether they'll be slaves or they'll be freed or ransom should be taken to free them or to permit them to live under Islamic rule by taking Jizya [protection tax], The Khalifa will decide what to do with spoils of war, he distributes the spoils, property, slaves.

4:36     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 way-farer (ye meet) and what your right hands possess: for Allah loveth not the arrogant the vainglorious;

*Note:[Right hands posses are muslims & nonmuslims regardless of any age group]

Be Kind To Non-Muslims

60:8. Allah forbids you not with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.

60:9. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith and drive you out of your homes and support (others) in driving you out from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances) that do wrong.

*Note: [Allah subhanawatala teaches Muslims to be good to all non-muslims]

2:256. Let there be no compulsion in religion.  Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.  And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

*Note: [With this verse its clear that none can force anyone to accept Islam hence no one can force slaves to accept Islam]

Human rights for slaves

76:8. And they feed for the love of Allah the indigent the orphan and the captive

*Note:[Allah loves muslims who are good to indigents, orphans, captives] 

4:36. 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 way-farer (ye meet) and what your right hands possess: for Allah loveth not the arrogant the vainglorious;

50:8. Have We not made for him a pair of eyes?

9     And a tongue and a pair of lips?

10     And shown him the two highways?

11     But he hath made no haste on the path that is steep.

12     And what will explain to thee the path that is steep?

13     (It is:) freeing the bondman;

14     Or the giving of food in a day of privation

15     To the orphan with claims of relationship

16     Or to the indigent (down) in the dust.

17     Then will he be of those who believe and enjoin patience (constancy and self-restraint) and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion.

Freeing of Muslim slaves is given great importance as expiation of sins

4:92. 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.  If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer the freeing of a believing slave (is enough).  If he belonged to a people with whom ye have a treaty of mutual alliance compensation should be paid to his family and a believing slave be freed.  For those who find this beyond their means (is prescribed) a fast for two months running: by way of repentance to Allah: for Allah hath all knowledge and all wisdom.

Note: (a) If by a believer by mistake kills another believer then free a believing slave & compensation to deceased family unless they remit it.

(b). If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer the freeing of a believing slave (is enough).

(c). If he belonged to a people with whom ye have a treaty of mutual alliance compensation should be paid to his family and a believing slave be freed.

(d). For those who find this beyond their means (is prescribed) a fast for two months running:

5:88. Eat of the things which Allah hath provided for you lawful and good: but fear Allah in Whom ye believe.

5:89. 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 then 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 ye have sworn.  But keep to your oaths. Thus doth Allah make clear to you His Signs that ye may be grateful.

*Note: again freeing of slave.

58:2. If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar (calling them mothers) they cannot be their mothers: none can be their mothers except those who gave them birth.  And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is one that blots out (sins) and forgives (again and again).

58:2. 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: this are ye admonished to perform: and Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do.

*Note: [Freeing of slave]

[an old Pagan custom: the formula was known as Zihar, and consisted of the words "Thou art to me as the back of my mother". This was hold by Pagan custom to imply a divorce and freed the husband from any responsibility for conjugal duties. Such a custom was in any case degrading to a woman. If Zihar were to be ignored as if the words were never uttered, it would mean that men may foolishly resort to it without penalty. It is therefore recognised in respect of the penalty which the man incurs, but safeguards the woman's rights. She can sue for maintenance for herself. If it was a hasty act and he repented of it, he could not claim his conjugal rights until after the performance of his penalty]

Marriage With Muslim Slaves Girls Only

25:54. It is He Who has created man from water: then has He established relationships of lineage and marriage: for thy Lord has power (over all things).

*Note: [One cannot have a relationship outside marriage]

33:50. O prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts who migrated (from Mecca) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her this only for thee and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess in order that there should be no difficulty for Thee.  And Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.

[One has to marry the slave & give dower .Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was permitted to marry as he used to marry to support women mainly widows, divorces, to unite clans etc]

33:52  It is not lawful for thee (to marry more) women after this nor to change them for (other) wives even though their beauty attract thee except any thy right hand should possess (as handmaidens): and Allah doth watch over all things.

[Later Prophet Muhammad was commanded not to marry any freewomen but only slave women later]

25:32. Those who reject Faith say: "Why is not the Qur'an revealed to him all at once?" Thus (is it revealed) that We may strengthen thy heart thereby and We have rehearsed it to thee in slow well-arranged stages gradually.

33:32. And no question do they bring to thee but We reveal to thee the truth and the best explanation (thereof).

*[Note: Because the Quran was revealed in stages hence previous injunction was to marry & later not to marry but only slave women].

4:24. Also (prohibited are) women already married except those whom your right hands possess (women whom you rightfully possess, the captives of war). Thus hath Allah ordained (prohibitions) against you: except for these all others are lawful provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property desiring chastity not lust. Seeing that ye derive benefit from them give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if after a dower is prescribed ye agree mutually (to vary it) there is no blame on you and Allah is All-Knowing All-Wise.

*Note: [Married muslim captive women who willingly agree to marry after the iddah period]

2:221. Do not marry unbelieving women (polytheists) until they believe; a slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman even though she allure you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: a man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever even though he allure you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the fire. But Allah beckons by His grace to the Garden (of Bliss) and forgiveness and makes His Signs clear to mankind: that they may celebrate His praise.

*Note: [Marrying unbelievers is not allowed in Islam whether male or female]

Forbidden to inherit women against their will

4:19. O ye who believe! ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will.  Nor should ye treat them with harshness that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity.  If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.

*Note: [It's forbidden to inherit women against their will, whether freewomen or slave women, a slave woman can earn her freedom for a specified amount by mutual consultation between the slave and the master].

Force not your maids to prostitution

24:33. Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste until Allah gives them means out of His grace.  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 ye know any good in them; yea give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you.  But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life.  But if anyone compels them yet after such compulsion is Allah Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful (to them).

*Note: [With this verse its clear that none can force their slave girls into prostitution but if anyone compels them then even after such compulsion Allah subhanawatala is forgiving to such women.

4:25. If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: and Allah hath full knowledge about your faith.  Ye are one from another: wed them with the leave of their owners and give them their dowers according to what is reasonable: they should be chaste not lustful nor taking paramours: when they are taken in wedlock if they fall into shame their punishment is half that for free women.  This (permission) is for those among you who fear sin; but it is better for you that ye practice self-restraint: and Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful.

*note: [Ye are one from another means these captive/slaves are not different from free species ,they are common people, so they are not to be considered of low category or inferior. Marrying them is allowed. Just because they are slaves & do not have freedom, if they fall into shame (adultery) their punishment half of the punishment of freeperson.

Slaves as servants

24:58. O ye who believe! let those whom your right hands possess and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions before morning prayer; the while ye doff your clothes for the noonday heat; and after the late-night prayer: these are your three times of undress: outside those times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other: thus does Allah make clear the Signs to you: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.

*Note: [The slaves or right hand posses are working ,doing household work]

War Among Muslims

49:9. If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).

10:9. The believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers: And fear Allah that ye may receive Mercy.

*Note: [Believing slaves can be made from the loser's side & their property can be taken as spoils of war. For ex, when Ali [r.a] refused to give spoils of war to khwarijites including everyone because ummul mumineen was among the defeated group & she could not be made a slave]

Finally slavery is not encouraged. The solution Allah gives in Quran is to free them .But what situation demands is most important, If muslims suffered heavy losses and they need man power to rebuild the infrastructure then they can make the prisoners as slaves and take work from them for specified purpose/time/work. If muslims feel providing equal status is heavy burden to economy then they can be freed for ransom or as favour .If they are rebellious then they can be killed. A khalifah or chief is the one who decides what should be done with the captures ones. Any or all the laws can be applied depending upon the conditions of the state/captives etc.

Human Rights

Give away families together

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3373     Narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud

When captives were brought to the Prophet (peace be upon him) he gave away families together through dislike of separating them.

Ibn Majah transmitted it.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith7.552     Narrated by Abu Muisa Al Ashari

The Prophet said, "Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and set free the captives."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith7.103     Narrated by Abu Musa

The Prophet said, "Set the captives free, accept the invitation (to a wedding banquet), and visit the patients." 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2899     Narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas

A man died leaving no heir but a slave whom he had emancipated. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) asked: Has he any heir? They replied: No, except a slave whom he had emancipated. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) assigned his estate to him (the emancipated slave).

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.841     Narrated by Abu Huraira

I heard Abu-l-Qasim (the Prophet) saying, "If somebody slanders his slave and the slave is free from what he says, he will be flogged on the Day of Resurrection unless the slave is really as he has described him."

Sahih Muslim Hadith4081     Narrated by Mu'awiyah ibn Suwayd

I slapped a slave belonging to us and then fled away. I came back just before noon and offered prayer behind my father. He called him (the slave) and me and said: Do as he has done to you. He granted pardon. He (my father) then said: We belonged to the family of Muqarrin during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), and had only one slave girl and one of us slapped her. This news reached Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) and he said: Set her free. They (the members of the family) said: There is no other servant except she. Thereupon he said: Then employ her and when you can afford to dispense with her services, then set her free.

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2946     Narrated by Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was brought a pouch containing bead and divided it among free women and slave women. Aisha said: My father used to divide things between free men and slave.

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4101     Narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When one of you marries his male-slave to his slave-woman, he should not look at her private parts.

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4501     Narrated by Samurah

The Prophet (peace be upon him) Said: If anyone kills his slave, we shall kill him, and if anyone cuts off the nose of his slave, we shall cut off his nose.

Sahih Muslim Hadith4086     Narrated by AbuMas'ud al-Ansari

I was beating my slave with a whip when I heard a voice behind me: Understand, AbuMas'ud; but I did not recognise the voice due to intense anger. He (AbuMas'ud) reported: As he came near me (I found) that he was the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and he was saying: Bear in mind, AbuMas'ud, bear in mind, AbuMas'ud. He (AbuMas'ud) said: I threw the whip from my hand. Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: Bear in mind, AbuMas'ud; verily Allah has more dominance upon you than you have upon your slave. I (then) said: I would never beat my servant in future.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.731     Narrated by Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid

The Prophet said, "If a slave-girl (Ama) commits illegal sexual intercourse, scourge her; if she does it again, scourge her again; if she repeats it, scourge her again." The narrator added that on the third or the fourth offense, the Prophet said, "Sell her even for a hair rope."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith1.29     Narrated by Al Marur

At Ar-Rabadha I met Abu Dhar who was wearing a cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a similar one. I asked about the reason for it. He replied, "I abused a person by calling his mother with bad names." The Prophet said to me, 'O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names? You still have some characteristics of ignorance. Your slaves are your brothers and Allah has put them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed him of what he eats and dress him of what he wears. Do not ask them (slaves) to do things beyond their capacity (power) and if you do so, then help them."

Sahih Muslim Hadith4095     Narrated by AbuHurayrah

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: It is essential to feed the slave, clothe him (properly) and not burden him with work which is beyond his power. 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.137

Narrated by Abu Said Al Khudri We got female captives in the war booty and we used to do coitus interruptus with them. So we asked Allah's Apostle about it and he said, "Do you really do that?" repeating the question thrice, "There is no soul that is destined to exist but will come into existence, till the Day of Resurrection."

Al-Muwatta Hadith 38.12

Slaves Not Permitted to be Freed when a Slave must be Freed by Obligation

Malik related to me that he had heard that Abdullah ibn Umar was asked whether a slave could be bought on the specific condition that it was to be used to fulfil the obligation of freeing a slave, and he said, "No."

Malik said, "That is the best of what I have heard on the obligation of freeing slaves. Someone who has to set a slave free because of an obligation on him, may not buy one on the condition that he sets it free because if he does that, whatever he buys is not completely a slave because he has reduced its price by the condition he has made of setting it free."

Malik added, "There is no harm, however, in someone buying a person expressly to set him free."

Malik said, "The best of what I have heard on the obligation of freeing slaves is that it is not permitted to free a christian or a jew to fulfil it, and one does not free a mukatab or a mudabbar or an umm walad or a slave to be freed after a certain number of years, or a blind person. There is no harm in freeing a christian, jew, or magian voluntarily, because Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, 'either as a favour then or by ransom,' (Sura 47 ayat 4) The favour is setting free."

Malik said, "As for obligations of freeing slaves which Allah has mentioned in the Book, one only frees a mumin slave for them."

Malik said, "It is like that in feeding poor people for kaffara. One must only feed muslims and one does not feed anyone outside of the deen of Islam."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith3.757

Narrated byAl Miswar bin Makhrama and Marwan When the delegates of the tribe of Hawazin came to the Prophet he stood up amongst the people, glorified and praised Allah as He deserved, and said, "Then after: Your brethren have come to you with repentance and I see it logical to return to them their captives; so whoever amongst you likes to do that as a favor, then he can do it, and whoever of you like to stick to his share till we give him his  right from the very first Fai (war booty) (1) which Allah will bestow on us, then (he can do so)." The people replied, "We do that (to return the captives) willingly as a favor for your sake."

Al-Muwatta Hadith 28.38a

Prohibition against Marrying Slave-Girls of the People of the Book

Malik said, "It is not halal to marry a christian or jewish slave-girl because Allah the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, 'Believing women who are muhsanat and women of those who were given the Book before you who are muhsanat', (sura 5 ayat 6) and they are free women from the Christians and Jews. Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, 'If you are not affluent enough to marry believing women who are muhsanat, take believing slave-girls whom your right hands own." (Sura 4 ayat 24)

Malik said, "In our opinion, Allah made marriage to believing slave-girls halal, and He did not make halal marriage to christian and jewish slave-girls from the People of the Book."

Malik said, "The christian and jewish slave-girl are halal for their master by right of possession, but intercourse with a magian slave-girl is not halal by the right of possession." 

Al-Muwatta Hadith 28.40 Muhsanat

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab, and he had heard from al-Qasim ibn Muhammad that they said, "When a free man marries a slave-girl and consummates the marriage, she makes him muhsan. "Malik said, "All (of the people of knowledge) I have seen said that a slave-girl makes a free man muhsan when he marries her and consummates the marriage." Malik said, "A slave makes a free woman muhsana when he consummates a marriage with her and a free woman only makes a slave muhsan when he is freed and he is her husband and has had sexual relations with her after he has been set free. If he parts from her before he is free, he is not a muhsan unless he marries her after having been set free and he consummates the marriage." Malik said, "When a slave-girl is married to a free man and then he separates from her before she is set free, his marriage to her does not make her muhsana. She is not muhsana until she has married after she has been set free and she has had intercourse with her husband. That gives her ihsan. If she is the wife of a freeman and then she is set free while she is his wife before he separates from her, the man makes her muhsana if he has intercourse with her after she has been set free." Malik said, "The christian and jewish free women and the muslim slave-girl all make a muslim free man muhsan when he marries one of them and has intercourse with her."

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith3321   Narrated byAbdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "There are four types of women with whom there can be no cursing: a Christian woman married to a Muslim, a Jewess married to a Muslim, a free woman married to a slave, and a slave woman married to a freeman."

Ibn Majah transmitted it.

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith3394     Narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "When a man's slave woman bears him a child she becomes free at his death."

Darimi transmitted it.

Force not your maids to prostitution

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2304   Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah

Musaykah, a slave-girl of some Ansari, came and said: My master forces me to commit fornication. Thereupon the following verse was revealed: "But force not your maids to prostitution (when they desire chastity)."

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2690    Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib

Ali separated between a slave-girl and her child. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited it and made the sale transactions withdrawn. 

Sahih Muslim Hadith3432 Narrated by Abu Sa'id al-Khudri

At the Battle of Hunayn Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) sent an army to Awtas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that: "And women already married, except those whom your right hand possess (iv.24)" (i.e. they were lawful for them when their Iddah period came to an end).

*Note: Their Husbands were polytheists but they were not, because Allah subhanawatala has forbidden marriage with polytheists. 2:221. With this it was approved to marry, married women provided they are war captives. 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 5.447    Narrated by Abu Said Al Khudri

The people of (Banu) Quraiza agreed to accept the verdict of Sad bin Mu'adh. So the Prophet sent for Sad, and the latter came (riding) a donkey and when he approached the mosque, the Prophet said to the Ansar, "Get up for your chief or for the best among you." Then the Prophet said (to Sad), "These (i.e. Banu Quraiza) have agreed to accept your verdict." Sad said, "Kill their (men) warriors and take their offspring as captives, "On that the Prophet said, "You have judged according to Allah's Judgment," or said, "according to the King's judgment." 

WITH THIS- Together with human dignity and honor comes freedom to live, the right to be respected on an equal basis before the law and to enjoy equal socialtreatment. Islam (Submission) stresses the equality of mankind as God created man from a common source and the only allegiance and obedience is to God, the Almighty creator. Islam has never condoned any form of discrimination. The only thing that sets men apart is their righteousness.

Taking prisoners of war and making them slaves or feeing them by ransom or talking Jizya from them is permitted. For Example: Muslims can use services by making them work for the rebuilding the infrastructure, reconstructions in the aftermath of war.

Allah knows best.

Surah Isra 17 verse 80 Say: "O my Lord! let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honor and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honor; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me)."