A look at Islam's theological/divine sanction of slavery, and its historical practice in the Muslim world and its continuation today...
We all know about those nasty Europeans – Portuguese/ Spanish/ ‘Americans’ and their purchase of slaves between the (15th-19th century), but how many know of Islam’s far longer and still going slave trade from Africa (e.g. East & West Africa), Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey/Central Asia, China, India, and South East Asia. The Islamic slave trade was/is vast and is a significant feature of Islamic ‘civilization.’
After slavery became unacceptable in the West slaves continued to flow in the Islamic world. In 2003, Al Fawzan, a member of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body and a member of the Council of Religious Edicts and Research, the Imam of Prince Mitaeb Mosque in Riyadh and a professor at Imam Mohamed Bin Saud Islamic University, stated:
“slavery is part of Jihad and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam.”
He claims that those who say Islam is against slavery are ignorant,... infidels. (source)
Some will pretend this is not the ‘true’ Islam, just Wahhabism, but 18th century Abd al-Wahhab demanded a return to Islam’s original text and Mohammad’s example. Both endorse slavery and the sexual and physical abuse of slaves.
Slavery existed pre-Christianity and Islam and was taken as fact and rarely questioned across cultures and centuries. However, under Islam, slavery is permanent, lawful and satisfies religious scruples. Owning slaves is a right given by allah. Allah even promises immortal/pearl-like serving boys (slaves) in paradise (Koran 5.17; 76.19). Abolition of slavery is contrary to Islam’s text, slave-trading Mohammad’s example and Islamic practice and law. Powerful Mohammad stopped adoption but at no time did he even attempt to stop slavery which provided wealth and endless sexual partners. The decline in slavery in the Islamic world resulted from European colonialism and the pressure of western governments. The halting of slavery in the west was due to arguments based on Christian and humanitarian principles.
“the West, rather than being the origin of slavery in the world, is in fact the only civilization to have created from within itself a successful movement to abolish it.” (3)
Slavery is very much alive today among pious Muslims
In Islam jihad to force the world to follow or be subjugated under Islam encompasses the ‘institutions’ of dhimmitude and slavery. Any who have read about dhimmitude know that it is a form of slavery where conquered people are allowed to live as long as they adhere to a series of repressive, inhuman laws. The laws require dhimmis to be humbled and to serve their overlords. Hence dhimmis are forced to do foul, menial tasks and whole villages can be forcibly moved to another area to work the land while their homes are destroyed behind them. Dhimmis were also forced to hand over their children (or women and children) either to pay their taxes or under laws demanding them as tribute so they became slaves. (see Dhimmitude laws and you Part 3 - (17-06-09); Dhimmitude laws for you (30-05-09); Dhimmitude - What is it? - (28-05-09)
Jihad laws (‘warfare to establish the religion’ Law o9.0 p 599 Reliance of the Traveller –Shafi law) specify the enslavement or death if they resist, of women and children ( law o9.10 p 603). Captured women and children become slaves and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled (law o9.13 p 604). When an adult male is captured he can be killed, enslaved, freed, ransomed..but if he becomes a Muslim he cannot be killed. (o9.14 p 604)
Vassal states were forced to supply possibly thousands of their people annually as ‘tribute’ and these people became slaves.
Another source of slaves was the constant Muslim raids into infidel areas. Whole areas were depopulated. Islam’s slavery was genocidal as males were generally killed (in later centuries they were slaughtered or sold to Europeans for a brief period) while females and children were taken. The females were ‘enjoyed’ and bred from removing the ‘breeding stock’ of the original population and the children (including the slave’s later offspring) were slaves brought up as Muslim. The children were forcibly converted, removed from their family and culture and often used as soldiers---no-one cared if they were killed ‘fighting for allah!!’ Hence entire populations were destroyed. In areas under attack, others ‘converted’ in the hope of avoiding similar treatment—some even became slave traders of their own racial group! (note in Africa tribal wars are often between ‘Muslim’ slave-trading tribes and those enslaved).
Slaves and their offspring were owned by the master and passed on as part of his property to inherit.
Under Islam slaves have no legal rights at all - they are the property of their master. Slaves cannot be guardians or testamentary executors; what they earn belongs to their owner. A slave cannot give evidence in a court of law as legal testimony can only come from a witness (Muslim) who is free (Reliance of the Traveller: law o24.2 p 635). Conversion to Islam does not free a slave though they may be able to appeal against brutal treatment and have a higher status than infidels by virtue of being Muslim.
Reliance of the Traveller tries to hide the Sharia’s endorsement of slavery by failing to translate several laws, leaving them in ‘classical’ Arabic but some translations have been attempted and incorporated into the text in Part B. It claims it did this because the ‘issue was nolonger current’. This is absurd as Islam’s slavery continues, sharia is being rapidly reinstated across the Islamic world and in the west eg Britain, and Islam cannot exist without sharia (‘the way’ for a Muslim to live). These laws and other text will be included in Islam’s genocidal slavery: religiously ordained, some text and laws Part B. Part A deals particularly with Mohammad’s example.
1) Slave-trading Mohammad’s perfect example in the sira
Remember, what is morally correct in Islam is simply everything Mohammad said, did, allowed to be done or didn’t forbid. Koranic text tells us Mohammad is moral eg sura 68.4 “sublime morals", sura 33.21 “good example to follow," sura 81.19 “honorable Messenger”.
Mohammad owned many slaves including black slaves. He enslaved people, sold them, raped them, handed them to friends and family, tortured and punished them. Mohammad’s cruelty to a black slave will be discussed in an article on Islam’s black slave trade (2).
A brief perusal of Mohammad’s first biography shows us Mohammad’s slave trading and cruelty to slaves. Sirat Rasulallah (first biography of Mohammad by Ibn Ishaq 8th-century though only 9th century rendition by Ibn Hisham is available - p. 464-466).
Mohammad attacked the Quraiza tribe at the supposed instigation of the angel Gabriel, after they had remained neutral during a siege, neither joining the attackers, nor aiding the Medinans. Then they surrendered and the apostle confined them in Medina …Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina ...and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. ... There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka’b what he thought would be done with them. He replied, “Will you never understand? Don’t you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death! This went on until the apostle made an end of them. …
A’isha said: ‘Only one of their women was killed. She was actually with me and laughing immoderately as the apostle was killing her men in the market when suddenly an unseen voice called her name. “Good heavens,” I cried, “what is the matter?” “I am to be killed,” she replied. “What for?” I asked. “Because of something I did,” she answered. She was taken away and beheaded. …
The apostle had ordered that every adult [male] of theirs should be killed. …
Then the apostle divided the property, wives and children of B. Qurayza among the Muslims, and he made known on that day the shares of horse and men, and took out the FIFTH [for himself]. .....
Then the apostle sent Sa’d …with some of the captive women of B. Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons.
The Apostle had chosen one of their women for himself, Rayhana …and she remained with him until she died in his power (ie slave) The Apostle had promised to marry her and put the veil on her, (as he had for Safiya and Juwairiyah) but she said 'Nay, leave me in your power , for it will be easier for me and for you'.. She had shown repugnance towards Islam when she was captured and had clung to Judaism. (Sirat Rasulallah pp.464-466).
Hence in this short piece we see Islam’s jihad and its accompanying slavery. Mohammad kills the men (all those with pubic hair), enslaves the women and children and takes the infidels possessions. He takes females to enjoy and shares them out to his men. Some women and children he sends to a slave market to sell for horses and weapons. Mohammad was a slave trader.
Muslim slavers driving their merchandise "home"(19th Century drawing)
Similar stories occur repeatedly. On p 511 we read that Mohammad attacked Khaybar when the people were going to their fields and ‘The women of Khaybar were distributed amongst the Muslims.’
In this attack, (long story) Mohammad obtained for himself the very beautiful teenage girl Safiya who appealed to Mohammad for her freedom. Mohammad (about 60) didn’t give Safiya her ‘freedom,’ instead he claimed her (she initially fell to the lot of someone else), manumitted her to himself, married her and had sex with her despite her attempts to delay it and without waiting the prescribed iddat (no iddat if you’re a slave, even a supposedly freed one). Many hadith describe the horror (*Bukhari Vol 1 book 8 No. 367 also vol 4.52.143; vol 7.62.89; vol 7.62.98, vol 5.59.522-524, vol 5. 59. 512; *Muslim book 8 No. 3326; *Abu Dawud vol 2 Book 11 No. 2118..). Disgustingly some sites eg wikipaedia, claim this as a sign of Mohammad’s ‘humanity’ yet Mohammad had just killed and tortured her father and husband and slaughtered and enslaved her tribe, handing women and children out to be enjoyed by the Muslim men!
The same horror occurred for beautiful Juwairiya after her tribe was attacked. Aisha knew Mohammad would desire lovely Juwairiya (p 493 and *Abu Dawud book 29 No. 3920). Hadith tell us her unsuspecting tribe was attacked as they watered their cattle; the men were killed and the women and children enslaved and shared amongst the Muslim men (*Bukhari vol 3 book 46 No. 717; *Muslim book 19 No 4292, 4293..). This was a raid on disbelievers (*Muslim book 19 chapter 1). These young women became veiled wives, rather than concubines. They were booty with no choice about their lives as their tribes had been decimated. Juwairiya in particular sacrificed herself to save the remnants of her tribe.
On p. 593, we read that Mohammad gave GIRLS to two of his sons-in-law and to a friend to enjoy!!! (also volume 8 “The History of al-Tabari” Page 29-30).
Mohammad tortured slaves: the Jewish leader at Khaybar.
“So the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayrb. Al-‘awwan, “torture him until you extract what he has,” so he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head..” (Sirat Rasul’allah p. 515)
A female slave is beaten in front of Mohammad (the time Aisha was accused of immoral behaviour):
As for Ali he said “Women are plentiful, and you can easily change one for another. Ask the slave girl; she will tell you the truth.” So the Apostle called Burayra to ask her and Ali got up and gave her a violent beating, saying, ‘Tell the Apostle the truth.’” (Sirat Rasul’allah p. 496)
Convert and you might get your wives back but not all the ‘booty.’
And on p. 592-593, we read that Mohammad enslaved 6000 women and children plus innumerable sheep and camels. The remaining men of the tribe came to Mohammad and stated they had become MUSLIM so they begged Mohammad to return their families and animals. Mohammad made them choose between their wives/children and their animals so they only got their families back! After all, this was war booty! (also reported in ***Bukhari Vol 3, Book 46, No. 716)
In p. 326-27, Mohammad states ‘booty was made lawful for me as to no prophet before me’ (HOW CONVENIENT). ...God said, “It is not for any prophet ie before thee to take prisoners from his enemies until he has made slaughter in the earth... you desire the lure of this world ie its goods, the ransom of the captives. ‘but god desires the next world’ ie their killing them to manifest the religion ...then he (allah) made it lawful to him and to them as a mercy from him (allah) and a gift from the compassionate and mercifgul. He (allah) said’ So enjoy what you have captured as lawful and good” (see Koran 8.67-70) (Good old compassionate and merciful allah!)
2) All the above and more is sanctified in the Koran, hadith and laws which say smite, capture and ransom people (sura 47.4) , gives booty to the Muslims and tells Muslim men they can enslave and have sex with as many ‘women on their right hand’ as they can possibly gather.
***Koran 33.26-27 'And he caused to descend from their strongholds the Jews that assisted them. And he struck terror into their hearts. Some you slaughtered and some you took prisoner. And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods, and of a land which ye had not frequented (before). And Allah has power over all things.
The Koran eg sura 8, the booty sura, threatens those who don’t fight for allah and rewards those that do.
b) Sex with slaves – captured in battle or bought or given as gifts even if they are married!
Mohammad had sex immediately with his booty Safiya and Juwairiya (see above).
In Sura 33.50 (long), allah gives Mohammad and all Muslim men the right to take slaves and have sex with female slaves. These are allah given religious rights. Also in suras 23.1-7, 70.29-30, 4.24...
***Koran 70.29-30 And those who guard their chastity, Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (then) they are not to be blamed,
***Koran 4.24 Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess:
‘what your right hand possesses’ refers to slaves and is found in many suras eg 4:3,24,25,36; 16:71; 23:6; 24:31,33,58; 30:28; 33:50,52,55; 70:30.
Mohammad had sex with his Coptic maid Mary who bore him a son. She was a slave given to Mohammad by an Egyptian and Mohammad gave another Coptic slave (Sirin) to someone else (Sirat Rasul’allah p. 653, note 129 on p. 711, also p. 499).
The hadith eg Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Maliks Muwatta,... etc. are full of many hundreds of descriptions of Muslim men raping the women captured in battle or having sex with their household slaves. This is their right ordained by allah. Mohammad participated and never told his men to stop raping their slaves –captured, bought or given as gifts.
Eg *** Muslim Chapter 29 (Book 8): It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a captive woman after she is purified (of menses or delivery) in case she has a husband, her marriage is abrogated after she becomes captive (Commentary on Koran 4.24)
Many descriptions of sex with slaves is also found in hadiths dealing with azl – or withdrawing the penis before ejaculation. Eg Muslim ch.22 in book 8 and....
***Bukhari Volume 8, Book 77, Number 600:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: That while he was sitting with the Prophet a man from the Ansar came and said, "O Allah's Apostle! We get slave girls from the war captives and we love property; what do you think about coitus interruptus?" Allah's Apostle said, "Do you do that? It is better for you not to do it, for there is no soul which Allah has ordained to come into existence but will be created."
***Abu-Dawud Book 11, Number 2166:
Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri: A man said: Apostle of Allah, I have a slave-girl and I withdraw the penis from her (while having intercourse), and I dislike that she becomes pregnant. I intend (by intercourse) what the men intend by it.
The Jews say that withdrawing the penis (azl) is burying the living girls on a small scale. He (the Prophet) said: The Jews told a lie. If Allah intends to create it, you cannot turn it away.
c) Mohammad owned slaves, sold slaves and gave them to others (see section ‘sirat Rasul’allah above)
***Abu Dawud Book 32, Number 4094: Narrated Anas ibn Malik:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) brought Fatimah a slave which he donated to her. ..
Mohammad sold slaves directly as well as sending them to slave markets:
***Tirmidhi 864 Narrated Al-Adda' ibn Khalid ibn Haudhah Al-Adda' brought out a document to this effect: this is what al-Adda' ibn Khalid ibn Haudhah brought from Muhammad, Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him). He bought from him a slave, or a slave-woman, with no disease or wickedness, or anything unlawful, a transaction between two Muslims. (ALIM CD Rom)
d) Mohammad and others had slaves flogged and beaten yet we are sold the line that Muslims should do ‘good’ to slaves (Koran 4.36) and Mohammad/Islam’s slavery is ‘humane!!’ What does good to a slave really mean? Is this the same good/kindness as that shown to women where Mohammad said treat women kindly and in the same speech, beat women who disobey?
***Tirmidhi 104 Narrated Amr ibn al-Ahwas al-Jushami:
Amr heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say in his farewell address on the eve of his Last Pilgrimage, after he had glorified and praised Allah, he cautioned his followers: 'Listen! Treat women kindly; they are like prisoners in your hands. Beyond this you do not owe anything from them. Should they be guilty of flagrant misbehaviour, you may remove them from your beds, and BEAT them.... (he says re women’s rights..)... Their right is that you should treat them well in the matter of food and clothing. (ALIM CDRom)
***Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 466: ... Narrated Abdullah bin Zama: That he heard the Prophet delivering a sermon, .... “.. The Prophet then mentioned about the women (in his sermon). "It is not wise for anyone of you to lash his wife like a slave, for he might sleep with her the same evening."......
While Mohammad was happily having sex with his slaves/servants (with the full support of Allah!), he flogged any slave who committed adultery (presumably not with Mohammad):
***Abu-Dawud Book 38, Number 4458: (Basically repeated in ***Muslim hadiths Book 17, Number 4224:)
Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:
A slave-girl belonging to the house of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) committed fornication. He (the Prophet) said: Rush up, Ali, and inflict the prescribed punishment on her. I then hurried up, and saw that blood was flowing from her, and did not stop. So I came to him and he said: Have you finished inflicting (punishment on her)? I said: I went to her while her blood was flowing. He said: Leave her alone till her bleeding stops; then inflict the prescribed punishment on her. And inflict the prescribed punishment on those whom your right hands possess (i.e. slaves).
***Bukhari Volume 3, Book 46, Number 731:
Narrated 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 offence, the Prophet said, "Sell her even for a hair rope."
***Malik's Muwatta Book 41, Number 41.3.16:
Malik related to me from Yahya ibn Said that Sulayman ibn Yasar informed him that Abdullah ibn Abbas ibn Abi Rabia al-Makhzumi said, "Umar ibn al-Khattab gave me orders about the slaves of Quraysh and we flogged some of the slave-girls of the Muslim lands fifty times each for fornication."
*A man cannot be killed for killing his slave (or a woman), including beating his slave to death, nor the freeman for a slave according to Muslim legists. (2)
e) If a man marries a woman and finds her pregnant, the child is his slave according to Mohammad:
***Abu-Dawud Book 11, Number 2126: Narrated Basrah:
A man from the Ansar called Basrah said: I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet). The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: She will get the dower, for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten (a child), flog her (according to the version of al-Hasan). The version of Ibn AbusSari has: You people, flog her, or said: inflict hard punishment ..
Hence we see from this small example of the supposedly perfect slave-trading Mohammad, that slavery is very much part of Islam. It is religiously ordained and contains the most horrific inhumanity to others including children and severe sexual and physical abuse and torture. The powerful Mohammad did not attempt to stop slavery, the source of his income, and sexual thrills. On the contrary, the children were used as fighting fodder and the females used to satisfy the lusts of Muslim males and other aspects of ‘servitude.’ Enslavement was used to install fear and control, to decimate the societies of others and to reward with humans and goods (booty), those who killed for Mohammad and allah. Violence, sadism, control, cruelty, greed, lust and genocide are the result Mohammad’s fine example and allah’s religiously ordained slavery and jihad.
Part B provides some translated laws re slavery and manumission that were left in classical Arabic, and further text on Islam’s slavery, religiously ordained.
It should be noted that illiteracy rates are high in the Arab Islamic world and of those who can read Arabic very, very few are able to read classical Arabic.
It has been proven above that prophet Mohammad was a slave-trader, who killed the men and took the women and children of conquered tribes into slavery. Mohammad and his men enjoyed the females taken or given as slaves. Mohammad displayed sadism and gross inhumanity to captured people, including the females raped on some occasions in front of their families or husbands and on others, raped after their tribe had been destroyed and prior to selling them in slave markets.
No-one dares mention Mohammad’s substantial slave trading. Instead much is made of the fact that he released Zaid (Zayd), slave of his wealthy, powerful 1st wife Khadija, whom he married well before he became allah’s prophet. Zaid was released BEFORE Mohammad became allah’s prophet because releasing slaves was common in the pre-Islamic era (Sirat Rasul’allah P 714, note 151). Much is also made of Mohammad's ‘manumission’ of the two beautiful young females Safiya and Juwayria in place of a mahr or dowry. Instead of the freedom they requested, they were married to Mohammad who had enslaved them and destroyed their tribes in the first place! They were only released as sex-slaves/wives for him!
Islam’s Jihad to force the world to follow or be subjugated under Islam encompasses the ‘institutions’ of dhimmitude and slavery. Islamic Law carefully regulates any release of slaves so it benefits the Muslim owner.
From the records of Muslim themselves and those affected (many left no record) we see that Islam has taken massive numbers of slaves, dwarfing all others. Slaves were taken as payment of the jizya imposed on dhimmis or conquered people, they were taken in vast numbers as annual tributes from vassal states, and they were obtained by the constant raids on infidels as the horror of Islam spread across the world. Islam continues to enslave today.
Further text: 4 Laws re manumission, from Reliance of the Traveller, a Safi’i Law book certified by al-Azar were left in classical Arabic but translations from people trained in classical Arabic, including an exMuslim, have been included –3 in part 1 and 1 in part 5. The statement above these laws says that other references to slaves have also been left untranslated and provides propaganda excuses. The book, Introduction vii, notes the great similarity in the 4 schools of law and the renowned specialists of hadith who were Shafi’is eg Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasai, ibn Majah, Abu Dawud, Ibn Kathir, Dhahabi, and Nawawi plus koranic experts etc. Hence the laws adhere to Islam’s text.
1) Freeing a (Muslim) slave: This was NOT obligatory (though ancient Jewish text requires the freeing of Hebrew slaves after 6 years eg Exodus 21.2). Muslim (and non-Muslim) slaves and their children can remain enslaved for life and be ‘inherited.’
Freeing slaves wasn’t new. The Romans freed slaves, many became very powerful. Christians freed thousands from the earliest times of Christianity (see Islamic Slavery part C: Christianity versus Islam). Islamic text tells us people released slaves in the pre-Islamic time. Remember, Mohammad freed Zaid (whom he adopted) BEFORE Mohammad became allah’s prophet (Sirat Rasul’allah p. 714, note 151) and as allah’s prophet he abolished adoption to have sex with Zaid’s (ex)wife considered incest by the Arabs!
In Islam, slaves were freed under various conditions resulting in financial rewards on earth, protection from hellfire or to pay debts. Remember, although there are some advantages in liberating slaves, Mohammad, his wives and companions enslaved and kept many slaves (Why didn’t they free them all??)!
***Bukhari Vol 8, Book 80, No. 745:
"Narrated 'Abdullah: The Muslims did not free slaves as Sa'iba, but the People of the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance used to do so.
***Bukhari Vol 3, Book 46, No. 715:
Narrated Hisham: My father told me that Hakim bin Hizam manumitted one-hundred slaves in the pre-lslamic period of ignorance and slaughtered one-hundred camels (and distributed them in charity). ....
This is repeated with keeping good relations with kith and kin, manumitting slaves and giving alms in the pre-Islamic period (*Bukhari Vol 3, Book 34, No. 423: Vol 2, Book 24, No. 517: Vol 8, Book 73, No. 21:)
a) Freedom requires the owner’s full agreement and can earn the owner money. Note, even if a formal agreement is made the owner can escape by selling the slave to a mate then buying him back, nullifying any agreement with the slave!
***Reliance of the Traveller: Shafi’i Law k32.1, p. 459 "Law left in classical Arabic" — Possible translation/explanation:
It is only allowed from the person who has absolute authority (master). It is acceptable to say it openly without intention or in writing with intention. Openly by saying free, I released your neck, I do not own you, I have no authority on you or you are in control of your lead, or something similar.
It is allowed to attach it to a condition like ‘you are free if Zayd comes’. If attached to a condition, it cannot be undone by words. But he can change his mind if he sells him (slave), and buys him back, the condition becomes invalid. This is allowed in all or part of the slaves; if the slave is freed partly, he is freed completely. If it was a slave of two people and one of them frees his share then the slave is free. If that owner is rich he pays the other co-owner who should repay the money. If he was not rich he pays for his share only. If he frees the pregnant woman she becomes free with the baby, if he frees the baby only, she is NOT free.
If he says I free you for a thousand, or sell you for a thousand and he (slave) accepts then he becomes free and has to pay the thousand. (Translated by Mumin Salih)
Muslim slaves may be able to purchase their freedom and some zakat (Muslims only) may help but the chance to work for their freedom is given only if the owner agrees ie freedom is NOT a right (Koran 24:33).
Over thirteen centuries of Islamic slavery
This law states you cannot free slaves in shared ownership unless the rest of the ownership is free. One can only wonder how long ‘freed’ slaves had to work to pay for their freedom?
***Reliance of the Traveller: Law K32.3 P459 (writing) – Law left in classical Arabic, Possible translation/explanation. (the slave is considered part of the capital of the person, and part of the third --- see [g] below.):
It is only acceptable from one with absolute authority and with a slave who is mature and can understand and with good conduct in two or more stars (periods?). “I write that much which you pay in two stars (periods?) in each star you pay that much, if you do it you become free, agreed”. It is forbidden to write this for a slave if he was in shared ownership unless the rest of the ownership is free. It is preferred for slaves with known income and honesty. The slave may cancel this any time he wishes, but the master is not allowed to cancel unless the slave cannot pay the money. If the slave dies the contract is cancelled but if the master dies the contract is still binding. The master should pay some of the money, even if small, or pay it to him in the last star (period?) which is better. It is suggested one fourth. If not done and the slave paid all the money, he gives back some. The slave is still owned until he pays all the money. The slave is not allowed to marry or other things without his master’s permission, it is not allowed to sell him or (in) any of his stars (periods?). (The child of the female slave becomes free if she becomes free.? -- this is not so in other text, laws) (Translated by Mumin Salih)
b) The ‘liberator’ gets the ‘wala’ (inheritance) of the slave.
Aisha who owned slaves, wants to buy a slave (Buraira) and ‘manumit’ her but the previous owners want the slave’s ‘wala’ (inheritance). Mohammad assures her that it belongs to the one who frees the slave! (endlessly repeated eg *Bukhari Vol 3, book 34 Nos 365, 377; Vol 3 book 46 Nos 735-739; also Vol 1 book 8 No. 446 , vol 7 book 63 No. 202 and elsewhere eg *Maliks Muwatta Book 38, Number 38.10.20 (usc site) or *Maliks Muwatta 38.19 (ALIMCDRom):
c) When a slave was freed his/her children were ‘inherited’ by the person freeing the slave.
***Maliks Muwatta Book 38, Number 38.11.21:
Malik related to me from Rabia ibn Abd ar-Rahman that az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam bought a slave and set him free. The slave had children by a free woman. When az-Zubayr freed him, he said, "They are my mawali." The man argued, "They are the mawali of their mother. Rather, they are our mawali." They took the dispute to Uthman ibn Affan, and Uthman gave a judgement that az-Zubayr had their wala'. .......
Malik spoke about a slave-girl who was set free while she was pregnant and her husband was a slave and then her husband became free before she gave birth, or after she gave birth. He said, "The wala' of what is in her womb goes to the person who set the mother free because slavery touched the child before the mother was set free. .....
d) Slaves are a form of currency used to pay penalties eg If a Muslim commits manslaughter of another Muslim, he may be asked to release a MUSLIM slave and pay compensation ---- OR he could fast rather than release the believing slave! (Koran 4.92)
e) Likewise if you wish to be released from an oath (Koran 5.89; 58.1-4) you can release a MUSLIM slave OR fast OR feed/clothe a few people. Reliance of the Traveller, Shafi’i Law o20.2 p 623 states you must fast for 3 days, OR feed 0.51 litres of grain to 10 people OR give clothing of any kind to 10 people, OR free a sound Muslim slave.
f) Freeing a slave may save you from hellfire (but you don’t need to free all your slaves!)
***Bukhari vol. 3, book 46, No. 693:
The Prophet said “whoever frees a MUSLIM slave, allah will save all the parts of his body from the hellfire, as he has freed the bodyparts of the slave.”
Remember, this only applies to MUSLIM slaves. Muhammad enslaved Arabs but post Mohammad, enslavement of Arabs and sometimes Muslims became restricted. Today in Sudan, black Muslims are enslaved.
g) Some ‘masters’ promised slaves their freedom BUT a man can only dispose of 1/3 of his property;
***Maliks Muwatta Book 38, Number 38.3.3:
Malik related to me from Yahya ibn Said and somebody else from al-Hasan ibn Abi al-Hasan al-Basri and from Muhammad ibn Sirin that a man in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, freed six of his slaves while he was dying. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, drew lots between them and freed a third of those slaves.
I.e., Mohammad made 2/3 remain as slaves! Remember, slaves are property to be inherited.
Shamefully Mohammad helped people who had promised to release their slaves to break their oath to their slave and sell them instead!! (Repeated in Muslim book 15 Nos. 4115, 4116, 4117, 4118)
***Bukhari Volume 3, Book 46, Number 711:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: A man amongst us declared that his slave would be freed after his death. The Prophet called for that slave and sold him. The slave died the same year.
***Reliance of the Traveller: law K32.2, p. 459; Law left in classical Arabic, (management) possible explanation/translation.
If he (master) says: If I die you are free, or I managed you or you are managed, and is considered one of the third. It is accepted from one with absolute authority or a spender but not a child. It is allowed to attach it to a condition; if the condition is fulfilled before the master dies then the slave becomes free after the master’s death. If he (master) manages some, or all, of his shared slaves it doesn’t apply to all of the slaves. This can be changed by action, not by words. If a woman slave was managed her baby doesn’t follow her management. (Translated by:Mumin Salih)
2) Slaves are inferior: Allah made them that way. They are likened to disbelievers and false deities, inferior to their masters.
***Koran 16.75 Allah sets forth a parable: (consider) a slave, the property of another, (who) has no power over anything, and one whom we have granted from Ourselves a goodly sustenance so he spends from it secretly and openly; are the two alike? (All) praise is due to Allah!
**Koran sura 16.71: ..and allah has preferred some of you to others in wealth and properties. Then those who are preferred will by no means hand over their wealth and properties to those (slaves) whom their right hand possesses, so that they may be equal with them in respect thereof. Do they deny the favour of allah?
(i.e. all aren’t equal; allah makes some better than others and, you don’t share your wealth with slaves so why share deities with allah—they aren’t equal)
Treatment of European slaves by Barbary Pirates (17th Century woodblock print)
3) Muslim men can rape and marry Muslim slaves (as a last resort) but they can only rape Jewish and Christian slaves;
***Malik's Muwatta Book 28, Number 28.16.38a:
Malik said, "It is not halal to marry a Christian or Jewish slave-girl ...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,..
*Koran sura 4.25 says if you don’t have the means to marry free women, you can marry believing slaves!
The children of slave females are also slaves and the owner can have sex with them (2).
4) Slaves can be bought and sold like animals.
*Maliks Muwatta, book 31, Business Transactions, details buying and selling slaves like animals. Hadith 31.4.4 notes that if you return a defective female slave, "The generally agreed upon way of doing things among us is that if a man returns a slave girl in whom he has found a defect and he has already had intercourse with her, he must pay what he has reduced of her price if she was a virgin. If she was not a virgin, there is nothing against his having had intercourse with her because he had charge of her."
5) child bearing slaves are enslaved for the life of their master:
***Maliks Muwatta Book 38, Number 38.5.6 Malik related to me from Nafi from Abdullah ibn Umar that Umar ibn al-Khattab said:
"If a slave-girl gives birth to a child by her master, he must not sell her, give her away, or bequeath her. He enjoys her and when he dies she is free."
Apparently dad has full access to his son’s slaves and lending and using the slave isn’t a problem.
***Reliance of the Traveller; Shafi’i law k 32.4, p. 459; again, left in classical Arabic – a possible translation and explanation -
(separation) If he gets a baby (son) from a female slave that he owns or partly owns, or from his son’s female slave, the baby SON becomes free and the slave becomes mother of his child and becomes free if the master dies. It is not allowed to sell her or give her as a gift but her use, hiring, lending and giving her in wedlock is allowed. Her earnings/gains goes to her master. This applies even if she gives birth to a dead baby, but if it doesn’t look to have a human form she does not become a mother of a son.
If he gets a child from another man’s female slave, by marriage or illegally, the child becomes owned by the slave’s master. If he wasn’t sure then child becomes free, but the female slave doesn’t become a mother of a son should he own her later. (thanks Mumin, N. A.)
6) Some further points according to Islamic text and law makers:
* Muslim women cannot marry slaves and suffer stoning or scourging if they dare to (2)
* The Muslim master shouldn’t force his slave-girls into prostitution BUT, there’s NO punishment if you do (including no punishment listed for the forcer)! (*Koran 24: 32, 33)
* If a slave damages property or assaults someone, the owner can pay the fine (the slave has no money) or deliver the slave to be killed (2)
* Slaves who run away are punished. But those who are faithful to their master and allah fearing will be rewarded (*Bukhari Vol 3 Book 46, Numbers 722, 725, 726, 727 )
* A Slave’s possessions belong to their master (2.) *Maliks Muwatta book 31, No. 31.2.2 notes that the slaves wealth belongs to the seller unless the buyer stipulates the inclusion of the slave’s property when buying the slave.
Black eunuchs guarding a harem of Arab Muslim master (Egypt, early 20th Century)
* In battle, the ‘spoils of battle’ go to free, Muslim males who have reached puberty (Reliance of the Traveller: Law o10.1 p 606). According to renowned Muslim commentator, Ibn Kathir, “The slave does not get anything from the bounty whether the bounty is money or women.” (2)
No wonder ‘slave’ armies were popular as the slaves get killed but the ‘free’ Muslims keep the booty!!
* Koran 2.178 where the ‘law of equality’ in punishment demands a slave be killed for a slave --- so if a Muslim kills the slave of family A, they can kill a slave of family B...great! Though, a MUSLIM slave cannot be killed for killing an infidel (as Muslims cannot be killed for killing non-Muslims ---Sharia)
* Their owners can force slaves to marry. Slaves cannot marry without the permission of owners. Those who do commit a crime and are whipped. (2)
Let’s be honest, Islam’s slavery is evil and religiously ordained. We are told that poor Islam just inherited slavery and couldn’t abolish it -EVER. How strange then that Mohammad could stop adoption so he could have sex with his adopted son Zaid’s (ex)wife Zainab, considered incest by the Arabs!
Mohammad was in complete political, military and religious control, forcing others to his will and demanding tribute from widespread tribes. He could do anything he liked! Once Mohammad’s sugar mommy Khadija died, Mohammad earned his living as a slave-trader and thief who abused, tortured and raped slaves , fully endorsing slavery by his own perfect example. Mohammad made no effort to stop such a lucrative and sexually exciting activity. Allah promised slaves and ‘enjoyment’ of slaves as booty! Thanks to allah and Mohammad, Islam has an institution of religiously ordained slavery legitimated by allah’s laws.
Islam’s slavery is indeed ‘different’ because only in Islam do we find such total, unchangeable religious endorsement of such cruelty to others clearly displayed by the prophet Mohammad and endorsed by allah and sharia. It continues today.
Islam’s slavery is a fitting punishment for non-Muslims (or Muslims deemed insufficiently Islamic!)—This is Islam’s, ‘justice’, ‘equality’ and ‘humanity!’
To justify the enslavement of non-Muslims, the Sudanese writer Mahmud Muhammad Taha wrote:
“The higher wisdom [hikma]of enslavement lies in the law of reciprocity [mu’awada]. When a person was invited to be God’s slave and he refused, this refusal demonstrated his ignorance and his need for a period of training during which he would prepare himself to be a willing slave of God. During this [preparatory] period, this person would be a slave of another human being to acquire the training appropriate for a slave of God. This is a situation of reciprocity because when this person, while still free, refused to be God’s slave, he was made a slave of another slave of God when he was captured in defeat, ‘for a suitable recompense’ [jaza’an wifaqan].” (From The Second Message of Islam (Arabic version p. 124) cited in Mohamed A. Mahmoud Quest for Divinity A critical examination of the Thought of Mahmud Muhammad Taha (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2007), p. 153)
So, being a raped, owned, brutalized, subhuman slave of a Muslim prepares you to be a mindless, brainwashed, repressed, brutalized and brutal slave of allah — lovely! No self-respect, no independent critical thought, no individuality, no daring to be different, no freedom, equality or humanity…
In Islam, slavery is a just, fit punishment for not believing in allah.
Islam is jihad, with dhimmitude and slavery for others and the parts cannot be separated. Its text and laws on slavery are worse than those of ancient Jewish text 2000 years pre-Islam and nolonger in practice! Islam is a return to the barbarity of ancient times!
The Christian Jesus didn’t enslave, rape, steal, slaughter or tell followers to do so yet Christianity which is responsible for stopping slavery in the west, and has a history from the beginning of certain followers speaking against this ‘taken-for-granted’ practice and freeing slaves, bares the blame for slavery while the massive slave trade of later, powerful, Islam, fully endorsed by allah, Mohammad and Islam’s laws is either completely ignored or sold to us as some sick sort of ‘nice,’ slavery! While in no way diminishing the tragedy of the black slave trade into Europe and America, it is important to look at the role of religious text and the example of Mohammad versus Jesus to help redress the gross imbalance in the discussion of slavery. Part C will consider Christian text and efforts to abolish slavery (Islam’s Genocidal Slavery Part C: Christianity versus Islam.)
Following articles will examine Mohammad’s treatment of black people and Islam’s (and the west’s) black slave trade and associated racism and then Islam’s white /European/Asian slave trade.
1) Al-Misri, Ahmad ibn Naqib; Reliance of the Traveller: A classic manual of Islamic sacred law. In Arabic with facing English Text, commentary and appendices edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller amana publications Maryland USA 1994
2) answering-Islam; Chapter 5, Slavery in Islam:
3) Spencer, Robert, Slavery, Christianity, and Islam
4) Sirat Rusulallah by Ibn Ishaq, Translated by A. Guillaume. Fifteenth Impression, 2001 Published by Oxford University Press, Karachi, Pakistan.
5) Trifkovic, Serge. The Sword of the prophet: Islam: history, theology, impact on the world. Serge Trifkovic Regina Orthodox Press, Inc., Boston, 2002
6) Trifkovic, Serge, Islam’s wretched record on slavery. FrontPageMagazine.com | 11/20/2002
ALIMCDRom – containing translations and transliteration of the Koran. Hadith sets, commentaries etc. Available via the internet. Note hadith numbers can vary with different sources.