Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Slavery
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As was common amongst all states and faith communities found in Europe and Asia in Late Antiquity, the Muslim tradition specifically allows slavery. In fact slaves and the taking of slaves make up an important part of the sira about Muhammad's life; slaves were a form of booty and almost always the most valuable part, so the taking of slaves formed a huge part of the impetus behind the prophet's military campaigns. As is extremely clear from the rest of the tradition, female slaves taken by Muslim mujaahideen must submit sexually to their new masters, and sex with them is specifically permitted, as is the beating of disobedient slaves. The two legitimate sources of slaves agreed upon by the Ulama were captives taken in war, and children born to slaves (unless the slave-owner was the father). Nevertheless, the tradition also makes the freeing of slaves a virtue to be rewarded by Allah, but no scholar in the classical period ever extrapolated this to a general abolitionist sentiment, as the tradition is far too clear on the fact that Muhammad took many, many slaves and was actually very supportive of the institution. Mainly due to pressure from European colonial powers, slavery was eventually made illegal throughout the Muslim world in the 19th and 20th centuries, and is now considered forbidden in the modern context by most scholars, though a minority, such as Saudi Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, argue that slavery remains Islamically legitimate.
Some are favoured by Allah while others are slaves
Taking war captives
Sex with Female Slaves or Captives
Slave masters determine whether their slaves may marry
Permission to marry slaves who already have husbands
Poor believers may marry from among the believing slave women
Better to marry a believing slave than a free disbeliever
Freeing slaves is a good deed
As in earlier and contemporary near eastern cultures, a slave could agree a contract to purchase his or her freedom:
Be good to your slaves
These Hadiths show how Islam explicitly and implicitly permits slavery.
Permission to Rape Captives and Slaves
Many more hadith on this subject are quoted in the main article.
Muhammad's enjoyment of slave services
Muhammed regularly met with and commanded slaves without asking the slave's master to free the slave even though it was within his power to do so.
ابن إسحاق; ابن هشام, سيرة ابن هشام ت السقا, vol.1, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 318, https://app.turath.io/book/23833
Slaves Owned by Muhammad
The Slaves' Names
Muhammad Bought More Slaves Than he Sold
Origins of Mahran's (The "Ship"'s) Nickname
Hadiths Referring to Muhammad's Slaves
Hadith Referring to Aisha's Slave
Yahya said that he heard Malik say about dyeing the hair black, 'I have not heard anything certain on that, and other colours than that are preferable to me." Yahya said, "Not to dye at all is permitted, Allah willing, and there is no constraint on people concerning it." Yahya said that he had heard Malik say, "There is no clear indication in this hadith that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not dye his hair. Had the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, dyed his hair, A'isha would have sent a message to that effect to Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Aswad."
Slaves Enslaved by Muhammad
property bit by bit and conquering Khaybar fortress by fortress.The first of their fortresses that he conquered was the fortress of Na'im. Mahmud b. Maslamah was killed at it-a millstone was hurled on him from it and killed him. Next was al-Qamus, the fortress of lbn Abi al-Huqayq. The Messenger of God took some of its people captive, including Safiyyah bt. Huyayy b. Akhtab (the wife of Kinanah b. al-Rabi' b. Abi al-Huqayq) and two daughters of her paternal uncle. The Messenger of God chose Safiyyah for himself. Dihyah al-Kalbi had asked the Messenger of God for Safiyyah; when the latter chose her for himself, he gave Dihyah her twocousins. The captives of Khaybar were divided among the Muslims.
أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol.3, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 3, https://app.turath.io/book/9783, See also: Ishaq:511
Narrated Al-Hasan: 'Amr bin Taghlib told us that Allah's Apostle got some property or some war prisoners and he distributed them in the above way (i.e. giving to some people to the exclusion of others) .
Slaves Traded by Muhammad
One Arab for Two Blacks
Slaves Sold by Muhammad
Slave Transactions Initiated by Muhammad
Bilal Bought in Exchange for a Black Non-Muslim Slave
Attempts to Free Slaves Sometimes Discouraged and Thwarted by Muhammad
Slave owners sold women who had bourne them children until the Caliphate of Umar
A number of sahih hadith narrate from a companion of Muhammad, Jabir bin `Abdullah, that while Muhammad was alive they used to sell slave-women who had borne them children (ummahat al walad).
The same Arabic phrase, ummahat al-walad, meaning slave concubines who had bourne their master's children, appears also in another narration via a different chain from Jabir. It adds that the practice was not forbidden until the time of Umar, the 2nd Caliph. Umar's ruling is also mentioned in another hadith narrated from his son, Ibn Umar, in the Bulugh al-Maram hadith collection.
Give your slaves food and clothing like your own and do not ask too much of them
Muhammad disapproves of Ibn Mas'ud beating his slave
Free a Slave Who is Beaten or to Expiate Certain Sins
Contrary to apologetics, the extent to which Islam brought exceptional treatment of slaves by ancient standards is exagerated. Before Islam, Zoroastrian law had protections for slaves against violence, and it was considered a virtue to free a slave, who could also buy their own freedom. It was also common in ancient Rome to free slaves, so much so that Augustus had a law enacted to prevent manumission of slaves younger than 30 years old. In Islam, slaves are to be freed when there is violence against them, or to expiate certain sins.
Reward for Freeing Muslim Slaves
Female Slaves can be Flogged and Sold if they have Illegal Sexual Intercourse
Umar struck a slave girl for wearing jilbab like free women
Umar saw a slave-girl wearing a veil, so he struck her. He said, "Do not emulate free women."
Narrated Anas ibn Malik:
A hadith collected by al Bayhaqi (d. 1066 CE) is commonly translated such that Umar's slave-girls' (bare) breasts were shaking, though this is unclear in the Arabic of this hadith. An alternative interpretation is that his slave-women had uncovered hair which was falling on their breasts:
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: "The female slaves of Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, were serving us with uncovered hair that was hitting their breasts.”
The shaking breasts interpretation may also be plausible, however, since various reports such as this one about Imam Malik (d. 795 CE) suggests that slave women in his time went about with uncovered breasts: "He (i.e. Al-Imam Malik ibn Anas) strongly disapproved of the behaviour of the slave women of Madinah in going out uncovered above the lower garment. He said, 'I have spoken to the Sultan about it, but I have not received a reply." He said, "Beat the slave women if they do that.'"
Ibn Umar touches girl in slave market and says "she is but an item for sale"
Ibn Umar inspected slave-girls for sale by touching their breasts and buttocks
Ibn Umar was a companion and the son of the 2nd Capliph, Umar.
A very early hadith compilation was the Musannaf of Abd al-Razzaq collected by Abd al-Razzaq (b. 744 CE) and rediscovered in 1972 after it was long thought lost.
Conversion of Slaves to Islam
Muhammad gave girls like property (or booty) to his companions
ابن إسحاق; ابن هشام, سيرة ابن هشام ت السقا, vol., al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, https://app.turath.io/book/23833
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- Arabs and Slave Trade
- Friendly Exmuslim - Hijab's Dishonesty about Slavery in Islam - YouTube Video
- HarrisSultanAthiest - Islam and Slavery - How Islam Enslaved Africa - YouTube Video
- Brockopp, J. (2000) "Early Maliki Law", Brill: Leiben, p.170
- Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Zad al-Ma'ad, Part 1, pp. 114-116
- Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Zad al-Ma'ad, Part 1, p. 160
- Ibn Qayyim, Pages 115-116; al-Hulya, Volume 1, Page 369, quoted from Ahmad 5:222
- Irani, K.M. & Silver, M. (editors), Social Justice in the Ancient World, Connecticut:Greenword Press, 1995, p.87