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What does Islam say about slavery?

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  • bhshawon
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
    I don't reject it but they need to be corroborated and compared. Hadeeth are by their nature 'anecdotal' and don't give us any overview of what was happening in society as a whole in this very early Muslim period.
    There are detail books too although few in number.


    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
    Slavery was accepted as a social norm in most of the world at that time. Freeing of slaves and absorption of slaves into families was typical of slave cultures everywhere. 'Manumission' is a itself a Roman word.

    The famous Spartacus slave revolt is fascinating because, having obtained their freedom and fought their way to northern Italy and escape, what did they do? They turned back to Rome. They could not bring themselves to abandon the Roman way of life.
    Well if their culture was good then no problem. I don't know much about it to be honest.
    Many free men today in poor countries live worse lives than slaves in those times.

    Leave a comment:


  • ExNihilo
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by bhshawon View Post
    There is historical evidence, it's just you reject Muslim historians.
    I don't reject it but they need to be corroborated and compared. Hadeeth are by their nature 'anecdotal' and don't give us any overview of what was happening in society as a whole in this very early Muslim period.

    Originally posted by bhshawon View Post
    If the slaves are acquired and treated according to Islamic teachings it will be different. The early Muslim society did not have any problems with slavery. Both the slaves and masters accepted it. In fact many slaves converted because of the treatment they received from their owners. Some of them became part of their family and even refused manumission.
    Slavery was accepted as a social norm in most of the world at that time. Freeing of slaves and absorption of slaves into families was typical of slave cultures everywhere. 'Manumission' is itself a Roman word.

    The famous Spartacus slave revolt is fascinating because, having obtained their freedom and fought their way to northern Italy and escape, what did they do? They turned back to Rome. They could not bring themselves to abandon the Roman way of life.
    Last edited by ExNihilo; 24-01-16, 12:44 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • bhshawon
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
    I'm not a Muslim and i don't know how to reconcile the different lessons you can take from the texts about slavery. Some people say that it was designed to eliminate slavery over time, others say this is nonsense. It seems you can find scholars to back either opinion. And then people fall into bickering, saying 'my scholar is better than your scholar'. This is the fate of Islam-by-internet.
    Islam does allow difference in opinions. I think slavery is not encouraged seeing that freeing slaves is expiation from many major sins.
    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
    My point of view is not the theory but what happened in practice. I have not come across a single Muslim society in history that lived up to the ideal Islamic slavery (with the possible exception of Muhammad's own era but we have no historical record of that so i can't comment).
    Muhammad :saw: prophesied that after khilafah rashedin leaders will deviate from Islamic teachings.
    "The Prophethood will last among you for as long as Allah (God) wills, then Allah would take it away. Then it will be (followed by) a Khilafah [caliphate] Rashida (rightly guided) according to the ways of the Prophethood. It will remain for as long as Allah wills, then Allah would take it away.

    Afterwards there will be a hereditary leadership which will remain for as long as Allah wills, then He will lift it if He wishes.

    Afterwards, there will be biting oppression, and it will last for as long as Allah wishes, then He will lift it if He wishes.

    Then there will be a Khilafah Rashida [Guided Caliphs] according to the ways of the Prophethood,"
    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
    (with the possible exception of Muhammad's own era but we have no historical record of that so i can't comment).
    There is historical evidence, it's just you reject Muslim historians.
    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
    Slavery was obviously destructive for the slave and the societies which were ripped apart by slavery. That includes the slave takers. The corruption went so deep that for a society like the Barbary States, their entire economy became essentially based on slavery. Slaves were almost never acquired by war, but only by raids. Slave raiding was the chief form of income for the entire society.

    Slavery was also destructive for Muslim workers because the slaves displaced jobs for ordinary Muslims.

    Slave owning degrades the master as well as the slave.
    If the slaves are acquired and treated according to Islamic teachings it will be different. The early Muslim society did not have any problems with slavery. Both the slaves and masters accepted it. In fact many slaves converted because of the treatment they received from their owners. Some of them became part of their family and even refused manumission.

    Leave a comment:


  • ExNihilo
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by LailaTheMuslim View Post
    hmm, well were Roman slaves also white? basically they probably respected slaves of their own nationality and since they didn't have the complication of tribes (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) it was probably easier to manumit slaves. If Muslims stuck by the sunnah we would have liberated more than Rome. However we are not allowed to torture, castrate and abuse in anyway, as Muslims. That goes for treatment of slaves.
    The evidence suggests that Romans did not particularly notice race and as far as slaves go, there was no restriction. So if Gaul was the recent invasion, there would be an influx of white slaves. (What mattered was Roman citizenship and this could be granted to anyone.)

    Just like later Muslim societies, military success brought an overwhelming number of new slaves that did great damage to Roman society and put ordinary Romans out of work.

    Astonishingly, the habit of freeing slaves was so great that laws had to be brought into restrict it (for the big landowners) or too many would be released at once.

    Originally posted by LailaTheMuslim View Post
    Have you heard of the 'middle passage' of the trans-Atlantic slave trade where millions of Black Africans died in brutal conditions?
    Yes of course. In fact I have stood in the very cells at Elmina Castle, Ghana, where new slaves spent their last weeks before boarding ship for the Americas. I will never forget it.

    But the Muslim slave trade had an equivalent believed to have a higher fatality rate - the trans-Saharan route. Countless victims perished on the journey to the North African slave markets.

    There is nothing good to be said about slavery. There was some societies which might be said to be 'less bad', but that' as far as it goes.

    Leave a comment:


  • LLS
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by bhshawon View Post
    It says in a hadeeth qudsi: “Allaah, may He be exalted, said: ‘There are three whose opponent I will be on the Day of Resurrection, and whomever I oppose, I will defeat … A man who sold a free man and consumed his price.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2227).
    Pity not many paid attention to that.

    Leave a comment:


  • LLS
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by ms.muslimah View Post
    The majority of the slaves in the transatlantic slave trade were bought, not kidnapped. Tribal warfare was common and prisoners were taken as slaves. I don't think any Muslim is trying to 'claim moral high ground'. Muslims aren't perfect but our religion is. So if a Muslim were to take kidnapped people as slaves it would be unIslamic and punishable.

    I'm guessing you think that locking war prisoners up in a little cell and torturing them is more 'politically-correct' than taking them as a slave and feeding them the same food that you eat, giving them the same clothes that you wear, allowing them to get married, and freeing them etc. You obviously have no empathy.
    Why must I agree with torturing prisoners because I am against slavery? Don't be ridiculous.

    They weren't punished though, were they? Raiding for slaves was a common practice, not just something the odd Muslim did. The Islamic rules on slavery are meaningless, because they weren't followed through, it's more important to remember actual history not some ideal.

    There are slaves of Muslims out there right now, Britani believes his friends' slaves are being treated in the correct Islamic manner, so you must agree with their captivity. These women have children, do you think they worry about what sort of future their children are going to have? What happened to their husbands or the rest of their families, their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. Imagine you have been taken from your family, have no idea where they are and, as far as you're concerned, you may never see them again. Islam says you can sleep with your slaves, if one of these men decides to have sex with one of his slaves there will be nothing they can do about it. These women have no idea what their future holds, it is in the hands of the armed men who pretend to treat the kindly but view them as inferior and could turn violent if they ever disobey an order or try to escape. This is the reality of Islamic slaves living today these slaves are out there, it's real life. Just try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine how it must feel.

    Leave a comment:


  • LailaTheMuslim
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
    Any time you think of the Muslim slave trade, you should remember 3 things:

    1. The life of a galley slave was nasty, brutal and short. They were chained permanently to their oars where they ate, slept and defecated, never to be released until they were dead or broken. 12,000 such slaves were released in a single afternoon at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, when the Muslim fleet was defeated. So you can imagine how many that will add up to over the centuries.

    2. Life on land was not necessarily much better. For a long period during the Ottoman Empire, it was common practice to castrate male slaves. Most of them did not survive the operation. You might regard them as the lucky ones.

    3. Islamic slave laws are not nearly as different as you think. Everyone looks at slavery in comparison to the transatlantic trade. But actually, this trade was as different from the European slave tradition as it was from Muslims. The state which freed the most slaves in history, astonishingly, was probably Rome. But that doesn't fit the 'popular' histories so it's forgotten.

    Whatever the theory of islamic slavery, in practice it was a human disaster. At different times it destroyed societies especially in Africa, the Caucasus, India and all round the Mediterranean. It corrupted the people who practised it.

    Muhammad also said it was a blessing to free slaves so why not just concentrate on that until they're all gone again.
    hmm, well were Roman slaves also white? basically they probably respected slaves of their own nationality and since they didn't have the complication of tribes (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) it was probably easier to manumit slaves. If Muslims stuck by the sunnah we would have liberated more than Rome. However we are not allowed to torture, castrate and abuse in anyway, as Muslims. That goes for treatment of slaves.

    Have you heard of the 'middle passage' of the trans-Atlantic slave trade where millions of Black Africans died in brutal conditions?

    Leave a comment:


  • ExNihilo
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by bhshawon View Post
    Yes the things you mentioned were not Islamic. But hey if you see a Muslim drinking you can't attribute that to Islam.

    Most scholars agree there's not many way to acquire slave Islamically today. However slavery won't be gone if Muslims stop the practice. Human trafficking is a widespread problem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_...en_and_men.png
    Looks like the problem is more prominent in non Muslim lands.

    Yes our prophet :saw: prescribed to free slaves but the debate started when someone claimed it's banned in Islam. Islam neither banned it nor encouraged it, but Islam has a guideline for it.
    I'm not a Muslim and i don't know how to reconcile the different lessons you can take from the texts about slavery. Some people say that it was designed to eliminate slavery over time, others say this is nonsense. It seems you can find scholars to back either opinion. And then people fall into bickering, saying 'my scholar is better than your scholar'. This is the fate of Islam-by-internet.

    My point of view is not the theory but what happened in practice. I have not come across a single Muslim society in history that lived up to the ideal Islamic slavery (with the possible exception of Muhammad's own era but we have no historical record of that so i can't comment).

    Slavery was obviously destructive for the slave and the societies which were ripped apart by slavery. That includes the slave takers. The corruption went so deep that for a society like the Barbary States, their entire economy became essentially based on slavery. Slaves were almost never acquired by war, but only by raids. Slave raiding was the chief form of income for the entire society.

    Slavery was also destructive for Muslim workers because the slaves displaced jobs for ordinary Muslims.

    Slave owning degrades the master as well as the slave.
    Last edited by ExNihilo; 24-01-16, 11:50 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vishnu
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Good that most of the world has moved away from slavery although it remains in some pockets

    Not surprising, most humans feel that there is something fundamentally wrong with owning another human being

    Leave a comment:


  • bhshawon
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
    Any time you think of the Muslim slave trade, you should remember 3 things:

    1. The life of a galley slave was nasty, brutal and short. They were chained permanently to their oars where they ate, slept and defecated, never to be released until they were dead or broken. 12,000 such slaves were released in a single afternoon at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, when the Muslim fleet was defeated. So you can imagine how many that will add up to over the centuries.

    2. Life on land was not necessarily much better. For a long period during the Ottoman Empire, it was common practice to castrate male slaves. Most of them did not survive the operation. You might regard them as the lucky ones.

    3. Islamic slave laws are not nearly as different as you think. Everyone looks at slavery in comparison to the transatlantic trade. But actually, this trade was as different from the European slave tradition as it was from Muslims. The state which freed the most slaves in history, astonishingly, was probably Rome. But that doesn't fit the 'popular' histories so it's forgotten.

    Whatever the theory of islamic slavery, in practice it was a human disaster. At different times it destroyed societies especially in Africa, the Caucasus, India and all round the Mediterranean. It corrupted the people who practised it.
    Yes the things you mentioned were not Islamic. But hey if you see a Muslim drinking you can't attribute that to Islam.
    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
    Muhammad also said it was a blessing to free slaves so why not just concentrate on that until they're all gone again.
    Most scholars agree there's not many way to acquire slave Islamically today. However slavery won't be gone if Muslims stop the practice. Human trafficking is a widespread problem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_...en_and_men.png
    Looks like the problem is more prominent in non Muslim lands.

    Yes our prophet :saw: prescribed to free slaves but the debate started when someone claimed it's banned in Islam. Islam neither banned it nor encouraged it, but Islam has a guideline for it.

    Leave a comment:


  • ExNihilo
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Any time you think of the Muslim slave trade, you should remember 3 things:

    1. The life of a galley slave was nasty, brutal and short. They were chained permanently to their oars where they ate, slept and defecated, never to be released until they were dead or broken. 12,000 such slaves were released in a single afternoon at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, when the Muslim fleet was defeated. So you can imagine how many that will add up to over the centuries.

    2. Life on land was not necessarily much better. For a long period during the Ottoman Empire, it was common practice to castrate male slaves. Most of them did not survive the operation. You might regard them as the lucky ones.

    3. Islamic slave laws are not nearly as different as you think. Everyone looks at slavery in comparison to the transatlantic trade. But actually, this trade was as different from the European slave tradition as it was from Muslims. The state which freed the most slaves in history, astonishingly, was probably Rome. But that doesn't fit the 'popular' histories so it's forgotten.

    Whatever the theory of islamic slavery, in practice it was a human disaster. At different times it destroyed societies especially in Africa, the Caucasus, India and all round the Mediterranean. It corrupted the people who practised it.

    Muhammad also said it was a blessing to free slaves so why not just concentrate on that until they're all gone again.

    Leave a comment:


  • Angel Barchild
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    What is the Islamic punishment for a Muslim master killing his Non-Muslim slave? Is it a crime?

    Leave a comment:


  • bhshawon
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by LLS View Post
    I'm saying the Islamic rules were ignored by many Muslims so Muslims can't really claim any moral high ground when it comes to slavery. It is historical fact that Muslims didn't only take slaves from war, but got kidnapped people, the same way slaves were taken for the transatlantic trade. You can easily find information about it.

    You obviously have no empathy for other people if you see no issue with slavery. You probably think those slaves of ISIS are having a merry old time.
    It says in a hadeeth qudsi: “Allaah, may He be exalted, said: ‘There are three whose opponent I will be on the Day of Resurrection, and whomever I oppose, I will defeat … A man who sold a free man and consumed his price.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2227).

    Leave a comment:


  • ms.muslimah
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    Originally posted by LLS View Post
    I'm saying the Islamic rules were ignored by many Muslims so Muslims can't really claim any moral high ground when it comes to slavery. It is historical fact that Muslims didn't only take slaves from war, but got kidnapped people, the same way slaves were taken for the transatlantic trade. You can easily find information about it.

    You obviously have no empathy for other people if you see no issue with slavery. You probably think those slaves of ISIS are having a merry old time.
    The majority of the slaves in the transatlantic slave trade were bought, not kidnapped. Tribal warfare was common and prisoners were taken as slaves. I don't think any Muslim is trying to 'claim moral high ground'. Muslims aren't perfect but our religion is. So if a Muslim were to take kidnapped people as slaves it would be unIslamic and punishable.

    I'm guessing you think that locking war prisoners up in a little cell and torturing them is more 'politically-correct' than taking them as a slave and feeding them the same food that you eat, giving them the same clothes that you wear, allowing them to get married, and freeing them etc. You obviously have no empathy.

    Leave a comment:


  • LailaTheMuslim
    replied
    Re: What does Islam say about slavery?

    At least its encouraged in our religion to liberate people who are slaves, and the rule is you can't enslave free people, only prisoners of war. Islam still greatly respects the humanity of those who are still slaves. For example, you can't call your slave a 'slave' but your girl or boy or brother -

    Not one of you should [ when introducing someone ] say ‘This is my slave’ , ‘This is my concubine’. He should call them ‘my daughter’ or ‘my son’ or ‘my brother’.

    Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 2 ,4

    They eat what you eat and dress as you dress, you invite them to the dinner area -

    Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: "When the slave of anyone amongst you prepares food for him and he serves him after having sat close to (and undergoing the hardship of) heat and smoke, he should make him (the slave) sit along with him and make him eat (along with him), and if the food seems to run short, then he should spare some portion for him (from his own share) - (another narrator) Dawud said:" i. e. a morsel or two". 4097. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Oaths (Kitab Al-Aiman), Book 015, Number 4096

    Also the Prophet peace be upon him (sallAllahu Aleyhi Wa Salam) said:

    Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari: "The Prophet said, "Give food to the hungry, pay a visit to the sick and release (set free) the one in captivity (by paying his ransom)." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Food, Meals, Volume 7, Book 65, Number 286)"

    Leave a comment:

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