Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|07/05/01 at 14:40:53|
can someone explain whether and why it is okay to take slaves?
I heard slaves can come from purchase, or by taking over kaffir territory right?
but another muslim cannot be taken as a slave right? even if their sub-group is different?
and that means the slaves can convert to Islam right? I heard also that a slave who escapes from his master will not have his salaat accepted (pass over his head). Are these slaves forced to doing whatever their master bids? are their lives in the masters' hands? are their women given any choice in the actions they partake in? Is it mandatory to keep a slave-girl in hijab? so many questions.... asalaamu alaikum. abdullah,.
|07/05/01 at 16:24:12|
|wa alaykum as salaam wa rahmatAllah,|
Dr. Abdul Hakeem Jackson discussed this in a class I attended.. but I can't find the notes :( InshaAllah I'll keep looking, the class was excellent, and answered a lot of questions I had on this topic..
Here is an article I found online:
Slavery in Islam
[i]The Quran [/i]
O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. -- 49:13
[i]Prophet Muhammad, 570--632 AD [/i]
. . . yield obedience to my successor, although he may be an Abyssinian slave.
He will not enter paradise who behaveth ill to his slaves. The companions said, "O Apostle of God! Have you not told us, that there will be a great many slaves and orphans amongst your disciples?" He said, "Yes; then be kind to them as your own children, and give them to eat of what you eat yourselves. The slaves that say their prayers are your brothers."
[The first call to prayer at the Quba mosque built by Prophet Muhammad was given in 622 by Bilal -- a black slave freed by the Prophet. The Supreme Court of the United States declared in 1857 that the slave Dred Scott could not sue for his freedom because he was not a person, but property.]
[i]Annemarie Schimmel, Islam: An Introduction [/i]
Slavery was not abolished by the Koran, but believers are constantly admonished to treat their slaves well. In case of illness a slave has to be looked after and well cared for. To manumit [free] a slave is higly meritorious; the slave can ransom himself by paying some of the money he has earned while conducting his own business. Only children of slaves or non-Muslim prisoners of war can become slaves, never a freeborn Muslim; therefore slavery is theoretically doomed to disappear with the expansion of Islam. The entire history of Islam proves that slaves could occupy any office, and many former military slaves, usually recruited from among the Central Asian Turks, became military leaders and often even rulers as in eastern Iran, India (the Slave Dynasty of Delhi), and medieval Egypt (the Mamluks). Eunuchs too served in important capacities, not only as the guardians of the women's quarters, but also in high administrative and military positions. -- p. 67
[i]Roger Du Pasquier, Unveiling Islam [/i]
To answer this question, it should first be remarked that Islam has tolerated slavery but has never approved of it, and that all its teachings and prescriptions in this regard lead to its alleviation as far as possible in the short term, and, in the longer term, conduce to its progressive suppression. To abolish it would have been impossible in a world in which it was generally practiced by all the states which bordered on the new Muslim empire, and in which the idea of challenging the principle itself had not occurred to anyone. It was the custom to enslave prisoners of war -- when these were not simply massacred -- and the Islamic state would have put itself at a grave disadvantage vis-a-vis its enemies had it not reciprocated to some extent. By guaranteeing them humane treatment, and various possibilities of subsequently releasing themselves, it ensured that a good number of combatants in the opposing armies preferred captivity at the hands of Muslims to death on the field of battle.
It should be very clearly underlined that the slavery once practiced in the Muslim world cannot be compared to the form it had assumed -- for instance -- in the Roman Empire. Islamic legislation subjected slaveowners to a set of precise obligations, first among which was the slave's right to life, for, according to a hadith, 'Whoever kills his slave shall be killed by us'. In consequence, the murder of a slave was punished like that of a free man.
There are many other hadiths which define Islam's true attitude in this regard. The Prophet said: 'Your slaves are your brethren; therefore whoever has a brother who depends upon him must feed and clothe him in the way he feeds and clothes himself; and should not impose upon him tasks which exceed his capacity; should you ask them to do such things, then you are obliged to help them.' The Sharia takes this injunction, among many others, into account when defining the responsibilities and duties of slaveholders.
There is another teaching which enjoins respect for the human dignity of slaves: 'Let none of you say, "This man, or this woman, is my slave". He must rather say: "This is my man, and this my woman."' Putting into relief the provisional character of social ties and the authority exercised by slaveowners over their slaves, the Prophet said: 'It is true that God has made you their masters, but, had He so wished, He could equally well have made you their slaves.'
To manumit a slave has always been regarded as one of the most meritorious of all acts, and many passages of the Qur'an recommend or even require it, particularly as a means of expiation for serious faults. Traditional legislation lays down the methods of voluntary liberation of slaves by their masters (itq), and there were very many Muslims who observed these, especially at the end of their lives, so as not to die and appear before God without having given full freedom to the human beings placed in their power during their earthly lives.
Additionally, slaves had the ability to enfranchise themselves at their own initiative, without waiting passively for the goodwill of their masters: the procedure known as mukataba allowed them to buy their own freedom with sums which they saved from their work, and which the state frequently augmented with advances -- a measure which the slaveowner had no right to oppose. In contrast to the situation under Roman law, slaves were not deprived of the legal ability to exercise their rights and to appeal to a judge against their masters in all cases of illegal treatment.
Besides domestic slavery, which was generally imbued with a patriarchal character, there also existed a form of military slavery, which was frequently employed by princes in need of recruits, especially for their personal guards. This situation had the effect of conferring an often considerable influence and power on men of servile condition or origin, and some of these became the founders of great and illustrious dynasties such as the Tulunids and Mamlukes of Egypt.
The object of a prosperous commercial sector, which under the Abbasid Empire was often the speciality of non-Muslims, particularly Byzantine and Venetian Christians, and Jews, slavery gradually declined in importance until, at the beginning of the present century, it was confined to a few survivals which have now disappeared entirely. Thanks to the strict traditional controls which have always regulated the practice, it would be difficult to deny that social conditions were remarkably humane during the great periods of Muslim civilization, and that these, moreover, were in conformity with the 'egalitarian' spirit of Islam, which, in a hadith, teaches that 'the blackest of Abyssinians' is superior to most noble of Quraish-ites, if he has more faith. -- p. 104 - 107
[i]David Hecht, "Slavery" African Style
Howard Zinn, Declarations of Independence [/i]
The idea that entered Western consciousness several centuries ago, that black people are less than human, made possible the Atlantic slave trade, during which perhaps 40 million people died. -- p. 1
[i]Sayyid Sa'eed Akhtar Rizvi, Slavery From Islamic and Christian Perspectives [/i]
Among all the religions it was only Islam that attacked the very foundations of this evil. -- preface
[i]Sylviane A. Diouf, Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas [/i]
Author asserts that Islam was the first revealed religion followed by African slaves, and describes their struggle in upholding Islamic practices.
|07/05/01 at 21:00:53|
This thread is sort of tied to the other thread but here is a question and answer session with Dr. Siddiqi (ISNA's President) about slavery.
Q 3. In the Qur'an when it talks about you have access to your wives and your slaves that your right hand possess.... What does this mean? Some people interpret it that since they can have sexual relationship with their slaves, so therefore it is OK for them to have girl friends so long as they are supporting them. When I was having a discussion with the same group of people, it was brought up that the Prophet -peace be upon him- had a child from a mistress that was sent to him by the king of Egypt. This statement shocked me, but I'm sure you know more. (A Muslim girl)
A 3. According to the Qur'an, it was allowed to have sexual relations with "those women whom your right hands possess". This term is used in the Qur'an for women who were slaves or who came as prisoners of war and there was no way to return them to their people. Slavery existed in human societies from ancient times. However, Islam gave clear directions to Muslims to free the slaves. Islam also prohibited them from enslaving any free person. If Muslims had followed these teachings of Islam fully and faithfully, the slavery would have been eliminated long time ago. However, unfortunately, Muslims failed in eliminating this evil. Thanks to Allah, now the slavery is abolished and it is outlawed. Thus we can say that there are no "ma malakat aymanukum" now. Since Islam also prohibits enslaving a free person, Muslims are not allowed now to have any slaves, males or females. The only way possible for Muslims to have sexual relations now is through marriage and nothing beyond marriage.
It is wrong to interpret this term as "girlfriend". A girlfriend is not a slave girl. She is a free woman. Muslim men are not allowed to have girlfriends also. If any one wants to have sex with a free woman, then he must marry her first. Without marriage any sexual relationship is haram and sinful. The Prophet -peace be upon him- did not have any mistresses. This is a false accusation. It is a grave sin to speak this way about the Messenger of Allah. The Muslims who utter such statements about the Prophet -peace be upon him- should repent and ask Allah's forgiveness, otherwise their faith is in danger. Sayyidah Maria Qibitiya -may Allah be pleased with her- was a slave girl that was presented to the Prophet -peace be upon him- by Maqawqas, the Coptic Archbishop of Egypt at that time. The Prophet accepted her in his household as an honorable woman. She accepted Islam and according to some traditions he married her. According to some others traditions, she remained as "ma malakat yaminuh". However, whatever the Prophet -peace be upon him- did was with the permission of Allah. It is prohibited to use this as an example to follow now. It is neither allowed for any Muslim king or rich man to give a woman as a present, nor is it allowed for any Muslim to accept any woman as a present.
|07/06/01 at 13:39:43|
|This is an article i found on the net|
How does Islam view slaves?
Islam commands the Muslims to love and respect slaves and to treat them with kindness.
Let us look at Noble Verse 2:177 "It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer( for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing." In this Noble Verse, we see that Allah Almighty orders Muslims to spend from their money and wealth and to give with love and respect the kin, orphans, the needy, the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for slaves. Muslims have to help those who need it in their community.
Let us look at Noble Verse 2:221 "Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But God beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise." In this Noble Verse, we see that Allah Almighty in some cases considers a slave to be better than a free human being. Allah Almighty orders Muslims not to marry from the Pagans, and He tells us that a slave Muslim (who is owned by a non Muslim) is better than a non believer, even if that non believer was beautiful.
Let us look at Noble Verse 24:31 "And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards God, that ye may attain Bliss." In this Noble Verse, we see that Allah Almighty orders the Muslim women to guard their modesty and not to display their beauty to strangers. However, the Muslim women are allowed to display their beauty to their husbands, relatives, other women, and their slaves. This Noble Verse clearly shows a full respect to the slaves by allowing the Muslim women to display their beauty to them.
Some teachings from Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him:
Narrated Al-Ma'rur: 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.' " (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Belief, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 29).
Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother [this includes slaves, since a slave is considered a brother as shown above] what he likes for himself." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Belief, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 12).
Narrated Abu Musa: Some people asked Allah's Apostle, "Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?" He replied, "One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Belief, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 10).
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: A man asked the Prophet , "What sort of deeds or (what qualities of) Islam are good?" The Prophet replied, 'To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not Know." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Belief, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 11).
The Liberation of Slaves in Islam:
The reason why Muslims had slaves is because when Islam was still weak and growing, the Arab Pagans' tribes used to launch continuous attacks on the Muslims to destroy Islam once and for all. Muslims had entered many bloody and vicious battles against the non believers which had cost both sides many lives from the men. When the Muslims used to enter a city after defeating its army, they would face a new dilemma. They often meet hundreds of non believing women and young children and elderly left without any support because their men had died in the battle field.
For this reason, Allah Almighty allowed for the Muslims to take those people as slaves to help them survive. Keep in mind that during that time, the Muslims didn't have an Islamic government and welfare system to take care of the orphans and widows from the non believers. The Muslims had to take care of them from their own means.
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him ordered the Muslims to be very sensitive to their slaves. He ordered the Muslims to buy the slave young boys and girls the same quality of clothes and gifts that they would buy for their children. He also ordered Muslims not to hit or be violent to adult slaves. He ordered Muslims to be loving and caring for them.
Prophet Muhammad also urged wealthy Muslims to buy slaves from the Pagan Arabs and to let them free after that. One of Prophet Muhammad's best friends was a slave from Africa called Bilal Al-Habashi. Bilal was bought from his Pagan master by Abu Baker Al-Siddeek, one of Muhammad's best friends. After Abu Baker bought Bilal, he set him free.
Islam as I mentioned in the introduction came to fight slavery. Allah Almighty ordered the Muslims to gradually liberate slaves and to give them their freedom in many cases.
Let us look at Noble Verse 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 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 God: for God hath all knowledge and all wisdom." In this Noble Verse, we see that Allah Almighty ordered to free a believing slave if a Muslim accidentally kills another Muslim. This Noble Verse came to encourage Muslims to liberate slaves.
Let us look at Noble Verse 5:89 "God 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 ten 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 God make clear to you His signs, that ye may be grateful." This Noble Verse is also another proof that Allah Almighty did encourage Muslims to liberate slaves.
Let us look at Noble Verse 58:3 "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: Thus are ye admonished to perform: and God is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do." This Noble Verse is another proof that Allah Almighty did encourage Muslims to liberate slaves.
Narrated Asma: "No doubt the Prophet ordered people to manumit slaves during the solar eclipse. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Eclipses, Volume 2, Book 18, Number 163)"
If a Muslim beats his slave or slaps him on the face, then he must set him free:
"Zadhan reported that Ibn Umar called his slave and he found the marks (of beating) upon his back. He said to him: I have caused you pain. He said: No. But he (Ibn Umar) said: You are free. He then took hold of something from the earth and said: There is no reward for me even to the weight equal to it. I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who beats a slave without cognizable offence of his or slaps him, then expiation for it is that he should set him free. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Oaths (Kitab Al-Aiman), Book 015, Number 4079)"
Abu Mas'ud reported that he had been beating his slave and he had been saying: "I seek refuge with Allah, but he continued beating him, whereupon he said: I seek refuge with Allah's Messenger, and he spared him. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: By Allah, God has more dominance over you than you have over him (the slave). He said that he set him free. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Shu'ba with the same chain of transmitters, but made no mention of (these words) of his: I seek refuge with Allah, I seek refuge with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Oaths (Kitab Al-Aiman), Book 015, Number 4089)"
More on freeing slaves:
Narrated Salamah ibn Sakhr al-Bayadi: "I was a man who was more given than others to sexual intercourse with women. When the month of Ramadan came, I feared lest I should have intercourse with my wife, and this evil should remain with me till the morning. So I made my wife like my mother's back to me till the end of Ramadan. But one night when she was waiting upon me, something of her was revealed. Suddenly I jumped upon her. When the morning came I went to my people and informed them about this matter. I said: Go along with me to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). They said: No, by Allah. So I went to the Prophet (peace be upon him and informed him of the matter. He said: Have you really committed it, Salamah? I said: I committed it twice, Apostle of Allah. I am content with the Commandment of Allah, the Exalted; so take a decision about me according to what Allah has shown you. He said: Free a slave. I said: By Him Who sent you with truth, I do not possess a neck other than this: and I struck the surface of my neck. He said: Then fast two consecutive months. I said: Whatever I suffered is due to fasting. He said: Feed sixty poor people with a wasq of dates. I said: By Him Who sent you with truth, we passed the night hungry; there was no food in our house. He said: Then go to the collector of sadaqah of Banu Zurayq; he must give it to you. Then feed sixty poor people with a wasq of dates; and you and your family eat the remaining dates. Then I came back to my people, and said (to them): I found with you poverty and bad opinion; and I found with the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) prosperity and good opinion. He has commanded me to give alms to you. Ibn al-Ala' added: Ibn Idris said: Bayadah is a sub-clan of Banu Zurayq. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Book 12, Number 2207)"
Narrated Khuwaylah, daughter of Malik ibn Tha'labah: "My husband, Aws ibn as-Samit, pronounced the words: You are like my mother. So I came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), complaining to him about my husband. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) disputed with me and said: Remain dutiful to Allah; he is your cousin. I continued (complaining) until the Qur'anic verse came down: "Allah hath heard the words of her who disputeth with thee concerning her husband...." till the prescription of expiation. He then said: He should set free a slave. She said: He cannot afford it. He said: He should fast for two consecutive months. She said: Apostle of Allah, he is an old man; he cannot keep fasts. He said: He should feed sixty poor people. She said: He has nothing which he may give in alms. At that moment an araq (i.e. date-basket holding fifteen or sixteen sa's) was brought to him. I said: I shall help him with another date-basked ('araq). He said: You have done well. Go and feed sixty poor people on his behalf, and return to your cousin. The narrator said: An araq holds sixty sa's of dates. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Book 12, Number 2208)"
There are a lot more Noble Verses from the Noble Quran and Sayings from our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him that push for freeing of slaves. The Islamic attitude toward slaves is very clear and straight forward: All slaves are eventually to be freed! And they were all freed during the times of Islam from the Judeo-Christian and Pagan slavery.
Can a slave request his freedom from his Muslim owner?
The Noble Quran not only allows slaves to request their freedom from their Muslim masters, but also orders the Muslim masters to pay the slaves money to help them stand on their feet and to be able to face life with a good jump start.
Let us look at Noble Verse 24:33 "Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until God 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 God 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 God, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them)," In this Noble Verse, we see that if a slave requests his freedom from his Muslim master, then his master not only must help him earn his freedom if there is good in the Slave, but also pay him money so the slave can have a good start in his free life.
Islam is a very merciful religion on slaves. Islam came and fought many bloody battles against the Arabs who believed in slavery and who brutally enslaved many people. Islam also sees the importance of liberating slaves, and had helped to gradually liberate slaves until all of them were ultimately freed. Islam allows for any slave to request from his Muslim owner his freedom, and orders the Muslim owner to grant that slave his freedom and to pay him money on top of it to help him get a good start in his new free life.
|07/06/01 at 17:06:27|
Can we please lock this thread because the other thread ("those whom your right hands possess" ) is discussing the same thing?!?
Jazak Allahu khairan yaa moderators/admins
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