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Ali J

Why Is Slavery Permissible In Islam?

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If the slave is being mistreated, he can go to a judge and complain about his master.

If only it would be that easy....and the way that many countries are ran most of the rich people owning slaves also own the judges....regulation would do nothing and it still wouldn't combat the other illegal disgusting form as seen in this video.

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I'm pretty sure nobody considers slavery a delightful occupation. Of course it's horrible to be taken as a slave, which is why Muslims can't take other Muslims as slaves.

Ok, let's try to clear a few things up. First of all, in Islam there is only one legal way to make someone a slave, which is to capture him or her in Jihad led by an infallible. Having said that, if someone is taken as a slave by some other (unlawful) means such as kidnapping, then nothing stops a Muslim from acquiring that slave. The point is that if the person is going to be a slave anyway, then surely it is better to be the slave of a Muslims, who at least in theory will have to treat him with a certain amount of dignity (some legal rights, feed and cloth him in the same way he himself is fed and clothed, etc), than to have the slave at the mercy of a kafir. Additionally, the slave will have the benefit of been exposed to Islam, and should he or she convert, it would then be highly recommended to free him/her after a relatively short period of time. This might seem like a small matter to some people, but they should remind themselves of the fact that we are all going to die and resurrected, and then what religion you belong to will count for quite a bit. So exposing someone to Islam, even in these types of conditions, could be worth an incredible amount to them in the afterlife, which as the Qur'an reminds us over and over is far more important than this world.

Another point to bear in mind is that in Islam the kaffara for many sins is the free slaves, which is in any case a recommended act anyway, so there are good chances to end up free. A slave also has the option of working to buy his own freedom, as mentioned (among other things) in the following verse from the Qur'an.

And let those who do not find the means to marry keep chaste until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace. And (as for) those who ask for a writing from among those whom your right hands possess, give them the writing if you know any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah which He has given you; and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world's life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. [24:33]

Of course, all this applies to slavery in an Islamic society, where it is out in the open, not the kind of unislamic system we have nowadays. Obviously I don't support slaves being treated in an unislamic way, but as a Muslim I cannot say that slavery in all its forms is immoral when it was practiced by the Prophet (pbuh) and the Imams (as), and is regulated in the Qur'an.

Slaves were used for sex long before rich Arabs came along. What do you think slave girls were used for back in the time of the Prophet (pbuh) and Imams (as)? Just to do the cooking and cleaning?

If the slave is being mistreated, he can go to a judge and complain about his master.

Can be freed, should be freed, is recommended to be freed, its all besides the point. The point is it is totally moral in Islam to own slaves, and the owner slave relationship by definition means that the owners have rights over their slaves, and slaves have limited rights, it is not by any stretch of the imagination an equal arrangement. Slaves still have to obey, cannot marry without permission etc etc

Correct me if I am wrong though, a slave cannot marry without the owners consent, so technically an owner can deny his slave marriage for life, and it would be considered moral under sharia.

"The mahr that is given for marriage to a female slave is taken by her owner, whereas all other women possess it absolutely for themselves" ... I am guessing this is true as well?

Anyway it would be good to discuss the actual islamic rights in this arrangement, so if someone could please post them.

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I am not condemning an idea,

I am condemning a reality, place yourself in the shoes of a young kid who has been first kidnapped then used as a slave.

I have seen such kids, dealt with them on daily basis. So do not tell me what I understand or what I do not understand.

I have seen grief-stricken mothers crying while lamenting the loss of their kids, on the doorstep of my husband's house, begging him to intercede. I have witnessed their pain and misery.

I have seen it for almost 2 damned years.

Then we are talking about two different types of slavery. The one you talk about is not in Islam and is condemned by Islam thus what is the problem???

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Salams. Logic police here. Just because someone is speaking in defense of the classical Islamic perspective on slavery, doesn't mean he has to answer for every abuse ever perpetrated under the name of slavery in any other civilization. Non sequitur. It doesn't follow.

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Salams. Logic police here. Just because someone is speaking in defense of the classical Islamic perspective on slavery, doesn't mean he has to answer for every abuse ever perpetrated under the name of slavery in any other civilization. Non sequitur. It doesn't follow.

slavery in itself is wrong. no one should own someone else.

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slavery in itself is wrong. no one should own someone else.

Mmm..you have to walk more carefully with your words. You walk yourself into trouble if you're not careful. If you say it is "inherently wrong," you need to reconcile that, as a Muslim, with the fact that the primary Islamic texts were willing to accept it as a reality, at least in the particular context in which they came.

And then you're in the uncomfortable place of trying to explain why our examples advocated an "inherent wrong" in certain circumstances.

If, on the other hand, you try to argue that it was the best way to satisfy certain goals in an earlier context, but that there are objectively better ways to do so today, because of material differences in the context, you're probably on firmer ground.

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Slavery = human bondage. Period.

Then you have a problem with Islam, Allah, and the prophet's and imams who DID HAVE SERVENTS SLAVES. Slavery is in Islam whether you like it or not. But your understanding of slavery is one sided. You only think about the western-type slavery... this is a problem you need to work on.

BTW, Islam also allows sexual relations with a slave even if they are not married - have fun with this fact =]

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Then you have a problem with Islam, Allah, and the prophet's and imams who DID HAVE SERVENTS SLAVES. Slavery is in Islam whether you like it or not. But your understanding of slavery is one sided. You only think about the western-type slavery... this is a problem you need to work on.

BTW, Islam also allows sexual relations with a slave even if they are not married - have fun with this fact =]

How is this related only to western type slavery?

slavery is human bondage - how does it differ in Islam from that?

bond·age/ˈbändij/

Noun:

  • The state of being a slave.
  • A state of being greatly constrained by circumstances or obligations.

I agree - slaves have few rights and choice in sex is one of them - the master possesses them and can do what he likes

I also think they cannot give testimony nor own property.

Edited by Maryaam

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Salaam alaikum,

My understanding of the type of slavery that is permitted in Islam, from what I have read, is as follows:

- A person can voluntarily become your slave if they see benefit in doing so. For example becoming a slave of one of the good people, such as the ahl bayt.

- The only time a person can be made a slave against their will (from my understanding), is in the case of war. If a people have been attacking the Muslims and later the Muslims defeat them, then there has to be a system of what to do with the people who were attacking them (the prisoners of war). If they are immediately released back into the society on their own, they may continue to attack or cause trouble for the Muslims. And confining these people in prison is not a suitable alternative, unless they are very dangerous criminals. So instead they become ‘slaves’ for a time and live in the households of Muslims, until they show that their character has changed and they are not a threat to society, then Islam dictates they must be released (freed) back into society, unless they want to voluntarily remain as slaves/servants in the households of the Muslims.

There are very strict rules on how these slaves must be treated, they are not to be abused and are treated more like family members than as typical servants. The process of enslaving the people who were at war with the Muslims, is done more as a re-habilitation of the people, than to gain personal benefits for the Muslims. They are treated with good akhlaq, so that they can learn that the Muslims are not a threat to them, and this may make them change their attitudes towards the Muslims and decide that they can live with them in harmony rather than in a state of war.

- The way in which the majority of modern slavery is done today is against Islam. It is against Islam to force a person who has done no wrong (and is not at war with you) to become a slave against their will. It doesn’t matter if the person doing the enslaving is claiming to be a Muslim, he is going against Islam. Islam encourages us to battle against this corrupted enslavement whatever way we can and use whatever means we have to try to stop it. If we can the best way is to try to prosecute those who make others slaves against their will. This will work in a society that has laws against the enslavement of people by force. But in a society that has no laws against enslaving others against their will, we have to work to educate and change the attitude of the society. But if there is no way to change the attitude of a society and the law of the particular place protects those who enslave others, and there continues to be more and more slaves suffering (and their fate depends on which person purchases them and how their master treats them). Then the next best thing for the Muslims to do is to buy as many slaves as they can, in order to free them from a treacherous life.

In Islam it is encouraged to buy slaves so that you can free them. Freeing a slave is one of the best things you can do in Islam. The Islamic conditions of purchasing slaves is that once you take them to live with you and you see good in them (that they are not a threat to society), you offer them their freedom or if they wish to they can voluntarily stay with you (which they may wish to because you can offer them employment and are good to them). You can’t make a slave work for you for free, you have to compensate them for their work as you must with any other person, for example by giving them wages, providing accommodation, food, etc. If you see that the slave is not a harmful person you must offer freedom to them or for them to stay with you voluntarily (if they are happy with the benefits they receive in your household).

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If slaves ownership become legal with a proper strict system in place, most of the major world human problems would decrease substantially. To start with poverty, orphans, beggars, fornication, adultery, drugs, homosexuality, etc etc etc

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If slaves ownership become legal with a proper strict system in place, most of the major world human problems would decrease substantially. To start with poverty, orphans, beggars, fornication, adultery, drugs, homosexuality, etc etc etc

hopefuly that will never happen. ppl should not be owned by othre people. if anything the problems u mention will increase as the owners can force the slaves to do them.

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If slaves ownership become legal with a proper strict system in place, most of the major world human problems would decrease substantially. To start with poverty, orphans, beggars, fornication, adultery, drugs, homosexuality, etc etc etc

Oh so an orphan deserves to spend his/her life in bondage? Instead of wasting time and resources to put an organized slavery system into place perhaps you could use the same time and resources to build good quality orphanages that will protect, educate, and care for those children and prepare them for the world. You could do something similar for beggars.

Slavery will not stop homosexuality

Fornicators will still fornicate.

BTW you claim to be female...how would you like it if someone came and kidnapped you because they think your father did something haram or because of some tribal dispute? Then they sold you to a master, kept the profit and you had to bed that master every night. I mean after all he is feeding you and giving you nice clothes.....and he only hits you when you don't want to sleep with him.....tell me miss zameena how would you like it? Or how would you like that to happen to your small daugther or one of your sisters?

Drug addicts will still do drugs, slavery will not stop drugs there is no connection between the two and you obviously know nothing about addiction

Edited by ImAli

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BTW you claim to be female...how would you like it if someone came and kidnapped you because they think your father did something haram or because of some tribal dispute? Then they sold you to a master, kept the profit and you had to bed that master every night. I mean after all he is feeding you and giving you nice clothes.....and he only hits you when you don't want to sleep with him.....tell me miss zameena how would you like it? Or how would you like that to happen to your small daugther or one of your sisters?

How do you think the slaves of the Imams (as) felt about it?

And what about this:

Tabari recounts the story of Maria's arrival from Egypt:

In this year Hātib b. Abi Balta'ah came back from al-Muqawqis bringing Māriyah and her sister Sīrīn, his female mule Duldul, his donkey Ya'fūr, and sets of garments. With the two women al-Muqawqis had sent a eununch, and the latter stayed with them. Hātib had invited them to become Muslims before he arrived with them, and Māriyah and her sister did so. The Messenger of God lodged them with Umm Sulaym bt. Milhān. Māriyah was beautiful. The Prophet sent her sister Sīrīn to Hassān b. Thābit and she bore him 'Abd al-Rahmān b. Hassān.

—Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_al-Qibtiyya

For those who might want to argue that this is a Sunni source, we see that in our own sources Maria was also a slave girl:

1 – O prophet, why did you prohibit what Allah has made lawful to you, seeking to please your wives? but Allah is forgiving, merciful

Tafsir al-Qummi: Ahmad b. Idris reported to us. He said: Ahmad b. Muhammad narrated to us from al-Husayn b. Sa`id from Ibn Sayyar from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام regarding His تعالى saying “O prophet, why did you prohibit what Allah has made lawful to you” (to the end of) the aya. He said: `A’isha and Hafsa found out about the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله while he was with Mariya. So the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله said: By Allah, I will not draw near her. So Allah commanded him to atone for his oath.

http://www.*******.org/tafsir/tashayyu/at-tahreem

Clearly this makes no sense if Maria was a wife of the Prophet (pbuh) just like Aisha and Hafsa.

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How do you think the slaves of the Imams (as) felt about it?

And what about this:

http://en.wikipedia....ria_al-Qibtiyya

For those who might want to argue that this is a Sunni source, we see that in our own sources Maria was also a slave girl:

1 – O prophet, why did you prohibit what Allah has made lawful to you, seeking to please your wives? but Allah is forgiving, merciful

Tafsir al-Qummi: Ahmad b. Idris reported to us. He said: Ahmad b. Muhammad narrated to us from al-Husayn b. Sa`id from Ibn Sayyar from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام regarding His تعالى saying “O prophet, why did you prohibit what Allah has made lawful to you” (to the end of) the aya. He said: `A’isha and Hafsa found out about the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله while he was with Mariya. So the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله said: By Allah, I will not draw near her. So Allah commanded him to atone for his oath.

http://www.tashayyu....ayyu/at-tahreem

Clearly this makes no sense if Maria was a wife of the Prophet (pbuh) just like Aisha and Hafsa.

LOL how original of you trying to turn this into a discussion of "insulting the imams" an old trick of yours.

Anyway IF the slave trade were to be made legal as you and zameena so desire where would one selling slaves get the slaves from to sell in the first place?

my guess is they would be acquired against the laws of Islam and the broken rules would be swept under the rug.....

Edited by ImAli

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