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Ali J

Why Is Slavery Permissible In Islam?

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What hadiths were peddled on this thread? I think I've mostly been posting ayats from the Qur'an and making reference to well-known historical facts. Anyway, in stead of complaining about people being pushed away from the religion, why don't you tell us how something as evil as slavery could have been allowed by Allah (swt) and practiced by the Prophet (pbuh) and the Imams (as). Maybe if you are able to do that, then nobody will abandon their religion.

Shia_Debater pointed someone in the direction of a scholar who is much more learned than you and you belittled it by calling it sugar coated.

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We are not talking about doubts because we don't want to pray on time or think it would be more fun to smoke drugs and drink whiskey. We are talking about doubts because of slavery.....slavery is not a small aspect as you are trying to make it seem.

And it's not possible that there may be things that are now commonly thought of as evil, but that may in fact not be completely so? Who is more wise, us or Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì? Would Allah (swt) allow something that was pure evil?

Shia_Debater pointed someone in the direction of a scholar who is much more learned than you and you belittled it by calling it sugar coated.

It was sugar-coated, because it fails to deal with many of the more difficult aspects of slavery, such as the one you and other women on here are complaining about, the fact that female slaves have to have sex with their masters. Unless I missed it somewhere.

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And it's not possible that there may be things that are now commonly thought of as evil, but that may in fact not be completely so? Who is more wise, us or Allah سبحانه وتعالى? Would Allah (swt) allow something that was pure evil?

Wouldn't you say that more often than not muslims and non muslims alike have proven to be incapable of treating slaves humanely? Like I said in an earlier post most muslims don't even know how to respect a house maid.

It was sugar-coated, because it fails to deal with many of the more difficult aspects of slavery, such as the one you and other women on here are complaining about, the fact that female slaves have to have sex with their masters. Unless I missed it somewhere.

Something that certain members enjoy throwing around. Do you realize the thought of this makes any sane woman's skin crawl?

Edited by ImAli

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I find it incredible that you think you are even on authority in Islam. Do you think your extreme position on slavery is insightful?

But his position is absolutely mainstream. We have mountains of evidence that the Qu'ran, Prophet, and aimmah tolerated the practice in their day given certain limits were respected.

Therefore, there is no basis to argue that slavery in inherently incompatible with Islam, that it is NEVER allowable, etc. Obviously there are certain times and economic contexts where it is allowable. Now there is probably room to argue that this time, or the past few decades, is not a time where it is allowable, given other options to fulfill the roles that slavery played throughout history. But it remains that slavery is clearly allowable and condoned in certain situations.

I frankly don't see how one could argue against that without flailing so broadly at the base sources that you lose everything else too.

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No not some fantasy, but frighteningly real. The following is about Greece and its just had a relatively short, not very severe shock and the Church and other institutions seem just about able to cope.

But note what people will do when they are desperate. And please no one imagine that you could never be in such a position yourself. I don't. Protection from this is what prayers are for.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...gazine-16472310

There are other options for this poor child...slavery is not one.

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It was sugar-coated, because it fails to deal with many of the more difficult aspects of slavery, such as the one you and other women on here are complaining about, the fact that female slaves have to have sex with their masters. Unless I missed it somewhere.

Is there textual basis though to support the notion that she is duty bound to submit to her master's advances?

All I have seen points only toward sex being licit between master and slavegirl - that is, it is not haram, there is no need for a formal marriage to make sex halal, etc. Can you bring some proofs to the effect that she has a duty to give herself to him?

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Is there textual basis though to support the notion that she is duty bound to submit to her master's advances?

All I have seen points only toward sex being licit between master and slavegirl - that is, it is not haram, there is no need for a formal marriage to make sex halal, etc. Can you bring some proofs to the effect that she has a duty to give herself to him?

That is what I thought too....it was always my understanding that she had to be willing.

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Before worrying about issues such as slavery, people need to go back to the basics and ask themselves why they believe in God, and why they believe Islam is God's religion. To only be a Muslim because what you know of Islam seems to conform with your preconceived views is very dangerous, and will most likely lead to disappointment. If on the other hand a person has real faith in Islam (which is what religion is supposed to be about after all), then that person will not be bothered by a few aspects that they don't understand or that seem to go against what they have been brought up to believe. What happened to trusting in the judgement of Allah سبحانه وتعالى? Do people imagine that it is not possible that there may be some things they are incapable of understanding, but that serve a purpose?

Do you see anyone here arguing that being a slave is fun?

Why should everyone adhere to this top down approach you talk about? Quite a few members here advocate it here, that we should first use our heads to establish a firm believe in god etc and then seize to use the same faculties when it comes to more specific issues such as slavery. Seems like a cop-out for things you simply have no answers for. So if tomorrow you were to stumble on some authentic hadiths that allowed one to torture and kill children for whatever cause, I am assuming you would be okay with that too, without an ounce of consideration for the victims.

Anyway, for all those here who keep screaming that we aren't addressing Islamic slavery, here is a similar example again:

14 year old girl born into slavery, from birth her rights are restricted, she is worked overtime, all her possessions are the property of her owner. Am I right to say that she is not allowed to deny her owner sex? If so, she is forced into sex on a daily basis, against her wishes, she is denied the right to marry, pursue an education?, and enjoy countless worldly pleasures her owners can enjoy. She is literally owned, and mostly used to satisfy her owners sexual appetite when she isnt hard at work.

^^^ There is a scenario for you that is for all technical purposes Islamic. Apart from Haydar Hussain, whose honesty I admire and lack of human empathy I abhor, which one of you defending the Islamic institution of slavery would sit back and do nothing if it was your father or your brother involved in this practice today?

Do you realize why this angers/confuses people? Why is it so hard to understand that these issues are not simply resolved by going back to the basics in another attempt to accept a practice which is virtually impossible to reconcile with the most basic of human emotions.

When you know for a fact that this institution has been abused to force young women into sex and work which they do not desire, it is hard to approach the question without emotion. It is precisely issues such as these that force me to reconsider a rigid consistent approach for a more emotional one.

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Do you realize why this angers/confuses people? Why is it so hard to understand that these issues are not simply resolved by going back to the basics in another attempt to accept a practice which is virtually impossible to reconcile with the most basic of human emotions.

Well, apparently it depends on the societal context. For most of human history people had quite an easy time reconciling the practice with their emotions. Presumably they were human. This is not to say that in more comfortable, prosperous times, we should not do away with it while such times last. But what I mean is that apparently these basic human emotions you speak of about this subject tend to relax considerably when the conditions of life become harder.

When you know for a fact that this institution has been abused to force young women into sex and work which they do not desire, it is hard to approach the question without emotion. It is precisely issues such as these that force me to reconsider a rigid consistent approach for a more emotional one.

If we're not consistent, however, what ultimately will our faith rest on?

I'm also curious if anyone has any rough estimate demongraphic statistics as to what was the ratio of free people to slaves in the Muslim lands in the classical period. How common was it?

Edited by kadhim

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From an old thread:

"In Islam, there has been effort to uproot slavery, but this does not mean that slavery in Islam is completely condemned. If muslims get the upper hand in a war with infidels and take them as prisoners, the infidel prisoner at the hands of a muslim, is considered a slave and the rulings regarding to slavery are applied to him/her. If such a war were to occur today, the same ruling would apply. Slavery has not been completely uprooted and abolished, but in those days slavery was based on racism. Blacks and weak people were captured and sold, but if a situation arises where we have a choice between killing an enemy or enslaving him, which one is more humane? The enemy which has been taken prisoner will once again create fitna if freed, but if he is killed, the opportunity for him to [turn back] will be closed, but if he becomes a slave, he might gradually be treated in a muslim community and turn out as a great human being. In any case, slavery per se has been accepted in Islam, and we defend it." (Mesbah Yazdi, 1372).

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I have already posted on a similar topic, listing a list of Muslim dynasties in India, and the interesting thing was, most of them (the Kings, that is), were former "slaves". And similar stories can be seen all over the Muslim world, like Egypt, etc.

So I don't see why we are discussing underage female sex slaves on this thread, since Islamic "slavery" is totally another world compared to Western slavery. I cannot think of a single example where a slave in the West has risen to become anything notable at all. The fact is, most of us (well, our feminists) have been brought up with a Western lifestyle, where Hollywood and TV shows have formed their view of the world. And they are totally unable to grasp that maybe, Hollywood and American TV shows are not infallible, and that maybe it might be wiser to use their heads once in a while (like the evil barbaric un-cool caveman, Haydar Husayn).

And that is why we are filling up the discussion, and our feminist minded women are all talking about leaving Islam every few posts, while they haven't spent a single post discussing some examples of slavery in the Islamic world vs the West, and how slavery in the Islamic world, although called "slavery" was in no way the same thing practised by the West on kidnapped Africans.

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That's funny because the one you are referring to that is thinking about leaving Islam isn't even female. Also mutah_king was quite firm about his stance on this issue.....and he is the furthest thing from a feminist you will find on this forum.

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This may benefit the readers:

How does Islam attest slavery? - 180 Questions: Enquiries about Islam - Extracted from the writings of Ayatullah Sheikh Makarim Shirazi, Compiled by Syed Husain Husaini, Translated by Shahnawaz Mahdavi

180Questions1of2 - Ayatullah Makram Shirazi.pdf

Salams

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Why don't you guys think of this in a really simple way:

Lets say you go to war - you have now won the battle and there are x amount of the enemy left

What should be done with them?

Here are your choices

1- set them free so they can come back and fight you and kill you

2- execute them

3- hold them for ransom

4- If no one pays their ransom - put them in prison

5- keep them as a slave

Obviously some one becoming a slave is better than execution or even imprisonment - because at least as a slave you can be outside and have some freedoms and even have a sexual partner.

You guys are not looking at it from a really narrow minded view point.

Also probably 6 of our Imam's were born from slave women.

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You really think you will have a better chance at life with slave masters who would rape you a few times a day and passed you around to his friends. How long do you think you will survive in that environment? A few years? Once your slave masters get tired of you, what is going to be your fate? Will they bury you in some landfill? Dissolve your bones with acid?

She highlights all the evils of slavery that a sane person should listen to.

This is exactly what MacIsaac was talking about..some hollywood idea of slavery.

To bad she wasn't there to advice the AhlulBayt (as).

---

Look, we can't escape the fact that Islam allows slavery, its seems pretty damn obvious to me. We also can't deny that it was practised by some of the most beloved people of God, who are in essence role models for us; Prophet, Ahlulbayt, true Companions. There is no hiding this fact, so whatever you label slavery as, weather it be 'evil' or whatever have you, keep in mind your labelling them too.

Secondly, we can not paint all slavery with the same brush, some types (the 'ISlamic version') seem more 'humane' or slave friendly than others, but no matter what the differences, they both exist. So the argument that some slaves are treated badly, therefor it is completely inhumane and evil doesn't hold much weight here, since Islam doesn't straight out reject the institution of slavery (in our understanding), rather, it reforms it for the better.

I am in no way trying to defend slavery, esp a female slave where the whole situation becomes a lot more difficult to fathom for most of us. I can sit here like many, and make excuses and think of different reasons, and present one-of case studies to prove what i 'have' to believe, but at the end of the day it means nothing, b/c deep down inside i have a problem with the whole issue of slavery. None-the less, i don't sit here and try to reject slavery, b/c it is evidently allowed by Islam.

Also, only if Pow were the only people who became slaves, then some of the arguments may seem acceptable, however, that isn't the case, there are other methods were people have become slaves.

Also, one thing maybe to keep in mind is; we have an akhirah, this is not the only world people have to live 'life'. Those who were wronged here, will be compensated there, its is possible that through slavery one is saved from a lot of sin, and maybe even gets a lot of reward, hence a great place with many servants of his/her own in the Akhirah. This is just guessing, but it may be easier for us to except the whole matter or understand it more, if we try and look at the whole picture, keep both this world AND the akhirah in mind.

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Why don't you guys think of this in a really simple way:

Lets say you go to war - you have now won the battle and there are x amount of the enemy left

What should be done with them?

Here are your choices

1- set them free so they can come back and fight you and kill you

2- execute them

3- hold them for ransom

4- If no one pays their ransom - put them in prison

5- keep them as a slave

Obviously some one becoming a slave is better than execution or even imprisonment - because at least as a slave you can be outside and have some freedoms and even have a sexual partner.

You guys are not looking at it from a really narrow minded view point.

Also probably 6 of our Imam's were born from slave women.

I think this makes a very good rational for the slavery in the past.

But in this days and age most countries in the world have already adopted the Geneva convention on how to deal with the Prisoners of War. It is no longer legal to treat the captured military personals as slaves.

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I think this makes a very good rational for the slavery in the past.

But in this days and age most countries in the world have already adopted the Geneva convention on how to deal with the Prisoners of War. It is no longer legal to treat the captured military personals as slaves.

Are you sure it's only male PoW's? Why were females enslaved when they were never involved in the battles and, hence, were hardly a threat to the Muslim opposition?

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Are you sure it's only male PoW's? Why were females enslaved when they were never involved in the battles and, hence, were hardly a threat to the Muslim opposition?

Female prisoners of war are also accorded the same right. The Geneva Convention doesn't make that distinction.

But back in the old days,it would depend on how the female slaves are gained. They don't fight wars. But I think once their men lose wars, then they are own their own. If their men died, then they don't have any protection. The conquering army probably takes many of the civilians and enslaved them.

But again, slave trading was a thriving business in the Middle East. They had ways to get slaves - buy from someone, capture or kidnapping of the slaves.

Edited by Gypsy

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there were slaves who refused to get freedom from the Imams.

slaves sins are half in the eyes of Allah.

slaves punishment is half of that of free men.

Someone mentioned that we can make orphanage better. If you see around the world rich and poor countries alike there is no orphanage that is working without abuse of some sort. And the abuse is a sin in the eyes of God. It will never work and not possible. Islam has a more humane and applicable manner of dealing with orphans.Furthermore we have to look at ways with which Allah is happy and path He has allowed. Let the people criticize.

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there were slaves who refused to get freedom from the Imams.

slaves sins are half in the eyes of Allah.

slaves punishment is half of that of free men.

Someone mentioned that we can make orphanage better. If you see around the world rich and poor countries alike there is no orphanage that is working without abuse of some sort. And the abuse is a sin in the eyes of God. It will never work and not possible. Islam has a more humane and applicable manner of dealing with orphans.Furthermore we have to look at ways with which Allah is happy and path He has allowed. Let the people criticize.

In Islam the custody of the orphan is given to the uncles....they don't get sent to slave markets you fool.

and if there aren't uncles it goes down the line to other family members

Edited by ImAli

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Female prisoners of war are also accorded the same right. The Geneva Convention doesn't make that distinction.

But back in the old days,it would depend on how the female slaves are gained. They don't fight wars. But I think once their men lose wars, then they are own their own. If their men died, then they don't have any protection. The conquering army probably takes many of the civilians and enslaved them.

But again, slave trading was a thriving business in the Middle East. They had ways to get slaves - buy from someone, capture or kidnapping of the slaves.

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So these women could be taken as slaves against their will, just because they no longer had protection?

Another question that deeply concerns me is why laws were designed in a way that distinguished between a slave and a free man or a free woman? If Islam truly wanted to approach slavery abolition, it wouldn't discriminate between the free and the owned.

Edited by Gypsy

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An excellent post from a member who is now unregistered http://www.shiachat....ost__p__2308170

Nowhere will you find in the Quran that slavery is seen as a 'necessary' class for society to function.

In fact the general aim that we should all strive for with slaves is seen as the tough path to a high level of righteousness in the maxim contained in the following verse thus:

"But he strove not unto the steep ascent {11} And what would make you know what the steep ascent is? {12} Freeing a slave {13} Or feeding in the day of hunger {14} To an orphan, being near of kin {15} Or to the poor one lying in the dust {16}" (Surat Al-Balad)

As for the institutionalised slave trade, the Prophet (pbuh) has said: "Whites have no privelage over blacks, and the worst of people in the sight of God are slave traders " (Man la yahdhuruhul Faqih, Shaykh Al-Saduq, p.575)

Of course in the ages of slavery the best option to free these slaves was to purchase them and then later free them, whilst giving them the best conditions possible during their days of servitude. It is estimated the Prophet (pbuh) freed over 60 slaves in his lifetime, and there are reports where the Imams would free hundreds of slaves during Ramadhan.

The only form of servitude that is probably deemed a necessity (and continues to this age) is the position of prisoners of war. Of course they're attained after a legitemate Jihad against aggressors, and they're still to be given good treatment and converts are freed in many kaffara cases. Also Surat Al-Nur says if you find any good in your slaves, you should write a deed of liberation for them (called a Mukatabah ).

Edited by ImAli

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In the cases of wars, the victorius party would acquire the spoils of wars. They Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to grant amnesty to family members of the party that lost the war. As long as they abide in the Islamic state peacefully and pay the tax, they and their family would be protected.

If this was true, then where were the female slaves coming from?

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I would prefer to be owned by one person who uses me but treats me kindly justly and loves me rather then to be used by every tom, Richard and harry selfishly.

Why does it have to be a choice between two options?

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you can be a slave by choice too.... many people wanted to be slaves to good people i,e, serve those people that was a great ambition...

of course dont misudnerstand this as the ultimate slavery is for god but this is a servant role.

for me too its an ambition for me to be a slave to a good person ,, a prophet,, imam ...... better than now where am a slave to a greedy capitalist.

Also they can buy the slaves and they have the choice to free them or not but some may decide to stay as slaves once they see the treatement and the privilages that they get with the imams.

Obviously freeing the slaves is the objective of islam as it uses that for kaffarah ( undoing sins) and also highly encourages it as was mentioned in sourat albalad

also it emphesises that human posession can only be in the rightly posessed way.... thats why its called " right hand posession" and not " slavery" so it can not be stealing or kidnapping or whatever...

regarding enemy conbatants I also think its better to enslave them and make them useful rather than free them to kill you again or put them in jail and feed them for nothing in return.

in australia we have massive rock walls along the roads that span for kilometers all built by the convicts.. I dont agree with abusing them like that but its fair to make them useful and also reward the hard working ones and maybe issue pardons every now and then and free them,,,,

rememeber the prophet said if any enemy combatant teaches 10 muslims how to read and write he will be set free and he did so accordingly.

its better than life sentence or execution

Edited by alimohamad40

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^ What if the convicts are dangerous, psychotic serial killers? It would be detrimental for someone to possess such persons because they would be murdered. Also, finding any nook and cranny to free these inmates would obviously be detrimental for society. So I don't see how that would work in this day and age.

How were slave owners protected from an attack by his/her slave who was from an enemy opposition?

And where were women slaves coming from?

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^ What if the convicts are dangerous, psychotic serial killers? It would be detrimental for someone to possess such persons because they would be murdered. Also, finding any nook and cranny to free these inmates would obviously be detrimental for society. So I don't see how that would work in this day and age.

In the U.S. some prisons have factories and farms inside...there are even chain gangs where the prisoners have to work outside on the highways (the less dangerous ones) and the prisoners earn their keep instead of eating away the tax payers dollars.....I support this. Alot of them even learn a trade from these factories when they are in prison and sometimes it helps them land a job on the outside.They are criminals and have to earn their way back into society. As for the psycho serial killers...they are usually isolated and even executed in some states.

How were slave owners protected from an attack by his/her slave who was from an enemy opposition?

I just posted in the other thread that I think there were actually a few slave uprisings...I will have to research it when I have time.

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In the cases of wars, the victorius party would acquire the spoils of wars. They Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to grant amnesty to family members of the party that lost the war. As long as they abide in the Islamic state peacefully and pay the tax, they and their family would be protected.

If this was true, then where were the female slaves coming from?

Unsurprisingly, there was no answer to my question. The fact is that the families were not 'protected', rather they were mostly taken as slaves. For example, in the case of the Banu Qurayza, alluded to in the Qur'an:

And Allah turned back the unbelievers in their rage; they did not obtain any advantage, and Allah sufficed the believers in fighting; and Allah is Strong, Mighty. And He drove down those of the followers of the Book who backed them from their fortresses and He cast awe into their hearts; some you killed and you took captive another part. And He made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property, and (to) a land which you have not yet trodden, and Allah has power over all things. [33:25-27, Shakir]

Of course, it was the men who were killed, and the women and children who were taken captive. Supposedly they were judged according to the book of Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy 20 (NIV)

10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies.

And here the Qur'an explictly mentions slave girls taken as spoils of war:

O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who fled with you; and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to marry her-- specially for you, not for the (rest of) believers; We know what We have ordained for them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess in order that no blame may attach to you; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. [33:50]

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