This is a sensitive subject for Muslims because many of them really believe that Islam abolished slavery. That’s what I thought when I was a Muslim, because that is what we were told in school. The sad truth is that Islam absolutely condoned slavery and Mohammad was actually a slave owner and a slave trader. There are many verses from the Quran and the Hadith (Mohammad’s Teachings) that are dedicated to telling people how to deal with the slaves. This includes the many women that were captured by the Muslims at war and used as sex slaves, or as they would call them… “those whom your right hands possess”.
There might have been a couple times where Muslims were told to treat their slaves nicely, or promised a great reward in heaven if they choose to free a slave. But there is NOT A SINGLE VERSE in the Quran or Hadith that abolishes slavery! In fact, the only times that Muslims were required to free ONE slave (with no payment) is as a punishment for a sin they have committed! That is NOT abolishing slavery! That is saying that if you are good, you can keep your slaves. A slave might be allowed to BUY his freedom only if his master agrees to some kind of payment. That should be a crime! You should not have to BUY your freedom.
I always knew that slavery was condoned in the bible, but I never for a second thought that Islam allowed it until I did my own research. You know why? Because they are not going to teach you that in schools. They are not going to admit that the Quran and Hadith are flawed. That would be a real embarrassment for Muslims.
Slavery in the Quran and Hadith
I read many verses in the Quran and the Hadith that discussed slavery, and this is just asummary of what I have learned:
A slave and his master are NOT equal
Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another; He has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to Allah. But most of them understand not. (Quran 16:75) (See also Quran 2:178)
Slaves were definitely property and they can be used to pay off debt.
Narrated Jabir: A man manumitted (freed) a slave and he had no other property than that, so the Prophet cancelled the manumission (and sold the slave for him). No’aim bin Al-Nahham bought the slave from him.
(Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 41, Number 598)
Men are allowed to use women as sex slaves if they were prisoners of war
O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee (Quran 33:50) (See also Quran 23:5-6, 70:29-30, 4:24, 8:69) (See also Sahih Bukhari 62:137, 34:432)
Mohammad was a slave trader and owner
Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) reported: There came a slave and pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) on migration; he (the Holy Prophet) did not know that he was a slave. Then there came his master and demanded him back, whereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Sell him to me. And he bought him for two black slaves, and he did not afterwards take allegiance from anyone until he had asked him whether he was a slave (or a free man)
(Sahih Muslim 10:3901)
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: A man amongst us declared that his slave would be freed after his death. The Prophet called for that slave and sold him. The slave died the same year.
(Sahih Bukhari 3:46:711) (See also Sahih Bukhari 34:351, 72:734, and Sahih Muslim 4112)
In fact, Mohammad said that it is better to give away a slave to a relative, rather than to free one
Narrated Kurib: the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbas, that Maimuna bint Al-Harith told him that she manumitted (freed) a slave-girl without taking the permission of the Prophet. On the day when it was her turn to be with the Prophet, she said, “Do you know, O Allah’s Apostle, that I have manumitted my slave-girl?” He said, “Have you really?” She replied in the affirmative. He said, “You would have got more reward if you had given her (i.e. the slave-girl) to one of your maternal uncles.”
(Sahih Bukhari 3:47:765)
Slaves are not allowed to marry anyone without the permission of their master
“Ibn Umar reported the prophet as saying: “If a slave marries without the permission of his master, his marriage is null and void.”
(Abu Dawud, Vol. 2, Ch. 597, No. 2074)
It is OK to beat your slave
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Zam’a: The Prophet said, “None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day.”
(Sahih Bukhari 7:62:132) (See also Abu Dawud 1814)
You are allowed to rape female prisoners of war even if they are married (because their captivity is equivalent to divorce).
Sa’id al-Khudri reported that at the Battle of Hunain Allah’s Messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that:” And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (Quran 4:. 24)” (i. e. they were lawful for them when their ‘Idda period came to an end).
(Sahih Muslim 8:3432)
“And all married women (are forbidden unto you) except those (captives) whom your right hands possess (because their captivity is equivalent to divorce).” (Qur’an 4:24)
These are only a SOME of the verses in the Quran and Hadith about slavery. It’s just really sad and SICK! I can’t believe Muslims even try to come up with excuses and reasons why slavery was allowed. They come up with whatever they can to defend Islam. One of the excuses that I heard was that “times were different” back then and it was the norm during Mohammad’s time…. but isn’t Islam supposed to work for all generations? If there was something that violated human rights, “god” should have forbidden it, right? Another excuse I heard was that god could not just abolish slavery right away because it was a common practice. It had to be gradual… Just like drinking. If “god” just banned it, no one would want to convert to Islam. The difference is, drinking alcohol was eventually forbidden but slavery was never abolished!!
So what does Islam Teach Us?
Islam seems to forbid many little harmless things but ignores the bigger issues. Let’s see now…
You are NOT allowed to:
- Eat pork
- Play or listen to music
- Eat with your left hand
- Travel on your own (women)
- Wear silk (men)
- Uncover your hair (women)
- Have premarital sex
- Marry a non muslim (women)
- Have a homosexual relationship
- Criticize Islam, God, or Mohammad (Blasphemy)
- Leave Islam
But you ARE allowed to:
What kind of nonsense is this? It seems to me like “god” really got it backwards! You cannot enjoy life or think for yourself, but you can take away the basic human rights of someone. That is one sick god!!
You know…. Even if a god existed, and he allowed things like this to happen, I would never want to worship him anyway…