In the name of God the compassionate the merciful
In the first part of “True Islam answers” we addressed the Islamic attitude on non-Muslims and in the second part we studied war and Jihad in Islam.
In the following chapter we have a look at the slaves and slavery in Islam and the Islamic solution for eliminating the slavery.
How Islam eliminated the slavery from the society
1400 years ago and before the emergence of Islam, slavery was a tradition in the Arab peninsula like anywhere else. It is said that there were several ways which caused some one to become a slave. For instance if the debtor couldn’t pay back the money he had borrowed, he had to be the slave of his creditor. Therefore the slave trade was common in the society until Islam came to existence. It’s obvious that Islam was opposed to slavery but how was it possible to annul this wrong tradition while there were many rich people who had benefits in exploiting the slaves and were not willing to free them?
If Islam had annulled this tradition at once, opponents and proponents of the slavery would have broken out bloodshed like what happened in USA in 1861-1865 (American Civil War).
Therefore Islam’s solution initially was banning enslaving people through various such as not paying back the debt. Therefore enslaving through all the ways were prohibited except one way which was “war”. In the other words If the enemy invaded Muslim society, Muslims were allowed to defend themselves and if possible capture the invaders. The captives became slaves in order to serve the community and of course Muslims were recommended to treat them in a kindly manner. But even limiting the slavery to enslaving the captives was not final end of Islam. Therefore after a while, some verses of Quran sent down to Prophet Muhammad, started encouraging Muslims to free the slaves. As we read in Quran (2:177) that freeing the slaves is one of the signs of righteousness. And also the verses (90:12-13): “And what can make you know what is [breaking through] the difficult pass? It is the freeing of a slave. “
It is to be said that the punishment of some of sins and crimes is also freeing the slaves based on Quran:
The verse (5:89) prescribes the punishment of breaking the oath as: “feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave.”
According to above-mentioned policies, people started freeing the slaves enthusiastically in order to get pure and be forgiven. And it was how the slavery vanished from the society gradually without any war or bloodshed.
But there is a fundamental question: Are we allowed to have slaves these days like what Isis members do? Of course not. Because Islam’s will was annulling the slavery step by step and we are not permitted to revive such a tradition.
Be with us in next chapters.
DUA: Allah please accept this from us. You are All-Hearing and All-Knowing. You are The Most Forgiving.You are The Most Relenting and repeatedly Merciful. Allah grant us The Taufiq to read all the 5 prayers with sincerity.
(Taken from:To Be Earnest In Prayers By Amina Elahi)
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