Is Slavery In Islam Encouraged?


Quran verses on slavery in Islam

A common argument is that slavery in Islam is encouraged, or that Islam did not eradicate slavery. In the Quran slaves are referred to as ‘those whom your right hand possess.’ The Quran actually teaches to free slaves in many verses:

And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake – then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased’s family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity – 4:92

And those who pronounce thihar (leaving their wife) from their wives and then [wish to] go back on what they said – then [there must be] the freeing of a slave before they touch one another. That is what you are admonished thereby; and Allah is Acquainted with what you do. 58:3

Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the 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. – 5:89

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 Allah has given to you. – 24:33

Sexual slavery in Islam is forbidden

Another common argument is that sex with slaves is permitted in Islam. This can easily be proved incorrect. There is no such thing as sex outside of marriage in Islam as it is one of the major sins. Sex is only permitted after marriage. Here is the verse taken out of context:

And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. 4:24

If we look at the rest of the verse:

And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. [This is] the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, if they desire chastity, to seek [thereby] the temporary interests of worldly life. 24:33

It is clear that sex with slaves is not permitted. You have to marry your slave first which would free them. They would then be your wife and no longer your slave. Only then is sex permitted. Here are other verses also mentioning that you must marry the slave first before you can have sex:

And whoever among you cannot [find] the means to marry free, believing women, then [he may marry] from those whom your right hands possess of believing slave girls. 4:25

And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]. 4:3

Why did Islam not ban slavery

Slavery was not something that could be banned overnight. At the time of the 7th century there was no period in human history where slavery did not exist. Slavery dates back to the earliest known records of human civilisations in ancient Egypt, India and China.

Slaves depended on their masters for food and shelter. Immediately banning slavery would make former slaves homeless and unable to provide for themselves. There were slaves where their fathers, grandfathers and their entire family history was all in slavery. However some slaves were even better off than some free people, who were struggling to provide for themselves. Many free people would sell themselves into slavery if they struggled to feed themselves.

A modern day analogy would be computers. Hypothetically, if we found out that computers emit radiation which causes cancer. Could we then ban computers immediately? Of course not. Planes without coordination would be colliding with each other, cars would crash into each other without traffic lights, just to name a few of the problems that it would cause. Computers could only be banned gradually.

Computers are so embedded in modern  society similar to how slavery was so embedded in ancient civilisations. Islam knew it could not be eradicated immediately but gradually. Islam also taught to treat slaves better and to give them rights as slavery was being gradually phased out and becoming less common.

And Allah has favored some of you over others in provision. But those who were favored would not hand over their provision to those whom their right hands possess so they would be equal to them therein. Then is it the favor of Allah they reject? 16:71

Under Islam, a slave could ask their master to free them at any time. Slavery in Islam was more of an occupation for poor people to support themselves. They were given the same rights as free people such as marrying free people. Under non-Muslim slavery, slaves were considered sub-human and they were forbidden from marrying free people.

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 Allah has given to you. – 24:33

If that is not enough, then here is another verse teaching to free slaves.

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. – 2:177

It can be concluded that anyone who claims Islam promotes slavery or sex with slaves is ignorant about Islam.


Do you agree or disagree? Feel free to comment below.

Share this page on:

What Is The History Behind Extremist Muslims


Name of the ideology extremist Muslims follow

The roots of modern day extremist Muslims can be traced to the last 200 years. When an extremist Muslim kills innocent people through suicide bombings what are the cycle of events that takes place? The media reports how many people are killed, world leaders state the obvious and condemn the attacks, and the cycle repeats. No one looks at or discusses the root cause of the problem.

The name of the ideology that Muslim extremists follow is Wahhabism. Wahhabism was founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the 18th century.

However where were all of the suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in the 19th and 20th centuries if Wahhabism is the reason for extremist Muslims. There are some other important factors that has played a role.

Saudi oil funding extremism

The first factor was the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia in 1938. Oil provided Saudi Arabia with vasts amount of wealth to spread it’s ideology Wahhabism throughout the Middle East and Africa.

The Saudis built thousands of Mosques and paid thousands of preachers to spread it’s ideology. The extremist Muslim preachers target poor regions in rural regions because most people there are uneducated let alone educated on Islam.

It is easier to brainwash people who know very little about Islam and follow cultural practices rather than people who are educated on Islam.

It has taken the Saudis a few decades from 1938 to create a generation of Muslim extremists in the Middle East and Africa who have joined extremist groups causing the problems we are now seeing.

Terrorism being used to defeat the Soviets

The next factor that played a very important role was the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan during the cold war. To defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the US funded Muslim extremists through Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. “Oddly” one of those extremists was Osama Bin Laden.

The Muslim extremists formed a group known as the Mujahideen who fought the Soviet Union forcing them to withdraw from Afghanistan. This was important because it was the first case in history where extremists were used and they were successful in achieving the political interests of the US.

Terrorist groups suddenly popping up in the last few decades

The Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1986. Now lets look at the years when recent Muslim extremist groups were formed:

Al Qaeda – 1988

Taliban – 1994

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IS) – 1999

Boko Haram in Nigeria – 2002

Al Shabab in Somalia – 2006

If the Mujahideen was created by the US, did the other groups just suddenly pop into existence out of nowhere on their own? Perhaps the groups turned to extremism after carrying out the work for the US’s political interests in the Middle East? Or maybe the US is also funding other extremist groups to get rid of other leaders like Gaddafi, Assad. That is for you to decide. However the link is clear between the US supporting extremist groups and then other extremist groups suddenly appearing around the same time.

However it is common sense that groups who fight government armies and who take over countries need lots of recruiting, organising and training. The Taliban has existed for 23 years, why does no one question where their weapons are coming from and who has funded them over a period of 23 years?.

These are the questions the media and government leaders should be focusing on in order to combat Muslim extremists.

The reason the media and governments turn a blind eye on these questions is because the media and governments benefit from terrorism.


Do you agree or disagree? Feel free to comment below.

Share this page on:

Does Islam teach to kill Non-Muslims

One of most common arguments against Islam is that it teaches to kill non-Muslims. Islam does not teach pacifism because it deals with reality. We would all like to live in a world with no violence where everything can be settled verbally and peacefully.

However the reality is that you will come across some people who are physically violent who can only be stopped with physical force. Hence why it is necessary for even the police to use physical force in some circumstances.

However the basic premise of Islam when it comes to violence is self defence. Islam only permits physical force against someone in self defence and if they stop being physically violent then you must also stop.

You can take verses out of context from any book to make the book portray whatever message you intend. To understand any verse of the Quran you need to

  • Consider the context of the verse within the chapter.
  • The historical context of when the verse was revealed to learn who the verse is addressed to.
  • The tafsir for the verse which is an exegesis explained by scholars hundreds of years ago so people do not misinterpret verses.

Majority of the verses can be explained by reading the very next verse or the previous verse. Some verses can only be understood by reading the tafsir for the verse.

Here are common verses taken out of context from the Quran being explained:

Misquoted Quran VerseExegesis
Fighting is ordained for you, even though it be hateful to you; but it may well be that you hate a thing the while it is good for you, and it may well be that you love a thing the while it is bad for you: and God knows, whereas you do not know. - 2:216This verse is stating that Muslims should fight only to defend their right to believe in Islam. There were very few Muslims when the message of Islam was first revealed. Therefore Muslims were a minority and they were persecuted and killed for just believing in Islam. The people in power at the time did not like some of the teachings of Islam. This is not stating that Muslims should fight Non-Muslims in the 21st century, this verse is addressed to the Muslims in the 7th century. This is clear if you read the very next verse:

They ask you about the sacred month - about fighting therein. Say, "Fighting therein is great [sin], but averting [people] from the way of Allah and disbelief in Him and [preventing access to] al-Masjid al-Haram and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater [evil] in the sight of Allah. And fitnah is greater than killing." And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able. - 2:217
And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. 2:191This verse is stating that Muslims should fight only to defend their right to believe in Islam. It teaches to only fight those who fight you (the oppressors), you should not transgress and if they cease to fight then so should you. Again this verse is addressed to just the Muslims during the 7th century and not Muslims during the 21st century. This is clear if you read the previous verse and the very next two verses:

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. - 2:190

And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. - 2:192

Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors. - 2:193
And fight in the cause of Allah and know that Allah is Hearing and Knowing. - 2:244It should be clear from the other verses that fighting is only taught to defend and fight oppressors and you should not transgress. Notice how this verse says 'know that Allah is hearing and knowing' it is reminder that you should not transgress when you are fighting oppressors because Allah will know everything that you do. Again it is clear that it is talking about fighting oppressors if you read two verses later:

Have you not considered the assembly of the Children of Israel after [the time of] Moses when they said to a prophet of theirs, "Send to us a king, and we will fight in the way of Allah "? He said, "Would you perhaps refrain from fighting if fighting was prescribed for you?" They said, "And why should we not fight in the cause of Allah when we have been driven out from our homes and from our children?" But when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned away, except for a few of them. And Allah is Knowing of the wrongdoers. - 2:246
So let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. And he who fights in the cause of Allah and is killed or achieves victory - We will bestow upon him a great reward. - 4:74This verse is referring to fighting for the cause of Allah, which is fighting people oppressing Muslim men, women and children for just being Muslim. This verse does not mean Muslims should fight non-Muslims in the 21st century. This is clear if you read the very next verse:

And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, "Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?" - 4:75
They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper. - 4:89This verse is referring to fighting people oppressing Muslim men, women and children for just being Muslim. This verse does not mean Muslims should fight non-Muslims in the 21st century. This is clear if you read the very next verse:

Except for those who take refuge with a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty or those who come to you, their hearts strained at [the prospect of] fighting you or fighting their own people. And if Allah had willed, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So if they remove themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause [for fighting] against them. - 4:90
And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah . And if they cease - then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do. - 8:39This verse is referring to fighting people being hostile and oppressive to Muslims. It is not referring to fighting people because they are non-Muslim. This is clear if you read the previous verse:

Say to those who have disbelieved [that] if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them. But if they return [to hostility] - then the precedent of the former [rebellious] peoples has already taken place. - 8:38
And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease. - 9:12The part of the verse saying 'fight the leaders of disbelief' is normally take out of context. If we read the whole verse then it is clear that it teaches to fight people who broke peace treaties between Muslims and non-Muslims and who started attacking the prophet and Muslims. This is clear from the next verse:

Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers. - 9:13
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. - 9:29On the surface, this appears to be an open-ended command to fight non-Muslims until they are conquered. However, a fundamental principle of Quranic exegesis (tafseer) is that the verses must be understood in the context in which they were revealed (asbab an-nuzul) and in conjunction with other verses delineating the rules of warfare.

The verse 9:29 is a command to fight the Byzantine Romans and other hostile powers who were planning an invasion against the Muslims in Arabia. In context, it is a distinct response to aggression, in particular the assassination of one of the Prophet’s ambassadors.

At-Tabari and other commentators record that this verse was revealed concerning the expedition of

Tabuk. At-Tabari records:
Mujahid reported concerning the verse, “Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day…” that it was revealed when Muhammad and his companions were commanded with the expedition of Tabuk.
Source: Tafseer At-Tabari 9:29

Ibn Al-Qayyim writes:
The cause of the battle was that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, sent Harith ibn Umair Al-Azdi of the tribe of Lihb with his letter to Syria for the Roman king or Busra. He presented it to Sharhabeel ibn Amr Al-Ghassani and he bound him and struck his neck. Never had an ambassador of the Messenger of Allah been killed besides him. The Prophet was upset by that when news reached him and he dispatched an expedition.
Source: Zaad Al-Ma’ad 336

Safiur Rahman writes:
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had sent Al-Harith ibn Umair Al-Azdi on an errand to carry a letter to the ruler of Busra. On his way, he was intercepted by Sharhabeel ibn Amr Al-Ghassani, the governor of Al-Balqa and a close ally to Caesar, the Byzantine Emperor. Al-Harith was tied and beheaded by Al-Ghassani.
Source: The Sealed Nectar p. 245

This was the first act of Roman aggression that further led to the expedition of Tabuk concerning which the verse 9:29 was revealed. The verse describes the aggressors as those “who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day,” because they committed this act of treachery. Executing emissaries from other countries is a war crime that could never be committed by those who sincerely believe in God.

Therefore, this context must be understood when reading verse 9:29 so that we clearly know who should be fought, specifically the aggressors among the Jews and Christians in the 7th century and not all of them. Rather, many other verses of the Quran make clear that it is unlawful to initiate hostilities against other nations.
Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him]. - 9:36The part of the verse saying 'And fight against the disbelievers collectively' is normally take out of context. If we read the whole verse then it is clear that it teaches 'And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively' It only permits fighting against people who fight you. Which is the same message as many other verses.

Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him]. - 9:36
Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah ? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment. - 9:111The first part of the verse is referring to when a believer dies, they lose their life and they leave their belongings behind but God gives them paradise in return. Then the verse says 'they fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed.' From the numerous other verses it should be clear what Allah's cause is. It is to fight oppressors. Again this verse does not give the right to attack non-Muslims.
O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous. - 9:123This verse again is not talking about all disbelievers. It is talking about the oppressors who were killing Muslims and who tried to kill prophet Muhammad leaving the Muslims with the only option of leaving Madinah in the 7th century. This is clear if you read a few verses back:

It was not [proper] for the people of Madinah and those surrounding them of the bedouins that they remain behind after [the departure of] the Messenger of Allah or that they prefer themselves over his self. That is because they are not afflicted by thirst or fatigue or hunger in the cause of Allah, nor do they tread on any ground that enrages the disbelievers, nor do they inflict upon an enemy any infliction but that is registered for them as a righteous deed. Indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of the doers of good.
Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory. - 22:39This mentions to fight but again it is clear from the verse that Muslims are only permitted to fight in self defense
Already Allah knows the hinderers among you and those [hypocrites] who say to their brothers, "Come to us," and do not go to battle, except for a few, - 33:18This verse is not referring to Muslims fighting non-Muslims. It is referring to the Muslims who ran away and left other Muslims to suffer and be killed at hands of oppressors. The verse calls those Muslims hypocrites because they should have helped defend Muslims from being killed by oppressors and they should have put their trust in God, instead of running away. This is clear if you read a few verses before:

O you who have believed, remember the favor of Allah upon you when armies came to [attack] you and We sent upon them a wind and armies [of angels] you did not see. And ever is Allah, of what you do, Seeing.
[Remember] when they came at you from above you and from below you, and when eyes shifted [in fear], and hearts reached the throats and you assumed about Allah [various] assumptions.
There the believers were tested and shaken with a severe shaking.
And [remember] when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease said, " Allah and His Messenger did not promise us except delusion,"
And when a faction of them said, "O people of Yathrib, there is no stability for you [here], so return [home]." And a party of them asked permission of the Prophet, saying, "Indeed, our houses are unprotected," while they were not exposed. They did not intend except to flee. 33 : 9 - 13

 

Share this page on: