Noten 49 t/m 51/Wilders and his Boy Afshin Ellian


Muhammad ibn Abdullah[n 1] (Arabic: مُحَمَّد ٱبن عَبْد ٱللَّٰه, romanizedMuḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh, Classical Arabic pronunciation: [muˈħammad]; c. 570 – 8 June 632 CE)[1][2] was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of the world religion of Islam








””Prohibiting slavery in the context of seventh-century Arabiaapparently would has been as useful as prohibitingpoverty; it would have reflected a noble ideal butwould have been unworkable on an immediate basis without establishing an entirely new socioeconomic system”

Slavery and Islamic law

Law and slavery

Islamic law and custom provided no basis for the abolition of slavery or even for the curtailment of the slave trade.

Bernard Lewis, The Shaping of the Modern Middle East, 1994

Although the vast majority of contemporary Muslims abhor slavery, it remains part of their religious law.

‘Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Shari’a and Basic Human Rights Concerns, in Liberal Islam, ed Charles Kurzman, 1998


Islamic sharia law accepted (and accepts) slavery, as did other legal systems of ancient times such as Roman law, Hebrew law, Byzantine Christian law, African customary law and Hindu law.

The world was very different in those days, and practices that seem profoundly unethical to modern minds were common and accepted.

During the formative stages of shari’a (and for the next millennium at least) there was no conception of universal human rights anywhere in the world. Slavery was an established and lawful institution in many parts of the world throughout this period…

‘Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Shari’a and Basic Human Rights Concerns, in Liberal Islam, ed Charles Kurzman, 1998

Slavery was too fundamental to the structure of Arabian society in the 7th century to be abolished easily. Doing so would have estranged many of the tribes that Muhammad sought to bring together, and severely disrupted the working of society.

Prohibiting slavery in the context of seventh-century Arabia apparently would have been as useful as prohibiting poverty; it would have reflected a noble ideal but would have been unworkable on an immediate basis without establishing an entirely new socioeconomic system.

Jacob Neusner, Tamara Sonn, Comparing Religions through Law: Judaism and Islam, 1999

But this was a problem, since Islam placed a high value on human dignity and freedom.

The fact that slavery is a major concern in Islamic law no doubt stems from the prevalence of slavery at the time when Islam was instituted combined with the fact that the Qur’an clearly presents universal freedom and human dignity as its ideal society. Its recommendation that slaves be freed is on the same plane as its recommendation that the poor be clothed and the hungry be fed.

Jacob Neusner, Tamara Sonn, Comparing Religions through Law: Judaism and Islam, 1999

So the early Muslims restricted and regulated slavery to remove some of its cruelties, but accepted that it was legal.

… The most that shari’a could do, and did in fact do, in that historical context was to modify and lighten the harsh consequences of slavery and discrimination on grounds of religion or gender…

Shari’a recognized slavery as an institution but sought to restrict the sources of acquisition of slaves, to improve their condition, and to encourage their emancipation through a variety of religious and civil methods.

Nevertheless, slavery is lawful under shari’a to the present day.

‘Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Shari’a and Basic Human Rights Concerns, in Liberal Islam, ed Charles Kurzman, 1998

Is slavery still legal in Islam?

The answer is that slavery is legal under Islamic law but only in theory. Slavery is illegal under the state law of all Muslim countries.

Theoretically Islamic law lays down that if a person was captured in a lawful jihad or was the descendent of an unbroken chain of people who had been lawfully enslaved, then it might be legal to enslave them.

Nonetheless, should the legal condition for the enslavement of anyone be proven (because he had been taken prisoner fighting against Islam with a view to its extirpation and persisted in invincible ignorance in his sacrilegious and infidel convictions, or because there did exist legal proof that all his ancestors without exception had been slaves descended from a person taken prisoner conducting a warfare of such invincible ignorance) Islam would be bound to recognize such slavery as legal, even though recommending the freeing of the person and if possible his conversion, in this modern age.

Tabandeh, Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, quoted in ‘Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Shari’a and Basic Human Rights Concerns, in Liberal Islam, ed Charles Kurzman, 1998

In practice, it seems virtually impossible that there will ever again be a jihad that is lawfully declared according to the strict letter of the law, and there are no living descendants of lawful slaves, which means that legal enslavement is unthinkable.

The law on slavery

Islamic law recognises slavery as an institution within society, and attempts to regulate and restrict it in various ways.

Different Islamic legal schools differ in their interpretation of Islamic law on slavery. Local customs in Muslim lands also affected the way slaves were treated.

In the merchant cities of South-East Asia the sharia helped forge a legal distinction between slave and non-slave unknown in the rural hinterland.

More frequently, however, the application of the sharia outside the Middle East was tempered by local customs. This allowed Muslims in regions as distant as Somalia, India and Indonesia to argue for the maintenance of pre-Islamic and other local structures of slavery even if these ran counter to the prescriptions of the sharia.

Gwyn Campbell; Frank Cass, The Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia, 2004

Islamic law clearly recognises that slaves are human beings, but it frequently treats slaves as if they are property, laying down regulations covering the buying and selling of slaves.

It encourages the freeing of slaves, which has the good effect of diminishing the slave population of a culture and, paradoxically, the bad effect of encouraging those whose livelihood depends on slave labour to find new ways of acquiring slaves.

Who can be enslaved

Under Islamic law people can only be legally enslaved in two circumstances:

  • as the result of being defeated in a war that was legal according to sharia
  • if they are born as the child of two slave parents

Other legal systems of the time allowed people to be enslaved in a far wider range of circumstances.

The sharia limits were often either ignored or evaded, and many instances of slave trading by Muslims were in fact illegal, but tolerated.

The following groups of people cannot be made slaves:

  • Free Muslims, but note that:
    • Slaves who convert to Islam are not automatically freed
    • Children born to legally enslaved Muslims are also slaves
  • Dhimmis

Slave rights

Islamic law gives slaves certain rights:

  • Slaves must not be mistreated or overworked, but should be treated well
  • Slaves must be properly maintained
  • Slaves may take legal action for a breach of these rules, and may be freed as a result
  • Slaves may own property
  • Slaves may own slaves
  • Slaves can get married if their owner consents
  • Slaves may undertake business on the owner’s behalf
  • Slaves guilty of crimes can only be given half the punishment that would be given to a non-slave (although some schools of Islamic law do allow the execution of a slave who commits murder)
  • A female slave cannot be separated from her child while it is under 7 years old
  • Female slaves cannot be forced into prostitution

Slave rights to freedom

Islamic law allows slaves to get their freedom under certain circumstances. It divides slaves with the right to freedom into various classes:

  • The mukatab: a slave who has the contractual right to buy their freedom over time
  • The mudabbar: a slave who will be freed when their owner dies (this might not happen if the owner’s estate was too small)
  • The umm walid, a female slave who had borne her owner a child

Slaves must accept

  • Owners are allowed to have sex with their female slaves

Restrictions on slaves

Islamic law imposes many restrictions on slaves:

  • Slaves cannot carry out some religious roles
  • Slaves can have only limited authority
  • Slaves cannot be witnesses in court
  • Killing a slave does not carry the death penalty in most schools of Islamic law
  • Slaves are punishable under Islamic law if they commit a crime – although for some major crimes they only receive half the punishment of free people

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