Muslim Resistance to the Abolition of Slavery in the Islamic Empire.

Muslim Resistance to the Abolition of Slavery in the Islamic Empire.

As the European colonial era approached its end, Western forces sought even more to abolish norms that were inconsistent with the UDHR charter. One of such norms, prevalent in many societies for millennia, was slavery. The Islamic empire was the largest empire pre the rise of the West. In Islamic societies, a tripartite model of slavery, inaugurated into Islam by Prophet Muhammad fully thrived. It encompassed domestic enslavement, chattel slavery and slave concubinage. It was Prophet Muhammad himself who personally inaugurated wholesale enslavement of disbelievers for selling or engaging in concubinage and household work. He very well freed some slaves as an exemplary act of goodwill, but he enslaved many more. Prophet Muhammad certified slave trade when he sold his enslaved Banu Qurayza (Jewish) captive women to Najd for acquiring weapons and horses, while forbidding anyone from enslaving the born Muslim. Muslim apologists often argue that Prophet Muhammad never really endorsed slavery, but merely allowed it since it was already prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia. They then refer to the fact that Muhammad also preached manumission to his followers, and personally freed slaves himself, as a testament to the aforementioned premise. The fact of the matter however is that slavery of the vanquished infidels was an integral component of the Islamic empire’s booming economy. Slave trade remained a vital source of wealth in the Islamic world throughout the reigns of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (632-60), the Umayyads (661-750) and the Abbasids Continue reading

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