Slavery is a system in which people are treated as property (servant) to be bought and sold as well as they are forced to work by the owner who use to buy. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth and take away from the right to live, right to work or from the demand of any kinds of compensation. In Islam, history of slavery is very old and it has much importance according to Islamic law. It is learnt that slavery practices was developed in Pre-Islamic Arabia. At that time, captives or prisoners were either enslaved or killed during the wars between various tribes or states in different parts of the world.
There are interesting facts about the slavery practice and it is one of the most controversial things in the world history. Although, the history of slavery has had been in every society across the globe but Muslim community dominated these practices at great height. The Islamic prophet Muhammad along with his many companions reformed the system by placing by placing prisoners in the private custody of Muslim soldiers rather than the public or state custody. In private custody, there were no official prisons available in the newly created Muslim state in Madina headed by the prophet Muhammad.
In The Quran (holy book) and The Hadith (the sayings of Muhammad), it is mentioned about slavery practices as an exception condition that can be entered into some certain as well as limited situations. These situations were like only children of Non-Muslim prisoners or slaves could become slaves, never a freeborn Muslim could be. According to holy books, manumission of a slave is considered to be one of many meritorious deeds available for the expiation of sins. According to Sharia, slaves are considered human beings and possessed some rights on the basis of their humanity. Moreover, a Muslim slave is equal to a Muslim freeman as far as religious issues are concerned while they are considered superior to the free non-Muslim.
Although, thoughts of historians differ from each other however they have consensus in some issues as far as slavery practices are concerned in Muslim community. Clearly, it is evident as per the Quran that Muslims believe that taking slaves in war was a God-given right. In most cases, these slaves were considered as “the spoils of the war” or “booty”. Moreover, owners can buy slaves to others as per their specific needs and requirements.
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