Islam systematized slavery as Muhammad began to take slaves after he had power and moved to Madina. Slaves are usually taken in raids from Arab tribes or wars either through defensive or offensive actions. Takings slaves are considered as “reward for fighting” or “booty” by in Muslim community. They have participated in various “jihads” and attacked to other non-Muslim groups to obtain slave. There has been changing in regulations for the proper treatment of slaves from time to time. In spite of that abuses have been occurring to the slaves throughout the history. In western culture, slavery is considered as terrible and sinful and it lasted for hundreds of years.
Arabic region is considered as the place of commencement of slavery in Muslim community as the community authorizes the taking of slaves as spoils of war. The history of slaves in Islam is of more than 1400 years old and from the last 1300 to 1350 years; they have been promoting slavery throughout the world. Some historians and scholars have estimated that 15-25% of slaves brought over from Africa were Muslims. The Quran (Holy book of Islam) and The Hadith (sayings of Muhammad) also prescribe humanitarian approach to slavery. The credit for starting to reform the slavery practice goes to the prophet Muhammad. They used to place prisoners in private custody rather than public or state custody. In that private custody, there were no official prisoners in the newly created state Madina headed by Muhammad.
The Arab slave trade was most active and renowned in the Western Asia, East Africa and North Africa. In modern era, it has been reduced and suppressed in Muslim countries due to pressure exerted by Western nations along with many other countries throughout the world. It has been widely practiced in the early medieval time as well as pre-Islamic Arabia. There are majority of slaves belong to Ethiopia and merchants grew rich by selling them. It is said that the prophet Muhammad had also relations with at least one of his slave girls, named Mariyah who is his Coptic slave. Mariyah along with her sister Sirin were slaves given as gifts to Muhammad. Muhammad liked Mariya who is pretty good with white complexion and curly hair and they gave Sirin to Hasan Thabit who is the poet.
In the Quran, it has been mentioned to not to force female slaves into prostitution without their consent. Moreover, slaves should be allowed to marry with other person if she desire so. Thus, it can be said the slavery in Muslim has been occurring for many years.
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