Table of Contents (part 3)


Islamic Claim: It was only the achievement of Islam that it encouraged to set the slaves free

Islam apologists claim that Islam alone encouraged the act of freeing slaves, but this assertion is completely incorrect. The truth is that the practice of freeing slaves existed in societies that predated Islam by thousands of years.

Even during the era of Muhammad, the polytheistic Kafir society also followed the tradition of liberating slaves as a virtuous act.

For example, Hakim Ibn Hazaam set 100 slaves free during the pre-Islamic time as a polytheist, in order to make his pagan gods happy.

Sahih Bukhari, Kitaab-ul-Atq (link):

أَنَّ حَکِيمَ بْنَ حِزَامٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ أَعْتَقَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ مِائَةَ رَقَبَةٍ
Hakim bin Hizam manumitted one-hundred slaves in the pre-lslamic period of ignorance

Hakim bin Hazaam manumitted those 100 slaves solely to appease his idol gods during the time of ignorance. However, this act does not nullify the other cruelties inflicted upon slaves by the pagan Arab culture.

Even in ancient Greece, a thousand years prior to Islam, they would liberate slaves as a humanitarian gesture. If a slave possessed money, they not only bought their own freedom but also the freedom of their fellow slaves. In the Roman Empire, it was common for owners to include in their wills that all their slaves would be emancipated upon their death. This practice became so widespread that King Augustus had to impose restrictions, allowing the manumission of a maximum of a hundred slaves, and fewer in smaller households. Eventually, this practice became so prevalent that Augustus decreed that no Roman slave could be freed before reaching the age of 30 (link).

Islam was unable to show the manumission of slaves at this huge level even after 1000 years.

Now compare it to Muhammad:

Sunan al-Nasa'i, 1960:

It was narrated from 'Imrân bin Husain that a man freed six slaves of his when he was dying, and he did not have any wealth apart from them. News of that reached the Prophet and he was angry about that. He said: "I was thinking of not offering the funeral prayer for him. He cast lots among them, then freed two and left four as slaves.

Classed sahih by al-Albani

In the pursuit of humanity, common Roman citizens liberated all their slaves. However, Muhammad took on a similar role as Augustus by imposing limitations on the number of slaves that could be emancipated.

Furthermore, let us not forget the Buddhists who were pioneers in completely abolishing the slave trade and slave markets. They later replaced the system of slavery with serfdom, granting freedom to all slaves. Islam lagged far behind the Buddhists in their treatment of slaves, yet Islamic preachers audaciously claim that only Islam encouraged the manumission of slaves.

Similar examples can be found in the Persian King "Cyrus the Great" and the Persian Sassanid Empire, where efforts were made to emancipate slaves.

Islamic Claim: The owner has to set the slave free if he slaps him

The most commonly cited defense of Islamic slavery by Muslim Preachers is the assertion that an owner must free his slave if he slaps them.

Regrettably, this claim is once again deceptive and does not accurately portray the full truth. In reality, it was merely a recommendation to liberate a slave for slapping, but the law did not impose any punishment on an owner, even if they were to kill their slave.

Islamic apologists present this tradition.

Sahih Muslim (link):

Abdullah Ibn Umar said: I heard Allah's Messenger say: He who beats a slave without cognizable offence of his or slaps him (without any serious fault), then expiation for it is that he should set him free.

So if the slave makes a mistake, then the master is still allowed to slap and beat him. This is important because it illustrates one of the most obvious differences between being an employee or a slave - the former can just walk away and get another job. If the latter walks away he can be beaten or worse, and forced back into service.

Moreover, the freeing of slave (even in case of beating without any cognizable offence) is merely a recommendation, and not an obligation. This is evident from the heading provided by Imam Bukhari, which states, "Someone who slaps his slave should free him even though he is under no obligation to do so." This same hadith is then recorded by him in his book al-Adab al-Mufrad.(link).

Imam Nawawi writes under the commentary of this tradition of Sahih Muslim (link):

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : من لطم مملوكه أو ضربه فكفارته أن يعتقه قال العلماء : في هذا الحديث الرفق بالمماليك ، وحسن صحبتهم وكف الأذى عنهم ، وكذلك في الأحاديث بعده ، وأجمع المسلمون على أن عتقه بهذا ليس واجبا ، وإنما هو مندوب رجاء كفارة ذنبه ، فيه إزالة إثم ظلمه . ومما استدلوا به لعدم وجوب إعتاقه : حديث سويد بن مقرن بعده : أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أمرهم حين لطم أحدهم خادمهم بعتقها ، قالوا : ليس لنا خادم غيرها ، قال : فليستخدموها ، فإذا استغنوا عنها فليخلوا سبيلها ، قال القاضي عياض : وأجمع العلماء أنه لا يجب إعتاق العبد لشيء مما يفعله به مولاه مثل هذا الأمر الخفيف ، قال : واختلفوا فيما كثر من ذلك وشنع ، من ضرب مبرح منهك لغير موجب لذلك ، أو حرقه بنار ، أو قطع عضوا له ، أو أفسده أو نحو ذلك مما فيه مثلة ، فذهب مالك وأصحابه والليث إلى عتق العبد على سيده بذلك ، ويكون ولاؤه له ، ويعاقبه السلطان على فعله ، وقال سائر العلماء : لا يعتق عليه .

The saying of the Prophet, peace be upon him: "Whoever slaps his slave or beats him, his expiation is to free him." The scholars have said regarding this Hadith: it emphasizes treating slaves kindly, good companionship with them, and protecting them from harm. Similarly, other Hadiths after this one emphasize the same point. The Muslim CONSENSUS (IJMA' إجمأع) is that freeing the slave in this case is not obligatory, but rather it is (only) recommended as a way of seeking forgiveness for one's sin and removing the burden of one's wrongdoing. One of the reasons that scholars use to support the view that freeing the slave is not obligatory is the Hadith of Suwayd ibn Muqarrin which comes after this one, where the Prophet ordered the people to free a slave when one of them slapped their servant, and they replied that they had no other servant. The Prophet said: "Then let them use her, and when they no longer need her, set her free." Al-Qadi 'Iyad said: "The Scholars UNANIMOUSLY agree that freeing the slave is not obligatory for anything the master does to him, such as in this minor case." However, they have differed regarding more severe and heinous actions, such as beating the slave severely without any justification, burning him with fire, cutting off a limb, damaging him, or similar actions. Some scholars, such as Malik, his companions, and al-Layth, have said that in such (severe) cases, the slave should be freed from his master, and his allegiance should be to the one who freed him, and the ruler should punish the master for his actions. Other scholars have said that freeing the slave is not obligatory (even) in such (severe) cases.

And when Muhammad's wife 'Aisha was being examined as to whether or not she committed adultery, Muhammad's son-in-law, Ali, brutally beat Aisha's slave in front of Muhammad, in order to ensure that she told the truth about Aisha.  Here is the quote from Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasulallah", translated as "The Life of Muhammad", by A. Guillaume, (page 496): 

"So the apostle called Burayra (Aisha's slave) to ask her, and Ali got up and gave her a violent beating saying, "Tell the apostle the truth,"....

Muhammad did not stop Ali from beating the slave.

And then again, we have a hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud, where Abu Bakr was beating his slave during the state of Ahraam (during Hajj), while the prophet was smiling and saying: Look at Abu Bakr, and what he is doing in the state of Ahraam.

Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 1818:

Narrated Asma' bint AbuBakr: We came out for performing hajj along with the Messenger of Allah. When we reached al-Araj, the Messenger of Allah alighted and we also alighted. Aisha sat beside the Messenger of Allah and I sat beside my father (AbuBakr). The equipment and personal effects of AbuBakr and of the Messenger of Allah were placed with AbuBakr's slave on a camel. AbuBakr was sitting and waiting for his arrival. He arrived but he had no camel with him. He asked: Where is your camel? He replied: I lost it last night. AbuBakr said: There was only one camel, even that you have lost. He then began to beat him while the Messenger of Allah was smiling and saying: Look at this man who is in the sacred state (putting on ihram), what is he doing? Ibn AbuRizmah said: The Messenger of Allah spoke nothing except the words: Look at this man who is in the sacred state (wearing ihram), what is he doing? He was smiling (when he uttered these words).

And then there are other traditions, which recorded the beating of the slaves, without setting them free.
وَلَا تَضْرِبْ ظَعِينَتَکَ کَضَرْبِکَ أُمَيَّتَکَ
and do not beat your wife as you beat your slave-girl.

Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 5204:

The Prophet said, "None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day." 

Please also remember how brutally the Companions (i.e. Sahaba) used to beat their wives, even with bruises, even more than Arab pagans beat their wives. 

Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 5825:

Rifa`a divorced his wife whereupon `AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. `Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot (bruise) on her skin caused by severe beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, `Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women (i.e. even the non-Muslim men don't beat their non-believing women so brutally). Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!

There were many companions who became famous for beating their wives. Please read our article: Wife Beating in Islam.

Thus, if Sharia allows men to beat their wives so brutally with bruises, then one can imagine how brutally they would have beaten their slaves. 

Furthermore, IslamQA, a very authentic source where people ask questions about islam spoke on the matter (link):

‎وكذلك الأمة ليس لها أن تمتنع من تلبية رغبة سيدها إلا من عذر ، فإن فعلت كانت عاصية ، وله أن يؤدبها بما يراه مناسباً وأذن الشرع به

It is not permissible for a concubine to deny intimacy to her master without a valid excuse, if she does this then she is disobedient sinner. And it will be permissible for her master to discipline her (by beating her) in a way which he think appropriate and is permissible in shariah”

Recommendations VS LAW (The recommendation is to set a slave free for slapping, but the LAW is an owner will not be punished even if he kills his slave)

Al-Hadaya is the famous jurisprudence book of Hanafi Fiqh. It is written in it (link):

ولا يقتل الرجل بعبده ولا مدبره ولا مكاتبه ولا بعبد ولده
A free man could not be killed for killing his slave, or a Muddbir slave (who will get freedom after the death of his owner), or a Mukkatib slave (who will get his freedom through a contract), or even for killing his own child. 

In Shafi'i Fiqh book "Umdat as-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller)", it is written (link):

ولا تجب الدية بقتل الحربي والمرتد ومن وجب رجمه بالبينة أو تحتم قتله في المحاربة ولا على السيد بقتل عبده.

Blood money (compensation) is not required for killing a person of the nation who is in fight with Muslims, an apostate, or someone whose punishment is stoning if the evidence is clear, or if killing them is necessary in combat. And a master also has to pay no blood money (compensation) for killing his slave.

Imam Qurtabi gathered the fatwas of Imams in his Tafsir of Quran (link):

والجمهور من العلماء لا يقتلون الحر بالعبد ، للتنويع والتقسيم في الآية . وقال أبو ثور : لما اتفق جميعهم على أنه لا قصاص بين العبيد والأحرار فيما دون النفوس كانت النفوس أحرى بذلك …
Majority of Scholars have this opinion that none of free Muslim could be killed in Qisas (equal compensation) for killing a slave, while the verse (Quran 2:178) divided their status in this way, as Abu Thoor mentioned that majority of Ulama agree that human status of a slave is lower than a free person ...

And Imam Abdullah Ibn Abi Zayd writes in his book (link):

ولا يقتل حر بعبد ويقتل به العبد ولا يقتل مسلم بكافر ويقتل به الكافر ولا قصاص بين حر وعبد في جرح ولا بين مسلم وكافر ۔۔۔ ومن قتل عبدا فعليه قيمته
A free man should not be put to death for murdering a slave, although a slave should be put to death for murdering a free man. And a Muslim should not be put to death for murdering an unbeliever, although an unbeliever should be put to death for murdering a believer …

Imam Shafi’i wrote in his book al-Am (link):

وكذلك لا يقتل الرجل الحر بالعبد بحال ، ولو قتل حر ذمي عبدا مؤمنا لم يقتل به۔
A free person will not be killed for the crime of killing a slave. Even if a free Kafir Dhimmi (i.e. protected person of Kafir minority in Islamic State) kills a slave, still that Kafir Dhimmi could not be killed for this crime.

And it is written in Hanbali Fiqh book “al-Insaaf” (link):

وَلَا يُقْتَلُ مُسْلِمٌ بِكَافِرٍ وَلَوْ ارْتَدَّ وَلَا حُرٌّ بِعَبْدٍ هذا الْمَذْهَبُ بِلَا رَيْبٍ وَعَلَيْهِ الْأصحاب
A Muslim could not be killed as punishment if he kills a Kafir … similarly, a free man could not be killed as punishment if he kills a slave. Indeed, this is the correct religion, upon which Sahaba (companions)

And there was absolutely no Qisas punishment for the owner for CASTRATING the slave boy and cutting his nose. 

Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Hadith 6671:

 أن زنباعا أبا روح وجد غلاما له مع جارية له فجدع أنفه وجبه فأتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال من فعل هذا بك قال زنباع فدعاه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال ما حملك على هذا فقال كان من أمره كذا وكذا فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم للعبد اذهب فأنت حر فقال يا رسول الله فمولى من أنا قال مولى الله ورسوله فأوصى به رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المسلمين قال فلما قبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم جاء إلى أبي بكر فقال وصية رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال نعم نجري عليك النفقة وعلى عيالك فأجراها عليه حتى قبض أبو بكر فلما استخلف عمر جاءه فقال وصية رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال نعم أين تريد قال مصر فكتب عمر إلى صاحب مصر أن يعطيه أرضا يأكلها

Translation (link):

Zanba Abi Rawh found his servant boy with a servant girl, so he maimed his nose and castrated him. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, came and he said, “Who did this to you?” The boy said, “Zanba.” The Prophet summoned him and he said, “What made you do this?” Zanba said, “He was misbehaving in such a way.” The Prophet said to the slave, “Go, for you are free.” The slave boy asked: “Who is my Maula (i.e. who is setting me free)?” The Prophet said, “Your Mawla is Allah and Prophet (i.e. you are set free by Allah and his messenger).” And the prophet also made a testament about his freedom (from Allah and his side). When the messenger died, then that slave boy came to Abu Bakr and told him about the testament of messenger. Abu Bakr said: "Yes I remember it. Let me give share of meny to you and your family from Bait-ul-Mal." And when Abu Bakr died, and Umar became the new caliph, then that slave boy came to him and told him about the testament of messenger. Umar also said: "Yes I remember it. Where do you want to go?" He told that he wanted to go to Egypt. Upon that Umar wrote a letter to the governor of Egypt to give him certain amount of land for his expenditures. 

Grade: Sahih (Ahmad Shakir)

Please also understand that a recommendation of one good deed does not make all the other cruelties null and void.  

Islamic Claim: It was only the achievement of Islam to give freedom to the “Umm Walad” (i.e. slave woman who gives birth to the owner’s child)

Another deception perpetrated by Islamic apologists is their claim that Islam was solely responsible for granting freedom to slave women who had given birth to their owner's child (referred to as Umm Walad in Islam). However, there are several important points to consider:

Firstly, it is entirely false to assert that this was an exclusive achievement of Islam. Many pre-Islamic cultures practiced this custom more effectively than Islam.

Secondly, it is a false claim by Islamic apologists that Islamic Sharia mandated the liberation of Umm Walad. Neither Allah nor Muhammad ordered it in the Quran or Hadith. In fact, during Muhammad's time, these slave mothers did not receive freedom. Owners had full authority to separate them from their children and sell them to other owners. The owner was also permitted to marry the slave mother of his child to another person or one of his slaves, even against her consent. Upon the owner's death, she was inherited by all the owner's children, sold, and the proceeds were divided among them.

Thirdly, it was the later 2nd Caliph Umar Ibn Khattab who, after being exposed to other civilized cultures of his time, realized that they showed more respect towards such slave mothers. As a result, Umar Ibn Khattab introduced this innovation (Bid'ah) into Sharia. He decreed that Umm Walad should not be sold and would remain a slave during the owner's lifetime. The owner was still permitted to marry her off to others or to one of his slaves, even against her consent. However, upon the owner's death, she would be granted freedom and not be inherited by all of the owner's children.

Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 3954:

عن جابر بن عبد الله قال بعنا أمهات الأولاد على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأبي بكر فلما كان عمر نهانا فانتهينا
Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah: We sold slave-mothers during the time of the Messenger of Allah and of AbuBakr. When Umar was in power, he forbade us and we stopped.
Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)

This same tradition has also been recorded in Sunan Ibn Majah through another authentic (Sahih) chain of narration.

Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 2517

جَابِرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، يَقُولُ كُنَّا نَبِيعُ سَرَارِينَا وَأُمَّهَاتِ أَوْلاَدِنَا وَالنَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِينَا حَىٌّ لاَ نَرَى بِذَلِكَ بَأْسًا ‏.‏
Jabir bin `Abdullah siad: “We used to sell our slave women and the mothers of our children when the Prophet was still living among us, and we did not see anything wrong with that.”
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

And although Umar Ibn Khattab gave freedom to Umm Walad after the death of the owner, still the owner was allowed to marry her to any person (even without her consent) (Reference: Fatwa Alamgiri, vol. 6, page 162)

Furthermore, in Islam, the master was permitted to deny the parentage of his own child born from his concubine, preventing the concubine from attaining the status of Umm Walad.

It is truly distressing to consider the idea that a father could disavow the parentage of his own son or daughter, subsequently treating them as a slave and even selling them in the slave market. Yet, this was the practice allowed in Islam, as Muhammad adopted the laws of the uncivilized Arab society of his time rather than those of Moses.

Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 2746:

وَلَا يَلْحَقُ إِذَا کَانَ أَبُوهُ الَّذِي يُدْعَی لَهُ أَنْکَرَهُ
… a child from a slave woman cannot be named after his father if the man whom he claimed as his father did not acknowledge him.
Imam Albani declared this Hadith as Fair (Hasan). Link.
This same tradition has also been narrated by Amr bin Shoaib in Sunnan Abdu Dawud, and has again been graded as Hasan (link).

Moreover, we have already observed that the Bible, specifically in Deuteronomy, Chapter 21 (link), stated that if Jews/Christians wished to marry their slave women, they would automatically become permanent wives and could not be further sold. Consequently, the issue of Umm Walad did not exist among Jews and Christians.

Once again, Muhammad deviated from the Laws of Moses and instead followed the customs of the uncivilized Arab culture concerning Umm Walad.

Likewise, when Buddhist states abolished the system of slavery and introduced serfdom, the problem of Umm Walad vanished completely.

By comparing the Islamic system with different cultures regarding Umm Walad, it becomes evident that there was no unique achievement of Islam in this regard. In fact, original Islam (until the era of Umar Ibn Khattab) can be held accountable for its mistreatment of Umm Walad as well.

Islamic Claim: It was only the achievement of Islam to Introduce the Mukataba (مكاتبة) i.e. “Contract of Manumission”

In Mukataba, a slave is obligated to pay a specified amount of money within a specific timeframe in order to attain freedom.

Islamic apologists assert that it was only Islam that introduced this revolutionary concept, wherein slaves had the opportunity to obtain their freedom through Mukataba.

Firstly, once again, Islamic apologists are misleading people by spreading falsehoods. The practice of emancipation through contractual agreements was not a novel concept but had already been customary in societies that existed for thousands of years prior to Islam.

Even the pre-Islamic uncivilized Arab culture had a tradition of Mukataba, which Muhammad simply adopted from them (link).

Furthermore, in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, slaves were able to engage in "contracts of manumission" as early as 1000 years before the advent of Islam (link).

Secondly, according to Islam, it was not mandatory for the owner to agree to Mukataba if the slave requested it. Instead, it was at the discretion of the owner to either accept or reject the proposal.

Muwatta Imam Malik (link):

Malik said, "What is done among us is that the owner of a slave does not have to give his slave a kitaba if he asks for it. I have not heard of any of the Imams forcing a man to give a kitaba to his slave. "

Note: Malik is not issuing a Fatwa in this instance, but rather discussing the IJMA' (unanimous consensus) of the entire Muslim society during his time (and before him). This consensus held that it was not obligatory for owners to engage in Mukataba with their slaves.

For further information, you can read more about it here.

In summary, Islam did not introduce Mukataba as it is often portrayed today. Instead, this practice already existed in various cultures, and Muhammad simply adopted it from the pre-Islamic Arab culture.

Islamic Claim: Islam “gradually” ended slavery

Again, this is a lie.

Once again, this claim is false.

Islam never "gradually" ended slavery, and its 1400-year history stands as evidence of this fact.

In reality, Islam only witnessed an "increase" in slavery over time. If there were thousands of slaves during Muhammad's era, their numbers grew to hundreds of thousands during the reign of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs, and then expanded to millions under subsequent Islamic Caliphates.

The truth is that as Islam gained power, the number of slaves also continued to rise.

Muhammad never issued any orders stating that slavery should be gradually abolished if the economy and conditions allowed for it. Not only did he fail to end slavery on a state level, but he also did not gradually put an end to the practice within his own household, despite having no need for slaves (as he already had 9 wives). Muhammad had 4 female slaves, which he kept for sex slavery. 

Ibn al-Qayyim recorded in his book Zaad al-Ma’aad (link):

قال أبو عبيدة : كان له أربع : مارية وهي أم ولده إبراهيم ، وريحانة وجارية أخرى جميلة أصابها في بعض السبي ، وجارية وهبتها له زينب بنت جحش .

Abu ‘Ubaydah said: He had four (concubines): Mariyah, who was the mother of his son Ibraaheem; Rayhaanah; another beautiful slave woman whom he acquired as a prisoner of war; and a slave woman who was given to him by Zaynab bint Jahsh. 

It is incomprehensible how Islamic apologists can propagate such a falsehood that Islam gradually ended slavery.

Please consider this question: Why didn't God make it explicitly clear to abolish slavery, given its inhumane nature, similar to how He provided numerous verses about dietary restrictions, prohibitions on drinking, and the avoidance of zina (adultery and fornication)? Are these actions considered more severe than the practice of owning slaves?

Islamic Claim: Islam ended all other sources of slavery, except for wars

Once again, these claims are entirely false.

  • Firstly, it is important to note that many societies prior to Islam had already outlawed slavery resulting from kidnapping, such as the Buddhists, Zoroastrians of Iran, Jews, and Christians, among others.
  • Secondly, Islam did not prohibit the root cause of the "Slave Trade". Muslims were fully allowed to travel to other countries and purchase enslaved women, exploiting them for their own sexual desires through rape.
  • Muslims not only bought enslaved women but also acquired numerous eunuchs, who were employed in the harems of Muslim rulers and wealthy individuals to exert control over the hundreds and thousands of concubines present. Astonishingly, all of this was considered permissible (Halal-Allah), and no Islamic scholar ever issued a Fatwa prohibiting it.
  • Thirdly, Islam perpetuated the system of "Slavery by Birth". According to Islamic Sharia, all children born to enslaved parents were automatically deemed slaves themselves. Islamic preachers may attempt to conceal this truth, but their efforts are dishonest.
  • Fourthly, why did Islam make innocent captive small children slaves for their entire lives? Small children (just like women) had no role in wars. They were completely innocent. But Muhammad still turned those innocent captive children into slaves for their entire lives. Why? What kind of Divine Justice is it? Not only this, but later coming generations of those innocent children were also born as slaves due to the Evil of "Slavery by Birth" in Islam.

Islamic Claim: Islam didn’t allow to make Eunuchs out of slaves

Once again, this claim is also not entirely accurate. Islam did indeed grant Muslims full permission to purchase and utilize eunuchs through the slave trade from other countries for their harems.

As a result of the significant demand from Muslim slave traders, thousands of slaves underwent castration to become eunuchs.

Moreover, there was absolutely no Qisas punishment for the owner for CASTRATING the slave boy and cutting his nose:

Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Hadith 6671:

 أن زنباعا أبا روح وجد غلاما له مع جارية له فجدع أنفه وجبه فأتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال من فعل هذا بك قال زنباع فدعاه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال ما حملك على هذا فقال كان من أمره كذا وكذا فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم للعبد اذهب فأنت حر فقال يا رسول الله فمولى من أنا قال مولى الله ورسوله فأوصى به رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المسلمين قال فلما قبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم جاء إلى أبي بكر فقال وصية رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال نعم نجري عليك النفقة وعلى عيالك فأجراها عليه حتى قبض أبو بكر فلما استخلف عمر جاءه فقال وصية رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال نعم أين تريد قال مصر فكتب عمر إلى صاحب مصر أن يعطيه أرضا يأكلها

Translation (link):

Zanba Abi Rawh found his servant boy with a servant girl, so he maimed his nose and castrated him. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, came and he said, “Who did this to you?” The boy said, “Zanba.” The Prophet summoned him and he said, “What made you do this?” Zanba said, “He was misbehaving in such a way.” The Prophet said to the slave, “Go, for you are free.” The slave boy asked: “Who is my Maula (i.e. who is setting me free)?” The Prophet said, “Your Mawla is Allah and Prophet (i.e. you are set free by Allah and his messenger).” And the prophet also made a testament about his freedom (from Allah and his side). When the messenger died, then that slave boy came to Abu Bakr and told him about the testament of messenger. Abu Bakr said: "Yes I remember it. Let me give share of meny to you and your family from Bait-ul-Mal." And when Abu Bakr died, and Umar became the new caliph, then that slave boy came to him and told him about the testament of messenger. Umar also said: "Yes I remember it. Where do you want to go?" He told that he wanted to go to Egypt. Upon that Umar wrote a letter to the governor of Egypt to give him certain amount of land for his expenditures. 

Grade: Sahih (Ahmad Shakir)

Islamic Claim: Quran orders to set the captives free either as Ihsaan (i.e. favour) or after taking ransom money

Islamistss also claim that Allah abolished slavery completely in the Qruan:

(Quran 47:4) So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, smite the necks; then, when you have overcome them, make (them) prisoners, and afterwards (set them free) as a favour or for ransom.

This is again a deception by Islamic apologists. They don’t tell the background of this verse, or all the incidents which happened after this verse.


In the 2nd Hijri year, the Battle of Badr took place, resulting in the death of 70 polytheists from Mecca and the capture of another 70.

Since the Muslims had never before encountered such a situation, they were unsure about how to handle the prisoners.

Abu Bakr proposed that the Muslims should accept ransom money for the captives and then release them. This way, the Muslims would acquire wealth, and the people of Mecca would also not seek revenge.

However, Umar Ibn Khattab opposed Abu Bakr's suggestion and proposed that all the prisoners should be executed. He even went so far as to suggest that Ali Ibn Abi Talib should execute his own brother Aqeel, who fought on the side of the Meccans. Umar himself was willing to kill his own relatives, and he also mentioned the execution of Hamza and Abbas, who were the real uncles of Muhammad and had fought on the side of the Meccans. It is important to note that these individuals held leadership positions among the polytheists.

However, Prophet Muhammad did not agree with the suggestion to kill his uncles Hamza and Abbas due to his personal relationship with them. Instead, Muhammad ordered that ransom money should be accepted, and the prisoners should be set free, following Abu Bakr's proposal (Reference: Sahih MuslimMusnad Ahmed bin Hanbal).

Ibn Kathir recorded a tradition under the commentary of verse 8:67, how Muhammad was worried about his uncles.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, verse 8:67:

Abbas was captured by one Ansari man, and Ansars wanted to kill Abbas. When prophet Muhammad came to know about it, he said that he was unable to sleep due to the worry that Abbas would be killed. Upon that Umar asked him if he was allowed to go to the Ansar? Muhammad gave him the permission. Umar then came to Ansar and asked them to set Abbas free. Ansar replied that they would not set him free. Umar told them that Prophet Muhammad wanted him to become free. Upon that Ansar told Umar to took Abbas with him as they set him free happily (as Ahsaan) for the sake of Prophet Muhammad.

During that period, Muhammad asserted that Allah revealed verse 47:4, which stated that prisoners could be set free as an act of favor or in exchange for ransom money.

However, after Abbas had been released, Muhammad's perspective shifted. He desired vengeance against the other Meccans who were not his relatives.

As a result, Muhammad claimed that the earlier verse 47:4 had been abrogated by a new verse, 8:67. This new verse mandated the killing of a lot of prisoners, superseding the previous instruction to set them free.

(Quran 8:67) It is not fit for any Prophet to have prisoners until he make wide slaughter (of them) in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world (by taking the ransom money) but Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter.

Please bear in mind that the killing of "prisoners" is not only considered a war crime in modern times, but even the Arabs of that era of ignorance found it to be abhorrent.

Some Muslim scholars have attempted to defend this practice by suggesting it was an exception during the Battle of Badr. However, this is incorrect, as Muhammad later ordered the killing of 800 men from the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah, even after they had already surrendered and become prisoners.

The Battle of Badr occurred in the 2nd Hijri year, and Muhammad went on to engage in dozens more wars, capturing thousands of prisoners. However, he did not grant freedom to these captives as a gesture of kindness. Instead, they were permanently enslaved along with their young children. Therefore, it is a blatant falsehood propagated by Islamic apologists to claim that Muhammad abolished slavery by setting all war captives free as an act of favor or through ransom.

Islamic Claim: The captives of Banu al-Mustaliq and the Tribe of Hawazin were set free as "Favour احسان"

Islamists claim that captives of Banu al-Mutaliq were set free as a favour. And they present the following tradition:

Sunnan Abu Dawud (link):
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said to Juwayriyyah: Are you inclined to that which is better? She asked: What is that, Apostle of Allah? He replied: I shall pay the price of your freedom on your behalf, and I shall marry you. She said: I shall do this. She (Aisha) said: The people then heard that the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) had married Juwayriyyah. They released the captives in their possession and set them free, and said: They are the relatives of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) by marriage. We did not see any woman greater than Juwayriyyah who brought blessings to her people. One hundred families of Banu al-Mustaliq were set free on account of her.


The first issue is that this tradition was narrated by Ibn Ishaq using "'An عن". According to the standards of Islamists themselves, such traditions from Ibn Ishaq are considered weak and not authentic. This is why the commentator of Sunan Abu Dawud criticizes this tradition in his book "Awn al-Ma'bud (link)" by stating: "(عن ابن إسحاق) هو محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار وروايته عند المؤلف بالعنعنة".

The second problem is that other Islamist "traditions" tell a different story. One tradition claims that it was the relatives of the Jewish women who paid the ransom money to set them free. Another "tradition" suggests that even Juwayriyyah was not set free as an act of "favour احسان" by Muhammad, but rather it was the Jewish father of Juwayriyyah who paid the ransom for her and set her free. You can read these traditions here (link). It was not difficult for Islamists to fabricate traditions in order to portray the greatness of Islam. However, contradictions among these traditions serve as evidence that they were fabricated by Islamists.

The third problem is that Muhammad also married Safiyyah, but there is no such tradition stating that Muslims set all the slave women of Khaybar free because of Safiyyah. Therefore, this further indicates that the stories about setting slaves free in the case of Juwayriyyah's marriage are merely fabrications.

The fourth problem is that even if it is accepted that Muslims set 100 slave women of Banu al-Mustaliq free, it would still be an "exceptional" case where the reason for their freedom was not "Love for Slaves," but rather it was primarily out of RESPECT and HONOUR for their own prophet. For example, when Sobiyyah, a slave woman, brought the news of Muhammad's birth to Abu Lahab, he set her free out of love for his nephew.

Therefore, it would have been considered an act of "Love for Slaves" if slaves from every tribe had been set free without any marriage of Muhammad within that tribe.

How prisoners of the tribe of Hawazin became free:

Islamists also claim that slave women from the tribe of Hawazin were set free as an act of favor. However, this claim is also untrue. The women of Hawazin were actually granted freedom as a means of "reconciliation" with the tribe. The tribe of Hawazin had recently converted to Islam, and there was a fear that they might abandon the religion and potentially wage war against Muhammad.

The background of this incident is that initially, the tribe of Hawazin had rejected Islam. In response, Muhammad launched an attack on them and besieged their fortress for 15 days, but failed to capture it. He then returned to Mecca.

In Mecca, people accepted Islam out of fear of Muhammad's power. As a result, there was no longer anyone in Arabia who possessed the strength to fight against the Muslims or assist the tribe of Hawazin. Muhammad also provided "stipends" to the newly converted people of Mecca as a form of bribery, in order to prevent them from leaving Islam and reverting to their previous religion (Quran Verse 9:60).

When the tribe of Hawazin heard about this, they considered converting to Islam in hopes that Muhammad would show them favor as new converts and free their women (who had been captured in an earlier war by Muhammad). They sent a delegation to Muhammad, stating that they would accept Islam if he agreed to release their women and return their belongings that had been taken as war booty.

Muhammad, on one hand, sought to reconcile their hearts as a bribe to prevent them from initiating a war against the Muslims. However, he also did not wish to relinquish all the spoils of war. Therefore, he gave them a choice between the freedom of their women or retaining the war booty. They chose the freedom of their women.

Thus, the women of Hawazin were not set free as an act of "favor to slaves," but rather as a bribe to appease the tribe and prevent further conflict with the Muslims.

You can read the complete account of the Hawazin incident here (link). 

A challenge to Islam apologists: Why were the prisoners (women) of Banu Qurayzah or Khaybar not set free as "Favour"?

Can Islamists demonstrate that the female and child prisoners from Banu Qurayzah or Khybar were also released as an act of favor?

If not, then please enlighten us on the crime committed by these individuals that resulted in them not being granted freedom as a gesture of kindness.

Furthermore, even Muhammad himself did not free the female prisoner, Rayhana bint Zayd, as an act of favor. Instead, Muhammad claimed her as his share of the war booty. Rayhana's offense was her refusal to convert to Islam and her adherence to her original Jewish faith. Consequently, Muhammad retained her as a slave for the entirety of her life and had sex with her as her master. 

So, when Muhammad himself didn't release Rayhayna from slavery but kept on driving sex enjoyment from her, despite having multiple other wives, how could then we expect other Muslims to release their slaves them as a favour to them?

The same thing happened with Maria al-Qibtiyya, who was presented to Muhammad as a slave. And Muhammad didn't set her free as a favour, but kept her as a slave whole of his life and had sex with her, despite having multiple wives. 

Islamists often cite the following tradition too as an indication of Islam's greatness:

Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 1956:
Messenger of Allah P.B.U.H said: "Whoever has a slave woman and teaches her good manners and educates her, then sets her free and marries her, will have two rewards.

The issue at hand is that Muhammad himself did not free Maria, marry her, or act in accordance with this tradition. This serves as evidence that the tradition is fabricated.

As mentioned before, it was effortless for Islamists to invent such traditions to falsely highlight the excellence of Islam.

These deceitful Islamic apologists also concocted other traditions claiming that Muhammad did, in fact, free and marry Maria and Rayhana. However, these traditions have been contradicted by other Islamists themselves, while more authentic traditions indicate the contrary—that Muhammad kept them as slaves throughout his lifetime.

Islamic Claim: Raping the captive women was not a crime, as other Nations also did the same

What kind of argument is it to suggest that if others committed crimes against those vulnerable women and children, then those crimes against humanity also became permissible for Prophet Muhammad?

Even if the men from both sides engaged in combat, the non-combatant civilians, women, and young children were innocent and should not have been subjected to a lifetime of slavery. In many cases, these individuals did not participate in the fighting; rather, it was Muhammad and the Muslims who initiated the attacks in order to obtain war spoils.

Humanity rejects any law that holds innocent women and children accountable for the actions of combatant men. Even the non-Muslim men who were combatants did not deserve to be killed or enslaved. Yet, it was Islam that commanded Muslims to launch offensive Jihad against other non-Muslim tribes and nations, capturing them as spoils of war.

European nations captured all the Islamic countries during the 20th century, but they didn’t rape Muslim women. You have to be thankful for the non-religious Western nations of the 20th century, who abolished slavery only for the sake of humanity, and this ultimately saved Muslim women from being raped.

Islamic Claim: A Muslim owner cannot have sex with a polytheist slave woman

Some Islamists claim that Muslims were allowed to rape only those women slaves, who were either Muslims or Jews or Christians, while it was not allowed for the owner to have sex with the polytheist slave woman.

But again, this claim is false. Just look at the following tradition of Sahih Muslim, which makes it clear that the Quran allowed the raping of captive women, who were polytheists.

Sahih Muslim (link):

باب جَوَازِ وَطْءِ الْمَسْبِيَّةِ بَعْدَ الاِسْتِبْرَاءِ وَإِنْ كَانَ لَهَا زَوْجٌ انْفَسَخَ نِكَاحُهَا بِالسَّبْي

Chapter: It is permissible to have intercourse with a female captive after it is established that she is not pregnant, and if she has a husband, then her marriage is annulled when she is captured
عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ، الْخُدْرِيِّ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ بَعَثَ جَيْشًا إِلَى أَوْطَاسٍ فَلَقُوا عَدُوًّا فَقَاتَلُوهُمْ فَظَهَرُوا عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَصَابُوا لَهُمْ سَبَايَا فَكَأَنَّ نَاسًا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم تَحَرَّجُوا مِنْ غِشْيَانِهِنَّ مِنْ أَجْلِ أَزْوَاجِهِنَّ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي ذَلِكَ ‏{‏ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ‏}‏ أَىْ فَهُنَّ لَكُمْ حَلاَلٌ إِذَا انْقَضَتْ عِدَّتُهُنَّ ‏.
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (Allah her pleased with him) reported that at the Battle of Hanain Allah's Messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah's Messenger seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that:" And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (Verse 4:24)" (i. e. they were lawful for them when their 'Idda period came to an end, even if they were polytheists themselves).

The people of Autas were polytheists, and their wives too. But the Quran openly told Muslims that they could have sex with those polytheist women of Autas, even if their husbands were alive, while Muslims had become their owners.

The largest Islamic website Isamweb.Net writes (link):

Most of the slave women owned by the Companions were from the polytheist Arabs and it is known that they were idol-worshippers; they did not hold that it was impermissible for them to be intimate with them. It has not been reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, deemed it unlawful and he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, never forbade any of the Companions from being intimate with their polytheistic slave women.

You can read more about it here and at WikiIslam.Net.

Contrary to the practice of Sahaba in the presence of Muhammad (i.e. having sex with polytheist slave women), som Islamic Scholars later claimed that one cannot have sex with his slave woman if she is neither a Muslim nor from the people of the book (i.e. Christian/Jew/Magian). But there are two issues with their claim:

  1. Firstly, there is not a single Hadith from Muhammad that forbade having sex with polytheist slave women. 
  2. Secondly, their only proof is their claim that verse 2.221 (Surah Baqara) abrogated verse 4.24 which allowed them to have intercourse with polytheist slave women after the battle of Autas. But Surah Baqara factually cannot abrogate it as it was revealed earlier during the initial period of Medina, while the battle of Autas took place after the victory of Mecca (8th Hijri year). 
  3. Thirdly, the MOTIVE of these Scholars was to FORCE polytheist slave women to CONVERT to Islam.

WikiIslam.Net provide this reference (link):

According to a report included in the Jāmi‘ of al-Khallāl (d. 311 A.H. / 923 A.D.), Ibn Hanbal maintained that:

if Zoroastrian and idolatrous women are taken prisoner, they are coerced into Islam; if they embrace it, sexual relations with them are permissible and they can (also) be used as maidservants. If they do not embrace Islam, they are used as maidservants but not for sexual relations (wa idhā subhīna (sic) al-majūsiyyāt wa ‘abadat al awthān ujbirna 'alā al-Islām fa-in asl ama wutiʼna ma 'stukhdimna wa in lam yuslimna 'stukhdimna wa lam yūtaʼna).

The contradiction inherent in this passage is evident: despite the unspecified coercive measures, some of the women in question refused conversion and, consequently, the masters could not take full advantage of their services. If the only way to embrace Islam is pronouncing the declaration of faith, the conversion of a defiant woman may not be possible: it is not always feasible to force someone to utter the shahāda. According to a tradition transmitted on the authority of Hasan al-Basri, the Muslims used various devices to attain their objective: they turned the Zorastrian slave-girl toward the Ka‘ba, ordered her to pronounce the shahāda and to perform ablution. Her master then engaged in sexual relations after she had one menstruating period while in his house. Others hold that the master must teach the slave-girl to pray, to purify herself and to shave her private parts before any intercourse. The participation of the girl in this procedure is minimal, and this wording may be interpreted us a considerable lowering of the conversion requirements so that the girl becomes eligible for sexual intercourse as expeditiously as possible. Among the early traditionists, only a few were willing to go beyond this and allow sexual relations with a Zoroastrian slave-girl without insisting on at least a semblance of conversion.

Shafi‘i's treatment of the issue is slightly different. Speaking of grown-up Zoroastrian or polytheist women taken into captivity, he maintains that no sexual relations with them are allowed before they embrace Islam without bringing up the question of converting them forcibly. If the female captives are minor but were taken captive with at least one of their parents, the ruling is the same. If, however, the girl was captured without her parents, or one of her parents embraced Islam, she is considered a Muslim and is coerced into embracing it (nahkumu lahā bihukm al-Islām wa nujbiruhā ‘alayhi). Once this happens, sexual relations with her are lawful.

Friedmann, Yohanan, Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim Tradition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization, pp. 107-108, ISBN 9780511497568, August 2009 (archived from the original)

Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence (also known as al-Mawsu'ah al-fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiya الموسوعة الفقهیة) writes (link):

أَنْ يَكُونَ كَافِرًا فَيُجْبِرَهُ سَيِّدُهُ عَلَى الإِْسْلاَمِ، فَلاَ يَجِبُ عَلَى الرَّقِيقِ طَاعَتُهُ فِي ذَلِكَ لأَِنَّهُ لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ. وَاسْتَثْنَى الْحَلِيمِيُّ مِنَ الشَّافِعِيَّةِ أَنْ تَكُونَ كَافِرَةً غَيْرَ كِتَابِيَّةٍ وَيَرْغَبَ سَيِّدُهَا فِي الاِسْتِمْتَاعِ بِهَا، فَيُجْبِرَهَا عَلَى الإِْسْلاَمِ لِتَحِل لَهُ، فَرَأَى الْحَلِيمِيُّ جَوَازَ ذَلِكَ لإِِزَالَةِ الْمَانِعِ مِنَ الْوَطْءِ، قَاسَهُ عَلَى جَوَازِ إِجْبَارِهَا عَلَى إِزَالَةِ النَّجَاسَةِ وَغُسْل الْحَيْضِ.

To be a non-believer and then be forced into Islam by one's master does not entail obedience from the slave in that matter, as there is no compulsion in religion. Al-Halimi, from the Shafi'i school, made an exception for a non-Kitabiya (non-people of the book) female slave whose master desires to enjoy her and compels her to Islam to make her lawful for him. Al-Halimi considered this permissible to remove the obstacle from sexual intercourse. He compared it to the permissibility of forcing her to remove impurities and perform ritual bathing after menstruation.

Islamic Claim: Islam provided “human rights” to the slaves

Feeding a slave does not come under the category of giving him his “human rights”. Not only slaves, but prisoners are get the right to be fed in the prisons. And people are also responsible for feeding their pet animals at home.

While “basic human rights” are those, which make all humans “equal”.

The truth is that Islam never provided the “basic human rights” to the slaves, but it deprived them of many of their human rights.


Please bear in mind that the system of an infallible Allah should also be absolutely flawless. If we observe Allah acting against the principles of humanity in even a single instance, it undermines the entire foundation of Islam.

Being 100% perfect means achieving true perfection without any room for error, not settling for 99.99%.

No entity claiming to be God can be accepted if it demonstrates injustice and oppression in even a single case. Unfortunately, Allah, as depicted by Muslims, bears responsibility for the oppression endured by millions of enslaved men, women, and children over the past 1400 years.

A perpetual struggle exists within each individual between "religion" and "humanity."

Let us not become like those individuals who sacrifice humanity in the name of religion.

Instead, let us embrace and champion humanity.

Let us stand in support of humanity.

Let us take the side of humanity.