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Prophet and practice of Slavery



                                     Prophet Muhammad (PBH), didn’t ban slavery even while he witnessed ill-treatments, but gave sanctions to keep slaves. Is it not an inhuman policy?

   To clarify this turbulent issue, we should get a clear picture of the slavery, supplied by its history. Actually, it is not a system started by Islam. But it goes twenty centuries back to Christ. It is assumed that the system came in prevalence in 2050 BC. Greek and Rome were the notorious centers of slavery. The slaves were commanded to do the most hazardous works. The human aspect of them was never recognized; instead they had been ill-treated merely as a fleshy machine that can be worked. So they were displayed, bought, and sold like cattles in markets. Their hard-heartedness so went beyond the limits as to organize slave- races just as bull-races and to appreciate the piteous scene of mutual blood shedding, here, one should not miss the point that even after the Christianization of the countries, there had not been any change for this.

   Slavery was practiced in almost all parts of the world. In India, the caste – system supported slavery. The low-born was made to believe, that the vices he had done in the previous birth dragged him to such a sorrowful life, so if he better serve the elite Brahmins they will be saved in the next birth. As far as ‘Sudras’(1) were concerned they were destined to live as foot lickers of the top layer because they had been created from the feet of god. English east India Company kidnapped men and sold as slaves. Registered companies for exchanging slaves had been in Europe.

   To adopt a sudden action against evils is not pragmatic. Even a drunkard cannot stop his habit all on a sudden. Islam is pragmatic in its views and policies. So, Islam didn’t make an overall declaration banning slavery as Abraham Lincoln did, which proved a better failure later. Slave bewildered when they got freedom even the meaning of which was unknown to them. They had had the sole experience of obeying the command. Having none to command they returned to the homes of their old Lords and begged them to keep as slaves again.

   Prophet Muhammad tried to change, as a first step, the general attitude towards slaves. He convinced them the fact that they are also human beings, brothers and relatives, so that the same food and clothes should be provided for them as well. He banned assigning heavy and hard work for the slaves. He advised not to address them in the name of slave, encouraged to marry them and counseled to obey them in case anybody of them is appointed as the leader. Moreover, many provisions were made to liberate them and it was so enlightened with farsightedness that within years slavery was completely eradicated.

   Slaves are the by-products of wars. Wars are not over. Islam sustains slavery still to dissuade men from wars. Nobody, who realizes the bitterest experience of a slave, will send his son to military. Further, if Islam prohibits slavery entirely the enemies can do any mischief with the Muslim captives in their hands. So as long as slavery exists in the world Islam alone cannot ban it. But the critics of Islam and Prophet, should be watchful on what America and Britain do with the captives in Gondanamo(2) and abugarib(3), even while their paid writers are criticizing Islam that liberated slaves and protected captives!

   Male Chauvinism
   Islam is alleged to have a male – Chauvinistic appeal. Pardha (the veil that cover the face of the women), divorce, polygamy and some usages of the holy Qur’an are all misinterpreted in order to corroborate the argument. Prophet has been presented to have disregarded the women.

   The living condition of women folk in pre-Islamic Arabia has to be scrutinized. As every body know. They did not enjoy any dignity in the society. They were nothing other than mere movable possessions. To do tiresome work, to yield for the sexual cravings of man, was the main objectives of keeping a woman. They were considered so inferior that giving birth to a female child brought much dishonor to the family. The parents even buried them alive immediately a after their birth. The Holy Qur’an illustrates scene.
And they assign daughters for Allah! Glory be to him and for themselves what they desire! When news is brought to one of them, of(the birth of) a female (childe), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (Sufferance and) contempt or bury it in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on? (Holy Qur’an 16: 57-59).

   When we pass through the corridors of history we should be stunned to see the disfigured pictures of women. In the ancient Greece woman was the embodiment of devil. Jews considered her to be the root cause of all offence. Roman rule permitted men to kill one’s wife. According to Hindu Dharma, widows had to either die in burning fire, or to lead a confined life full of miseries and negligence.
Islam, firstly, rescued them from the ditch of cruelty and so secured them the right to live. It scathingly despised the wicked practice of infanticide. The holy Qur’an said: When the female (infant) buried alive is questioned foe what crime she was killed (Holy Qur’an 81: 8, 9).

   Islam granted them the right to earn, reserved a share in the inheritance, and allowed them to educate. Some of these were discussed in Europe in early part of 20th century. Islam didn’t argue for the unconditional equality between male and female simply because basically and by nature they are different. Islam despises at the preposterous claims of feminism. In a family system Islam views a perfection of mutual co-operation, and not the clash of combative disputes. The charge of supervision is vested upon males while the freedom of looking after children and households are to females. This obligation of this overall supervision is meant by ‘Qawam’ and not a complete domination. Women have rights as well as duties. Qur’an says: “And woman shall have rights similar to the rights against them according to what is equitable” (holy Qur’an 2: 228).

   One of the best imagery of Qur’an regarding woman is also subjected to misinterpretation. The Holy Qur’an compared wives as the field of cultivation. One who is short of literary sense cannot appreciate the beauty of this flowery image, pregnant with the meaning. A farmer looks after his lands paying utmost cares. He feeds, waters, cleans and protects his field as if they have senses. If any cattle happened to infiltrate, he scares it away. These are the corollary meanings of the image. But paid writers can’t but forge something in order to retain the posts.

   (1)Shudra : normally now spelled Sudra in English, which has produced a spelling pronunciation.) is the lowest Varna in the traditional four-section division in the Hindu caste system. Their assigned and expected role in post-Vedic North India was that of farmers, craftsmen and laborers. The four Varnas are Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra. (Hindu society eventually came to include a fifth pariah class, the lowest of all, popularly known as "untouchables") (Wikipedia)

   (2) Guantanamo Bay is an American detainment facility located in Cuba. The facility is operated by Joint Task Force Guantánamo of the United States government since 2002 in Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, which is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. (Wikipedia)

   The detainment areas consist of three camps: Camp Delta (which includes Camp Echo), Camp Iguana, and Camp X-Ray, the last of which has been closed. The facility is often referred to as Guantánamo, or Gitmo. After the Justice Department advised that the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp could be considered outside US legal jurisdiction, prisoners captured in Afghanistan were moved there beginning in early 2002. After the Bush administration asserted that detainees were not entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on June 29, 2006 that they were entitled to the minimal protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Following this, on July 7, 2006, the Department of Defense issued an internal memo stating that prisoners would in the future be entitled to protection under Common Article 3. The detainees currently held as of June 2008 have been classified by the United States as "enemy combatants".

   On January 22, 2009 the White House announced that President Barack Obama had signed an order to suspend the proceedings of the Guantanamo military commission for 120 days and that the detention facility would be shut down within the year. On January 29, 2009 a military judge at Guantanamo rejected the White House request in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, creating an unexpected challenge for the administration as it reviews how America puts Guantanamo detainees on trial.

   On May 20, 2009, the United States Senate passed an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 2346) by a 90-6 vote to block funds needed for the transfer or release of prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. In November 2009, 215 prisoners remained at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp

   President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum dated December 15, 2009 formally closing the detention center and ordering the transfer of prisoners to the Thomson Correctional Center, Thomson, Illinois.

   (3) The Baghdad Central Prison, formerly known as Abu Ghraib prison (also Abu Ghurayb, meaning 'father of the raven' or 'Place of Ravens) is in Abu Ghraib, an Iraqi city 32 km west of Baghdad. It was built by British contractors in the 1950s. (Wikipedia)




  Read more  
bullet The spring comes again  
bullet Prophetic love: An illustrious drop in hearts of millions  
bullet A glance on Prophet's Biography  
bullet The Historical Events in the Prophetic life  
bullet The Mawlid: A Time to Celebrate  
bullet Mawlid and Celebration of Mawlid  
bullet Celebration is allowed but not in Rabeeul Awal 12!!  
bullet Ironical tale of periodicals  
bullet The Peerless Personality  
bullet Comprehensive History of the Prophets  
bullet Prophet and other World- Renowned Leaders  
bullet Allegations: beginning and development  
bullet Prophet, the Founder of Islam?  
bullet Prophet and practice of Slavery  
bullet The Void Allegation on Pardha and Divorce  
bullet The Polygamy of Prophet  
bullet Pathological theory, Epilepsy, Schizophrenia  
bullet The intellectuals view: Prophet is not a lunatic  
bullet The holy Qur’an: Prophet’s Creation?  
bullet The Quranic revelation to the Prophet  
bullet The Holy Qur’an: a Biblical copy?  
bullet The Prophet Meets the Christian Priests !!  
bullet Qur’an: the Divine revelation