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CHAPTER I: Slavery in Islamic Quranic Sharia:

CHAPTER I: Slavery in Islamic Quranic Sharia:


Why We Are Writing this Book:



1- We have written extensively before about the topic of slaves in many of our articles and sections of previous books. Male and female slaves are mentioned many times in the Quranic text chiefly in the phrase that literally goes like this: "those that your right hand owns", among other terms; but the words ''slaves'' and ''slavery'' are not mentioned exactly in the Quran. On the YouTube website, an uploaded video has been watched so many times about a European man who claims to have converted to Islam (but, in fact, converted to the Wahabi Sunnite religion) and then to leave it later on because of the Quranic notion of "those that your right hand owns", especially in this verse about types of females that a Muslim man cannot marry: "And all married women, except those that your right hand possess…" (4:24). Of course, this European man has understood this verse and other Quranic verses within Sunnite interpretation books and within the so-called hadiths (i.e., sayings, deeds, and traditions attributed falsely to Prophet Muhammad a century after his death) that urge the false notion or claim that Islam allows the enslavement of women for the sexual purposes of male captors, even if such women were married before being enslaved, unlike free married women whom no man can marry as per the Quranic Chapter Four. We have received a message from one of our fellow Quranists with a question regarding this European man; here is part of the message below:

  (… This video is being watched a lot on the YouTube website, urging watchers to leave and forsake Islam:

Why I left Islam:


Of course, Dr. Mansour, this European man is an ex-Sunnite, as his speech is derived from sources and books of Sunnite scholars. The question raised now is as follows: what is the real, true meaning of 4:24 and other related verses discussed by this European man in his video? Could you refute him, Dr. Mansour? …).

2- Here is our reply below.


Firstly: we never care about those who convert to Islam or reject it after conversion.


1- Guidance or misguidance is based on the willingness of each human being as a personal individual responsibility that every person will face it as per their religious choices, or lack of them, in the Day of Judgment in the Hereafter. "Whoever is guided-is guided for his own good. And whoever goes astray-goes astray to his detriment…" (17:15).

2- Guidance in matters of Islam is exclusively attained by the Quran alone, and this guidance submits first to the human will; those who seek Quranic guidance will be guided to their own good eventually, and those who discard the Quranic guidance will be misguiding themselves. Even prophet Muhammad was never responsible for guiding others; as God has said the following to him: "Say, "O people, the truth has come to you from your Lord. Whoever accepts guidance is guided for his own soul; and whoever strays only strays to its detriment. I am not a guardian over you."" (10:108). "We sent down upon you the Book for mankind in truth. He who follows guidance does so for the good of his soul. And he who strays in error does so to its detriment. You are not their overseer." (39:41). Thus, Muhammad was merely a warner only, who conveyed the Quran to warn others: "And to recite the Quran, whoever is guided - is guided to his own advantage. And whoever goes astray, then say, "I am one of the warners."" (27:92). God has also said the following to Muhammad: "You cannot guide whom you love, but God guides whom He wills, and He knows best those who are guided." (28:56). This indicates that individuals who seek guidance will be guided by God; they are willing first to guide themselves and then God's will asserts this individual choice of guidance, or misguidance, to increase the guidance of the guided ones and the misguidance of the misguided ones, as per personal choice first.

3- Those who choose guidance will be rewarded by more guidance from God, and as for those choosing misguidance, God will increase their misguidance: "As for those who are guided, He increases them in guidance, and He has granted them their righteousness." (47:17). "As for those who strive for Us-We will guide them in Our ways. God is with the doers of good." (29:69). "In their hearts is sickness, and God has increased their sickness…" (2:10). "Say, "Whoever is in error, the Dominant will lead him on."...God increases in guidance those who accept guidance…" (19:75-76).


Secondly: we agree to the fact that this European man was a former Sunnite, and not a former Muslim.


1- Accordingly, this European man has never converted to Islam in the first place; rather, he has converted to the Sunnite religion and rejected it later on soon enough. The problem lies in the fact that followers of the earthly, man-made, fabricated religions (i.e., the Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi ones as well as their sub-creeds, sects, denominations, and doctrines) claim that their religions is 'Islam', making it bearing responsible for faults and falsehoods of such religions, especially the Sunnite Wahabi religion widespread now and posing as if it were Islam. 

2- Past and present clergymen, scholars, and imams of the earthly, man-made, fabricated religions of the Muhammadans have read the Quran while following their whims and caprices; they have intentionally  overlooked, changed, and distorted the laws, meanings, and concepts of the Quranic verses on the pretext of their being replaced by the so-called hadiths. Hence, the fabricated hadiths have been placed by them as higher above the Quran and overruling it! This led to countless differences as per whims and desires, and clergymen propagated the falsehood that the Quran bears contradictory layers or aspects of meanings. Such falsehood contradicts God's words about the Quran itself: "…A Scripture whose Verses were perfected, then elaborated, from One who is Wise and Informed." (11:1), "Praise be to God, who revealed the Book to His servant, and allowed in it no distortion." (18:1), and "An Arabic Quran, without any defect, so they may become righteous." (39:28).    

3- Hence, those clergymen and scholars and their likes have kept on the shelves the Quran that is preserved in its entirety by God Himself, as they have discarded it and distorted its meanings to serve their purposes, thus they were misguided; the Quran is regarded as a source of guidance only by those who seek to be guided, and as a source of misguidance to those who opted for being misled and misguided further: "We send down in the Quran healing and mercy for the believers, but it increases the wrongdoers only in loss." (17:82).

4- We have written a lot about pondering and contemplating the Quran without prejudice or prior views or notions; readers are to reflect upon verses in search for guidance and the Truth, by defining the Quranic terminology using the Quranic meanings in the text itself via searching the topic/term in the local context of the Quranic verse in a given Quranic Chapter and then in the larger context of the whole text within the verses in which the topic/term occurs. Thus, we are to group, study, and examine carefully all verses related directly and indirectly to the topic/term we are searching. This way, this search will show to us the ''definitive verses'' that express the meanings directly and briefly and the ''similar verses'' that further explain in detail the ''definitive verses''. Hence, we learn this way the legislative purpose and the legislative law and rule in the Quran, bearing in mind that the legislative purpose is higher than the law and rule; we refer readers to several article of ours for more details, especially articles that refute the so-called intercession of Muhammad, or any other mortals, in the Last Day and the ones that refute the Salafist claims that one can see God in this life or in the Hereafter.  


Thirdly: legislation of self-defense fighting in Islam (i.e., the Quran alone) prohibits aggression, transgressions, committing violence, injustice, taking captives, and enslavement 


 Because the topic of slavery is linked closely to the crime of Arab conquests in the 7th century practically and legislatively, we briefly mention an example covering the topic of self-defense fighting in Islam, and this example is based on our article titled "Islam Is the Religion of Peace". About the legislative rule and law and the legislative purpose in the Quran about fighting, one can discern the following points from the Quran.


1- God says in the Quran: "And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors." (2:190). The legislative rule or law here (in the order or directive to fight) is governed by the legislative purpose of linking fighting for the sake of God only; i.e., in self-defense when people are religiously persecuted and being fought and aggressed against first by a warring enemy. Without such legislative purpose, fighting is NEVER for God's sake; rather, it becomes loathsome aggression and scramble for loot, wealth, dominance, power, and authority: this is fighting for the sake of devils, of course. This is understood from the following verse: "Those who believe fight in the cause of God, while those who disbelieve fight in the cause of tyrannical evil…" (4:76). Thus, such aggressors are disbelievers and polytheists in terms of their violent behavior and demeanor of transgressions; whereas Muslims/believers are the peaceful ones as per their peaceful non-aggressive demeanor and their behavior of non-violence.  

2- Self-defense fighting is for God's sake, and consequently, it aims solely to deter and to stop the aggression of the enemies. Hence, all verses tackling this fighting must submit to this legislative purpose. In this light, we understand the Quranic Chapter 9 verses revealed shortly before Muhammad's death as directly linked to the previous legislation in 2:190-194; see 9:1-15, 9:29, 9:36, 9:38, and 9:41.

2/1: Self-defense fighting is for God's sake, and consequently, it must end immediately once aggressors are deterred and would stop their attacks and violence: "But if they cease, then God is Forgiving and Merciful. " (2:192). "…But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against the aggressors." (2:193). "Say to those who disbelieve: if they desist, their past will be forgiven…" (8:38).

2/2: Self-defense fighting is for God's sake, and consequently, it must be as a response for aggression of enemies who started transgression and revenge should never exceed its limits by those engaging in self-defensive war to deter the aggressive enemy: "The sacred month for the sacred month; and sacrilege calls for retaliation. Whoever commits aggression against you, retaliate against him in the same measure as he has committed against you. And be conscious of God, and know that God is with the righteous." (2:194). 

2/3: Self-defense fighting is for God's sake, and consequently, such military fighting must be for the sake of deterrence only and not to commit aggressions; hence, the peaceful Muslim country must always have strong and powerful military so as not to allow greedy aggressors to attack it. thus, peace must be protected with military power, but peace is the general original rule, as we understand the following two Quranic verses: "And prepare against them all the power you can muster, and all the cavalry you can mobilize, to terrify thereby God's enemies and your enemies… But if they incline towards peace, then incline towards it, and put your trust in God…" (8:60-61).  

2/4: Self-defense fighting is for God's sake, and consequently, real believers in God never commit aggressions against others as God does not like transgressors: "And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors." (2:190).

2/5: Self-defense fighting is for God's sake, and consequently, when believers are being attacked by enemies/aggressors, they invoke God who does not like aggressors to appeal to Him to grant them victory over the disbelievers/aggressors: "…You are our Lord and Master, so help us against the disbelieving people." (2:286).

3- We see now from the above points that the Quranic legislative command or law to fight in self-defense must submit to the Quranic legislative purpose to confine such self-defense fighting to God's sake and never to commit aggressions; thus, such fighting is to impose religious freedom and to stop religious persecution, as one's faith is judged by God alone in the Hereafter, and hence, people must be free in their religious preferences and choices upon which God's judgment of people will be based. This idea is repeated in the Quran. "And fight them until there is no persecution, and worship becomes devoted to God alone…" (2:193). "Fight them until there is no more persecution, and religion becomes exclusively for God…" (8:39). In the very first Quranic permission to early believers to engage in self-defense fighting, we find the legislative purpose of protecting all houses of worship for everyone and every creed: "Permission is given to those who are fought against, and God is Able to give them victory. Those who were unjustly evicted from their homes, merely for saying, "Our Lord is God." Were it not that God repels people by means of others: monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques-where the name of God is mentioned much-would have been demolished. God supports whoever supports Him. God is Strong and Mighty." (22:39-40). 

4- Of course, Prophet Muhammad adhered to these Quranic legislations. Within the Quranic text, we see how God has rebuked Muhammad on certain occasions, but such occasions NEVER include that he fought aggressive wars or led a military aggression against anyone. Some blame and rebuke are linked to his tolerating some hypocrites in Yathreb who were reluctant to participate in self-defense endeavors, and some Quranic commands have been addressed to Muhammad to make him urge true believers to engage in self-defense endeavors so as not to allow aggressors to annihilate the dwellers of Yathreb at the time; see 8:65-84. 

5- After Muhammad's death, the Qorayish tribe committed the crime of Arab conquests in Egypt, Iraq, the Levant, etc., and such aggressive fights were for the sake of the devils as Arabs scrambled for loot and invasions to settle elsewhere away from Arabian deserts, as they coveted riches of other neighboring countries. Thus, the Qorayish tribesmen established a vast empire that they called 'caliphate'. Such terrible error led most Arabs to reject the Quran (the only and true celestial source of Islam) and its legislations, to eventually establish the earthly, man-made, fabricated religions to replace Islam. Such man-made creeds had ample room to express and realize whims and desires of people inside the so-called caliphate. Such devilish, aggressive Arab conquests included many features of grave injustice, including enslavement. This led to the fact that Arabs at the time and in later eras overlooked the Quranic legislations to alleviate, remedy, and solve the problem of slavery, as these Quranic legislations were replaced by the Sunnite legislations that endorse and allow enslavement by virtue of fabricated oral hadiths traditions ascribed wrongly and falsely to Muhammad decades after his death and written down later on in the Abbasid Era, more than one century after his decease. Among such falsehoods ascribed to Muhammad, there is a biography of lies that portrays and sketches his character in a corrupt, distorted way that contradict his character features mentioned in the Quran. Consequently, enslavement is a legacy, imposed on Islam that has been confiscated and distorted by Arab conquerors, bequeathed to us within conquests and caliphate ruling system. Such legacy of enslavement derived from Sunnite religion has been revived recently in our modern age by the Wahabi-Sunnite terrorists of ISIS.         

6- Wahabism, as a religion posing as if it were Islam, has been widely spread and propagated all over the globe, especially among the Muslim population on Earth, using the Saudi oil revenues. Wahabism is an extremist branch of the Sunnite religion causing bloodshed all over the world, and since it hoists the banner of 'Islam' falsely and wrongly, the image of Islam is now tarnished as non-Muslims accuse Islam of being the source of terrorism and enslavement of people.  

7- In the West, any people have converted to the KSA-propagated Wahabism, wrongly thinking that it represents Islam, and they have suffered confusion as they most probably have misunderstood the Quran as they have read its verses through the eyes of dead and alive imams of the Sunnite Wahabi religion. Such devilish imams have distorted meanings of the Quranic verses and they have misguided people away from God's pathway: the Quran. This is predicted by God in the Quran, as we read in the following verses: "But those who strive against Our revealed verses - these are the dwellers of Hell." (22:51). "As for those who strive against Our revealed verses, seeking to undermine them - for them is a punishment of a painful torment in Hell." (34:5). "But those who work against Our revealed verses, seeking to undermine them - those will be summoned to the Hell punishment." (34:38). The KSA regime has spent more than 100 billion $ to spread and propagate Wahabism to mislead people from the pathway of God: the Quran, and this emergence of such evil sinners who commit this unpardonable crime is predicted in the Quran as well: "Those who disbelieve spend their wealth to repel from God's path. They will spend it, then it will become a source of sorrow for them, and then they will be defeated. Those who disbelieve will be herded into Hell." (8:38). Islam is based on peace and justice; "We did not send you except as mercy to humankind. " (21:107). Thus, God has sent Muhammad to convey the Quran as mercy to the humankind NOT to terrorize, fight, enslave, or commit injustices against the humankind. Yet, caliphs/rulers committed crimes of aggressions, violence, terror, grave injustices, and enslavement, and imams and scholars of the Muhammadans created and forged legislations for such crimes, based on the Arab conquests that were fighting for the sake of devils, a topic which is tackled exhaustively in our book (published in Arabic and in English on our website) titled "The Unspoken-of History of the Pre-Umayyad 'Righteous' Caliphs".  We are in the book you are reading now will discuss at length the topic of slaves in the Quranic sharia legislations deliberately ignored and overlooked by imams and scholars of the Sunnite religion and its Sunnite sharia legislations.      



1- Ben Levante: I agree to the views expressed in this article but I have a comment and a question: about 9:5, you have mentioned before in other articles that polytheists used to perform prayers but did not observe piety entailed by it, as would do any devout pious righteous Muslim, but in 9:11, we read that if polytheists stop aggression and pay zakat and perform prayers faithfully, they would be brethren in faith, despite their being polytheists, when they adhere to peace. We know that the Quranic Chapter 9 is titled ''Repentance'' and that it was revealed as per traditional views of order as no. 113 and was followed by the Quranic Chapter 110, titled "Victory", ordered in revelation as no. 114, with 110:2, predicting victory upon entering Mecca. I think that such verses might indicate Islamization by force! I am presupposing that the Quranic Chapter 9 was revealed before entering Mecca. What do you personally think, Dr. Mansour? Now, as for my comment on slaves owned by one's right hand, I have read once in previous articles and comments on this website that ''owned'' is a verb in the past form in the Quranic text, indicating something in the past before the Quranic revelation, and hence, some people think that this is an indication that the Quran urges believers to stop owning slaves to prepare for abolishment of such practice of slavery; such view is supported by 8:67 and 47:4, which are verses that indicate no permission of capturing or keeping POWs, as enslavement is rendered impossible when believers were not allowed to capture captives or POWs; what do you think, Dr. Mansour?         

2- Dalya Samy: I think that that the topic of slaves in the Quranic text is misunderstood by most Muslims and non-Muslims alike because or terrorist actions, past and present, as terrorists committed the crimes of enslavement, violence, and rape. I hope God will help you, Dr. Mansour, to explain to us the Quranic Truth concerning this thorny issue of slaves, and we are waiting for the rest of articles on that subject.  

3- Dr. A. S. Mansour: We thank all of you, our beloved fellow Quranists, and we implore God to aid us to continue our intellectual endeavors. As for the question related to the verses 9:5 and 9:11, we have answered it a lot in previous articles and in a televised program episode, but we will write about it a separate coming article. Briefly, we stress here that in Islam (the Quran alone), there is no such notion as killing POWs, as we will discuss in detail in a coming research that will criticize the false biography of Ibn Ishaq about Prophet Muhammad and refuting its falsehood of Muhammad's murdering POWs. Usually, in Arab conquests and in wars following that era even when 'Muslims' fought one another, ordinary POWs and captives were killed, while sparing captured leaders to gain ransom money or to make them cards to negotiate anything. As for captured civilians like women and children, they were enslaved and sold or distributed as slaves in most cases. Likewise, such enslavement of civilians was a custom in raids in the pre-Islamic period in Arabia, a custom stopped by the advent of Islam that urged peaceful behavior and people complied to demeanor of non-violence. But once Prophet Muhammad died, enslavement of captured women and children retuned with a vengeance in the wars of caliph Abou Bakr, as per historical accounts. Within the crime of Arab conquests, enslavement gained momentums, as one of the targets of conquerors was to capture beautiful women as part of spoils of wars. Naturally, we gain much benefit from all your questions and comments that enrich our topic here; as usually, we begin an article that will turn into a series of article grouped in a book form later on because of questions we receive that urge us to explore the topic further within many angles. This is a result of your following an questions; many God reward all of you. We note here that what we are writing chiefly expresses our points of view of which we bear responsibility before Almighty God; He knows we are trying hard to verify the truth as much as we can; and if sometimes we err, we ask His pardon and mercy.       

4- Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti: I thank Dr. Mansour for showing us how God in the Quran is willfully and misunderstood when His verses are viewed unfairly. We know from 4:11-112 that God will punish sinners and criminals who frame innocent ones by blaming them for sins and crimes they never did, then what about criminals who spread corruption on earth, raid, steal, rob, murder, and enslave using God's religion as a cover for such heinous acts by ascribing to God sharia legislations fabricated by men and are never part of the Quran! This is grave injustice against God, prophets, and all human beings! God is the Just One who will make the unjust ones suffer in the Hereafter, when in the Last Day their apologies will be of no avail to them. All Quranists must side with God the Dominant and the Just; for His Mercy is powerful and his Power is merciful, and we must not side with the unjust, powerful people as God is more Powerful and Just. All criminals and sinners will realize in vain after it is too late that they were wrong; see 26:97-101 , and remember that God says nothing but the Truth.   

5- Muhammad Al-Sharbaty: I have pondered and reflected a lot upon the verse 9:5, and I would like to share my impressions with readers and I hope Dr. Mansour will correct me if I get this wrong. I am inclined to think that the intended meaning of 9:5 is that if captives repented and resorted to peace and listened to God's word, they must be set free, as POWs remained in captivity until wars came to an end as per 47:4, a verse indicating that captives must be released as an act of goodness or to be exchanged with captives taken by the enemies, after wars would end to avoid further aggressions. Hence, Muslims  can make an exception in case a captive resorted to peace and surrendered, and this captive will remain loyal and grateful to Muslims who released him before wars would end.      

6- Shorouk Al-Rakhawy: I tend to think that of course, we are never to care who converts or gets out of the belief in the Quran; but we must care to defend the image of Islam and to correct views of non-Muslims regarding it. This ex-Sunnite European man is deceiving viewers by stressing the falsehood that sources of Islam is books authored by ancient and contemporary Sunnite scholars. This falsehood must be refuted as the only source of Islam is the Quran alone, and not any other books authored by persons who claim to talk in the name of Islam. This European man viewed the Quran within books of interpretations that contain faulty views regarding all verses, and the ancient interpretations have little reference to the real meanings of the Quranic verses, especially the verse in question about slaves. We, Quranists, must at least explain and elucidate the right ideas, notions, and interpretations of Quranic verses to restore the rightful images of the great Islam; yet, Quranism does not spread, whereas Sunnite and Shiite views on the Quran spread and dominate, causing people to forsake Islam or to convert to Wahabism, which is disguised as Islam. I am waiting impatiently for the rest of the series of articles as it will surely contain pieces of information on that important subject that every Muslim should know.  



Terminology of Male and Female Slaves between God's Sharia Laws and Legislations of Muslims


  The crime of Arab conquests resulted in many negative things that included enslavement, and at that time, the earthly, man-made, fabricated religions of 'Muslims', whom we call the Muhammadans instead, began to be take form. Of course, the Sunnite religion of injustice and tyranny has specialized in creating legislations to justify what occurred in real-life within the caliphate empire headed by the Qorayish tribesmen: the pre-Umayyad caliphs, the Umayyad caliphs, and then the Abbasid caliphs. The Sunnite legislations, past and present, overlook and reject the Quran entirely, and they have their own coined terminology instead. Hence, we must differentiate between Quranic sharia terminology regarding male and female slaves and the terminology of the Sunnite sharia that has nothing to do with the Quran at all. To make this differentiation clear, we note these points below.


1- The Quranic text never mentions the terms ''slaves'' and ''enslavement''; rather, such terms dominate the culture, writings, and the historical accounts of the Muhammadans in many eras as well as their books of theology and ''fiqh'' (i.e., religious jurisprudence).

2- The Muhammadans have used Quranic terminologies by ascribing to them different meanings which have nothing to do with the real Quranic meanings or semantic levels. A flagrant example is the terms ''jariya'' and ''jawary", which means in the books of the Sunnite Muhammadans ''a female slave'' and ''female slaves'', respectively. Both terms denote different meanings in the Quran: both are derived from the Arabic verb "jara", which means: to run, to move fast. The terms derived from this Arabic verb in the Quranic text mean different things. One level of meaning is ships moving in the sea (the Arabic term is between brackets in the following verses): "And of His signs are the ships (i.e., jawary) sailing the sea like flags." (42:32). "His are the ships(i.e., jawary), raised above the sea like landmarks." (55:24). "When the waters overflowed, We carried you in the ship (i.e., jariya)." (69:11). Another level of meaning is running water, in describing water springs in Paradise: "In it is a flowing (i.e., jariya) spring" (88:12).  Another level of meaning is a type of stars sweeping and moving in outer space that are probably black holes vacuuming and engulfing other stars and space bodies: "We swear by the stars that are running (i.e., jawary) and sweeping." (81:15-16). This is a great major scientific fact which is mentioned in the Quran, revealed to Muhammad 14 centuries ago.     

3- It is noteworthy that the ancient imams, theologians, and scholars of the Muhammadans deliberately overlooked and ignored the Quranic term for female slaves: "fatayat", to whom men can get married if they cannot marry free women: "If any of you lack the means to marry free believing women, he may marry one of the believing female slaves(i.e., fatayat)…" (4:25). God says the following verse about not punishing female slaves "fatayat" when they were forced to be sex workers: "…And do not compel your slave-girls (i.e., fatayat) to prostitution, seeking the materials of this life, if they desire to remain chaste. Should anyone compel them - after their compulsion, God is Forgiving and Merciful." (24:33). The term ''fatayat'' in the sense of female slaves is never used at all in all Arabic literature or books of fiqh in all eras.

4- The ancient imams, theologians, and scholars of the Muhammadans have used the Quranic terms ''abd'' and its plural form ''abeed" to denote slave and slaves, but in the Quran, both terms have some additional very different meanings; we note the following points below.

4/1: One of the meanings of the term ''abd'' in the Quran is ''a male slave'' in the following verse: "O you who believe! Retaliation for the murdered is ordained upon you: the free for the free, the slave (i.e., abd) for the slave…" (2:178). In the following verse, the term ''abd'' means ''a male slave'' and the term "amah" means ''a female slave": "Do not marry female polytheists unless they have believed. A believing female slave (i.e., amah) is better than a polytheistic one, even if you like her. And do not marry male polytheists, unless they have believed. A believing male slave is better than a polytheistic one, even if you like him…" (2:221).

4/2: God uses in the Quran the term ''abd'' in the sense of "the obedient servant of God" to praise some prophets. "The descendants of those We carried with Noah. He was an appreciative servant (i.e., abd)." (17:3). "And We have given Solomon to David, an excellent servant (i.e., abd)." (38:30).

4/3: God uses the plural terms ''abeed'' (its literal meaning is 'slaves') and its synonymous variant ''ibad'' to denote all humanity at large. "…God wants no injustice for the servants (i.e., ibad)." (40:31)."…and We are not unjust to the servants (i.e., abeed)." (50:29)."…Your Lord is not unjust to the servants (i.e., abeed)." (41:46)."…and because God is not unjust to the servants (i.e., abeed)." (22:10). "…and because God is not unjust to the servants (i.e., abeed)." (8:51). "…and because God is not unjust towards the servants (i.e., abeed)." (3:182). We have mentioned these verses to assert another fact as well: In God's religion, all types of injustices are prohibited, and since enslavement is one of the worst types of injustices committed by human beings to other inflicted human beings, it is prohibited in Islam; we are never to forget that God is Kind toward His human creatures: "…God is kind towards the servants (i.e., ibad)." (2:207). "…God is Kind towards the servants (i.e., ibad)." (3:30).

4/4: The difference between the above terms is the ownership type; the terms ''abd'' and ''amah'' to mean male slave and female slave, respectively, come in the Quranic text with possessive pronouns that refer to human owners. Let us quote this verse to exemplify this: "And wed the singles among you, and those who are fit among your servants and maids…" (24:32). As for the terms ''ibad'' and ''abeed'', referring to humans in general or prophets in particular, we see them as owned by God himself; this indicates  complete equality among human beings (free male and female persons, male and female slaves, and all prophets) as being owned by God. The true believers are the servants of the Dominant God must obey His Word: the Quran, and to worship Him alone. In obeying God's Word and in acts of worship, there is no difference between free persons and slaves; all believers must perform prayers, fast during Ramadan, pay zakat alms, perform pilgrimage, and remain pious as per divine sharia laws in the Quran. All human beings will be brought to the Last Day individually, each like an obedient servant or ''abd'', with absolute equality, without differences among any creature, angel Gabriel, Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Moses' Pharaoh, or even Spartacus: "There is none in the heavens and the earth but will come to God the Dominant as a servant (i.e., abd). He has enumerated them and counted them one by one, and each one of them will come to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone." (19:93-95).    

4/5: God asserts His ownership of prophets by using the term ''abd'' often along with possessive pronouns. "Before them the people of Noah disbelieved. They rejected Our servant (i.e., abd)…" (54:9). "And mention Our servant (i.e., abd) Job, when he called out to his Lord…" (38:41). "…We found him patient. What an excellent servant! (i.e., abd)…" (38:44). "A mention of the mercy of your Lord towards His servant (i.e., abd) Zechariah." (19:2). "Glory to Him who journeyed His servant (i.e., abd) by night…" (17:1). "…and mention Our servant (i.e., abd) David…" (38:17). "…provided you believe in God and in what We revealed to Our servant (i.e., abd)…" (6:41). "And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like these…" (2:23).

4/6: God asserts His ownership of all humanity, free ones and slaves, by the term ''ibad'' (i.e., literally, slaves) in addition to the possessive pronouns. "And when My servants (i.e., ibad) ask you about Us, We are near…" (2:186). "Say, "Who forbade God's finery which He has produced for His servants (i.e., ibad)…" (7:32). "Do they not know that God accepts the repentance of His servants (i.e., ibad)…" (9:104). "…And if He wants good for you, none can repel His grace. He makes it reach whomever He wills of His servants (i.e., ibad)…"  (10:107).

5- Having shown the discrepancy in terminologies of the Sunnite legislation/sharia and the Quranic sharia/legislation terminology, we show in the next section the differences between the legislations of the Muhammadans regarding slaves and the Quranic legislations concerning the same issue.


Slaves in the Islamic Quranic sharia legislations:


 Of course, we mean one thing by the term ''Islamic legislation or sharia'': the Quranic one as the divine revelation and only source of Islam. This is to be distinguished from legislations of the Muhammadans in their earthly, man-made, fabricated religions. The Sunnite legislation differs totally from the Quranic one, and the same applies to legislative purposes, rules, laws, prohibitions, and other details wen the Sunnite creed is compared to Islam: the Quran alone. We remind readers here that the legislative purposes in the Quran is more important than the legislative rules, which in their turn control Quranic prohibitions, commands, and other details, as definitive verses and similar verses assert one another in a harmonious way.


The Quranic legislative purpose within the issue of slaves:


1- Justice is one of the higher values and the supreme legislative purposes in the Islamic/Quranic sharia. All celestial messages are sent by God to establish justice: "We sent Our messengers with the clear proofs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance, that humanity may uphold justice…" (57:25), and charity is placed above justice in the Quran: "God commands justice, charity, and goodness as well as generosity towards relatives. And He forbids immorality, and injustice, and oppression. He advises you, so that you may take heed." (16:90).

2- All legislative rules, commands, and details in the Quran submits to the higher value of justice, especially when we consider that God in the Quran stresses the prohibition of injustice and that injustice is linked in the Quranic text to disbelief within hundreds of verses.

3- Concerning the topic of slaves, we discern that justice and charity together are the legislative purposes, and consequently, we conclude that enslavement is prohibited in the first place and is to be nipped in the bud from the very beginning, because it is a grave injustice. We remind readers of the following verses: "…God wants no injustice for the servants (i.e., ibad)." (40:31)."…and We are not unjust to the servants (i.e., abeed)." (50:29)."…Your Lord is not unjust to the servants (i.e., abeed)." (41:46)."…and because God is not unjust to the servants (i.e., abeed)." (22:10)."…and because God is not unjust to the servants (i.e., abeed)." (8:51). "…and because God is not unjust towards the servants (i.e., abeed)." (3:182).  

4- Consequently, the peaceful Islamic country must stop slavery and enslavement in the first place, as such a country must be based on justice and human rights; we do believe that enslavement is surely prohibited in Islam. Yet, as such a country that applies Quranism cannot possibly impose its Quranic sharia on other countries that have male and female slaves, it is expected that this Islamic country might witness brought slaves into it by buying or granting them to citizens. We know quite well that buying and selling is based on mutual consent in Islam. Thus, it is not prohibited to buy slaves who are already enslaved, and it is not prohibited to bring bought slaves into such Islamic country. The reason: being brought to it will actually help to free them and to give them their rights, when Quranic sharia laws are applied in dealing with such slaves brought from outside the Islamic country.    


The Quranic legislative purpose within the issue of freeing brought slaves:  


  There are varied cases imposed by God to free brought male and female slaves bought by male and female believers. These cases are detailed below.


Atonement for sins:


1- Within crimes of manslaughter, a believer who accidentally cause the death of another believer must free a believer slave, among other atonement acts: "Never should a believer kill another believer, unless by error. Anyone who kills a believer by error must set free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the victim's family, unless they remit it as charity. If the victim belonged to a people who are hostile to you, but is a believer, then the compensation is to free a believing slave. If he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty, then compensation should be handed over to his family, and a believing slave set free. Anyone who lacks the means must fast for two consecutive months, by way of repentance to God. God is All-Knowing, Most Wise." (2:92). 

2- Within reneging on one's oaths done by swearing to God to do a certain act, which is a mistake that hardly anyone avoids, one is encouraged to free a slave as an act of atonement, among other options: "God does not hold you accountable for your unintended oaths, but He holds you accountable for your binding oaths. The atonement for it is by feeding ten needy people from the average of what you feed your families, or by clothing them, or by freeing a slave. Anyone who lacks the means shall fast for three days. That is the atonement for breaking your oaths when you have sworn them. So keep your oaths. Thus God makes clear His Revelations to you, that you may be grateful." (5:89).

3- Freeing a slave is an act of atonement for estranging one's wife, i.e., by declaring solemnly that one's wife is no longer as such, which is an act akin to divorce "Those who estrange their wives by equating them with their mothers, then go back on what they said, must set free a slave before they may touch one another. To this you are exhorted, and God is well aware of what you do. But whoever cannot find the means must fast for two consecutive months before they may touch one another. And if he is unable, then the feeding of sixty needy people. This, in order that you affirm your faith in God and His Messenger. These are the ordinances of God. The unbelievers will have a painful punishment." (58:3-4)



Freeing slaves as a good deed rewarded by God:


1- True pious and righteous believers are urged in the Quran to free slaves: "the freeing of a slave, or feeding on a day of hunger an orphan or  near kin or a destitute in distress" (90:13-16). "Righteousness does not consist of turning your faces towards the East and the West. But righteous is he who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Scripture, and the prophets. Who gives money, though dear, to near relatives, and orphans, and the needy, and the homeless, and the beggars, and for the freeing of slaves; those who perform the prayers, and pay the obligatory charity, and fulfill their promise when they promise, and patiently persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and in the time of conflict. These are the sincere; these are the pious." (2:177).

2- Freeing of slaves is part of expenditures of charity/zakat money within an Islamic country that applies Quran: "Charities are for the poor, and the destitute, and those who administer them, and for reconciling hearts, and for freeing slaves, and for those in debt, and in the path of God, and for the traveler in need-an obligation from God. God is All-Knowing, Most Wise." (9:60).

3- Believers are urged in the Quran to draw contracts with their slaves to free them in return for money or works done within a certain period, and in that case, the believers must help slaves to free themselves and fulfill the conditions stipulated in the contract: "…If any of your slaves wish to be freed, grant them their wish upon a contract, if you recognize some good in them. And give them of God's wealth which he has given you…" (24:33).


The Quranic legislative rule in dealing charitably with brought slaves:


1- Acting generously, charitably, and kindly toward slaves is among Quranic commands to act in the same way toward relatives, parents, etc. "…and be good to the parents, and the relatives, and the orphans, and the poor, and the neighbor next door, and the distant neighbor, and the close associate, and the traveler, and your slaves…" (4:36).

2-Being chartable and kind toward one's slaves in one's household include treating them like members of the household as they are to be provided for by the owners in every respect, and despite the fact that God made earnings of people differ from one person to the other, but owners of slaves must spend money on them as they spend on any other household members of the family; otherwise, not spending enough on slaves is a grave sin: "God has favored some of you over others in livelihood. Those who are favored should share their earnings with their slaves, to the extent of making them partners in it. If otherwise, will they then renounce God's blessings?" (16:71).

3- Within social legislations of etiquette and social mores, within  households, slaves are treated as equal household members; see 24:32 and 24:58.


Getting married to one's slave:


1- When a female owner marries her male slave and when  male owner marries his female slave, this is another Quranic way to free slaves urged in the Quranic text, with God's promise to reward such couple, within Quranic encouragement to marry the poor, the widows, the divorced ones, and slaves: "And wed the widows among you, and those who are fit among your slaves and maids. If they are poor, God will enrich them from His bounty. God is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing." (24:32)

2- Hence, a woman can get married to her male slave and a man can get married to his female slave/maid. God says the following about features and traits of real pious believers: "Those who safeguard their chastity, except from their spouses and their slaves…" (23:5-6). These verses refer to the fact that one can get married to one's slave, of the opposite sex, and NOT to have sex with slaves without marriage as others presume when reading these verses. This meaning is repeated in 70:29-30. 

3- When a man desires to marry his female slave/maid, she has to receive her dowry as in the case of marrying free women, as justice requires and so do social mores about fairness and equality. The Quran entails this as we read in the following verse: "If any of you lack the means to marry free believing women, he may marry one of the believing maids. God is well aware of your faith. You are from one another. Marry them with the permission of their guardians, and give them their dowry fairly…" (4:25). The Quran has allowed an exception once to Prophet Muhammad to marry without paying a dowry, but his was a special legislation for him that ended soon enough in the same following verse, as we understand that paying a dowry is a must by men to women, free ones or maids/female slaves, before getting married to them: "O Prophet! We have permitted to you your wives to whom you have given their dowries…and a believing woman who has offered herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desires to marry her, exclusively for you, and not for the believers…" (33:50).

4- The Quran mentions clearly that if one' wife who was a former female slave committed adultery, she will be inflicted with half of the punishment of flogging: "…When they are married, if they commit adultery, their punishment shall be half that of free women…" (4:25). But this punishment is not applied when this woman, who was a former slave, is forced into prostitution; see 24:33.   

5- A female slave who is brought into an Islamic country might have been married in her former life and such marriage is dissolved by separation indeed; Muslims within her new location bear no guilt in this, of course, but in such cases as these,  such a female slave can remarry in her new society that ensures her rights within justice and fairness, if she is not freed by act of goodness by individuals or by the country or government itself. In that context, we understand God's orders in the Quran in urging male Muslims marrying their female slaves.

6- This female slave when becomes one's wife, she has all rights of free married women: justice, fairness, equality, charity, being spent on, housing, rights and dues after divorce, etc. except in dividing a man's time between his free wife and his former slave wife, while the Quran positively asserting the impossibility of achieving complete injustice in cases of polygamy; see 4:3, 4:19, and 4:129-130.



1- Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti: I want to be permitted to object, Dear Dr. Mansour, to the point No. 4 in the section titled "The Quranic legislative purpose within the issue of slaves". I have learned from you, Dr. Mansour, that the great Islamic Quranic sharia fits all eras and locations, but as regarding point No. 4, slavery and enslavement are out of the question; they are not to exist as the UN considers trading in humans and enslavement as crimes, which are committed by ISIS terrorists in Iraq. I have learned from you, Dr. Mansour, that as per the Quran, no one is to prohibit anything unless its prohibition is mentioned in the Quran; hence, I see your point in the fact that any Islamic country should not prohibit buying slaves or impose abolishment of slavery on other countries. Yet, as for applying this, such a scenario is impossible to be enacted due to many obstacles. I have learned from you, Dr. Mansour, that the first-world countries are nearer to Islam in their application of justice, but let us take the USA as an example. If the USA would buy slaves from ISIS to free them, this will certainly encourage ISIS terrorists to enslave more women to engage in a lucrative business. This is unthinkable in the age of human rights and UN international charters and agreements that are against trading in human beings. Hence, how come an Islamic country would buy slaves to free them?! This is akin to opening markets for enslavers to commit their crime more and more. Of course, one can hardly expect ISIS to free slaves by giving them for free to the USA or any other country! Hence, your proposed view to buy slaves to free them is impossible to apply in our age. Such lucrative business will encourage more enslavement of innocent ones to get more money! Such money will make ISIS terrorists buy more weapons and arms to massacre and terrorize people. No respectable country and a UN member would agree to buy slaves captured by ISIS. Of course, I agree to the fact that the Quranic legislation regarding slaves solve a problem found in the 7th century and beyond, but there should be no slavery and enslavement in the 21st century! Only the criminal ISIS terrorists alone enslave women and children now. Please accept my regards, Dr. Mansour.          

2- Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti: I would like to be permitted to add a final point here to the above comment of mine, dear Dr. Mansour.  To prove that your proposed view is non-applicable in our modern age, I remind you that you have written here in the above section that freeing slaves is a good deed to attain piety and get nearer to God and to atone and expatiate sins, but you forget that there are no slaves market now! This legislation cannot be applied in our modern era! Slaves in the proper sense of the term are not found except with ISIS terrorists. We are to apply laws of human beings and the constitutions endorsed by direct democracy as you, Dr. Mansour, have told us, as this is the essence of Islam as per the Yathreb city-state ruled by Prophet Muhammad. At that time in the 7th century, slavery was there, but now, in the 21st century, if one buys a slave from ISIS in Syria or Iraq and returns home, this person will be arrested, accused of trading in human beings. Hence, freeing slaves cannot be applied as expatiation of sins in the 21st century. Would anyone dare to seek to buy a slave from ISIS to atone for one's sins?! I have the gravest doubts on that subject! Sorry for taking much of your time, Dr. Mansour, and God bless you! 

3- Nihad Haddad: I have a question that I pose before you, Dr. Mansour. I appreciate your kindness and your love for our religion, but I want to be permitted to object to the above section! I am never convinced with the notion of marrying a female slave who are married before being enslaved! If anyone has enslaved the beautiful wife of your son, Dr. Mansour, would you accept her being married to someone else because she is separated by force from your son?! This is very humiliating to any respectable women! I cannot believe that you have suggested such a notion! Is this notion part of our sharia?! But I wholeheartedly agree on prohibiting all types of slavery that exist now, of course. What about if the enslaved woman loves her husband and hates her male owner that wants to marry her?! Is there any logic in forcing her to re-marry?! This has nothing to do with justice and human dignity as well as human rights and women's rights!  Please accept my regards for your person.

4- Ben Levante: I was shocked, Dr. Mansour, when I read your views of bringing slaves into one's country by buying them since buying and selling is based on mutual consent in Islam. I can hardly imagine that there is a difference between enslavement and buying slaves, unless one intends to free them. I understand that there must have been a need to abolish enslavement gradually so as not to allow of the injustice of owners losing their money when they bought slaves when that was permissible in the 7th century, and thus gradual abolishment of certain laws is required. I deduce from 33:50 and 2:194 that if an enemy allows itself to enslave Muslims, Muslims would have the right to enslave persons of that enemy; is this right? Thank you!  

5- Dr. A. S. Mansour: We urge our beloved fellow Quranists to have patience; more articles on the subject are on the way to see how our modern age can apply sharia legislations regarding slaves. We remind you that marriage is based on mutual consent between adults; in the case of a female slave who are married, her marriage comes to an end because she is forcibly separated from her husband, and she has of course the right to change her status into ''single'' or to remain declaring herself as a married woman. Of course, she would remarry only if she desires to, and her consent is a must. All rules and legislations, when applied, must submit to the higher value in Islam: justice and the prohibition of injustice. God never wants injustice to human beings. 

6- Muhammad Al-Sharbaty: I thank Dr. Mansour for this article, but I also have some questions. In 23:6, why is there a differentiation or a distinction between wives and former-slaves wives? The latter have become free wives as well, right? Can a man marry a free woman and a female slave simultaneously? As for POWs, in defensive wars of course, how they are to be treated if they include slaves and free men of the enemy's side? Are captured slaves to be returned to their owners/masters and to suffer the hell/yoke of slavery?! Are they to be freed? Are they to be considered like spoils of war?! 

7- Ahmed Drami: Dr. Mansour, I appreciate your excellent analysis here, and I think that God's sharia laws have not been applied in the 7th century retroactively, as we deduce from matters worse than owning slaves like marrying one's father's widow or marrying two sisters simultaneously; see 4:22-23. Hence, the same applies to owning slaves; we may safely say that God prohibits procuring and owning new slaves from now on (during Muhammad's lifetime) and not retroactively before the advent of Islam, and this is why God has urged people to marry their slaves to restore their lost dignity. But this applies to slaves owned by Arabs before the revelation of the Quran, while they were not to enslave or buy more slaves unless to free them or to marry them. Marrying them is like freeing them, in my opinion, as steps to abolish slavery. But not to be fair in dividing one's time among wives who were former slaves and confining the notion to free women/wives is bewildering me; please, Dr. Mansour, this needs more explanation. How do we find proof of such view in the Quran? Thank you!   

8- Othman Ali: This is indeed an important topic about slaves that provokes important comments from readers among our fellow Quranists. We have the right to take pride in Dr. Mansour, the great Islamic thinker, and we can take pride in the fact that we live in the same era with him, discuss his ideas, and pose questions to him about them within elevated calm discussion. This proves that Quranists are not a group of blind followers to a leader and they are not a Sufi order with adepts and a sheikh who dominates their minds and they have no right to question such Sufi sheikh. Indeed, this Quranism website is a refined, unique school of thought centered around the Noble Quran, with researchers, writers, and commenters who think innovatively to understand and deduce Quranic facts and tenets and share their ideas with one another. As regarding the topic of slaves itself, I have understood from the above section/article that these are the views of Dr. Mansour in case slavery is returned in our contemporary age. Dr. Mansour wants to hammer two ideas home, in my opinion: 1) enslavement and slavery are prohibited now in what should be an Islamic country, and 2) if female and male persons were enslaved elsewhere, what would be better for them? To remain slaves who are denied justice, rights, and charity or to be brought in an Islamic country to enjoy justice, rights, and charity until freed one day? Hence, this is clearly not a call for enslavement or a revival of Middle-Ages slavery; rather, this is a call urging to buy slaves to free them (in case there are slaves in our modern world) and to bring them from non-Islamic countries to free them, until the globe is free from the crime of slavery. Of course, slavery and enslavement are prohibited in the truly Islamic country, and I think Islam urges the prohibition of enslavement centuries before Abraham Lincoln. As slavery is sadly revived by ISIS terrorists, Islamic governments and military armies must fight such terrorists to stop their menace and to free enslaved people who are sold by ISIS terrorists. All Muslim rich persons, especially presidents, kings, businessmen, billionaires, etc., must raise a fund to ransom such captives or POWs from their oppressors, tyrants, and terrorists. Such freed captives were not slaves in the first place, of course; they were victims of the worst crime ever, and these ransoms are by no means an enticement to encourage ISIS terrorists and other criminals to enslave other women to sell them! Military operations must be done to fight ISIS and to stop such a threat.  

9- Othman Ali: To continue my point, I think that ransoming hostages, POWs, or slaves to free them is an Islamic duty applied and performed by the international community in case this is required; I heard about a Jewish Iraqi billionaire who bought Iraqi women from ISIS and helped them to immigrate to a European country. This is an Islamic great deed. I want to sum up my viewpoints in the following brief points: 1) enslavement is, or should be, prohibited in a given Islamic country, 2) ISIS terrorists and their likes must be fought militarily to free captives, 3) a fund must be raised to ransom such captives when necessary, 4) once freed, they are no longer treated as female and male slaves, but as free persons as they used to be before being captured, 5) the Islamic country must care and provide for them and return them to their homelands once liberated from ISIS terrorists or to allow them to work and live in safety, 6) no freed female captives are to marry except by her own free will, treated within laws as free women and not as former slaves, especially if their former husbands are lost, and 7) a given Islamic country must act charitably toward freed captives and not to treat them as former slaves.  

10- Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti: I feel bound to express my admiration of the comment written by Ahmed Drami, and I feel he expresses my own views as well; the Yathreb city-state had to deal with the problem of slavery within the conditions prevalent at the time, as sudden abolishment was not possible; if it had not been for the crime of Arab conquests, slavery would have been abolished centuries ago in Arabia and the Middle East due to the Quranic teachings. Of course, it was a good example to strike as related to 4:22-23, as Islam in the Quran tackles the prohibition of bad habits prevalent in former centuries before the advent of Islam. Sadly, if the early Muslims would have adhered to the Quranic teachings about slaves, enslavement would have been abolished by now, and we would not have to face ISIS terrorists and criminals who revived such grave injustice of enslavement. Thank you all!

11- Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti: I wholeheartedly agree with the comment by Othman Ali; his words sound like the ones of a perfect legislator and his jargon. I like your summing up the whole matter in such brief, neat points. Such points fit for the UN and other bodies. I feel that we are not to encourage ISIS terrorists to enslave more people if we would buy captives to free them. I agree that we are very lucky to be contemporary with the erudite, knowledgeable Dr. Mansour and discuss religion with him, to disagree or to agree with some of his views, and he is patient enough and welcoming all of us and our different views. Other scholars would readily admonish me to stop discussion and questioning as if I committed a sin by posing a question or raising a query! 

12- Othman Ali: I thank Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti, the respectable man, for his compliments to me. God bless him.

13- Dalya Samy: Thank you, Dr. Mansour, for your exhaustive explanations and thought-provoking thoughts drawn from the Quranic verses. But I feel bound to say that I agree with Nihad Haddad that it is strange that a married female captive would re-marry even if she loves her husband whom she knows nothing of his whereabouts. But I do agree with Dr. Mansour that of course, marriage is based on mutual consent of both parties. I thank Othman Ali and Ahmed Drami very much for their valuable comments. Finally, I agree that enslavement and slavery are prohibited now as per the higher Quranic legislative purpose and value: justice. My question is as follows: would a female captive agree to marry her captor, regardless of his religion?! Or her capture is an aggressor to whom she must not get married at all?  

14- Othman Ali: I thank Dalya Samy for her comment and valuable question. God bless her.

15- Ahmed Drami: I thank Dr. Mansour very much for his great analysis of the topic. I stress that as in the cases of prohibition of marrying one's father's widow and the sister of one's wife, as long as one's wife is alive, in 4:22-23 except for cases in the past before the advent of Islam, in owning slaves, one is not to own and buy them unless to free or to marry them. I feel that the Quranic verses do not urge the 7th century Muslims to free all their slaves at once, but prohibit them to own and buy more unless to free or marry them legally. But I would like that Dr. Mansour would explain further about justice among one's wives as different from justice among one's former female slaves married to one along with his wives. I find this hard to understand.

16- Mehdi Malik: I want to express my deep admiration of the above article and its author, Dr. Mansour, who always raises thought-provoking controversial issues to discuss with readers. Quranists are the only people who actually can clear the name of Islam and to clean its tarnished image from centuries-old falsehoods of Salafists and their likes. Of course, I agree that the 7th century Arab conquests were a crime that has nothing to do with Islam, as Arabs betrayed Prophet Muhammad after his death and forsook Islam by committing such crime, in order to establish an Arab empire headed by the Qorayish tribesmen. They had to justify their crimes in their tomes, volumes, and books of fiqh scribed falsely and forcibly to Islam. When we compare immorality and moral degeneration of the West now to the Arab Middle East immorality and moral degeneration now, we see that the West is better as Western people have for centuries worked on liberation and freeing both people and religions as well from all sorts of exploitation, while history of the Muhammadans reflect a very bad distorted image about Islam.       

17- Maktab Hasoob: The problem of slavery and enslavement before the industrial revolution went on within cheap hands or working force that receive little wages; slavery ended actually when the age of the machine began, and Prophet Muhammad could not possibly have ended slavery at once in his era of pre-industrialization; alternatives were not available at the time to abolish slavery once and for all. After the industrial revolution, all countries prohibit enslavement and slavery in their laws; ISIS terrorists must be punished for holding captives. I feel bound to say that slavery in the full historical sense of the word had ended forever, but it has taken other forms that persist until now all over the world within varying degrees.

18- Maktab Hasoob: Of course, slavery is disgusting today as in ancient times, and it has been shrouded in shame and guilt, as the Middle Ages lacked notions of human rights and human dignity and the best means to protect people, but we have to bear in mind that attempts to abolish slavery in India and China in ancient times failed because there were no alternatives to replace slavery.

19- Maktab Hasoob: Another point is that it is NOT  a matter of mottoes like ''tit for tat'' and ''eye for an eye'' in wars that imposed on Muslims and non-Muslims to enslave others; rather, it is the need for slaves to use them in work and building civilizations that entailed wars and enslavement in ancient times. Thus, in modern times, people refuse enslavement and slavery in their old meaning as human values have changed.

20- Maktab Hasoob: I pose this question to Dr. Mansour: what is the difference in a man getting married to free women and in his marrying former female slaves owned by him or by other men?! What about the cases of a woman marrying her male slave?! Thank you in advance.

21- Ahmed Drami: I thank Dr. Mansour for his encouraging words to me. May God protect and preserve him, and we implore the Almighty to help all of us to show real Islam to the whole world and to aid us to live piously and die as true Muslims in terms of faith and behavior. 

22- Ahmed Drami: I thank Dalya Samy for her encouraging words to me. May God protect and preserve her, and we implore the Almighty to help all of us to show real Islam to the whole world and to aid us to live piously and die as true Muslims in terms of faith and behavior.




General Replies to Comments of our Fellow Quranists on the Last Article




1- We take pride, in the first place, in our fellow Quranists on our Quranism website, as they enrich what we write with their comments, discussions, and criticisms, and we feel very grateful to them too; they are applying one of the main rules of Islam: no mortal can ever claim to have the absolute truth, as all views of human beings are points of view that might be right or wrong. It is likely that when one adopts a certain view, one might change one's mind later on for one reason or the other. The opposite stance occurs in the case of the imams and clergymen of the earthly, man-made, fabricated religions who monopolize religious views and edicts and allow no one to contradict, discuss, or criticize them. In contrast, our fatwas (i.e., religious edicts) on our website of Quranism are open to question and comment. We hope by this that one day, all religious clergymen hierarchy or any ecclesiastical system be abolished within the Sunnites, Sufis, and Shiites. Within our very first article in the Cairo-based Egyptian newspaper Al-Akhbar , we called for our generation to be one of dialogue to allow our progeny to be the generation of choice. This article has been written more than 25 years ago, and we have re-published it here on our website – this call is still valid and continues to be applied on our website here. 

2- We take pride, in the second place, in the Quranist school of thought on our website; we do not remember all names of our fellow Quranists who are active commenters, but we note in particular: Othman Ali, Dalya Samy, Nihad Haddad, Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti, Saeed Ali, Osama Qifeisha, Muhammad Shaalan, Ben Levante, Aisha Hussein, Reda Amer, Shukry Al-Saki, Abdel-Rahman Ismael, Donya Al-Forat, Maktab Hasoob, Abdullah Amin, Marwa Ahmed Mustafa, Salah Eddine Karfa, Salah Amer Al-Najjar, Murad Al-Khouly, and Mehdi Malik, and this fine group is joined recently by Ahmed Drami, and we implore the Almighty to reward all of them for their contributions to the Quranism website.

3- We give in this section general replies to the comments under the last section, and more detailed replies will be followed in the coming section.


4- Actually, we have a personal story to share here about the topic of slaves; when we were  preparatory and secondary student in Azharite schools, we used to peruse fiqh books that contain too many details about slaves and enslavement. As an adolescent, we used to feel repulsed by what we read in such books, but our bewilderment would increase as such authors of books would quote the Quran. We used to feel that if slavery were endorsed and allowed in Islam, we would reject this faith (just as this ex-Sunnite European man of the YouTube video). But our deep faith in God, and in the fact that He sent His messenger Muhammad as a mercy to the humankind and the fact that God does not want injustices to the humankind, has driven us at the time to search for the truth in the Quran, a journey that has taken decades now in our endeavor to seek guidance until we reached the theory of Quranism as the true Islam. We remember that at the time, as an adolescent student, we felt indignant at this verse: "O Prophet! We have permitted to you your wives to whom you have given their dowries, and those female slaves you already have, as granted to you by God…" (33:50), as we used to consider it as clear evidence that Muhammad had female slaves of his own. Years later, we calmed down and searched more closely, scrutinizing and poring through history books, to discover that Muhammad did not own female slaves as spoils of any battle; rather, they were given to him as gifts. This means that the Islamic Yathreb city-state had no enslavement of any type, but this enslavement was practiced by others outside it. Cyrus, the roman governor of Egypt at the 7th century, had sent an Egyptian female slave called Maria to Muhammad, who got married to her. There was nothing wrong in that, we suppose. She was a female slave in Egypt and her status changed into a free wife of a great prophet. We have pondered the following verse later on: "If you fear you cannot act fairly towards the orphans-then marry the women you like-two, or three, or four. But if you fear you will not be fair, then one, or female slaves you already have in your right hand. That makes it more likely that you avoid bias." (4:3). We have discerned that this verse allows polygamy, which was prevalent even before the advent of Islam, but the Quran restricts polygamy to make it confined to caring for orphans, to allow them to be brought up within a family; that is why the Quran urges getting married to widows, while stipulating fairness in dealing with one's wives and notifying us that total fairness is very hard to achieve: "You will not be able to treat women with equal fairness, no matter how much you desire it. But do not be so biased as to leave another suspended. If you make amends, and act righteously-God is Forgiving and Merciful.And if they separate, God will enrich each from His abundance. God is Bounteous and Wise." (4:129-130). This shows that the solution lies in men getting married to their female slaves; 3:4 asserts that men are to pay dowries to women they are going to marry, whether these women are free ones or slaves: "Give women their dowries graciously. But if they willingly forego some of it, then consume it with enjoyment and pleasure." (3:4). We began in 1977 to read the Quran in an objective, researching, scientific method, and we have ended up being accused of proselytizing a new religion in Egypt! In fact, we have been announcing the often-forgotten Quranic facts and tenets as the true Islam, as we have discovered that the Quran has been rejected and forsaken for 14 centuries! 

5- In the 1980s, we have written two articles about slaves in Islam, and we have begun an arduous task of poring through countless fiqh and hadiths books, copying endless lines with our pen – before the age of the internet – and such sheets written by us wait to be used in a book project like so many other book projects of ours. In 1995, the Cairo-based independent Rose Al-Youssef Magazine, in which we used to write weekly articles, commissioned us to write an article about ''what your right hand owned'', and we wrote it, and it was published on 6th of March, 1995, titled "What Does the Expression ''What Your Right Hand Owned'' Mean? An Overview of Islam and Enslavement". This article was published on our website later on in two parts titled "Islam and Enslavement: An Introduction: What Your Right Hand Owned''. We have been distracted by other topics and had to stop momentarily exploring the subject further. Years later, we have received an avalanche of questions about slaves, and the series of articles on that topic are transformed into a full-fledged book, as usual, as you are reading it now. 


Firstly: an additional section about Islamic/Quranic sharia legislation about slaves:


 Of course, many Quranic verses we quote here are not analyzed by  us in detail, as we have given such analyses in other previous articles and books. The problem of some readers in our writings is that when we write, we build upon our accumulated previous writings, hoping our dear fellow Quranists have read our previous writings carefully, especially that Quranist topics are intertwined an interlaced. We feel sad that sometimes we have to repeat what we have written as a reminder to readers to read our previous writings that cover extensively the topic in question. For instance, we remind readers of our book titled "Judicial Courts between Islam and Muslims", especially CHAPTER III of PART I about legislations used by judges, which must include the right of a given Islamic country to write new laws like explanatory memos within the higher values and purposes of Quranic sharia legislation: justice, freedom, human dignity, and human rights. We remind readers of our book titled "The Seven Principles of the Real Islamic Sharia and How to Apply Them". Hence, the scope of innovative views and thinking is wide open for us and all of our fellow Quranists regarding slaves, and we give examples below.


1- We read in the Quran the following verse: "Charities are for the poor, and the destitute, and those who administer them, and for reconciling hearts, and for freeing slaves, and for those in debt, and in the path of God, and for the traveler in need-an obligation from God. God is All-Knowing, Most Wise." (9:60). This means that a given Islamic country is the one collecting charities, donations, or alms money by its employees who receive a salary for their efforts, and we know from 9:60 the categories that deserve such charity, as a religious duty ordained by God, that include freeing slaves. Of course, the application of this religious duty entails laws enacted to define poverty (the impoverished needy ones who lack food, medical treatment, housing, and clothes) as well as levels and categories of the impoverished ones in order to decide amounts and varieties of aid, as done by organizations of charity in the West countries and as done by some Islamic countries to spread peace. Hence, laws are made to specify quantities and qualities of needed aid and the channels and regulations to grant aid to those in need. Accordingly, we think that the responsibility of a given Islamic country in freeing slaves in 9:60 does NOT include waging wars against countries that allows slavery and enslavement  as a source of trade and money; the reason for that is simple: fighting in Islam is permissible ONLY in cases of self-defense, when an Islamic country is being militarily attacked. Hence, the application of 9:60 regarding freeing slaves means – in our opinion – to bring/buy slaves to free them. This entails laws applied within certain priorities: who is given the priority to be freed? The vital importance to free whole families to reunite their members, and the care for children and the ill ones after bringing them into the Islamic country. We must point out a number of important items regarding this issue:          

1/1: This is complete freeing of slaves.

1/2: Categories of those deserving charity in 9:60 do not include the specification of the religious affiliations; hence, these categories include Muslims and non-Muslims. This applies to freeing slaves as well. 

1/3: Of course, such legislations are made within a given democratic Islamic country within its parliament that issue laws for the benefit of people and for the general good.

2- Hence, it is possible within a given democratic Islamic country to issue laws and legislations based on justice and charity, which include freeing of slaves as means of atonement or penalties exacted on convicts. There are many crimes with unspecified worldly penalties in the Quran: like drinking wine, drug addictions, monopoly of goods, cheating in weighing goods, cheating in goods in terms of quality or quantity, forgery, fraud, swindling, confiscating money of orphans, etc., and a given democratic Islamic country has the right to issue laws to specify penalties (below the capital punishment) for such offenses. This is apart from crimes with specified penalties in the Quran: adultery, fornication, sexual slander, theft, attacking highways to rob travellers, and murder. In all cases, there is room for atonement and repentance; the repentance within one's heart is judged only by God, as He is the one to deem it sincere or not, to put the sinner in Hell or Paradise accordingly. What should be our concern here is the declared repentance before all society to stop punishment to be exacted on criminals. Thus, in that case, freeing slaves would be among the means of atonement and repentance.

3- Hence, a given Islamic country should issue laws based on charity and justice to encourage individuals to free slaves, based on 2:177, 24:33, and 90:13-16.

4- Accordingly, a given Islamic country bears responsibility toward the female slaves that must be freed, and caring for them includes marrying them to men, with their prior consent of course; let us ponder upon the following verse: "If any of you lack the means to marry free believing women, he may marry one of the believing female slaves that your right hand possesses. God is well aware of your faith. You are from one another. Marry them with the permission of their guardians…" (4:25). The word ''guardians" means either the relatives and family of the female slaves (if present) or the Islamic country that protects and cares for such female slaves after being freed, and such a country will deal with such former slaves fairly within the values of justice and charity.    

5- Hence, applying the Quranic sharia in 4:25 entails that this given Islamic country must be the guardian of such freed female slaves who lost their families and/or husbands by separation. Of course, the Islamic country must try first to reunite them with their families and/or husbands . Yet, sometimes this is not possible for various reasons. Freed female slaves might choose an be willing to marry a men who are to pay dowries, whether these men are former owners/masters of the freed female slaves or not, and the Islamic society must be their guardian and protector. This is expected and required from real believers who adhere to the following verse: "God commands justice, and goodness, and generosity towards relatives. And He forbids immorality, and injustice, and oppression. He advises you, so that you may take heed." (16:90).




1- Jesus was betrayed, denied, and forsaken by some of his companions, and he lived in a society that submitted to the Roman authorities. Muhammad lived in warring society of belligerent tribes that live off looting and raiding, having no qualms and sense of shame to raid and rob others or to be attacked and robbed by other raiders or to engage into years of war over silly, trivial reasons. Likewise, such Arabs at the time considered women as goods or spoils of war to be enslaved as tools of sexual gratification. The advent of Islam was amidst such dominant culture, which included the fact that the Qorayish tribe as the leader of all Arabia as it controls clergymen  around Kaaba Mosque overseeing pilgrimage. Thus, if disciples of Jesus betrayed turned against him after his death as per their dominant culture without raising arms or weapons, the Arabs betrayed Muhammad after his death as well, and betrayed Islam, but this time using their armies and weapons as per their dominant culture of belligerence as well; Arabs knew nothing but the word to settle all disputes. The Yathreb city-state was a utopia amidst Arabian deserts. The Quran attracted Arabs to convert to Islam because of its eloquent style, and entered into peace in groups, and Peace is one of the Holy Epithets of God. Since Qorayish fought Islam to preserve its leadership, it had to feign conversion to it shortly before the death of Muhammad to ensure protection of its leadership as well. Once Muhammad died, peace that reigned supreme in Arabia due to Islam came to an end abruptly, and Arabs returned to their old ways of raiding, looting, massacring, and enslaving. To make matters worse, Qorayish gave to Arabs religious justifications to such crimes; all non-Muslims must be fought, massacred, robbed, enslaved, etc. as per leaders of Qorayish as per their twisting of the meaning of Islam.      

2- Only in daydreaming, it was expected that companions of Muhammad would care for the burgeoning Islamic Yathreb city-state to preserve it with all their might, especially by issuing new laws; yet, the exact opposite happened, when the crime of Arab conquests was committed by Arabs led by caliphs/rulers and then imams/scholars of fiqh (e.g., Malik in Yathreb and Al-Shafei of Qorayish, among others) created the fabricated, man-made, earthly Sunnite religion that opposes real Islam (i.e., the Quran) in order to offer religious justifications and pretexts of crimes of caliphs. The same devilish route of spreading falsehoods to tarnish Islam has been followed by other imams/scholars of non-Arab origin from conquered nations in the Abbasid Era (e.g., Ibn Hanbal, Al-Bokhary, etc.).       

3- In our age of misery, Wahabism has emerged and revived the worst branch of the Sunnite religion: the Ibn Hanbal doctrine, spread by petro-dollars in the name of Wahabism as if it were the only form of 'true' Islam, while in fact it has nothing to do with Islam at all. Wahabism has countless overt and covert organizations, including ISIS terrorists that managed recently to establish a mobile political state based on Sunnite religious terror, reviving historical episodes of terrorism made by caliphs Abou Bakr, Omar, Othman, and Ali as well as their successors, especially in terms of massacres and enslavement, among other heinous crimes.    

4- Within all this, the Quran has been discarded and rejected by all. When Quranists led by us returned to the Quran alone as the only source of Islam, we were accused of proselytizing a new creed that has nothing to do with their Islam (i.e., their Wahabi Sunnite religion), as Islam for them is 'Islamists' like the terrorist ISIS organization, the terrorist MB organization, Al-Qaeda, Al-Azhar, and all Wahabi sheikhs and scholars.

5- We finally assert that all human beings will convene in the Last Day, and God will judge our differences in faith. 




1- Saeed Ali: All Quranists have learned from you, dear Dr. Mansour the great thinker, to wait for God's judgment to settle differences in faith between Quranists and their detractors. Our hearts are pained as the Truth is not known to most people yet, but still, we remember God's reward for the ones observing patience. Dear Dr. Mansour, you have remained patient like all great thinkers of our world, and you have raised the awareness of thousands of people about real Islam: Quranism. May God reward and protect you, for you are such a great man!  

2- Ben Levante: Peace be upon all of you. I see that how the topic of slavery is being tackled here and how various comments on it reflect that confusion remains surrounding such a topic. Needless to say, slavery pertaining to the ancient world is no longer there, but the main issue is how to show the clarity of the Quran toward this subject. We, Quranists, must have a clear-cut notion about this topic, and this applies to all sensitive issues that seem to contradict modern age cherished values, as this is the moot point in the Western hostility toward Islam. Hence, I see that Quranists must have a definitive view on such topics, in a crystalized way that would not stir more debates. Let me assert the following points: 1) Islam came in the 7th century when slavery was ordinary and lawful, 2) slavery went on for centuries after the completeness of the Quranic revelation, 3) enslavement is the source of owning female and male slaves, even when Maria was given as a gift to Muhammad, she was a female slave formerly, 4) the Quranic text is filled with urging commands to free slaves, 5) 24:33 is a verse urging believers directly to free slaves in return for money, as the best way to free slaves is to make them earn their freedom and paying for it any sum of money, while the USA abolishment of slavery did not end the problem of slaves who could not adapt to their new conditions, 6) there are two reason why the Quran does not abolish slavery directly: A it would be unjust to those who bought slaves at the time in the 7th century and lose money that way, and B) it would be unrealistic to command Arabs of the 7th century to free their slaves at once; the focus was on to stop polytheism and disbelief within hearts of people willingly and to apply justice and other higher values of Islam, 7) the bad legacy of slavery is alleviated in the Quran to be removed gradually with the passage of time, and 8) the final question remains to be posed to all of you: as per 2:194, if some Muslims were enslaved by their enemies, would Muslims have the same right to retaliate by doing the same by enslaving persons from the enemy.   

3- Dalya Samy: I feel bound to stress the fact that owning slaves was an issue of the social aspect and it did not pertain to the religious domain; Islam in the Quran tries to make some measure of control over slavery, leaving its total abolishment to occur as human societies would develop. Thus, Islam does not prohibit slavery directly and also is does not support it, but urging liberation of slaves is a definite indication that God does not favor slavery. I agree that slaves in former times in many cases received kind treatment as members of households and had the same duties and rights of free people in marriage and in other cases in the Quranic sharia legislation. I understand why a former female slave would have reduced penalty for adultery if she would cheat her husband who freed and married her, as she is not educated and bred in manners of free women at the time. But I have a question: why there is distinction in status and naming of free women wives and former female slaves wives in 23:6. Thank you, Dr. Mansour.    

4- Yehya Fawzy Nachachbi: I thank Dalya Samy, as her question is very important and I was about to pose it myself. We need further explanation for 23:6 from Dr. Mansour.

5- Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti: With respects to the last two commenters, there is no distinction here; the Noble Quran tries to alleviate the injustices committed by human beings to one another in cases of slavery and enslavement, and it addresses believers in the 7th century that differentiated between free women and female slaves; the Quran uses unique terminology as all of us have learned from our dear Dr. Mansour, and it is most likely that if in 23:6, God would have mentioned wives alone, this might contradict the Quranic commands urging men to marry their female slaves. Before the Quran, female slaves were used sexually by men without marriage, as we know from history. Hence, Quranic sharia urges getting married to one's female slave instead of committing fornication. Hence, free women and former female slaves would be equal in the status of being wives. Hence, God asserts the right of female slaves to be freed and to get married to free men. This solution would be effective within a dominant culture of enslavement in the 7th century. We might feel it strange in our modern age of human rights; but this was an ideal solution in the past. In addition, some free men were too poor to marry free women with huge dowry; instead, they are urged I the Quran to free a female slave and to marry her. Of course, likewise, a free woman might free her male slave to marry him if she liked. In 23:6, let us not forget that God is addressing believers in all eras, not only in the 7th century; God knows that slavery would be abolished in the later eras, and that sadly, some forms of slavery might persist and be revived at times, as we see now. Hence, female slaves are made equal to free women in matters of marriage. I would like Dr. Mansour to support or to refute my views here. Thank all of you!    

6- Dr. A. S. Mansour: We are impressed by the useful comments made here by our fellow Quranists. We greet all of you and may God reward you in Heaven. We will include an article later on about the USA freeing of slaves and later on abolishment of slavery and how we compare it to the Islamic/Quranic solution to the problem. We are glad that many comments predict what we are going to write about; this indicates how much all Quranist share the same way of thinking concerning seeking guidance solely from the Quran. We immensely admire and appreciate all the above comments and questions; our writings and comments will be a great legacy to the coming generations not born yet. This first generation of Quranists will be deemed as the one to discover true Islam discarded, distorted, and rejected since the times of the crime of the Arab conquests. We will answer all queries posed in the next article. My regards and affection to all of you! God bless you all!   

7- Maktab Hasoob: I personally think that the topic is not that complicated, provided that one is not using our modern-age cultural criteria to judge the culture that dominated the 7th century Arabia and most of the Ancient World at the time. In the Middle Ages, slaves and free persons existed as 'normal' social spheres, with certain distinctions to the latter and certain duties and rights expected from both the former and the latter. If such a vision is clear about this past, the topic will be clearer in our minds. Hence, there were two types of marriages for men at the time: to marry a free woman or to marry a freed female slave, and in both cases, duties and rights and dowries are pretty much the same; yet, it is understandable that when a former-slave-turned-wife would cheat her husband by committing adultery, she would be punished by half the penalty exacted from free women/wives, as there were distinctions in classes, social spheres, economical levels, morals, education, etc. between free women and female slaves at the time. Such distinctions existed before the advent of Islam because of inequality and the changing legal status of persons after Islam as the Quran allowed slaves to be freed and to get marry to free persons. Hence, we discern that that Quran  urges that both spheres of free persons and slaves to mingle and intermarry as a step to make human beings abolish slavery in later eras, especially in the ancient world when enslaved women/men had no high social status, rank, position, money, papers, documents, families, etc., as a vulnerable class.

8- Maktab Hasoob: I do not think that there is any link between enslavement and retribution exacted on warring aggressive enemies who captured Muslims as POWs or slaves, as enslavement was dominant even without wars in the past to sell captives into slavery for money. In most cases, progeny of slaves were also treated as slaves, inheriting their parents' social status. Hence, the Quran could not abolish slavery altogether because of economic reasons and working classes that would affect Arabs in the 7th century, but we are to assert that the Quran allows gradual freeing of slaves and that the machines in factories helped humanity to grow up and abolish slavery. Of course, admittedly, slavery still persists in other forms, from China to the West to the Middle East. This is a separate problem we need to tackle here, on our website.

9- Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti: With due respects to both Ben Levante and Maktab Hasoob, the thinker Adnan Al-Rifaei have answered your questions in his videos and lectures, especially about 2:194 and about the fact that there is no enslavement of others in Islam. Please see the following link of Mr. Al-Rifaei:https://www.facebook.com/adnanrefaei/?fref=ts

10- Maktab Hasoob: I do not think that slavery as a topic could be compared to the issue of prohibiting incest; the Quran was revealed in Arabia that had both populations of Bedouins and cities dwellers, with the formers indulged in incestuous relations and the latter as more civilized who never did that. As for slavery, the opposite was true; slavery was dominant on all levels in Arabia and outside Arabia in the ancient world, in deserts, cities, villages, etc. the more civilized man has become, slavery diminished gradually, and we re-assert here that we should not compare the past and present as far as slavery is concerned; we are to focus on social and historical contexts of any issue at hand to understand the topic fully, without reference to our today's culture of human rights that will increase only the prejudice against the Quran by some others.  

11- Saeed Ali: I agree with the opinion of Nihad Haddad and her feminist attitude, and the views of Dr. Mansour on that subject covers the matter fully, but the issue entails further explanation from him, and we would like to urge him to author a scenario for TV or movies including a female slave captured and separated by force from her husband and family, and such a production will certainly be a wake-up call to the Arab mind and a means to clear the name of Islam tarnished and hijacked by Wahabis. Thank you!  

12- Marwa Ahmed Mustafa: I take pride in being a Quranist and in belonging to the Quranism school of thought. We have a great book of God, the Glorious Quran, that all Muslims need to re-read and ponder deeply to lead a better life and find solutions to contemporary social and religious problems in the Arab world. This is better than reading thousands of books on Muslim traditions accumulated through the centuries of Middle-Ages backwardness and its useless details. 




More Detailed Replies to Other Questions:


1- Ben Levante has mentioned in his comment that as far as the verse 2:190 is concerned, Muslims can capture/enslave persons among the warring foes who enslaved/captured Muslims. We beg to differ. If we examine the context of the verses 2:190-194 carefully, we are to discern that the verse 2:190 tackles self-defense fighting in facing aggressors' armies, and NOT to attack civilians to kill, rob, or enslave them. The verse 2:191 explains 2:190 further concerning how to deal justly with the aggressors' armies. The verse 2:192 determines that self-defense fighting must stop if aggression stops. The verse 2:193 shows the purpose of self-defense fighting: to stop religious persecution adopted by abusers of religion who oppress others and coerce them in matters of religion by fighting them militarily, a crime committed by the Qorayish tribesmen against Muhammad and early Muslims. The verse 2:194 is building on verses coming before it; i.e., it urges retaliation while bearing in mind piety and never to transgress so as not to resemble the aggressors who initiated aggression in the first place. Hence, according to all this, we assert that enslavement of civilians is never allowed at all, since the context of the verses 2:190-194 tackles a self-defending fighters who deter aggressors' armies. Even when a fighter/soldier in this aggressive armies utters the word of peace, he is not to be fought or killed, as he adhered to peace by uttering this word and is deemed a believer in terms of peaceful behavior: "Whoever kills a believer deliberately, the penalty for him is Hell, where he will remain forever. And God will be angry with him, and will curse him, and will prepare for him a terrible punishment. O you who believe! When you journey in the way of God, investigate, and do not say to him who offers you peace, "You are not a believer," aspiring for the goods of this world. With God are abundant riches. You yourselves were like this before, and God bestowed favor on you; so investigate. God is well aware of what you do." (2:93-94). Even this aggressor soldier, who is a polytheist in terms of aggressive behavior, must be helped and protected if he sought help in battlefield, to make him listen to the Quran: "And if anyone of the polytheists asks you for protection, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God; then escort him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know." (9:6). This is applicable even if this soldier might have killed some of the self-defense fighters. Let alone civilians (males and females, children, and the elderly) who are peaceful but are resent in a given battlefield. This battle might occur within borders between an Islamic country and the country that attacked it, and Muslims soldiers are never to capture/enslave civilians as this is deemed an act of aggression prohibited by God. Hence, if an army of the enemies enslaved peaceful Muslims, Muslim self-defense fighters are NOT to retaliate by enslaving persons from the enemies; the reason is this Islamic/Quranic rule repeated in the Quranic text five times: "…no soul bears the burdens of another…" (see 6:164, 17:15, 35:18, 39:7, and 53:38). Accordingly, civilians are not guilty and they are not to be burdened with the sins of warring aggressors; thus, their being enslaved certainly contradicts the Quranic supreme value: justice. In a given Islamic country, its government must free those captured by the enemies by ransom or in return for releasing captured persons from the warring enemies' fighters/soldiers. If the enemies refused  to release the Muslim POWs, a given Islamic country must fight them to force them to return the captured ones, within above-mentioned war laws in 2:190-194. Hence experts in all fields in a given Islamic country must bear in mind to apply as much as possible the Quranic rules in applying or issuing laws related to such topics in this article/section and the previous one.           

2- Ben Levante has also asked about 70:29-30, wondering if free women have the right to enjoy sexual favors from their male slaves. We assert here that God addresses both male and female believers in His description of winners in Paradise in 23:1-11. Such descriptions can fit both male and female believers to apply and adhere to them to enter Paradise. Hence, 70:29-30 and 23:5-6 apply to both male and female believers. In our book titled "Women's Right to Aspire to the Presidency of Any Islamic State", we have asserted that the Quranic terms (zawj) ''spouse'' and (azwaj) ''spouses'' mean both a husband and a wife, unless the context of the verse refers to the gender of this spouse, especially that the Arabic modern word (zawja) "wife'' is never mentioned in the Quran at all. Without such reference or specification, we conclude that the Quranic command is addressed to all female and male believers, and hence, in 70:29-30 and 23:5-6, the term (azwaj) ''spouses'' refers to both men and women, and we can safely say that free women can free and marry their male slaves, NOT to have sex with them without marriage. The same goes for men; free men can free and marry their female slaves. Let us remember that the term ''man'' in 70:19-35 means all human beings, males and females.  

3- As for the question of Dalya Samy and Yehya Fawzy Nachachbi, they have asked about the Quranic distinction in the above-mentioned verses in the Quranic Chapters 23 and 70 between ''spouses'' and "those whom your right hand possess"à''i.e., slave". We repeat here that the articles ''or'' and ''and'' are sometimes used in the Quran for the sake of clarification and elucidation, and not to add a new item; thus, the article or in the above verses does not make distinction between slaves and spouses, but it shows their being on equal footing in that Quranic command; i.e., freed slaves who are getting married to their former masters are elevated in status to be their equals and peers.

4- As for the question of Ben Levante about  halving the flogging punishment for former female slaves who turned free wives and committed adultery, we agree that the Quranic justice does NOT mean absolute equality in every aspect; as in many cases, absolute equality in everything is akin to injustice. Of course, the term ''equality'' is not mentioned literally in the Quranic text; rather, its meaning is deduced from 49:13, in which God states that all humanity are brethren as they have descended from one parents. As for the word ''equal'', it is mentioned in the Quranic text to assert a negation of injustice resulting from deeming items as equal: "Is someone who is faithful like someone who is a sinner? They are not equal." (32:18). "…Not equal among you are those who contributed before the victory and fought…" (57:10). "Shall We make the Muslims (i.e., submitters to God) equal to the criminals?" (68:35). Accordingly, it is in the precise Quranic style that the terms ''justice'' and ''just'' are used in the contexts of legislative purposes and commands. 

5- We agree to the comments of Maktab Hasoob about the relation between the abolishment of slavery and the industrial revolution on one hand and the maturity of human beings within the building of civilizations. We will tackle such relation in a coming section/article of this book.

6- As for the question of Maktab Hasoob about getting married to one's freed/former slave or to others' freed slaves. We say that there is no difference at all, as a man is to pay a dowry to the betrothed woman (free or former slave) and to treat her kindly. As for female slaves freed by a given Islamic country, a man is to have the consent of the freed woman as well as the consent of the authorities of this given Islamic country, and this is applicable even if this man used to be the master/protector of this former female slave.

7- We thank Mehdi Malik for his comment that will be further explored in a coming article/section of this book.

8- As for the questions of Muhammad Al-Sharbaty about polygamy involving a free woman and a freed former female slave and about POWs who were originally slaves, would they be treated as spoils or as victims to be returned to their homelands, we assert here that a man can combine wives among free women and former female slaves within mutual consent of all parties concerned; both men and woman have the right of divorce and women have in Islam the right of self-repudiation (i.e., to divorce their husbands and return the paid dowry to them). Such Quranic laws applies to everyone. As for captives or POWs, we have tackled this topic in an article mentioned above. There is no difference between captives/POWs  who were formerly free men or slaves before being captured; both types must be freed and have the choice to remain in the Islamic country that will shelter, protect, and give rights to them or to ask to be returned to their homeland. In Islam (the Quran alone), there is no notion of considering POWs or captives as spoils of war.    

9- We thank Ahmed Drami for his comments, and we affirm here that in 4:22-23 the notion of ''except for cases in the past'' has occurred in the Quran ONLY in relation to two things: prohibition of marrying one's father's widow and marrying two sisters at the same time. As far as our Quranism school is concerned, we assert that one cannot apply Qiyas (i.e., deductive analogy) within matters related to Quranic prohibitions like prohibition of marrying one's father's widow and marrying two sisters at the same time, prohibitions in food items, and prohibition of murder/killing. As for the topic of slavery, remedy is embodied within the Quranic legislative purposes and rules and their details explained by us, within the framework of prohibiting injustices in general. Enslavement is among the worst types of grave injustices from a fellow human being to another. When the Quran was revealed, slavery and enslavement were dominant habits and among the social norms all over the ancient world in the Middle Ages. The Quranic remedy for enslavement and slavery is better and more elevated than the modern-times remedy provided by the Americans and the Europeans – or the West in general – as we will explain in a coming section/article of this book. Of course, the Quranic remedy is to be understood within the framework of the existence of a real Islamic country that would apply the Quranic sharia.   

10- We thank Othman Ali for his comment and agree to his summing up of the subject.

11- We thank Abou Ayoub Al-Kuwaiti for his useful, insightful comment.



 We thank all our fellow Quranists and we feel very grateful to each of the commenters who have enriched the topic of this book; may God reward each one of you.




1- Ben Levante: I thank Dr. Mansour for the answers and the praise of my humble self. I prefer not to mention my real name, and I have mentioned it once to Dr. Mansour in an email message along with reasons for not mentioning it. As for 70:29-30, I am satisfied with the answer provided, but another question remains: could a woman marry many men simultaneously even if such men were former slaves? I need an answer based on the Quran alone. I have another question regarding 4:3 about polygamy. Is polygamy allowed only in cases of men marrying widows with orphans?! I hope my many questions would not tire Dr. Mansour. My greetings to him from Stuttgart!

2- Khaled Saleh: I thank all of commenters for clarifying such important topic. I have a question, though. As for 24:31, is the phrase ''those which their right hands possess" referring to female slaves or non-adult servants or all slave of both genders? Thank you.

3- Othman Ali: I thank Dr. Mansour for his praise of me and for his answers for all questions posed in the previous comments. As for Ben Levante and his question about why there is no waiting period for divorced men or widowers, this is indeed a joke; men do not carry fetuses or give birth! That is why some Quranic rules are addressed to women exclusively and some to men exclusively concerning marriage, apart from other rules addressed to both sexes of believers. It is natural that each woman would have one husband at the time; polyandry is unthinkable now unlike the case in pre-historical times. Let us not forget that the Quran was revealed to correct things went wrong or were forgotten by others in previous celestial messages in the Abrahamic creed.

4- Saeed Ali: I hope all commenters will focus on the topic of slaves so as not to lose the focus of this series of articles, with due respects to all commenters and their useful comments.

5- Ahmed Drami: I tend to think that regarding flogging former female slaves as wives who cheated their husbands 50 times instead of 100 like free women/wives who are turned out to be adulteresses, this shows that former female slaves used to have sex with many masters formerly in the 7th century Arabia, and they inherited slavery by birth and were brought up to gratify men sexually. The Quran wanted to change these bad habits. Yet, justice entailed that free women who received upbringing that included preserving chastity must not be punished in the same manner of former female slaves who used to have many lovers in illicit sex. We must bear in mind that justice does not mean equal treatment in all cases; rather, justice is to care for each individual case while putting into consideration the different contexts and circumstances. Hence, a hungry thief is not to be treated like rich man who stole. This is shown in dealing with orphans money in 4:6. We are to be conscious of the fact that God is the Omniscient who knows all about our sins; see 17:17. Finally, such former female slaves at the time were urged to have a period of upbringing and how to preserve chastity before they are freed and get married to free men, so as to forsake their old habits of forced polyandry as their masters offered them to guests! This was period of bad habits that entailed half the penalty of adulteresses among free women/wives to be exacted on wives/adulteresses who were former female slaves.  

6- Dr. A. S. Mansour: We feel bound to say to Ben Levante that we are grateful for his activity in writing useful comments. We were joking with you about your pen name; we know your real one, which is a pretty one, but we shall never understand the secret behind your choice of this strange pen name. as for women never allowed polyandry, Othman Ali has answered your question, we suppose, about the Quranic methodology of legislation; the Quran will not re-invent the wheel. The Quran has the main purpose of  correcting the Abrahamic creed (with its tenets, acts of worship, and legislations). Polygamy has existed before and after Islam, and the same goes for the fact that women are to be cared for by their husbands and that children carry names of their fathers. The USA knew women's rights that are stated in the Quran 14 centuries ago, as a woman is a presidential candidate in the USA. Egypt and Yemen knew women rulers centuries ago before the USA. A woman in Islam has to have one husband at a time, a free man or a freed male slave. In one of our articles, we have talked the story of an Abbasid Princess that got married to her freed male slave and servant. We do believe that as far as polygamy is concerned, a man can marry more than four wives, without certain limits, provided that mutual consent and prior knowledge of his wives are provided. Marriage institution is based on mutual consent of all parties concerned. We maintain that divorce and repudiation are rights of women and men. God urges polygamy to provide for widows, free female slaves, and orphans, while urging fairness and justice in such cases of polygamy, while expressing clearly the difficulty in dealing equally with one's wives. There are Quranic commands that are obligatory and rejecting them is deemed a sin, such as the ones in 6:151-153. On the other hand, there are Quranic commands that are used as guidelines and pieces of advice but NOT obligations, for those seeking more pious acts to gain favor of God: such as long additional night prayers and polygamy to provide for widows, etc. Hence, if a man desires not to get married and live as a pious celibate, he is not a sinner of course for not marrying widows. Would you like to be like this, dear Ben Levante?        

7- Dr. A. S. Mansour: We offer thanks to Othman Ali, Saeed Ali, and Ahmed Drami, as well as to all of our beloved Quranists who are pillars of our Quranism website at present and in the future. We sincerely hope that our website will continue to flourish by all of you as an Islamic lighthouse in the cyberspace to dispel the darkness of the earthly, man-made, fabricated creeds of the Muhammadans.

Slavery: A Fundamental Historical Overview

Slavery: A Fundamental Historical Overview

Authored by: Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour

25th of August, 2016
Springfield, VA, USA

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

As the Quranic sharia tackles the topic of slaves, some people accuse Islam of endorsing and justifying slavery abolished by the European countries and the USA. These critics of Islam regarding that topic overlook the fact that enslavement has survived until now in different types despite being outlawed, and the West could not really abolish it entirely; rather, the problem has been exacerbated within contemporary slavery. We prove in this book that the Quranic solution to the problem of slavery is the ideal one. Details of this Quranic solution are discussed in this book that has begun as a series of articles that has provoked many comments that are so useful and important that we have decided to include them as part of this book.