Send an article  |  Print   |  ../file-system/small/pdf   |   RSS   |  

PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S  ﷺ TREATMENT WITH SLAVES


When we read our Prophet’s seerah and specially his manners of which Allah (the God) is witnessing in the Qur’an as: And indeed, you are of a great moral character. Quran Surah 68:4 The most important factor in the manners of Prophet was his Mercy, kind heart and good morals with poor, small or big, Muslim and Non-Muslim, with servants and slaves and with all others.  Prophet laid down the rights of dealing with Servants and Slaves as they were ill treated before these rights.  He encouraged others on releasing of slaves. There are various ahadith where we find that Prophet narrating the virtues of freeing slaves.

 

The reason why Muslims had slaves is because when Muslims was still weak and growing, the Arab Pagans' tribes used to launch continuous attacks on the Muslims to destroy Islam once and for all.  Muslims had entered many bloody and vicious battles against the non believers which had cost both sides many lives from the men.  When the Muslims used to enter a city after defeating its army, they would face a new dilemma.  They often meet hundreds of non believing women and young children and elderly left without any support because their men had died in the battle field.

 

Table of Contents

 

Qur’an

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. Quran Surah Baqrah 2:177

 

Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] - then a fast of three days [is required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be grateful. This Noble ayath is also another proof that Allah Almighty did encourage Muslims to liberate slaves.  Quran Surah Maidah 5:89

 

The Liberation of Slaves in Islam

Allah Almighty allowed for the Muslims to take those people as slaves to help them survive.  Keep in mind that during that time, the Muslims didn't have an Islamic government and welfare system to take care of the orphans and widows from the non believers.  The Muslims had to take care of them from their own means. 

 

Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him ordered the Muslims to be very sensitive to their slaves.  He ordered the Muslims to buy the slave young boys and girls the same quality of clothes and gifts that they would buy for their children.  He also ordered Muslims not to hit or be violent to adult slaves.  He ordered Muslims to be loving and caring for them. 

 

Prophet Muhammad also urged wealthy Muslims to buy slaves from the Pagan Arabs and to let them free after that.  One of Prophet Muhammad's best friends was a slave from Africa called Bilal Al-Habashi.  Bilal was bought from his Pagan master by Abu Baker Al-Siddeek, one of Muhammad's best friends.  After Abu Bakr(R) bought Bilal(R), he set him free.

 

Few teachings from Prophet Muhammad on salves

Last words of Prophet

Narrated by Ali Ibn Abu Talib(R): The last words before his death the Messenger of Allah spoke were: Prayer, prayer; fear Allah about those whom your right hands possess(ie, slaves under you). Classed as sahih by Shaikh Albani in Sunan Abi Dawud 5156

 

Prohibiting  others from hitting slaves

Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari(R) reported: When I was beating my servant, I heard a voice behind me (saying): Abu Mas'ud, bear in mind Allah has more dominance over you than you have upon him. I turned and (found him) to be Allah's Messenger (). I said: Allah's Messenger, I set him free for the sake of Allah. Thereupon he said: Had you not done that, (the gates of) Hell would have opened for you, or the fire would have burnt you. Sahih Muslim 1659

 

It was narrated that 'Aishah said: "The Messenger of Allah never beat any of his servants, or wives, and his hand never hit anything."  Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1984

 

Expiation of freeing slave for those who slap or beat them

Zadhan Abl Umar reported: I came to Ibn 'Umar as he had granted freedom to a slave. He (the narrator further) said: He took hold of a wood or something like it from the earth and said: It (freedom of a slave) has not the reward Evert equal to it, but the fact that I heard Allah's Messenger (way peace be upon him) say: He who slaps his slave or beats him, the expiation for it is that he should set him free. Sahih Muslim 1657

 

Usage of correct words for Salves

Abu Huraira(R) reported Allah's Messenger () as saying: None of you should say: My bondman and my slave-girl, for all of you are the bondmen of Allah, and all your women are the slave-girls of Allah; but say: My servant, my girl, and my young man and my young girl. Sahih Muslim 2249

 

Prohibition of over burdening them

Al-Ma'rur bin Suwaid (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I saw Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) wearing a nice gown, and his slave was also wearing one similar to it. I asked him about it, and he said that he had exchanged harsh words with a person during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah () and put him to shame by making a reference to his mother. That person came to the Messenger of Allah () and made mention of that to him. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah said, "You are a person who has remnants of the 'Days of Ignorance' in you. Your slaves are your brothers. Allah has placed them under your authority. He who has his brother under him, should feed him from whatever he eats, and dress him with whatever he wears, and do not burden them (assign burdensome task to them) beyond their capacity; and if you burden them then help them." Sahih Muslim 1661

 

Command for feeding and clothing them

Al-Ma'rur bin Suwaid (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I saw Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) wearing a nice gown, and his slave was also wearing one similar to it. I asked him about it, and he said that he had exchanged harsh words with a person during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah () and put him to shame by making a reference to his mother. That person came to the Messenger of Allah () and made mention of that to him. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah said, "You are a person who has remnants of the 'Days of Ignorance' in you. Your slaves are your brothers. Allah has placed them under your authority. He who has his brother under him, should feed him from whatever he eats, and dress him with whatever he wears, and do not burden them (assign burdensome task to them) beyond their capacity; and if you burden them then help them." Sahih Muslim 1661

 

Prohibition of cursing them

Jabir b. 'Abd Allah reported the Messenger of Allah () as saying: Do not invoke curse on yourselves, and do not invoke curse on your children, and do not invoke curse on your servants, and do not invoke curse on your property, lest you happen to do it at a time when Allah is asked for something and grants your request. Abu Dawud said: This Hadith has a continuous chain of narrators, 'Ubadah bin Al-Walid bin 'Ubadah (did) met Jabir. Sunan Abi Dawud 1532

 

Encouragement on forgiveness

A man came to the Prophet () and asked: Messenger of Allah! how often shall I forgive a servant? He gave no reply, so the man repeated what he had said, but he still kept silence. When he asked a third time, he replied: Forgive him seventy times daily. Sunan Abi Dawud 5164

 

Treatment with good manners

Anas reported that Allah's Messenger () had the best disposition amongst people. He sent me on an errand one day, and I said: By Allah, I would not go. I had, however, this idea in my mind that I would do as Allah's Apostle () had commanded me to do. I went out until I happened to come across children who had been playing in the street. In the meanwhile, Allah's Messenger () came there and he caught me by the back of my neck from behind me. As I looked towards him I found him smiling and he said: Unais, did you go where I commanded you to go? I said: Allah's Messenger, yes, I am going. Anas further said: I served him for nine years but I know not that he ever said to me about a thing which I had done why I did that, or about a thing I had left as to why I had not done that. Sahih Muslim 2310

 

Emancipation of women

At-Tirmidhi transmitted on the authority of Abu Umamah (RAA), “The Messenger of Allah () said: “Any Muslim man, who emancipates two Muslim women, they will be his release from Hell Fire.” At-Tirmidhi graded it as Sahih, Hadith 1463

 

References

http://www.islamweb.net/mohammad/index.php?group=articles&lang=A&id=158203

 

920 Views
Correct us and Correct yourself
.
Comments
Top of page