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Treatment of Slaves According to Islamic Guidelines

The widely acknowledged and immoral form of slavery that was prevalent in the earlier societies is appalling. Islam, on the contrary, took a strong stance against such practices and changed the manner of enslavement and slave treatment.

Slaves in Islam are treated with kindness and compassion. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“They are your brothers whom Allah has put under your authority, so if Allah has put a person’s brother under his authority, let him feed him from what he eats and clothe him from what he wears, and let him not overburden him with work, and if he does overburden him with work, then let him help him.” [Bukhari 6050]

They are guaranteed food and clothing similar to that of their masters. Not only are they promised wellness and equality, but the protection of their dignity is ensured as well.

Additionally, Islam insists that slaves be treated with fairness and caution. Failure to do so will result in punishment in the Hereafter. Most importantly, contrary to popular belief, Islam has granted slaves permission to free themselves if they have the means.

“…And those who seek a contract [for eventual emancipation] from among whom your right hands possess – then make a contract with them if you know there is within them goodness, and give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you…”

[Surah Noor, Verse 33]

This, in brief, is how Islam framed regulations for the fair treatment of slaves. This resulted in a master regarding his slave as nothing less than a close companion or a friend in most cases.

Islam is a truly beautiful religion and one must adhere to its teachings with utmost sincerity and unwavering understanding. May Allāh ﷻ make us all from among those who are upon the siraat al mustaqeem.

 أللهم آمين

Written by: Yasmeen and Fazila 
Edited by: The Editorial Team
© The Islamic Reflections Blog

References

https://islamqa.info/en/answers/94840/islam-and-slavery

https://islamqa.info/en/categories/topics/158/slavery

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