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Q for D. Pipes re Muslim juridical sources on slavery

Reader comment on item: Modern-day Versions of Military Slavery

Submitted by medieval historian (United States), Jan 4, 2011 at 16:25

Exactly which juridical sources say that enslavement in Muslim-ruled lands is impermissible and what are their dates? I have read many, many of the primary sources (literary, papyrological, etc.) of the Middle East c. 634-1300 and these sources refer often to slaves who clearly were enslaved in Muslim-ruled territory by Muslim elites. Coptic sources especially (History of the Patriarches of Alexandria, John of Nikiu, many of the papryri) from 640-ca. 900 AD refer to Copts, and especially Coptic children frequently being enslaved by Muslims. If there was no enslavement supposedly permitted in Muslim-ruled lands why did in fact so much enslavement take place there? Why were Christians so frequently enslaved in Muslim lands, and remained enslaved there?.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

This is not my subject; I am a historian, not a specialist on fiqh.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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