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"Slavery in Islam and Christianity: The Facts"

Reader comment on item: Louis Farrakhan Is Not a Muslim
in response to reader comment: white slavery or racism

Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Mar 7, 2007 at 18:07

To Omar

The Qur'an justifies slavery, and often mentions slaves, for example "Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave girls whom Allah has given you as booty."

Surah 33:50

This verse clearly shows Muslims believe taking slaves in war was an Allah-given right. These slaves were considered 'booty' or the spoils of war. With the following passage detailing how Muslim males are allowed to have sex with their wives and slave girls. Implicit in this, is that Muslim males had slave-concubines.

"The believers must (eventually) win through. Those who humble themselves in their prayers. Who avoid vain talk. Who are active in deeds of charity. Who abstain from sex. Except with their wives and slave girls, for these are lawful to them. But those who exceed those limits are transgressors."

Surah 23:5

Surah 70:30 is basically a repeat of Surah 23:5, saying:-

"Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess, - for (then) they are not to be blamed,"

The Quran also instructs Muslims to free their slaves at times, as a penalty for crime or sin. Surah's 4:92, 5:89, 58:3

The above verses show that taking slaves was ordained by Allah, that it was permissible for Muslim males to have sex with their female slaves, also showing that slaves were a valuable commodity to the Muslims, otherwise, Allah would not have imposed the penalty of freeing a slave to make up for a crime.

There are hundreds of Sahi Hadith of Bukhari dealing with slavery. Whole chapters of Hadith are dedicated to dealing with the taxation, treatment, sale, and jurisprudence of slaves. In addition to this, numerous Hadith mention slaves, and their relation to their Muslim masters.

Islam institutionalized slavery. Muhammad was a slaver, and slaves were taken by him from his time in Medina. Slaves were usually taken in war, either through offensive or defensive actions. Islam allows the taking of slaves as "booty", or reward for fighting. This has led to numerous jihads by Muslim states and tribes, to attack other non-Muslim groups and obtain slaves. Islamic jurisprudence laid down regulations for the proper treatment of slaves, but abuses have occurred throughout history.

However, few people in the West know about Islam and slavery. Most would be surprised to learn that Islam authorizes the taking of slaves as spoils of war. From the days that Muhammad drew his sword to rob and conquer non-Muslims to this very day, Muslims have been taking non-Muslims, and even other black Muslims, as slaves, with Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, a member of the Council of Religious Edicts and Research, the Imam of Prince Mitaeb Mosque in Riyadh, and a professor at Imam Mohamed Bin Saud Islamic University, Saudi Arabia's main center of learning for the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, saying in a lecture recorded on tape by the Saudi Information Authority (SIA), "Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam," going on to say that Muslims who contend Islam is against slavery "are ignorant, not scholars." "They are merely writers," he said, according to SIA. "Whoever says such things is an infidel," and what treatment does Islam prescribe for infidels Omar?

"Saudi Sheikh: Slavery is a part of Islam"


Muslims were enslaving black Africans long before any slave ships sailed for the New World. Muslims were taking and making slaves all over the lands it had conquered, and the following books, which document slavery in modern times in Islamic countries, are all available from Amazon books.

"Slavery and Muslim Society in Africa: The Institution in Saharan and Sudanic Africa and the trans-Saharan Trade"

Allan George Barnard Fisher and Humphrey John Fisher

Published by C.Hirst 1970

"The Slave Trade Today" by Sean O'Callaghan, published in 1961.

"Slaves and Slavery in Muslim Africa" two volumes .London: Frank Cass, 1985, vol 1.

"Islam and the Ideology of Slavery", xi+267pp., ISBN 0714631426; vol 2 "The Servile Estate", xi+198 pp., ISBN 0714632015, £28:00

John Ralph Willis (ed)

Compare and contrast Islam and slavery, with the enslavement of Black Africans by Britain and other Western countries. The West is familiar with the history of slavery in the new world. It was sinful, it was shameful, it was terrible and odious in the extreme, it lasted for several hundred years, and it finds absolutely no support or justification in the teachings or example of the Lord Jesus Christ, with the New Testament saying this about slavery:-

"Understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, those who take someone captive in order to sell him into slavery, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine."

1 Timothy 1:10

Slavery was abolished in England mainly through the efforts of Christians, notably William Wilberforce. William was one of the greatest social reformers in British history. He was converted to Christianity under the ministry of John Wesley, and William's deeply held evangelical Christianity lead him to spend his political career as a member of the British Parliament, tirelessly working to abolish slavery, with others such as Thomas Clarkson and John ("Amazing Grace") Newton, the former slave-ship captain, converted from an evil life, and "pardoned, restored and appointed to preach the Gospel he had long laboured to destroy."

The pathway to abolition was blocked by vested interests, parliamentary filibustering, entrenched bigotry, international politics, slave unrest, personal sickness, and political fear, with William often being vilified for his Christian zeal in seeking the abolition of slavery. Bills seeking its abolition were introduced by Wilberforce in 1791, 1792, 1793, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1804, and 1805, all being defeated, until in 1807, the slave trade was finally abolished, but this did not free those who were already slaves. It was not until 1833 that an act was passed, giving freedom to all slaves in the British empire.William died on 29 July 1833, just 3 days after the act to free slaves in the British Empire passed through the House of Commons. William, motivated by his deep Christian commitment, had played a key role in, as historian G.M. Trevelyan put it, "one of the turning events in the history of the world."

Neither Rowan Williams, the Archbisop of Canterbury, nor the Church of England are definitive or foundational for Christianity, only the Lord Jesus Christ sets its genetic code, and He neither prescribed nor practiced slavery for His followers to perform. The West has finished with slavery, Islam continues it, and with it, the abuses of human beings continues, practiced by Muhammad, who sets the genetic code for Islam.

In saying:- "and by the way, in Islam prophets are all perfect though they are human beings," you contradict both the Qur'an, and Muhammad's admission that he was a sinner.

Throughout the Muslim world today it is generally believed that all of the prophets enjoyed an isma, a protection against sin, and that they were accordingly sinless. It is one of the anomalies of Islam, that this Doctrine has been established and maintained against the plain teaching of the Qur'an and Sahi Hadith to the contrary. The orthodox belief is that the prophets do not commit sin, and are sinless (ma'sum), but this dogma contradicts various statements of the Qur'an and Sahi Hadith, that all of the prophets except the Lord Jesus Christ had sins, of which they needed to repent and seek forgiveness. Early Muslims soon discovered that the Bible plainly taught that the Lord Jesus Christ, the God man, was the only sinless man who ever lived, and confronted with this evidence, deemed it necessary to invent the fiction that all the prophets - especially Muhammad - were sinless as well. This is the Isma doctrine, but it didn't arise from an objective analysis of the teaching of the Qur'an and Sahi Hadith. The doctrine is unsound not only in the light of Qur'anic teaching, and cannot be traced back to the teaching of Muhammad himself, and belongs to a later development. In the Sunan works of Tirmithi, Ibn Maja and ad-Darimi it is recorded that Muhammad said: "Every son of Adam is a sinner, and the best of sinners are those who repent constantly" (quoted in Karim's Mishkatul-Masabih, Vol. 3, p.360), and the isma doctrine clearly arose on the one hand from theological presuppositions, and on the other, from a determination to raise Muhammad to the level of the Lord Jesus Christ. Reading Islam's most authoritative sources however, shows that apart from having no Qur'anic basis, it is actually contrary to its teaching. BUT the Qur'an does have an isma doctrine, and it is applied to no other prophet except the Lord Jesus Christ. According to the Bible AND THE QUR'AN all the prophets were sinners with one very notable exception, the Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4.15, 2 Corinthians 5.21, 1 Peter 2.25, 1 John 3.5 Surah 19:19 The word for "holy" in this Qur'anic ayat is zakiyya, a word with the root meaning "purity". This form of the word principally means "blamelessness" and it is used in this context in the only other verse in the Qur'an where it appears in Surah 18:74

In the case of the Lord Jesus Christ, however, the word is used by the angel to describe His whole character, and it therefore clearly means One altogether blameless, that is, sinless.

It is a remarkable fact that the Lord Jesus Christ alone is proclaimed in the Qur'an as the sinless prophet of Islam. There is no passage in the Qur'an which attributes sin to the Lord Jesus Christ, and no shadow of a suggestion that He had, like Muhammad, to ask forgiveness for Himself.

The Qur'an, whilst mentioning the sins of Adam, Abraham, David, Solomon and other prophets, leaves no doubt as regards the purity of the character of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Qur'anic testimony to sin of the prophets

Adam 7:20-23;20-121

Abraham 6:76-78;21:51;26:82

David 38:22-25

Jonah 21:87

Moses 28:15-16

Muhammad 33:37;40:55;47:19;48:1-2

Muhammad not only sinned, he usually did not repent. In fact, he conveniently, claimed to have received a "revelation" to get him out of any problem in which he found himself! Surah 33:37 with even Aisha very perceptively commenting on the alleged "revelation" recorded at Surah 33:51 by saying:- "I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 311)

Why would Allah allow one of his "Prophets" to have lower moral standards than the masses that he is supposed to inspire and teach?

"Jesus the spotless Saviour and Muhammad the spotted sinner"

In the Bible there are numerous proofs of the sinlessness of Jesus Christ. Passages proving the point are:-

"For our sake he made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

2 Corinthians 5. 21

"This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet He did not sin."

Hebrews 4:15

"You know that He appeared to take away sins, and in in Him there is no sin."

1 John 3:5

"He committed no sin, no guile was found on His lips."

1 Peter 2:22

The Lord Jesus Christ was never commanded to pray for forgiveness because He was faultless. We also never find Him, praying for any faults, wrongs and sins such as the Qur'an attributes in the verses quoted later, to Muhammad. He never wronged His soul, nor was He blameworthy. Instead the Qur'an emphasizes that he was entirely without sin and was faultless. We can therefore conclude by saying that the Qur'an teaches that of all men, the Lord Jesus Christ alone was sinless. Why should this be?

The Bible teaches that "the wages of sin is death.............." Romans 6:23 but the Lord Jesus Christ, being completely sinless, although dying on the Cross, didn't stay dead, absolutely fittingly for a sinless Saviour "Who came into the world to save sinners" 1 Timothy 1:15 He "has done death to death," being resurrected to eternal life, because the grave couldn't hold Him, and death couldn't handle Him.

Compare and contrast Him with the man who in the night's stillness, far from the crowd and alone with the thoughts of his heart, prays confessing the truth he knows within his soul:

"Oh Allah, I acknowledge and confess before You, all my sins, please forgive them, as no one can forgive sins except You. Forgive my mistakes, those done intentionally, or out of my ignorance, with or without seriousness. Oh Allah, forgive my sins and my ignorance, forgive my sins of the past and of the future, which I did openly or secretly. Forgive the wrong I have done, jokingly or seriously. I seek Your protection from all the evil I have done. Wash away my sins, and cleanse my heart, from all the sins as a white garment is cleansed from the filth, and let there be long distance between me and my sins, as You made the East and West far from each other."

That prayer expressed a heart which understood the depth of sin in its soul. It acknowledges a nature within that is bent towards sin. And it reflects the desire to cleanse that depth of sin. We hear in that prayer, a man's struggle with sin. He asks forgiveness for his past and future sins, because he knows that as a normal man, he is going to sin. It is inevitable. He asks for forgiveness for things he has done intentionally, and unintentionally. He asks forgiveness for mistakes and sins, those done intentionally or unintentionally. He knows that the sins he committed are "evil", and confesses that to Allah. He does not make light of his sins. The sins he committed are "filth" in Allah's eyes.

That prayer was prayed by Muhammad. It is a synthesis of his personal prayers found in Sahih Bukhari Volume 8: #s 335, 379, 407, and 408, Muhammad knew clearly he was a sinner; thus he makes his confession public. Over and over again he stated he was a sinner. The Qur'an he spoke identifies him as a sinner. Surah's 40:55, 48:2, and 47:19:

"Therefore have patience; Allah's promise is surely true. Implore forgiveness for your sins, and celebrate the praise of your Lord evening and morning."
Surah 40:55

"... so that Allah may forgive you your past and future sins, and perfect His goodness to you; ..." Surah 48:2

"So know (O Muhammad) that there is no Allah save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women. Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil and your place of rest." Surah 47:19The Qur'anic word used in these verses for sin is "dhanb", or "thanb", depending on how one transliterates the word. It is used many times in the Qur'an. The Hughes Encyclopedic Dictionary of Islam defines the word as "a sin or a crime, or the charge of such".

Clearly, the Qur'an identifies Muhammad as a sinner. It is definitely applied to Muhammad. "Dhanb" is translated as sin, crime, & fault. How does Allah deal with people who have committed dhanb? Allah - Obliterates them, Destroyed them, puts them in hellfire, gives them a grievous penalty, calls them to account, hits them with a violent tornado, hits them with a mighty blast, has the earth swallow them up, drowns them in water, punishes them and puts them in the agony of fire.

Allah does all this to people who commit "dhanb". Does this sound like something Allah passes over as a minor "stumbling", "mistake", or "act of forgetfulness"?

Of course not! It sounds like Allah is severely punishing people for their "dhanb". It sounds like Allah is really serious about it. Don't you agree Omar? And remember, Muhammad committed "dhanb". Muhammad was told to ask forgiveness for his "dhanb". And Muhammad taught in the Qur'an that forgiveness of "dhanb" was required to get into al-Janna. Otherwise, a person with unforgiven "dhanb" ends up in hell.

Compare and contrast Muhammad the spotted sinner, with the spotless Lord Jesus Christ, who was without sin of any kind. It is a simple matter to prove from the Qur'an and the Bible, that the Lord Jesus Christ was absolutely without sin through out His life. When the angel appeared to Mary, the Qur'an says that he told her "I am only a messenger of thy Lord that I may bestow on thee a faultless son" Surah 19.19 The Arabic word for "faultless", zakiyya, implies that he was totally without sin.

Muhammad does not stand in the line of Biblical Prophets, contradicting their message in so many ways, and most importantly, standing in opposition to the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, but to demonstrate that by comparing Bible and Qur'an would make this lengthy posting even longer.

Sufficient to say that since November 2001, Shabir Ally has been avoiding Sam Shamoun's "Open Challenge" to ‘Debate me on the credibility of your prophet.' http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Shabir-Ally/challenge.htm and I invite you Omar, and other readers who would like this most important debate to go ahead, to contact Shabir at the Toronto Dawa Center comments@islaminfo.com, asking him why he is avoiding taking this debate, which would bring together two of the best debaters from Christianity and Islam, thus allowing the evidence for and against Muhammad's prophetic credentials to be publicly examined, and weighed in the balance.

So to conclude Omar, following Muhammad the spotted sinner isn't going to save you, Muhammad can't save anyone, and Surah 46:9 has him admitting he didn't know what Allah would do with him:-

"Say: ‘I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the apostles, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration; I am but a Warner open and clear.'"

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

"Say (O Muhammad SAW):‘I am not a new thing among the Messengers (of Allah) (i.e. I am not the first Messenger) nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.'"


"Say, ‘I am not different from other messengers. I have no idea what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is revealed to me. I am no more than a profound warner.'"


Qul ma kuntu bidAAan mina alrrusuli wama adree ma yufAAalu bee wala bikum in attabiAAu illa ma yooha ilayya wama ana illa natheerun mubeenun

transliterated Arabic

Why do you trust and follow such a man Omar? why not trust the Lord Jesus Christ to save you? He has done death to death by dying and rising from the dead, just as He said He would, thus underlining His authority to say:-

"I am the One who raises the dead to life! Everyone who has faith in Me will live, even if they die. And everyone who lives because of faith in Me will never really die. Do you believe this?"

John 11:25-26

The New Testament saying of him:-

"He is able to save to the uttermost (and from the guttermost!!) all those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them."

Hebrews 7:25

Halleluia, what a Saviour!!! Do you want what only He can give you Omar? you're not worth it, you don't deserve it, you can't earn it, it's a free gift from the God of Grace, the New Testament saying:-

"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 6:23

"For it's by Grace you are saved, through faith, not by works, lest anyone should boast."

Ephesians 2:6-8

The choice is yours Omar, what will it be? Muhammad is dead, whilst the Lord Jesus Christ is alive, for ever and ever and ever and ever (how longs that??) and ever and ever and ever…… get Him on your case, and He'll give you steak on your plate whilst you wait, followed by pie in the sky when you die, which sounds infinitely better than pain in the pit when you flit, doesn't it?

With kind regards and best wishes

Lactantius Jr.


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