Aug 22, 2017
The slave trade originated with Arabs, and when Islam overtook the region, slavery became a bedrock of the Quran. Both sexual slavery and forced servitude are still prevalent today in Muslim society. Mohammed was an owner and trader of both (Bukhari 34:351), and like any good Muslim, his followers are encouraged to live as he did. At the dawn of the first millennium, Muslim societies grew in such a manner that the natural slave population could not procreate fast enough to meet the demand, therefore Muslims were the first people to import slaves from other races and regions to fill the demand for slave labor. Despite Muslim scholars promising Islamic slavery was never cruel, Islamic treatment of slaves was so horrific historically that it has prompted many uprisings; one that lives in infamy is the Zanj Rebellion, which was a fourteen-year insurrection between Muslims and their slaves.
The Quran refers to all slaves as ma malakat aymanukum (meaning “that which the right hand owns”), while sharia law today for the most part only uses that reference for slaves captured in war. Nonetheless, the effect is the same: a person who is owned by another. Islamic Supremacy mandates that only non-Muslims can be kept as slaves, and the Quran specifically lays out that slaves are not worth the same in the eyes of Allah as a free person in verse 16:75: