Slavery goes on in Islam
Slavery is a disgrace on the history of mankind. Like a weed, it grew on most lands, whereas as a fruit of Islam, tens of verses in the Koran and hundreds of Hadiths (sayings) have sown its seeds from Medina along to Iran, Middle East, central Asia, Africa, and Europe. Under the Prophet Muhammad, his direct successors ( Rashidun Caliphs: Abu bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali), and all along the way to Islamic Caliphs of the Ottoman Empire, millions of defeated nations or kidnapped non-Muslims have been enslaved.
Islamic approach to slavery argues that there are three manners to enslave people:
1-” Dhimmis” (non-Muslim communities under Islamic state) are only allowed to live under an Islamic rule if they pay a tax “jizieh”. Those dhimmis who cannot pay the tax, cab be enslaved.
2- After an occupation of non-Muslim, the non-Muslim men, if not killed, can be along with their women and children captured as booty of war and thus can be enslaved.
3- Slaves can be bought or gifted.
These three manners have justified slavery throughout all of Islamic history. Muslim invaders enslaved millions of men, women and children. From Muhammad’s time up to the recent history of Islam in 19th century, slavery has been routinely practiced in the Islamic communities.
The Koran contradicts itself by saying, “free men could not be enslaved” whereas verses of the Koran and reliable “Sahih” Hadiths prove slavery. Although, the Koran sometimes respects monotheist religions, the Arabic Jews, Iranian Zoroastrians, and European Christians became slaves of Muslim invaders, if they were not massacred on the spot. Slaves caught from their families and lands were considered booty of war and could be abducted like a chattel or any moveable property. The owner has right to sell or keep this property.
The Prophet Muhammad possessed a number of male and female slaves, mostly captured as booty of war. Muhammad performed sex act on his female slaves while having official wives. According to Ali Dashti’s “23 Sal” (23 years, is a reference to the duration of Prophet’s prophecy), “in the Muhammad’s harem, Mariay the Copt was first a slave-girl who was sent from Egypt to Muhammad as a gift. Rayhana, like Maria the Copt, fell into the Koranic category of, those women your right hands have acquired, i.e., she was a slave-girl with whom contractual marriage was unnecessary but concubinage was permissible. She was one of the captives from the Jewish Banu Qorayza and the Prophet’s share of the booty taken from the tribe. She was unwilling to convert to Islam and thus had to enter into a contractual marriage with the Prophet, preferring to retain the status of a slave in his harem.”
Iranian slaves were first captured and deported to Arabian slave markets after the Muslims invasion of Iran in the 7th century. The human tragedy happened under the three Rashidun Caliphs, Umar, Uthman, and Ali ibn Abu Talib — sanctified Ali is the first imam of Iranian Shiites despite he sent several times troops massacring Iranian freedom-lovers. In each conquest, most Iranian men were killed, cities were destroyed and burned, and a number of women and children were captured and deported to Arabia to be kept as booty of war or sold on the slave markets.
Based on Islam, slaves cannot be heard in court, their testimony is outlawed. Slaves have no right to property. Slaves can only marry with authorisation of their owner. Children of slaves are born slaves — but since many slaves were castrated the offspring was not as common as it had been in the native populations. Slave are considered to be as worthy as a chattel. Female slaves are sex slaves of the male owners. Conversion to Islam did not automatically give a slave freedom nor did it confer freedom to their children.
Under Islamic empire, male slave were educated as militaries and so they could win their freedom if survived. Those used for basic duties and slave labour rarely achieved freedom. The recorded mortality rate was high. Most male slaves died after 5 years of slavery– this was still significant even as late as the nineteenth century and was remarked upon by western travellers in the Islamic countries of North Africa and Egypt.
The Koran prescribes a contradictory approach to slavery “free men could not be enslaved”, but about 150 verses postulate killing of “non-Muslims”. Slavery is not literally banned or criticised in the Koran. The spread of the Islamic Empire resulted in a much harsher interpretation of the Koran concerning slavery. For example, if dhimmis, non-Muslim communities under Islamic empires, were unable to pay the taxes they could be enslaved, and people from outside the borders of the Islamic Empire were considered an acceptable source of slavery.
The military victories of Muslim troops under the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates (8th-10th centuries) reached to new borders in Africa and had driven the rapid expansion of Islam across North Africa. Slave traders were required to provide black slaves for the Islamic Empire and rich Muslim owners. There were organised slave networks that kidnapped or captured their fellow countrymen. These men, women and children were sent across the Sahara to Morocco and Tunisia from West Africa, from Chad to Libya, along the Nile from East Africa, and up the coast of East Africa to the Persian Gulf. Most male slaves were castrated before exposing on the slave markets. This trade had been well entrenched for over 600 years.
The trade networks across North Africa were as much to do with the safe transportation of slaves as other goods. Black Africans were transported to the Islamic Empire so that we have still their offspring living in all area of ex-Islamic Empire across the Persian Gulf up to Pakistan, and ex-Indian Peninsula. An analysis of prices at various slave markets shows that eunuchs fetched higher prices than other males, encouraging the castration of slaves before export because some of them die as a result of this sexual mutilation.
Not only slaves were used for menial domestic and commercial purposes, eunuchs were especially prised for bodyguards and confidential servants; women as concubines and menials. A Muslim slave owner was entitled by law to use slaves for sexual pleasure. Girl-slaves and young boy-slaves called Gholam (still a common pre-name of male Iranians, “Gholam” was used by early Muslim invaders as a title of humiliation), were sexual pleasures of their owner.
For the Ottoman Empire, slaves came preferably from the Caucasians. Beautiful slave-girls and brave male-slaves were prised gifts transported in Turkey–women for rich Muslims’ harems and men for cannon fodder in the battle fields.
Since the practice of slavery, and all slavery related matters like slave trade and sexual pleasure of own slave, is permitted in Islam, slave trafficking can extend to a scope of modern sex slave industry. As mentioned, when Muslims occupy a land, they can routinely enslave and use women for sexual pleasure. In this light, under Islamic regime, which has shown as a force of occupier, young women and girls from poor and naïve milieus are deceived or adducted to be sent in the Islamic brothels for “sigheh” (a fixed-term marriage in Shi’a), legalising prostitution. The “sigheh” industry is directly organised and led by Mullahs.
Inspired from the tradition of Islamic slavery, another tragedy is the transportation of Iranian girls and young women to the brothels of the Persian Gulf countries. It is believed that the IRGC, the Islamic regime’s Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, which today acts as an Islamic force of occupier, is the organiser of this inspired method of slave transportation. As believed, the network of traffickers entraps pretty run-away girls and young widows with false promises of a better life including marriage to rich Arabic men; then they are smuggled across borders to the other site of the Persian Gulf. Women and girls are sold into bars, hotels, harems and brothels.
The transportation of Iranian young females to the Sheikdoms of the Arabic countries reminds us of the slave trade committed by invaders of the Islamic Caliphate occupying Iran first in the 7th century. This, along with the Shiite tradition of sigheh industry, explains new methods of Islamised sex slavery inspired from the Koran and traditions of Islam.