File Name: slave soldiers and islam .zip
Even a cursory glance at the history of Muslim peoples reveals the extraordinary role played by men of slave origins in the armed forces. They served both as soldiers and as officers, then often acquired preeminent roles in administration, politics, and all aspects of public affairs. Slaves have been used as soldiers in many places around the world; but I shall argue that there was something unique about their use in the Muslim countries.
- Slavery in Islam
- Toward the Abolition of Slavery under the Aegis of Islamic Law
- Turkish Slaves in Delhi Sultanate
- Slave Soldiers and Islam: Genesis of the Military System
The juridical reach of these abolitions is quite thorough and far-reaching. Indeed, very few people in the world can now claim that they are unaware of the anti-slavery norm in human relations. This world-wide secular and normative state of affairs is reflective of a juristic consensus that is clearly expressed in customary international law principles, the provisions of all major international agreements, conventions, and treaties touching on the subject, and in general principles of international law, particularly the jus cogens peremptory norms.
Slavery in Islam
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Slaves were owned in all Islamic societies, both sedentary and nomadic, ranging from Arabia in the centre to North Africa in the west and to what is now Pakistan and Indonesia in the east.
Some Islamic states, such as the Ottoman Empire, the Crimean Khanate, and the Sokoto caliphate [Nigeria], must be termed slave societies because slaves there were very important numerically as well as a focus of the polities' energies. Many societies throughout history have practised slavery , and Muslim societies were no exception. It's thought that as many people were enslaved in the Eastern slave trade as in the Atlantic slave trade. It's ironic that when the Atlantic slave trade was abolished the Eastern trade expanded, suggesting that for some Africans the abolition of the Atlantic trade didn't lead to freedom, but merely changed their slave destination.
It's misleading to use phrases such as 'Islamic slavery' and 'Muslim slave trade', even though slavery existed in many Muslim cultures at various times, since the Atlantic slave trade is not called the Christian slave trade, even though most of those responsible for it were Christians.
Slavery was common in pre-Islamic times and accepted by many ancient legal systems and it continued under Islam. Although Islam is much credited for moderating the age-old institution of slavery, which was also accepted and endorsed by the other monotheistic religions, Christianity and Judaism, and was a well-established custom of the pre-Islamic world, it has never preached the abolition of slavery as a doctrine.
The condition of slaves, like that of women, may well have improved with the coming of Islam, but the institution was not abolished, any more than it was under Christianity at this period. Islam's approach to slavery added the idea that freedom was the natural state of affairs for human beings and in line with this it limited the opportunities to enslave people, commended the freeing of slaves and regulated the way slaves were treated:.
But the essential nature of slavery remained the same under Islam, as elsewhere. It involved serious breaches of human rights and however well they were treated, the slaves still had restricted freedom; and, when the law was not obeyed, their lives could be very unpleasant. A poignant paradox of Islamic slavery is that the humanity of the various rules and customs that led to the freeing of slaves created a demand for new slaves that could only be supplied by war, forcing people into slavery or trading slaves.
The legality of slavery in Islam, together with the example of the Prophet Muhammad , who himself bought, sold, captured, and owned slaves, may explain why slavery persisted until the 19th century in many places and later still in some countries. The impetus for the abolition of slavery came largely from colonial powers, although some Muslim thinkers argued strongly for abolition.
Unlike the Atlantic slave traders, Muslims enslaved people from many cultures as well as Africa. Muhammad's teaching that slaves were to be regarded as human beings with dignity and rights and not just as property, and that freeing slaves was a virtuous thing to do, may have helped to create a culture in which slaves became much more assimilated into the community than they were in the West.
Slaves in the Islamic world were not always at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Slaves in Muslim societies had a greater range of work, and took on a wider range of responsibilities, than those enslaved in the Atlantic trade. Some slaves earned respectable incomes and achieved considerable power, although even such elite slaves still remained in the power of their owners. Although some Muslim slaves were used as productive labour it was not generally on the same mass scale as in the West but in smaller agricultural enterprises, workshops, building, mining and transport.
Slaves were also taken for military service, some serving in elite corps essential to the ruler's control of the state, while others joined the equivalent of the civil service. Another category of slavery was sexual slavery in which young women were made concubines, either on a small scale or in large harems of the powerful. Some of these women were able to achieve wealth and power. While Islamic law does allow slavery under certain conditions, it's almost inconceivable that those conditions could ever occur in today's world, and so slavery is effectively illegal in modern Islam.
Muslim countries also use secular law to prohibit slavery. News stories do continue to report occasional instances of slavery in a few Muslim countries, but these are usually denied by the authorities concerned.
The world was very different in those days, and practices that seem profoundly unethical to modern minds were common and accepted. During the formative stages of shari'a and for the next millennium at least there was no conception of universal human rights anywhere in the world. Slavery was an established and lawful institution in many parts of the world throughout this period Slavery was too fundamental to the structure of Arabian society in the 7th century to be abolished easily.
Doing so would have estranged many of the tribes that Muhammad sought to bring together, and severely disrupted the working of society. Prohibiting slavery in the context of seventh-century Arabia apparently would have been as useful as prohibiting poverty; it would have reflected a noble ideal but would have been unworkable on an immediate basis without establishing an entirely new socioeconomic system.
The fact that slavery is a major concern in Islamic law no doubt stems from the prevalence of slavery at the time when Islam was instituted combined with the fact that the Qur'an clearly presents universal freedom and human dignity as its ideal society.
Its recommendation that slaves be freed is on the same plane as its recommendation that the poor be clothed and the hungry be fed.
So the early Muslims restricted and regulated slavery to remove some of its cruelties, but accepted that it was legal. The most that shari'a could do, and did in fact do, in that historical context was to modify and lighten the harsh consequences of slavery and discrimination on grounds of religion or gender Shari'a recognized slavery as an institution but sought to restrict the sources of acquisition of slaves, to improve their condition, and to encourage their emancipation through a variety of religious and civil methods.
The answer is that slavery is legal under Islamic law but only in theory. Slavery is illegal under the state law of all Muslim countries. Theoretically Islamic law lays down that if a person was captured in a lawful jihad or was the descendent of an unbroken chain of people who had been lawfully enslaved, then it might be legal to enslave them.
Nonetheless, should the legal condition for the enslavement of anyone be proven because he had been taken prisoner fighting against Islam with a view to its extirpation and persisted in invincible ignorance in his sacrilegious and infidel convictions, or because there did exist legal proof that all his ancestors without exception had been slaves descended from a person taken prisoner conducting a warfare of such invincible ignorance Islam would be bound to recognize such slavery as legal, even though recommending the freeing of the person and if possible his conversion, in this modern age.
In practice, it seems virtually impossible that there will ever again be a jihad that is lawfully declared according to the strict letter of the law, and there are no living descendants of lawful slaves, which means that legal enslavement is unthinkable.
Islamic law recognises slavery as an institution within society, and attempts to regulate and restrict it in various ways. Different Islamic legal schools differ in their interpretation of Islamic law on slavery. Local customs in Muslim lands also affected the way slaves were treated. In the merchant cities of South-East Asia the sharia helped forge a legal distinction between slave and non-slave unknown in the rural hinterland.
More frequently, however, the application of the sharia outside the Middle East was tempered by local customs. This allowed Muslims in regions as distant as Somalia, India and Indonesia to argue for the maintenance of pre-Islamic and other local structures of slavery even if these ran counter to the prescriptions of the sharia.
Islamic law clearly recognises that slaves are human beings, but it frequently treats slaves as if they are property, laying down regulations covering the buying and selling of slaves. It encourages the freeing of slaves, which has the good effect of diminishing the slave population of a culture and, paradoxically, the bad effect of encouraging those whose livelihood depends on slave labour to find new ways of acquiring slaves.
Under Islamic law people can only be legally enslaved in two circumstances:. Other legal systems of the time allowed people to be enslaved in a far wider range of circumstances. The sharia limits were often either ignored or evaded, and many instances of slave trading by Muslims were in fact illegal, but tolerated.
Islamic law allows slaves to get their freedom under certain circumstances. It divides slaves with the right to freedom into various classes:. The Prophet Muhammad did not try to abolish slavery, and bought, sold, captured, and owned slaves himself. But he insisted that slave owners treat their slaves well and stressed the virtue of freeing slaves.
For example, he personally ensured the freedom of Bilal, an African slave who had converted to Islam. Bilal was chosen as the first muezzin of Islam because of his beautiful voice. A muezzin is the person who calls the community to the daily prayers, and is a position of great prominence and responsibility. Zayd was a young boy who had grown up in the household of the Prophet as a slave, and remained with the household, almost as an adopted son, even after he was freed.
He was amongst the first four people to adopt Islam. Indeed when Zayd's father a wealthy nobleman tracked his son down and offered to buy his freedom from Muhammad, Muhammad told Zayd that he was free to go with his father with no money changing hands, and to his father's astonishment Zayd chose to stay with Muhammad. There are a number of hadith that show that the Prophet treated slaves well and expected others to do the same He will not enter Paradise who behaveth ill to his slaves.
The Companions said, 'O Apostle of God! The slaves that say their prayers are your brothers. They slaves or servants are your brothers, and Allah has put them under your command. So the one under whose hand Allah has put his brother, should feed him of what he eats, and give him dresses of what he wears, and should not ask him to do a thing beyond his capacity.
And if at all he asks him to do a hard task, he should help him therein. Of these three, one is he who enslaves a free man, then sells him and eats this money'. Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari: "The Prophet said, 'Give food to the hungry, pay a visit to the sick and release set free the one in captivity by paying his ransom.
Slavery in Muslim history lasted much longer than the Atlantic slave trade - although slavery had existed in many cultures long before Islam. The Muslim slave trade from Africa seems to have enslaved roughly similar numbers estimates vary between 11 and 14 million Africans to the Atlantic slave trade, and the transportation conditions endured by victims of the Eastern trade were probably just as horrible in their own way as those of the Atlantic slave trade.
One poignant fact is that when the Atlantic slave trade was abolished the Eastern trade expanded, suggesting that for some Africans the abolition of the Atlantic trade didn't lead to freedom, but merely changed their slave destination.
Slavery played a significant part in the history of Muslim civilisation, but it was a form of slavery that was inherently different from the 'slave trade' in that the Muslim concept of slavery regarded those enslaved as people who had some, albeit fewer, human rights that must be respected.
What was notably different from the slavery of the western world, however, was the degree to which they [slaves] were protected by Muslim law. When the law was observed, their treatment was good.
They might expect to marry and have families of their own, and they had a good chance of being freed. There were also built in avenues of escape. But even though slavery under Islam could be significantly less harsh that that of the Atlantic slave trade, both involved serious breaches of human rights and restricted liberty.
However well they were treated the slaves still had restricted freedom, and when the law was not obeyed their lives could be very unpleasant.
The relationship between slave and master in Islam is a very different relationship from that between the American plantation labourer and owner. It was a much more personalized relationship and relatively benevolent. Everything here is relative -- being a slave is being a slave and it shouldn't be romanticized. The nature of the Atlantic trade and therefore the survival of racism in the West has been one of segregation. There wasn't this separation in Islam.
Whites didn't push blacks off the pavement. They didn't forbid restaurants to serve them. I don't think that there's any disputing that slavery was a more benevolent institution in Islam than it was in the West. Western slavery was motivated by economics - people were enslaved to provide a cheap and disposable workforce on plantations.
Muslims historically did not use slaves as an engine of economic production on the same scale as the West, although some Muslims profited from the actual trading of slaves.
Toward the Abolition of Slavery under the Aegis of Islamic Law
The slave-warriors of medieval Islam overthrew their masters, defeated the Mongols and the Crusaders and established a dynasty that lasted years. T he Mamluks ruled Egypt and Syria from until , when their dynasty was extinguished by the Ottomans. But Mamluks had first appeared in the Abbasid caliphate in the ninth century and even after their overthrow by the Ottomans they continued to form an important part of Egyptian Islamic society and existed as an influential group until the 19th century. They destroyed the Crusader kingdoms of Outremer, and saved Syria, Egypt and the holy places of Islam from the Mongols. Yet the dynasty remains virtually unknown to many in the West.
Turkish Slaves in Delhi Sultanate
By the end of IItutmish rule, the influence of the Turkish slave soldiers on the political structure of the sultanate administration was disproportionate to their social status Al-Sahli, Although the Turkish slave soldiers had undergone traumatic alienation and been introduced to the Islamic faith as well as the decorum of the court as part of their training, their Turkish heritage remained unchanged. To a large extent, the early Delhi sultans, who were of Turkish origins created in their slaves the Turkish identity in order to create new bonds and identities through the process of divesting the slaves from their old relations. Scholars have noted that the sultans deliberately gave their slaves Turkish names rather than Arabic ones which would have been in tandem with the Islamic faith which they professed Kumar, A shared Turkish ethnicity was used to reinforce the bonds between the slave soldiers and the sultan; however, it did not imply that they alienate the non-Turkish slaves.
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Mamluk , also spelled Mameluke , slave soldier, a member of one of the armies of slaves established during the Abbasid era that later won political control of several Muslim states. Under the Ayyubid sultanate, Mamluk generals used their power to establish a dynasty that ruled Egypt and Syria from to The name is derived from an Arabic word for slave. The use of Mamluks as a major component of Muslim armies became a distinct feature of Islamic civilization as early as the 9th century CE. Moreover, the political result was almost invariably the same: the slaves exploited the military power vested in them to seize control over the legitimate political authorities, often only briefly but sometimes for astonishingly long periods of time.
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Slaves were owned in all Islamic societies, both sedentary and nomadic, ranging from Arabia in the centre to North Africa in the west and to what is now Pakistan and Indonesia in the east. Some Islamic states, such as the Ottoman Empire, the Crimean Khanate, and the Sokoto caliphate [Nigeria], must be termed slave societies because slaves there were very important numerically as well as a focus of the polities' energies.
Slave Soldiers and Islam: Genesis of the Military System
Islamic states from the early 9th century to the early 19th century consistently deployed slaves as soldiers, a phenomenon that was very rare outside of the Islamic world. Verse is also thought to refer to ghilman. They fought in bands, and demanded high pay for their services. The use of slave soldiers in the Islamic world stretches back to when African slave soldiers were mentioned serving under Mohammed and the Rashidun Caliphate. Slavs and Berbers were also used under the Umayyad Caliphs.
В сердцах он швырнул трубку на рычаг. - Черт! - Фонтейн снова схватил трубку и набрал номер мобильника Стратмора. На этот раз послышались длинные гудки.
Наверное, за ним тянется красный след на белых камнях. Он искал глазами открытую дверь или ворота - любой выход из этого бесконечного каньона, - но ничего не. Улочка начала сужаться. - Soccoro! - Его голос звучал еле слышно. - Помогите. С обеих сторон на него надвигались стены извивающейся улочки.
Slave Soldiers and Islam: Genesis of the Military System. By Daniel Pipes. (New Haven, Yale University Press, I98I) pp. $ The Mamluk or slave.
Кроме всего прочего, Хейл был настоящим ходячим несчастьем, готовым свалиться на голову в любую минуту. Из задумчивости Стратмора вывел звонок мобильного телефона, едва слышный в завывании сирен и свисте пара. Не останавливаясь, он отстегнул телефон от брючного ремня.
Да, сэр, мы внесены туда как агентство сопровождения. - Да-да, я и ищу спутницу. - Беккер понял, что совершил какой-то промах. - Да, наше агентство предоставляет сопровождающих бизнесменам для обедов и ужинов. Вот почему мы внесены в телефонный справочник.