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Islam and the Liberation of Human Beings

01.10.2010 – 22. Shawwal 1431. Islam and the Liberation of Human Beings


Islam and the Liberation of Human Beings




Praise is due to Allah and may the peace and mercy be upon the Messenger of Allah. To proceed:

Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) says: (O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (Not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. and God has full knowledge and is well acquainted). Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) created all of mankind from 1 origin and they all descend from Adam and Eve. Many tribes and clans were created from that origin so that they may know each other and as a result help each other, inherit from each other and pay the due rights to their relatives. He then (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) showed the way to measure their status in His sight (righteousness) and He affirmed that by reminding us that He has full knowledge and is well acquainted with our actions and deeds. This way he rewards the good doers and punishes the wrongdoers.

Righteousness is therefore the measure of our status as the Messenger of Allah (SALLA ALLAAHU 'ALAYHI WA SALAAM) said: (O’ people, indeed your Lord is one and your father is one. There is no advantage for and Arab over a non-arab or for a non-arab over an Arab. There is no advantage for Red over black or black over red except through Righteousness). Islam never elevated a nation over the other or a race over the others or color over another. The only elevation comes from the deeds of individuals such as praying, fasting, charity, etc. Omar R.A.A. used to say: (Abu Bakr is our master and he freed our master –Bilal who was a slave). Islam equalized between masters and slaves from the very beginning and made everyone a slave to Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA).

The master is not excused from worshipping Allah because of his status and a slave is not asked for more worshipping due to his status. In fact Islam made it easier on the side of the slave due to the other tasks required of him/her at the time. Islam also paid special attention to slaves at the time for their roles by rewarding the slave twice if he worshipped Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) and carried out the tasks of the master. Islam also warned against hurting them and treating them in a bad way and encouraged people to be kind to them and treat them well. The Messenger of Allah (SALLA ALLAAHU 'ALAYHI WA SALAAM) said: (Your brothers, your brothers the ones that Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) has made under your hands –ownership- if your brother is under your hand you should feed him from what he eats and make him wear cloths from what he wears. Do not order them to do things they are not able to do and if you do you have to help them yourselves). Abu Masoud Al-Ansari once hit a slave and for that he freed him, the messenger of Allah told him that if you hadn’t freed him, the Hellfire would have touched you. From there, Islam made it compulsory to free a slave if you harm him or hit him.

Prohibition of slavery was done in stages. It was prohibited from owning slaves except through taking war prisoners and with certain conditions so that the enslaved is kept away from becoming a bandit and stealing from people who are traveling. Islam also prohibited selling those who are originally free and that is because Islam considers the origin of all humans as free. Islam allows a slave to buy himself from his master if he wishes so. He made the freeing of slaves a way to pay your Zakat and Islam also encouraged those who share a slave to give up their share if one of the owners decides to give up his share so that the slave is completely free. In the case of the death of the master, he can agree with the slave that he can be free once that happens. If a master has a child from a slave woman (Amah/Jariah), it is not allowed for him to sell her to another master and she becomes a mother of his child (between a slave and a free woman) and if the master dies, she is automatically freed.

Islam also encouraged the freeing of slaves by making their liberation a way to seek forgiveness from some of the sins that we might commit. There are 3 types: the first, liberation is obligatory for those who can do it, such as when someone kills a human by mistake. The second type is the voluntary type where a slave is freed because the master swore by Allah in the wrong way. The third type is the recommended type as it is one of the most beloved actions in the sight of Allah and that is to free a slave for the sake of Allah. The Messenger of Allah (SALLA ALLAAHU 'ALAYHI WA SALAAM) said: (Whoever frees a muslim kneck –slave- Allah frees an organ or limb from the Hellfire for each organ or limb the master Freed)

Compare these noble verses from the Quran and Sunnah that encourage liberation of slaves with verses from the Book that they altered and they all follow now. In the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 20, the Bible says: (10. When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. 11. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee).

When Christianity arrived, it affirmed the previous traditions of slavery that the Jews were using. It did not abolish it and there is not a single verse in the Bible that prohibits slavery or hold its doer responsible or encourage its abolishment. Even more, the men of religion and popes and church ministers were amongst the biggest slave trader in the history of mankind.

O’ Slaves of Allah, Islam came to bring people from the degradation of slaves by their masters to the honor of being slaves of Allah. Enslavement to Allah was a description of the most highly regarded people in history, and those who chose not to be included in that category where belittled and destroyed by Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA). Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) described His Angels and Messengers as slaves when He says: (Those who are near to thy Lord, disdain not to do Him worship: They celebrate His praises, and bow down before Him) and He also says of Noah (Alayhi as-Salam).: (O ye that are sprung from those whom We carried (In the Ark) with Noah! Verily he was a devotee Most grateful). Of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob (Alayhim as-Salam) He says: (And commemorate Our Servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Possessors of Power and Vision) and of The Messiah Jesus, son of Mary (Alayhi as-Salam), who was attributed to be the Lord and the son of Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) He says: (Christ disdaineth not to serve and worship God, nor do the angels, those nearest (to God)). He also (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) says of Jesus: (He was no more than a servant: We granted Our favour to him, and We made him an example to the Children of Israel).

Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) also described our Messenger Mohammad (SALLA ALLAAHU 'ALAYHI WA SALAAM) with enslavement to Allah in all his deeds and He (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) order him to worship Allah until death when He says: (And serve thy Lord until there come unto thee the Hour that is Certain (Death)). Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) confirmed to us the reason of our creation and the other creatures such as the skies and the earth etc. when He (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) says: (I have only created jinns and men, that they may worship Me). Therefore we ask Allah (SUBHANAHU WA TAA'LA) to make us from those who truly worship him alone and to fulfill His status of being our Lord in the right way and may the peace and mercy be upon the Messenger, his household and his companions.

Indeed Allah Knows Best

Last Updated ( Monday, 14 February 2011 21:51 )