Slavery: Past and Present Tragedy

Today marks the UK’s day of anti-slavery, an initiative that brings light to both the historical and modern conceptions of slavery and the urgent need for agency to truly abolish all manifestations of such an inhumane institute.

Dr. Yasir Qadhi on Slavery

The concept of slavery is long contested, yet slavery in the Islamic context has clear and concise legislation and regulation. Yasir Qadhi provides a short, yet in depth, explanation of slavery in both the context of the time of the prophet (pbuh), and the postmodern world.

Not only does he answer common questions such as the Islamic conception of right hand possession and Sharia rulings regarding slavery, he highlights the universality of slavery and the fact that Islam was the first and only religion to institute laws for slavery 1,400 years ago.

His insight affords a real understanding of slavery in the Islamic context, further cementing the consensus that legal Islamic frameworks incorporate the treatment and rights of slaves, but do not require the actual existence of such an institute.

Sheikh Omar Suleiman on Slavery

Sheikh Omar Suleiman perceives slavery as a human problem, linked to concepts of subjugation, brutality and racism; all of which are forbidden in Islam. Although his webinar is lengthy, it provides an authentic historical and academic account of global slavery, highlighting how Islam redefined slavery. He delves into accounts of slavery prior to, during and post-Islam, arguing how there is no real Islamic manifestation of slavery.

An interesting point to note is the newfound diversity within the institute of slavery, as Suleiman contends that no time in history has ever seen such diverse manifestations of this universal cancer to humanity. His approach does not simply focus on slavery in the Islamic context, rather, he highlights the practises and rulings of slavery in all major religions and the consequences of such frameworks.

Furthermore, his critical insight gives prominence to the US and European bias in the historiography of slavery, stimulating an analytic argument of the origins, practises and diversity of slavery in both a historical and modern context.


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