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Slavery - An Anathema to Humanity and Islam

10/11/2014 10:09 GMT | Updated 07/01/2015 10:59 GMT

"One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar - the infidels - and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah, or Islamic law."

These horrifying words have been published by ISIS terrorists in their on-line English-language magazine, Dabiq. It is hardly surprising that such ignorant, perverse and frankly repugnant interpretations come from a group whose recruits use 'Islam for Dummies' as their introduction to the faith.

Rather than enforce slavery, Islam seeks to establish the right to freedom. Prior to the advent of the religion, it was customary for Arabs to buy, sell and horrifically mistreat slaves. In contrast, the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (pbuh) so consistently advocated against these practices that he was viewed by slaves as their saviour. As a result, the ratio of slaves among the earliest Muslims swelled, with enormous numbers joyfully accepting the new faith. This could not have happened if the teachings of Islam promoted slavery - in such an instance, slaves would naturally have viewed the religion as their greatest enemy.

Throughout the Qur'an and the traditions of Muhammad (pbuh), there is not a single statement to the effect that it is lawful to take away the freedom of a person. Instead, we find the rights of existing slaves are championed, with the strongest encouragement to grant their freedom. For example, the Qur'an states: "Are you aware of a religious precept, which may be likened to a great ascent upon a mountain, by which a person is able to climb to the heights of divine nearness? It is the freeing of a slave." (90:13-14) Further, Muhammad (pbuh) stated: 'Such a Muslim who frees a slave, would be granted complete salvation by Allah the Exalted from Hell." (Bukhari)

These statements absolutely contradict the baseless claim that taking slaves is a 'firmly established aspect of the Sharia'. In fact, Muhammad (pbuh) so strongly condemned the practice that he even stated those enforcing slavery upon free people would be at war with him on the day of judgement: "There are three types of people who I shall be at war against on the day of resurrection. Firstly, a person who makes a covenant in My name but does not fulfil his agreement. Secondly, a person who enslaves a free person, sells him and consumes his value. Thirdly, a person who employs an individual, benefits from his labour, but does not pay him his wage." (Bukhari)

ISIS' ignorance does not end there. The terrorist group claims Islamic law permits keeping concubines, however the Qur'an actually teaches a slave who requests liberty should be given their freedom, before adding: "And force not your maids into an unchaste life." (24:34). Once again, ISIS' shameless actions completely contradict the Qur'an.

Whatever warped religion these terrorists are practising, it has little to do with the true teachings of Islam. But what can you expect from those whose only knowledge of the faith comes from 'Islam for Dummies'?