Comments in this book numbered by 3 numbers (included 00 or 0) a few places followed by one small letter = clear cases. Comments numbered by 00 or 0 followed by 1, 2 or 3 letters (big or small) = likely cases.
Also see chapters “Muslims are better”, “Make no friends with non-Muslims”, and “Incitement to dislike, hate and suppression”.
Today you meet many Muslims back-pedalling with much energy when one mentions the word “slave”. They may tell you that Muhammad and Islam always intended to stop slavery. They may tell you that black slavery meant America, and that only few ended in Muslim countries. They may even boast that the Muslims made Europe finish the use of slaves. Or that slaves were so well treated, that they did not want to flee or go home.
The sad truth is that neither Muhammad, nor the Quran, nor Hadith and definitely not Islam or Muslims ever showed the slightest intention to stop slavery or to abolish it as an institution. - Oh, no!!! Allah accepted it and Muhammad practised it and Islam said it was good and lawful and Muslims made money on it. Yes, slavery is so accepted in the Quran and in Hadith, and was so accepted in Islam, that in conservative Muslim societies even today the ending of slavery may be seen as a “new idea” - and remember that with some exceptions ("good new ideas" in accordance with the Quran) - even today “new ideas” are reckoned to be un-Islamic and heresy in conservative areas.
Slavery in Europe died out a thousand years ago or a bit less, depending on where in Europe. And it did not die out because of the Muslims between Africa and us. For one thing trade is always possible also among different cultures if both parts make money on it, and for another thing our slaves came not from south, but from east - why do you think they were called slaves if not? (They were of the Slavic race.) It died out partly because it did not pay well to feed slaves all the year just to work a few months each summer - especially as there were plenty of cheap workers around - and partly because very obviously it was at odds with the religion.
Real abolition started in England around 1800 mainly for humanitarian and Christian based reasons and from empathy with the victims, and was quickly accepted as laws in Europe (f. ex. Denmark/Norway 1803, England 1807), but somewhat later in the Americas (1864 in USA).
As far as we know no Muslim country abolished official slavery except after pressure from the outside, and many not until far into 1900 - Mauritania as unbelievably late as 1982 (and even more unbelievable: Not until the year 2007!!!! - did it become a punishable crime to have slaves there). In addition we have heard, but not found confirmation for, that in Niger slavery was not prohibited until 2003.
To the Americas reliable numbers of the import of slaves from Africa vary from 7 to 12 million (Encyclopaedia Britannica says 7-10 millions, but 12 or max 13 millions is more often seen) from ca. 1550 AD - a part of this number ended in USA.
As for Negro slaves in Muslim area, the numbers are varying more - up to 140 million from ca. 650 AD till they were forced to abolish it in the 1900s. Encyclopaedia Britannica say 9 million brought across Sahara + 5 million brought by boat from East Africa (but here are included only the ones who arrived alive). In addition there were 1.5 million slaves from Europe, included many from around the Black Sea. Some 15.5 million slaves from Europe and Africa together, the ones who died under transport not included - and they vere many. Then there were the slaves from Asia - as far east as China actually. Here we have been unable to find reliable numbers, but quite a lot of millions. It must be added that the death rates in Muslim black slave trade were very high, especially among the ones that were forced to walk all the way from central Africa to the Mediterranean coast - across Sahara - to be sold in those states. Numbers as high as 80-90% are mentioned, but we have problems with believing that high numbers - the slavers after all lost money when slaves died. But it should be mentioned that if a death rate of 80 – 90 % during transport (compared to some 10% on the Atlantic crossing) is correct, the number 140 million taken or bought from black Africa through the centuries, starts making sense compared to 14 million arrived according to the careful Encyclopaedia Britannica (many others have higher numbers).
Finally there were the Negro slaves in black Africa (Africa south of Sahara). It is difficult to find reliable numbers here, but a may be reliable estimate says that on average 30% of the inhabitants in Africaat any given time were slaves. That in case means that at any given time there were more black slaves inside Africa, than “exported” to the Americas and the Muslim area through all times. Some hundreds of millions through the times if one reckon from 650 AD till today.
The great enslaver and slave owner was black Africa – the tribes had slaves from other tribes. And remember that large parts of Africa became Muslim over the years. Number 2 was the Muslim area – and Muslim slave traders were the sole supplicants here. Number 3 was the Americas (North, Middle and South put together) – also here with Muslim slave traders as big supplicants (an often “forgotten” fact).
And only in Europe and some parts of USA the idea of abolishing slavery arose.
Further: According to the United Nations there are some 24 million people TODAY (numbers published in 2007 AD) living as slaves or in slave like conditions in the world - a large percentage of them in Muslim countries.
Muslims as mentioned also were deeply involved in the export to the Americas. (Took slaves and bought slaves for selling them to slave ships for the Americas). The slave captains in the slave trade to the Americas mainly bought the slaves in Africa - they rarely went slave hunting themselves.
In addition there as mentioned was the slave taking in all areas Islam conquered or raided in Asia, and slave trade in Asia as far east as China - one of the Muslim “kings” in India f. ex. is said to have had 180ooo slaves just in his capital. Also here we have been unable to find any reliable total number. As for slaves taken along the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, one reckon some 1.2 million - if you add the rest of Europe (as far away as Iceland and may be Greenland) and captured ships one ends at some 1.5 - 1.6 millions. All not too small towns in Muslim areas had official slave markets. In Europe people collected money to buy slaves free from Muslim countries at least into the 1880s.
It is also said that slaves in Muslim countries fared much better than in USA. This is only partly true.
What is true is that the social distance between a poor Muslim and a slave was not quite as great as in America. A Muslim f. ex. could marry a slave girl, or a Muslim poor woman could marry a Muslim slave. Such marriages hardly happened in the Americas.
It also is true that it was reckoned to be a good deed to set a slave free, especially if he or she was a Muslim. Actually this was reckoned in the same way among many in the Americas, but not always socially accepted all the same.
Further it is true that the house slaves often did not fare badly in Muslim countries. But this was also true for the Americas - it was not the house slaves that were much mistreated.
Then it was the question of the other slaves. Here the story is entirely different, in spite of what Muslims try to gloss over. Slaves working in the fields, in mines, and other places - and also during slave transports - were often extremely mistreated and worked to death.
And finally there were the glorious and romantic harems.
Women there were for work and sex or only for sex. And as a main thing was sex, what happened if a man got bored with a slave girl? - or simply wanted some new and more exciting “meat”? She simply was sold - and resold - and resold. A large number was passed from man to man to man to man, and ended up as destroyed wrecks and caricatures of human beings, with their lives utterly ruined. For the pleasure of Muslim men - who according to Muhammad and the Quran and Islam was 100% right to behave like that according to the human and good religion Islam, and according to the benevolent Allah. Also if she was not sold and resold, rape is rape. But Islam never expressed second thoughts about morality, neither concerning war, stealing/spoils of war, enslavement, nor rape of prisoners/slaves. We may add that 2 of 3 slaves imported to Muslim countries were women or children - imported for sex (whereas to the Americas 2 of 3 slaves were adult males - imported for work (sex with Negro female slaves was practised, but never socially accepted in USA).
There also should be some explanation why the slaves in the Americas have many descendants today - but where are the black descendants from the millions and millions of slaves in the Muslim countries? Why are they so few? What kind of treatment is the explanation for this? We have not found the answers. That is to say we have been told, but not found verified that blacks slaves were prohibitted from marrying.
It may sound strange, but until very recently some Muslim universities thought slave law - the slaves were things and laws were necessary for protecting the owners’ rights, trading, etc. The slaves themselves had absolutely no rights or protection.
001 2/221: “(To marry*) a slave woman who believes (in Islam*), is better than to marry an unbelieving woman, even though she is alluring to you.” Well, this may tell as much about the value of non-Muslims.
002 4/3: “- - - marry women of your choise, two or three or four - - - or (a captive) that your right hand possesses - - -.” The distance between a poor Muslim and a slave was less than in a similar situation in the Americas – it was acceptable to marry a slave woman. The woman then formally often was given her freedom and was no more a slave – though as the more or less forced wife of a man, her freedom was nor necessarily very real. The social position was better though, and she kept her freedom if there was a divorce.
003 4/24: “Also (prohibited (to Muslims*) are) women already married, except those whom your right hand possess (= slave women*)”. This question surfaced for a special reason: The warriors wanted to know if they were permitted to rape (“to have sex with” to express it more polite) also married female captives when they were waging war. Not married captives they knew they could treat just as they wanted, but what about married ones? - the married Muslim ones were prohibited for sex excpt for their husband. And the answer was as you see: You also are free to rape married non-Muslim women, (but with one exception; not if they were pregnant). And this was given as a general statement and rule - any slave or female captive could be raped (except when pregnant), husband or no husband.
004 4/25a: “If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from those whom your right hand possess - - -”. “The ones whom your right hand possess”, is an Arab expression for slave. To marry a slave girl is far down socially, but acceptable. Willing or not willing slave girl - the question is never asked in the Quran (besides it is likely that many would be willing, as it often meant they formally became free women, not slaves any more).
005 4/25b: “- - - their (slave women married to a free Muslim*) punishment (for crime or indecency*) is half of that for free women.” This was softer than in the Americas, as far as it was practised (slaves in the house often fared not too bad, whereas slaves in the fields, mines, etc. could have a terrible life – not unlike the worst situations in the Americas).
006 4/36: “- - - do good to parents, kinfolks, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the Companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hand possess - - -”. Allah likes people who do good - even to slaves. Your slaves are mentioned after even wayfarers you happen to meet, but they are mentioned.
007 8/70: “O Prophet! Say to those who are captives in your hands: ‘If Allah findeth any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you - - -.” Muhammad was a great taker of slaves, and he promises the slaves a better life in Paradise – the always cheap words. It also is a bit ironic that Muhammad had attacked and stolen and raped and murdered and enslaved - - - but it was his victims that needed forgiving. Some religion.
008 16/75: “- - - a slave under the dominion of another - - - a man on whom We (Allah*) have bestowed goodly favours - - - are the two equal? (By no means); praise be to Allah.” This “praise be to Allah,” tells many pages about the Muslims’ evaluation of slaves.
009 23/5+6: “(Those Muslims are good*) Who abstains from sex, Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom your right hand possess (= slaves) - for (in their case) they are free from blame”. Catch a girl and make her captive - and you are free from any blame if you rape her - or gang-rape her - or make more women your captives and rape them, too - or exchange girls with your mates every half hour or day or week. A slave is a slave - and spoils of war you take “just and good”, according to the Quran and Islam. We sometimes wonder if this is the reason for so much mass rape sometimes when Muslims wage war - Darfur and Bangladesh are/were examples to remember. Forget that the women are humans - take them captive and you are free to rape them without any blame. Really good religion.
But it brought Muhammad cheap highwaymen and later warriors.
010 24/32: “Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among your slaves, male or female - - -“. Also for male slaves marriage to a free woman was possible – and with luck to marry himself out of bondage. We have seen no numbers, but would guess the chances for such a marriage were far better for a female slave than for a male.
011 24/33a: “And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if you know any good in them- - -”. This mostly was a sleeping paragraph, but as far as we have heard, it did happen now and then. We do not know of any western law saying the same, but slaves sometimes were given their freedom and at least a few times got a chance to work themselves free also in the west. (Actually it happened among the vikings that slaves were given the chance to work themselves free.)
012 24/33b: “But force not your maids (female slaves*) to prostitution when they desire chastity (notice the choice of words – if the slave woman is willing, it seems to be ok*), in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life.” We have not found out how widespread such forced – and not forced – prostitution was and still is in some Muslim societies. But it is thought provoking that Arab is said to have 26 words for prostitute; It is a general tendency in languages that frequently used expressions have many varieties and synonyms.
013 24/58: “Let those whom your right hand possess (= slaves*), and the (children) among you who have not come of age, ask your permission - - -”. Further down on the social ladder in a house it is not possible to place a slave if he at all shall be able to do the work you demand from him - or her.
014 30/28: “- - - do ye (Muslims*) have partners among those your right hand possess (= slaves), to share as equals in the wealth We (Allah*) have bestowed on you? Do you fear them as ye fear each other?” Oh, no - Muslims do not.
015 33/55: “There is no blame (on the ladies if they appear (indecently dressed*)) before their fathers or their sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the (slaves) whom their right hands possess.” It is unclear what the two last groups really cover. “Their women” may mean their slave women – literally “their”. Or their close female friends or relatives. Or – if this verse is directed mainly to Muhammad’s wives like some commentators mean – Muslim women in general. As for “the (slaves) whom their right hands possess” that simply means the slaves they owns, but it is not clear if it means of both sexes – that male slaves counted so little that it was ok – but commentators mostly wants it to mean “female slaves.”
016 33/52: “It is not lawful for thee (Muhammad*) (to marry more) women after this - - - except any thy right hand should possess - - -”. Slave women did not count, so Muhammad still had a way out if he wanted more women.
017 58/3: “But those who have divorced their wives by zihar (a very simple ceremony*), the wish to go back on the words they uttered - (it is ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other - - -”. Some sins one could repair by freeing a slave. If one was not rich enough to do that, one often could fast (not eat or drink or have sex during the day) for some time - in this case two months. To months fast = the real value of a human if he or she was a slave.
018 70/29-30: “And those who guard their chastity, except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess (= slaves*) – for (then) they are not to be blamed - - -.” There is no blame for raping your slave women – just how and how often you want. A good and benevolent god (at least for the Muslim free man).
019 90/12-13: “And what will explain to thee (Muhammad/Muslims*) the path that is steep (in the meaning ascending fast, not that it is hard to walk*)? – (It is): freeing the bondman, or giving of food in a day of privation (and some other things*) - - -.” To set free a slave was a good thing – but the main argument and the main moral (?) reason was not to help a fellow human, but to gain merit with Allah. With other words: To help yourself in your next life.
This is about all that the Quran says about slaves - slaves is not a big topic in the book, as slaves were of little consequence for Muhammad and his men, except as a source for money, for cheap labour and for sex. Islam is talking to YOU, the man and (potential) warrior - the central person in your own world - and only the main person in your own world counts. Others are just things whose happiness and feelings and life is of little or no consequence - just things for you to use and discard - not even treated as real humans in the Quran. Children are status and pride to you, women are mainly the same + sex, old men are hardly mentioned except as your parents, war invalids are not mentioned – bad for war moral - and slaves are just property and a source for easy life – and sex – for YOU, the man.
We should add that Muslims of today say that slaves one only were permitted to take during jihad - holy war, and consequently there were not many slaves in Muslim countries. This could have been true if not:
And we have never heard about Muslim thinkers or clergy or other learned men before the 1930s debating the moral and ethical sides of slave keeping, slave trading, slave taking, (or slave rapeing) - moral questions that around 1800 started the abolishing movement in what Islam calls the bad West and worse. A curiosa: Already some Greek philosophers had problems with the moral question of taking slaves - but Muslim thinkers never even discussed such a problem. It simply was no problem for Muslims or for Islam as the Quran said ok and as the great idol Mohammad took and used and sold slaves himself. When Muslims tell Islam prepared for stopping slavery, it is not even wrong - it is hypocrisy.
Actually Islam’s hypocrisy, dishonesty, brazenness, and “holiness” about this claim is a main source for me personally – me who are writing just these lines - of disgusted feelings from Islam and from any Muslim saying such directly untrue al-taqiyyas with a straight face. In Europe slavery as mentioned died out as an accepted institution, mainly because it collided with fundamental religious ideas (but helped by the fact that labour grew cheap, and thus slavery did not pay well for the owner). And when it started again in the Americas – in South and Central America with local Indians shortly after the Spaniards and Portuguese arrived around 1500 (1492) AD and later with imported Negroes, and in what became USA in some scale in the late 1600s and in the 1700s (it came to an end in 1864 AD), the West in the end had the ethics and morality and not least the backbone to stop it. Islam was pulled and pushed and forced backwards and protesting into abolishing it.
And even now they do not have the moral backbone to face reality, but serves lame claims about planned abolishing so easy to see through, that the only possible reaction from people who know something about it, is disgust or stronger.
To quote the honourable and respected “The Message of the Quran”, 2008 edition: “According to many Islamic scholars of our time (for good reasons they have found no heavy-weights to quote from older times, as the theme was not even debated*) (e.g. Rashid Rida’), this (to set free slaves as expiation for own sins*) relates, in the first instance, to circumstances in which ‘slavery will have been abolished in accordance with the aim of Islam”.
At least the brazenness is impressive.
But this way to bluff and flee from moral questions, and even to lie about them to gain respect, bodes badly for the future.
And where do you find the majority of “de facto” slaves today – with lax laws and even more lax law enforcement?
Hypocrisy, rubber moral backbone, and lies – “lawful” and religiously accepted al-taqiyyas or not – produces very little respect.
This even more so when it comes from the leading scholars of Islam. And after having made no progress in the case in 1300 - 1400 years until they were forced backwards into aboilishing it by forces and badly liked ideas from the outside.
One final question: You frequently meet Muslims justifying the taking of slaves with that it only is permitted during jihada - holy war. But one thing is that the excuse is valueless as any strife where Muslims are involved, is named jihad. Another and far more damning for Islamic moral codexes, is the question: How can fighting religious wars for a good and benevolent god sanctify enslaveing, stealing and rape? - especially when each and every fight and raid is called jihad?
The answer will tell a lot about Muslim and Islamic moral codexes (moral philosopy has never existed in Islam - only moral codexes based on what Muhammad said and did.)
NB: If you find any mistakes anywhere, please inform us. If it is a real mistake, it will be corrected.
NB, NB, NB:
1. Read first the 2 small chapters "Some Essentials for how the Quran is to be read and understood" (VII-10-1) and "The Quran is to be understood literally if nothing else is indicated" (VII-10-2).
2. http://www.1000mistakes.com is blocked by many Muslim authorities. To debate with persons in such areas, cut and paste what you want from the pages and send it under titles different from http://www.1000mistakes.com.
3. http://www.1000mistakes.com is one of 9 pages which Muslim organisetions warned especially against in 2008 and 2009 - it could make especially procelytes lose their belief in Islam; correct and "down-to-the-earth" information works. In this connection it is worth noting that in the "warning" http://www.1000mistakes.com was one of 3 which neither was accused of bringing wrong facts, nor of being a hate page.
4. Comment 141 (to verse 6/149) in “The Message of the Quran” (see point 5) explains (translated from Swedish) about Allah's claimed omniscience vs. man's claimed free will:
“With other words: The real connection between Allah’s knowledge about the future (and consequently about the unavoidable in what is to happen in the future*) on one side and man’s relatively (!!*) free will on the other – two statements that seems to contradict each other – lies outside what is possible for humans to understand, but as both statement are made from Allah (in the Quran*) both must be true”. Unbelievable. Blind belief is the only correct and intelligent way of life, even in the face of the utterly impossible!!
5. And an afterthought: In the book “The Message of the Quran”, certified by Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Islamic Research Academy in Cairo (one of the 2-3 top universities in the Muslim world on such subjects) in a letter dated 27. Dec. 1998, it is admitted rather reluctantly that there are no proofs for Allah, and that it is not possible to prove him. An additonal point here is that if there is no proof for Allah and impossible to prove him, automatically there also is no proof for, and impossible to prove Muhammad's claimed connection to a god. And if there is no Allah and/or no connection between Muhammad and a god, what then is Muhammad? - and what than is Islam? - a made up, invalid religion?
6. Further: All the mistakes, contradictions, etc. in that book prove 100% that the Quran is not made by an omniscient god - no god makes such and so many mistakes, etc. If then Islam is a made up religion, what then about all the Muslims who have been prohibitted from looking for a real religion (if such one exists)? And where will they in case wake up after living and practising such an inhuman war religion like Islam is according to the Quran (and to Hadiths), if there is a second life somewhere? - Hell or Paradise?
7. NB and PS: No matter how sure you are about something, if it is not proved, it is not knowledge, only belief or strong belief, and can be wrong. Only what is proved or possible to prove is knowledge.
(As http://www.1000mistakes.com is blocked in many Muslim areas - which shows they are afraid of it and lack arguments (if they had real arguments for http://www.1000mistakes.com is wrong, blocking was unneccessary) - "cut and paste" whatever you want from it and send if you want to inform or to debate there. Remember to omit the name http://www.1000mistakes.com).
PS: If we are blocked centrally - f. ex. by spam (there is too much at times already from unfriendly sources) we will reopen with new address somewhere else, and announce the new address om f. ex. http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/islam. Also if your comments to us do not reach us, any comments posted on a thread with "1000 mistakes" in the title on that forum will be read by us - it is a big international debate page. We cannot answer on that page, though, as it is not safe enough - we have had death threaths (better to kill an opponent, than to check if a religion brainwashed into you only on the word of a man who even practised lies (f. ex. "war is deceit") and advocated breaking even your oaths if that gave a better result, is true ot made up - old beliefs are hard to question).
Please inform all and everybody and all relevant fora - f. ex. Internet pages for debate or information - about the address http://www.1000mistakes.com. It is information that is urgently needed by many, not least by Muslims. No god made a book with so many mistakes and other wrongs - and if the Quran and Islam are made up by humans or dark forces, where are the followers of this inhumanly dark and brutal war religion heading for in a possible next life?