“On p. 41 2nd para. Irshad Manji states, quoting only one
Qur’anic verse without numbering it: “Read it closely and you’ll find that the
Qur’an doesn’t direct us to release all slaves, just those whom their owners
decide..” This statement betrays blatant denial or ignorance of the Qur’an’s
clear intent to phase out slavery.
one of its very early passages declares:
“(Do you know) what is the steep highway of
life? “(It is) freeing a slave, or feeding anyone close by during time of
famine, or the wretched poor lying in the dust” (90:10-15).
Since slavery was
entrenched in the pre-Islamic Arabia as elsewhere in the world with all its
stake-holders defending it, it was virtually impossible to eradicate it by a
single decree. So initially the Qur’an accommodates it such as in the early
Meccan verses 23:5/6 and 70:29/30 when the Muslims were in Mecca and were
struggling for survival and the din (social, moral code) of Islam was beginning
to emerge. However, in the later years, as the Muslims settled down in Medina,
a series of rulings were introduced to phase out slavery as summarily listed
4:92 commands the freeing of a believing
slave and paying compensation for any accidental killing of a believer.
5:89 lists the freeing of a slave as an
option to expiate a false oath taken in the earnest.
2:177 includes the freeing of slaves
among the virtues of the truly pious.
9:60 includes slaves regardless of faith
in the category of people entitled to receive charity.
58:3 requires the freeing of a slave as expiation for breaking an oath called zihar, which absolved a man of all conjugal
responsibilities to his wife, but did not give her the freedom of divorce
A Qur’anic passage also carries
explicit instruction to free and marry slaves:
“Marry off the unmarried ones among you and
those among your slaves and bondmaids
that are ready for
marriage. If they are needy, God will enrich
them of His bounty. (Remember,) God is Boundless (in mercy) and All-Knowing (24:32).
Yet those who have no (financial) means to marry should wait until God enriches
them of His bounty. And as for those under your lawful trust who seek a
contract (for freedom), draw it up for them if you know any good in them, and
give them out of the riches God has given you. And do not coerce your bondmaids
into prostitution seeking the gains of this world, when they want to be chaste
- seeking the pleasure of worldly life. But should anyone coerce them
(sexually), God will be Merciful (to them) after they have been so coerced” (24:33).
Thus Irshad Manji’s claim that “the Qur’an doesn’t direct us to release all slaves, just those whom
their owners decide” grossly plays down the
epoch making role of the Qur’an in dismantling the institution of slavery that
gave the slave-masters absolute rights over their slaves – to collar them, brand
them, whip them mercilessly, knock out their teeth and kill them by law, and
offer them and their posterity no possibility to earn freedom, let alone
treating them like cattle that can be herded, shipped overseas in chains and
sold in the slave market. .
ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE AND
Dear hats off!
You seem to have one track mind!
You connect the anti-Islamic views/ deeds/ crimes of individual Muslims and all
grotesque anecdotes/ fables and all that is repugnant in the 14 century long
canvass of Islamic history and theological discourses with the faith of Islam
and implicitly charge all Muslim readers of following a faith that is no good –
what else could be your motive. If you are talking about the present day
intellectually and religiously effete Islamic societies you are on the dot. But
when you generalize specifics to the faith of Islam - a faith of 1.5 billion
Muslims of this era, you only betray an intellectual myopia that totally
disregards historical and theological relativism.
You seem to be very angry with the faith of Islam - but this can neither help
you, nor help in bringing any reform in Islamic societies.
May I request you to take a hard look at my following
article and say if it can set of a process of reform in Islamic societies and bury
deep in the grave of history all the shit that is polluting your mind prompting
you to quote from time to time.
Breaking The Ice For An
All-Round Reform Of Islamic Societies To Avoid The Recurring Call For Reform
From Turning Into A Mere Slogan Without Ever Achieving Any Reform At All