Islam and the Problem of Slavery

Jonathan Brown


Channel: Jonathan Brown

File Size: 37.74MB

Episode Notes

This is the first in three pieces on the question of Islam and slavery. It demonstrates that the very term slavery is so ambiguous as to be functionally useless for the purposes of discussing extreme domination and exploitation across history. It should be conditions of extreme exploitation that are focused on, not shifting terms. The second essay will lay out the understanding of slavery in the Shariah and Islamic civilization. The final part will examine the abolition of slavery in Islam.

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Professor Brian,

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thank you.

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it's great to be back here where I come a lot. So

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always every time they experience

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this is a, you know, a controversial topic this is so I'm actually going to read this paper, which actually, I mean, I never do that. Maybe I'm doing that is because everything gets recorded in this universe. And if there's one thing I'm not going to kind of accidentally I know what I know what I do. I mean, I always make some hyperbolic statements that really make sense in the context, and then it gets quoted or something like that recorded and then you know, I'm going to get accused of

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calling for slavery or something like that. So I wasn't gonna take that risk, especially since before you guys got here. There's this guy who always writes attack pieces against me and against sugar it and then had the gall to conquer this thing.

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eat so much. When it comes to our events. He's like, 33 plates of food. And then he writes article, it's actually incredible. I mean, these don't eat the food.

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Okay. Yeah, he laughs not here anymore. So.

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I mean, he was very Bosnian. Sort of.

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Party. You're safe with me? Yeah.

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I also have pictures. I don't know if

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you've seen the pictures. Okay. All right.

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Oh, first of all, I say this is this is three papers I'm writing on this topic is part is actually you might be surprised, I think, hopefully, it'd be interested. If I have time, I'll go into other aspects. But first, I want to talk about just the problem of Islam, the problems of the problem of slavery, and slavery overall.

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I think you'll understand what I'm talking about shortly. Okay.

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Is there slavery and Islam? When people first pose this question, they usually assume that it's the Islam part that needs qualification or clarification. What's the what is the nature of slavery in Islam?

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Everyone already knows what slavery is. Actually, it's quite the opposite. The Islam part is relatively straightforward. The real problem is trying to pin down what we mean by slavery.

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The more we scratch the surface of that word and try to define its reality. The more we find that our assumptions and even our words fails, what we think we mean by slavery means little outside our own American experience. And the moment we try and fix that what slavery is as a human phenomenon, we find that a Hall of Mirrors reflecting our own assumptions back at us, we all think we know what slavery is. But when do you really know slavery if we saw it?

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So imagine we can explore a phenomenon slavery throughout history.

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Anybody know what this is?

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is a TARDIS. Okay. This will allow you to travel through time and space.

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If you are a companion of Doctor Who. So imagine that we haven't been able to travel time and space.

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We hit your ride in the TARDIS which allows a struggle to time space. Our first stop is an exotic desert land where slavery is common. We visit a well off home where we find certain people performing domestic work. While an older man sits drinking tea. Everyone has the same dark skin color. Suddenly, the lounging tea drinker shouts at a young man serving Him and smacks him hard to the flyswatter. We are eager to know who these people are. Fortunately, the TARDIS translates all languages directly to your brain. We asked one of the men serving his tea with the we asked the man serving tea his name, and he says his name is saffron. And he is one of the quote delicate folk

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working in the household. He has worked in this house for five years, but he tells us that in one year's time, he'll have saved enough money to move on and start his own tea shop. We asked the young man we asked him about the young man who's getting smacked. Oh, that poor boy says he'll be here till the old man dies.

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Back in the TARDIS, we voyage. There's time and space, this time to meet the powerful minister of an expansive Empire. The Prime Minister enters the throne room, surrounded by dozens of armed soldiers. And we see since the trepidation in a hushed muttering of the audience surrounding us. One Voice whispers the minister is worth 80 million duckets. He's married

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The king's daughter responds in other voice. The minister and his bodyguards are all light skinned and fair haired. Many of those there to offer petitions and seek favor have darker olive complexion.

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After meeting the minister we voyage on now to a colder land, where we meet a man working in a clock factory. He hates his life, so we agreed to take him with us in the TARDIS, but the factory owner catches him leaving and the man is thrown in prison.

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With void still honored in the TARDIS to a new land were passing down the road, we see a crew of dark skinned dudes clearing brush and hot sun, their legs shackled and all joined by chains. A light skinned man washed over them with a weapon in hand.

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Whereas the target has taken us in our exploration or slavery. Well, the first place we visited was the city of Mecca in the 1400s. The soft and delicate but our peak the soft and delicate men saffron sound was offered on was a slave in the wealthy man's household, who had an agreement with his master to buy back his freedom on installments that's called mu Captiva where slave is by back buying back your freedom on installments.

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Real quick was the standard term for slave, and Epicurean names like saffron were typical. The young man being smacked for bad for bad service, who is tied to the household seemingly forever was the wealthy man's own son.

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The second place we visited was a capital the Ottoman Empire in 1579. The minister was so good amendment Pasha, the Grand Vizier and de facto ruler of the Empire during the reign of three Sultan's at the time of our visit, he had already been one of the Empire's richest and most powerful men for almost two decades. He was also a slave of the soldier. He was born in Bosnia, as we're all his Gods guards, who were also slaves of the salt of

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the land we met. The man working in the clock factory was England in 1860. Although the worker was a free man, according to labor laws in England at the time, a worker who failed to show up for work was guilty of stealing from his employer, and was tried and sentenced as a criminal. Finally, the last place we visited was Atlanta, which slavery had long been illegal, rural Arizona in 2004, where the local sheriff Joe Arpaio was overseeing a juvenile chain gang, that's entirely accurate. Everything I said is entirely accurate. In this section.

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How do we know who's a slave and who isn't on our voyage? Most Westerners would probably think that the young man being smacked and the chain laborers were slaves because we associate slavery with physical degradation, harsh labor and violence. We would probably not assume that the soft and delicate man was a slave, because he told us that he would soon be moving to another job on his own terms. While we associate slavery with a total loss of agency, presumably for life. We would certainly not presume that the minister was a slave, since he clearly wielded immense wealth and power over life and death throughout the Empire.

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If we are searching for the phenomenon of slavery, what are we really looking for? Is it the label slave that matters? Where is it the reality the condition behind it? The soldiers and the administrators of China's Manchu dynasty, the Ching Dynasty to rule them 1644 to 1912. They were technically slaves of the dynasty and proudly refer to themselves as such. This title slavers later applied to anyone of Manchu descent in Qingdao, China, but the word had no link to the reality of any servo condition. This is the ruling class of empire all calls themselves slaves said no.

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Had no link to any reality of a survival condition. up through the 1800s. The upper administration of the Ottoman Empire was in the hands of people technically classified as cruel, or privileged satanic slaves who had more power and esteem than their free Turkish counterparts.

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When we come across a word that translates into slave in English, does that word necessarily mean? What we mean by slavery? Actually, I want you to think about this. How would you know? If you're trying to write a dictionary? How would you know what word to translate into slave?

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They're always a direct translation of our word slave.

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Our word slave in English comments from the medieval Latin word for the Slavic peoples fill out loose, since they were the population the Balkans, from which European slave traders drew their cargo up to the 13th century. I mean, I offer you apology on behalf of Western Europeans. Okay, I think you owe other people more.

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Obviously, I have a list I have a running list up to mark you often

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The the common a common English dictionary definition of slave is someone quote someone who is legally owned by another person, and who was forced to work for that person without pay this notion of slavery as reducing human beings, oh forgot to go to the picture of the circle amendment Pasha

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and the Ching Dynasty,

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the Ching Emperor in the 1700s.

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This notion of slavery as reducing human beings to things owned by people has been a major theme and how this concept of slavery has been understood in the West. It was crucial to how abolitionists understood slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries, when the movement and slavery began. But the roots of this definition go further back to the roots of the Western Heritage. They lie in Roman law, which divided people into two categories, the free or free person who has the natural right to, quote do as he pleases, unless prevented by the force of law that was the first group and slaves who exists as a property of others. But even defining slavery, through concepts like ownership and

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exploitation leaves more questions than answers.

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What does ownership mean? In American law, we think of ownership as a bundle of rights, the right to use, exclude, destroy and sell off. Sometimes an owner has all of them, sometimes with significant restrictions, and sometimes the owner

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has only some of them.

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Who would probably not think of kids owning their toys, since they're clearly not in control of them, ideally.

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But children in America do legally own their toys, they own the toys we give them. Imagine that you give my kid just had a birthday, you give the kid a birthday present you've given Don't, don't give intense, giving the gift reception that means the gift has been given, it's now belongs to my kid.

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We would probably not think of kids owning their toys, since they are clearly not in control. But children in America legally do own the toys that give them but their ownership is not complete, since their right to use them is ideally highly restricted by their parents.

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ownership is as much about how we imagine relationships, as it is about exercising real control. As the famous social historian Orlando Patterson points out who and what we say we own is really a matter of our customs and manners. Modern Americans would guess, at the notion of owning our children. But from the Roman period through the medieval period, in Europe, parents could and deal did sell off their children as slaves to creditors in order to pay their debts.

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Moreover, poor parents abandoning their children was a regular source for slave markets in Europe. Get for all the get all these children started off as technically free in a legal sense, not legally owned by anybody. In the US, wives and husbands have numerous claims on and powers over each other and their labor, as becomes painfully clear during divorce. But we would never speak about marriage as a relationship of ownership in the United States. conventions in early Imperial China were very different. their husbands regularly listed their free wives as property in their will the Queen thing them to some friend. astoundingly, between 1670 and 18, at less than a century and a half ago,

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there were 200 cases of Englishman holding auctions to sell off their wives, even advertising them in the newspaper. This is actually a picture of the wife auction. If you're saying, heck are you talking about? That's what I'm telling you.

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Thinking of your, your wife is something you can own to auction off is actually not that insane, even in the Anglo Saxon tradition.

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This is 150 or 150 years ago around in England.

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What does it mean? What would it mean to own a person? Does it mean to have total control over them? We have full control over our young children. But unlike a chair or a pen, we cannot seriously physically harm them without legal consequences. In fact, this distinction between ownership and control is not very helpful for defining slavery. As with our children today, it was impermissible for Muslims to kill or seriously injure their slaves. And those who did face legal consequences under the Sharia. It's actually not uncommon in lots of different legal traditions, to have restrictions on the kind of physical discipline you can use on slaves. Especially the

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not that different people

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as their children today, it was impermissible for children for Muslims to kill issues into their slaves, those who did face the consequences of the Sharia. in some contexts, ownership might fail completely as a concept for understanding slave. Slavery existed in Imperial China. But it was not conceptualized through ownership. This is because slavery were not legally owned at all in China, for the very technical reason that Chinese law could not categorize people as things. You simply couldn't have a person thing that was owned in China, but there's still slavery.

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If we think about slavery is exploitation to slavery mean not compensating someone for their labor. Superior method Pasha was a slave who was owned by the Ottoman Sultan, but he was paid handsomely for his work as a grand vizier. saffron was owned by his master, but only partially, since he had already bought back a portion of his freedom through wages he earned elsewhere in his time off. And just an interesting fact, the mcats of slaves like saffron, they're actually allowed to travel, they're allowed to engage in contracts, they're allowed to have business, they're actually even allowed to own slaves in some Muslim schools of law, they can even own their own slaves, you have

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slave owning a slave, because they're actually not fully owned. There is the sort of mid area level between three and slave slave

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safwan received no pay from his master, but the master paid for his food, his clothes and his shelter. Incidentally, in this regard, the slave saffron was no different from the Masters own son, both with him and his dependence, relying on his support for their basic needs.

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We usually think of slavery as something that exists in dichotomy and dichotomy with freedom. But what does freedom mean? As the legal scholar Vaughn Lo, jibes, inverting Russo's famous line about man's natural state of freedom, quote, a man is born in chains, whatever where he thinks himself free. I think this is a very astute observation. Rousseau said, No man is born free but everywhere he's been changed. Actually, man is born and change everywhere he thinks he's free. y'all think we're free. Almost no human being is free of dependence on others and on society as a whole. Almost everyone is forced to work in order to earn wages to buy food. The son in the household who visited

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in Mecca was technically free. But he depended on his father for all his support, and had to obey Him or face his anger. If he fled his home to get away from his nasty father. He'd be ostracized by all those who knew and loved. The man slave, meanwhile, had evenings off to earn his own money, and would soon be free of the master, who is really free in this situation.

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At a theoretical level, how do we understand freedom in the West cop, sorry, in theoretical how we understand freedom in the West, is inherited from classical Greece and Rome, were free was the legal category of citizens of a democratic republic. a free person was autonomous, at liberty to do whatever he or she wanted, unless the law prohibited. Everyone else was a slave. But even in classical times, this legal definition of freedom was no more than a quote, rhetorical argument to quote a great scholar of slavery.

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Since in reality, few people in Greece and Rome were really free by this definition, almost everyone was constrained by powerful social, economic and even legal bonds. Ironically, even in theory, this notion of freedom only applies to liberal democracies in autocracies, certainly the majority of societies in human history, almost no one is free by this definition.

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Nor does free freedom exist on a single plane. It is often relational, expanding and contracting, depending on the relationships in question. In the ancient and medieval Mediterranean world, both in Europe and Islamic civilization, as slaves, intense subordination was not absolute, he or she was subordinated to his or her master, not society as a whole. So Roman and later Byzantium, Masters use slaves to run their shops and to be the public faces of their businesses, negotiating and arguing with countless free customers and contractors on a daily basis. The slave was not the lowest rung on the ladder in the streets of Rome, or Constantinople slash Istanbul. If the master was a powerful,

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wealthy person, the slave enjoyed the status of that connection in public life, the status of the slave dependent on the status of the master.

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By now, you should see that the question any question about slavery is actually very complicated.

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One of the

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biggest challenges that historians and anthropologists interested in slavery face is deciding whether there is even some single institution of slavery that exists across time and space that they can study.

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It's tempting to assume that although the details might differ, there is something called slavery is popping up throughout history, and that we know it if we saw it, like pornography. But of course, as our hypothetical trip in the TARDIS shows, what we would recognize as slavery as slavery, is determined by our own cultural memory of what's the English word slavery means to us. When Americans think of slavery, we think of 12 Years a Slave or roots, the images are seared marks in our mind. And here, I mean,

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I wanted to

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play it sorry, one second.

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To see if this will work.

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A little bit of a digression, but I think it's such an interesting,

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interesting scene.

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Sorry, one second.

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So this is from the 1999 movie, Mansfield Park,

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which is a Jane Austen novel.

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So this is where the main character, I'm not sure where I forgot. But she discovers that her father

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properties in western DC actually own slaves to be in the early 1800s. Right now, but what I think is so interesting about that scene is the way the images are constructed. So it's very

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Okay, the way the images mean, you said, first of all, it's highly racialized. I mean, the you can see these are clearly these aren't just Africans, these are Africans who are being depicted sort of grotesquely by Europeans. It's extremely degradation, right? These people are being they're, they're being treated worse than animals. They're being sexually abused.

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They're being bred. I mean, this is this is complete, racialized,

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humiliation degradation.

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One of the

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this is actually fairly rare.

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Generally, in human history, overall, slavery is not racialized. Its economic and legal condition that anybody from any race can follow. Second of all,

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there's, in general, it's different. Obviously, slavery is very diverse. But most of the time you first you find pretty strong legal protections on slaves, that you can't do things like you know, brutalize them like this because remember, this is, first of all this investment sometimes. Similar to work, why are you going to brutalize and capacitated Okay.

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The images are seared in our mind, African men and women and children being seized by ruthless slave traders, for torn from their homes, and each other packed like chattel into the souls of stifling slave shifts.

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sold like cattle at auction to white plantation owners who worked oppressed and lash them mercilessly for the rest of their lives. slavery in our cultural memory is the original sin of America the reduction of a person against their will to the status of property owned by another person who had absolute right over their labor a new deprive them of the natural rights to freedom and film.

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Yeah, as we have seen ownership freedom and exploitation common Shades of Grey there, they exist on spectrums, historians and sociologists have attempted to delineate categories on the spectrum in order to determine if we can talk really talk about slavery as something separate from other forms of forced labor or involuntary servitude. The main categories on this continuum of dependency and I think it's a very useful term continuing dependency. Other than slavery are one, serfdom. serfdom is

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usually associated with Europe, this tradition goes back to ancient Greece, laborers, usually peasant farmers were free in the sense that they own their own clothes, tools and livestock as well as the fruits of their labor. But they were bound to the land on which they lived, or to the landlord wherever he might go. serfdom in Europe developed as the status as the status of free peasants and settled barbarian prisoners of war in the late Roman Empire collapsed into one single class of quasi servitude, not too different from slavery. serfdom disappeared in most of Western Europe in the wake of the Black Death in the 1300s, though it continued in the institution of the

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village in England, until around the year 1600, and it continued into the 1800s in mining areas of Scotland and German speaking wins. serfdom is most associated with Russia, where it came to replace slavery and agricultural and domestic spheres in the late 1600s and 1700s.

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Second, Master servant relationship when served and disappeared from Western Europe, it was replaced by the relationship between the labor and the landowner slash employment. Unlike our modern notion of workers contracts, however, failing to live up to this contract was a criminal offence. Only in the British colonies in North America. Did the notion of free labor eventually appear in the 1700s? Yes, we Americans innovated the idea of free letting.

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This did not make its way back to Britain until 1875. So until 1875, in England, the contract between the worker and the employer, if that contract is valid, it was a crime, not just a breach of contract.

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Americans are the one who ended the civil contract with

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third debt servitude. This has been one of the most widespread forms of forced labor. When a person is unable to repay a debt he or she becomes the slave of the creditor. This is extremely common in Southeast Asia, where our Western model of slavery was extremely rare.

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Finally, bonded labor or indentured servitude. This is similar to debt servitude, and has been very common history. A person willingly enters into an agreement to exchange their labor and a loss of some freedoms for a fixed period of time, returned for some serious service or upfront payment is that one of my ancestors came to this country as an indentured servant in 1650.

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This is different from debt servitude, because the person willingly surrenders their labor and degree and a degree of freedom.

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These categories are not fixed or hermetically sealed, they bleed into each other, making it very hard to come up with a clear line distinguishing slavery from other forms of coerced labor. Scottish mining, serfs often wore collars with the name of their masters on them. For example, something we probably associate in our mind is slavery. indentured servants from Britain, who made up two thirds of the immigrants to British North America before 1776. They could be sold, work to exhaustion and beaten for misbehavior, they could not marry and in Virginia at least, they could be mutilated if they tried to escape in Maryland, the punishment for trying to escape was death.

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For indentured servants. slavery in colonial America was worse, but only in that it was permanence. On the other hand, as early as the 1400s in the Ottoman Empire, people caption war were sometimes settled to work on land owned by the Sultan. Although technically slaves, their condition was closer to Serfdom. The slaves form families that lasted generations and passed down the land they worked to their children. Only if a head of household died without any children, would his estate revert back to the Imperial Treasury later on.

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Ottoman cities industrialized, factory owners preferred using slave labor because slaves would not leave for seasonal for seasonal work elsewhere.

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by agreeing to mechanical contracts, these slaves remember this is where slaves earn back their freedom on installments, these factory owners were able to maximize the slave productivity. They were in effect more like wage laborers working for a set term in a master servant relationship than slaves. We might think of slavery as distinguished from other types of coerced labor. By the question of choice. indentured servants could choose to enter those contracts. Slaves would never choose to become slaves correct. But reality is actually much more constant complicated. Outside of slavery in America, voluntary slavery was not uncommon at all. In Ming China, many impoverished

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tenants sold themselves into slavery when they could no longer pay their rent. In 1724, the Russian Tsar abolished slavery and converted all of Russia's slaves into serfs, because service were offering themselves as slaves to avoid paying taxes. serfs pay taxes slaves did not it was the ultimate tax dodge.

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Maybe this could be option for Republicans.

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not advocating slaves is what happens No, we're not advocating enslaving Republicans.

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Earlier in the 15th century, Duchy of Muscovy what scholars termed a limited service contract slavery became common common in such a contract, a person asked someone wealthy for a loan for a year, at which point the person will pay them back, I will also work for them in the meantime, instead of paying interest. If the borrower cannot pay back the creditor in a year, the borrower will become as their slave. Most often they became a lifetime slip. This type of slavery replaced all other forms of slavery in Russia. And yet there was also indentured servants servitude alongside this at the same time, different only from slavery that an indentured servant could not be

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physically harmed by the master.

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Unlike bonded laborers or serfs, we might think of slaves as people with little or no right to legal protection. This has often been true. In Ming China, slaves were often referred to as quote, not human. Not only could they not own property, marry or have legitimate children, but killing one of them pose no legal problem.

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Among the Torah, Torah people of Sulawesi, which is today in Indonesia, someone who had been convicted of a capital crime could have had could have one of his slaves executed instead of himself.

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A judge in South Carolina in 1847, that declared that slaves quote, can invoke neither Magna Carta nor common law for the law of the slaves, whatever the Master said.

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Yet, not only were legal realities often quite complicated, so were the social reality behind the wall. Enrollment law, slaves were conceptualized as people with no rights. Since they were in theory, prisoners of war who had been spared execution, they were legally dead anyway.

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During the second, and during the period of the Roman Republic, the sixth of the first centuries BC, there was no legal restriction on the Masters treatment of his slaves. But such laws are not very helpful in distinguishing free from slave. However, since Roman heads of household at the same time, enjoyed the exact same theoretical power over life and death.

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over every man, woman and child in their family, this is called Patreon protest us.

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That Roman Head of Household had life or death, authority over every person in their household, in theory, they could kill their daughter, their son, their wife, and there was no consequence. That's in theory.

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As the number of slaves in the expanding Roman Empire increased, however, laws were put into place to protect them. Under the Emperor Hadrian, who died in 138. See, excessive punishment was forbidden, as was killing slaves without legal rules. The Emperor antoninus Pius who died 161 he invader Constantine

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he have the good hair.

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No, I think that's actually Justinian. What the heck was I thinking that's not Constantine?

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We don't know what causes His hair was.

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He died in 337 made it clear that of a master killed his slave and cold blooded by excessive punishment. He was guilty of homicide, and the legal code of Emperor Justinian. That's why he died in 565.

00:35:00--> 00:35:39

It was clear that the Masters rights to violence to his slave were limited to reasonable discipline. In early America, all 13 colonies had the law had laws regulating race and slavery, which were occasionally updated. Although 10 states in the south had slave codes, making it a crime to mistreat slaves. mistreatment was understood in relationship to the severity of disobedience or infringement that the master was punishing, amputating limbs. castration execution were all allowed as punishments when the alleged crime was severe, and it was almost impossible for slaves to challenge a treatment in court since they could not even testify. Nonetheless, in North Carolina and Virginia,

00:35:39--> 00:35:48

a handful of people were White's slave owners were executed or imprisoned for murder or treating their slaves.

00:35:49--> 00:36:30

As a leading scholar of slavery, David Davis observed, quote, the more we learn about slavery, the more difficult we have defining difficulty we have defining a trans historical definition of slavery as indeed proven very hard to find. As a leading scholar of Ottoman slavery has remarked, it is difficult to treat slave sorry, it is difficult to treat slavery as one definable phenomenon just in the Ottoman Empire that along globally, newer Silver's Han and other scholars observed about slavery and Ottoman Istanbul that it was so diverse just in Istanbul, that it doesn't make sense to talk about slavery as a unified phenomenon in just one city, let alone in the entire Mediterranean

00:36:30--> 00:36:30


00:36:32--> 00:36:43

Definitions of slavery have tended to revolve around three notions. The slave is the Ramblas outsider, the slave is property, and the slave as object of violence.

00:36:45--> 00:37:02

But for definitions to fit all things that people today commonly associated with slavery, that definition has to be so vague that it's almost useless. So slavery, according to one person is the forced labor of one group by another, which is just incredibly vague. Others have suggested that

00:37:03--> 00:37:10

slavery is an outcast. Some scholars have proposed more specific definitions.

00:37:11--> 00:37:28

One scholar argues, for the most influential definition comes from Orlando Patterson, who defined slavery as always exhibiting three features. First, slavery involves perpetual domination, ultimately enforced by violence. Second, slavery involves

00:37:31--> 00:37:42

Natal alienation, which means you're unable to pass on anything, you're cut off from your ancestors, and you're unable to pass anything on your children, you're cut off from your family.

00:37:44--> 00:37:49

And third, their slavery is defined by dishonor state of dishonor.

00:37:51--> 00:37:52

What Patterson's

00:37:53--> 00:38:07

definition fails to apply in many instances, to what what other things we would otherwise call slavery. Sometimes it was the slaves who dominated free people, as in the case of the Turkish slave soldiers of the ambassador bailiffs in the ninth and 10th centuries.

00:38:09--> 00:38:46

For even before the Ottomans began their system of Imperial slaves, Egypt and Syria were ruled by the man look literally slave dynasty from 1260 and 1517. Although they were freed after they finished their military training, the men look down to see a Turkic or supercash and warlords reproduced itself, generation after generation by importing new slave soldiers into a ruling military elite that defined itself by its military slave experience. So far from being dominated by everyone, they were their own masters and they dominated the whole state in society.

00:38:48--> 00:39:19

Nor have those who identify as slaves always been natively alienated. Byzantine Imperial slaves could own property and bequeath it to their children. The Automat agricultural slave settled in Imperial land has passed their estates onto the children for generations. Unlike Roman slavery, with the status of the child's mother determined its status. The main position of the Sharia was that a slave woman who gave birth to her masters child became free when the master died as a child. Until then, the master could not sell her

00:39:20--> 00:39:47

far from being nailed it natively alienated from her child. its status as the as the child of a free man ensured the mother's own freedom. Elite Imperial slaves like sococo method Pasha, were innately alienated in the sense that they could not pass on their wealth to the children, but their children retained the privilege of their father's proximity to power, as well as the status of their mother Socolow method. pashas wife was the daughter of the Sultan, so his sons all attained high office.

00:39:49--> 00:39:51

Later, sorry,

00:39:52--> 00:39:59

what is more striking that in many cases, Ottoman Imperial slaves maintain their relationship to their original families in the Christian

00:40:00--> 00:40:26

areas of the Balkans using their newfound power to elevate their relatives. Sokol amendment Pasha appointed his brother as the Orthodox patriarch in the Balkans, and his cousin later followed him to the office of Grand Vizier. Later in the 18th century, the Georgian slave elite in charge of administering the Ottoman province of Egypt, maintain close relations with their families back in the caucuses, and even received visits from.

00:40:33--> 00:40:35

Okay, last section door.

00:40:40--> 00:41:23

When we talk about slavery, we should note that this question is not asked in a vacuum. It hasn't been for over two centuries, in conversations, and debates the response, well, does that mean slavery would be okay? is the ultimate trump card against anyone arguing, intelligent, different values? slavery is the ideal example to invoke because it's evil is so morally clear. And so why they acknowledged who would defend slavery. It's the Hitler of human practices. It despite all its power, the word slavery is rarely defined. In that sense, it is much like the word terrorism. Its power lies in the assumption behind its meaning, and the moral condemnation it carries, but it is

00:41:23--> 00:42:05

very poorly defined, like the word terrorism, slavery is also deeply, deeply political, not in the sense of politics that we see in the nightly news, but rather in the sense that it is inherently tied to questions of power. Just as the practice of slavery is an extreme exercise of power by some human beings over others. wielding the language of slavery is a claim to moral authority over others. It is no surprise that the advocates of ending brutal or unacceptable exploitation exploitative labor practices such as sweatshops, child sex trafficking, forced marriages, and orange, Oregon trading today, referred to such phenomenon as modern day slavery. The reason for

00:42:05--> 00:42:21

invoking the word slavery here, instead of other definitions, such as bonded labor or child labor, it's clear, slavery provokes an emotional reaction spurs people into action, and support for cause from students to rock stars, who wouldn't support ending slavery.

00:42:22--> 00:42:55

Although such practices are indeed reprehensible, with modern day slavery, we want to cross some familiar problems. If we took the definition of slavery used by activists fighting modern day slavery, and the main definition is that slavery is it can't walk away from if you can't walk away from it, you're a slave. If we took a definition and applied it just to Western history, we'd find that almost nobody was free in western history by these standards. The wife of a British slave owner in 1800

00:42:57--> 00:43:06

has less rights than these modern day slaves. She had no capacity to own property on her own, she was legally indistinguishable from her husband, she had no independent legal rights a contract.

00:43:09--> 00:43:51

As some scholars have observed, the most prominent advocates for ending modern day slavery have not applied the label to the forced labor of criminals in the American penal system. This is no doubt a very political choice. Since few rock stars and students we really as willing to accuse the US government of engaging in modern slavery. So even when invoked for noble causes today, slavery is still deeply political word, both in the emotional reaction and triggers and it is self censorship that people use when they apply it. The political nature of slavery is particularly pronounced in the history of Islam and the West. During the 18th and even 19th century, centuries, the fear of

00:43:51--> 00:44:14

being captured by Muslim pirates in the Atlantic and the western Mediterranean loomed large in the Western European, especially British imagination, and indeed, 1000s of British and Americans were taken as slaves in such a way that saw everything and some Rule Britannia. You know, they always play whenever the TV ship was England, they had the rule of attending music. That song was about not being enslaved by automatic trips.

00:44:15--> 00:44:40

We see the cultural imprint of this fear in movies like Never Say Never again. 1983 they were James Bond rescues Kim Basinger from remarkably out of place Arab slave auction. I actually have that on my computer too, but I don't want to make you watch it. One second. They're escaping the bad guys. Of course, they captured Kim Basinger, because they're in the Arab world. They're going to sell her as a slave and a slave auction. So James Bond is a saver

00:44:41--> 00:44:59

and in the movie take in 2008, where Liam Neeson finally rescues his daughter from first Muslim Albanian traffickers. And finally from a mysterious Arab shake. But like the selective use of modern day slavery, this conversation is selective in its claim to Western

00:45:00--> 00:45:13

moral authority. During the same era that Europeans and Americans were decrying capture and enslavement by Muslim pirates, the enslavement by Europeans of Muslims in the Ottoman Empire was booming.

00:45:14--> 00:45:18

And our cultural Western cultural memories are even more selective.

00:45:19--> 00:46:04

Why Western theater goers felt no outrage in the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me died 1977. When bond visits the harem of his Arab shake friend, of course, he's in the desert. Of course, he went goes a tent with an Arab shake, who was his friend at Cambridge. And of course, the earth shake offers James Bond, one of the women when in the Orient, the shake said one should delve deeply into his treasures from the British tabloids to then private citizen Donald Trump in 2015. Many parroted that claim that Muslims in northern England were luring young white girls in a sex slaves. Some Muslims were doing this, but few media reported that the majority of the offenders were actually

00:46:04--> 00:46:04

white men.

00:46:07--> 00:46:46

The word slavery had been political, even when it has been invoked to the best of causes. And the political forces that have worked that have shaped how slavery is understood, have often humbled the best efforts of those fighting against the extreme exploitation of fellow human beings. abolitionists in the 19th century, chose to define slavery as treating human beings as property, in part because if they define slavery as harsh deprivation or exploitation, their pro slavery opponents would just point to the factory conditions of industrial England and America. And note that they're these free workers were just as badly treated as slaves.

00:46:47--> 00:47:30

Having emphasized that slavery consisted of human beings being treated as property, abolitionists were left with no objection to the continued exploitation of the very same people they adjust freed once it became technically illegal to own people. British abolitionists succeeded in ending slavery in the Indian Ocean in the 1830s. But they found that the laborers were still being transported to East Africa from India in the same horrid conditions as slaves with the same high mortality rates, they were just called coolies instead of slaves. Today, decades after the legal rights own human beings was abolished globally, activists referred to as need new abolitionists, seeking to mobilize

00:47:30--> 00:47:49

public concern for exploitative labor have redefined slavery as quote, not being able to walk away. Ultimately, the word slavery can mean so many things, that it's not very useful for accurate communication. It often ends up referring to things we don't mean when we think of slavery, or sales to match things we do associate.

00:47:51--> 00:48:33

As such, the word slavery has limited us to category or conceptual tool, it's much more useful to talk about the extreme exploitation of human beings, the extreme exploitation of labor, and the extreme deprivation of their rights. in any society, whether it has slavery or not, quote, unquote, we are likely to find such conditions. Instead of fixating on a word or an ill defined category that is much more useful to focus on regulating conditions, or protecting people's rights in order to prevent such extreme dis big debasement. As hopefully in my next essay, I'll show this is precisely what these should be able to do. Okay, thanks a bit long, but

00:48:34--> 00:48:34

nobody has

00:48:36--> 00:48:36

any questions.

00:48:41--> 00:48:41


00:48:49--> 00:48:51

Now, just a reminder that

00:48:52--> 00:49:17

we're going to take three questions at the time, we have about 25 minutes until eight o'clock, but make sure that first of all, you identify yourself. Number two, to make your question a question. Questions usually start with words do is how Why is why. Right, and make it short them brief and concise. If it's a comment, again, make it very short.

00:49:18--> 00:49:23

I'm using three words that mean the same thing, but I hope I'm interested enough.

00:49:26--> 00:49:29

here and the one there and one here. All right.

00:49:32--> 00:49:32

Talk a

00:49:35--> 00:49:36

little bit elaborate.

00:49:46--> 00:49:46

Later on

00:49:49--> 00:49:50

and that

00:49:51--> 00:49:52

was the first

00:50:01--> 00:50:03

So I would like to

00:50:16--> 00:50:17

thank you very much.

00:50:18--> 00:50:22

Thank you. Second question. Second question first.

00:50:23--> 00:50:26

Understanding this the Super Bowl a lot better.

00:50:29--> 00:50:31

Next year, very nice.

00:50:33--> 00:50:34

Now on to the question,

00:50:35--> 00:50:38

very rhetorical gifted, very nice lecture.

00:50:40--> 00:50:42

But basically didn't hear

00:50:44--> 00:51:18

a lecture about Western sleep about the definition of Western Civ. And an omission of the problematic nature of Arabs like that Arab today, in the inner city of Americans who think about heavy lifting, coming from the history of slavery, that you mentioned, you're paying for making the accounting system in the Gulf, etc, etc, etc. The wrongs of Western labor, which we all know that justified, the wrongs of parents are in charge of slaves, isn't this kind of a circular or relativistic?

00:51:20--> 00:51:22

Okay, thank you very much. And the third question was

00:51:31--> 00:51:52

very interesting lecture. My question is related to the book, you said that the book became three people after finishing their military service, I heard in another book or another nation, that could be your photos, white papers, and so on.

00:51:54--> 00:51:55


00:51:58--> 00:51:59

we're proposing some

00:52:01--> 00:52:19

integration for the world and imagine getting out of Africa said that, we will not impose any more taxes unless you yourself become free. And I will put you in the market and we were solving that which

00:52:20--> 00:52:23

is more accurate and reliable. Yeah.

00:52:26--> 00:52:26


00:52:29--> 00:52:29

I think that

00:52:31--> 00:52:49

there's some additional confusion. So when we talk about the mamluks in Islamic history, this is referring to the dynasty that was basically from around 1250 to 1260 took over in, in in the ayyubid area so the dynasty of salad in LA had been a ubit

00:52:50--> 00:52:52

a jazz Egypt and Syria

00:52:53--> 00:53:08

but they started falling falling apart and a 1214 and 1250s. And certain point, they there's no one laughs dynasty functioning really. So the person who was put on throne was a woman named her to do it,

00:53:09--> 00:53:14

who reigned and printed coins as medicative muslimeen Queen of the Muslims

00:53:16--> 00:53:19

but she and her son were ousted

00:53:20--> 00:53:26

by the person who was the first man look salt and saw her Bay bars

00:53:27--> 00:53:32

who led army against man look army against the Mongols and the Battle of the interleukin 1260.

00:53:33--> 00:53:50

And he started this what was that called? The Kip check. They were called the the battery Mamelukes, their, their, their, their barracks were in the island denial, I think on the Rhode Island. So

00:53:51--> 00:54:26

they were kicked chapter kicks Turkic soldiers, who have been brought by hood and bought by the Cubans to be basic ayyubid main army, and eventually they just needed to go over. And what they did is they just kept buying more kipchak Turkic soldier, youth from the steppes of Russia, brought them taught them Islam taught them how to write how to shoot arrows taught them how to fight, and then when they turned, you know, 18 or so and they reached majority, they would graduate they literally had a graduation ceremony they were given their armor given their weapons and they were free.

00:54:27--> 00:54:36

So they were technically free. But they the dynasty itself reproduced itself by bringing in more slaves and then in around 1390.

00:54:37--> 00:54:48

That group was ousted by Sir Kashan Mamelukes were called the orgies and they ruled until 1517. And the man looks optimistic. Oh, you're talking about the Delhi Sultanate.

00:54:49--> 00:54:56

So I think it around I think that it is 1192 is when the deli salt in a tactic and starts and there's a

00:54:58--> 00:54:59

I think there's an old

00:55:00--> 00:55:08

porque ahora dynasty which is like these Turkic you know Turkic warlord dynasties, goes down and raised Delhi, and they owned mountain book soldiers.

00:55:09--> 00:55:33

One of them I think, was the Fiji family. And they rebelled against their they overthrew their owners, and they took over. And that started, I think, three or four different dynasties what's known as a deli salt today, which rules from around 1192 to 1380. Or when I think it's 1380s or 90s, when Timberland invades and destroys Delhi.

00:55:35--> 00:55:50

The difference between them and the Marta Mamelukes in Egypt and Syria, is that the jelly Salton ate only started as they weren't, they didn't reproduce themselves. The dynasty didn't reproduce itself constantly by buying importing new slave soldiers from

00:55:51--> 00:55:52

from Central Asia.

00:55:53--> 00:55:55

That's, I think the difference.

00:55:57--> 00:56:38

Other dynasties in Islam in Medieval period also had slave soldiers. It was very common, but what's different about the Mamelukes in Egypt and Syria is that they, one become the dynasty and two they reproduce by buying new slave soldiers, instead of just becoming a dynasty that, you know, as kids who were free and stuff like that, in fact, the children of Mamelukes couldn't become memo's. So a lot of the scholars, the great scholars of Islam that 1300 and 1400s are children of Mount Olympus, because they basically were pretty rich guys with no, nothing else to do, but read and write to the did a lot of good scholarship. And the second question is about slavery.

00:56:40--> 00:57:18

The gentleman who invited me to Super Bowl party, so the reason I, I, I purposely didn't do this is not good. It's not important talk about slavery in Islam, because I don't think you can talk about slavery in Islam until you realize that there is no such thing as slavery, as a category as a, as a as a conceptual category exists throughout space and time as to trans. Historically, there's no such thing as slavery. And, you know, a lot of times when people say, they always are slavery in Islam, what they're really saying is, is what is their what I think the word slavery means in Islam? And then you say, yeah, there is slavery in Islam. And then they say, Oh, well, that's terrible. But

00:57:18--> 00:57:58

actually, you know, slavery and slavery, slavery in any other place, doesn't have any necessary connection to what we think of slavery as think of slavery in American context. In fact, I actually think this is this is sort of exploiting our sin here, because we take our history of slavery, and we just dump that on to other people, when they might have absolutely no, I mean, was there, you know, was there occasionally racialized slavery in sama civilization? Yes. Was there on track to watch exploitation of people in the Islamic civilization? Yes. But I think if you took the Sharia understanding of slavery, and even the general practice of slavery in southern civilization, I don't

00:57:58--> 00:58:04

think it's comfortable at all, to to plantation, chattel slavery in the Americas, it's just not comfortable at all.

00:58:05--> 00:58:09

First of all, it was rarely racialized

00:58:10--> 00:58:16

to it was never tied to race. Three slaves had a huge regime of rights

00:58:17--> 00:58:25

for slaves, in numerous circumstances became the actual rulers, or were used as the administrative elite.

00:58:27--> 00:58:49

In fact, I would say that what we think about it is kind of feudalism. In medieval Europe, which is sort of a network of loyalties and duties, and control of land and armies, it was managed through the idiom of poets and fealty, and swearing.

00:58:50--> 00:58:54

That similar product was created in the medieval period through slavery.

00:58:55--> 00:59:11

She had the same kind of structure of loyalty and stuff created, but not through boats, but through slavery relationships. It's a very different kind of slavery that we talked about slavery in the Americas was an economic phenomenon. slavery, and especially the Ottoman middle class or Middle East was a was a social

00:59:12--> 00:59:26

is an economic phenomenon. Is that clear? So I agree with you 100%. And I have a whole I'm going to do a whole nother article on slavery and foreign civilization and I do a whole nother article on the abolition of slavery in Islamic civilization. So we can

00:59:28--> 00:59:33

I think you have a very good point. Well, I mean, I'm actually curious, curious to hear what the weak argument does, I'd like

00:59:35--> 00:59:35

to get

00:59:40--> 00:59:56

so what my point is why, let me ask you this question. You started saying wrongs done to by Arabs, other people? What wrong? Well, just tell me I know what you're going to say. I'll answer your question for you. The fact that there was slavery is a wrong

00:59:58--> 00:59:59

okay? That's how can

01:00:00--> 01:00:06

You say if you're a Muslim you actually the prophet of God lays up to them had slaves. He had slaves, there's no denying that.

01:00:08--> 01:00:11

Was he? Are you more morally mature than the prophet of God?

01:00:13--> 01:00:36

No, you're not. I'll answer your question for you. So my point is your assumption. we all we all we all go into live, I do the same way. Right? So I'm American, my family owned slaves now. So if I start thinking about slavery, you know, I start getting really nervous and uncomfortable and things like that. But the fact of the matter is, that just because we take our word slavery

01:00:38--> 01:00:45

you know, your I can tell you exactly what your argument is. And every idea I've got, I've got, I've got I have your

01:00:46--> 01:00:53

I have your argument, correct there, right. You don't think that what you're saying is not at the fact of slavery is wrong?

01:00:55--> 01:01:16

about, you know, the history of torture talking about Yeah, you go to the golf today. Okay, we have slavery by any other name. You look at all the construction, construction sites, you look at guys building buildings and flip flops, you know, copper, and everywhere else, you know, we can show you can clean that up. Or you can say, What do you got? You got a unicorn.

01:01:18--> 01:01:23

We all know that. But that doesn't absolve those things.

01:01:25--> 01:01:26

And it doesn't

01:01:29--> 01:01:33

understand what you're saying. So why don't we talk about problems of treatment of workers?

01:01:35--> 01:01:45

Give us a wipe. And then why did you say Why? What did I do wrong? I'm not giving a talk on probably the treatment. But I actually said we should focus on conditions of workers, not on whether he were technically called slaves.

01:01:49--> 01:01:55

So Matt Park this discussion for now, and it's a very good discussion isn't exactly a discussion I want to have. But anyway,

01:01:57--> 01:01:59

I don't want it to be just discussion to people.

01:02:00--> 01:02:40

I think this is actually a discussion, my theory discussion. Everybody wants to. I mean, it might be. My point is, let's talk about actual conditions. Let's not talk about words. Because if we're talking about slavery, we might not be talking. If we go and say let's fight for the rights of SoCal amendment Pasha, who's an oppressed let's Oklahoma was not an oppressed slave, okay? He was a million times richer than any of us will ever be, and had a million times more people killed than any of us will ever have killed God willing, right? And had a million times more power than he was kind of imagined. So I'm not going to go advocate for supplemental pashas rights. I'll advocate for

01:02:40--> 01:02:45

this the worker in the Gulf who's not asleep, technically, but who's being mistreated?

01:02:46--> 01:02:57

So I think we sort of fetishize this, the word slavery, we morally fetishize it, when we should actually be looking at the conditions of people wherever we're talking. What are the conditions?

01:02:58--> 01:02:59

Okay, and this last question was about.

01:03:01--> 01:03:22

So the, this was this famous instance, where as a David Amsterdam died 22 things Sharpies, dollar of Damascus, and Cairo called supanova. Now one of the most respected scholars of the time, and since then, that when czar Bay bars the first member of saltan, sort of assumed the throne

01:03:23--> 01:03:27

as an investor that instead said, any of the aka Vipers boondock.

01:03:29--> 01:03:30

I know you you're this.

01:03:31--> 01:03:32

You're that slave window.

01:03:33--> 01:03:39

Now you're adopted the manifest Weber's, because I don't believe you're free. I want to see your manumission document.

01:03:41--> 01:03:50

And so there had to be this like Sham sale of zarbin fundadores that he could prove he was he could reprove his freedom. But that was just

01:03:52--> 01:04:05

to say that I'm making kind of this point that you can't be a slave and my ruler, but the metrics weren't. The point is they weren't slaves anyway. They were all free. But they were raised and reproduce themselves as a slave.

01:04:08--> 01:04:25

No, it wasn't a real life. So they they went by bars, zahavi bars was the most powerful person in the eastern Mediterranean at the time. But it does show how he had to, he had to go through the motions of showing you It's free to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the one.

01:04:26--> 01:04:28

Okay, so

01:04:29--> 01:04:34

one, two and three here. And that will take maybe one more round if we can. Okay.

01:04:36--> 01:04:54

Very quickly, you mentioned about your ancestors coming as indentured servants. My grandmother came as an indentured servant in the early 20th century, slightly different circumstance. Her passage was paid and she had to work at all. So if you wish, by a different name, there was the same thing. The question is the the people who like

01:04:55--> 01:04:59

to call the manufacturer who were working their way or the other way

01:05:00--> 01:05:19

Safar was working his butt off. If something happened to the master, did they revert to the the state or the child. So they still stayed slaves, even though they were in the contract and void in any way or they didn't have to start over again. They if they paid off 80%, they were still 80%.

01:05:20--> 01:05:22

That's actually really the question. Are you a lawyer?

01:05:24--> 01:05:31

Yeah, let's take let's Next one. Yeah, go ahead. Okay, go ahead. Yeah, it's another question gets a comment.

01:05:33--> 01:05:43

In Kenya, the highest cost, the highest path, but called bahaman is still there. And the most noble cat

01:05:44--> 01:06:29

cards a truth is the Indian word. Anyhow, Jamia, they're performing as the top that the moment they see the lowest cat indeed, David, he get he become very impure. So Britishers allowed to our Joe Jonas cast into questioning the toppling of what they called Chairman Nando de de de that allowed to go and do the shopping. He said just the comments. notes are interesting. Thank you very much. Maybe there was no rush hour. He said that kind of think about the draft. Okay. You're able to say something about the moral sophistication of our kasasa when you were addressing the questions about whether slavery was wrong, and

01:06:31--> 01:06:35

I was having a theoretical argument with my friend here, the canary fan.

01:06:36--> 01:06:38

Oh, yeah. I don't know anything about sports. So

01:06:43--> 01:07:07

maybe I'm wrong? No, no, you're it was super interesting issue. But it gets to the issue of abolition of slavery was a whole nother question. Let me answer these two questions. The first question is really good. So what happens if the, the the slave the slave one who's basically has to deal by his pay off his freedom, revised reback by installments? What happens if the master dies, so he then

01:07:09--> 01:07:12

becomes the property of the inheritors.

01:07:14--> 01:07:23

And there's here at this point, you're going to have different schools of thought, but that, you know, the main would be that he just continues the same, the same process with the inheritors.

01:07:24--> 01:07:26

So one issue is

01:07:29--> 01:07:34

not so much with the MacArthur slave, but what's called Ted via Ted beer was just as common, which is

01:07:35--> 01:07:37

saying, you're going to

01:07:38--> 01:07:51

change your slave, you will be free when I die. So that was not reversible statement, when she made a statement, that was you couldn't go back on that. Now the problem was, if you were let's say you're

01:07:53--> 01:07:56

the only asset you have is that slave,

01:07:58--> 01:08:07

then you can't give more than one third of your wealth away by as their as a as a kind of as a will, as it as a testimony right.

01:08:10--> 01:08:38

60 60% or 70% of your estate has to go to the people that are chronically fixed as your inheritors. So if you give all if what you've done is basically given all your assets away, because this guy can be free when you're when you die, and you've robbed your heirs. So at that point, either that slave becomes one third free and two thirds on by the heirs.

01:08:40--> 01:08:51

Or let's say you have three slaves, you would do lots between them, one of them would get freed, and two would remain the slaves or each one would be one third free. So

01:08:52--> 01:08:53

basically, it's

01:08:55--> 01:09:19

the question really comes into play when you've given away all your assets in the form of a slave who's but the mechanics of it, the mechanic is easy, because the contract just continues to your children are the heirs. The real issue is, can you sell slaves who have so if you sell them got their slave, then the the relationship direct transfers to the new owner?

01:09:21--> 01:09:27

So it's sort of like that, that that status of the buying that animal cassava status transfers over to between owners.

01:09:30--> 01:09:32

Yeah, but the moral issue, I mean, this is, this is the

01:09:34--> 01:09:40

I wanted to kind of address this issue in my theoretical argument with my friend here. But the

01:09:42--> 01:09:54

I we just went through his comments, which by the way, are completely understandable comments. I'm not criticizing them at all. I'm saying what the reason why I wanted to discuss this issue of what slavery is first, is because

01:09:56--> 01:09:59

it's like talking about terrorism, right? You can't

01:10:00--> 01:10:09

You can't have a real discussion about terrorism. If terrorism is just this moral, like blunt axe that you just it's impossible to handle, you know, it just

01:10:10--> 01:10:12

are this sort of moral

01:10:14--> 01:10:28

burden on your back that you can't displace in order to have a discussion. I want to say no, we talked about slavery, slavery cannot just be treated as a moral evil in and of itself. Because slavery doesn't mean anything.

01:10:29--> 01:10:31

The moral evil is

01:10:32--> 01:11:11

extreme forms of deprivation of rights, and extreme forms of control and extreme forms of exploitation. I don't think it's morally evil, to own somebody. Because we own lots of people all around us, and we're owned by people. And this obsession with making of slavery as property. It's treating human beings as sin is things that is just inconceivable sin. I think that's actually a really odd and an unhelpful way to think about slavery and kind of get you locked in this way of thinking where it you talk about ownership and people that you've already transgressed some moral boundary that you can't come back from. But I don't think that's true at all.

01:11:13--> 01:11:21

And so I think I buy time to kind of try to read to think about what slavery actually means. And to show that it doesn't really it doesn't really mean anything.

01:11:22--> 01:11:48

That it that there's so many different phenomena that would we would lump under this and things we wouldn't lump under that we should, that we should, should free ourselves from that burden first, before discussing what Rick was in Islamic tradition, or what the abolition of Rick was an Islamic tradition. Okay, we'll have time for just one more question here. We're almost out of time. So yeah.

01:11:49--> 01:11:50

over two months

01:11:52--> 01:12:16

to Boston, I have two little two little question people, the Bosnian slaves who went over to Western Europe, that that must mean that there's a good admixture of Bosnian and Western Europeans. Now, I mean, Bosnians who went to the Ottoman Empire, you said you said it was sold into Western Europe as well. Oh, yeah. early on. Yeah. It's sort of they weren't, but they were just slobs. Oh,

01:12:18--> 01:12:32

yeah. But they, you know, they look like Europeans anyway. So there wasn't some kind of mixture in Western Europe, even. And my other question was, what what is it? Could you could you get back to what your man was talking about?

01:12:33--> 01:12:34

slavery back in the office.

01:12:36--> 01:12:46

And what's in the, in the Quran, there's a list of of what you should do to be a good person. And the men who keeps themselves except for their wives.

01:12:48--> 01:12:56

That's a little jarring to to Westerners, that the wives and Okay, so this was an experiment.

01:12:57--> 01:13:04

That took one second question. Yeah, then you? Yes. Please. Go ahead. Do you have a sense of

01:13:05--> 01:13:10

To what degree the contrast is between seeing the ideal of the

01:13:11--> 01:13:12

actual practice of

01:13:14--> 01:13:19

Islamic history? Especially more? In the latter centuries?

01:13:21--> 01:13:22

Thank you.

01:13:25--> 01:13:46

Yeah. So I'll answer the first question singers in first Islamic civilization is so broad, vast that, you know, slavery is always influenced by Islamic law. But mostly, it's sort of a continuation of the pre Islamic traditions of institutions of labor and sort of slavery and exploitation and already there, right. So

01:13:47--> 01:14:01

it's extremely varied. And you do have certain sort of resemble East Africa. African slave trade was was like, a lot more could probably say poodle than Ottoman. Metropolitan domestic slavery. Now,

01:14:06--> 01:14:49

the interesting thing about Sonic logs on slavery is that there's very little in the Qur'an about slavery. The crime basically deals with slavery, and it encourages manumission of slaves, and it sets slaves manumission slavery as the expiation for certain sins and certain crimes, which is, by the way unique to Islam know, almost everything else in what becomes Islamic law of slavery is a continuation of existing traditions. Because most of Islamic law and slavery actually come from Muslims adopting distinct practices. There's a company that specifically Sonic one, children born of concubines have the exact same standing as children born of lives. That's actually that's unique

01:14:49--> 01:14:59

into Islam in the news, or the idea of x men you meeting slaves as a way to expiate sins and pay certain pay to compensate for certain crimes.

01:15:00--> 01:15:13

Three, the idea that there is restrictions on so if we have once you have a mcats, a slave or mcats, a slave woman, you can no longer treat them in certain ways, just slave women, you can no longer she can't be your concubine after that.

01:15:15--> 01:15:16

The idea that

01:15:17--> 01:15:35

I think 10 year is an irrevocable, irrevocable promise, these things are unprecedented. So Islam introduces certain things, but a lot of is continuity in your ancient tradition. And so actually, the reality of slavery is not that different from the

01:15:36--> 01:15:39

the legal ideal,

01:15:40--> 01:15:44

because the legal idea was kind of developed from the distinct traditions

01:15:45--> 01:15:49

with a little bit of inspiration from the Quran and the Sunnah. But

01:15:50--> 01:16:03

I'd say there was, in general, you don't find the brutality that you see in Americans. And that's just I, as far as I can tell, generally is simply not very common.

01:16:06--> 01:16:36

slaves in Islamization were mostly investments. So one of the most common things is you would do is you'd have a slave. And it was like an A, buying a rental property. So you basically say, okay, slave, you know, you're good at, you know, you're a good carpenter, go out and work as a carpenter. And every day you give me like, 30% of your pay. So they were basically, like, in a sense, like walking with rental properties. They would generate income for you. Then the lump sum. First question was about

01:16:39--> 01:16:51

the concubines. So that's the, you know, this is a huge, you know, it's a very difficult discussion to have time to have it today. But I mean, I would say that, yeah, not now.

01:16:55--> 01:16:57

It's very hard to have this discussion, because

01:16:58--> 01:17:07

we think of, let's say, the modern United States, right, the CNA qua non of moral, morally correct.

01:17:08--> 01:17:09

Sex is consent.

01:17:11--> 01:17:20

We think of people as autonomous agents, everybody's an autonomous agent. And it's the consent of that autonomy agents that make the sexual action adoptable.

01:17:21--> 01:17:22


01:17:24--> 01:17:31

If you take away the consent element, that everyone starts flipping out, right, at that point, now it is then you get rape, you get

01:17:32--> 01:17:57

sexual acts done by people who are too young, we proceeded to go into consent. And these are sort of the great moral wrongs of our society. So the idea of someone who is a by definition, non consensual sexual actor in the sense that they have been entered into a sexual relationship in a position of servitude. That's sort of

01:17:58--> 01:18:00

ab initio wrong.

01:18:03--> 01:18:06

The way I would respond to that is to say that

01:18:08--> 01:18:13

as I mean, this is just a fact. This isn't a judgment, this is a fact. Okay. For most of human history,

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human beings have not thought of consent as the essential feature of moral, morally correct sexual activity. And second, we fetishize the idea of autonomy to the extent that we forget,

01:18:32--> 01:18:38

again, who's really free? Are we really autonomous people and what what does autonomy mean?

01:18:40--> 01:19:02

Can I just drive? You know, can I be like a cowboy in some, you know, movie or action TV series where I just get on my motorcycle and ride to the west? No, I got kids. I have a mortgage. I mean, we are we were all born into an and live in a network of relationships, responsibilities and duties. But we have this obsession with the idea of autonomy. And the fact is, that

01:19:03--> 01:19:15

this is not to demean the status of women in Islam or Islamic civilization at all. But a concubines autonomy was not that different from the autonomy of a wife.

01:19:16--> 01:19:26

Because for most of human history, and most of Islamic civilization, women got married to the person that their family wanted them to get married to.

01:19:28--> 01:19:59

The idea of being autonomous and saying, I need to be in love with him. I need to go have this you know, Jane Austen like courtship with him. That is hogwash. Right? Yeah. So what's the difference between someone who is captured in a raid in the steppes of Central Asia, brought to Istanbul slave market, sold to an owner, who, by the way, might treat her badly might treat her incredibly well. She's gonna become she's gonna bury him children. She's gonna be

01:20:00--> 01:20:09

woman who's going to be the mother of his children, she's going to be if she's if he's high status, she's going to be high status. If he died, if he dies, she might be a very desirable wife.

01:20:10--> 01:20:37

That person situation. What's interesting that and some woman who is a poor, you know Baker's daughter who gets married to some Baker's son without any choice, because no one expects her having a choice. And that Baker son might treat her well, he might treat her horribly. What's the difference between these two people with not that big? We see it as enormous because we're obsessed with the idea of autonomy and consent. A be my spot is not a solution to the problem. I think it does help frame

01:20:40--> 01:20:46

consent is understood to be present or required for it, but marriage is not.

01:20:47--> 01:20:48

In other words, to consume sexual

01:20:50--> 01:20:51


01:20:53--> 01:20:59

is important because it is important marriage is not for us. And for us. If you look at the definition of marriage islamically

01:21:00--> 01:21:20

marriage is the act of that makes sexual relationship lawful? Yeah. Not consent itself. Though. Consent is inbuilt into it through either through me, I should say that in, you know, technically speaking Islamic law, the consent of the wife is required. But what I mean is that, what does if you're,

01:21:21--> 01:21:30

it's always understood that you're going to marry the person that your parents want you to marry. What does consent really mean? I mean, maybe if he's horribly ugly, you'll say no, no.

01:21:31--> 01:21:38

I mean, I what I'm trying to say is, there is a difference between a wife and the concubine, and I think it is in an element.

01:21:40--> 01:21:44

But that difference between them is not as massive difference that we would see this.

01:21:45--> 01:21:52

Okay, well, thank you very much. Professor Brown said he is writing actually a three. We're done with questions and

01:21:54--> 01:21:57

he is writing a series of three essays. I believe, so