Slavery and Islam A Conversation With The Author – Islamic Literary Society

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Jonathan Brown

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© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.

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The said I'm on a call want to lie about a cat to welcome respected listeners respected viewers for joining us once again another amazing, fantastic interview here at the Islamic literature society. We bring you some amazing interviews with authors on amazing, interesting topics. Now the Islamic literature society was founded in 2019, with the aim of promoting fostering and developing the heightened appreciation for authors and literary works of classical and contemporary scholarship. Now, we achieve this through a number of different ways. We have book clubs, we have book reviews, which you can see across our website. And the most interesting and the most direct way of developing

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this relationship with our books and our respected author is through these interviews hamdulillah so today we have a very special guest and the topic is one that you do not want to miss out, or we have with us today. Insha Allah is the book titled, slavery and Islam and it is written by Jonathan AC Brown, who is with us today. A quick insight or background into Dr. Jonathan Jonathan AC Brown is a professor of Islamic Studies at the Al Walid internal Chair of Islamic civilization in the fall in the School of foreign service at Georgetown University. And Mashallah, Dr. has written a number of different books, I have a few of them with me here. We've got misquoting Mohammed, which will get

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the author's opinions on as well. I also got Hades Mohammed's legacy in the medieval and the modern world. So Trump realizes a number of things there. So let us begin by bringing in this year. Okay, Dr. Sam, welcome. Welcome to my volcat how are you? Hi, Tom. I want to live. I'm

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good. I'm really happy to see you and meet you and online.

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I'm honored to have been invited to be in this podcast. No, sir. You must, uh, you look very relaxed today, I must say so.

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That's how I always I mean, I'm usually pretty relaxed, except when I get upset about stuff. Okay, good. Which means you're not upset today.

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Not yet. Yeah. Okay, good. Good. All right. Let's start off with Jana. If we can start by a simple question about your journey through Islamic learning. Alright. Mashallah. You've authored a number of different books. So could you tell us how you got to where you are today, please?

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Sorry, I'm just looking at something going on outside which is okay. It's fine. Sorry. My kid is just wandering around. But he's

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you Yeah, so the smaller man or him?

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Felt like um, thanks for inviting me. I just really, I apologize. You caught me at a weird time on my site. My beard trimmer broke so I did. I can't stand having like a long beer. It just really itches me. So I if it gets longer than maybe a week and a half or two weeks, I just shaved my beard and then grow back. So I that's why I don't have any kind of period right now. You're in a much bigger beard than

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you know, pretty good in the back of your book, the picture in the back of your book. Yeah, I like the Indian Persian. It's called tavish. Like, short got short beard, Iranian guy beard. Designer stubble, as my friend said calls it. Okay. So the Yeah, well.

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Sorry, this kind of repeating stuff I've said in other places, but you asked me the questions, I'll do my best to answer it. Right. I mean, I became Muslim. I was in college and university. I was about 19 years old, I think. And I really I became Muslim really through kind of like reading books and Mohamad outside the road to Mecca is tough. So you have the crap. So I, I came really through, maybe like on a modernist window in the sense of reading, like frezza ramen and things like that. And

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I so that was, it was actually not until I was in graduate school that I

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someone you know, did the idea that you could go and meet like Muslim scholars today. And, you know, traditional mind study with them like, they were previously they just sort of

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Ben somebody like, you know, like museum pieces, right? They were kind of obsolete things of the past. So when I went to Egypt in 2000 to 2001 for a year

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To learn Arabic, I started to, to attend to deduce in the US hard open to lose.

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And then I really started to do that more in 2003 in the summer of 2003. And 2003, I think?

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No. Yeah, I think so I can't remember now, it's something like that, okay, 1002 or two 2002 or 2003. And then I, after that, I would go back, like every summer for at least a month and then 2006 I went for about eight months. And did like private studies, with like, very intensive private studies with scholars in like Hadeeth and Falconer Sofia can grammar and rules and things like that. So, but the,

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you know, that but that was really, I mean, I never did what you what you did, for example, I never did and went and did like intensive, you know, full like curriculum studies. So for me, you know, my Islamic learning Krishna Islamic learning is, there's a few things that I have, you know, like a jazz is to teach.

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you know, it was really, it's not something that I would ever, like, boast about as being something it's substantial. I mean, it, I would say it gave me enough skill to be able to kind of navigate things generally. And then also to know, when I needed help to understand things, I think that's the more important thing. So I, in a lot of ways, I think my you know, my, my work as a scholar in the in the in the US has been to try and kind of integrate

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classical, you know, kind of Islamic learning and Western learning. Okay, what kind of bring especially kind of translate the former and bring it into view? in the English language world and in kind of Western readership. That's what I, I see myself, I mean, mostly as a translator in that sense. Okay. Mashallah. Okay. So, Jonathan, if we can move over into the book, slavery and Islam? As you can imagine, the topic is a very touchy topic. Can I ask, why did you pick such a topic?

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Yeah, um, well, I don't know. I mean, most.

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I mean, I guess most Muslims, I'm not sure. I can certainly tell you that. You know, I remember when I was in college. I actually I remember very clearly, I mentioned this in the book, which is that I was I remember being at home, reading, you know, Muhammad Asad translation of the Quran and

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coming across, I think it's in sort of a novel. That

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what is it the other

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method larger than Roger lon?

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Because it was like, no risk on us. And I think or abdomen Lucan Lai yaku Allah Shea. Right. So and then I can't really probably mixing the order up there. But the, the, you know, the grand talks about slave owned, who doesn't have any can't do anything. And it's, it's sort of, it's actually just mentioned, it's making using a slave and a free person as a parable for some for like, a false god that doesn't have any power. And then like, actual God, who has power, as far as I understand it, right. So what, what I was shocked, by the ways again, like, you can't just say, you can't mention slavery, you know, you have to say slavery is wrong. And you have to, like, how can you just

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talk about it, and not even say that right now. And so I've ever been kind of concerned and confused by sort of just moved on, I sort of swept it under the carpet. But I think that's, that's probably the position that a lot of Muslims are in globally, probably, I mean, maybe less so in some parts of the world than others, but I think maybe globally, is that they, you know, they come across these references to slavery in the Quran, or the Sunnah of the prophet or Islamic law or something. Yeah. And they don't, you know, it's, you only know what to make what sense to make of it. Because not only does their religion seem to be allowing and endorsing this thing that, you know, anybody in the

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world today would know is a grotesque, horrific evil. But also, sometimes it's not even presented as any kind of moral problem. It's just sort of mentioned offhand. So I, you know, I think a lot of people, maybe this was an issue of concern, but it's not something that we come across in our daily lives. So it wasn't maybe a huge but I did event eventually mean to write about it. But then when the ISIS thing happened, I think it was like 2014 or 15. Right? And there was the kind of enslavement of ISIS grew, I mean, Yazidi girls and things so that and this was in the newspaper everywhere and people you know, I think this caused a big crisis of faith for a lot of Muslims,

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because not only did they see this being done, but they're also ISIS was like, wait, what do you guys so confused about that?

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Grant talks about this is allowed in the Sharia is what the Prophet did. So what do you got? What do you objecting to? and Muslims don't really have an answer, really convincing answer for how to respond to this. So that really made me want to write about this. And and eventually, I wrote a book about it. Yeah, you address the issue of ISIS to the latter part of your of your book. In the opening chapter, in the introduction, you actually address the moral question, can we actually talk about slavery in particular, you address yourself, then you talk about slavery? What was that question referring to?

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You mean, what? Can we talk about slavery? Like, is there such a thing as slavery defined trans historically? Or what is the big question that's behind this issue? In the sense that, you know, there's a consensus about slavery being wrong, and it's an evil in? Can we actually talk about it in that perspective? Yeah, I think that.

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Well, I think this is certainly the case in the US, I think, might be a little bit less than the UK, but probably fairly similar. But I think the US is really the place where this is the clearest, or the strongest manifestation of this phenomenon. But I call it the kind of the slavery conundrum, which is that the kind of the abolitionist consensus, which is the sort of global abolitionist consensus, which is that slavery is an gross, intrinsic evil throughout space and time. So you know, slavery was wrong. It's wrong. Today was wrong. 100 years ago, it was wrong. 1000 years ago, it was wrong 2000 years ago.

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And that's

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axiomatic right, you cannot question that. If you do, I mean, you're, you're a monster. I mean, imagine just going in and being like, well, slavery is not that bad, or it was okay, back then. I mean, you would, you're really be pilloried.

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The second

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sort of I talk about the the academic slavery conundrum is basically being that there's three Maxim's or three axioms, okay, that you can't really you can't question.

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But also you can't hold them all at the same time, right? So you can't, you can't actually question any of these or that you can only do it at a great cost. But also, you cannot actually hold all these three things at the same time. So the first one is slavery is a gross, intrinsic evil across space and time.

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The second one is that all slavery is slavery. So there's no like good slavery, bad slavery, okay? slavery, it's like slavery, heavy slavery, right? So, you know, just imagine going into a meeting or something, or, you know, saying, oh, the slavery in ISIS is not that bad, or something I would just imagine, imagine saying like, it's not that bad and what the reaction would be Yeah, of course. Yeah. So you can't make internal distinctions within slavery. Slavery is absolute intrinsic evil throughout space and time all slavery anytime the word is used absolutely trinsic evil throughout space and time. The third

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axiom is that our pasts have some kind of moral or legal claim on us, right. So I mean it for Muslims, it's obvious in the sense that we look to the Quran and Sunnah for moral guidance or spiritual guidance, right? If you're, you know, Americans would say we look to the Constitution of United States for guidance, you know, Christians would look to Jesus and the New Testament Jews, the Old Testament, you know, Buddhists to Buddhist literature, Hindus, the end of the jury, to people who are philosophers to philosophical literature.

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And all of these traditions, right, so there's every single religious or whomever your single major religious and every single philosophical tradition that I know of

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either defended condones slavery, or thought it was just completely normal. Until the earliest, the absolute earliest, the late 1600s. Okay.

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So, if you're, if you're gonna say, you know, slavery is a gross, intrinsic evil throughout space and time, there's all slavery, slavery, if somebody is defending or involved in or condoning that, they're like a more, they're morally compromised person, right. So they can't, you know, imagine somebody coming into public life today and saying, well, I, you know, I think slavery is okay. Or some mean, they would never, you know, this person would never be allowed to be in public life. So,

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the same thing for our past, right? If these people are defending it, then why are we? I mean, do you take moral guidance from people who defended slavery? We thought it was fine. Would you ever get moral or spiritual advice from those people? No, of course not. But the problem is that the entirety of the human heritage prior to at the earliest, the late 1600s

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was guilty of this. So

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the statue issue is actually a really good case of this right where

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people are, the people will come out and say, we want to take down this statue of this guy in Bristol or we want to take down the statue Thomas Jefferson because they

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We're involved in slavery, like those people aren't logically they're totally correct. Logically they are. According to the logic of the slavery conundrum. They're 100%. Correct. Sure, like major grocery and transit people throughout space and time. It's history's greatest crime, right? no moral person, no person with any moral sense could ever be involved in this are supported. Yeah. Or defended.

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So if they did, they, you, you absolutely should not have a statue of this person. I mean, that's ridiculous. That's like having a statue of Hitler. Right. So that's a totally logical conclusion. Okay. And then the people who come up and say, Well,

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yeah, but you know, it's more complicated out of it. No, it's not. I mean, then what are you trying to say? Why is it more complicated? Oh, back then. It wasn't clear. Wait. So back then slavery wasn't evil. Like a smart, intelligent person shouldn't have realized it wasn't evil. It's like, Oh, well, yeah. So they have to start fudging and waffling. Because the the logic of slavery is a gross, intrinsic evil throughout space and time, all slavery, slavery. The logical conclusion is that somebody is involved in that they are history. I mean, they should never be turned to for moral authority, it should never be celebrated.

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But the problem is, as you know, conservative British or people would tell you, these are our heroes, right? These are the people we look to for inspiration and you know, darkest hour and,

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you know, never surrender and all that stuff, right? And these are the people we turn to Thomas Jefferson, right, the guy who said, all men are created equal endowed with certain inalienable rights, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, right, that amazing human being with a brilliant person, but who had a slave and had children with her with his slave, concubine. And those children were slaves, etc, etc.

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George Washington, father of the United States of America, by the way, this idea that he somehow hated slavery, deep down is utter hooey, there's a book that came out just recently, about a year ago, it's a great book I'll never caught about this slave woman named own a judge who, the Washington she fled from the Washington's when they were in Philadelphia, and they spent the rest of their lives hunting or trying to hunt her down. I mean, they never gave up trying to get back, get her back.

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So they were not some kind of, you know,

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squad, that abolitionists or something. But I mean, go but go. I mean, I live in Washington. I live in Washington, DC, which is named after him. I mean, imagine the sheer number of things you'd have to pull down. I mean, yeah. How would American identity function? So that's the slavery conundrum is that we actually, we hold positions, three positions, that none of which you can really question. I mean, people do question them, they say we should take down the statues. But that's very controversial, right, until relatively recently, that would have just been laughed out of,

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out of out of the room. Right. So um, so this, this brings me to another question, because we were talking about slavery, you know,

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through history, as you just mentioned, you're also discussing the first chapter of your book, the definition of slavery. And that chapter goes on quite a bit. But I mean, it's almost like you're struggling defining slavery.

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What so can we address that a little bit? Can we come to an agreement on what we are actually talking about? Yeah, um, so let me just say that first, the reason why these positions are these acting, axiomatic positions exist is because of the nature of how abolitionism was kind of

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debated and eventually triumph, right, which is that when abolitionists were pushing for slaveholders to prove the end of slavery, people who are either slaveholders or supportive of slaveholding industries or laws, they'd say things like, you're right, like, certain certain kinds of slavery are horrific. But that's not what we're doing right there. Like our slavery is okay. Or slavery in India is okay, or slavery here. It's not that bad. So that was the first one of the first responses or rebuttals that kind of pro slavery people would use. So they had to shut that door and just say that no, no, this is this is something that if something is slavery, it is inherently evil.

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It's not discussed, it's not negotiable.

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One of the other actually,

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responses of pro se people would be to actually push back on the definition of slavery, in essence, because what they'd say like in the, in the 1830s, you saw this in some very prominent kind of defenses of slavery in Virginia in the American South, they'd say that, well, look, okay. You know,

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look at your industrial workers in New York or Chicago or London.

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I mean, the people are treated horribly, they are die in these poor houses, it's a crime in England, it's actually a crime to leave work not to not show up to work you, you're gonna be put in prison for that.

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So, you know, look, but my slaves, they know they're, they're cared for they're fed their house, they we take care of them when they're sick it's a I'm not saying that's true, I'm just saying this is what people said, right. So they say like, you know, if you want to talk about who's being treated badly, then

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your workers are much worse off. So that's that's why the abolitionists had to focus on the the the legal institution of slavery, they didn't want to make it about conditions or who's being treated well or not how to be about this legal status of not being free or being property.

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But you can see in this example, kind of one of the tensions which is what is

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in one society, we can come up with a very, you know, like, in America, United States, slavery is status of not being free. Or in Roman law, it's a status of not being free, or in and also being property or in, you know, medieval and early modern European law, it's being property of somebody, right. So you can think about slavery as not being free legal status not being free, legal status of being property.

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But the other approach is think about slavery is like a condition that it's about the way you're treated. And

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so until the, the kind of the 1926, when there's this convention, or national convention, designed to kind of enslave trade, basically, slavery becomes illegal.

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And then that is gradually ratified and accepted until 19, essentially, 1960s, when every country had

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abolished slavery legally, at least from after that you get more of a move towards kind of slavery as a condition, right? Because once you say, once, there's no longer something called slavery, it's easy. There's no slavery anymore. Okay, fine, it's gone. Now, what happens if you're treating the person exactly the same way, they're just not technically a slave. So there is, instead of saying, you know, slaves or property was slaves are treated like property, or slaves, or people who are paid only subsistence wages, and don't have control of their labor. And especially, this is a big thing. They're coerced. So the big definition, especially in what's called New abolitionism, since the

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1990s, I guess you know, what people call modern day slavery is the idea that it's coerced labor, they're coerced.

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Now, we can do in any particular society, or even in a civilization, you might be able to come up with a very good definition of slavery, because you have a kind of maybe a clear understanding of freedom, what freedom means, what property means. But the problem is that freedom things like freedom and property are so vague, that if you try to think about them trans historically, and globally, they stop having any meaning. Right? So if you say, what is free, like, Are you free? Janae? What can you do? You know, can you can you walk outside naked? No, you can't. So you're not free.

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You can do everything you can do every anything you want, except what's illegal, okay, that's free. But then slaves can also do whatever they want. I mean, it's they've been sitting in their room like after work, and they are twiddling their thumbs, they can twiddle their thumbs this way. Or they can twiddle their thumbs this way. Right? Well, they're free to choose. So they're also free, except for what the law and their owner says. So it's freedom and slavery aren't two diametrically opposed things. They're just two different levels of restriction. And where that level is, depends on where the distinction is depends on your particular society and your particular time. And you try to think

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of it and when even when some scholars were very skeptical about this and but who tried to insist that there's like kind of a minimum rights that all humans agree on it for you will have Suzanne Meyers says this in her great essay on definition of slavery, she's, she actually can't. She says, Surely there's a number of rights that we agree everybody has if they're free, but she doesn't say what the rights are, because they're not actually there. I don't think there are agreed upon rights.

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And you could say, well, let's say, I can't, you know, a slave owner can like kill their slave with no consequences. First of all, most slave systems in history, that's not true. Islamic law, for example, you can't just kill your slave. Yeah. So you can't even really hurt them. You can't really hurt them. Seriously, right.

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And that's true for a lot of systems of slavery in the world.

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In it, but let's say Roman law

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until around 200 300 ad

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At least theoretically, a father could kill their children, his children with no legal consequences, free children, right? He could kill his, his,

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let's say nice.

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It's called Patreon Patreon pitesti Patria potestas. However, the head of the family, so if you're going to say, well, slavery kind of defined by it a situation where you're someone can just kill you with no consequences. That's not going to help you in the case of Roman law, because in Roman law, you could not do that to a slave a lot of the time, but you could do it to a free person to your child. So clearly,

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there is a there is an issue here, or there's a problem here of defining slavery. So it depends on which lens or which geographic location where, where you're defining it from. So that's obviously a problem. That will also it's it's not, I mean, let's be specific, right? It's not necessarily a problem. I mean, for example, you know, religious studies, as a field, there's no agreed upon definition of religion. But that's not a problem, because, you know, you don't, here's the problem. I think, in a lot of ways, slavery and terrorism are kind of conceptual concepts that are useful to compare, because there's actually no, there's no agreed upon definition of terrorism. Yeah.

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But, like, the reason that's a problem is that

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if you were in religious studies, and you say that, you know, Jed, I want to write an article about Jedi religion, like, no one's gonna say, you're a bad person for doing that.

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Whereas if you get if you get labeled, if you're kind of stamped with the label of does slavery or is terrorist. That's it, you're morally obliterated. That's a moral condemnation. So I think there's a problem when you talk when there's a concept that you want to use trans historically, throughout space and time to label things that with the effect of labeling things as evil, yeah, but you actually don't have a definition for it. Because what you're really doing is things that looked like slavery to you, or that you want to call slavery, you end up stamping with that. Whereas things that don't look like slavery to you, or that you don't want to call slavery. Don't get that condemnation.

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So that's why I think it's a problem, especially in these two topics that you mentioned slavery and terrorism. And there's consequences to that. So one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. So you know, it does, your choice will have consequences in the real world.

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So that brings me to my next question, then, is it then fair to use the word slavery in the Islamic context? I mean, in Arabic does have different words? Well, you know, as you've mentioned in your book, but is it fair to translate that slavery that because then the western audience, yeah, the western definition and applied on Islam? And we've just completely started off on the wrong foot?

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I mean, I'm, that's a complicated question. Because you?

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Because I mean, I think you have to,

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you have to think about To what extent should your answer be really governed by an attempt to control reaction versus an attempt to kind of be accurate? I think, I mean, from us. The The irony is that, in kind of Islamic civilization and Western European civilization are

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our siblings. I mean, they're there. They're there. They come from there. They come from Semitic sources, and they're, at least they're highly influenced by Greco Roman tradition. I mean, a lot of Islamic law on slavery is not from the Quran, it's not from those, even some of the Prophet they thought it's not it's, it's just existing tradition in the Near East, in the seven hundreds, 607 hundreds. And some of those things are from like Roman Near Eastern law.

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And Muslim scholars like they acknowledged. I mean, they didn't acknowledge those origins. But they basically realize that this some of these laws were were not rooted in their tradition in Islamic scripture. But the bottom line is that

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legally speaking, you know, Islamic law and slavery is very similar. It's in the same conversation as like, what is European, you know, you're talking about freedom, you're talking about a binary of free and slave in other parts of the world like Southeast Asia. There's not like two categories. There's many, many categories, many, many levels of subservience and subordination dependence more like a web one scholar calls it's more like a web of dependence not a two layers or a hierarchy. Yeah, but hang on the me just finish. So the the,

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strictly speaking from like a sonic legal and Western legal definition, they're pretty similar.

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I would say that the real is

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should come this in that the way that slavery is practiced in the Americas, you know, after in the European colonization colonization of the Americas was,

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was pretty unprecedented in terms of its scale and severity

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in world history, and it was also fairly quickly, almost everywhere in the Americas racialized. So it was, it becomes a slave status become as being a certain, you know, certain races are slaves or enslave a gold and certain or not.

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And so you get kind of a mixture of real brutality.

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huge scale, and racialization a very simplistic, uniform racialization. That is pretty freaky. So, when we look at, let's say, the people who start objecting to slavery, even beginning with people like bartolome de las cosas, in the 16th century, and then

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people would say like enlightenment figures like Condor say, and

00:31:13--> 00:31:33

Dieter Roe and Montesquieu and Voltaire, they they're responding really to the Atlantic slave trade, like they're not, you know, they're responding to two things. One is the really like the the shocking core of the Middle Passage.

00:31:35--> 00:31:40

And to the what they consider just like, a lot of them considered to be really

00:31:41--> 00:31:48

stupid justification, they're kind of racial justification they saw as laughable. So that wasn't

00:31:49--> 00:32:08

those things were not really present in a lot of pre American, you know, pre Atlantic slave trade slave systems. Yeah. There wasn't this massive scale, there wasn't this kind of grotesque racial racial justification.

00:32:10--> 00:32:10


00:32:12--> 00:32:18

and, in general, I know this is this is something that is not true. Always, I'd say, in general.

00:32:19--> 00:32:32

I don't think other slavery systems were as brutal as they, they could be. were often they, they often were in the Americas. Yeah. So I think that's why is it is that when we,

00:32:33--> 00:32:35

you know, it's not just

00:32:36--> 00:33:07

by the way, that that's not to say that, that slaves in various times in place in world history were not treated absolutely horrifically. And as bad if not worse than in, you know, some awful plantation in Brazil or South Carolina. If we were some of the way that slaves are treated in the Roman Empire is just, like mind numbingly horrible. Yeah, but I, I'd say in general, he didn't have the kind of, like, shocking scale and kind of

00:33:09--> 00:33:35

just ball you know, boldness sir brazenness of the Atlantic slave trade. And it's it's, it's, it's the use of slaves in the Americas was really shocking to people. So that's why I think a lot of the kind of abolitionism really picks up steam in the in the 1700s. Right, because that they're what they're looking at is really tough to defend. I mean, it's certainly, I mean, it's not like, you know, here's this guy who's,

00:33:36--> 00:33:41

you know, from, from another village that we grabbed on a raid and, you know,

00:33:42--> 00:34:19

he's part of the family, you speak the same language as us, you know, eventually we free him after a couple years, he becomes a business partner, you know, that would be much more of a maybe representation of slavery, a lot of parts of the world. Yeah, then the America so it's a very different so that the problem is that when you start talking about it's not just you know, can we say Islamic is, is should we really talk about there being slavery in Islam? Is it when you went to America, slavery in the Americas, the Atlantic slave trade is your is the thing you're, you're also the kind of thing from which you're analogizing right? Most things in world history, most instance

00:34:19--> 00:34:22

of slavery and world history are not going to be accurately

00:34:23--> 00:35:00

are not going to appear accurately in your mind. Yeah, he started talking about them as slavery. I wanted to go back to the Quran or to the Sunnah. And there are certain concepts, certain principles laid out for us in the past with regards to, you know, slavery or to be more accurate, that actually reflect the mindset or the theology or the philosophy behind slavery in Islam. Things like an macabre, you talk about that the slave getting his own freedom. We all lost my Dharma in the Quran as well when we commit certain sins as actually

00:35:01--> 00:35:26

for our sins, we are told in first place to free a slave. So we can see the mindset, you know, what Allah Subhana Allah is telling us and how we should behave towards labor. So, you know, that is very different to the transatlantic slave that you were discussing, right? Yeah, definitely. I mean, I do remember that slate, like, you know, in American in North America, British colonies in North America, there's,

00:35:28--> 00:35:42

you know, for a lot of times in a lot of the colonies, you could not man you make your own sleep, right? You weren't you this is actually a big debate in places like Virginia about whether or not people should be allowed to free their own slaves.

00:35:45--> 00:35:48

Whereas in Islamic law, and Islamic Society

00:35:50--> 00:36:27

manumission of is strong is encouraged to the point that a lot of legal rules that are otherwise pretty firm, you get exceptions to in terms when you get manumission. Like, the fact that if we have a contract, you know, if I, if I make a mistake, and I say something wrong in the contract, or I make a mistake in my writing, and it's obviously a mistake, like that's not going to be legally binding, right? Or if I'm drunk, or if I'm angry, if I don't mean something that doesn't become legally binding. In freeing slaves, it's generally legally binding. So if you say, you know, if you're my slave, and I say, Okay, good job today, you know,

00:36:28--> 00:36:36

you've worked really hard, you know, go get some rest, you're free, you know, go get some rest by saying you're free, boom, I didn't mean you're free, literally.

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

You're free to go do something else out, boom, you're free. I know. I didn't mean that doesn't matter. Right. So yeah, because of this idea that

00:36:46--> 00:37:00

you have to show the show off who was shattered Illa and Hurriya. Right, the God that the law giver God wants freedom, he looks expectedly towards freedom. And this is actually goes back all the way to a very early report of the Prophet

00:37:01--> 00:37:06

Alayhi Salam that, you know, God wants freedom, right? Um, so

00:37:08--> 00:37:37

the Quran and Sunnah I mean, I think if you look at generally, you know, script religious scriptures or legal documents in world history, I don't I can't think of anyone that is as obsessed with emancipation as the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. I mean, it's really like the, the idea of tying, freeing slaves to expiating sins. I think this was the Quran is the first time we see this, the idea of

00:37:40--> 00:37:48

Yeah, I mean, and the set I mean, the Qur'an you see it numerous times, but where you see a lot is in headaches. Yeah. And

00:37:50--> 00:37:53

that you know, that you free a slave when there's an eclipse you free a slave.

00:37:55--> 00:37:57

You know, if you

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

you know, if you hit your slave and you cause them to bleed, you should free them right if you if they want to do a contract where they buy their own freedom on installments is in the crown you do should do that. You know, you're encouraged to marry or your your slaves for your slave women and and marry them. you're encouraged. I mean, over and over and over and over. I mean, did the what's funny, right is it's not only in reliable headaches, but if you look in foreign cities, they're in I mean, the probably the longest that I've ever seen in my life is this Forge, which is allegedly a sermon the Prophet gave, which is just pages and pages of pages. And it's

00:38:36--> 00:38:39

sometimes it's sometime in the eight hundreds of the common hero, but

00:38:41--> 00:39:03

even in the fortune eats, you're told to free slaves like in a weird, like freeing slaves becomes a way of like quantifying reward so you know, if you do if you walk to the mosque, every step you take is like freeing a slave. So being a slave becomes the way you did you kind of me the unit by which you measure reward.

00:39:05--> 00:39:49

And so what the point about this is that even if people just say, Well, you know, Muslims, maybe the crime isn't, or about emancipation, but then Muslims, you know, they betrayed that. And it's interesting is that somebody was out there making up all these heads during the high point of Islamic civilization to free slaves. Like even more agree even more explicit and stronger admonitions to or exhortations of reserves, then you'd find in the Quran and the Sunnah, the actual authentics. And so this is a and, you know, and so, it depends, like, you know, obviously Islamic civilizations a long time over a long period of long space, or Allah, y area. But in general, it

00:39:49--> 00:39:59

seems like if you were to average everything out, probably the average amount of time that somebody was slaving long civilizations about seven or eight years, and then they'd be the bay, they'd be

00:40:00--> 00:40:21

manumitted Yeah. And so what would the irony is that one of the reasons that Muslims sama civilization takes in so many slaves from, from Eastern Europe, from Turkish steps from India, from Sub Saharan Africa, is because they're constantly freeing slaves.

00:40:22--> 00:40:30

So they, they, they have to count, they don't have a reproducing labor pool, right? So they constantly having to buy more slaves to replace the ones they've read.

00:40:32--> 00:40:38

Yeah, so that's a interesting, and then it wouldn't be fair to look at slavery from an Eastern perspective

00:40:39--> 00:41:16

as a solution to the realities of the world, that when we look at Islam, we look at the Quran is not a book of philosophy, or just set of instructions, it's actually dealing with real life problems. So when we look at the example of alcohol, you know, alcohol is widespread, and it was removed over four phases, it took a long time to get out of the system, interest, that wasn't the last instruction in order to be made harm, it took a long time to get that out of the system. Likewise, when it comes to slavery, slavery was such a huge problem that, you know, the, the Quran and the Sunnah did gradually, slowly, slowly just kept making it more and more and more, the only confining

00:41:16--> 00:41:25

it more and more, but we don't see your final instruction that is head on. But what we do see is is narrowing and narrowing and narrowing itself down. Is that fair analysis?

00:41:27--> 00:41:35

Yeah, I mean, that's certainly one approach that that's the approach taken by people like, say, Adam, your alley, and Rashid riddle and others.

00:41:37--> 00:41:40

here's, here's my problem with that argument is that

00:41:43--> 00:41:51

it would have been really easy By the way, this is this one of the same things that like Christian tried to argue this in the 1800s. And,

00:41:52--> 00:42:19

and people who are like pro slavery or just not an absolute abolitionist debating abolitionists in the US, and Britain would say, like, Wait a second, so. Okay. Why didn't Jesus get rid of slavery? Well, it was too much part of the system. It wasn't possible. Like, so what you're saying, what, what about Jesus makes you think that like, read the New Testament, what about this guy makes you think that he cares about what people think? Or what's possible or impossible?

00:42:20--> 00:42:27

I mean, they got the guy was crucified, right? Because he, he didn't care about changing challenging the system.

00:42:28--> 00:42:31

In the Christian view, right. So I,

00:42:32--> 00:42:47

these opponents of abolitionists said like, Are you saying, why didn't Jesus just say, Look, I know it's not possible right now. But slavery is absolutely wrong, you should get rid of it. He ever said that? Why didn't he say that? Why didn't anybody say this?

00:42:49--> 00:42:53

Why didn't Buddha say this? Why didn't Aristotle say this? Why didn't San Agustin say this? Why didn't,

00:42:55--> 00:42:57

etc, etc, etc. Nobody said this.

00:42:58--> 00:43:01

So, you know, and

00:43:02--> 00:43:05

Islam got rid of things like idolatry.

00:43:06--> 00:43:11

There was no negotiate. And I was a big part of life and Arabia to true.

00:43:13--> 00:43:19

I think that I think the main reason is that it is it slavery wasn't

00:43:20--> 00:43:21


00:43:23--> 00:43:39

it wasn't thought about as like a moral problem. It was basically a feature of, of labor, political and economic life, right. So most slaves are were

00:43:41--> 00:43:44

captives to the people that are captured in conflicts.

00:43:46--> 00:43:48

And, you know, what do you do with a prisoner?

00:43:49--> 00:44:17

You either let them go, or you ransom them? And then let them go? Right? Or you kill them? Or you keep them as a slave? Like, those are your options, right? I mean, so you don't have like a government that has these big prisoners of war camps, you know, you don't have that. So it's, you basically, if you have prisoners, you essentially distribute them into the society. And if people want to ransom them, that's fine.

00:44:18--> 00:44:20

Back to their families and make money

00:44:21--> 00:44:39

or if they want to freedom, that's fine. Um, but the other thing is to is to keep them as as as labor. Hmm. So that's the kind of that's kind of a political element. The second one is economic, which is that how to human beings. I mean, Aristotle has this brilliant

00:44:41--> 00:44:56

observation, and I think it's in his politics where he says that, you know, that there'll be slavery until looms move themselves, you know, looms, like a thing for weaving cloth. Yeah. Until they move themselves. Those are going to be slaves, which is actually exactly what happened right.

00:44:57--> 00:44:59

Prior to the discovery, oh,

00:45:00--> 00:45:42

You know, essentially of hydraulic, maybe a little bit of hydraulic power, but then really steam power in the late 1700s, mid to late 1700s. And then eventually fossil fuels. Humans, you know, if you if you want something built or made or done, or you have to get another human or an animal to move it. And when you no longer need humans and animals to do that, then you don't have to worry about that anymore. Hmm. I mean, you there's things become unnecessary. And they're also not efficient. Hmm. I mean, it's, what would you rather have like a car that is run by an internal combustion engine or like a, one of those rickshaws? The guy, the guy, like, you know, like the Fred

00:45:42--> 00:46:05

spun stolen? car, you know, I mean, this is a rock or a horse cart? Yeah, the whole world full of horse poop or whatever, feeding your horse and having to put your horse somewhere and yours getting sick and all this stuff? So the the, the point is that, that it's not slavery was part of the way people understood basic economic existence of human beings.

00:46:06--> 00:46:12

It would be that's why you don't this is, and this is a very important point. There's no until the

00:46:13--> 00:46:15

essentially until the late 1600s.

00:46:17--> 00:46:29

As far as I know, there's nobody or no society, and I don't even think anybody who came out and said, slavery as an institution should be abolished. Okay.

00:46:32--> 00:46:41

Because it wouldn't have been, it would have been sort of nonsensical, it would be like saying, Let's abolish walking or let's abolish, you know,

00:46:42--> 00:47:11

any kind of engine like it doesn't, it would it would make it would be like a impact economically inconceivable. Hmm. And back on the on the definition as well, wouldn't it? So like you mentioned in the book, The, the topic of labor, or, you know, physical slavery, economical flavors and so forth. I mean, we don't call it slavery, but it's not far off from Well, I mean, so you if you want to think about slavery as somebody who is essentially working

00:47:13--> 00:47:14

for free,

00:47:16--> 00:47:57

right, I mean, they're working for you for free. So I, you know, this is another important thing, which you often get confused about when they think think about slavery in the in America, and they think we know people in the field working and the sort of very raw, like, backbreaking labor. But not only is this that's actually not true for the for the Americas, there is also lots of different other kinds of labeled slaves it but in world history, you know, I'd say the Mediterranean world of Rome and the Islamic world, you know, most of these are domestic workers, you know, they're like, in the house, they're taking care of kids, they're cooking, they're doing errands. And a lot of times,

00:47:57--> 00:48:19

they're, they're skilled workers, they're carpenters, they're rope makers, they're, and they're actually showing someone by slave not to do stuff for them, but to go out and be hired to do something. And then they're like, they're essentially like investment. So you, they're basically making revenue, they then bring back to you. So that's how, by the way when slaves are doing this mechanically, but when you're buying their own freedom.

00:48:20--> 00:48:51

They're making money, they're going out and making money. And they are, keep they're allowed. They're, they're making extra money for themselves that they then put into buying their own freedom from their master. Right. So that you can not only really make sense when you think about a slave who is actually out there in society, earning money. Now that the difference is they're not that they're not keeping that money for themselves, and their own kind of economic agent. They're funneling it mostly to their owner. So

00:48:53--> 00:49:07

I can remember the original original question, but what was the original question? Yeah, kind of contract. Okay, I think I remember baby basically like, Yeah, so the, the idea is that, is it human society,

00:49:08--> 00:49:45

the way that it functions was that there was this need for labor, need for people to do for things to get moved on, etc, etc. and the solution to this was, well put it this way. You could have a society where everybody worked out in the field and did stuff. But here's the thing. If you get rich enough, why should you do that? Well, you can pay someone Well, you can get someone else to do it. Make someone else do it by someone else to do it. Okay. And by the way, remember, a lot of slaves in human history are

00:49:46--> 00:50:00

there. They're people who are sold by their families. There are people who sold by their parents. They're abandoned their parents. They're sold by their clan leader right there. They give themselves in slavery because they're so poor and desperate.

00:50:00--> 00:50:15

You know, etc, etc, etc. There's also the people at the bottom of society who have, who end up in a situation where they are working for somebody else, right? for the, for the only, with the only thing they in return is essentially

00:50:17--> 00:50:20

living, you know, they they are they they're supported to live

00:50:22--> 00:50:24

they're not paid money for, they're not paid

00:50:26--> 00:50:47

to do we find in early Islamic history, do you find movements amongst slaves where they, you know, try to fight their owners or run away? Or they actually formed unions and you know, cause some kind of a movement for the freedom? Well, yeah, so, I mean, yes, I answer that question. But I would I first, let me say that,

00:50:49--> 00:51:17

you know, the all of civilization, right, the idea that you have a group of people who live together without surplus of, you know, division of labor surplus food, so that people can engage in other activities besides subsistence farming and stuff like that. And eventually, you got an elite who do things like write music and write books and start universities and do whatever other people do, right?

00:51:19--> 00:51:27

All the lead culture rests on labor, right on by others, right.

00:51:29--> 00:51:55

at certain times of history, that labor is done a lot of it by people who are slaves, and in certain time in history, it's done a we're not technically slaves. Now, if you want to say that, you know, workers in a capitalist country, like the US are, should be talking about as slaves or not. That's another debate. But the point is that, you know, we're high culture, elite culture, civilization is built on

00:51:57--> 00:52:01

some people doing work so that other people don't have to do that work. Right, right.

00:52:03--> 00:52:03


00:52:05--> 00:52:46

Okay, so then let me let me say another point, which is very important, which is that one of the things that the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, and just Muslims, why essentially consensus in the very early period of Islam, I mean, essentially, The gentleman's time of the companions, one of the things that they do is that they, they do not, they do not allow selling your children to slavery, they do not allow enslaving someone for debt, which is, by the way, one of the main ways that again, even more than selling someone is relative or being captured. The main way and most of world history in most places is debt. Right? Yeah. Just because you're indebted to somebody. Dead

00:52:46--> 00:52:57

slavery prohibited in Islamic law. It doesn't mean that doesn't appear sometimes in Islamic civilization, but it's prohibited in the Sharia. Right? You can't give yourself as a slave. You can't give yourself as a slave.

00:52:58--> 00:52:59


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

the crown as soon as the Sharia very quickly, close, every door all the main doors into into slavery were closed except for capture. Hmm, well, two things capture in warfare, so capturing non Muslims, outside of the abode of Islam, like, you can't go in, you know, there's like a Jewish and a Christian guy living in Cairo, you can't be like, Oh, you're my slave. Now, right there, that means they can't be enslaved. Yeah, but if you go and you fight a war against, you know, the Christian Kingdom or whatever, then the captives can be enslaved.

00:53:34--> 00:54:08

And then the second thing is people were born of female slaves. Except unless those people are the father is the owner, then like that case, the child is free. The mother will be freed upon his death, the child is free, and the mother can't be sold also. And the child is not only as free, but also legitimate as the same social status as the child born of a free wife. This is very This is unprecedented in certainly the Near East. I don't know about world history, but some resemblance Thomas Jefferson's kids, Sally Hemings, they were slaves.

00:54:09--> 00:54:11

They were black, and they were slaves

00:54:13--> 00:54:41

based on American law, so it's not if you were Muslim. Hmm, those children would be free. And they would be like, potentially the next president equivalent of you know, George W. Bush, Jr. Right for carrying the carrying the bush name. The fact that their mother was a slave woman would have been like, only if there was some campaign and somebody was like trying to insult them or something, they'd say this we would have no impact on their standing young society.

00:54:43--> 00:54:49

So those are big changes that Islamic that come with the Quran and the Sunnah of the prophet in the Sharia. Okay.

00:54:51--> 00:54:59

The other question you asked, I can remember the question you asked, I said I was gonna answer now. I forgot. I was just asking if there were any major

00:55:00--> 00:55:12

movements amongst the slaves. Oh yeah. Did they try there were some rebellions. There are some slave rebellions, especially the the big one in the late 19th century, mid to late nine centuries, the xande rebellion in southern Iraq.

00:55:13--> 00:55:16

Um, which was pretty, you know, it was very unsettling. It was a big rebellion.

00:55:18--> 00:55:20

And it went on for a few decades.

00:55:22--> 00:55:26

But this is important, right? This is real. I think this is really important to keep in mind.

00:55:28--> 00:55:44

These Andrew brilliant does and we're not fighting to end slavery, they just didn't want to be slaves and they took their own slaves. So they the people they captured they made into slaves. Okay, the tables, same thing with Yeah, same thing with Spartacus. Like you go watch Spartacus, the movie with Kirk Douglas.

00:55:45--> 00:56:04

He's just one scene. He's like, we're gonna fight until all the slaves are free. That's not what spark is did. They also took their own slaves like there's these pre modern slave rebellions are not abolitionists, rebellions. They're not people who are fighting against the idea of slavery. They just don't want to be slaves. Right. Right. So

00:56:05--> 00:56:49

yeah, they're pretty limited in what in Islamic civilization is and rebellion being maybe the only really big one. There's a few others. One, I think in Nigeria was now Nigeria in the early 80s, or the mid 1800s. But the reason why they don't happen is that on unlike the Americas, where they can think I've been in Haiti, you have things like, you know, Nat Turner evaluated in, in the United States. Other examples as well, but he a rebellion in, in Brazil, in the 1860s. I think, I can't remember maybe the 1830s. I don't want to hear about BH Ba, ah, I think

00:56:50--> 00:56:55

there's a really good article in your feed about that, by the way, throughout the throughout the enslaved. It's a wonderful article.

00:56:57--> 00:57:20

So the reason that they don't really happen, it's almost civilization is a couple of reasons. One is that the you don't have like, kind of what's called plantation or gang called gang slavery. Okay, we were in the US where you have these, a lot of slaves working on a plantation with a relatively small number of white owners or overseers. Okay.

00:57:21--> 00:57:30

And by the way, they got this. I mean, I'm not I don't want to engage in a pop psychology or something. But I've seen this discussed elsewhere. I think one of the some of the real reasons for

00:57:32--> 00:57:45

like American site, psychosis around guns around fear around crime, simply you sort of see in South Africa, especially in the 1990s literature, like books, like

00:57:46--> 00:57:49

buy curtsy and other things like that is there's this

00:57:51--> 00:58:27

pathological fear of this, the slaves are going to rebel. Okay, because there's so many of them. And they end up you don't if you don't basically destroy their self esteem, frag atomized their families, keep them illiterate, destroyed our self esteem, religiously convinced them that this is supposed to happen to them, terrify them, kill them if they do anything wrong, right? If you don't have like a total reign of terror of his people, that fear is that they are going to rise up. Okay. And there's a lot of them. They're concentrated, they can talk to each other.

00:58:28--> 00:58:39

And that's, but in Islamic Relations, that's not really the case because people are mostly domestic slaves. A lot of them are in urban centers where they're not.

00:58:40--> 00:58:44

They're just like, you know, how, you know, let's say you're in Baghdad.

00:58:47--> 00:59:14

You know, my God, I gotta go talk to your Giardia. I'm gonna go talk to his Giardia. Remember, also, probably, it seems like the majority of slaves that are brought in Islamization were females. Hmm. Right. So they're not really they're being they're not being used for domestic work, or sorry for agricultural labor. Maybe they've been used for domestic work. And they also have a high they said, a high rate of integration into society because of the

00:59:16--> 00:59:37

emancipation. emancipation. Yeah. Or sorry, manumission. Right. So in America, and one of the reasons why I think you have a real movement towards abolition in the Americas is the same reason you have the rebellion is that there's no hope for these people. Right? If you're, if you're black, in the Americas,

00:59:38--> 00:59:59

if you're either you're, you're if you're a slave, that's, you don't have any hope of not being a slave. Right. And if you do, if you somehow are freed or you're born free or something, you're always you're a permanently you have a target on your back. You're, you're always an unstable person. Even if you're free. Someone's just gonna grab you and take you

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

Right. And there's no, the only way to live in any sense of security is to end the whole system.

01:00:10--> 01:00:37

Whereas in Islamic civilization, that's not the case. Right? You, if your hope Yeah, if you, yeah, I mean, if you're, first of all, you're probably going to get freed in a couple years, at which point you either stay if you become Muslim, or you like it there, or you can go back to your family, wherever you're, you know, go back to wherever you came from, or something else. The second reason is that you're not, you're integrated, you're not with a bunch of other people living in a slave compound, on a plantation.

01:00:39--> 01:01:10

Whereas if you can get the kind of guns and stuff you can rebel, like your one or two people in a household that is right next to another household with one of them, you know, it's very, it's sort of, you're totally dispersed in the society. The third reason is that if you're, if you're freed, you're not you're, you're like a regular person. I mean, you can't tell the difference between that person and a free person on the streets of Baghdad or the streets of Cairo. So you can walk on the streets of Cairo, and you can see a guy who's whose looks African.

01:01:11--> 01:01:41

Maybe they're a slave. Maybe they're a freed slave. Maybe they're the son of the Sultan with his African slave woman. And he's like the second most powerful man in the city, even though you're You've no idea. So your your phenotype, your face, the way you look, isn't going to control where you're going to be seen as in the society. So that's why I think that there's not really a indigenous moved gravitation the way you see in the Americas because there's

01:01:42--> 01:01:50

there wasn't, there wasn't really an impetus. It wasn't really a drive for it wasn't really a need for it. Okay.

01:01:51--> 01:02:04

Doctor, this brings us to nearly the end of the discussion on this book. But before I do that, do you have any just general on this topic? Any concluding comments? What would you say you're going to do a part two to this book? Or have you Are you done with the subject?

01:02:06--> 01:02:21

Well, I mean, I'd love to do a second edition and just stuff more material. But that's the paperback has more material. I stuffed more stuff on the RAM, more material and the hardback, unfortunately, the

01:02:23--> 01:02:36

No, I think I you know, I think that that was I tried to make the book really comprehensive. I tried to make it kind of one stop shopping that you know, you could get this and he would kind of there's a few things that I didn't discuss. I wish I had discussed

01:02:37--> 01:02:48

the outer of jatiya, which is really interesting topic. My one of my students, I hope is going to do a dissertation on that. Hmm. The other thing is,

01:02:49--> 01:02:50

no, yeah. So

01:02:53--> 01:03:14

I am not going to write another book on that. It would be an article or something. But I am writing now this essay free of pain on Islam, anti black, there's a you know, obviously, the issue of blackness and slavery overlap, to some extent in Islamic civilization, not as much as they do, obviously, in in the west or in the Americas. But

01:03:16--> 01:03:28

so it's more about there's overlap there. I think that, you know, like the previous topic, like it was, it was kind of brought up by my questions I was asked, so,

01:03:29--> 01:03:48

people, this has obviously been in the news a lot last couple years. So I wanted to try to answer some of the questions that I've been asked, and that I have myself on this topic. So that's what we'll be at. But it's getting so long that I'm wondering if I should just publish it as a as a short book. We'll see. Maybe I'll publish it as a sort of short book.

01:03:49--> 01:04:09

Because it's getting to be quite lengthy. Yeah, that'd be that'd be interesting. Definitely. Put the book aside just for a second. One of the other aims and objectives of the Islamic Society here. We try to encourage people to you know, write books as well and into our articles and so on and so forth.

01:04:10--> 01:04:19

So question, why did you decide to take or undergo a PhD and you complete that your professor now? What was the goal behind that?

01:04:22--> 01:04:43

Um, well, I mean, first of all, I want to say a lot sometimes people especially Muslims, like Muslims are very hard on themselves. Muslims are wonderful people, I have to say, you know, even they get in their debates, their arguments, and you know, especially in the UK, this it gets so fierce sometimes, you know,

01:04:45--> 01:04:56

like, you don't want to, I don't want to I don't want to mention the names, but they're just like it just, you see these videos, you're like, Guys, it's so intense, you know,

01:04:57--> 01:04:59

but in general

01:05:00--> 01:05:12

Muslims have really good at HELOC and they and they really love knowledge. I mean, the fact that, you know, I I'm a nerd I mean, I'm an egghead. The idea that somebody would want me to, to talk to me is

01:05:13--> 01:05:19

no normal people like me, Americans don't ever want to talk to me, you know. So I mean, the non Muslim greats. My point is that,

01:05:20--> 01:05:46

you know, Muslims are really intellectual. So intellectual culture, and that means that a lot of Muslims, they really want to learn, they really want to think they want to live a life with a mind. And sometimes they think that that means that they should kind of do academic degrees in western universities, you know, graduate degrees, I think everybody should go to university. But and that's not that's not necessarily true. I mean, you can, you know, you can live a very

01:05:49--> 01:06:30

advanced life of the mind as an even become an expert in things without going and getting a Master's or PhD in a subject. Sure. So I think that's First of all, you know, don't people shouldn't always just think that they should, you know, Oh, I like talking about Islam. I like learning, so I should go get a PhD. First of all, that's not the case. As I said, you don't have to have a degree to live very satisfying life in mind. Second, that Western universities are not, not the place to learn about Islam, if you're if you're Muslim. without, you know, just, if you want to learn about your religion, then go learn from Muslim scholars. hos, that's it. That's the issue. That's the end of

01:06:30--> 01:06:35

that discussion. Um, if you're interested in things like Islamic history, if you're interested in

01:06:37--> 01:07:02

you know, specific areas of law as an idea if you're interested in topology, if you're interested in, in other add in thinking about Islam, or Islamic history, as long as civilization as somebody that you want to study, not as a part of your religion, but as a subject of history or something, then, you know, Western universities are good places to go. But

01:07:04--> 01:07:26

Muslims in the West should not assume that this is not didn't seem to be much a case in the UK, but in the US, and they somehow think you have to take classes on Islam. And I would tell most Muslim students don't take classes with me or with any professors and Islamic service, Islamic Studies, because they're in they're not going to give you what you want.

01:07:27--> 01:07:43

So, so the PhD, if somebody wanted to do a PhD, or what what value does it add? So somebody who's involved in Dawa, somebody is involved in mainstream, you know, discussing argumentation presentations and so forth? What would a PhD add to them?

01:07:46--> 01:08:04

Not necessarily anything. I mean, like a PhD is, is mostly a exercise in discipline and putting up with BS. I mean, it's, it's really about discipline. It doesn't take it doesn't require a lot of intelligence doesn't even require necessarily a lot of knowledge.

01:08:07--> 01:08:13

This is just my sister in law outside, I don't know, um, but the

01:08:15--> 01:08:43

so it you know, I don't think it necessarily adds much, I think if you're, if you're really interested in a topic, if there's, if you can, if you can't, if you really want to study something in depth, then a PhD is a great thing to do. Okay, but academia is its own Guild, it's its own universe, and it changes it will it will socialize you and influence your mind in ways that you don't expect. And for a lot of Muslims it's destructive.

01:08:44--> 01:08:49

Its destructive process. I don't I think that you should think really hard about it. I

01:08:51--> 01:08:55

I think most Muslims would go into academia thinking about service lonex stuff ends up

01:08:56--> 01:09:13

they get chewed up, chewed into meat. Somehow, that's that's pretty blunt and brutal, guys. No, no, I would say that without I mean, without uh, without hesitation. I mean, I look at the people that I went into the kind of cohort

01:09:15--> 01:09:17

that I went into and a lot of them are

01:09:19--> 01:09:23

I don't know what they're, I mean, they look at me now as an extremist.

01:09:25--> 01:09:51

Oh, wow. So you can think about that. I mean, I'm I'm in the academy I'm an Islamic extremist. Wow, that's right. I'm like a lunatic who is borderline not fit for polite company. So what we're what we're saying is that you know, university or you know, higher education in that sense would water you down not your way.

01:09:52--> 01:09:58

Yeah, I mean, it's it's a sort of like that people are insane. You you after your effort will be you know, you get

01:10:00--> 01:10:18

You know, Kunal masala hain, and moto mana and we know you're, we're, it's very clear in our religion, you, you're supposed to be around people who are good Muslims, you want to, if you want to be a certain way go around people like that if you go around a bunch of people who are x, you're gonna end up like x that's it

01:10:19--> 01:10:24

literally acts, humans are a social, social animal, right? So

01:10:25--> 01:10:29

you know, you think that you're going to go into this environment and it's not going to affect you is naive.

01:10:30--> 01:10:36

Now if you if you have I'd say this if Muslims if you have a good training in Islamic sciences,

01:10:37--> 01:10:43

if you have really strong personality, then I think it's something you can do.

01:10:44--> 01:10:56

But it's it otherwise, a lot of people they can't, they can't deal with it. And I think, yeah, so I think that that's an important thing to keep them why I would say also that

01:10:58--> 01:11:02

No, I mean, I don't think I think a lot of ways PhD is a professional degree,

01:11:03--> 01:11:11

if you want to be a professor Hmm. Now, obviously, you know, in economics or finance or computer, you know, there's all these other fields where this

01:11:12--> 01:11:53

kind of a bummer writing the humanities, the humanities, you know, PhD is, it takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of energy. And if you're rich, and you don't have to work, then you can do that if you have a wife and kids or you have a husband and kids who don't mind you doing this. Okay, go for it. But otherwise, it's a professional degree. And academia is not exactly teeming with jobs. So you know, someone who says like, I want to become a professor, and work in a university, you have to know that that is you're going to have to excel you're gonna have to be the best if you want a shot at getting a job, right? job market.

01:11:55--> 01:12:03

I never plan on being a professor I always my grandparents to my grandparents or professors, my mom's parents my mom was a professor for a long time.

01:12:04--> 01:12:15

But I never intended to I always thought it was sort of a pathetic job. I don't like attempts for it. I don't know why. But I always thought it was gonna be like a lawyer or something. And then I just kept

01:12:16--> 01:12:38

following this track and eventually I realized that being you become a professor. Yeah, but I never consciously consciously made that decision. Okay, funny because I don't I'm just nothing else I could do. Like I mean, I have no other I mean, God forbid that we have some kind of social meltdown because I would be completely helpless in any other anything but like a great lawyer.

01:12:41--> 01:13:18

Hopefully, I don't know. So anyway, that's that's my advice. I don't know if that's the advice you were looking for. But no, no learning is wonderful. Reading is wonderful. Discussing is wonderful. But there's all sorts of ways to do this that don't involve Okay, involve getting a degree. Okay, Doctor, we're gonna have to come to an end here. I want you to stay with us. I don't know we will just conclude the interview inshallah. So respected listeners and humbly law we've had a great hour together. We've, you know, myself and Jonathan, we've gone through this book slavery and Islam and we've touched on some really sensitive subjects here. Great benefit. I just like to take you show

01:13:18--> 01:13:19


01:13:21--> 01:13:27

the website, right. So if you want to find further information on this interview,

01:13:28--> 01:14:08

here we are the Islamic literature cited as the homepage. There's lots of books there and people contribute the reviews to these books. You can find this all here on the homepage, you got the About Us book reviews are right here, journal and you will find this particular video under the section of videos. There's lots of other discussions here. There's a recent upload lots of different interviews. So please do do that. We have a reading club as well. You can join us on a variety of different books reading clubs, is there's lots of benefits to be taken. And there's a special section for memberships you'll get some exclusive rights you can join us on that as well. There we

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go. You can see the actual slave understand that on your screen. That's Mashallah five star, I must say.

01:14:15--> 01:14:41

Okay, so hamdulillah respected viewers like this. Thank you all very much for joining us on this program. do join us for another upcoming interview on an amazing book with another author insha Allah Allah, so don't get too far away. Leave us your comments under the videos. Don't forget to like the video as well. And hopefully we'll see you all very, very soon. Thank you very much radical life econ cinema alikum warahmatu Mahi Ravana council

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