Slavery: A Past and Present Tragedy with Sheikh Omar Suleiman

Note: Have taken some notes as I listened to the couple hours long lecture… will post them later inshallah.

 

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Islamic position on Slavery

Slavery had been prevalent and accepted in all past religions and cultures. Islam is the first and the only religion to say that a free person cannot be taken as slave. Prophet Muhammad (as) said that he will the opponent of a person on day of judgement who sold a free man as slave (Bukhari).

The concept of Slavery as practiced in America before abolition has no parallel in Islam. In those days in America, any free person could just be captured and made a slave with no rights at all. What we have in Islam is the custody of prisoners of war.

The reality of war is very harsh. Even in today’s modern and civilized world, when an army runs over a village or a city, there is no one to protect the women and others inhabitants from their wrath. Islam devised rules to protect people in such situations.

Before we go into details of Islamic rules about dealing with Prisoner of War, let’s keep realities of that era in our mind.

– Wars were fought by able citizens not by armies. There were situations when most of the men from a group may be killed, leaving women, children and old behind. What should have been done with those left behind?

– It was not always possible to simply free the Prisoners of War as they would come back for revenge.

– There were no institutions comparable to modern era which could hold and incarcerate captives and provide for their food and shelter.

Given these conditions and Islam being the universal religion valid for all times and places, what is the Islamic way of dealing with prisoners of war? Islam doesn’t insist on any specific approach, rather leaves it open for the believers to make a call based on the situation of battle. They may accept ransom or take captives, both have precedents in Islamic history. What Islam does instead is to put limits on the believers as they engage with the prisoners of war.

When the question of slavery in Islam is raised, it is about this practice of taking captive in a battle and then distributing them among the fighters who were required to provide for them. This was the only possibility in absence of modern institutions and may be more humane one in some respects. Prophet said your slave is like your brother and you should feed them from what you eat and cloth them from what you wear. Messenger of Allah (as) said: “Whoever slaps his slave or beats him, his expiation is to free him.” In short, they should be properly provided for and never mistreated. This was not only talk but was practically implemented by Prophet Muhammad (as), as evident from the fact that some of the Caliphs during Umayyad and Abbasid era were from slave origins.

Islam made it one of the most rewarding deeds to free a slave. So, idea was to deal with the harsh realities of war and not to create a permanent slave class in society. That’s why all children born out of a slave were considered free in Islam.

Islamic Law in no way requires this institution of slavery. As slavery in all forms are abolished in the modern world, Islamic law is complete without it and doesn’t need it in anyway.

Hashim Amla not to wear Castle logo

Hashim Amla

Hashim Amla does not wear a Castle logo on his cricket shirt said that he did not pocket a cent from his match fee.

Promoting beer & liquor is against the teaching of Islam and as such Amla became the first player to be the exception.

Who was granted permission by South African Breweries and Cricket South Africa not to wear the Castle logos on his clothing.Hashim Amla - Not wearing Logo

Sex appeal: Is it wrong to use it to get what you want?

Is there anything ethically or morally wrong if an adult consciously, independently wishes to use their sex appeal to get what they want, for example to further their career?

The question is more complex than it seems and is deeply connected to the power structures in our society.

In 2011, on the pages of the Daily Mail writer and producer Samantha Brick admitted using her physical allure to get her own way, claiming that “so does any woman with any sense”.

She supported her case by citing sociologist Catherine Hakim’s book Honey Money: The Power Of Erotic Capital, which argued women should capitalise on their erotic side to get on in life. Predictably, some disagreed.

More at the BBC.com: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/24549218

Governance in Islam (Dawn News)

Source: DAWN.com

Published Jan 27, 2012

EVERY state has to work out its own rules for good governance, according to the needs of the times. But there are certain fundamental rules and principles, laid down by the Prophet of Islam (PBUH), which can be incorporated into any book of ethics, or even a constitution, anywhere in the world.

They give us some of the basic bricks of the foundation on which to build society. A careful reading of the documents and political arrangements of the time of the Prophet, such as the pact of Madina (623 CE), the peace of Hudaibiya (628 CE), the sermon at the conquest of Makkah (630 CE) and the last sermon (632 CE) addressed to Haj pilgrims, bring out some salient points. They spell out the basic values that should be acquired, concepts that should be understood, examples that should be followed, precedents that should be emulated and principles that should be developed to suit our times.

Firstly, the Prophet did away with the concept of the divine power of kings and rulers and the belief that they could do no wrong. This meant rejection of dictatorship and preference for democratic practices. He considered the ruler to be the khalifa, or deputy of God on earth, elected to carry out the will of God.

It was a position of responsibility towards God and His creation, humanity and nature. This concept allowed even a poor old woman to challenge the khalifa in Hazrat Umar’s time, and for the khalifa to be humble and sincere enough to retract his own suggestion.

The bai’at, or oath of allegiance, taken at the hand of the leader whom one would like to lead, was conducted by the Prophet. Women had as much right to give their vote of assent as did the men (60:12). It was only subsequently that Muslims turned to kingship and dynastic political set-ups.

The Prophet taught coexistence with followers of other faiths. According to the pact of Madina, he united the various tribes of religious groups: Muslims, Jews and Christians into a single community, the ummah. The political rights and duties of non-Muslims were declared to be equal to those of Muslims at Hudaibiya.

The Prophet introduced moral values into politics. Those who took up an official post were not supposed to do so for self-aggrandisement, or looting and filling their own coffers with public money, but to do an honest job and to serve the public in all spheres which needed attention.

The provision of justice was institutionalised. Seeking or meting out justice, instead of being the prerogative of the victim, his family or his tribe, became the collective duty of the ummah or the state. It was also stipulated that the criminal alone would be responsible for his crime. Consequently, unbridled revenge was controlled, laws were codified and a basic judicial system was developed in which no favouritism was tolerated.

It was agreed that the whole community would unite against anyone who spread injustice, enmity, sin or corruption. Everyone would be obliged to keep their word and also to protect anyone who was attacked and to cooperate in any pacts made collectively. Today, since the most powerful are the most corrupt, people are afraid to stand up for a good cause. But if people could unite, the corrupt could be turned into the weak and the honest would become powerful.

Contrary to the orthodox view, the concept of social insurance was introduced by the Prophet. If a person was caught in a difficult situation due to having to pay ransom or blood money, his tribe was made to pool resources and come to his rescue. Today, this concept can be broadened to cover health, accident and other unforeseen circumstances from which it becomes impossible for people of modest means to recover.

A concern was shown for the weak. The poor and the marginalised were given the same rights as others: if they gave protection to anyone they wished, the whole community would have to honour their word. Accordingly, today, a poor person would be able to stand for election, acquire an important post and get justice when wronged, even against the most influential and the powerful.

No individual or group had the right to start a defensive war, or jihad, without the permission of the head of state, who would have to be a righteous person, aware of all the rules and conditions which govern the concept of jihad.

Equality was emphasised. It was agreed that the criterion for honour would not be colour, caste, gender or tribe, but piety or God-consciousness: “O people, indeed, We have created you from a male and a female and made you nations and tribes so that you would recognise each other. Indeed, the most honourable of you, in the sight of God, is the most God-conscious” (49:13). In secular terms, piety could be interpreted as the spotlessness of a person’s character, in personal as well as public life.

The Madina pact gave the people a new perspective on unified culture and dealings with people outside their own family, religion or tribe. The needs of every class and individual, with regard to justice, peace, tolerance, freedom, including freedom of religion, were met.

Modern-day Muslims have strayed from these ideals. There is a need for citizens, as well as aspiring young politicians, to examine these values and to try to include them in the laws; to inculcate and practise them in everyday collective life.

Mia / Biwi kei darmian Jagra ( Maulana Tariq Jamil )

  • There will always be disputes between husband and wife. If a wife or a husband gets angry, the other one should keep quiet and try to calm other person down. Men shouldn’t try to dominate.
  • The in-laws should not interface in the matters of husband and life. They should be given the privacy to build their own lives.
  • In our society, women suffer a lot by the hands of their in-laws.