A QUESTION THE HADITH DOES NOT ANSWER: by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

 Hadith 1

Can the practice of slavery in the Muslim world be tolerated by Muslims? That question and the lack of a definitive answer from Muslims has caused a divide between African American descendants of slaves and Muslim communities.

Pan-Africanists, Afro-centrists, Socialists, Secularists, and African Pagan scholars who are descendants of slaves have long voiced their animosity toward Arab and Turkish Muslims because their ancestors endorsed and participated in a ruthless African slave trade for many centuries. Some of them make their arguments against Islam based upon malicious motives and feelings but the issue itself is rightly expressed and warrants a response.

It is morally imperative that Muslim scholars and jurists directly address the issue of slavery to those communities because the historical fact is that some Muslims did practice slavery and some Muslims still think that the enslavement of human beings is sanctioned by both the Quran and Hadith.  

arab_slaverholdingafricans

It is an incontrovertible fact that Black Africans were enslaved, raped, tortured, and murdered, by Sunni Arabs, Orthodox Christians, and Sunni Ottoman Turks during the rise of Islamic empires and their fall. The leaders of those empires justified the institution of slavery on one or more of the 12 or 13 Hadiths or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). But the truth is that the rich and powerful of those empires were greedy and ambitious men who had insatiable appetites for worldly luxuries and used slavery as a way to drive their economies and thereby satisfy their lusts.  But what now in the 2100 century?

I have often thought what would Malcolm X say today about the indorsement and institutionalization of slavery by Muslims in the past and present?

I think that he would argue, having been a descendent of slaves himself, that even though slavery was sanctioned as permissible (Halal) 1400 years ago by both the Quran and Hadith its place in the Muslim community has always a dubious one.

One example is prostitution. Prostitution is illegal in Muslims societies. Prostitution is an act by a male or female whereby they sell their body to another for money. Here the ‘body’ is used by a buyer for their sexual gratification. It is a kind of human enslavement. Here, the logical contradiction is clear. Some forms of slavery cannot be tolerated as moral while at the same time other forms of slavery are criminalized.

Another example can be found in both the Quran and Hadith. Both are ambiguous concerning the practice of slavery. On the one hand the Quran sanctions slavery and yet on the other hand it says the enslavement of a human being is contrary to the relation of a human creature to Allah. 

For example, the Quran lays down the fundamental premise regarding slavery: “It is unacceptable for a mortal that Allah should give him the Book and the wisdom and ‘Nabuwah’ (prophethood), then he should say to men: Be my slaves rather than Allah’s;… “.[3:79]Here, the Quran forbids slavery to Muslims, Christians, and Hebrews; and in no uncertain terms, the Quran states that all souls belong to Allah.

Clearly, a general principle in the Quran takes precedence over all particular ancient tribal customs and voids them when such practices are contrary to it or contradict it. 

We know that slavery predated the origin of Islam and its first community. We further know that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) freed slaves himself.

The practice of slavery was contradicted on many occasions when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) freed slaves for many different reasons including to prevent crimes against humanity, for marriage, for conversion to Islam, and as a penalty against Muslim slave owners who committed acts of human cruelty.

Egyptian_Slavemaster_and_Slave

Slavery in Islam therefore was not then nor is now a doctrinal pillar of Islam nor did Islamic law legally ever qualify some human beings as being inferior by nature and thus subject to perpetual servitude.

Historically, systemic slavery was an economic innovation instituted by the Abbasid Empire (748-1258 C.E.) for exactly the same reasons the Roman Empire instituted slavery.  To generate wealth.

Arab Slavers

“As the plantation economy boomed and the Arabs became richer, agriculture and other manual labor work was thought to be demeaning. The resulting labor shortage led to an increased slave market.

It is certain that large numbers of slaves were exported from eastern Africa; the best evidence for this is the magnitude of the Zanj revolt in Iraq in the 9th century, though not all of the slaves involved were Zanj. There is little evidence of what part of eastern Africa the Zanj came from, for the name is here evidently used in its general sense. The Zanj were needed to take care of the Tigris-Euphrates delta, which had become abandoned marshland as a result of peasant migration and repeated flooding, [which] could be reclaimed through intensive [slave] labor. Wealthy proprietors “had received extensive grants of tidal land on the condition that they would make it arable.”  The rise of Shīʻa Islam [in an anti-slavery movement] also occurred around this time …”[i]

Nevertheless, the issue today is whether or not Muslim scholars and jurists can overcome their silence concerning slavery and make fatwa or opinions to the whole world against slavery in the world?

Furthermore, can Muslims engage in discussions about slavery in the Muslim world and not be charged with committing Bid’dah or harmful innovation?

I believe that Muslim scholars and jurists or ulema can come out of the deep dark intellectual hole surrounding the issue of slavery; I believe that Malcolm X would have made the argument that slavery is absolutely and categorically forbidden in Islam and that its practice is a crime against humanity.

I add that it is also necessary that individual Muslims everywhere disavow slavery. I think Muslims should because the enslavement of human beings is the practice of tyranny and oppression and Islam is against oppression. To pretend to be the master over another human being as property when Allah is the only Master over all of humanity is an act of defiance against God.

Furthermore, the practice of making people slaves voids one’s claim to be a Muslim. All the prayers of such a person will fall like lead balls onto the ground. There is a legal basis under Sharia Law to make this clear.

I have heard many Muslims argue on the basis of Hadith or the ‘Book of Sayings’ of the Prophet that slavery is justified simply because it is qualified as permissible in both the Hadith and the Quran.

If you counter their arguments for slavery then some of them go so far as to claim that you are committing ‘Bidah’ or innovation which is a change contrary to Islam or they claim that you are not Mujtahid (one qualified to give opinion on Hadith and Quran.) Then I’ve seen them walk away and instead of getting on a horse they get in their car, a bad innovation, and drive away.

They drive away without the least concern that they are tearing the ‘fitrah’ (Fitra, or fitrah, in Arabic) or fabric of creation by poisoning the environment we all depend upon to live with carbon dioxide.  

Those kind of Muslims deny any argument on the basis of ‘bid’ah hasana’. ‘Bid’dah Hasana’ means ‘good innovation’. Good innovations are permissible in Islam. Yet those same kinds of people claim to be for what is good and claim that they have faith in Allah. But the truth is, you cannot claim to fight against injustice everywhere while at the same time you preserve an unjust practice upon others in the form of slavery. Those two orientations are mutually exclusive. You either stand for justice or you stand for injustice.

According to the Holy Quran and the Hadith, the practice of taking slaves in Islam was neither obligatory in times of peace nor war. Muslims were not compelled by law to own slaves. What is not obligatory need not be practiced. Therefore, slavery can be banned in the Muslim community because it is not necessary.

Neither can it be argued rightly that the practice of taking slaves was ‘highly recommended’ or ‘Mustahabb’ for Muslims because over ninety percent of Muslims in the past did not own slaves nor aspire to do so. Nor did official policies exists as incentives to encourage Muslims to aspire to own slaves.

It can be argued that enslaving other human beings in the past was generally frowned upon. It thus could be classified as ‘offensive’, ‘detestable’, or ‘abominable’ ‘Makrooh’ (Arabic) because of the unavoidable cruelty or oppression to another human being which follows. That would have qualified Arab, Turkish or Muslim slave traders as immoral and to have been practitioners of what is evil called forbidden in Islam at that time as well as today. 

For example, countless thousands of African boys who were enslaved from southern Sudan and Congo were taken to slave markets in Cairo, Egypt. There they would be auctioned like animals to Turkish slave traders. But, before being auctioned the African boys would be castrated. Most of them would die from bleeding to death or from infection. Those who didn’t die would be auctioned to Ottoman Turks who then would assign them to the harams of rich Turks and in the palace of the Ottoman Sultan. Muslims were not alone in this barbaric practice.

Here is a scholarly account, and I quote: “The concubines were guarded by enslaved eunuchs, themselves often from pagan Africa. While Islamic law forbade the emasculation of a man, Ethiopian Christians had no such compunctions; thus, they enslaved and emasculated members of territories to the south and sold the resulting eunuchs to the Ottoman Porte.[29][30] The Coptic Orthodox Church participated extensively in the slave trade of eunuchs. Coptic priests sliced the penis and testicles off boys around the age of eight in a castration operation.[31] The eunuch boys were then sold in the Ottoman Empire. The majority of Ottoman eunuchs endured castration at the hands of the Copts at Abou Gerbe monastery on Mount Ghebel Eter.[31] Slave boys were captured from the African Great Lakes region and other areas in Sudan like Darfur and Kordofan then sold to customers in Egypt.[23][29] 

During the operation, the [Christian] Coptic clergyman chained the boys to tables and after slicing their sexual organs off, stuck bamboo catheters into the genital area, then submerged them in sand up to their necks. The recovery rate was 10 percent. The resulting eunuchs fetched large profits in contrast to eunuchs from other areas.”[32][33][34][ii]

That practice was a crime against humanity and the people who practiced it were evil and thus are not qualified to be remembered as Muslims nor Christians.

Every Muslim scholar in the United States and Jurists such as the Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb of Al-Azhar in Egypt and   the Chief Imam Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais of Masjid al-Haram in Mecca are advised to make fatwas against the practice of slavery.  Today, the Arab and Turkish world has decayed beyond regeneration. The handwriting is on the wall; when you institute mass dehumanization there are two losers. The victims and the abusers.

 

 

[i] Wikipedia

[ii] Wikipedia

IS BARRAK HUSSEIN OBAMA THE ANTI-CHRIST?, by Dwight Hayes, Jr., B.A.

He is just a man

Is Barrack Hussein Obama the Anti-Christ? Can White racism, American Zionism and Politicized Judeao-Christian denominations find yet another moral low to sink to?

I am no Obama supporter. Rather, I strongly lean toward Constitutional Libertarianism and ideologically I am an inclusive separatist or secessionist. 

I also personally lean towards the negation of nonsensical manmade law(s) that do more harm than good. Instead, I am for the re-establishment of God’s laws as the social standard for all secular laws.

However, purely for the purpose of venting, this must be stated because it is undeniably true. Barrack Hussein Obama has drawn disproportionately racially motivated types of negativity and criticism purely because he is “THE” visible Black face in the Whitehouse.

Can anyone reading this recall any other U.S. President being equated with the Anti-Christ and taken out of the presidential context more often than Barrack Hussein Obama?  I’ll wait.  I am willing to bet that if he was behaving like his Democratic predecessor “Sweet Dick Billy” who seemingly has been given a pass for his continued behaviors along with that crooked wife (Hillary Clinton), the world would never hear the end of it and everybody knows it.

I do not recall criticism on “Biblical” proportions of any other President in my lifetime. In fact, did anyone equate President Harry Truman in 1944 to that of the “Anti-Christ” for his approval and first use of two atomic bombs on the mainland populace of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan? No, I don’t recall reading anything nearly that sinister or nefarious about President Truman.

For the greater white Zionist establishment, I guess seeing a black face in “THE” leadership position of “their” country could be equated with the end of the world as they know it or would imagined it to be. 

Other presidents have faced their share of scrutiny and that is unquestionable, but nothing like the scrutiny President Obama has been subject to. Other Presidents have authorized acts of violence worldwide with a deafening roar of approval or often times in complete silence while they themselves were oblivious to the sentiments of the populace at large.

In fact, in 1999 one of the largest bombing campaigns in US military history occurred during the Clinton Administration without U.N. Security Council approval and nobody seems to remember or give a damn about that! It was ironically called operation “Merciful Angel”. This name was later blamed on a “misunderstanding” or a “poor translation” at the hands of the Yugoslavian officials and I have yet to hear even ONE conspiracy aficionado say Boo!

Nearly 85,000 soldiers including 40,000 in and around Kosovo were killed.  In Albania, over 500 civilian deaths including the deaths of Chinese journalists in the Chinese embassy by the U.S. led NATO bombing campaigns during the Clinton Administration. I never once heard a name or an equating of “William Jefferson, Clinton” with that of the Anti-Christ when death was delivered wholesale on his watch under the title operation “Merciful Angel”.

Do you think I’m kidding?  Perhaps you should have lunch with some of my Bosnian and Serbian friends and let them tell you all about it. In fact according to eye witnesses, the “reported” civilian death tolls were much higher than what was actually reported. 

American double and triple standards along with its selective reprimanding of other leaders and governments is sickening both domestically and abroad.  And some proponents have the audacity, “the nerve” even to speak, to wrap themselves in Zionist flags and to speak in nationalist or religious overtones in the name of the Most High God who holds all might and majesty. At the end of the day, it is but a veiled attempt by them to shield their racial prejudices and bigotry. It is a slap in the face to everything Jesus preached and stood for and to all of the prophets that predated him.

 

STALK THEM, AND KILL THEM, By Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Stalk and Kill

Stalk them, and kill them. That is the subtext of Charles Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection. In 1859, Charles Darwin published what would come to be one of the most influential books in human history. It was entitled: ‘The Preservation of Favored Races in The Struggle for Life’.  The basic premise of his theory of Natural selection is that both environmental challenges and a race’s genetic makeup cause some races to lose in the competition for resources and to eventually become extinct.

At the same time, those same conditions can cause other races to win in the competition for resources and to increase their population numbers because  their genetic makeup is more adapted to the unique challenges in their environment.

Thus, Darwin argued that all races are involved in a naturally determined zero sum game; in that game there can be only winners and losers. His vision was one which saw all life forms in a state of perpetual warfare and wherein human codes of morality are nothing more than instruments used by races on the cut list of nature.

More specifically, what is relevant for us today about Darwin’s theory is a prediction he made. He predicted: “At some future period, not to very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.” I have some questions concerning his predictions.

One, just who are the savage races he identified as facing inevitable extermination? Two, just who are the civilized races he identified as the exterminators? And third, is the prediction he made not a law of nature but rather what sociologists call a self-fulfilling prophesy?

In order to identify savage races which Darwin identified as facing inevitable extermination, all we need to do is survey the years since the publication of his book in 1859 and to find so called savage peoples defined by him as well as by the U.S. Federal and State governments, and the European nations. Let’s look at three such peoples.

One example is the Tasmanian people. They were black people who lived in Australia. They numbered in the thousands before the arrival of the British but by 1847 they had been virtually wiped out off the surface of the earth. They were shot dead, their women raped, and their children were knowingly and purposely infected with smallpox. Charles Darwin had visited Australia in 1836 and defined the Tasmanian people as savages. The last Tasmanian person died in 1869. The Tasmanian people are extinct.  

The Namibian people of South Africa are another example. They were experimented upon and murdered by German colonists. Their bones were buried in mass graves. This was done to them up to the year 1907. First, the Hereo (He-re-o) tribe which totaled 80,000 people was ultimately reduced to 15,000 people.  They were shot and starved to death. Their land was taken by the German government and distributed to German citizens in South Africa.

Next, the Nama tribe of Namibia were attacked. They fought back but half of their 20,000 population were killed. The remaining 10,000 Nama people were put into concentration camps where they were put into laboratories and experimented upon and where they died of malnourishment and starvation. Some of the remains of Nama people were sent to Europe for display in museums.  Some others were put in cages for public viewing in Belgium and German zoos.

AAAABlack Girl in a Belgium Zoo

Others were put into concentration camps, their women were used as sex slaves and their mixed offspring were used as experimental guinea pigs by a German eugenicist named Eugen Fischer. Fischer was a student of Charles Darwin.

Based upon his experiments with the Namibian people, he wrote and published an influential book entitled: ‘The Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene’.  Adolf Hitler cited Fischer’s book in his own book: My Struggle. Both the Nama people and the Hereo (He-re-o) people were defined by Fischer as subhuman savages. But this kind of scientific racism was not limited to Germans in South Africa. Similar forms of repressions were taking place in the United States and throughout the Americas by France, the Dutch, Spain, Portugal, and British governments.

For example, there were approximately 15,000,000 (Million) indigenous peoples in the continental United States before it was colonized by Western Europe. By 1924, there were only 224,000 Native Americans who remained alive in the United States. Similarly, there were over one million Hawaiian people when Captain Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands in 1778. By 1900, there were 50,000 native Hawaiian people left; today there are about 5,000.

In the continental United Stated, ninety three Native American tribes were exterminated by the western powers before and after the newly formed colonies and United States. The exterminations began before Darwin’s book was published but the exterminations were given scientific justification after 1859 and picked up momentum by means of shootings, knowingly an purposely exposing Native Americans to smallpox, and by starvation in Federal government concentration camps.

So determined where Federal and State Governments such as California to exterminate Native peoples that they paid individual white men for each bullet used to stalk, kill, and scalp men, women, and children upon proof of showing a native scalp or head.

bounties for Indians

Native American land was stolen based upon the fallacious claims made on philosophical  grounds put forth by John Locke. He made the claim that Native Americans were not using the land productively and therefore had no right to recognizable title to it.  Native Americans had also been defined as savages and thus on the pale of humanity by the United States Supreme Court in the famous 1823 case: Johnson v. M’Intosh. The court decision was written by Chief Justice John Marshall.

In writing for the court, he states that the Federal Government was justified and excused in taking possession and title to all Native American land based upon White Supremacy and Native American racial and cultural inferiority.

Historically, there is a common political, legal, literary, scientific, and military strategy played out by Europe and the United States worldwide.

In each example, it was the European exterminators who claimed to be civilized and superior by race and thus justified and excused to murder and commit larceny on all people defined by them as savages according to the theory social Darwinists called: “Survival of the fittest.” 

For social Darwinists, survival of the fittest is a condition driven by a natural law and cannot be changed by secular convention. The theory of survival of the fittest necessarily causes conflict between different races as well as between rich and poor; intelligent and less intelligent, strong and weak.  But at the time Darwin wrote his theory there were differing theories in the market place of ideas.

cooperation

Charles Darwin did not claim the only global theory of evolution. A Russian anthropologist named Peter Kro-pot-kin wrote a book entitled: ‘Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution’. His theory is based upon the premise that ‘mutual aid’ or ‘cooperation within groups’ and between different groups, though not the only factors, are the greater factors associated with whether or not a species survives, thrives, and evolves.

If we accept Darwin’s theory as absolutely correct then we would be forced to justify and excuse injustice and ultimately slavery, murder, and genocide. We would have to accept the many injuries committed against us as the normal course of affairs; at the end of the day, we would have to approve and admit our racial inferiority. We would have to admit that reparations for past injuries to a whole people are never justified under the theory of survival of the fittest.

However, if we accept theories like Kro-pot-kin’s theory of ‘mutual aid’ then we must necessarily conclude that human beings are not only driven by changes in their environmental conditions and their genetic make-up but that also they are driven by something more.

What we would be forced to do is to analyze race relations not only in terms of conflict but also in terms of prospects for reasonable accommodation, constructive competition, and mutual aid or cooperation.

That is what makes the difference between all other animals who ‘stalk and kill’ and human beings who are not only animal but also rational. Human beings endowed by their Creator with the rational capacity to rise above the compulsions of natural law and in so doing to make peace by imposing upon natural law the ideals of human cooperation and mutual aid.

Only human beings can apply such ideals of reasoned justice for all people in spite of the fact that we have in common with all other animals the same unconscious instinctual drives which make fear and therefore social and global conflict a constant danger to us all.

So now you should know who the real savages have been in the past and who they are today. The Western European nations and United States and all those who have condoned their murderous acts and larcenies are the real savages not the innocent people enslaved or made extinct by them in Australia, Namibia, and in the Americas and throughout the world.

They are those who have failed the high standard that defines what it means to be a rational human being and instead they are comfortable moving along upon all fours in the role of predatory beasts.

They, like all non-rational animals, are driven by unconscious forces of greed which prevents peace in the world. They are those who ‘stalk and kill’ innocent people ‘under the color of political authority’ and the use of state police force.

Their institutionalized ideology of racism generates self-fulfilling prophesy in all social relations between citizens and non-citizens. 

Self-fulfilling prophesy is a social theory expressed by Robert Merton. It is defined as: “A prediction we make at the start of individual or collective social performance which affects our behavior in such a way that we make the prediction happen.” The prediction which triggers behavior can be based upon a myth like racial inferiority but that myth once it becomes institutionalized and universally taught triggers behavior which makes the false myth real in everyday social relations.  

Throughout our nation, when you see police officers ‘stalk and kill’ innocent black people at a rate of 1 per every 28 hours you are witnessing ‘self-fulfilling prophesy.” You are witnessing acts of savagery.