When Islam burst out of Arabia into the kafir world, they took the wealth and slaves. Slavery was an unapologetic part of jihad.
The Arabic language is a good place to see how important slavery was. In The Submission of Women and Slaves, we collected over 30 Arabic words that deal with slavery. We think that Arabic has more words for slaves than any other language.
Both a black African and a black slave have the same name, abd. The historical reason for this is that African slavery was so important to Islamic economics. Language reflects history. Islamic legal history is filled with the complaints by African Muslim jurists about how Arabic Muslim slave traders captured African Muslims and sold them on the auction block.
History records around 11,000,000 Africans being sent to the Americas and about 13,000,000 being sent to Islamic countries for a total of 24,000,000 African slaves. To get one slave, many others have to be killed for the tribe to surrender to enslavement. The old, sick and children are left behind to starve. These collateral deaths are conservatively estimated to about 5 to 1. So that implies that over 1400 years, 120,000,000 Africans have been killed to furnish Islam with its profits.
The accepted history of race in the U.S. is that white men captured Africans, brought them to the U.S. and sold them as slaves. This is wrong. When the white slavers showed up on the west coast of Africa, they didn’t capture Africans. They looked them over in the pens, gave the Muslim slave traders their money, took their bills of sale, and loaded their purchases into their boats.
The Muslims had been plying the trade of war, capture, enslavement, and sale for a thousand years. Mohammed was a slave trader. Long after the white slave traders quit, the Muslims continued their African slave trade. It still exists today.
Historically, the major juristic schools of Islam traditionally accepted the institution of slavery. The Islamic prophet Muhammad and many of his companions bought, sold, freed, and captured slaves.
Slave women were required mainly as concubines and menials. A Muslim slaveholder was entitled by law to the sexual enjoyment of his slave women. While free women might own male slaves, they had no such right. The purchase of female slaves for sex was lawful from the perspective of Islamic law, and this was the most common motive for the purchase of slaves throughout Islamic history.
islamic slavery in the 20th century:
Unlike Western societies which in their opposition to slavery spawned anti-slavery movements whose numbers and enthusiasm often grew out of church groups, no such grass-roots organizations ever developed in Muslim societies. In Muslim politics the state unquestioningly accepted the teachings of Islam and applied them as law. Islam, by sanctioning slavery – however mild a form it generally took – also extended legitimacy to the nefarious traffic in slaves.
Writing about 1862 the English traveler W.G. Palgrave says that in Arabia he constantly met with black slaves in large numbers. The effects of concubinage were apparent in the number of persons of mixed race and the emancipation of slaves he found to be common. Doughty, writing about 25 years later, made similar reports.
Slavery was common in the East Indies until the end of the 19th century. In Singapore in 1891 there was a regular trade in Chinese slaves by Muslim slaveowners, with girls and women used for concubinage.
It was in the early 20th century (post World War I) that slavery gradually became outlawed and suppressed in Muslim lands, largely due to pressure exerted by Western nations such as Britain and France.
In 1925 slaves were still being bought and sold at Mecca in the ordinary way of trade. The slave market there consisted of the offspring of local slaves as well as those imported from the Yemen, Africa, and Asia Minor.
By the Treaty of Jedda, May 1927 (art.7), concluded between the British Government and Ibn Sa’ud (King of Nejd and the Hijaz) it was finally agreed to suppress the slave trade in Saudi Arabia. Then by a decree issued in 1936 the importation of slaves into Saudi Arabia was prohibited unless it could be proved that they were slaves at that date.
It was not until 1962 that all slavery practice or trafficking in Saudi Arabia was prohibited.
By 1969 it could be observed that most Muslim states had abolished slavery although it existed in the deserts of Iraq bordering Arabia and it still flourished in Saudi Arabia, the Yemen and Oman. Slavery was not formally abolished in Yemen and Oman until the following year. The last nation to formally enact the abolition of slavery practice and slave trafficking was the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in 1981.
Gordon describes the lack of homegrown Islamic abolition movements as owing much to the fact that it was deeply anchored in Islamic law. By legitimizing slavery and – by extension – traffic in slaves, Islam elevated those practices to an unassailable moral plain. As a result, in no part of the Muslim world was an ideological challenge ever mounted against slavery. The political and social system in Muslim society would have taken a dim view of such a challenge. Some Muslim leaders, like Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah did ban slavery, but it had little influence in the Islamic world.
finally it should be noted that slavery is still practiced in parts of the muslim world and in the sudan there are possibly hundreds of thousands of slaves from animist and christian villages destroyed in the south.