Sunday, June 23, 2013

Greece Of Aristotle - Debate On Slavery - Intro - 8

May the peace and blessing of Almighty God be upon you

"These Greek City-States had no kings, but were governed by the rich citizens. The average man there had little or no say in the government. There were many slaves who had no right in the government, and women also had no rights." - Nehru, Glimpses of World History, page - 19.

The World Before Mohammad The Messenger of God

A bare minimum understanding of the conditions of this world before the arrival of Mohammad the Messenger of God should be learned prior to the understanding how he integrated the slave population with the mainstream  elite community.

Aristotle's View On Slavery

Man had ever been influenced by his circumstance. His thoughts and actions were mostly derived from the circumstance in which he lived. The Greek philosopher Aristotle was not an excuse to this.

Aristotle was a well known Greek philosopher who lived around 300 BC. He lived around 2300 years before the arrival of Mohammad The Messenger of God. He is being studied even today in universities, throughout the world. He said -

"Slavery is natural; in every department of the natural universe we find the relation of ruler and subject. There are human beings who, without possessing reason, understand it. These are natural slaves." - ARISTOTLE'S POLITICS, translated by Benjamin Jowett.

• Just like there was and there is black and white people by nature, Aristotle opined that some people became Slaves by nature!

• Just like there was and there is tall and short people by nature, Aristotle opined that some people became Slaves by nature!

If a well known philosopher like Aristotle thinks that some people became slaves by nature (!) then what would be the conditions of this world?

Tip Of the Iceberg

Aristotle's view on slavery was just a tip of the iceberg on the practice of this world with regards to Slaves. It is true that the historical Greece had a democratic constitution when compared with the then rest of the world. But even then the practice of slavery did NOT become an excuse to the Greek civilisation.

"It is true that this superlative democracy rested on slavery, that when Attic imperialism was at its height a hundred thousand citizens were surrounded by three hundred and sixty-five thousand slaves." - Page 123, Making of Humanity by Robert Briffault.

• There was a point in the Greek historical timeline at which majority of the population were Slaves!

The major reason for this plight was that Slavery and all its practices was a universally recognised one!

"But at a time when slavery was a universally recognized institution the condition of Attic slaves was so mild, except in the silver mines (the lot of miners is bad '. under all circumstances), that they never once revolted." Page 123, Making of Humanity by Robert Briffault.

• No philosopher came to liberate this mankind from Slavery.

The conditions of the marginalised slave sailed from worse to worst.

"The social and intellectual questions developed in Greece between citizens and citizens, not between masters and slaves." - Ibid, Page 124.

• No philosopher came to educate the slave people.

Presence of Brothels

Another inevitable outcome of widespread slavery was the presence of Brothels. Slave women were kept at the brothels for nothing but flesh-trade. Continuous wars served as a major slave generating machines.

"At best all were sold into slavery, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters separated and scattered in the markets of Delos and the brothels of the Levant. That was the way in  which those god-like Greeks of the Periklean age were in the habit of; dealing with a captured Greek town." Page 32, Making of Humanity by Robert Briffault.

The then Greek government setup brothels so as to be used by the country's youth!

Finally, slavery lead Greece to its downfall.

"Slavery did exercise a profoundly pernicious effect upon Greek culture, and ultimately contributed to its downfall." - Ibid, Page 124.

History continues... its really deep.

Mohammad, The Slave & The Messenger of The Merciful

Here comes the importance of the arrival of Mohammad the Messenger of God. What he presented before this world was a major paradigm shift for this world.

• In specific terms, his mission was to unite this mankind under One God Who created them and what all that exists.

• In specific terms, his mission was to unite this mankind as The Slaves of The Merciful.

And for that, he taught this world, the essential qualities of a slave of The Merciful Almighty God.

Mohammad the messenger of God was incremental in the removal of slavery. It was an Integration rather than a removal. We are yet to see how he could heal the cancer named slavery through his marvellous 23 years of life as a Slave and a Messenger of The Merciful.

The Essential Qualities of a Slave of The Merciful

Mohammad the messenger of God gave this world a new breathe that it is the best for a human being to be the slave of The Merciful rather than a puny slave of a puny human. 

If a human is to become a slave then he has to be the slave of The Merciful Almighty God.

He called upon the masses to be the true slaves of Almighty God by submitting their life to the will of God. He recited the verses from the Glorious Quran.

• "And the slaves of the Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth with dignity and humility" - Quran 25:63.

He taught this mankind that don't be an arrogant master/slave. But be a slave of Almighty God with humility.

• "When the foolish address them they say; 'peace'". - Quran 25:63.

He taught this mankind that whenever a foolish person comes to for quarrel, then say 'peace'.

• "And those who spend the night in worship of their Lord, prostrate and standing."- Quran 25:64.

He taught this mankind that instead of plotting wars and destruction at night, spend the night for worshipping the Lord of the universe.

• "And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor stingy, but are in a just balance between them."- Quran 25:67.

He taught this mankind to spend their money in charity.

• "And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah  (Almighty God) has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse"- Quran 25:68.

He taught this mankind to be the slaves of Almighty God, worship the One Who created you, don't kill and don't go for prostitution.



  1. Amazing research. I have been looking for answers regarding slavery in the world and Islamic law about it and this is really nice. Looking forward to the next chapter.
    Also I have a question that in what conditions slavery is permissible in Islam? Also I have read that prisoners of war can either be freed or made slaves. I understand that it was to provide them with a home. Will that be prevalent today? Please do give an elaborate answer.

  2. All praise be to the Lord of the Universe.

    From the so far eight introductory posts, it should be clear that slavery was rampant when Mohammad the messenger of God came. He (peace be upon him) took the trouble into his hands and his approach was "Slavery Eradication by Integration", it was not an overnight removal.

    As for your question, to the be best of my knowledge, Islam permitted the enslavement of POW (prisoners of war) for the following reasons.

    1. It was part of the war custom of that time.

    2. As a measure of deterrence during the time of war.

    Whichever be the case, Islam brought several guidelines for this.

    In order to understand whether this is applicable today, one need to go through what really happened during the time of Mohammad the Messenger of God, one need to go through what happened during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, in 1860s, one need to understand what happened during the time of Obama's presidential campaign in 2008. There are many many things...

    All so far posts and upcoming posts will try to elaborate this. It is a long journey and hence it is given the title 'A Journey from Babylon to White House".

    1. Thank you for the answer. I'll try to follow your future posts. This is a very sensitive topic people are often misinformed about. It is good that you are addressing it. May Allah help you in your pursuit. Salam brother.