Islam totally objects and fights all forms of slavery. The focus of Islam in all its teachings and practices was to eradicate this practice, which was then prevailing. Now slavery has been abolished by international conventions, and this goes in line with the aims of Islam, which called for this several centuries ago.
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America and Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County, Garden Grove, California states the following: “Slavery existed throughout the Biblical period including the time of Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him). Most of the Biblical prophets had slaves, both males and females. Perhaps the author of this flyer did not read his own New Testament. Otherwise he would have found there the following advice to slaves: “Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be defamed.” (1 Timothy 6:1) and “Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to be refractory…” (Titus 2:9)
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) did not own slaves. He had many slaves purchased and freed. The author quotes Muslim scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim who said about the Prophet, “His purchases of slaves were more then he sold.” This is correct because he used to purchase slaves in order to free them, not to sell them. However, the author of the pamphlet mistranslates Ibn Al-Qayyim when he says, “The Prophet used to rent out and hiring many slaves, but he hired more slaves then he rented out.” The author has mischievously added the words “many slaves” and “more slaves” in the text. Ibn Al-Qayyim is not talking here about the sale, purchase, renting, and hiring of slaves, but about general business practices of the Prophet before he received the Prophethood. Actually, he is saying that “the Prophet himself was hired before he became the Prophet to take care of some sheep and he was hired by Khadijah to do business for her.” (see Zad Al-Ma’ad, vol. 1, p. 154)
the Qur’an teaches that freeing the salves is a great virtue (See Surah 90:13). One of the expenditures of zakah (obligatory charity) is to spend the money for the freedom of the slaves (surah 9:60). It is forbidden in Islam to enslave a free person. If Muslims had consistently followed the Islamic teachings in this regard, slavery would have become extinct a long time ago. It is unfortunate that some Muslims did not follow these teachings of Islam and slavery continued in Muslim lands for centuries. We are ashamed that some Muslims practiced slavery against the teachings of Islam. However, it is also a historical fact that for centuries the worst type of slavery in its most extensive and horrible form was practiced by those who claimed themselves to be the followers of Christ. They enslaved millions of free men, women, and children and shipped them like animals from one continent to another. They made millions in profit by this most shameful trade of human beings.
I wish to remind everyone what Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)”