Treatment Of Slaves In Islām

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Treatment Of Slaves In Islām

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) stated, “When one’s servant serves him food, and he does not sit his servant down with him to eat then at least pass him a morsel or two of the food.” (Reported by Bukhari no. 2557, and Muslim no. 1663) This hadeeth is related to the good treatment of those under one’s care, even if it be a slave. Al-Ma’rūr Ibn Suwaid said: I met Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) at Rabadhah and he was wearing a cloak while his slave was wearing the same type of cloak. So I asked him why he had dressed his slave so well. He replied, “I abused a person once, by speaking badly about his mother.” So the Prophet (ﷺ) said to me, “O Abu Dharr! Did you abuse him by calling his mother names? Verily you still have some traits of Jāhiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance). Indeed your slaves are your brothers, and Allah has put them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed him from what he feeds himself, and dress him in whatever he himself dresses. Do not ask him to do things beyond their capacity, and if you do so, help them.” (Bukhāri no.30) It is obligatory upon the master that he provides for his slave. However, the previous hadeeth has an added benefit and that is that when the slave prepares food for his master, then it is from the good manners and good conduct of the master that he offers it to the slave. That he does not prevent the slave from eating that which he worked hard to prepare. It is not befitting, and not from being honourable and kind that one mistreats his slave in this manner. Rather the master should allow the slave to participate in the meal he has prepared.

Taken from Shaikh Sālih al-Fawzān’s explanation of Buloogh al-Marām min Adillatil-Ahkām of Al-Hāfidh Ahmad Ibn ‘Alee Ibn Hajr al-Asqalānee (Born 773H, Died 852H), volume 5.

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