Islam permits slavery but I haven't been able to find anything regarding keeping slaves who are Muslims.

Considering a hypothetical scenario taking place during the early Islamic days where one Muslim nation goes to war with another Muslim nation and one of them comes out victorious. What would the ruling be in context of Islamic Doctrine regarding taking war booty and slaves from the fallen Muslim nation?

Are there any ruling at all in Quran or Hadith?

Thank you.

3 Answers 3


Well it's haraam for Muslims to fight each other and take each others properties.

But besides the scenario, it's permitted to have Muslim/Mumin slaves. Allah speaks about believing slaves in several ayahs of the Quran.

In Surah al-Baqara 2:221 =

And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you. Those invite [you] to the Fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His permission. And He makes clear His verses to the people that perhaps they may remember.

Surah an-Nisa 4:92 =

And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake - then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased's family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity...

So Allah speaks about believing slaves while they are enslaved. There's nothing wrong with having slaves in general as long as you treat them properly and give them their rights.


As enslave means: To make someone (a free person) his slave: the answer is no.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Allah, the Exalted, says: 'I will contend on the Day of Resurrection against three (types of) people: One who makes a covenant in My Name and then breaks it; one who sells a free man as a slave and devours his price; and one who hires a workman and having taken full work from him, does not pay him his wages."'

[Sahih al-Bukhari] Supposing slavery still exists or is considered to be allowed nowadays:

Muslims are prohibited to enslave Muslims! And they shouldn't have Muslim slaves. As even in a war between Muslims war prisoners are not allowed!

But if a slave converts while being in possession of a Muslim this is allowed and this is the kind of slavery which is mentioned when Allah speaks about believing slaves in Quran (Maybe we can also add to them those of the people of the book). And the Muslim master will still have all the rights (and duties) on his slave. As slavery could also be a way of invitation to Islam!


Please don't misunderstand slavery in the Islamic context with slavery in the western imperial colonial context. The latter is not allowed in Islam. Exploitation is not allowed in Islam. You cannot take another person's hak (rights) including the hak of non-believers. If you do, that victim person will get his justice from you on the day of judgement. Allah is the best of judges.

The only exceptions are prisoners of war, and prisoners from crimes they committed. There is no prison system in true Islam. There is no record of a prison or detainment center in Mecca or Medina at our prophet's time. If a person committed a crime, either they received swift one time punishment on the spot, or they would agree to compensate the victim by being enslaved for a period of time to the victim or his family, or they would be exiled to a remote land and lose their property. The latter is what happened to certain Jewish tribes in Medina when they rebelled or conspired against the prophet (pbuh).

So to answer your question, if a muslim committed a crime against another muslim, then voluntary servitude of the offender to the victim or victim's family is a just and Islamically sanctioned way to settle the matter.

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