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In a fatwa by Dr. Hatem al-Haj of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, we see:

Islam restricted the tributaries of slavery and widened the out channels, which ultimately depleted the entire river of slavery.

The idea is that: (a) through various means, Islam slowly eliminated slavery, and (b) in the interim, slaves were still recognized, but were to be treated well. IslamWeb enumerates some of these means, and says "Islam is the freer of slaves".

A Dar Al-Ifta fatwa gives a similar description, and writes:

Slavery ended worldwide after the international treaty for the abolishment of slavery was signed in Berlin in 1860 AD. This has become a binding system that disallows anyone to enslave another. ... Based on the above, slavery is impermissible in the Shari'ah.

I want to get an approximation for when slavery was considered abolished. Hence...

Question: In mainstream Sunni Islam, when was the last time a slave was legally recognized?

I choose to stick to Sunni Islam for this question, since it's possible other denominations recognized a slave, but that is disputed/unrecognized in Sunni Islam. I also want to stick to mainstream views because there's always going to be rogue scholars.

One possible example are the mamluks, but these are a bit different to an ordinary slave.

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    The Barbary Wars were fought to stop Morocco from capturing Non-Muslims as slaves, so at least until 1815 there were Muslim countries actively engaged in piracy to enslave people (expressly justified on Islamic grounds). The Arab slave trade seems to have persisted into the 20th century. – G. Bach Apr 2 '18 at 23:17
  • @G.Bach . A lot of people try to defend their actions using Islam. That does not mean Islam (and mainstream scholars) allows their actions. – The Z Apr 3 '18 at 1:17
  • @TheZ Apologist rhetoric isn't useful here, the fiqh is pretty clear on that this was justified. – G. Bach Apr 3 '18 at 3:13
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    The statement of dar al-Ifta' seems hardly to go along with reality, Wikipedia says that slavery has been declared as unlawful in Mauritania only a decade ago! I guess your question is hard to answer as slavery could still be practiced "in secret". I myself knew a freed slave of some relatives who died a few years ago, so slavery surely still was practiced in the last century. – Medi1Saif Apr 3 '18 at 6:09

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