2

In Section k32 of The Reliance of the Traveller, the translator explains that the subsequent four sections (k32.1 through k32.4) are not translated, and instead writes:

(n: This section, which begins, "To free a slave is an act of worship," deals with a system of ownership ... Like previous references to slaves, the following four sections have been left untranslated because the issue is no longer current, ...)

(Here, "n:" refers to a "remark by the translator", Nuh Ha Mim Keller.)

This has been picked up by anti-Islam sites such as thereligionofpeace.com who think it's ...perhaps to obscure the comfortable relationship between Islam and slavery.

Question: What do Sections k32.1 through k32.4 in The Reliance of the Traveller say?

I give an image of the sections below in Arabic. They are translated on the anti-Islam site islammonitor.org (I provide those translations below too). I'm not sure how accurate the translation is, and I'm somewhat skeptical given the anti-Islam nature of the site.

k32.1

k32.2

k32.3

k32.4


The following are the translations from islammonitor.org attributed to Mumin Salih, who has written a lot of anti-Islam articles, and "Mumin, N, A".

k32.1

It is only allowed from the person who has absolute authority (master). It is acceptable to say it openly without intention or in writing with intention. Openly by saying free, I released your neck, I do not own you, I have no authority on you or you are in control of your lead, or something similar.

It is allowed to attach it to a condition like ‘you are free if Zayd comes’. If attached to a condition, it cannot be undone by words. But he can change his mind if he sells him (slave), and buys him back, the condition becomes invalid. This is allowed in all or part of the slaves; if the slave is freed partly, he is freed completely. If it was a slave of two people and one of them frees his share then the slave is free. If that owner is rich he pays the other co-owner who should repay the money. If he was not rich he pays for his share only. If he frees the pregnant woman she becomes free with the baby, if he frees the baby only, she is NOT free.

If he says I free you for a thousand, or sell you for a thousand and he (slave) accepts then he becomes free and has to pay the thousand.

k32.2

If he (master) says: If I die you are free, or I managed you or you are managed, and is considered one of the third. It is accepted from one with absolute authority or a spender but not a child. It is allowed to attach it to a condition; if the condition is fulfilled before the master dies then the slave becomes free after the master’s death. If he (master) manages some, or all, of his shared slaves it doesn’t apply to all of the slaves. This can be changed by action, not by words. If a woman slave was managed her baby doesn’t follow her management.

k32.3

It is only acceptable from one with absolute authority and with a slave who is mature and can understand and with good conduct in two or more stars (periods?). “I write that much which you pay in two stars (periods?) in each star you pay that much, if you do it you become free, agreed”. It is forbidden to write this for a slave if he was in shared ownership unless the rest of the ownership is free. It is preferred for slaves with known income and honesty. The slave may cancel this any time he wishes, but the master is not allowed to cancel unless the slave cannot pay the money. If the slave dies the contract is cancelled but if the master dies the contract is still binding. The master should pay some of the money, even if small, or pay it to him in the last star (period?) which is better. It is suggested one fourth. If not done and the slave paid all the money, he gives back some. The slave is still owned until he pays all the money. The slave is not allowed to marry or other things without his master’s permission, it is not allowed to sell him or (in) any of his stars (periods?). (The child of the female slave becomes free if she becomes free.? -- this is not so in other text, laws)

k32.4

(separation) If he gets a baby (son) from a female slave that he owns or partly owns, or from his son’s female slave, the baby SON becomes free and the slave becomes mother of his child and becomes free if the master dies. It is not allowed to sell her or give her as a gift but her use, hiring, lending and giving her in wedlock is allowed. Her earnings/gains goes to her master. This applies even if she gives birth to a dead baby, but if it doesn’t look to have a human form she does not become a mother of a son. If he gets a child from another man’s female slave, by marriage or illegally, the child becomes owned by the slave’s master. If he wasn’t sure then child becomes free, but the female slave doesn’t become a mother of a son should he own her later.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.