SLAVERY

Most people are familiar with the word A’bd عبد which means slave or A’beed in the plural عبيد but most do not know that there were many other words used such as :

الرق / رقيق

مملوك/ مملوكة / مماليك

امة /الإماء

خادم/ خادمة  / خدام  /خادمات

جاري/ جارية / جوار / جاريات

مولى / موالي

لأغر /الغر

ام الولد / امهات الاولاد

and sometimes

غلام

 

The common myth that most of us hear is that,

 

”Most of the slaves were black in colour”

and if we did hear differently, it was just by word of mouth and without any proof.

 

” The Arabs enslaved other than blacks”,

 

 

However, there is plenty of proof and in fact there was a period of time when most of the slaves were red ( pale white ) who were from amongst the Persians and Roman people.

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Sahih Muslim Book of Oaths

Ayyub said: We were sitting in the company of Abu Musa that he called for food and it consisted of flesh of fowl. It was then that a person from Banu Tamim visited him. His complexion was red resembling a slave. He said to him: Come and (join me in food). He showed reluctance. He (Abu Masa) said: Come on, for I saw Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) eating it (fowl’s meat), whereupon that person said: I saw it eating something  and I found it off putting  and took an oath that I would never eat that. He said: Come, so that I would narrate to you about that, I came to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) along with a group of people belonging to the tribe of Ash’ari, asking him to provide us with riding camels. He (the Holy Prophet) said: By Allah, I cannot provide you with riding animals. And there is nothing with me with which I can provide you a mount. We stayed there as Allah willed, and there was brought to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) booty of camels. He called us and commanded that we should be given five white humped camels. As we were about to go back, some of us said to the other: As we made Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) forget his oath, there would be no blessing for us. We went back to him and said: Allah’s Messenger, we came to you to provide us with riding animals and you swore to Allah that you would never equip us with mounts then you have provided us with the riding beasts Allah’s Messenger, have you forgotten? Thereupon he said: I swear by Allah that if Allah so wills, I shall not swear an oath, and then consider something else to be better than it without making atonement for my oath and doing the thing that is better. So you go; Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, has given you riding animals.

 

حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو الرَّبِيعِ الْعَتَكِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادٌ، – يَعْنِي ابْنَ زَيْدٍ – عَنْ أَيُّوبَ، عَنْ أَبِي، قِلاَبَةَ وَعَنِ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ عَاصِمٍ، عَنْ زَهْدَمٍ الْجَرْمِيِّ، – قَالَ أَيُّوبُ وَأَنَا لِحَدِيثِ الْقَاسِمِ، أَحْفَظُ مِنِّي لِحَدِيثِ أَبِي قِلاَبَةَ – قَالَ كُنَّا عِنْدَ أَبِي مُوسَى فَدَعَا بِمَائِدَتِهِ وَعَلَيْهَا لَحْمُ دَجَاجٍ فَدَخَلَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ بَنِي تَيْمِ اللَّهِ أَحْمَرُ شَبِيهٌ بِالْمَوَالِي فَقَالَ لَهُ هَلُمَّ ‏.‏ فَتَلَكَّأَ فَقَالَ هَلُمَّ فَإِنِّي قَدْ رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَأْكُلُ مِنْهُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ الرَّجُلُ إِنِّي رَأَيْتُهُ يَأْكُلُ شَيْئًا فَقَذِرْتُهُ فَحَلَفْتُ أَنْ لاَ أَطْعَمَهُ فَقَالَ هَلُمَّ أُحَدِّثْكَ عَنْ ذَلِكَ إِنِّي أَتَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي رَهْطٍ مِنَ الأَشْعَرِيِّينَ نَسْتَحْمِلُهُ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ وَاللَّهِ لاَ أَحْمِلُكُمْ وَمَا عِنْدِي مَا أَحْمِلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَلَبِثْنَا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ فَأُتِيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِنَهْبِ إِبِلٍ فَدَعَا بِنَا فَأَمَرَ لَنَا بِخَمْسِ ذَوْدٍ غُرِّ الذُّرَى قَالَ فَلَمَّا انْطَلَقْنَا قَالَ بَعْضُنَا لِبَعْضٍ أَغْفَلْنَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَمِينَهُ لاَ يُبَارَكُ لَنَا ‏.‏ فَرَجَعْنَا إِلَيْهِ فَقُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّا أَتَيْنَاكَ نَسْتَحْمِلُكَ وَإِنَّكَ حَلَفْتَ أَنْ لاَ تَحْمِلَنَا ثُمَّ حَمَلْتَنَا أَفَنَسِيتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏”‏ إِنِّي وَاللَّهِ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لاَ أَحْلِفُ عَلَى يَمِينٍ فَأَرَى غَيْرَهَا خَيْرًا مِنْهَا إِلاَّ أَتَيْتُ الَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ وَتَحَلَّلْتُهَا فَانْطَلِقُوا فَإِنَّمَا حَمَلَكُمُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ‏”‏ ‏.‏
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Ibn Haajjar said in Fath Al Baari , Book Kafaaraat Al Imaan, Chapter 15 Page 406
The saying Red as if he was a slave” commenced in the subject of the 5th of the share of the war booty ” As if he was from the slaves‘ Dawoodi said , ” It means he was from the Roman prisoners of war’‘ just as it is said and  if the chain was looked into or not , the Romans are not specified , it could have actually been a slave from the Persians , or the Nabeateans or the Daylamites.”
 قال ابن حجر في فتح الباري  ، كتاب كفارات الايمان ج ١٥ ص  ٤٠٦
قوله أحمر كأنه مولى تقدم في فرض الخمس ” كأنه من الموالي ” قال الداودي : يعني أنه من سبي الروم كذا قال فإن كان اطلع على نقل في ذلك وإلا فلا اختصاص لذلك بالروم دون الفرس أو النبط أو الديلم

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Abu Lulu the Slave of Mugheera and murderer of Umar bin Al Khattab Radiya Allahu anhu
This is a long sahih hadith about when Umar was stabbed and killed. The word رقيق is used which means slave to described the Persian slave Abu Lulu who was the slave of Mughairah.
What is also strikingly significant is what Abdullah ibn Abbas said to Umar may Allah be pleased with them.
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Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith 3700 : Book 62, Hadith Vol. 5, Book 57, Hadith 50
Umar said, “O Ibn `Abbas! Find out who attacked me.” Ibn `Abbas kept on looking here and there for a short time and came to say. “The slave of Al Mughira.” On that `Umar said, “The craftsman?” Ibn `Abbas said, “Yes.” `Umar said, “May Allah curse him. I did not treat him unjustly. All the Praises are for Allah Who has not caused me to die at the hand of a man who claims himself to be a Muslim. No doubt, you and your father (Abbas) used to love to have more infidels (Persian disbelievers) in Medina.” Al-Abbas had the greatest number of slaves. Ibn `Abbas said to `Umar. “If you wish, we will do.” He meant, “If you wish we will kill them.” `Umar said, “You are mistaken (for you can’t kill them) after they have spoken your language, prayed towards your Qibla, and performed Hajj like your Hajj...

 

صحيح البخاري حديث ٣٧٠٠ كتاب ٦٢ 
‏ قَالَ يَا ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ، انْظُرْ مَنْ قَتَلَنِي‏.‏ فَجَالَ سَاعَةً، ثُمَّ جَاءَ، فَقَالَ غُلاَمُ الْمُغِيرَةِ‏.‏ قَالَ الصَّنَعُ قَالَ نَعَمْ‏.‏ قَالَ قَاتَلَهُ اللَّهُ لَقَدْ أَمَرْتُ بِهِ مَعْرُوفًا، الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَجْعَلْ مَنِيَّتِي بِيَدِ رَجُلٍ يَدَّعِي الإِسْلاَمَ، قَدْ كُنْتَ أَنْتَ وَأَبُوكَ تُحِبَّانِ أَنْ تَكْثُرَ الْعُلُوجُ بِالْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ ‏{‏الْعَبَّاسُ‏}‏ أَكْثَرَهُمْ رَقِيقًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ إِنْ شِئْتَ فَعَلْتُ‏.‏ أَىْ إِنْ شِئْتَ قَتَلْنَا‏.‏ قَالَ كَذَبْتَ، بَعْدَ مَا تَكَلَّمُوا بِلِسَانِكُمْ، وَصَلَّوْا قِبْلَتَكُمْ وَحَجُّوا حَجَّكُمْ فَاحْتُمِلَ إِلَى بَيْتِهِ فَانْطَلَقْنَا مَعَهُ،

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Here is some more on the death of Umar bin Al Khattaab and the Abu Lulu the Persian who killed him.

In Tareeq Al Madinah li Ibn Abi Shaybah, Chapter 3, pages 490- 491

Uyaynatu ibn Hasn said, “Oh leader of the believers,Verily I see the non Arabs (Persians) increasing in number in your country , beware of them. He said (Ameer al Mumimeen) they have been holding onto the ropes of Islam…. Look at red (white skinned) blue eyed from them striving in the deen.”

تاريخ المدينة لابن ابي شيبه ج  ٤٩٠ – ٤٩١

فَقَالَ : يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ، إِنِّي أَرَى هَذِهِ الأَعَاجِمَ قَدْ كَثُرَتْ بِبَلَدِكَ فَاحْتَرِسْ مِنْهُمْ ، قَالَ : إِنَّهُمْ قَدِ اعْتَصَمُوا بِالإِسْلامِ ، قَالَ : أَمَا وَاللَّهِ لَكَأَنِّي أَنْظُرُ إِلَى أَحْمَرَ أَزْرَقَ مِنْهُمْ قَدْ جَالَ فِي هَذِهِ ، وَنَخَسَ بِأُصْبُعِهِ فِي بَطْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ

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Ibn Asaakir narrates in Taarikh Al Damashq that….

… Nusayb entered on The leader of the believers Abdul Maalik Ibn Marwaan  , Marwan told him to tell him a story and Nusayb said that he got hold of a Red slave : meaning : white ……

قال ابن عساكر في تاريخ الدشق   حرف النون » ذكر من اسمه نصر » نُصَيْبُ بْنُ رَبَاحٍ أَبُو مِحْجَنٍ مَوْلَى عَبْدِ

أنبأنا أبو سعد أحمد بن عبد الجبار بن الطيوري ، عن القاسم أبي التنوخي ، وأبي محمد الجوهري ، وأنبأنا أبو الفوارس هبة الله بن أحمد بن سوار ، وأبو بكر أحمد بن علي بن جبير ، وأبو البركات الأنماطي ، قَالَوا : أخبرنا أبو الحسين بن الطيوري ، أخبرنا الجوهري ، قَالا : أخبرنا أبو عمر بن حَيَّوَيْهِ ، نا محمد بن خلف بن المرزبان ، نا محمد بن يزيد المهلبي ، عن محمد بن سلام ، قَالَ : دخل نصيب على يزيد بن عبد الملك بن مروان ، فقَالَ له : حدثني ببعض ما مر عليك ، قَالَ : نعم يا أمير المؤمنين ، علقت جارية حمراء ؛ يعني : بيضاء ، فمكثت زمانا تمنيني الأباطيل ، فلما ألححت عليها ، قَالَت : إليك عني ، فوالله لكأنك من طوارق الليل ، فقلت : وأنت والله كأنك من طوارق النهار ، فقَالَت : ما أظرفك ، فغضبت من قولها ، فقَالَت : وهل تدري ما الظرف ؟ الظرف العقل ، ثم قَالَت لي : انصرف حتى أنظر في أمرك ، فأرسلت إليها بهذة الأبيات : فإن أك حالكا فالمسك أحوي وما لسواد جلدي من دواء ولي كرم عن الفحشاء يأبى كبعد الأرض من جو السماء ومثلي في رحالكم قليل ومثلي لا يرد عن النساء فإن ترضي فردي قول راض وإن تأبي فنحن على السواء قَالَ : فلما قرأت الكتاب ، قَالَت : المال والعقل يعقبان على غيرهما ، فزوجتني نفسها 

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In Al Muntadim Chapter 6 page 191

.. that Yazeed Ibn Naeem the father of Shabeeb was with those that were in the army of Salmaan Ibn Rabea when it was sent with Al Waleed Ibn Uqbah on the authority of Uthmaan Ibn Affaan to expand the military expeditions of  Al Shaam to the land of the Romans. And when the Muslims had locked up the captives and rounded them up for sale, Yazeed saw a red female slave who wasn’t black or blue eyed and was tall and beautiful

المنتظم –  ج ٦    ص١٩١

وقد روى أبو مخنف، عن فروة بن لقيط: أن يزيد بن نعيم أبا شبيب كان ممن دخل في جيش سلمان بن ربيعة إذ بعث به الوليد بن عقبة على أمر عثمان بن عفان إياه بذلك مددا لأهل الشام إلى أرض الروم، فلما قفل المسلمون أقيم السبي للبيع، فرأى يزيد بن نعيم جارية حمراء، لا شهلاء، ولا زرقاء، طويلة جميلة، تأخذها العين، فابتاعها وذلك سنة خمس وعشرين أول السنة، فلم أدخلها الكوفة قال: أسلمي، فأبت فضربها فلم تزدد إلا عصيانا، فأمر بها فأصلحت له، ثم أدخلت عليه، فلما تغشاها حملت فولدت له شبيبا…” (المنتظم- ج2 ص274)


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Yaa son of a red woman

Ibn Atheer narrates in his book Al Niyaahyah Fee Ghareeb Al Hadeeth  Wal Athar Chapter 1 Page 440

”And in the hadeeth Ali .. A man from the Mawaali opposed him so Ali said , ” Shut up you son of a red  Ijaan ” ,meaning son of a slave woman. The Al Ijaan is the area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva” and this is the way the Arabs talk when being derogatory and insulting

(In Ghareeb Al Hadeeth by Ibn al Jawzy Chapter 1 Page 241 Ibn Al jawzi repeats this.)

 

قال ابن اثير في كتابه النهاية في غريب الحديث  ج ١  ص  ٤٤٠

قال مجد الدين أبي السعادات المبارك بن محمد (ابن الأثير) في النهاية في غريب الحديث والأثر – حرف الحاء – باب الحاء مع الميم

 هـ ) وفي حديث علي ” عارضه رجل من الموالي فقال : اسكت يا ابن حمراء العجانأي يا ابن الأمة ، والعجان ما بين القبل والدبر ، وهي كلمة تقولها العرب في السب والذم .

 

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In Kitaab Jawaaher A Uqood wa Maeen Al Qadhaah wa Al Shuhood, Chapter 1 pages 96-97 , Imaam Al Suyooti narrates:

”And if the sale is of slaves then the slaves differ in their races and their quality. As for the Turkish, they come in different types, and  Qiyyaat, and Naimaan, and  Mughal, and Qabjaq, and Khataamy, Jarkas, Russians and Was and Bulgarian and Tataar, and Aaq, and Jaqatay, and Karaj, and Romans , and Armenians.

and the Sudaan races: Amhari Habashi, Takroori , Nubian , Zaghaawi, Daajawi, Indian, Khalaanji, Bejaawi , Zinji,Yemeni , Saruwi, Muwallad( mixed raced Arabs)”

Note: Imam As Suyooti was referring to quite modern events and not ancient history (1445–1505 AD).

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جواهر العقود و معين القضاة و الموقعين و الشهود الجزء الاول صفحات٩٦~٩٧

وإن كان المبيع رقيقا، فالرقيق تختلف أجناسه وحلاه فالتركي منه أنواع قياط، ونيمان، ومغل، وقبجق، وخطامي، وجركس، وروس وآص، وبلغار، وتتر، وآق وجقطاي، وكرج، وروم، وأرمن

والسودان أجناس: أمحري حبشي، وتكروريونوبي، وزغاوي، وداجوي، وهندي، وخلنجي، وبجاوي، وزنجي، ويمني، وسروي، ومول


The slave Safeenah

There is much talk about the slave called Safeenah may Allah have mercy on him but little do people know about his ethnicity .

Al Bidaayah wa Al Nihaayah Chapter 8 page 261

And from them is Safeenah , Abu Abdur Rahman , and it was said Abu Al Buhtaar, his name was Mihran , it is Abas and it is said ( he was ) red ( pale white in colour) and it is said Rumaaan . So the Prophet Mohammed May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him nicknamed him Safeenah so we will mention him as he was most commonly mentioned as. And he was the slave of Umm Salamah , so she released him under the condition that he serves the Prophet Mohammed May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him , until he dies. …….. and he is from mixed raced parents with Arab blood and he originates from the sons of the Persians.

 

البداية و النهاية الجزء الثامن صفحة ٢٦١

ومنهم سفينة أبو عبد الرحمن . ويقال : أبو البختري . كان اسمه مهران وقيل : عبس . وقيل : أحمر . وقيل : رومان .فلقبه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سفينة لسبب سنذكره ، فغلب عليه ، وكان مولى لأم سلمة ، فأعتقته واشترطت عليه أن يخدم رسول الله  صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى يموت ، فقبل ذلك ، …… . وهو من مولدي العرب ، وأصله من أبناء فارس
البداية و النهاية الجزء الثامن صفحة ٢٦١

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In Tareekh Al Tabary chapter 3 pages 171 – 172

Safeenah , some people say that he originated from the non Arabs of Persia and that his mother was Habashiyyah and his father was Persian.

تاريخ الطبري الجزء الثالث صفحات ١٧١~١٧٢
سفينه …يقال بعضهم اصله الي عجم الفارس و كانت امه حبشية و ابه فارسيا

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  In Tareekh Al Tabary chapter 3 pages 176 Another slave called Abu Dhameerah was also described 

”Some of his blood relations were Persian and it was determined that verily he was from the non Arab Persians

وأبو ضميرة- كان بعض نسابة الفرس زعم أنه من عجم الفرس، ……….صفحة ١٧٦

 

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Maariyyah Al Qitbiiyah , Al Isaabah fee Tamyeez Al Sahaabah page 1958

Maariyyah Al Qitbiyyah was a slave and a daughter of a slave woman….. And Baladhaari said” Maariyyah Al Qitbiyyah’s mother was Roman and Maariyyah was white skinned with kinky hair and beautiful.”

 

 مارية القطبية، الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة  ص ١٩٥٨ 

……. مارية القبطية أم ولد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم……….. وقال البلاذري كانت أم مارية رومية وكانت مارية بيضاء جعدة جميلة

 


Bukhari Book of blood money, Section : The foetus of a women

On the authority of Abi Hurairah May Allah be pleased him said, ” Two women from Hudail fought each other and one of them threw the other and caused her to have a miscarriage so the Prophet May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him gave a verdict that the payment for this is by way of (paying with) a slave.”

كِتَابُ الدِّيَاتِ بَابُ جَنِينِ المَرْأَةِ

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ وَحَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ حَدَّثَنَا مَالِكٌ عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ امْرَأَتَيْنِ مِنْ هُذَيْلٍ رَمَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا الأُخْرَى فَطَرَحَتْ جَنِينَهَا فَقَضَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِيهَا بِغُرَّةٍ عَبْدٍ أَوْ أَمَةٍ

( ر 6904 )

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Al Khateeb Al Sharabeeny , in his book Al Iqnaa’ fee Hal Al Faadh Abi Shujaa’ . Chapter 2 page 513 .said,

”… And the root of (payment) is with a white slave, the whiteness that (you see) in the face Persians, and for this was a condition of Amroo Ibn Al Alaa that the slaves be a white man or white woman …… but that wasn’t a condition for most”…

الخطيب الشربيني 

الإقناع في حل ألفاظ أبي شجاع  ج 2 ص  513

القَوْل فِي دِيَة الْجَنِين وفِي دِيَة الْجَنِين الْحر الْمُسلم غرَّة لخَبر الصَّحِيحَيْنِ أَنه صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم قضى فِي الْجَنِين بغرة عبد أَو أمةوأصل الْغرَّة الْبيَاض فِي وَجه الْفرس وَلِهَذَا شَرط عَمْرو بن الْعَلَاء أَن يكون العَبْد أَبيض وَالْأمة بَيْضَاء…. وَلم يشْتَرط الْأَكْثَرُونَ ذَلِك


kAl Sirkhamsee said in his book Al Mabsoot Chapter 26 , page 87.

‘If a man hits the stomach of a pregnant woman and causes her to have a miscarriage then he has to pay ( blood money ) by giving a male or female slave . He can rectify the situation by giving 500 and a ghurrah slave according to some of the scholars of language is that the slave must be white .”

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السَّرْخَسيّ  في المبسوط  ج 26 ص  87

”وَإِذَا ضَرَبَ الرَّجُلُ بَطْنَ الْمَرْأَةِ فَأَلْقَتْ جَنِينًا مَيِّتًا فَفِيهِ غُرَّةٌ عَبْدٌ أَوْ أَمَةٌ يَعْدِلُ ذَلِكَ بِخَمْسِمِائَةٍ وَالْغُرَّةُ عِنْدَ بَعْضِ أَهْلِ اللُّغَةِ الْمَمْلُوكُ الْأَبْيَضُوَمِنْهُ غُرَّةُ الْفَرَسِ وَهُوَ الْبَيَاضُ الَّذِي عَلَى جَبِينِهِ


ت

Al Khumaydy . Gharreb Al Hadeth ma fee Sahehayn Al Bukhaari wa Muslim (Page 423)

”GHURRAH is a male or female slave whiteness all over the body . …. And Abu Amroo In Alaa says in his explanation ” The Ghurrah is a not anyone except that he is from the white slaves”

تفسير غريب ما في الصحيحين البخاري ومسلم ( ص 423 )الحَمِيدي

”غرَّة عبد أَو أمة قالَ أَبُو عبيد الْغرَّة عبد أَو أمة أَي أَنه عني بالغرة الْجِسْم كُله وَقيل الْغرَّة…وَكَانَ أَبُو عَمْرو بن الْعَلَاء يَقُول فِي تَفْسِير غرَّة الْجِنْس الَّذِي لَا يكون إِلَّا الْأَبْيَض من الرَّقِيق

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;

In Al Atheer said in Al Nihaayah Fee Ghareeb Al Hadeeth , Chapter 3 page 354

”It is permissible to want any type of valuable slave ….

”Al Ghurra ; plural Al Agharr : whiteness of the face is: he meant the whiteness and their bright faces with light of the day of judgement”

 قال  ابن اثير النهاية في غريب الحديث والأثر  ج٣  ص ١٥٤

ويجوز أن يكون أراد بالغرة النفيس من كل شيء

 الغر : جمع الأغر ، من الغرة : بياض الوجه ، يريد بياض وجوههم بنور الوضوء يوم القيامة .

Note : ‘Although it is quite obvious that there were both black and white slaves , some of the scholars believed that there was no condition that the slave had to be white or from Persia and that a black slave or black person can also be called white as the meaning of white can also mean pure , bright and something good.” This can also work the opposite way , as a white person can also be called black if they were sad or evil. The word black can also be used in a positive way too examples of this can be found here.  

Read more on the meaning of white or abyadh and how it was used here


BUQAA’N

According to the scholars the word Buqaan  means a mixed raced people who have Arab fathers whom are black and white non Arab mothers that the Arabs took a slaves.

 

Zamkashri reports in his book Al Faaiq Fee Ghareeb Al Hadeeth Chapter 1 page 124

” The Buqaan of Shaam will seek to rule you and it is said he meant the mixed raced ones , mixed between Arab men and Roman women who will mate and mix the blackness from the Arab men and the whiteness from the non Arab women.”

 

 أَبُو هُرَيْرَة رَضِي الله عَنهُ يُوشك أَن يسْتَعْمل عَلَيْكُم بقعان أهل الشَّاموَقيل أَرَادَ المولدين بَين الْعَرَب والروميات لجمعهم بَين سَواد لون الْآبَاء وَبَيَاض لون الْأُمَّهَات


Abu Ubayd AlQaasim Ibn Saalim gives an explanation of this word (Buqaan) in his book Ghareeb Al Hadeeth. Chapter 4 Page 206 

” The saying ‘Buqaan means the whiteness of the servants of Shaam , they are only from the Roman and the Slavic races, so they were named Buqaan because of their whiteness. And for this it is said that for the the blackness of the crow if it has some whiteness and it is the worst type of crow. They became an example of things that are filthy.

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غريب الحديث ج 4 ص   206 

قَوْله بقعان أَرَادَ الْبيَاض لِأَن الخدَم بِالشَّام إِنَّمَا هم الرّوم والصقالبة فسماهم بُقعان للبياض وَلِهَذَا قيل للغراب أبقع إِذا كَانَ فِيهِ بَيَاض وَهُوَ أَخبث مَا يكون من الغِربان فَصَارَ مثلا لكل خَبِيث


Lisaan Al Arab , Chapter 7 page 17

”Soon the Buqaan of Shaam will seek to rule you “what is meant here Is the Arabs’s slaves and slave soldiers, they are called that because of their mixed colour , as whiteness and yellowness is the dominant colour amongst them. Al Qutaibi said: “The buq’aan are those who have blackness and whiteness, it is not said abq’a to one who is white without blackness mixed with it, and the meaning is that the Arabs with marry the Roman slave girls then their offspring will rule over shaam and their offspring ( بقعان) together between BLACKNESS of the Arab (Fathers) and the whiteness of their Roman (mothers).” And they are from the Arabs and they are BLACK and from the people of Rome, they are white . And the Arabs never married the Romans before this and the slaves of the Arabs were black skinned. And the Arabs say ‘ ” The black and the red came to me , meaning the Arab and the Ajam . He didn’t intend to mean that the children of the slaves are from the Arabs are Buqi’ like the Buqi’ of the crow. He meant that they (the buq’aan) took from the blackness of their fathers (the Arabs) and the whiteness of their mothers (the Romans).’’

لسان العرب ج ٧ ص ١٧

يوشك أن يستعمل عليكم بقعان الشام ” أراد عبيدها ومماليكها ، سموا بذلك لاختلاط ألوانهم ، فإن الغالب عليهم البياض والصفرة . وقال القتيبي : البقعان الذين فيهم سواد وبياض ، ولا يقال لمن كان أبيض من غير سواد يخالطه أبقع ، فكيف يجعل الروم بقعانا وهم بيض خلص ؟ قال : وأرى أبا هريرة أراد أن العرب تنكح إماء الروم فتستعمل عليكم أولاد الإماء ، وهم من بني العرب وهم سود ومن بني الروم وهم بيض ولم تكن العرب قبل ذلك تنكح الروم إنما كان إماؤها سودانا ، والعرب تقول : أتاني الأسود والأحمر ، يريدون العرب والعجم ولم يرد أن أولاد الإماء من العرب بقع كبقع الغربان ، وأراد أنهم أخذوا من سواد الآباء وبياض الأمهات

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HAJEEN

The word Hajeen is a word similar to the word buqaan.

In Kaamil Al Mubarrad Chapter 2 page 147, he explains the meaning of this word by first mentioning some lines of poetry.

“Verily the sons /children of the concubines have grown in number amongst us, Oh Lord enter me into a land where there are no Hajeen in it”

ان اولاد السراري كثروا يا رب فينا رب أدخلني بلادا لاارائ فيها هجينا

He said , the Hajeen to the Arabs means a father who is shareef and a mother who is a lowlife weak individual and the root of that is because they are SLAVES. And it is only said Hajeen to mean WHITE : Meaning the Romans , the Slavic( groups) and those that resemble them. And the evidence for that is the Hajeen are white and the Arabs say “It’s not hidden from anyone about the black and the red meaning the Arab and the Ajam (respectively) and they call the slaves and the rest of the Ajam الحمراء.

والهجين عند العرب: الذي أبوه شريفٌ وأمّه وضيعة?، والأصل في ذلك أن تكون أمّةً، وإنما قيل: “هجين” من أجل البياض، وكأنهم قصدوا قصد الرّوم والصّقالبة ومن أشبههم، والدليل على أن الهجين الأبيض أن العرب تقول: ما يخفى ذلك على الأسود والحمر، أي العربي والعجميّ، ويسمّون الموالي وسائر العجم الحمراء

Note: Understanding the way this mixture happened is crucial as the Arabs take their lineage from their father’s. The mother’s lineage is disregarded and irrelevant to them now which is why they find it difficult to believe how they changed colour and race in general.

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In conclusion,

The early Arabs enslaved every and anyone of those who deserved to be enslaved after a war and freed whomsoever they wanted free after war including other Arabs who were their first main set of slaves. The early Arabs were not Muslims and that must be distinguished between the slavery carried out by the Prophet Mohammed and the righteous predecessors whom encouraged the releasing of slaves. The righteous Muslims would only enslave their enemies after wars and would treat them well and eventually release them . This was the way of most people and civilisations in that period. Anyone whom the Muslims enslaved such as the Persians and the Romans and even the people of Habasha also practised slavery The people of Habasha even enslaved the Arabs in part of Yemen in the pre Islamic period.

It is totally incorrect to assume that a slave was from Habasha or Al Zanj or any other dark skinned ” African” race because of his or her colour,  as the scholars have mentioned the Arabs in the time of the Prophet may Allah’s peace be upon him were black and brown too and black people in general.

Ibn Sayaadh made clear to us in his book Al Muhkam Wal Muheet Al Adham , chapter 4 page 209.

المحكم والمحيط الأعظم     ج ٤   ص ٢٠٩

فهم عرب، وألوانهم الأدمة والسمرة والسواد”

 

Not only did Ibn Sayaadah say this but all of the Arab and non Arab Muslim historians have also said similar. Read more about the explanation of the authentic narration : I was sent to the reds and the blacks/ بعث الى الاحمر و الاسود  here

 

The Arabs had very little contact with red people (pale white)  until they conquered reds ( pale white ) which became the majority of the slaves due to the countries of the reds ( pale white ) being totally taken over. Hence why Imam Al Dhahabi ( Seera A’laam Al Nubalaa, Chapter 2, page 168) said that

‘“Red, in the dialect of the Arabs means a pale white complexion and it was a colour that was rare amongst them.”

سير اعلام النبلاء ج ٢  ص  ١٦٨

الحمراء ، في خطاب أهل الحجاز : هي البيضاء بشقرة ، وهذا نادر فيهم


This also means that the Jews were also similar in colour to the Arabs and definitely NOT from the reds as they would’ve been referred to as the reds.

The colour of most the slaves was red ( pale white ) as documented at particular points in the days of the Sahaabah. When Persia and Rome were taken over almost right after one another, the Persians and the Romans were enslaved in masses.

Islamic slavery and more recent so called modern Islamic slavery must also be distinguished. Stories related to harems, their eunuch guards, slaves being castrated and treated like cattle have no place in Islam and we do not find this in the teachings and actions of the Prophet Mohammed may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, nor do we find this in the teachings and actions of the righteous predecessors.


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