The Two Zealots: Boko Haram and the Islamophobe, Tarek Fateh

The incident involving the kidnapping of three hundred school girls by Boko Haram and reportedly threatening to sell them into slavery has prompted one of those "here we go again" situations.  Islamophobes 'working' as mercenary-propagandists are rolling up their sleeves and making hay by using the transgression of a rogue organization that represents none except its own despicable self.

Not an unfamiliar scenario.  It's long been the stance and 'style of coordination' between  various teams of mischief-mongers to publicly slander the Quran, each team heading out for its respective goal and fulfillment of surreptitious motives.  This time the bozo outburst comes from the notorious Islamophobe, Tarek Fateh, in his article "Muslims must be honest about Qur'an."   In addition to turning Islamic History upside down with prejudice, bizarre accusations and fabricated assertions, this man aims at portraying Boko Haram's loathsome act of kidnapping as a Quranic tenet by manipulating Verse 33:50 of the Quran for the purpose of massive indoctrination, conveying to the masses that reprobates like Boko Haram and other similar outlaws are taking their lessons from the Quran.

Apparently in this 'assignment' the mercenary's task includes the perversion of truth by playing the "Christian / Hindu" card, that all well-known personalities throughout the annals of Islamic History starting from Mohammed bin Qasim were obsessed into taking Christians and Hindus as "sex slaves" and were no different from Boko Haram.

Such lowlife theatrics can no longer pass off as just frolicking and teasing.  In a bid to take desperate steps for successful brainwashing, it boils down to being outright pig-headed.

Not that responding to this sort of biased and hate-filled campaign is worth the time of any civilized or decent person.  But exposing the truth is certainly meaningful as well as constructive for every honorable individual not hankering after materialism, hostility and sowing seeds of discord within a community.

The hackneyed gimmick of Islamophobic bigots is to pick Quranic Verses out of context, misinterpret them at face value and intentionally slip their contextual information under the carpet.  Otherwise the sermonized hype won't sell.  Fateh's stance with Verse 33:50 has been precisely the same, connecting the disinformation with the actions of Boko Haram.

Ignoring his bloody-minded and preposterous contortions of Islamic History, I will only elucidate some essential points pertaining to Verse 33:50 on the aspect of slavery which trouble-makers like him purposely misstate or overlook.


Quoting the portion of Verse 33:50 which is being twisted and falsified:

"O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war"  (33:50).

Based on the handouts and inculcation of these agent provocateurs, the above Verse that reads "those whom thy right hand possesseth" is supposed to be in conformity with practices such as kidnapping and selling non-Muslim females.

Now let us take an honest and realistic look at the Quran's stance on slavery.

In the 7th century, prior to that and during the centuries that followed when slavery was the norm of every society, female slaves were legal for their masters not just in the Islamic world but more so everywhere else from Britain to Europe across Central Asia and South Asia up to China and Japan.  During the slave trade days of America,  plantation owners were allowed to have their black female slaves as conjugal partners (their wives being discreetly aware of it) and their children were not viewed as "illegitimate" either.  That's to show the widespread social custom on the status of female slaves.

It's a common and purposeful misconception particularly in this part of the world, cashed in by the mercenary propagandists, that slavery is a Quranic dictate, that the Quran introduced slavery and was complacent about it. 

The truth is that freeing a slave (or slaves) is viewed in the Noble Quran as one of the ways of atonement for a person's sins.

Slavery is embedded in culture and society not in religion.  It's time related, not race related.

The Noble Quran disapproves of idol worship and it disapproves of slavery too.  Both idolatry and slavery had to be abolished but with different approaches.   

The purpose of the Quran was not to bring about a blood-drenched revolution in the society.  For that reason it did not encourage an overnight abolition of slavery in a society where this system had been rife for centuries.  That would carry grave risks of lawlessness, violence, revenge and insecurity (as we see in the world at present) with persons going on a rampage with their newly found freedom and eventually being pushed back into the ghettos again.  Verse 33:50 and several more that mention the expression "right hand possesses" refer to this period of history when slavery wasn't yet abolished but the process had begun.  It was still a period when male and female slaves had no other choice but to remain in the custody of their masters.  Relationships involving physical intimacy existed legally only between female slaves and their masters ("right hand possesses") as everywhere in the world.  The Noble Quran disallows sodomy and therefore obviously masters were NOT allowed physical relationship with male slaves.

The Quran strongly encouraged educating slaves.  Whenever a master or mistress were confident that their slave or slaves were ready to lead independent lives, they were to set them free by giving them a sum of money and a written note of emancipation to start their new and free lives.   

"And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), write it for them if ye are aware of aught of good in them, and bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He hath bestowed upon you."  (24:33).

The Prophet (pbuh) never had a single slave in his household.  Though several of his companions were former slaves in Mecca, they were all freed in Medinah.  He freed Zaid immediately after adopting him and later arranged his marriage with his own first cousin, Zainab.  He also provided Zaid with a big dowry (according to Quranic rules dowry is the responsibility of the man, not the woman) so that he would not feel discriminated or inferior in the presence of Zainab, who was a free lady of substantial wealth.  Unfortunately this marriage didn't last more than a few years because of the couple's incompatibility.  

Marya, one of the wives of the Prophet, who was a slave before her marriage was freed soon after she arrived in Medinah from Egypt.  When Marya was married, her credential was that of a free woman and she was given the same social status as the other wives of the Prophet who were all free women.

It took 23 years to abolish idol worship from the Arabian peninsula.  By that time slavery too had become far less rampant compared to a couple of decades earlier.  Those slaves who were freed, and they were many, led honorable lives with the education and money provided to them by their former masters.  This system of freeing slaves helped greatly in promoting a peaceful transition from bondage to freedom, diminishing the risks of anarchy. 

As the Noble Quran has highlighted in various Chapters, there were many stringent rules imposed on the masters of slaves during this transitional period of 23 years.  Before that, in Arabia and everywhere else, slaves were no different from a piece of cheap and wretched property.  We have read/watched in books/movies like 'Roots,'  'Uncle Tom's Cabin' and several similar ones the depth of contempt with which slaves were treated in America.  If they were caught learning to read or write, they were severely punished.  Needless to say, treating them as equals with the view of emancipating them in future with a provision was a very far cry, rather a joke for American plantation owners and those who auctioned slaves in American markets well up to the 1800s. For a master to marry their slave to a member of their family was totally unthinkable.  If you get the time, do try to read of the events and occurrences that went on during slave auctions in American slave-trade markets.  Decency requires greater sensitivity while selling cattle and sheep compared to the horrific lack of consideration and degradation human slaves were subjected to while being auctioned to the highest bidder in America's slave markets as late as the mid 19th century. 

Up to the 1800s, rape of black slaves in America wouldn't even be recognized as "rape" as they were barely considered humans.  The Noble Quran mentioned in the 7th century that masters are not entitled to force their female slaves into sexual intercourse against their wishes.

"Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful."  (24:33).

By the way, the above Verse also directly highlights the concept that a woman who has been a victim of rape is innocent, unlike the absurd outlook of some so-called Islamists who find no difference between rape victims and sexual promiscuity. 

Anyone can do their research and they will know that the instruction of educating and freeing slaves with a legal document and monetary provision as one of the prior responsibilities of their masters was NEVER established by any other institution except the Noble Quran.

The culture of slavery has now been officially eradicated from the world which was one of the goals of the Noble Quran more than 1,400 years ago.  Hence physical relationship with a female labelled a "slave" would no longer be valid in the light of the Quranic Law itself.  That relationship would be called zina or fornication if consensual or 'rape' if otherwise.  Both are forbidden in the Glorious Quran.