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Human Rights and Reformist Islam$
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Mohsen Kadivar

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474449304

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474449304.001.0001

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The Issue of Slavery in Contemporary Islam

The Issue of Slavery in Contemporary Islam

(p.333) 12 The Issue of Slavery in Contemporary Islam1
Human Rights and Reformist Islam

Mohsen Kadivar

Edinburgh University Press

Although the rules on slavery are part of Islamic jurisprudence, there are a few verses about slaves in the Qur’an. In addition, there are a lot of hadith about them. However, this was a “temporal rule” and the time of slavery is now over. As such, slavery is now an “abrogated rule” of Islam. It is a forbidden and illegal act. This chapter describes the process of this paradigm shift. With the elimination of the conventions of reasonability, which was the main basis for the ratified ruling (hukm imda’i) on slavery and ownership of humans in Islam, it is natural that this ruling too be recognised as a temporary and seasonal ruling of shari‘a, a ruling whose limit and duration of credibility has come to an end and which in these times is lacking credibility and legitimacy. That is to say, slavery, servitude and the owning of humans in such a context is illegitimate and forbidden (haram). There is no evidence for permanent and continuous ratification (imda’) of the slavery ruling. All ratified rulings (al-ahkam al-imda’i) are conditional on continuity of justice and reasonability.

Keywords:   Slavery, Human rights, ratified ruling (hukm imda’i), temporal rule, abrogated rule, justice, reasonability, paradigm shift, permanent law

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