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Slavery

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Slavery

    Slavery was common in the pre-Islamic communities of the Mediterranean basin, Africa, and Asia. Early Islam mitigated the conditions of human bondage: it forbade the enslavement of Muslims and non-Muslims living under Muslim rule. The only legal slaves were non-Muslims who were imprisoned or bought beyond the borders of Islamic rule, or the sons and daughters of those already in captivity. Manumission was recommended as a meritorious act. Since the mid-twentieth century, slavery has been virtually extinct in the central Islamic lands, though reports from Sudan and Somalia reveal that slavery is still practiced in border areas as a result of continuing warfare.

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