(Original post by Perseveranze)
This verse, although has a broad meaning, came in defence of a former black slave
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. [Q 49:13]
Wahidi's tafsir - Surah Hujurat 49
"(O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female…) [49:13]. Said Ibn 'Abbas: "This was revealed about Thabit ibn Qays when he made a remark about the man who did not make room for him to sit: 'What, the son of so-and-so [referring to his mother]'. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: 'Who mentioned that woman?' Thabit stood up and said: 'I did, O Messenger of Allah!' The Messenger said to him: 'Look at the faces of those present'. And when he looked, he asked him: 'What do you see?' He said: 'I see white, red and black people'. The Prophet said: 'Well, you are not better than any of them unless it be through [the good practice of] religion and God-fearingness'
. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse'. Muqatil said: "On the day Mecca was conquered, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, ordered Bilal to climb on the roof of the Ka'bah and perform the call to prayer. 'Attab ibn Asid commented on this: 'Praise be to Allah, that Allah has taken my father to Him and made that he did not see this day'. Al-Harith ibn Hisham said: 'Did Muhammad not find any other caller to prayer except this black raven?' Suhayl ibn 'Amr said: 'Allah willing, he will change him'. Abu Sufyan, on the other hand, said: 'I am not going to make any comment; I am afraid that the Lord of heaven will divulge what I say!' Gabriel, peace be upon him, went to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and informed him about what they said. The Prophet summoned them and asked them about what they said and they admitted it. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse warning them against boasting about their lineages and abundance of wealth and against looking down on the poor
'. Abu Hassan al-Muzakki informed us> Harun ibn Muhammad al-Istrabadhi> Abu Muhammad Ishaq ibn Muhammad al-Khuza'i> Abu'l-Walid al-Azraqi> his grandfather> 'Abd al-Jabbar ibn al-Ward al-Makki> Ibn Abi Mulaykah who said: "On the day Mecca was conquered, Bilal climbed on the roof of the Ka'bah and performed the call to prayer. One person said: 'O servants of Allah! How can this black slave be allowed to perform the call to prayer on top of the Ka'bah?' Another man said: 'If Allah is displeased, He will change him."
Bilal(ra), his skin colour or his poor lineage, did not stop him from being one of the greatest companians of the Prophet(pbuh). An inspiration to billions, May Allah be pleased with him.
Islamic slavery is very different to the western-atlantic slavery.
Regarding slaves, the Qur'an mainly talks about 2 things;
1. How to treat slaves (which is very well)
2. Freeing them, which was seen as amongst one of the best deeds.
Examples of verses;
"…But it is righteousness…to spend of your substance out of love for Him…for the ransom of slaves.."[2:177]
"And whoever kills a believer by mistake, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave.."[4:92]
"He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation…give a slave his freedom.."[5:89]
"…ye…may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands posses (slaves)….wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dower…"[4:25]
"And if any of your slaves ask you for a deed in writing (for emancipation) give them such a deed; If ye knew any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you…"
"So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates…"[47:4]
It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing. [2:177]
The Prophet(pbuh) and his companians alone are said to have freed around 30,000-40,000 slaves.