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By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

11/20/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Not only is chattel slavery part of Islam, chattel slavery is part of Muhammad.

In light of the natural law's condemnation of chattel slavery, and Muhammad's participation in chattel slavery, we can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Muhammad was neither God's messenger, nor the seal of the prophets.  He was but a man, his head perhaps in the clouds, but with feet of clay.


By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (

11/20/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Muhammad, natural law, slavery, Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - "Slavery is part of jihad."  These are not the words of some Islamophobe, but the words of Shaykh Saleh Al-Fawzan, a member in very good standing of the Senior Council of Clerics in Saudi Arabia.  And Al-Fawzan knows his Islam.  Not only is chattel slavery part of Islam, chattel slavery is part of Muhammad.

In Islam, Muhammad--held to be al-insan al-kamir, the perfect model of a human being--is someone whose life ought to be imitated.  To criticize any aspect of Muhammad's life is blasphemous under Islam's law, the Shari'a.  And yet it is an indisputable fact that Muhammad, after acquiring power and money in Medina, owned slaves, captured slaves, accepted slaves as gifts, traded slaves, enjoyed the fruits of slave labor, and had sex with his female slaves. 

From the many instances that could be cited, one might observe that he had a wooden bench or pulpit made by a slave. Sahih Bukhari 1.8.439. He had a slave he nicknamed "ship" because he could carry such a load.  He had slaves as household servants.  Sahih Bukhari 3.43.648.  He had a slave that was his tailor.  Sahih Bukhari 7.65.345.  He had one slave named Anjashah which drove his camels. Sahih Bukhari 8.73.221.  He personally took slaves captive, and gave them away as gifts. Sahih Bukhari 1.8.367 and 4.53.373.  He bought and sold slaves. Sahih Muslim 10.3901.  Many other examples could be cited, but these suffice for our purposes.

Apologists for Muhammad insist that the founder of Islam was a humanitarian reformer: they point that on occasion he manumitted slaves, that he prohibited the earnings of slave girls through prostitution, and such other events.  But lest we get too pious about Muhammad, we ought to mention that Muhammad also instructed his followers they ought not to lash their wives as they would their slaves, suggesting that slave lashing is something that his followers may do (as well as wife lashing, but only less severely).  Sahih Bukhari 6.60.466.

Muhammad also advised that coitus interruptus with a female slave was acceptable (even if she was married before capture, as her capture nullified the marriage to a nonbeliever, and made her property of the Muslim who acquired her).  By approving a Muslim's coitus interruptus ('azl) with a slave, of course, Muhammad necessarily approved of a Muslim's coitus with his slave.  Sahih Muslim, 8.3383. 

Unquestionably, Muhammad had his hands deep in slavery.  His hands are stained crimson with the unfortunate human who suffered from his law of capture.  Now, by his treatment of men and women as if they were possessions, Muhammad showed that he is not the khair ul-bashar, the "best of all mankind."  Not by a long shot.

It is true, many of our National heroes are no different than Muhammad.  Washington owned slaves, and Jefferson owned them and, it is alleged, slept with one and fathered a child.  Historically, the West's hands are mired in slavery, and the institution was part of ancient Greece and ancient Rome.  It took hundreds of years to confront it, erase it, only to see it come back again, and removed again.  It is a historical blight on the history of our nation which was only overcome with much blood. 

It is also true that some of the Jewish patriarchs owned slaves.  Even the Christian Scriptures make mention of the institution without its express condemnation, though certainly not with any approval.  Only implicitly in the mustard seed of the Gospel may be found the seminal source for the understanding that chattel slavery is against the natural moral law.

But none of those slave-owning men in our history are al-insan al-kamir.  None of them have been perfect, or claimed perfection.  All are sinners.  Most have had feet of clay.  None of them have disciples that claim their heroes perfect, the "best of all mankind," khair ul-bashar: none of them unable to be criticized; none of them must be slavishly followed (excuse the pun).

There is one man that Christians slavishly follow, Jesus.  And Jesus owned no slaves.  And the Gospel that he preached contained an implicit rejection of the underlying assumptions that justify slavery.  Jesus undermined slavery's foundations.  As an institution, slavery is inconsistent with St. Paul's credo in his letter to the Galatians: "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you all are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28).
The Gospel's teaching was social salt indeed.  And through the tutorship of the Gospel, we--all humanity, Christian or no--have learned much about our human nature and the natural law on the matter.  The truth that chattel slavery is against the natural moral law is, like the right to religious freedom (properly understood), one of those moral truths that we have learned over many dead bodies and ruined lives, but at least we have learned it. 

We know now, as a result of development of doctrine in this area and the Magisterial teaching of the Church, without any doubt that the natural law condemns chattel slavery.  Under the natural law, which is the law of God, chattel slavery is haram, forbidden, foreclosed to any man.

(It is significant that, confronting international pressure, Islamic countries were among the last to make slavery illegal, and did so grudgingly.  Saudi Arabia made slavery "illegal" in 1962.  The Yemen Arab Republic in 1962.  The United Arab Emirates in 1963.  South Yemen in 1967.  Oman in 1970.  The Islamic Republic of Mauritania declared slavery illegal in 2007, but there is, in practice, still slavery there and in other Muslim countries.  Some of the more radical elements are calling for a re-institution of slavery.)

So long as a Muslim listens to Muhammad and looks to Muhammad as the perfect man, and so long as the unchanging Shari'a occupies the Muslim's mind and the Muslim's heart and trumps the natural law of reason and of God there, the Muslim will be blinded to a fundamental moral truth: we are, on account of our humanity, all brothers and all entitled to the benefit and subject to the restrictions of the natural moral law. 

It matters not who may be our parents, or what may be our tribe, our race, our color, or our creed.  There is a fundamental law we share because we are human, and that law is a measure against which we can measure any other law, human or purportedly divine.  As Tertullian put it so eloquently, all men are brothers because they have the natural law as their mother.  Fratres autem vestri sumus, iure naturae matris unius.

In light of the natural law's condemnation of chattel slavery, and Muhammad's participation in chattel slavery, we can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Muhammad was neither God's messenger, nor the seal of the prophets.  He was but a man, his head perhaps in the clouds, but with feet of clay.

But someone who is a good Muslim, which I have no doubt Shaykh Saleh Al-Fawzan is, has become tone deaf to the universal melody of natural law.  He has been taught by, and he is in thrall to, that mental slavery called Islam, a slavery that deadens the natural human sensitivity to the natural moral law.  It squelches it ab initio. 

Islam is a system, an ideology that hides behind the skirt, or perhaps better under the burqa of the irrational when pressed by reason, and becomes stuck in a vicious circle, an infinite loop, from which there is no outage.

Muhammad, his life, and his law are best. How do we know?  They are the best because Allah and his messenger know best.  How do we know that Allah and his messenger know best?  We know they know best because Allah and his messenger know best that they know best.  And how do we know that Allah and his messenger know best that they know best? Because Allah and his messenger know best that Allah and his messenger know best that Allah and his messenger know best.

You see where all this is going?  We are caught in an infinite loop of irrationality, of Islamic moral fiat, of Muhammadan ipse dixit and nothing more.

(This article is adapted from the book written by the author entitled, The Heart's Witness Against Muhammad: Why the Natural Law Proves Muhammad False.)


Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at


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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
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