Slave ownership by Muhammad

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Historical and contemporary accounts suggest Muhammad, the founder of Islam, owned many slaves. Muhammad never tried to abolish slavery, instead he himself became involved in the slave trade.[1] Noted American sociologist Rodney Stark in his book For the Glory of God documented "Muhammad bought, sold, captured, and owned slaves".[2] Muhammad kept a slave girl named Mariyah as a concubine with whom he had a child. But Muhammad did not marry her because she remained a Christian.[3] Sunni Islamic jurist, philosopher and theologian Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya in his book Zad al-Ma'ad stated Muhammad "had many male and female slaves". Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya further commented on Muhammad:[4]

He used to buy and sell them, but he purchased more than he sold, especially after God empowered him by His message, as well as after his immigration from Mecca. He once sold one black slave for two. His name was Jacob al-Mudbir. His purchases of slaves were more. He was used to renting out and hiring many slaves, but he hired more slaves than he rented out.

Safiyya bint Huyayy[5] converted to Islam and became one of Muhammad's wives. Byzantine ruler of Egypt and Alexandria Muqawqis donated a Coptic slave to Muhammad named Maria al-Qibtiyya.[5] Below are the names of some of the slaves owned by Muhammad:

  • Mihran or Maymun (male slave)[6]
  • Umm Ayyash (female slave)[7]
  • Nafi (male slave)[8]
  • Shirin was a concubine of Muhammad[9]
Note: This article documents only a few names of the slaves owned by Muhammad


  1. Muhammad and slavery BBC
  2. Rodney Stark (2004). For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery. Princeton University Press, p338. ISBN 0691114366. 
  3. William Montgomery Watt. Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman. Oxford University Press, p195. ISBN 0198810784. 
  4. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya; Jalal Abualrub (English translator); Alsa Mencke and Shaheed M. Ali (Editors) (2003). Zad al-Ma'ad (Provisions for the Hereafter), part 1. Islamic Learning Media Publications, 160. 2nd edition. ISBN 0-9703766-0-X. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Islamic jurist Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya documented the names of Muhammad's female slaves in his book Zad al-Ma'ad, Volume 1, p. 116
  6. Mihran (Maymun)
  7. Umm Ayyash
  8. Nafi
  9. Sirin (Shirin)