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Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition$

Robert Harms, Bernard K Freamon, and David W. Blight

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300163872

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300163872.001.0001

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Straight, No Chaser: Slavery, Abolition, and Modern Islamic Thought

Straight, No Chaser: Slavery, Abolition, and Modern Islamic Thought

Chapter:
(p.61) 4 Straight, No Chaser: Slavery, Abolition, and Modern Islamic Thought
Source:
Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition
Author(s):

Bernard K. Freamon

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300163872.003.0004

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is concerned with the discourse on slavery and abolition in modern Islamic thought. It argues that understandings of the topic among Muslims are deeply impoverished. Religious histories, like the account of Bilal ibn Rabah’s emancipation, dominate Muslim understandings of slavery, but cannot assist understandings of today’s slavery-related problems, particularly human trafficking, forced labor, and debt bondage. The chapter calls for a fresh realism concerning slavery’s relation to Islamic law. In the Indian Ocean World there were plural imperialisms, leading to plural conceptions of slavery and plural abolitionist scenarios. While abolition failed in India and the Persian Gulf, it succeeded in Tunisia and Egypt, where modernist Islamic scholars played a role. Zanzibar presented another contrasting scenario. The chapter concludes that there is a rich history and discourse on slavery and abolition in the Muslim world, with badges and incidents everywhere, providing much for Muslims to learn from.

Keywords:   Islamic law, Bilal ibn Rabah, badges and incidents, human trafficking, plural imperialisms

It might strike the reader as odd to use an allusion to the drinking of alcohol in the title of an essay concerned with modern Islamic thought. That is not the intention. The title of this chapter is actually drawn from the world of jazz. Viewed from that perspective, it has direct relevance to the topic at hand. The words “Straight, No Chaser” are borrowed from the title of a famous jazz piece written and often performed by Thelonious Monk, the iconic jazz composer and pianist who brought great influence to the music, beginning in the early 1940s and continuing until his death in 1982. Monk’s piece has come to be a metaphor for the introduction of “modern” jazz idioms into the traditional jazz and blues forms popular in the early to mid-twentieth century.

By using eloquent, economical phrasing combined with unusual rhythmic devices, long silences, angular arresting melodies, and a dissonant chord structure that became his quintessential signature, Monk forced many composers, musicians, and listeners to confront their shortcomings and the limitations of the music as it then existed. Monk’s music took no prisoners. Employing a spare and precise realism, he made no sacrifices to sentimentalism, romanticism, self-delusion, complacency, or slavish devotion to tradition. His music looked the listener straight in the eye. Although “Straight, No Chaser” carried jazz to places it had never been before, it also accepted its lot in the life and history of the music without dilution or disguise. By turning the traditional jazz (p.62) form inside out and sometimes on its head, Monk exposed the “unvarnished truth” of the past forms and advanced everyone’s understanding of the music, lighting the way to the future. This is what I want to do here in my discussion of the history and historiography of slavery and abolition in the Muslim world and their relationship to contemporary Islamic thought.

An Impoverished Sense of History

There is a rich and rapidly developing historiography in the Western academies on slavery and abolition in the Muslim world.1 Yet discussion and understanding of that history among Muslims outside these academies remain deeply impoverished and shockingly uninformed. Most Muslims, even many scholars, have little or no knowledge of the modern history of slavery and its abolition in their communities. Educational curricula in secondary schools and universities, particularly in the Arab world, rarely if ever contain any references to the topic.2 Modern Muslim intellectuals essentially retreat into denial when asked to reflect on the Muslim world’s long, deep, and continuous connection with slavery and slave-trading systems. Many Muslims possess a kind of idealized knowledge of slavery’s role in Islamic history, supplied by normatively instructive lessons from their religious history, but this knowledge is a poor surrogate for a more critical understanding.

Perhaps the best example of this idealized knowledge is the tradition surrounding the emancipation of Bilal ibn Rabah.3 Every Muslim schoolchild knows the story of Bilal. An Ethiopian slave who converted to Islam while still enslaved, Bilal was rescued from certain death at the hands of his pagan Meccan owner and emancipated by Abu Bakr, a close companion of the Prophet Muhammad and later the first Caliph. Bilal became a devoted adherent of the new religion and is said to have been the first muezzin (prayer caller) in Islam, devising a formula for a summons to prayer that employed the human voice rather than a drum, horn, or bell. The Qur’an later recognized the call, its cadence and beautifully melodic sound now heard five times a day all over the world, as critically important for maintaining communal public worship.4 The Prophet Muhammad later appointed Bilal as interim governor of Medina and entrusted him with other important duties in the affairs of the new Islamic state.5

Parents, religious teachers, political leaders, and even many academics cite the example of the emancipation of Bilal and his role in early Islamic history as a kind of proof text of both Islam’s emancipatory ethic with regard to slavery and its intolerance of racial discrimination.6 Indeed, this example and others like it do in fact show that the experience of the early Muslims—an experience (p.63) that forms the revelational context for much of the Qur’an—was fundamentally emancipatory and transracial. This experience is an important backdrop to Qur’anic and prophetic discussions of human equality, and it forms the basis for the overarching egalitarian message of Islam, which became one of the hallmarks of the religion. Yet in the discourse on Islamic history among Muslims, the history of slavery, slave trading, and their abolition remains impoverished and undertheorized. Idealized set-piece religious histories, like the account of the emancipation of Bilal, have dominated Muslim historical understandings of slavery. Although important, such histories cannot assist those who seek to gain an effective understanding of their own history and its relationship to slavery-related problems in the Muslim world today, including human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, child labor, and gender and racial bias.7

This chapter is a call for a fresh realism with respect to the study of slavery in the Muslim world and its relation to Islamic law. The need for such realism is compelling. A widely held conventional wisdom posits that the shari’a, as a system of law, cannot adequately assist Muslims in grappling with the demands of modern life because it is essentially a premodern anachronism. Some want to point to Islamic law’s difficulty with slavery as a prime example of this failure. The argument is strengthened by the assertion that there was never any significant indigenous impetus for the abolition of slavery and slave trading in the Muslim world. This argument understandably posits that the thirteen-hundred-year history of the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and trans-Saharan slave trades, and of widespread chattel slavery in Muslim communities, belies Islam’s much-trumpeted egalitarian message.8 Islamic egalitarianism, it is asserted, made little contribution to the closing of the slave trades and the eventual elimination of chattel slavery in most Muslim communities. Slavery in the Muslim world was never the subject of any homegrown abolitionism, the argument runs. Rather, in places where slavery was eliminated, this result was achieved largely because of pressure from Western governments, including naval antislaving patrols, diplomatic coercion, treaties, financial reward schemes for local sheikhs, colonial fiats, and the shaming exhortations of European and American abolitionist movements.9 It was therefore the hegemony of colonialism that ended slavery in the Muslim world, substituting one pervasive regime of inequality and hierarchy for another. Now that the colonialist legacy has receded, it is argued, slavery might reappear in Muslim communities. Recurrent reports suggest that chattel slavery and apartheid-like inequalities remain a problem in some Muslim communities in the Sahel and parts of sub-Saharan Africa, in the Persian Gulf, and on the Arabian Peninsula.

(p.64) These arguments overgeneralize, clouding our ability to gain a better understanding of the role of Islamic law in processes that led to the end of chattel slavery in the Muslim world. There is no question that the exhortations and diplomatic and legal initiatives of Western governments and the actions of antislavery activists, particularly British activists, were primary causative agents in ending Islamic slavery. A close examination of nineteenth-century history shows, however, that Islamic law also played a curiously ambivalent but nonetheless important role in efforts to abolish chattel slavery and the slave trades in the Indian Ocean and Arab worlds. This role was bound up in the development of an “intertwined” and “plural” set of Western and Muslim imperialisms that were unique to those regions and may still exist today. Slavery and the slave trades were important factors in helping bind those imperialisms together. The emergence of this plural set of imperialisms led to plural conceptions of slavery, plural understandings of what it meant to be a slave, and, eventually, plural scenarios for seeking abolition. Western historians, while acknowledging the role of imperialism in abolitionist thought, have tended to marginalize the role of Islamic law when recounting narratives of abolition in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. They ignore the fact that Islamic law has an important imperialist legacy and that this legacy affected efforts to abolish slavery and slave trading.

In some locales, such as India and the Persian Gulf, the abolitionist enterprise largely failed, in spite of the efforts of the Muslim and European imperialists. This failure cannot be laid exclusively at the feet of the shari’a, although local legal culture and misconceptions about shari’a provisions on slavery led to the continuation of slavery and the slave trade in many places. This continuation was also frequently enabled by the connivance and the duplicitous policies of European imperial authorities who tolerated a continuation of slavery to supply labor and keep slave-owning elites happy. By contrast, in places such as Egypt and Tunisia, abolition succeeded, not only because of firm pressure from colonial authorities but also, in part, because of the influence of the shari’a and the arguments of religious opinion makers. The history of abolition and antislavery thought in the Muslim world is therefore a nuanced and complex tale, one that offers profound lessons for those concerned with contemporary issues that similarly implicate the role of Islamic law. Much of the Muslim world is currently convulsed with anxious concern over Islamic law’s relationship—or perhaps, nonrelationship—to some of the great issues of our time. These issues include demands for the installation of democratic governments, equality for women, respect for the rights of non-Muslim citizens and other minority groups, the rejection of false jihadist ideologies, freedom of expression and conscience as fundamental entitlements of all persons, elimination of the scourges of human (p.65) trafficking and forced labor, and a more generalized effort to integrate universalist ideas into the administration of legal systems based, in large part, on Islamic paradigms. The challenges presented by these issues, while topical and attention grabbing, are not new. These same challenges were faced by Muslims initially confronted with nineteenth-century demands to abolish slavery and slave trading in their communities. An understanding of what happened in the Muslim world with respect to slavery and its abolition will leave those concerned much better equipped to approach issues that convulse the Muslim world today.

There are some dangers involved in this enterprise. The most significant danger involves the very real temptation to essentialize the history of ideas in Muslim communities and to overgeneralize when comparing communities or regimes. This problem may become acute when one takes on the problem of abolition.10 Islamic thought on slavery is not monolithic, but plural and sometimes contradictory. This chapter explores the nature of that pluralism, particularly in the Indian Ocean World. Keeping Thelonious Monk’s example in mind, we will get at as much of the “unvarnished truth” as we can in this short space.

“Plural Imperialisms” and Plural Conceptions of Slavery in the Indian Ocean World

The history of European imperialism in the Indian Ocean World is much more “intertwined” with the legacy of the Muslim empires that the European powers sought to replace than many historians have acknowledged. As Frederick Cooper has pointed out, oceans, continents, and, indeed, empires are about intertwined histories, not histories that are stand-alone and disconnected.11 In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, interconnections in the Indian Ocean region led to a kind of pluralism not seen before in world history, a phenomenon I call “plural imperialisms.”12 This pluralism emerged from a strong and vibrant web of economic, historical, legal, cultural, and religious connections between and among the Islamic empires and subempires that thrived along the shores of the Indian Ocean and its Red Sea and Persian Gulf inlets before and after the arrival of the Europeans.13 These connections can be traced back as far as the Abbasid Caliphate, based in Baghdad, which waxed and waned over a five-hundred-year period beginning about 750 ce. In its later years, the Abbasid Empire (750–1258) became politically fragmented, and a number of empires, subempires, sultanates, and mini-caliphates emerged. Although the fortunes of these empires were in decline by the eighteenth century, the intrusion of European imperialist and mercantilist ventures at that time coincided with the reemergence of a vibrant Persian imperial polity in Iran, coupled with (p.66) the rise of the Wahhabi insurgency on the Arabian Peninsula, a rekindling of Ottoman interest in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, the strikingly imperialistic interventions of semi-independent Egypt under Muhammad Ali and his progeny, the rise of powerful Islamic sultanates on the islands of Southeast Asia, and the spreading of the Omani maritime empire based in Muscat to Zanzibar and other cities on the East African coast. In addition, the northern tribes on the Arabian Peninsula asserted a regional suzerainty over the regions around the Persian Gulf and in Iraq during this period. There was, therefore, a veritable explosion of imperialist activity in the Indian Ocean World in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and not all of it was European. Historians have tended to see the entry of European adventurers into this world as just that, an intervention by outsiders, but it is probably more accurate to see them as behaving very much like the other sovereigns, imperialists, and sheikhs resident in the region, staking out zones of influence in what was already a highly complex and interconnected web of relationships.14

Slavery was an important part of the connective sinew in this pluralistic web. André Wink has noted that the empires that emerged from the fragmentation of the Abbasid Caliphate retained, inter alia, an “Islamic military-bureaucratic apparatus staffed with imported slaves on an extended scale.”15 The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires best fit this description, but it is important to note that the Omanis, the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, and the Egyptians all extensively employed slaves in military and naval capacities and also fostered the trade in slaves well into the nineteenth century.16 When the British East India Company and its Portuguese, Dutch, and French counterparts first entered the Indian Ocean arena, they vigorously traded in slaves and looked to slave labor to staff their mercantilist enterprises.17

It is not helpful to superimpose a transatlantic conception of slavery on this milieu. Unconscious and subtle pressures to view all slavery through the prism of the transatlantic paradigm, one that suggests that the institution is a “monolithic, one-size-fits-all phenomenon” characterized by the classic markers of racialized chattel slavery, with a history of a “triumphant march from bondage to freedom,” obscure our understanding of the institution’s nature, history, and impact in the Indian Ocean and Arab worlds.18

For example, the Indian Ocean and Arab slave trades were not just about Africans. Although Africans made up the bulk of the slave-traded populations, particularly in the western Indian Ocean,19 there were significant numbers of non-Africans transported westward, from the islands of the Far East, the Asian steppes, Nepal, Bengal, the Malabar Coast, and the shores of Baluchistan to the cosmopolitan centers of the Middle East and to centers of commercial production in East Africa.20 Gwyn Campbell notes that slaves sometimes (p.67) constituted between 20 and 30 percent of the population of Indian Ocean societies, “rising to 50 percent and over in parts of Africa and in Indonesian ports.”21 Wink similarly notes that in the 1860s one-third of the population in regions of Sumatra were descended from slaves.22 The Indian Ocean slave trade, and the systems and practices of slavery that it fed, were much more complex, multidirectional, and fluid than the transatlantic trade and the latifundial systems of the Western Hemisphere.23 This complexity took a variety of forms, with many slaves performing elite functions as well as working as laborers, concubines, and domestic workers. Manumission was not uncommon, and many slaves functioned in a kind of quasi-emancipatory status or condition. Juridical, imperial, and academic definitions and conceptions of slavery and the role of slaves in these societies therefore tended to challenge and confound Western attempts to accomplish abolition.24

These imperial systems led to broad variations in the legal conceptions of slavery, particularly among Muslims, and among the colonial officials that interacted with the Muslims. Orlando Patterson’s universalistic definition, describing slavery as “social death,” is very useful, but in many respects it does not adequately account for the variety of conditions and relationships that existed throughout the region.25 George William Curtis, an American living in Egypt in the late 1840s, noted that it seemed only an “accident” of social life that one person might be enslaved while the other lived in relative freedom.26 James Francis Warren, in describing the occupations and social mobility of slaves in the Southeast Asian Sulu sultanate, describes the slaves recruited by the sultan as officeholders enjoying “considerable power and prestige.”27 Yet elsewhere in the Sulu Empire, conditions were horrific, with fugitive slaves demanding to be thrown into the sea rather than be returned to Zamboanga, a slaving outpost with a nightmarish reputation among the Sulu slaves.28

Life was also extremely difficult for most black African captives transported across the Nubian Desert or up the Nile River to markets in Upper and Lower Egypt or up the coast of East Africa and through the Red Sea to markets at Jiddah, Port Sudan, Suez, and Cairo. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were at least seven principal pathways by which slaves entered Egypt.29 The Dar Fur trading caravan was “the greatest of all caravans reaching Egypt,”30 and its principal commodity was male and female black African slaves.31 The death rate along these caravan routes, including the fabled “forty-days road” across the desert, has been estimated to have been as high as 30 percent.32 Egypt and its slaving outlets on the Red Sea were thus important nodes in this complex web, just as were those found on the southern Arabian coast, in the Persian Gulf, along the Baluchi and Indian coasts, and in Southeast (p.68) Asia. Each presented a different milieu and set of conditions for slavers and slaves as well as for the abolitionists.

There was not a single conception of slavery, nor was there even one definition in legal terms. Conceptions of slavery varied depending on the nature of the function performed by the slave, the social and economic milieu in which he or she performed, and whether the enslaved person worked on the periphery or in the cosmopolitan heartland. A military slave commanding a contingent of soldiers, or an enslaved ship captain piloting an oceangoing dhow, or a slave holding an important position as a treasurer or accountant for a state organization or private merchant company had fundamentally different obligations from, and possessed much greater latitude and freedom of movement than, a field hand in rural Egypt or a pearl diver in the Persian Gulf or domestic servant in Baghdad. The Islamic fiqh, or positive law, recognized these distinctions.33 Multiple definitions and, more importantly, plural conceptions of what it meant to be enslaved led to plural approaches to abolition as well. Varied understandings of Islamic law’s receptiveness to the idea of abolition contributed to these pluralities.

Plural Abolitions

Historians have tended to describe abolition in the Indian Ocean World as a phenomenon initially marked by a tremendous inertia. What they have observed was not always inertia but rather markedly different results arising from the plurality of circumstances described above. True, there were no great slave revolts; no Toussaint Louverture or Frederick Douglass or Denmark Vesey or John Brown or Simón Bolívar rallied the faithful to rise up against the yoke of the slave masters.34 Western imperialist efforts to abolish slavery and slave trading were almost always gradualist and marked by numerous exemptions and diplomatic intricacies. For example, India, Ceylon, St. Helena, and all the territories in the dominion of the British East India Company were initially deliberately exempted from the worldwide abolition of slavery in British dominions enacted by the British Parliament in 1833.35 This fact encouraged many Arab, Indian, and Southeast Asian entrepreneurs, privateers, and government operatives to continue what was by then a robust and lucrative oceanic and overland slave trade. In India, child slavery and debt bondage continued to be particularly problematic, especially in times of famine and economic distress, even after the owning of slaves became a criminal offense. Slavery and slave trading also remained a serious problem on the Arabian Peninsula and in the Persian Gulf until well into the twentieth century.36 In Egypt and Zanzibar, on the other hand, the effort to bring an end to slavery and slave trading moved with a greater speed.

(p.69) The path to abolition thus varied in each location, depending on the nature of the institution of slavery, economic conditions, the attitude of notables and religious opinion makers, and the local approach to empire. For example, abolition, in the strict juridical sense, never really happened in Egypt. The Egyptian government, dominated by the British after 1882 and headed by the nominally Ottoman khedive, never enacted a domestic law abolishing slavery, even though the khedive had the undoubted juridical authority to issue an abolitionary decree. Rather, the Anglo-Egyptian Conventions of 1877 and 1895, signed by the khedives Isma’il and Abbas Hilmi respectively, criminalized all forms of slave trading and severely restricted the importation of slaves into Egypt. The 1877 Convention created Bureaus of Manumission, which permitted slaves to get certificates freeing them from the normal conditions of slavery, although such certificates did not enable former slaves to marry without the former master’s permission or permit them to inherit property. The 1895 Convention, by criminalizing any interference in the “full liberty of action of an enfranchised slave,” effectively granted former slaves the unconditional right to marry and to inherit.37 The 1895 Convention also made slave trading punishable in the domestic criminal courts rather than by courts-martial in most areas, increased the penalties for such activities, and authorized increased vigilance against slave traffic at the ports on the Red Sea. So even though there was no abolition and Egyptians were permitted to continue to own slaves, the two anti-slave-trading conventions, particularly the 1895 convention, were more effective in ending slavery in Egypt than the delegalization decrees enacted over fifty years earlier in India and at the close of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth in Zanzibar.38

The disappearance of slavery in Egypt offers an interesting contrast with events occurring elsewhere in the region at about that time. Almost fifty years ago, the historian Gabriel Baer observed that slavery “vanished” in Egypt in the late nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century.39 This is a rather strong statement, especially since just to the south in Sudan and across the Red Sea in Arabia slavery and slave trading continued to flourish for many years. Baer attributed the disappearance of slavery in Egypt to “favorable conditions for eliminating both supply and demand.” What were those conditions? Did they have anything to do with Islam and conceptions of slavery in Islamic law? Conditions certainly included an increased demand for wage labor, continued vigilance over slave trading routes into Egypt, vigorous diplomatic pressure from the British, criminal liability for trading in slaves, and continued liberal European condemnations of slavery and slave trading, coupled with contact between the Egyptian intelligentsia and Europe’s antislavery movement. Egypt’s rapid industrialization and the concomitant need for (p.70) wage labor made slavery a less attractive alternative for many in the population. In addition to the Bureaus of Manumission established in 1877, British antislavery activists opened a home for freed female slaves in 1884 to assist in the rehabilitation of manumitted women and to prevent prostitution. Many women passed through the home, but it seems that by 1908 the home was closed; there was no more need for such services, and the number of women requesting manumission certificates had dwindled to almost zero.40 A French observer, writing in 1901, similarly observed that slavery in Egypt had “in fact and in law” disappeared.41 The Egyptian census of 1907 made no references to slavery, and neither did the British government’s official reports to Parliament on Egypt from 1910, nor the regular reports in the Anti-Slavery Reporter.42 Then, in early 1911, the Repression of Slave Trade Department in Egypt, established under the conventions, was closed and transferred to Sudan.43 So by 1911 the demand in Egypt for certificates of freedom had dwindled to almost nothing. These facts might not mean that slavery had completely “vanished” in Egypt by 1911, but it certainly seems clear that the issue was no longer one of concern for the British and the Egyptian population. Indeed, as Lord Cromer wrote in 1908, “It may safely be asserted that slavery in Egypt, although it will take a long time to die out completely, is moribund.”44

It has been observed that the disappearance of slavery in Egypt also came about because of a subtle and important change in attitude among Egyptians.45 There is some basis to conclude that this change in attitude was due, in part, to fresh arguments against slavery asserted by a rising and important group of Islamic “modernists” and reformers writing in Egypt at that time.46 It is important to note that both Muhammad ‘Abduh, an important and influential modernist Islamic thinker writing during that time, and his disciple Muhammad Rashid Rida, a significant Islamic utilitarian in his own right, held the view that Islamic law was compatible with the secular abolition of slavery. They openly expressed these views in the popular press and in scholarly writings. Amal Ghazal has recently shown that the views on slavery of ‘Abduh, Rida, and Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi, an important Syrian reformist scholar and critic of the Ottoman Porte who joined them in Cairo, were all regularly published in al-Manar, a magazine with a significant circulation in the Muslim world at the time.47 These expressions of support for abolition were centered in a larger modernist movement that urged Islamic law reform more generally and paralleled the emergence of Egyptian nationalism, which emphasized equality among citizens, including women, and a desire to enter the world dominated by the egalitarian Western democracies. Although these modernist reform ideas met with fierce opposition from mainstream Islamic clerics, the arguments were widely reported on in the press and followed in (p.71) Egypt and in other cosmopolitan centers in the Islamic world.48 A few years later, Rida, in his work The Muhammadan Revelation, argued that one of the purposes of the revelation of the Qur’an was the elimination or “disappearance” of slavery.49 This was consistent with the emancipatory ethic developed both in Islam’s formative years and in the arguments of ‘Abduh and Kawakibi at the turn of the century. The seeds of these views can be found earlier in the twentieth century in the policies of Khedive Isma’il, who made antislavery efforts part of his vision for Egypt as a dominant imperialist power in Africa.50 It may very well be, therefore, that scholarly reformist attitudes toward Islamic law, particularly pietist and egalitarian arguments, as expressed in popular writing, coupled with a rising nationalist fervor, had some bearing on the change in Egyptian attitudes toward slavery. These reformist beginnings are the basis for much of the modern thinking about Islam and Islamic law that we see in the Muslim world today.

Abolition in Zanzibar and on the East African coast was in some ways similar but in other ways quite different from the Egyptian example. The British entered into a succession of anti-slave-trade treaties with the sultans of Oman and Zanzibar, and the Sultans eventually promulgated a series of abolitionary and delegalization decrees, beginning in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and continuing until 1909. The most important of these decrees were those issued by Sultan Barghash, particularly his abolition of the slave market in Zanzibar in 1873. Barghash’s motives were in some ways similar to those of Isma’il in Egypt: he was a modernizer who desired to bring Zanzibar into the international club of modern nations. He is credited with bringing many modern innovations to Zanzibar, including a postal service, electricity, paved roads, and improved banking and shipping services. He did not, however, have grand imperial visions for his sultanate. The son of a slave woman himself, he was acutely aware of the perceived role of Islamic law in regulating the affairs of slaves owned by Muslims, even in the age of abolitionist entreaties by the European imperialists. The record of his conversations with Sir John Kirk, the British consul, is replete with references to the attitudes of the Zanzibari ulama on slavery.51 Citing the attitudes and opinions of the Zanzibari ulama and other notables, Barghash initially firmly resisted any effort to abolish slave trading or the slave market in Zanzibar. He was so intransigent that the British government determined to send a special envoy, Sir Bartle Frere, to negotiate with him. When negotiations failed, the British decided to impose a naval embargo on the sultan’s commercial trading enterprises. It was only then that Barghash finally agreed to abolish the slave market in Zanzibar town and to enforce other measures designed to interdict slave trading.52 Resistance to the abolition of slavery among Arab and Swahili notables and in (p.72) the Islamic religious community continued, and slavery came to an end only after the enactment of a series of delegalization and partial-abolition decrees, the most important after Barghash’s decree of 1873 being the sultan’s edict of 1897 and a final delegalization decree of 1909. Even those decrees continued the existence of concubinal relationships between Zanzibari Muslim men and enslaved women. The 1909 decree gave all concubines in Zanzibar and Pemba the right to seek their freedom, but such women would forfeit their right to custody of children from those relationships.53

Although there was active nationalist and reformist sentiment among the Zanzibari ulama at the time, reformist ideas on slavery apparently did not play the same role. There were no ulama in Zanzibar of the stature of Muhammad ‘Abduh or Rashid Rida. One Zanzibari ‘alim who might be ranked with ‘Abduh and Rida was the famous scholar Ahmed bin Sumayt. Sumayt came from a distinguished Hadrami family that had settled in the Comoros, and he eventually migrated to Zanzibar, where he occupied the position of chief judge for many years until his death in 1925. There is some evidence that Sumayt traveled to Egypt and met with Muhammad ‘Abduh when the latter occupied a similar position in Egypt. More research might reveal the substance of their conversations and correspondence.54 Amal Ghazal has recently shown that there were intense and regular contacts between a number of Zanzibari ulama and Egyptian scholars beginning in the late nineteenth century and lasting well into the twentieth.55

After Sultan Barghash issued the decree abolishing the slave market, he was congratulated in European capitals and feted by Queen Victoria. On his return from England, Barghash stopped in Egypt to visit Khedive Isma’il. We know that the Egyptian had designs on some of the sultan’s dominions on the East African coast, so Barghash may have been seeking to defuse that effort. Alastair Hazell has reported that perhaps Barghash’s main purpose in stopping in Egypt, a requirement if one travels by ship and uses the Suez Canal, was to purchase Circassian concubines for himself and members of his entourage, behavior that was quite duplicitous, given the reasons for his visit to England.56 Nonetheless, it could be that the two Muslim rulers or their advisers discussed problems of slavery and the slave trade during their visit.57 We also know that Kawakibi traveled to Zanzibar some years later, in 1903, to investigate the state of affairs there in regard to slavery. Rashid Rida later published his opinions on slavery in al-Manar.58 Based in part on his observations in Zanzibar, Kawakibi expressed his view that slavery could and should be abolished throughout the Islamic world. But Zanzibar, unlike Egypt, did not witness the sudden disappearance of the institution. Abolitionist initiatives provoked riots, and many of the local Arabs put up stout resistance.59 By the (p.73) first decades of the twentieth century, slavery and the slave trade had largely come to an end in Zanzibar, although problems involving concubinage and discrimination based on the badges and incidents of former slavery lingered for many years thereafter.

The chronicles with respect to abolition in the Persian Gulf and in India present still another starkly different picture.60 In the Persian Gulf and along the southern shores of the Arabian Peninsula, trafficking in Africans and Indians, although illegal, continued until well into the middle of the twentieth century.61 In India the path to abolition was even more tortured and littered with obstacles and false starts. As already noted, India was exempted from the general emancipation of 1833 in British dominions. Ten years later, the Indian government promulgated Act V of 1843, a measure designed to delegalize slavery in India.62 As in Egypt and in Zanzibar, this measure was not a general abolition; but unlike the experience in Egypt and Zanzibar, slavery and slave trading remained a problem in India for many years. Fifty years after delegalization, an official of the Crown colony noted that “slaves are still purchased and imported into India” and that “slave girls are kept in the establishments of Muscat refugees and other Mohamedan residents in Bombay.”63 Similarly, a consular official in Hyderabad observed that “every Arab who comes to Hyderabad … brings with him one or two Habshi slaves.”64 Slavery and slave trading in India also continued well into the twentieth century, although not with the virulence and persistence seen in the Persian Gulf.

Islamic Law and Abolition

Islam is too often regarded as a creed that uncompromisingly demands that governments conform to a monochromic religious and legal ideology. This is not always true; the abolition of slavery is perhaps the best historical example. Although conservative ulama and heads of state sometimes objected, many Muslim secular and religious leaders early on came to see that abolition was in the best interest of their societies and their governments. Action in the best interests of the community, sometimes requiring the overruling of an otherwise valid rule of Islamic law, is a well-recognized jurisprudential option allowed by the shari’a for governments in Muslim communities.65 William Gervase Clarence-Smith and other historians have pointed to the example of Ahmed Bey in Tunisia, also the son of a slave woman, who banned the slave trade in 1841–42 and issued a decree permitting emancipation for all who requested it. In doing so, he relied, in part, on the opinions of Maliki and Hanafi jurists.66 In another example, given to us by Behnaz Mirzai, British officials in Iran obtained a fatwa from the Shi’a ulama of Najaf, declaring (p.74) that nothing in the shari’a prevented the shah from declaring the slave trade illegal.67 Isma’il in Egypt and Barghash in Zanzibar, while continuing to be slaveholders personally, both apparently also worked hard to secure the assent of their ulama for abolition, achieving success with some individuals and other times not.

There is a rich history and a vibrant discourse on slavery and abolition among Muslim scholars and opinion makers that has failed to gain public attention and deserves to be made a part of the educational programs and public education in the Muslim world. There is a direct and traceable, but not very well understood, relationship between this discourse and modern Islamic thought on equality, the role of the nation-state, obligations of government, and citizenship. Because of this lack of understanding, the “badges and incidents” of slavery still exist in many Indian Ocean societies, particularly in places such as the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, the Malabar Coast of India, and Zanzibar. There are African diasporic communities in Iraq, Iran, and Palestine that continue to suffer racial discrimination. Those who are trafficked into the Middle East today come from the same communities that were trafficked during the nineteenth-century slave trade. The difficulty is that most Muslims have not yet learned to recognize these “badges and incidents” because they are not aware of the events that caused them to come into existence, and any historical memory that might generate awareness is not animated by critical discourse. Increasing public and academic awareness of these connections will greatly aid in reducing the continuing scourge of modern day slavery in the region and in the world. It will also increase understanding of contemporary quests for equality. These are the kinds of inquiries that should occupy the attentions of modern Muslim minds.

Notes

Thanks to Rebecca Fink for excellent research assistance. Thanks also to Abed Awad, H. Kwasi Prempeh, and my coeditor Robert Harms for their insightful suggestions and comments.

(1) . Some of the more important recent contributions include Mohammed Ennaji, Slavery, the State, and Islam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013); Eve Troutt-Powell, Tell This in My Memory: Stories of Enslavement from Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Empire (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2012); Alastair Hazel, The Last Slave Market: Dr John Kirk and the Struggle to End the East African Slave Trade (London: Constable and Robinson, 2011); Terence Walz and Kenneth M. Cuno, eds., Race and Slavery in the Middle East (Cairo, New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2010); Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller, eds., (p.75) Women and Slavery, vol. 1., Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Medieval North Atlantic (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007); Ehud R. Toledano, As If Silent and Absent: Bonds of Enslavement in the Islamic Middle East (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2007); William Gervase Clarence-Smith, Islam and the Abolition of Slavery (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Shaun E. Marmon, ed., Slavery in the Islamic Middle East (Princeton, N.J.: Markus Wiener, 1999); Elizabeth Savage, ed., The Human Commodity: Perspectives on the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade (London: Frank Cass, 1992).

(2) Riq fi bilad al-Maghrib wa al-AndalusRace and SlaveryEmad Ahmed Helal, al-Raqiq fi Misr fi al-qarn al-tasi’ asbar (Cairo: al-Arabi li-l-Nashr wa-l-Tawzi’, 1999)

(3) Khalid Muhammad Khalid, Men around the Messenger, ed. Emad Ahmed Helal, trans. Sheik Muhammad Mustafa Gemeiah (Cairo: Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Islamic Research Academy, 1997), 71

(4) . Qur’an 62:9; The Meaning of The Holy Qur’an, trans. ‘Abdullah Yusuf Ali, 11th ed. (Beltsville, Md.: Amana, 2006).

(5) Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Freedom, Equality, and Justice in Islam (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 2002), 58

(6) Ibid

(7) . David McKenzie, “Slavery Very Much Alive” (Sudan), CNN.com, March 7, 2011, http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/tag/cnns-david-mckenzie; “Slavery Today,” http://www.antislavery.org/english/slavery_today/what (accessed June 8, 2012); John D. Sutter, “Slavery’s Last Stronghold” (Mauritania), CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/03/world/mauritania.slaverys.last.stronghold/index.html (accessed June 8, 2012); “Modern Slaves: Domestic Migrant Workers in Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia,” April 5, 2012, http://ethioandinet.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/modern-slaves-domestic-migrant-workers-in-kuwait-UAE-Saudi-Arabia.

(8) Slavery, the State and IslamRonald Segal, Islam’s Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001)

(9) . Bernard Lewis, Race and Slavery in the Middle East (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 79; Murray Gordon, Slavery in the Arab World (New York: New Amsterdam, 1989), 191–229; Keith Hamilton and Patrick Salmon, eds., Slavery, Diplomacy, and Empire: Britain and the Suppression of the Slave Trade, 1807–1975 (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2009); see also Suzanne Miers, Britain and the Ending of the Slave Trade (New York: Africana, 1975).

(p.76) (10) Islam and the Abolition of SlaveryWilliam Gervase Clarence-Smith, Journal of African History, 48 (2007): 481–85

(11) Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005), 100–104

(12) Anthony Reid, introduction to Islamic Legitimacy in a Plural Asia, ed. Anthony Reid and Michael Gilsenan (London and New York: Routledge, 2007), 5–11

(13) . See Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World System, AD 1250–1350 (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 185–290. Gwyn Campbell’s historiographical essay “Islam in Indian Ocean Africa prior to the Scramble: A New Historical Paradigm,” in Struggling with History: Islam and Cosmopolitanism in the Western Indian Ocean, ed. Edward Simpson and Kai Kresse (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 43–92, excellently summarizes the connections I describe. I have liberally relied upon it in this chapter, although he also falls victim to the temptation to essentialize in his discussion of the role of empire, particularly in the discussion of the role of Islamic law. I have sought here to be more discriminating in my discussion of the role of the law and its practitioners.

(14) . For articulation of the assertion that the Indian subempire was a “web” of entities, with nodes of imperial activities, rather than a large wheel with spokes radiating from a center, see Thomas R. Metcalf, Imperial Connections: India in the Indian Ocean Arena, 1860–1920 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007). The work of Lauren Benton is also helpful in understanding this concept; see, for example, Benton, Law and Colonial Cultures: Legal Regimes in World History, 1400–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), and Benton, A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). See also H. J. Kissling et al., The Last Great Muslim Empires: History of the Muslim World, trans., F. R. C. Bagley (Princeton: Markus Weiner, 1996); Gwyn Campbell, “Islam in Indian Ocean Africa,” 45–60.

(15) André Wink, “‘Al-Hind’: India and Indonesia in the Islamic World-Economy, c. 700–1800 AD,” in P. J. Marshall et al., India and Indonesia during the Ancien Regime (Leiden: Brill, 1989), 33

(16) Beatrice Nicolini, Makran, Oman, and Zanzibar: Three-Terminal Cultural Corridor in the Western Indian Ocean, 1799–1856, trans. Penelope-Jane Watson (Leiden: Brill, 2004)

(17) Richard B. Allen, “Suppressing a Nefarious Traffic: Britain and the Abolition of Slave Trading in India and the Western Indian Ocean, 1770–1830,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 66, no. 4 (Oct. 2009): 877–878n.8

(p.77) (18) Richard M. Eaton, introduction to Slavery and South Asian History, ed. Indrani Chatterjee and Richard M. Eaton (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), 1

(19) . Historians estimate that, between 800 and 1900, at least twelve million Africans were involuntarily transported from the interior of Africa to various destinations on the southern and northern shores of the Mediterranean, in the Mascarene Islands, on the Arabian Peninsula, in the Persian Gulf, and on the Indian subcontinent. Although a good portion of these migrants traveled over the Sahara, a considerable number, estimated to be at least five million, traveled over the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean to destinations on the northeast coast of Africa and in Asia. See Robert O. Collins, “The African Slave-Trade to Asia and the Indian Ocean Islands,” African and Asian Studies 5, nos. 3–4 (2006): 328, citing Paul E. Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), tables 2.1, 2.2, 3.7, 7.1, and 7.7.

(20) A. L. P. Burdett, introduction to The Slave Trade into Arabia, 1820–1973, ed. A.L.P. Burdett (Chippenham, UK: Archive Editions, 2006), 1:vi

(21) Gwyn Campbell, introduction to The Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia, ed. Gwyn Campbell (London: Frank Cass, 2004), ix

(22) . Wink, “‘Al-Hind,’” 38.

(23) . Campbell, introduction to The Structure of Slavery, ix.

(24) Martin A. Klein, “The Emancipation of Slaves in the Indian Ocean,” in Abolition and Its Aftermath in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia, ed. Gwyn Campbell (London: Routledge, 2005), 198

(25) Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982)

(26) George William Curtis, Nile Notes of a Howadji (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851), 55–56

(27) James Francis Warren, The Sulu Zone, 1768–1898: The Dynamics of External Trade, Slavery, and Ethnicity in the Transformation of a Southeast Asian Maritime State (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1981), 223

(28) Ibid

(29) . This assertion is derived from a perusal of a number of sources, including, most importantly, Gabriel Baer, Studies in the Social History of Modern Egypt (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), and Humphrey J. Fisher, Slavery in the History of Muslim Black Africa (New York: New York University Press, 2001).

(30) Baer, Social History of Modern Egypt, 169

(31) . Ibid., 169. See also John Lewis Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia (London: John Murray, 1819), 309–20, for a discussion of the route through Sennaar and Shendi and the slave market at Shendi.

(32) . Descriptions of the “forty-days road” can be found in a variety of sources, most particularly Baer, Social History of Modern Egypt, 169, and Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia, 207–15, 305–27.

(33) . R. Brunschvig, “‘Abd,” in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, ed. H. A. R. Gibb, J. H. Kramers, E. Levi-Provencal, and J. Schacht, 2nd ed. (Leiden: Brill, 1960), 25; Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, “Huquq al-mamluk” (“The Rights of Slaves”), in Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din (Beirut: (p.78) Dar al Ma’rifa, n.d.), 2:219–21, excerpted in John Hunwick and John Hunwick, eds., The African Diaspora in the Mediterranean Lands of Islam (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2002), 8–9; Ibn Rushd, The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer: A Translation of Bidayat Al-Mujtahid, 2 vols., trans. Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee (Reading: Garnet, 1994); Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Habib al-Basri al-Baghdadi al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, The Laws of Islamic Governance, trans. Asadullah Yate (London: Ta Ha, 1996).

(34) Alexandre Popovic, The Revolt of African Slaves in Iraq in the 3rd/9th Century (Princeton, N.J.: Markus Wiener, 1998)

(35) . An Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Colonies, Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 3 & 4 William 4, cap. 73, clause 64, August 28, 1833.

(36) Suzanne Miers, Slavery in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: AltaMira, 2003), 254–77

(37) Lord Cromer, Modern Egypt (New York: Macmillan, 1908), 2:503

(38) Amos J. Peaslee, Constitutions of Nations (Concord, N.H.: Rumford, 1950) 1:722

(39) Social History of Modern EgyptBorge Fredriksen, Slavery and Its Abolition in Nineteenth Century Egypt (Bergen, Norway: Hisorisk Institutt, Universitetet i Bergen, 1977), 184

(40) . Anti-Slavery Reporter, March–May 1908, 68–70.

(41) . Lamba, “L’Esclavage en Egypte,” Revue de L’Islam, May 1901: 70.

(42) . Parliamentary Papers, Egypt, no. 1, 1910; Anti-Slavery Reporter and Aborigines’ Friend, July 1910, 140.

(43) . Anti-Slavery Reporter and Aborigines’ Friend, July 1912, 205, also referenced in Parliamentary Papers, Egypt, no. 1, 1911, 87–88.

(44) . Cromer, Modern Egypt, 2:502.

(45) . This change in attitude was first identified by Baer. See, for example, Baer, “Slavery in 19th Century Egypt,” Journal of African History 417 (1967): 441; Baer, “Social Change in Egypt, 1800–1914,” in P. M. Holt, ed., Political and Social Change in Modern Egypt: Historical Studies from the Ottoman Conquest to the United Arab Republic (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), 153; Baer, Social History of Modern Egypt, 187–89.

(46) John Rawls, “The Idea of Overlapping Consensus,” in John Rawls, Collected Papers, ed. Samuel Freeman (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999)Oxford Journal of Legal Studies

(47) Amal N. Ghazal, “Debating Slavery and Abolition in the Islamic Middle East,” in Slavery, Islam, and Diaspora, ed. Behnaz A. Mirzai, Ismael Musah Montana, and Paul E. Lovejoy (Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 2009), 139–154

(48) Indira F. Gesink, “‘Chaos on the Earth’: Subjective Truths versus Communal Unity in Islamic Law and the Rise of Militant Islam,” American Historical Review 108, no. 3 (June 2003): 725–31

(p.79) (49) Muhammad Rashid Rida, The Muhammadan Revelation, trans. Yusuf T. DeLorenzo (Alexandria, Va.: Al-Saadawi, 1996), 142–48

(50) Lorne M. Kenny, “The Khedive Isma’il’s Dream of Civilization and Progress (Second Installment),” Muslim World 55 (1965): 211–217

(51) Last Slave MarketDaniel Liebowitz, The Physician and the Slave Trade: John Kirk, the Livingstone Expeditions, and the Crusade against Slavery in East Africa (New York: W.H. Freeman, 1999), 167–79Africa through Western Eyes: Manuscript Records of Traders, Travellers, Soldiers, Missionaries, and Diplomats in Africa

(52) . “Correspondence Respecting Sir Bartle Frere’s Mission to the East Coast of Africa, 1872–73,” UK National Archives, FO88/2270, 114013, particularly paragraphs 87, 88, and the manifesto at pp. 198–99.

(53) . Burdett, Slave-Trade into Arabia, 5:231–35.

(54) Anne K. Bang, Sufis and Scholars of the Sea: Family Networks in East Africa, 1860–1925 (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003)

(55) Amal N. Ghazal, Islamic Reform and Arab Nationalism: Expanding the Crescent from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, 1880s to 1930s (London: Routledge, 2010)

(56) Alastair Hazell, The Last Slave Market: Dr. John Kirk and the Struggle to End the African Slave Trade (London: Constable and Robinson, 2011), 284

(57) A. I. Salim, The Swahili-Speaking Peoples of Kenya’s Coast, 1895–1965 (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1973), 43, 44–47

(58) . See Ghazal, “Debating Slavery,” 146–50.

(59) . Salim, Swahili-Speaking Peoples, 45–74.

(60) . “Slavery in India,” British Library, India Office Records; Public and Judicial Departmental Papers: Annual Files—ref. IOR/L/PJ/6/412 File 66.

(61) . Confidential Despatch No. 40/79080/36 from the Governor’s Office, Aden, to the Colonial Secretary, June 30, 1937, regarding slavery in the Aden Protectorate and the Hadhramaut, reprinted as appendix 4 in Burdett, Slave-Trade into Arabia, 7:204.

(62) Howard Temperly, British Antislavery, 1833–1870 (London: Longman, 1972)Britain and the Ending of the Slave Trade

(63) . “Slavery in India.”

(64) Avril A. Powell, “Indian Muslim Modernists and the Issue of Slavery in Islam,” in Slavery and South Asian History, ed. Indrani Chatterjee and Richard M. Eaton (Bloomington: Indiana University, 2006) (p.80) Abolition and Its Aftermath

(65) . See Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, 351–68.

(66) . William Gervase Clarence-Smith, “Islam and the Abolition of Slavery and the Slave-Trade in the Indian Ocean,” in Campbell, Abolition and Its Aftermath, 137n4, citing L. C. Brown, The Tunisia of Ahmad Bey, 1837–1855 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1974), 30–32, 322–25; R. Khoi, Modern Arab Thought: Channels of the French Revolution to the Arab East (Princeton, N.J.: Kingston Press, 1983), 152–54.

(67) . Behnaz A. Mirzai, “The 1848 Abolitionist Farman: A Step toward Ending the Slave Trade in Iran,” in Campbell, Abolition and Its Aftermath.

Notes:

(1) . Some of the more important recent contributions include Mohammed Ennaji, Slavery, the State, and Islam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013); Eve Troutt-Powell, Tell This in My Memory: Stories of Enslavement from Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Empire (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2012); Alastair Hazel, The Last Slave Market: Dr John Kirk and the Struggle to End the East African Slave Trade (London: Constable and Robinson, 2011); Terence Walz and Kenneth M. Cuno, eds., Race and Slavery in the Middle East (Cairo, New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2010); Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller, eds., (p.75) Women and Slavery, vol. 1., Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Medieval North Atlantic (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007); Ehud R. Toledano, As If Silent and Absent: Bonds of Enslavement in the Islamic Middle East (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2007); William Gervase Clarence-Smith, Islam and the Abolition of Slavery (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Shaun E. Marmon, ed., Slavery in the Islamic Middle East (Princeton, N.J.: Markus Wiener, 1999); Elizabeth Savage, ed., The Human Commodity: Perspectives on the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade (London: Frank Cass, 1992).

(2) Riq fi bilad al-Maghrib wa al-AndalusRace and SlaveryEmad Ahmed Helal, al-Raqiq fi Misr fi al-qarn al-tasi’ asbar (Cairo: al-Arabi li-l-Nashr wa-l-Tawzi’, 1999)

(3) Khalid Muhammad Khalid, Men around the Messenger, ed. Emad Ahmed Helal, trans. Sheik Muhammad Mustafa Gemeiah (Cairo: Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Islamic Research Academy, 1997), 71

(4) . Qur’an 62:9; The Meaning of The Holy Qur’an, trans. ‘Abdullah Yusuf Ali, 11th ed. (Beltsville, Md.: Amana, 2006).

(5) Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Freedom, Equality, and Justice in Islam (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 2002), 58

(6) Ibid

(7) . David McKenzie, “Slavery Very Much Alive” (Sudan), CNN.com, March 7, 2011, http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/tag/cnns-david-mckenzie; “Slavery Today,” http://www.antislavery.org/english/slavery_today/what (accessed June 8, 2012); John D. Sutter, “Slavery’s Last Stronghold” (Mauritania), CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/03/world/mauritania.slaverys.last.stronghold/index.html (accessed June 8, 2012); “Modern Slaves: Domestic Migrant Workers in Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia,” April 5, 2012, http://ethioandinet.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/modern-slaves-domestic-migrant-workers-in-kuwait-UAE-Saudi-Arabia.

(8) Slavery, the State and IslamRonald Segal, Islam’s Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001)

(9) . Bernard Lewis, Race and Slavery in the Middle East (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 79; Murray Gordon, Slavery in the Arab World (New York: New Amsterdam, 1989), 191–229; Keith Hamilton and Patrick Salmon, eds., Slavery, Diplomacy, and Empire: Britain and the Suppression of the Slave Trade, 1807–1975 (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2009); see also Suzanne Miers, Britain and the Ending of the Slave Trade (New York: Africana, 1975).

(p.76) (10) Islam and the Abolition of SlaveryWilliam Gervase Clarence-Smith, Journal of African History, 48 (2007): 481–85

(11) Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005), 100–104

(12) Anthony Reid, introduction to Islamic Legitimacy in a Plural Asia, ed. Anthony Reid and Michael Gilsenan (London and New York: Routledge, 2007), 5–11

(13) . See Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World System, AD 1250–1350 (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 185–290. Gwyn Campbell’s historiographical essay “Islam in Indian Ocean Africa prior to the Scramble: A New Historical Paradigm,” in Struggling with History: Islam and Cosmopolitanism in the Western Indian Ocean, ed. Edward Simpson and Kai Kresse (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 43–92, excellently summarizes the connections I describe. I have liberally relied upon it in this chapter, although he also falls victim to the temptation to essentialize in his discussion of the role of empire, particularly in the discussion of the role of Islamic law. I have sought here to be more discriminating in my discussion of the role of the law and its practitioners.

(14) . For articulation of the assertion that the Indian subempire was a “web” of entities, with nodes of imperial activities, rather than a large wheel with spokes radiating from a center, see Thomas R. Metcalf, Imperial Connections: India in the Indian Ocean Arena, 1860–1920 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007). The work of Lauren Benton is also helpful in understanding this concept; see, for example, Benton, Law and Colonial Cultures: Legal Regimes in World History, 1400–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), and Benton, A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). See also H. J. Kissling et al., The Last Great Muslim Empires: History of the Muslim World, trans., F. R. C. Bagley (Princeton: Markus Weiner, 1996); Gwyn Campbell, “Islam in Indian Ocean Africa,” 45–60.

(15) André Wink, “‘Al-Hind’: India and Indonesia in the Islamic World-Economy, c. 700–1800 AD,” in P. J. Marshall et al., India and Indonesia during the Ancien Regime (Leiden: Brill, 1989), 33

(16) Beatrice Nicolini, Makran, Oman, and Zanzibar: Three-Terminal Cultural Corridor in the Western Indian Ocean, 1799–1856, trans. Penelope-Jane Watson (Leiden: Brill, 2004)

(17) Richard B. Allen, “Suppressing a Nefarious Traffic: Britain and the Abolition of Slave Trading in India and the Western Indian Ocean, 1770–1830,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 66, no. 4 (Oct. 2009): 877–878n.8

(p.77) (18) Richard M. Eaton, introduction to Slavery and South Asian History, ed. Indrani Chatterjee and Richard M. Eaton (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), 1

(19) . Historians estimate that, between 800 and 1900, at least twelve million Africans were involuntarily transported from the interior of Africa to various destinations on the southern and northern shores of the Mediterranean, in the Mascarene Islands, on the Arabian Peninsula, in the Persian Gulf, and on the Indian subcontinent. Although a good portion of these migrants traveled over the Sahara, a considerable number, estimated to be at least five million, traveled over the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean to destinations on the northeast coast of Africa and in Asia. See Robert O. Collins, “The African Slave-Trade to Asia and the Indian Ocean Islands,” African and Asian Studies 5, nos. 3–4 (2006): 328, citing Paul E. Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), tables 2.1, 2.2, 3.7, 7.1, and 7.7.

(20) A. L. P. Burdett, introduction to The Slave Trade into Arabia, 1820–1973, ed. A.L.P. Burdett (Chippenham, UK: Archive Editions, 2006), 1:vi

(21) Gwyn Campbell, introduction to The Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia, ed. Gwyn Campbell (London: Frank Cass, 2004), ix

(22) . Wink, “‘Al-Hind,’” 38.

(23) . Campbell, introduction to The Structure of Slavery, ix.

(24) Martin A. Klein, “The Emancipation of Slaves in the Indian Ocean,” in Abolition and Its Aftermath in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia, ed. Gwyn Campbell (London: Routledge, 2005), 198

(25) Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982)

(26) George William Curtis, Nile Notes of a Howadji (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851), 55–56

(27) James Francis Warren, The Sulu Zone, 1768–1898: The Dynamics of External Trade, Slavery, and Ethnicity in the Transformation of a Southeast Asian Maritime State (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1981), 223

(28) Ibid

(29) . This assertion is derived from a perusal of a number of sources, including, most importantly, Gabriel Baer, Studies in the Social History of Modern Egypt (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), and Humphrey J. Fisher, Slavery in the History of Muslim Black Africa (New York: New York University Press, 2001).

(30) Baer, Social History of Modern Egypt, 169

(31) . Ibid., 169. See also John Lewis Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia (London: John Murray, 1819), 309–20, for a discussion of the route through Sennaar and Shendi and the slave market at Shendi.

(32) . Descriptions of the “forty-days road” can be found in a variety of sources, most particularly Baer, Social History of Modern Egypt, 169, and Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia, 207–15, 305–27.

(33) . R. Brunschvig, “‘Abd,” in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, ed. H. A. R. Gibb, J. H. Kramers, E. Levi-Provencal, and J. Schacht, 2nd ed. (Leiden: Brill, 1960), 25; Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, “Huquq al-mamluk” (“The Rights of Slaves”), in Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din (Beirut: (p.78) Dar al Ma’rifa, n.d.), 2:219–21, excerpted in John Hunwick and John Hunwick, eds., The African Diaspora in the Mediterranean Lands of Islam (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2002), 8–9; Ibn Rushd, The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer: A Translation of Bidayat Al-Mujtahid, 2 vols., trans. Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee (Reading: Garnet, 1994); Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Habib al-Basri al-Baghdadi al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, The Laws of Islamic Governance, trans. Asadullah Yate (London: Ta Ha, 1996).

(34) Alexandre Popovic, The Revolt of African Slaves in Iraq in the 3rd/9th Century (Princeton, N.J.: Markus Wiener, 1998)

(35) . An Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Colonies, Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 3 & 4 William 4, cap. 73, clause 64, August 28, 1833.

(36) Suzanne Miers, Slavery in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: AltaMira, 2003), 254–77

(37) Lord Cromer, Modern Egypt (New York: Macmillan, 1908), 2:503

(38) Amos J. Peaslee, Constitutions of Nations (Concord, N.H.: Rumford, 1950) 1:722

(39) Social History of Modern EgyptBorge Fredriksen, Slavery and Its Abolition in Nineteenth Century Egypt (Bergen, Norway: Hisorisk Institutt, Universitetet i Bergen, 1977), 184

(40) . Anti-Slavery Reporter, March–May 1908, 68–70.

(41) . Lamba, “L’Esclavage en Egypte,” Revue de L’Islam, May 1901: 70.

(42) . Parliamentary Papers, Egypt, no. 1, 1910; Anti-Slavery Reporter and Aborigines’ Friend, July 1910, 140.

(43) . Anti-Slavery Reporter and Aborigines’ Friend, July 1912, 205, also referenced in Parliamentary Papers, Egypt, no. 1, 1911, 87–88.

(44) . Cromer, Modern Egypt, 2:502.

(45) . This change in attitude was first identified by Baer. See, for example, Baer, “Slavery in 19th Century Egypt,” Journal of African History 417 (1967): 441; Baer, “Social Change in Egypt, 1800–1914,” in P. M. Holt, ed., Political and Social Change in Modern Egypt: Historical Studies from the Ottoman Conquest to the United Arab Republic (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), 153; Baer, Social History of Modern Egypt, 187–89.

(46) John Rawls, “The Idea of Overlapping Consensus,” in John Rawls, Collected Papers, ed. Samuel Freeman (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999)Oxford Journal of Legal Studies

(47) Amal N. Ghazal, “Debating Slavery and Abolition in the Islamic Middle East,” in Slavery, Islam, and Diaspora, ed. Behnaz A. Mirzai, Ismael Musah Montana, and Paul E. Lovejoy (Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 2009), 139–154

(48) Indira F. Gesink, “‘Chaos on the Earth’: Subjective Truths versus Communal Unity in Islamic Law and the Rise of Militant Islam,” American Historical Review 108, no. 3 (June 2003): 725–31

(p.79) (49) Muhammad Rashid Rida, The Muhammadan Revelation, trans. Yusuf T. DeLorenzo (Alexandria, Va.: Al-Saadawi, 1996), 142–48

(50) Lorne M. Kenny, “The Khedive Isma’il’s Dream of Civilization and Progress (Second Installment),” Muslim World 55 (1965): 211–217

(51) Last Slave MarketDaniel Liebowitz, The Physician and the Slave Trade: John Kirk, the Livingstone Expeditions, and the Crusade against Slavery in East Africa (New York: W.H. Freeman, 1999), 167–79Africa through Western Eyes: Manuscript Records of Traders, Travellers, Soldiers, Missionaries, and Diplomats in Africa

(52) . “Correspondence Respecting Sir Bartle Frere’s Mission to the East Coast of Africa, 1872–73,” UK National Archives, FO88/2270, 114013, particularly paragraphs 87, 88, and the manifesto at pp. 198–99.

(53) . Burdett, Slave-Trade into Arabia, 5:231–35.

(54) Anne K. Bang, Sufis and Scholars of the Sea: Family Networks in East Africa, 1860–1925 (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003)

(55) Amal N. Ghazal, Islamic Reform and Arab Nationalism: Expanding the Crescent from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, 1880s to 1930s (London: Routledge, 2010)

(56) Alastair Hazell, The Last Slave Market: Dr. John Kirk and the Struggle to End the African Slave Trade (London: Constable and Robinson, 2011), 284

(57) A. I. Salim, The Swahili-Speaking Peoples of Kenya’s Coast, 1895–1965 (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1973), 43, 44–47

(58) . See Ghazal, “Debating Slavery,” 146–50.

(59) . Salim, Swahili-Speaking Peoples, 45–74.

(60) . “Slavery in India,” British Library, India Office Records; Public and Judicial Departmental Papers: Annual Files—ref. IOR/L/PJ/6/412 File 66.

(61) . Confidential Despatch No. 40/79080/36 from the Governor’s Office, Aden, to the Colonial Secretary, June 30, 1937, regarding slavery in the Aden Protectorate and the Hadhramaut, reprinted as appendix 4 in Burdett, Slave-Trade into Arabia, 7:204.

(62) Howard Temperly, British Antislavery, 1833–1870 (London: Longman, 1972)Britain and the Ending of the Slave Trade

(63) . “Slavery in India.”

(64) Avril A. Powell, “Indian Muslim Modernists and the Issue of Slavery in Islam,” in Slavery and South Asian History, ed. Indrani Chatterjee and Richard M. Eaton (Bloomington: Indiana University, 2006) (p.80) Abolition and Its Aftermath

(65) . See Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, 351–68.

(66) . William Gervase Clarence-Smith, “Islam and the Abolition of Slavery and the Slave-Trade in the Indian Ocean,” in Campbell, Abolition and Its Aftermath, 137n4, citing L. C. Brown, The Tunisia of Ahmad Bey, 1837–1855 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1974), 30–32, 322–25; R. Khoi, Modern Arab Thought: Channels of the French Revolution to the Arab East (Princeton, N.J.: Kingston Press, 1983), 152–54.

(67) . Behnaz A. Mirzai, “The 1848 Abolitionist Farman: A Step toward Ending the Slave Trade in Iran,” in Campbell, Abolition and Its Aftermath.