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Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition$
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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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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 11 May 2021

Islamic Abolitionism in the Western Indian Ocean from c. 1800

Islamic Abolitionism in the Western Indian Ocean from c. 1800

(p.81) 5 Islamic Abolitionism in the Western Indian Ocean from c. 1800
Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition

William Gervase Clarence-Smith

Yale University Press

Chapter 5 posits that Islamic abolitionism is not a contradiction in terms. It notes that a quasi-abolitionist line of thinking was the first to emerge among Muslim intellectuals in the nineteenth century, adhering to classical interpretations of Islamic law, but creating practical solutions for the elimination of slavery and slave-trading. The chapter then identifies three separate groups of thinkers on the abolition of slavery in Islam: (1) radical abolitionists; (2) gradual abolitionists; and (3) quasi-abolitionists. It reviews the opinions of the South Asian “modernists,” the Egyptian ulama, as well as several Sudanese scholars. It then considers the evolution of Shi’i attitudes towards slavery in Persia (Iran) before concluding with an account of the eventual abolition of slavery in Zanzibar. The chapter closes with a warning against generalities about Muslim attitudes towards slavery, pointing out that India produced a strident radical abolitionist and a strident influential defender of Muslim slavery.

Keywords:   Islamic abolitionism, modernists, quasi-abolitionists, radical, abolitionists, ulama

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