Islam and Slavery

Bilal, the first and chief muadhdhin (caller to pray) of Prophet Muhammad. He was also a companion of the prophet and soldier and he was formerly a slave. His companion Abu Bakr bought him from his captivity and he was given his freedom. Here I would like to share with you some of Bilal's own words about the issue of slavery:
Bilal was asked by an audience member while giving an Islamic lecture in Syria, "Islam has forbidden evil things such as wine, gambling and adultery. Why was slavery not banned in Islam?
(The following is only part of his answer for the entire excerpt please pick up a copy of Bilal ibn Rabah by Muhammad Abdul- Rauf)
"You Know" Bilal answered, "the world is now based on the labor of slaves. Should Islam have sought to stop the institution of slavery all at once it would lead to universal anarchy and disturbances in which both masters and slaves would suffer. The master's loss is clear. As for the slave, they would find themselves without anyone to take care of their needs. Unaccustomed to independence and self reliance...society would suffer incurably..."
Another audience member asked, "What has Islam done to help the slave?"
"....Islam has done what no other system and no other religion did or could do, The Torah enjoined slavery, and Christianity was silent about it. Islam has left no chance except that it urged the emacipation of slaves. It promises great rewards for emancipating a slave and makes this emancipation one of the  foremost duties incumbent upon a believer as a manifestation of his gratitude for the blessings of  God...."
"Good deeds are not equal to the evil ones. Repel other's evil deeds with your good deeds. You will see that he with whom you had enmity, will become your close friend.
But none will attain this quality except those who patiently endure and none will attain this quality except those who are truly fortunate."

Chapter: 41, Verses 34-35, Al-Quran
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