ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

History of slavery in the Muslim world

The history of slavery in Muslim countries is complicated, but it goes back many hundreds of years. Slavery first began in the Muslim world in the year 652, when the Prophet Muhammad and his followers captured some African prisoners while they were fighting a war. These prisoners were used as slaves and some were physically forced to work. Over time, the use of slave labour became more common in Muslim countries, and by the 1500s, slaves were being bought and sold in places like Egypt and the Ottoman Empire. Slavery was rarely used for industrial labour or big businesses, however, it was mainly used by households to do household tasks like cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children.

Some Islamic scholars argued that slavery was wrong and supported the abolition of slavery, while others said it was allowed as long as slaves were treated according to Islamic principles.

In the 19th century, many Muslim countries abolished slavery, though it took some countries longer than others. In 1865, Saudi Arabia was the last Muslim country to abolish slavery, and even then only issued a limited ban.

In the 20th century, many Muslims opposed the use of slavery in all its forms, and most now consider it an outdated practice that needs to be abolished.