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There is no conclusive evidence of the existence of enslavement for debt or the sale of children by their families; the late and rare accounts of such occurrences show them to be abnormal, Brunschvig states Two classes of slave existed: a purchased slave, and a slave born in the master's home.

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His approach to what was already an age-old institution was reformist and not revolutionary.

The Prophet had not in mind to bring about the abolition of slavery.

Brockopp writes: "Other cultures limit a master's right to harm a slave but few exhort masters to treat their slaves kindly, and the placement of slaves in the same category as other weak members of society who deserve protection is unknown outside the Qur'an.

The unique contribution of the Qur'an, then, is to be found in its emphasis on the place of slaves in society and society's responsibility toward the slave, perhaps the most progressive legislation on slavery in its time." The most notable of Muhammad's slaves were: Safiyya bint Huyayy, whom he freed and married; Maria al-Qibtiyya, given to Muhammad by a Sassanid official, whom he freed and who may have become his wife; Lawful enslavement was restricted to two instances: capture in war (on the condition that the prisoner is not a Muslim), or birth in slavery.

The image depicts an episode in January 630, when he became the first Muslim to proclaim adhan in Mecca.

The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the slaves and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. The mainstream view is that the Quran accepts the institution of slavery.

Native Arab slaves had also existed, a prime example being Zayd ibn Harithah, later to become Muhammad's adopted son.

Arab slaves, however, usually obtained as captives, were generally ransomed off amongst nomad tribes.

Slaves played various social and economic roles, from domestic worker to high-ranking positions in the government like Emir.

Moreover, slaves were widely employed in irrigation, mining, pastoralism, and the army.

For other uses, see Islam and slavery (disambiguation).

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