Slavery and the Economy

Kyanna French and London Wells

Slavery

Slavery was common throughout Muslim lands. Most of the slaves came from non-Muslim regions. Even though they were slaves, if they had been purchased by wealthier members of the society they may have received an education.

The Qur'an didn't say that slavery was a bad thing, but it stated that slaves must be treated fairly. When one freed a slave it was considered a religious act. Slaves were also given some legal rights such as buying their freedom.


The Economy

The Muslim economy was built largely on commerce. Trade was one subject of Muhammad's teachings. A verse in the Qur'an says, "Let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual goodwill. Goodwill helped trade relationships. Muslim merchants developed practical business methods expanding the use of coinage. The use of coins made long-distance trading easier. Traders also used standardized weights and measures and extended credit to buyers from long distances.

Trade provide much of the wealth that kept the empire going and made the growth of the cities work. Trade also helped spread the faith to distant places and promoted the exchange of ideas.