Throughout ages, history has borne witness to the inequalities which man inflicts upon himself. He callously degrades some of his identical selves (humans like himself), while elevating others. Thus, man and man got separated through the passage of time because of colour, race, creed, culture and ethnicity. Some became superiors while some inferiors. And the inferiors had to comply with the wishes and commands of those who had the upper hand upon them, for if they refuse to do so, they would be severely punished and degraded further. (Inset: Le Morne Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site- a rugged mountain that juts into the Indian Ocean in the southwest of Mauritius. "It was used as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. Protected by the mountain’s isolated, wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs, the escaped slaves formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne. The oral traditions associated with the maroons, have made Le Morne a symbol of the slaves’ fight for freedom, their suffering, and their sacrifice, all of which have relevance to the countries from which the slaves came - the African mainland, Madagascar, India, and South-east Asia. Indeed, Mauritius, an important stopover in the eastern slave trade, also came to be known as the “Maroon republic” because of the large number of escaped slaves who lived on Le Morne Mountain").
Spirituality and human rights
Prophets of Allah came to bring about a change in that state of affairs. The commandments of Allah came through to bring about hope in the life of those whom society viewed as inferior and as having no dignity and the freedom to express their rights as fellow human beings.
Prophets of Allah tried their best to bring about a change, but every time their heartfelt wishes were crushed until the ultimate saviour of mankind was born and promised to create a new world where every man should live as equals, for this is the absolute command of God Almighty who has created all humans alike, except in piety, for those who are truly pious, they are those who truly realise the goal of life, and that of their own creations and presence on earth. That promised hope came in such a country where hope was previously absent, where men and women were treated as the worst of animals, where it existed such a society which were devoid of human attributes. It was in that society which Allah chose to raise His greatest and the seal of all prophets (last law-bearing prophet), to accomplish a miracle by transforming the lives of those barbarous people, and teaching them humanity, morality and spirituality.
Unfortunately, despite the clear signs of Allah, of Islam and the Holy Prophet of Islam Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), by sending and implementing respectively the divine commandments to bring about transformation in the lives of those barbarous people, and turn them in real affectionate and compassionate human beings and servants of God, yet despite all these, Islam and its prophet are vehemently viewed as greatest promoters of terror for some ignorant people who have not studied the heart itself of the extraordinary life of the best of men and prophets of Allah.
On Islam's alleged 'tolerance' of Slavery
In the context of the Abolition of Slavery which is commemorated in Mauritius every February 01 – and for which it is a public holiday – I have chosen to talk to you about one allegation against Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is alleged that Islam encourages slavery, but it a fact that Islam is the greatest enemy of slavery, and has put an end to all modes of reducing men to slavery which were current in pre-Islamic days. Islam forbids the reduction to slavery of men who are captured for no reason, or merely because they belong to a hostile tribe or nation, or who have been taken prisoners in worldly wars.