EW: Okay then, Dr. Naik, my next question has to do with 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Specifically, I’d like to discuss Article 4. Are you familiar with Article 4? Actually, for the benefit of everyone here, I’ll read it. It states:
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
This seems pretty straightforward, right? And in the year 2010, it’s pretty reasonable, right? Most people agree that in today’s world, slavery is wrong. What is your personal view of Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Dr. Naik?
Dr. Naik: (I’m not entirely sure what he’ll say to this. Let’s assume he just agrees).
EW: Okay then Dr. Naik. You earlier established that the Quran is God's eternal, unchangeable word, and the hadith collections of Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are of great importance. I’d like us to take a look at a few verses and hadiths, and perhaps you could help us to understand them.
Qur'an (2:178) - "O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female."
So we can clearly see in this verse that God allowed Muslims to own slaves. Let's now take a look at some hadith.
Sahih Bukhari 2:24:542
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "There is no Zakat either on a horse or a slave belonging to a Muslim"
This tells us that in some instances it was acceptable for Muslims to own slaves, is that right?
And here’s another hadith:
Sahih Bukhari 7:62:132
Narrated 'Abdullah bin Zam'a: The Prophet said, "None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day."
In this hadith Mohammed takes for granted that it’s not only permissible to own slaves, but that they will be regularly beaten.
And how about this hadith:
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 351:
Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:
A man decided that a slave of his would be manumitted after his death and later on he was in need of money, so the Prophet took the slave and said, "Who will buy this slave from me?" Nu'aim bin 'Abdullah bought him for such and such price and the Prophet gave him the slave.
According to this hadith, Mohammed bought and sold slaves. If Bukhari was correct, Mohammed was a slave trader.
And here are a couple hadith that clearly show Mohammed owned slaves:
Sahih Bukhari 6:60:435
Then I put on my clothes and went to Allah's Apostle's residence, and behold, he was staying in an upper room of his to which he ascended by a ladder, and a black slave of Allah's Apostle was (sitting) on the first step. I said to him, 'Say (to the Prophet ) 'Umar bin Al-Khattab is here.'
Sahih Bukhari 7:62:119
I sat with them for a while but could not endure the situation, so I went to the upper room where the Prophet; was and said to a black slave of his, 'Will you get the permission (of the Prophet ) for 'Umar (to enter)?' The slave went in, talked to the Prophet about it and then returned saying, 'I have spoken to the Prophet and mentioned you but he kept quiet.
Earlier you mentioned that the hadiths of al-Bukhari are thought to be the second most authentic holy book behind the Quran. So certainly Dr. Naik, you accept that these hadith are accurate?
Dr. Naik: (Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of stumbling, muttering, deflections about the accuracy, he’ll try to point out how Mohammed made great advancement in the treatment of slaves, etc.)
EW: Dr. Naik, please stick to the point. Bukhari made it clear that Mohammed bought, sold and owned slaves. Do you accept that on at least one occasion, Mohammed engaged in the buying and selling of slaves?
Dr. Naik: (Again, more diversions, so it’ll be necessary for the audience to force him to answer the questions)
EW: So we’re forced to conclude that Mohammed was a slave trader. And Dr. Naik, you earlier told us that Mohammed’s example is the standard for humanity for all time. You told us that there is no room for moral relativism in Islam. So according to your earlier statements, you must believe that in the year 2010, slavery is acceptable, is that right?
Dr. Naik: (More deflections, audience has got to stay on him)
EW: Do you, or do you not agree that in today’s society slavery is morally acceptable? In the year 2010, are there any circumstances in which it is morally acceptable for a Muslim to enslave another man? Do you disagree with Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 4, which states that slavery is completely unacceptable? And if you do disagree, do you admit that Mohammed’s example is not valid for all times, but merely for the 7th century? Remember, he’s either the standard for all humanity for all times only if all his actions are correct, so if one of his actions was incorrect or immoral, he can’t be the standard for humanity for all times. So what do you believe Dr. Naik. Do you accept that in the year 2010 it is morally acceptable to enslave another man?
And it’s hard to say how he’ll respond, but hopefully he’ll say yes, and Islam is once again discredited.