LEAVING ALLAH TO FIND GOD:THE CONFESSION OF EX-MUSLIM

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“LETTING LOVE WIN”

 

The issue of apostasy is very controversial for every religion and when it comes to Islam, the problem of leaving the faith gets almost the all shades of drama. There is no system of belief that welcomes apostasy as itself but Islam has dual approach to this term. According to positive and progressive Islam, Islam is set of rules and it should search for spiritual connections with people. There is no fear from God and human beings who dont want to accept Islam or who want to leave Islam are free to do it. One of moderate British imams, Ajmal Masroor, believes that apostasy is a free choice and that none should judge none. Unfortunately, there is another side of the coin and regressive backward streams of Islam leading by Shari’ah Law experts and radical imams who preach only about radical punishments for apostates.The spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt,  Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi often states that: “…if not for the threat of murder for anyone who leaves Islam, Islam would not exist today”.

We are usually familiar with the information about the Islam as the fastest growing religion on the West and among Westerners. For example, just in the UK, in the period  between 2001 and 2011, about 40.000 people converted to the faith. According to statistics, 70% of them are white British citizens and 2/3 of them are women. However, there is also an inverted trend – leaving the Islamic Religion by born Muslims. It is not so easy to follow their stories and destinies because such a kind of phenomena is occurring in the shadow of the fear from the feedback of Muslim community and its disapproval and possible violent reactions. There are some data which inform us that 20 to 30% of UK-based Muslims, especially those who are young, consider themselves agnostics or even atheists. Not any of them are enough brave to stand up and to defend their new religious choices, because they are facing with death treats and familial and social abandonment.

Mohammad Fyaz shares the pain of many apostates and the fear of people who left  the Islam, worrying about the revenge of those who dont understand it or who believe they are chosen to punish betrayers. His story reminds of any we heard before but as every destiny, it is unique by itself, as a proof that people still like to judge each others without learning that only God can do that.

fajaz
Mohammad Fyaz, ex-Muslim from the UK
  1. Mr. Fyaz, how do you consider yourself, as ex-Muslim or as Christian? Sometimes I       think that the fact of being ex-Muslim says all.

I consider myself a former Muslim and now a follower of Jesus

2. When and why did you choose to convert to Christianity?

 I didn’t convert from one to another. I questioned Islam and what I was been taught and the behavior of the Muslim community as well as my own family which also concerned me. It didn’t make sense, Muslims were following a set of religious rules ie Fasting, prayers etc, but this didn’t match up to the way they should be living if Islam was their moral compass. I totally rejected Islam in my teens and later found the truth in Jesus. Nevertheless< I needed to be fair on Islam and look into what I had rejected. The internet opened up a whole new opportunity to dig deeper into what Islam taught and Muhammad’s behavior I also got a English copy of the Quran. To my shock Muhammad wasn’t the moral example to mankind I was taught and led to believe and the Quran was not the masterpiece of divine revelation of God, but Muhammad’s own handy work. Most of it copied from Christian and Jewish scriptures and some pagan belief systems.

3. What were the reactions of your family and did they faced together with you with the negative reactions from the Muslim Community ?

My family have disowned me for the past 29 years. My parents had another son who I have never seen or met. I have lived quietly outside any Muslim community since for my safety.

4. Do you believe that progressive stream in Islam really doesnt advocate violence against apostates?

There is no such thing as progressive Islam. Islam is what it is, Radical and violent in its very nature. We need to separate Muslims and Islam.Moderate Muslims does not mean Moderate Islam, no such thing as moderate Islam.

5.You are very active in social media and in public life of the UK as ex-Muslim. Aren’t you a bit afraid for your safety because of extremists who think you and someone like you should be strictly punished for apostasy?

This threat is not just from so called extremist, Islam and Muhammad are extreme. No Muslim even so called moderate Muslims will condemn Sharia Law for stoning homosexuals or death to apostates. Sharia Law is based on Muhammad’s actions and teachings.At the moment my face is not known and I can walk into any Muslim areas and no one knows who I am. Once I start appearing on main stream television on a regular bases, and once my book is published, my life will be in extreme danger and I will never be able to walk in Muslim areas again. Am I afraid ? Anyone in my situation would be afraid. My family will be my first threat I will have to deal with. When my brothers find out that I have laid bare to the world what my mum did in the house, they will hunt me down to kill me. You have heard of honour killings, well you might have the first ex Muslim killed in Europe based not only on religious grounds but also on family honour. I can deal with family threats or a community threat and I have taken steps to minimise that threat. However if the threat becomes a organised state sponsored threat from a Muslim country or a terrorist organisation such as Al-Qaeda or Islamic State, then the British Government will have to step in and protect my life. But my time is not up until God says it is and he will carry me through

6. I am informed that you are going to publish your book in September which will be available on Amazon, under the name ” Letting love win-How I left Islam and found God”. Why did you choose this title? What did you find in Christianity which you haven’t had in Islam?

I chose this title because it’s a reflection of who Jesus is and how love overcomes hate. What I found in Jesus was the personal loving relationship with God which I did not find in Muhammad. It is also the title of one of my chapters in my book and tells the story on how Letting Love Win changed my life to a life of love and forgiveness

7. What do you think, how public in the UK will react on your book? Do you have some preliminary feedback?

The general public will find the book encouraging and enlightening into the Islamic world and British culture, however Muslims will find some parts of my story blasphemous.

8. Do you participate officially in any organizations of ex-Muslims based in the United Kingdom?

I very much am involved with various groups involving ex Muslims and for security reasons I cannot go into detail

9. What do you think about the demands of some radical imams for Shari’ah law to be implemented?

It’s not just so called radical Imams this the consensus of the majority. To be a good Muslim one must embrace the Sharia Law in its totality

10. As a religious person, you must believe in peace and love. What is your hope for this humanity?

 My hope for the future is for Muslim communities in the west to wake up and stop sleep walking towards a civil war they cannot win. Muslims need to become inclusive and lay aside their agenda to over run whatever western country they live in with Islam. And to practice what they demand and that is freedom of choice.I love Muslims, I love my Pakistani community but I will also challenge them Where they need to be challenged. I do not hate Muslims just because I speak against the Islamic ideology. My wish is that the Muslim communities would look beyond politics or any foreign policy and respect Britain, a country which has given us so much. All too often foreign policy is used as an excuse for terrorist acts in particular when it comes to ISRAEL or American foreign policy. Islam has been on the offensive before the creation of America or the state of ISRAEL. Muslims will come up with excuses and blame anyone or anything but themselves, until they address the problem in its own ideology we will not have peace.. The late four times prime minister of Britain in the 1800’s William Gladstone once held the Quran above his head in Parliament and said ” this is an accursed book as long as it exists there will not be peace…. “.

For more information about Mr. Fyaz’s book and possible contact, do not hesitate to visit the following website:

 http://www.dostana.co.uk/ 

 

160 thoughts on “LEAVING ALLAH TO FIND GOD:THE CONFESSION OF EX-MUSLIM”

  1. You’re so interesting! I don’t think I’ve truly read through something like that before.
    So good to find somebody with a few original thoughts on this issue.

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed
    on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

    Like

  2. BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
    THE ZIONIST ARABIAN PROPHET:

    This must be the most bizarre title you have ever seen.

    To the Arabs & Muslims, this is tantamount to BLASPHEMY!

    But is it?

    Has humanity been deceived for the last 700 years into accepting Arab & Muslim propaganda regarding Palestine as FACT?

    Let us explore this issue based entirely upon Muhammad’s Quran and no other.

    Anyone who has read the Quran let alone studied it would know the following:

    1. The chapters of the Quran are not written in the order of their alleged revelations to Muhammad. For example, the first verse of the Quran is actually in Sura 96 and not one or two!

    Sura Al Alaq 96:1

    “Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher Who created…”

    2. The verses and story lines are boringly repetitive.

    3. The names of the Hebrew Biblical characters appear all of a sudden, without any indication as to which country they lived, in which era and in what context.

    4. Without references to the Hebrew Bible, no reader of the otherwise incoherent Quran could possibly know the full story of any and ALL of the Hebrew Biblical characters mentioned therein.

    Moreover, their stories in the Quran are based upon Rabbinic & Apocryphal traditions and not upon their originals in the Torah.

    5. The Quran as a whole has no beginning, no middle and no ending, totally unlike the Hebrew Bible.
    6. The stories in the chapters of the Quran, jump from one Hebrew Biblical character in one verse, to a completely different and unrelated character in a completely different era in the next verse, without rhyme, reason or logic.

    7. To compile the story of what we are about to reveal to you, we have had to ferret out all the relevant verses, scattered over many chapters of the Quran, and put them in a coherent order as faithful to the original story in the Hebrew Bible as possible.

    8. And that is why over the last 1400 years, no follower of Muhammad who has not read the Hebrew Bible, could possibly understand, let alone know, the whole story in a consistent manner.

    Before revealing the Quran’s Zionism, it is very important of course, to explain what Zionism means and is NOT according to Arab and Muslim distorted propaganda, but to facts.

    Believers and Unbelieving Kuffar, please be aware, that the immense majority of the followers of Muhammad, recognize the words Zionist and Zionism, but have absolutely no understanding of either the meaning or the concept of these words.

    In Hebrew, Zion is pronounced Tsion, a term that most often designates the Land of Israel and its capital, Jerusalem. The word is found in texts dating back almost three millennia.

    Originally, it was the name of a Canaanite fortress on top of Mount Tsion, which is near Jerusalem, which was captured by King David.

    David made it a royal residence to start with, and his son Solomon, built the first Temple on top of it. Henceforth, the whole hill was named Tsion. Thereafter, the name of the hill and the city of Jerusalem became synonymous.

    In many Hebrew Biblical verses, the Israelites were called the people, sons or daughters of Zion.

    The word Zionism is derived from, & associated with, the word Tsion or Zion.

    Zionism is actually the national revival movement for the return of the Jewish Diaspora to their homeland of Judea & Samaria, and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, the Promised Land, their birth place.

    Zionism was self-consciously the Jewish analogue of European national liberation movements of the nineteenth century. In the modern world it manifests itself as support for the principle and absolute right of the Jews to live securely in their own homeland Israel as they did over a millennia in ancient times as well as on and off over the centuries ever since.

    I shall begin with the most important example of Zionism in the Quran, which is the Quran’s version of the Exodus story starting with Allah’s instruction to Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh asking him to release the tribes of Israel from bondage.

    I shall recite only the relevant verses from the chapters in such a way as to make the storyline similar in manner to its original in the Torah. I shall jump over verses that are either repetitive or not relevant to the flow of the story.

    Please pay particular attention as to how – without our collation in a coherent sequence – the relevant verses of the Quran actually jump from one chapter to a completely different one, since they are scattered all over the chapters of the Quran and hence, by themselves do not make a coherent tale.

    Those who want the complete verses can read them in the Quran as I shall be giving you chapter & verse where to find them.

    Sura Ta Ha 20: 47

    “So go ye both to him (Pharaoh) and say `Verily we are apostles sent by thy Lord: send forth therefore the Children of Israel with us and afflict them not: with a Sign indeed have we come from thy Lord! And peace to all who follow guidance!

    Sura Al Aaraf 7: 104

    “Moses said: “O Pharaoh! I am an apostle from the Lord of the worlds.

    Sura Al Aaraf 7:130

    “We punished the people of Pharaoh with years (of drought) and shortness of crops; that they might receive admonition.
    132 They said (to Moses): “whatever be the signs thou bringest to work there with the sorcery on us, we shall never believe in thee.”

    133 So We sent (plagues) on them, Wholesale Death, Locusts, Lice, Frogs and Blood: signs openly Self-explained; but they were steeped in arrogance a people given to sin.

    134 Every time the penalty fell on them they said: “O Moses! On
    our behalf, call on thy Lord in virtue of his promise to thee: if thou wilt remove the penalty from us, we shall truly believe in thee and we shall send away the Children of Israel with thee.

    135 But every time We removed the penalty from them, according to a fixed term which they had to fulfill, Behold! they broke their word!

    136 So We exacted retribution from them: We drowned them in the sea because they rejected Our signs and failed to take warning from them.

    *** Anyone who has read the Hebrew Biblical original, would know, that what was allegedly revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel, is completely different both in sequence and context ***

    Sura Ta Ha 20: 77

    “We sent an inspiration to Moses: “Travel by night with my servants ( the Israelites) and strike a dry path for them through the (Red) sea without fear of being overtaken (by Pharaoh) and without (any other) fear.”

    78 Then Pharaoh pursued them with his forces but the waters completely overwhelmed them and covered them up.

    79 Pharaoh led his people astray instead of leading them aright.

    Sura Al Aaraf 7:138

    “We took the Children of Israel (with safety) across the sea…

    *** To recap the story thus far: By Allah’s instructions, Moses & Aaron requested the release of the Israelite Tribes from bondage. Pharaoh refused. Allah punished him with a plague. Pharaoh recanted & asked forgiveness BUT when the plague was lifted he again disobeyed Allah. This continued until TEN plagues were visited upon Pharaoh and Egypt.

    Finally Pharaoh allowed the Israelites to leave, but he regretted his decision and pursued them into the Red Sea where Pharaoh & his troops were drowned by Allah thus saving Moses & the Israelites.

    So far, the storyline of the EXODUS, as we have rearranged it from the different chapters of the Quran, is relatively faithful to that of the Torah

    ***

    Sura Ta Ha 20:80 :

    “O ye Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy and We made a Covenant with you on the side of Mount (Sinai) and We sent down to you Manna and quails:

    Sura Al Israa 17: 2:

    “We gave Moses the Book (Torah) and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel (commanding): “Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs.”

    Sura Al Aaraf 7: 137:

    “And We made a people (Israelites) considered weak (and of no account) inheritors of lands in both east and west lands, where on We sent down our blessings. The fair promise of the Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy and We leveled to the ground the great works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected (with such pride).

    ***” inheritors of lands in both east and west lands” is actually the Promised Land of the Israelites on BOTH sides of the Jordan River***

    Sura Al Israa 17: 104

    “And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel “Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”: but when the second of the warnings came to pass We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.

    *** Allah, in very clear Arabic, asserts that he fulfilled his promise to reward the People of Israel with the Promised Land, the same land that the later conquering hordes of Muslim Arabs claim as exclusively theirs CONTRARY to their own Quran ***
    Sura Al Maida 5: 12

    “Allah did aforetime take a Covenant from the Children of Israel, and We appointed twelve captains among them and Allah said: “I am with you: if ye establish regular prayers, practice regular charity, believe in My apostles, honor and assist them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, verily I shall wipe out from you your evils and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you after this resists faith he hath truly wandered from the path of rectitude.”

    *** Once again, does the Quran assert the close relationship between Allah, the People of Israel and his promise for the Land ***

    Sura Yunus 10: 93

    “We settled the Children of Israel in a beautiful dwelling-place (the Promised Land) and provided for them sustenance of the best: it was after knowledge had been granted to them that they fell into schisms. Verily Allah will judge between them as to the schisms amongst them on the Day of Judgment.

    94 If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book (Torah) from before thee: the Truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord: so be in nowise of those in doubt.

    *** Allah is clearly instructing the followers of Muhammad that if they were in doubt about the veracity of what Muhammad was revealing to them, and then they should ask the Jews who read the Torah that Allah revealed to Moses.

    This SINGULAR verse, DESTROYS and NEGATES all the LIES and DECEPTIONS by the LATER followers of Muhammad regarding the authenticity and DIVINE origin of the Torah since had it been ALTERED or tampered with by the Jews, Allah would NOT have used it as a WITNESS to the veracity of the Quran***

    Sura Al Baqara 2: 40

    “O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favor which I bestowed upon you and fulfill your covenant with Me as I fulfill My covenant with you and fear none but Me”

    Al Baqara 2: 47

    “O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favor which I bestowed upon You and that 50 And remember, We divided the (Red) sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people within your very sight.

    51 And remember, We appointed forty nights for Moses and in his absence you took the calf (for worship) and ye did grievous wrong.

    52 Even then, We did forgive you; there was a chance for you to be grateful”

    *** Without a shadow of a doubt, the Quran in clear Arabic asserts that it was Allah who CHOSE the Israelites above all other nations and made a mutual covenant with them.

    Furthermore, verse 2:52 is remarkable in its assertion that Allah also FORGAVE their transgression.

    This verse in particular, ABROGATES, Overturns and overrides the LIES and PERVERSIONS by the followers of Muhammad, that tell Arabic IGNORAMOUS peoples that Allah had NOT forgiven the sin of the People of Israel ***

    Sura Al Baqara 2: 122

    “O Children of Israel! call to mind the special favor which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you above the whole world!

    *** Once more in this verse does Allah assert that the Israelites are his CHOSEN PEOPLE***

    Sura Al Sajda 32: 23

    We did indeed aforetime give the Book (Torah) to Moses: be not then in doubt of its reaching (thee): and We made it a guide to the Children of Israel”

    *** Allah is telling the followers of Muhammad that he gave the Torah ONLY to the People of Israel as a guide ***

    Sura Al Mu’min 40: 53

    “We did a foretime give Moses the (Book of) Guidance and We gave the Book (Torah) in inheritance to the Children of Israel”

    *** “We gave the Book (Torah) in inheritance to the Children of Israel” means to them and their generations AFTER them ***

    Sura Al Dukhan 44: 30

    “We did deliver a foretime the Children of Israel from humiliating Punishment

    31 Inflicted by Pharaoh for he was arrogant (even) among inordinate transgressors.

    32 And We chose them aforetime above all the nations knowingly

    Sura Al Jathiyah 45: 16

    “We did a foretime grant to the Children of Israel the Book (Torah), the Power of Command and Prophethood; We gave them for Sustenance things good and pure; and We favored them above all the nations”

    ***Believers and Unbelievers, please be aware, that the Quran, in verse after verse, repeatedly and unambiguously asserts, that it was Allah and ONLY Allah who did the Choosing, contrary to the Hatemongering declarations by Muslims, that it is the RACIST and ARROGANT Israelites and Jews who declare themselves the Chosen People***

    Sura Al Ahqaf 46: 12

    “And before this was the Book (Torah) of Moses as a guide and a mercy; and this Book (Quran) confirms (it) in the Arabic tongue; to admonish the unjust and as Glad Tidings to those who do right.

    Sura Al sajda 32: 23

    “We did indeed aforetime give the Book (Torah) to Moses: be not then in doubt of its reaching (thee): and We made it a guide to the Children of Israel.

    Sura Al Maida 5:44

    “It was We who revealed the law (Torah to Moses); therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews by the Prophet who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah’s will by the Rabbis and the doctors of Law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s Book (Torah) and they were witnesses thereto:
    Sura Al Saffat 37: 114

    “Again! We bestowed Our favor on Moses and Aaron.

    115 And We delivered them and their people from (their) Great Calamity;

    116 And We helped them so they overcame (their troubles);

    117 And We gave them the Book (Torah) which helps to make things clear;

    118 And We guided them to the Straight Way.

    119 And We left (this blessing) for them among generations (to come) in later times:

    120 “Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron!”

    *** It should be pointed out that not once in these very important verses did Allah instruct the Children of Israel to pass on his Book (the Torah) to any other human group CONTRATY to the Malicious accusations that the Israelites hid the Torah from other peoples***

    And last but not least ‘ icing on the cake’ verse:

    Sura Al Maida 5: 21

    “O my people! enter the holy land (al Arth al Muqaddassah) which Allah hath assigned unto you and turn not back ignominiously for then will ye be overthrown to your own ruin.”

    Based upon all what we have revealed, how can any sane person accept the wild and unsubstantiated claims, that the loose leaf and arbitrary collection of the Quran is CORRECT, whereas the older Hebrew Book, the Torah, whose pages, chapters and verses are in correct order and upon which the Quran’s foundations are rooted, is not?

    It is obvious that Muhammad did not realize that his loose-leaf notes had fully captured and preserved – though somewhat scrambled up from the more ancient accounts – actually verified with detailed accounts, that the Israelites and the Jews had lived many centuries before him, settled and made their homeland as a nation in the very state of modern Israel & territories that have since been restored. These are the very lands that his followers absurdly deny had ever previously belonged to anyone else but themselves?

    In conclusion, based upon all the above, it is crystal clear, that contrary to the untested beliefs of hundreds of millions of Muslims in the world today, their Quran in fact, fully supports and verifies the claims of the Jews for the Land of Israel as their ancient and rightful home and nation.

    JUDAISM – CHRISTENDOM – ISLAM are the 3 Abrahamic Cults of Death, which have drenched the earth with the blood of their victims

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  3. ISLAM’S MUHAMMAD: THE WHITE ‘PROPHET’ WITH BLACK SLAVES

    “What if I told you there was a ‘prophet’ out there that is so WHITE, he makes Anderson Cooper look like Mike Tyson? He’s so WHITE, he makes a bowl of vanilla ice cream yell, ‘Get him out of here, he’s blinding me!’ He’s so WHITE, his 9-year-old child bride, Aisha, didn’t need a night light.”

    “Many people who don’t read the Muslim sources assume that Muhammad was dark-skinned, but Arabs are classified as Caucasians and they can exhibit a variety of shades and tones”.

    If we were to look for Muhammad in the midst of his fellow Arabs, al-Bukhari writes in his Hadith:

    Narrated Anas bin Malik: While we were sitting with the Prophet in the mosque, a man came riding on a camel. He made his camel kneel down in the mosque, tied its foreleg and then said, “Who amongst you is Muhammad?” At that time the Prophet was sitting amongst us (his Companions) leaning on his arm. We replied, “This WHITE man reclining on his arm.”

    SAHIH MUSLIM 6081:

    It was narrated that Abu Juhaifah said: “I saw the Messenger of Allah with a WHITE complexion and some white hairs.”

    SAHIH MUSLIM (6071):

    It was narrated from Al-Jurairi from Abu At-Tufail: “I said to him: ‘Did you see the Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘Yes, he was WHITE with an elegant face.”

    Muslims sources go out of their way to point out the “WHITENESS of his [Muhammad] shins,” the “WHITENESS of the thigh,” the “WHITENESS of his leg” the “WHITENESS of his stomach,” the “WHITENESS of his forearms,” the “WHITENESS of his armpits” and the “WHITENESS of his cheeks.”

    MUHAMMAD & HIS BLACK SLAVES:
    To celebrate the history of Africa and especially black history, let’s commit to memory the names of Muhammad’s slaves.
    These are the names of Muhammad’s male slaves: Yakan Abu Sharh, Aflah, ‘Ubayd, Dhakwan, Tahman, Mirwan, Hunayn, Sanad, Fadala Yamamin, Anjasha al-Hadi, Mad’am, Karkara, Abu Rafi’, Thawban, Ab Kabsha, Salih, Rabah, Yara Nubyan, Fadila, Waqid, Mabur, Abu Waqid, Kasam, Abu ‘Ayb, Abu Muwayhiba, Zayd Ibn Haritha, and Mahran.
    The female slaves are Salma Um Rafi’, Maymuna daughter of Abu Asib, Maymuna daughter of Sa’d, Khadra, Radwa, Razina, Um Damira, Rayhana, Mary the Coptic, in addition to two other maid-slaves.
    Source – Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya in “Zad al-Ma’ad” (Part I, p. 160) and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya: “Zad al-Ma’ad” (his book) (Volume One, p. 116)

    SLAVERY IS THE SUNNAH OF MUHAMMAD
    “Ham [Africans] begat all those who are black and curly-haired, while Japheth [Turks] begat all those who are full-faced with small eyes, and Shem [Arabs] begat everyone who is handsome of face with beautiful hair. Noah prayed that the hair of Ham’s descendants would not grow beyond their ears, and that whenever his descendants met Shem’s, the latter would enslave them.”
    Al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 21, p. 21

    “Shem, the son of Noah was the father of the Arabs, the Persians, and the Greeks; Ham was the father of the Black Africans; and Japheth was the father of the Turks and of Gog and Magog who were cousins of the Turks. Noah prayed that the prophets and apostles would be descended from Shem and kings would be from Japheth. He prayed that the African’s color would change so that their descendants would be slaves to the Arabs and Turks.”
    Al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 11, p. 11

    Muslim Arab and Persian literature depicts Blacks as “stupid, untruthful, vicious, sexually unbridled, ugly and distorted, excessively merry, and easily affected by music and drink.”

    Nasir al-Din Tusi, a famous Muslim scholar said of Blacks:

    “The APE is more capable of being trained than the NEGRO.”

    Ibn Khaldun, an early Muslim thinker, writes that Blacks are
    “the only humans who are closer to DUMB ANIMALS than to rational beings.”

    IBN SINA, AVICENNA 980–1037
    Muslim Arab’s most famous and influential philosopher/scientist in Islam, described BLACKS as:
    “All African women are prostitutes, and the whole race of African men, are abed (slave) stock.” He equated black people with “RATS plaguing the earth.”

    LIKE RATS PLAGUING THE EARTH!

    Ibn Khaldum, an Arab historian stated that:
    “Blacks are characterized by levity and excitability and great emotionalism,”
    “they are everywhere described as STUPID.”
    al-Dimashqi, an Arab pseudo scientist, wrote:
    “the Equator is inhabited by communities of BLACKS who may be numbered among the SAVAGE BEASTS. Their complexion and hair are burnt and they are PHYSICALLY & MORALLY ABNORMAL. Their brains almost boil from the sun’s heat…..”

    Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadhani painted this no less horrid picture of black people:
    “…..the zanj (the blacks) are overdone until they are burnt, so that the child comes out between black, murky, malodorous, stinking, and crinkly-haired, with uneven limbs, DEFICIENT MINDS AND DEPRAVED PASSIONS…..”

    The Arabs were the first to enslave Africans, starting from 650 CE. Ten times more millions of African slaves were involved in the Islamic experience than in the Trans-Atlantic slavery of Africans by the West. Between 650 CE and 1905 CE, over twenty million African slaves had been delivered through the Tans-Sahara route alone to the Islamic world and a hundred million through the East African route. Dr. John Alembellah Azumah in his book, The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa, ‘estimates that over 80 million more died en-route Trans-Sahara’ and trice as many through the Eastern route.

    A text from Dr. Azumah’s book provides this quote from a Zanzibar observer, about the travails of African slaves, en-route to slave markets, around the Arabic world.

    “As they filed past, we noticed many chained together by the neck… The women, who were as numerous as the men, carried babies on their backs in addition to a tusk of ivory or other burden on their heads… It is difficult to adequately describe the filthy state of their bodies; in many instances not only scarred by [the whip], but feet and shoulders were a mass of open sores… half-starved ill-treated creatures who, weary and friendless, must have longed for death.”

    A Muslim herdsman, in Dr. Azumah’s book described the fate of those who became too ill or too weak to continue the journey as follows:

    “We speared them at once! For, if we did not, others would pretend they are ill in order to avoid carrying their loads. No! We never leave them alive on the road; they all know this custom.” When asked who carries the ivory when a mother gets too tired to carry both her baby and the ivory, the herdsman replied, “She does! We cannot leave valuable ivory on the road. We spear the child and make her burden lighter.”

    Arab enslavement of Black Africans continues to this day in the Muslim world, particularly in the Sudan, Niger, and Mauritania. Arabs act as if Islamic slavery is a favour done to the millions of unfortunate African men, women and children, still being enslaved now by them and those forcibly uprooted from their native lands earlier on, and condemned to lives of sexual and mental abuse and servitude, deep in the Islamic world.

    Arabs do not consider Black Muslims authentic or of consequence. At best, they concede to Blacks, the role of ordained slaves or SENSELESS ANIMALS, to be used as BEASTS OF BURDEN by the “superior Arab race.” The rule applies to all Blacks, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, and whether of Nigerian (Hausa/Fulani or Yoruba extractions), or Tanzanians, Ugandans, Malians, or African-Americans. A traveller in Sudan observed in 1930 that:
    “In the eyes of the Arab rulers of Sudan, the BLACK SLAVES were simply ANIMALS given by Allah to make life of Arabs comfortable.”

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  4. TREATMENT OF NON ISRAELITE SLAVES FROM MOSES TO MAIMONIDES

    The Bible already expresses ambivalence about Hebrew slavery, the rabbis expand upon it and Maimonides takes the next step, applying the negative evaluation of slavery even to non-Israelites.

    Centrality of the Exodus Narrative Does not Erase Slavery from the Bible
    God forges his covenant by a self-identification:
    אָנֹכִי יְ-הוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים. I am YHWH your God who took you out the land of Egypt (Exodus 20:2; Deut.5:6).

    The essence of Passover and/or the Matzot festival, which launches the annual cycle of pilgrimages, also commemorates the exodus, anchoring the relationship between God and Israel as Liberator and slave. We still celebrate this (combined) holiday of Passover and Matzot as “the time of our freedom[1] (זמן חרותינו).

    Yet, what disturbingly hovers over this core liberating experience is the very real phenomenon of ongoing actual slavery, recognized by the Hebrew Bible as a legitimate institution.[2] The very Decalogue, introduced by God as a supreme liberator, the one who took you out of the land of Egypt, tacitly endorses slavery as a sanctioned component of continuing Israelite life; slaves are offered relief from their indentured lives on the Sabbath only, lapsing back into their oppressed condition the other days of the week.
    Regulation of Hebrew Slavery: A Step Towards Abolition
    Torah
    Although it sanctions the institution of slavery, biblical law begins the process toward abolition, a process still unresolved in various parts of the world, by regulating and restricting the absolute control a master could exercise over an Israelite slave. Though limited in scope, both the Covenant Collection (Exodus 21-23) and the Deuteronomic Collection (Deuteronomy 12-26) conceptually transform the Hebrew slave from pure chattel owned by the master, to some form of independent personhood bearing legal rights. This process culminates in Leviticus 25, which avoids the locution

    “Hebrew slave (עבד עברי)” altogether, preferring “your brother.” [3]

    Such laws as Exod. 21:26-27, mandating the release of a slave upon the infliction of physical injury by the master, are innovative for their time, and “without parallel in the Ancient Near East.”[4]

    Rabbinic Period: Making It Hard to Keep a Hebrew Slave
    In the first centuries of the Common Era, rabbinic jurisprudence, which often revised biblical law to accord with its own conceptions of law and morality, advanced the biblical rules governing the treatment of Hebrew slaves in further humane directions. The rabbis take this to such an extreme, that the Talmud states,

    “anyone who acquires a Hebrew slave acquires a master for himself” (b. Kiddushin 20a):

    כי טוב לו עמך – עמך במאכל ועמך במשתה, שלא תהא אתה אוכל פת נקיה והוא אוכל פת קיבר, אתה שותה יין ישן והוא שותה יין חדש, אתה ישן על גבי מוכים והוא ישן על גבי התבן, מכאן אמרו: כל הקונה עבד עברי, כקונה אדון לעצמו. “Because he is well with you” – he must be with [i.e., equal to] you in food and drink, that you should not eat white bread and he black bread, you drink old wine and he new wine, you sleep on a feather bed and he on straw. Hence it was said: “Whoever buys a Hebrew slave is like buying a master for himself.”[5]

    Nahmanides: Freeing Hebrew Slaves Is Being Like God
    Noting the close connection between the Covenant Collection and the Decalogue, Moses Nahmanides (1194-1270) draws a vital parallel between this “first legislation” (mishpat ha’rishon) and the first of the Ten Commandments (dibbur ha’rishon),
    מפני שיש בשילוח העבד בשנה השביעית זכר ליציאת מצרים הנזכר בדבור הראשון… [F]or the liberation of the slave in the seventh year is reminiscent of the exodus from Egypt mentioned in the first commandment… (Exodus 21:2)

    Israel’s consciousness of their own experience as a victim of oppression should compel them not to be victimizers, and this is enshrined in the biblical law of manumission after six years. By invoking the opening line of the Decalogue, Nahmanides creates a parallel between the Israelite owner freeing his slaves and God freeing the enslaved Israelites; thus by releasing the Hebrew slave, the Israelite owner follows in God’s ways (imitatio dei), as a liberator.

    NON-HEBREW SLAVES IN THE BIBLE

    Up until now, we have discussed only Hebrew slaves. Non-Hebrew slaves were considered permanent acquisitions and never had to be freed. The stark contrast is seen best in the Holiness Collection, which, as stated above, denies that Hebrew can ever really be slaves:
    ויקרא כה:מב כִּֽי עֲבָדַ֣י הֵ֔ם אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵ֥אתִי אֹתָ֖ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם לֹ֥א יִמָּכְר֖וּ מִמְכֶּ֥רֶת עָֽבֶד: כה:מג לֹא תִרְדֶּ֥ה ב֖וֹ בְּפָ֑רֶךְ וְיָרֵ֖אתָ מֵאֱלֹהֶֽיךָ: כה:מד וְעַבְדְּךָ֥ וַאֲמָתְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִהְיוּ לָ֑ךְ מֵאֵ֣ת הַגּוֹיִ֗ם אֲשֶׁר֙ סְבִיבֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם מֵהֶ֥ם תִּקְנ֖וּ עֶ֥בֶד וְאָמָֽה: כה:מה וְ֠גַם מִבְּנֵ֨י הַתּוֹשָׁבִ֜ים הַגָּרִ֤ים עִמָּכֶם֙ מֵהֶ֣ם תִּקְנ֔וּ וּמִמִּשְׁפַּחְתָּם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עִמָּכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר הוֹלִ֖ידוּ בְּאַרְצְכֶ֑ם וְהָי֥וּ לָכֶ֖ם לַֽאֲחֻזָּֽה: כה:מו וְהִתְנַחַלְתֶּ֨ם אֹתָ֜ם לִבְנֵיכֶ֤ם אַחֲרֵיכֶם֙ לָרֶ֣שֶׁת אֲחֻזָּ֔ה לְעֹלָ֖ם בָּהֶ֣ם תַּעֲבֹ֑דוּ וּבְאַ֨חֵיכֶ֤ם בְּנֵֽי־ יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אִ֣ישׁ בְּאָחִ֔יו לֹא תִרְדֶּ֥ה ב֖וֹ בְּפָֽרֶךְ: ס Leviticus 25:42 For they are My servants, whom I freed from the land of Egypt; they may not give themselves over into servitude.—25:43 You shall not rule over him ruthlessly; you shall fear your God. 25:44 Such male and female slaves as you may have—it is from the nations round about you that you may acquire male and female slaves. 25:45 You may also buy them from among the children of aliens resident among you, or from their families that are among you, whom they begot in your land. These shall become your property: 25:46 you may keep them as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property for all time. Such you may treat as slaves. But as for your Israelite kinsmen, no one shall rule ruthlessly over the other.

    The rabbis make no attempt to soften this. In fact, at least some voices in rabbinic literature interpret v. 46 not as permission to keep slaves forever but as a commandment to do so (b. Berachot 47b).
    …אמר רב יהודה: כל המשחרר עבדו עובר בעשה, שנאמר: לעלם בהם תעבדו! …Rav Yehudah said: “Whoever frees his slave has violated a positive commandment, as it says, “You shall work them forever.”
    Nevertheless, the rabbis did take some small steps, by codifying a prohibition to humiliate non-Israelite slaves (b. Niddah 47a),
    …אמר שמואל: לעולם בהם תעבודו – לעבודה נתתים ולא לבושה. …Samuel said: “‘You shall work them forever’ – I gave them to you for work, but not for humiliation.”

    [INSERT]

    THE RACIST VIEWS OF MOSES MAIMONIDES

    “Those who are incapable of attaining to supreme religious values include the BLACK coloured people and those who resemble them in their climates. Their nature is like the MUTE ANIMALS. Their level among existing things is below that of a man and above that of a monkey.”

    (Maimonides, Guide To The Perplexed, Translation from the Hebrew Version)

    THE DOGMA THAT THE BLACK IS A SLAVE BY NATURE IS RABBINIC IN ORIGIN

    Canaan is identified as a black man and blacks as in inferior people, only in the Gemara, which is to say the latter part of the Talmud, the Midrash and later writings of the rabbis. This invective, this racism, is not anywhere in the bible concerning the black race.

    The rabbinic account of the malediction against Ham stipulates that his son Canaan, and all Canaan’s offspring, are to fated to suffer perpetual slavery and black skin without the chance of their condition being ameliorated. It is this anti-Old Testament, Rabbinic gloss that influenced those fifteenth century Renaissance humanists who had crossed over into the forbidden territory of the Talmud, the Midrash and the Kabbalah as part of a supposedly enlightened act. It is an irony of history that as a result of this supposedly progressive development, the abominable view of blacks as a perpetual race of slaves became entrenched among the western liberal intelligentsia for at least the next three hundred years.

    Here is what Schorsch writes in his book, JEWS and BLACKS in the EARLY MODERN WORLD:

    “Few Jewish thinkers understood Ham’s curse to initiate his or her progeny’s blackness.”

    That is an out and out prevarication. The classic rabbinic texts hold that the punishment visited upon Ham was the transformation of his son Canaan, and all Canaan’s progeny, into BLACKS.

    Rabbi Hiyya said,

    “Ham and the dog copulated on the ark. Therefore Ham came forth dark skinned.”

    ORTHODOX JEWS AND ANIMALS
    WHAT PART OF JEWS TEACHING THAT BLACKS ARE ANIMALS, DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?

    THE JEWISH TALMUD TEACHES THAT GOYIM (NON JEWS) ARE ANIMALS

    “JEHOVAH CREATED THE NON-JEW IN HUMAN FORM SO THAT THE JEW WOULD NOT HAVE TO BE SERVED BY BEASTS> THE NON-JEW IS CONSEQUENTLY AN ANIMAL IN HUMAN FORM, AND COMMANDED TO SERVE THE JEW DAY AND NIGHT.”

    Midrasch Talpioth, p 225 -L

    JEWS BEHIND THE SURGE OF MUSLIMS INTO THE WEST:

    “THE MESSIAH WILL COME ONLY WHEN EDOM, EUROPE, CHRISTIANITY, HAS TOTALLY FALLEN. SO, I ASK YOU, IS IT GOOD NEWS THAT MUSLIMS ARE INVADING EUROPE? IT’S EXCELLENT NEWS! IT MEANS THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH! EXCELLENT NEWS!”

    (French Rabbi, Ray Touitou – sermon uploaded to You Tube on 20 November 2013)

    A constant feature of the New World Order is that human beings are animals and we are defined by our animal desires.

    There is a consistent denial of God, or that human beings have a connection to God through our souls. Why is this?

    Animals have no rights.

    “The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart’s blood of the Jewish Religion. Whatever laws, customs or ceremonies we observe – whether we are orthodox, conservative, reform or merely spasmodic sentimentalists – we follow the Talmud. It is our common law.”

    Herman Wouk

    “The modern Jew is the product of the Talmud…” – “Babylonian Talmud”, published by the Boston Talmud Society, p. XII

    The Jews refer to the remainder of Earths inhabitants, the non-Jewish peoples, as “Gentiles”, “Goyim”.

    Let’s see what the Jewish Talmud teaches the Jews concerning the non-Jewish majority, i.e. those who are not part of Jahve’s “Chosen People”:

    “The Jews are called human beings, but the non-Jews are not humans. They are beasts.”- Talmud: Baba mezia, 114b

    “The Akum (non-Jew) is like a dog. Yes, the scripture teaches to honor the the dog more than the non-Jew.”- Ereget Raschi Erod. 22 30

    “Even though God created the non-Jew they are still animals in human form. It is not becoming for a Jew to be served by an animal. Therefore he will be served by animals in human form.” – Midrasch Talpioth, p. 255, Warsaw 1855

    “A pregnant non-Jew is no better than a pregnant animal.”- Coschen hamischpat 405

    “The souls of non-Jews come from impure sprits and are called pigs.”- Jalkut Rubeni gadol 12b

    “Although the non-Jew has the same body structure as the Jew, they compare with the Jew like a monkey to a human.”- Schene luchoth haberith, p. 250 b

    “If you eat with a Gentile, it is the same as eating with a dog.”- Tosapoth, Jebamoth 94b

    “If a Jew has a non-Jewish servant or maid who dies, one should not express sympathy to the Jew. You should tell the Jew: “God will replace ‘your loss’, just as if one of his oxen or asses had died”.”- Jore dea 377, 1

    “Sexual intercourse between Gentiles is like intercourse between animals.”- Talmud Sanhedrin 74b

    “It is permitted to take the body and the life of a Gentile.”- Sepher ikkarim III c 25

    [END OF INSERT]

    MAIMONIDES AND THE PROBLEM OF NON-ISRAELITE SLAVES:

    The Mishneh Torah Law Code
    Moses Maimonides (1138-1205) is the first to take a big step towards a more humane treatment of gentile slaves. In the final section of his Laws of Slavery, Maimonides, expresses moral discomfort with the idea, endorsed by the Torah, that an Israelite master is to work his non-Israelite slaves with harsh labor (pharekh),[6] which he defines as (Mishneh Torah, “Laws of Slaves” 1:6):

    No defined limit is set for the work.
    Useless work.[7]
    In both cases, the slave is not allowed a semblance of accomplishment that could salvage some sense of self-worth or empowerment as a human being.[8] In effect, the master replaces God as the supreme object of the slave’s obedience and dependence. Thus, this may account for why the classical rabbis considered keeping a slave past the obligatory sabbatical limit tantamount to idolatry.[9]
    Focusing on the imposition of pharekh labor, Maimonides writes, (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Slaves 9:8):
    Best to be compassionate and not overburden slaves. מֻתָּר לַעֲבֹד בְּעֶבֶד כְּנַעֲנִי בְּפָרֶךְ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַדִּין כָּךְ מִדַּת חֲסִידוּת וְדַרְכֵי חָכְמָה שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אָדָם רַחְמָן וְרוֹדֵף צֶדֶק וְלֹא יַכְבִּיד עֻלּוֹ עַל עַבְדּוֹ וְלֹא יָצֵר לוֹ. It is permissible to have a Canaanite slave perform excruciating labor (pharekh). Although this is the law, the attribute of piety and the ways of wisdom is for a person to be compassionate and to pursue justice, not to excessively burden his slaves, nor cause them distress.
    Feed slaves well. וְיַאֲכִילֵהוּ וְיַשְׁקֵהוּ מִכָּל מַאֲכָל וּמִכָּל מִשְׁתֶּה. חֲכָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים הָיוּ נוֹתְנִין לָעֶבֶד מִכָּל תַּבְשִׁיל וְתַבְשִׁיל שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹכְלִין. וּמַקְדִּימִין מְזוֹן הַבְּהֵמוֹת וְהָעֲבָדִים לִסְעוּדַת עַצְמָן. He should feed them and give them drink from all his available food and drink. This was the practice of the ancient Sages who would give their slaves from every dish of which they themselves would partake. And they would provide food for their animals and slaves before partaking of their own meals.
    A master to his slave has the power of God. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (תהילים קכג-ב) “כְעֵינֵי עֲבָדִים אֶל יַד אֲדוֹנֵיהֶם כְּעֵינֵי שִׁפְחָה אֶל יַד גְּבִרְתָּהּ [כֵּ֣ן עֵ֭ינֵינוּ אֶל־ה’ אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ עַד שֶׁיְּחָנֵּנוּ]”. And so, it is written Psalms 123:2: “As the eyes of slaves to their master’s hand, and like the eyes of a maid-servant to her mistress’ hand, [so are our eyes to the Lord our God awaiting his favor].”
    Do not verbally abuse a slave, but speak kindly. וְכֵן לֹא יְבַזֵּהוּ בַּיָּד וְלֹא בִּדְבָרִים. לְעַבְדוּת מְסָרָן הַכָּתוּב לֹא לְבוּשָׁה. וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה עָלָיו צְעָקָה וְכַעַס אֶלָּא יְדַבֵּר עִמּוֹ בְּנַחַת וְיִשְׁמַע טַעֲנוֹתָיו. וְכֵן מְפֹרָשׁ בְּדַרְכֵי אִיּוֹב הַטּוֹבִים שֶׁהִשְׁתַּבֵּחַ בָּהֶן (איוב לא-יג) “אִם אֶמְאַס מִשְׁפַּט עַבְדִּי וַאֲמָתִי בְּרִבָם עִמָּדִי” (איוב לא-טו) “הֲלֹא בַבֶּטֶן עשֵֹׁנִי עָשָׂהוּ וַיְכֻנֶנּוּ בָּרֶחֶם אֶחָד.” Similarly, we should not embarrass a slave verbally or physically, for the Torah only contemplated work for them not humiliation. Nor should one excessively scream at or exhibit anger with them. Instead, one should speak to them gently, and listen to their complaints. This is explicitly stated with regard to the positive paths of Job for which he was praised Job 31:13, 15: “Have I ever shunned justice for my slave and maid-servant when they quarreled with me…. Did not He who made me in my mother’s belly make him? Did not One form us both in the womb?”
    The children of Abraham are kind and not cruel like idolaters. וְאֵין הָאַכְזָרִיּוּת וְהָעַזּוּת מְצוּיָה אֶלָּא בְּעַכּוּ”ם עוֹבְדֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה אֲבָל זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ וְהֵם יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהִשְׁפִּיעַ לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא טוֹבַת הַתּוֹרָה וְצִוָּה אוֹתָם בְּ”חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים צַדִּיקִים” רַחְמָנִים הֵם עַל הַכּל. Cruelty and arrogance are common only among idolaters. By contrast, the descendants of Abraham our patriarch, i.e. Israel on whom the Holy One, blessed be He, endowed the goodness of the Torah and commanded to observe “righteous statutes and judgments,” (Deuteronomy 4:8) are compassionate to all.
    God is merciful so we should be as well. וְכֵן בְּמִדּוֹתָיו שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶּׁצִּוָּנוּ לְהִדָּמוֹת בָּהֶם הוּא אוֹמֵר (תהילים קמה-ט) “וְרַחֲמָיו עַל כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו . וְכָל הַמְרַחֵם מְרַחֲמִין עָלָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג:יח) “וְנָתַן לְךָ רַחֲמִים וְרִחַמְךָ וְהִרְבֶּךָ”: And similarly, with regard to the attributes of the Holy One, blessed be He, which He commanded us to imitate, it is written Psalms 145:9: “His mercy is upon all of His works.” And whoever shows mercy to others will have mercy shown to him, as implied by Deuteronomy 13:18: “He will show you compassion, and in His compassion merciful increase you.”

    This codified recommendation represents the high water mark of Jewish law in expressing noble and equitable ideals. It also presents an exquisite weave of biblical texts, philosophy, theology, and law. This emerges most clearly if we follow the logic of four verses Maimonides cites and how he integrates them into a kind of philosophically theological mini-treatise that touches on the nature of man, his relationship with the divine, the nature of God, and imitatio dei.

    A Closer Look at the Verses
    Maimonides Quotes
    1. Kindness (Without) obligation; Psalms 123:2
    הִנֵּ֨ה כְעֵינֵ֢י עֲבָדִ֡ים אֶל יַ֤ד אֲֽדוֹנֵיהֶ֗ם כְּעֵינֵ֣י שִׁפְחָה֘ אֶל יַ֪ד גְּבִ֫רְתָּ֥הּ כֵּ֣ן עֵ֭ינֵינוּ אֶל יְ-הֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ עַ֗ד שֶׁיְּחָנֵּֽנוּ: As the eyes of slaves to their master’s hand, and like the eyes of a maid-servant to her mistress’ hand, so are our eyes to YHWH our God awaiting his favor.

    By ending with God’s “favor (ח-נ-נ),” which connotes kindness without obligation, we are reminded that the non-Jewish slave has no legal grounds for grievance against pharekh labor. Nevertheless, Maimonides uses this text to prioritize the slave’s needs—like quality food at proper meal times—over the master’s needs, a level of compassion that would surely undermine the utilitarian basis for slave ownership.
    2. All Are Formed in the Womb: Job 31:13, 15
    אִם־אֶמְאַ֗ס מִשְׁפַּ֣ט עַ֭בְדִּי וַאֲמָתִ֑י בְּ֝רִבָ֗ם עִמָּדִֽי… הֲֽלֹא־בַ֭בֶּטֶן עֹשֵׂ֣נִי עָשָׂ֑הוּ וַ֝יְכֻנֶ֗נּוּ בָּרֶ֥חֶם אֶחָֽד: Have I ever shunned justice for my slave and maid-servant when they quarreled with me…. Did not He who made me in my mother’s belly make him? Did not One form us both in the womb?
    While the previous verse called for supererogatory conduct, this verse demands abiding by the legal duties (משפט) a master owes his slave because, as Job says, both he and the slaves share the same humanity; [10] all are formed in the womb, and every individual emerges from the same physiological processes.[11]

    3. A Legal Claim: Deuteronomy 4:8
    וּמִי֙ גּ֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל אֲשֶׁר־ל֛וֹ חֻקִּ֥ים וּמִשְׁפָּטִ֖ים צַדִּיקִ֑ם כְּכֹל֙ הַתּוֹרָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָנֹכִ֛י נֹתֵ֥ן לִפְנֵיכֶ֖ם הַיּֽוֹם: Or what great nation has laws and rules as perfect as all this Teaching that I set before you this day?
    Building off the reference to משפט in Job, here Maimonides raises the stakes for the normative value of his advised treatment of slaves by transforming it into a bedrock of the entire Jewish legal framework.

    4. Imitatio Dei : Psalms 145:9 and Deuteronomy 13:18
    טוֹב יְ-הֹוָ֥ה לַכֹּ֑ל וְ֝רַחֲמָ֗יו עַל כָּל מַעֲשָֽׂיו: YHWH is good to all, and His mercy is upon all His works.
    וְנָֽתַן לְךָ֤ רַחֲמִים֙ וְרִֽחַמְךָ֣ וְהִרְבֶּ֔ךָ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לַאֲבֹתֶֽיךָ: And he will show you compassion, and in His compassion increase you as He promised your fathers on oath.
    The last verses cited concentrate on the trait of “mercy,” which Maimonides uses to underline the moral of gravity of the benevolent treatment of slaves, regardless of their origins, by raising it to the level of imitatio dei.
    In fact, Maimonides may be implying even more than this.

    All Humans Are Created Equal:
    Maimonides in Guide of the Perplexed
    Maimonides’ Guide offers a complementary explanation of what it means to be human that works in tandem with the legal case he builds about slavery in the Mishneh Torah. According to Maimonides any differences between individual members of a species are accidental, attributable only to the fickle nature of matter, or their physical constituents, since

    “[T]here in no way exists a relation of superiority and inferiority between individuals conforming to the course of nature except that which follows necessarily from the differences in the disposition of the various kinds of matter…” [12]

    For Maimonides, material success or physical prowess do not in any way indicate superiority over others since they are simply arbitrary consequences of the natural world that do not constitute an “increment in substance.”[13] He then cites, among other verses, the same verse he uses to end the halakha about non-Jewish slaves, Psalm. 145:9, to substantiate the principle of divine:

    “beneficence with regard to His creatures…in that He makes individuals of the same species equal at their creation.” [14]

    No verse better captures what is perceived as the modern liberal ideal of “all men are created equal” than Psalms 145:9 in Maimonides’ reading. It elevates the equalization of another human being to a metaphysical standard of imitatio dei, and one which emulates the specific divine trait that grounds all of human existence in the “mercy” that establishes a common human form and that is blind to contingent differences.
    Conclusion: Slavery Is Contra Deum
    Psalm. 145:9 then delivers the philosophical and theological coup de grace to slavery. If God’s “beneficence” is manifest in the equality inherent in human beings “at their creation,” then to exert mastery over another human being subverts God’s governance and constitutes an act contra deum rather than imitatio dei.
    ___________________
    Professor James A. Diamond is the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Waterloo and former director of the university’s Friedberg Genizah Project. He holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies and Medieival Jewish Thought from the University of Toronto, and an LL.M. from New York University’s Law School.

    He is also a Herzl Institute/Templeton Foundation Fellow. His primary areas of study include biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, medieval Jewish thought and philosophy, Maimonides, and rabbinics. He is the author of Maimonides and the Hermeneutics of Concealment (SUNY, 2002) which was awarded the Canadian Jewish Book Award and Converts, Heretics and Lepers: Maimonides and the Outsider (University of Notre Dame, 2008) awarded Notable Selection-Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the Category of Philosophy and Jewish Thought for best book in 4 years (2008) as well as the Canadian Jewish Book Award. His most recent book, Maimonides and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon (Cambridge, 2014), argues that Maimonides’ philosophy and jurisprudence has become an integral part of the Jewish canon alongside the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud.

    [1] In Exodus, its perpetual memory is sustained by observing the pre-Deuteronomic Festival of the Unleavened Bread, “for on this very day I brought you out of the land of Egypt” (12:17). In Deuteronomy, this is conflated with the Passover festival, “so that you may remember the day of your departure from the land of Egypt as long as you live” (Deuteronomy. 16:3). For an excellent analysis of the Deuteronomic transformation of both biblical festivals into one see ch. 3 of Bernard Levinson’s Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation, (NY: Oxford University Press, 1997). See also Michael Satlow’s TABS essay, “Passover and the Festival of Matzot:
    Synthesizing Two Holidays.”

    [2] For another reflection on this problem, see Isaac Sassoon’s TABS essay, “Did Israel Celebrate Their Freedom While Owning Slaves?”

    [3] For more on the three sets of Hebrew slave laws the TABS essays by Marvin Sweeney, “The Bible’s Evolving Effort to Humanize Debt Slavery.” Zev Farber, “The Law of the Hebrew Slave: Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy,” and Aaron Koller, “The Law of the Hebrew Slave: Reading the Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy Law Collections as Complementary.”

    [4] See Reuven Yaron, “Biblical Law: Prolegomena,” in Jewish Law in Legal History, ed., Bernard Jackson (Leiden: Brill, 1990) p.36, and Hans Jochen Boecker, Law and the Administration of Justice in the Old Testament and Ancient East, (Augsburg Press, 1988) pp.162-163.

    [5] In her comprehensive survey of slavery in the rabbinic corpus, Catherine Heszer asserts the same distinction between rabbinic an Roman law as that made previously with respect to the distinct nature of biblical laws on slavery. Although rabbinic/biblical bears some analogy to Roman law in its recognition of a master’s right to punish a slave for misconduct, “unlike Roman Law, biblical and rabbinic law refrain from granting the master an unlimited power of life and death over his slave.” In Jewish Slavery in Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005) p. 211.

    [6] As is his systematic wont, Maimonides dedicates a section in his Code to the laws governing slaves but ends, as is also his custom in a number of other sections, with his own creative, rhetorical, non-halakhic sentiments which finally collapse the distinction between Hebrew and non-Hebrew slaves.

    [7]
    כל עבד עברי אסור לעבוד בו בפרך, ואיזו היא עבודת פרך זו עבודה שאין לה קצבה ועבודה שאינו צריך לה אלא תהיה מחשבתו להעבידו בלבד שלא יבטל

    [8] The horror of this kind of labor reappears in the twentieth century in the Nazi concentration camps captured with mind numbing force by Primo Levi: “In the early Lagers, which were almost coeval with H’s coming to power work was purely persecutory, practically useless for productive ends: to send the undernourished to dig up turf or cut stone served only a terroristic purpose…for Nazi rhetoric…”work ennobles” and therefore the ignoble adversaries of the regime are not worthy of working in the commonly accepted meaning of the word. Their work must be afflictive; it must leave no room for professionalism, must be the work of beasts of burden- pull, push, carry weights, bend over the soil. This too is useless violence…” in The Drowned and the Saved (NY: Vintage Books, 1989), p.121.

    [9] See for example jKiddushin 1:2. To appreciate the theological offensiveness of slavery, it is instructive to note that the term “harsh labor (פרך;, pharekh),” which the Israelites are forbidden to subject their fellow Israelites to, is the same term used in the Torah regarding the Egyptians treatment of Israelites (Exodus. 1:13-14).

    [10] The moral gravity of Job’s sentiment carries through into the modern age and concludes Isaac Mendelsohn’s pioneering scholarly work on Slavery in the Ancient Near East (NY: Oxford University Press, 1949) who also recognizes the unique biblical progressiveness in restricting the right to enslave in perpetuity, “a step which no other religion had taken before.” His parting comment is “The first man in the Ancient Near East who raised his voice in a sweeping condemnation of slavery as a cruel and inhuman institution, irrespective of nationality and race, was the philosopher Job.” He then quotes Job31:15 as the expression of this moral condemnation of slavery. (p.123)

    [11] Maimonides’ choice of Job’s declaration of equal human rights is also determined by Job’s situation of a shared humanity in birth. Maimonides, again in the Guide, points to the very process of the formation of the embryo in the womb as emblematic of divine mercy, a characteristic human beings attribute to God based on empirical observations of natural phenomena. “[T]he production of the embryos of living beings, the bringing of various faculties to existence in them and in those who rear them after birth-faculties that preserve them from destruction and annihilation and protect them against harm and are useful to them in all the doings that are necessary to them” Guide, I:54, p.125.
    [12] III:12, p.447.
    [13] Ibid.
    [14] Ibid, p.448.

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