In Islamic law, a mukataba is a contract of manumission between a master and a slave according to which the slave is required to pay a certain sum of money during a specific time period in exchange for freedom. In the legal literature, slaves who enter this contract are known as mukatab. Although the owner did not have to comply with the request, it was considered mustahabb (praiseworthy) to do so.   Mukataba is one of the four procedures provided in Islam for manumission of slaves.
Mukataba in the Qur'an and early Islam
Those your right hands own who seek emancipation, contract with them accordingly, if you know some good in them; and give them of the wealth of God that He has given you.
According to Joseph Schacht, those who were hearing Muhammad pronouncing this verse "were supposed to know the details of the transaction referred to, and the strictest interpretation of the passage suggests that it was not identical with the contract of manumission by mukataba such as was elaborated later by the ancient lawyers in the second century of Islam." The earliest interpretation of the verse suggested that the mukatab became free after paying one-half of the agreed amount. Another early decision attributed to the Meccan scholar Ata ibn Rabi Rabah was that the slave acquired liberty having paid three-quarters. The doctrine of an early school of Islamic jurisprudence based in Kufa held that the mukatab became free as soon as he paid off his value; other contemporaneous opinions were that the mukatab became free pro rata with the payments or that he became free immediately after concluding the contract, the payments to his master being ordinary debts. Finally the view of the Kufan scholars prevailed, and according to Schacht, the hadith supporting this position were put into circulation; first they were projected to Muhammad's companions and later to Muhammad himself.
Among later Muslim scholars, an early opinion that Qur'an 24:33 implied a strict obligation did not prevail; the consensus reading of the verse is that the verse makes only a recommendation, and accepting a request for a mukataba from slaves is thus not obligatory for masters. There are two different views of mukataba among scholars causing a divergence in the details: some call mukataba as a "conditional enfranchisement", while others see it as "ransom by the slave of his own person". Jurists usually disapprove of entering a mukataba with a female slave with no honest source of income. The majority of Sunni authorities approved the manumission of all the "People of the Book", that is, Christians and Jews, but according to some jurists, especially among the Shi’a, only Muslim slaves should be liberated.
Although the owner did not have to comply with the request for mukataba, it was considered praiseworthy to do so. According to the opinion of a majority of Muslim jurists, the slave must pay the agreed-upon amount in instalments. The followers of Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence accept one immediate payment; scholars of the Maliki school require one instalment, while Hanbalis and Shafi'is insist on at least two instalments. The slaves were allowed to either work independently and apply their earnings for their ransom, or to work for the master.  Having given his consent the owner was not permitted to change his mind, although the slave had such an option. In the event the slave became delinquent in meeting the payments, he was obliged to return to unqualified servitude, with the master keeping the money already paid him. At the end of the payments, a rebate is usually given to the slave in compliance with [Quran 24:33]. The amount of the rebate depending on the authorities can be "fixed or discretionary, obligatory or merely recommended".
The emancipation of a mukatab occurs only when he has paid to the master the agreed amount in full. The contract may be revoked when the slave defaults on one of the payments. The mukatab may receive the proceeds from the Islamic charity (zakat), but he is not entitled to them. When the mukatab makes the final payment, he is entitled to a rebate, in compliance with the Qur'anic text. Islamic authorities disagree as to whether the rebate is obligatory or merely recommended and whether its sum is fixed or discretionary. After manumission, the slave liberated through mukataba remains a client (mawali) of his former master.
Most Muslim scholars forbid selling the slave after concluding the mukataba; the Hanbalis, who disagree with this view, maintain that the purchaser inherits the obligation to liberate the mukatab under the terms of the contract of enfranchisement. The owner cannot marry a mukatab without his or her consent. Islamic law prohibits concubinage with a female slave who has concluded a mukataba.
- P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs, ed. "Abd". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912.
- Gordon, Murray. Slavery in the Arab World. New Amsterdam Press, New York, 1989. Originally published in French by Editions Robert Laffont, S.A. Paris, 1987.
- Lewis, Bernard. Race and Slavery in the Middle East. Oxford University Press, 1990.
- Schacht, Joseph. An Introduction to Islamic Law. Clarendon Paperbacks, 1982. ISBN 0-19-825473
- Dursteler, Eric R. Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006, ISBN 0801883245
- Ahmad A. Sikainga, Shari'a Courts and the Manumission of Female Slaves in the Sudan 1898-1939,
The International Journal of African Historical Studies > Vol. 28, No. 1 (1995), pp. 1-24
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Islam and slavery — The major juristic schools of Islam traditionally accepted the institution of slavery.Lewis 1994, [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/lewis1.html Ch.1] ] Muhammad and many of his companions bought, sold, freed, and captured slaves. Slaves… … Wikipedia
Islamic views on slavery — … Wikipedia
Arab slave trade — For the relation between the Islamic religion and the institution of slavery, see Islamic views on slavery. Part of a series on Slavery … Wikipedia
Comercio árabe de esclavos — La historia del comercio árabe de esclavos está relacionada con la práctica de la esclavitud en el mundo árabe, principalmente en Asia Occidental, África del Norte, África Oriental y algunos lugares de Europa (como la península ibérica, el sur de … Wikipedia Español
Ibn Sirin — Muhammad Ibn Sirin (Arabic,محمد بن سيرين),(born in Basra, Iraq) was a Muslim interpreter of dreams who lived in the 8th century. He is a contemporary of Anas ibn Malik. Biography According to Yehia Gouda s most authoritative encyclopedic… … Wikipedia
Esclavage Dans Le Monde Arabo-Musulman — Esclavage et variantes Généralités Travail forcé · Racisme · Propriété · Chose · Être humain Formes d esclavage Servage · Ministérialité · Janissaires · Mamelouks · Restavecs · Esclavage sexuel … Wikipédia en Français
Esclavage dans le monde arabo-musulman — L islam prend naissance dans un monde dont l esclavage est une composante, et Mahomet accorde un statut aux esclaves différent de celui accordé aux esclaves chez les Grecs et les Romains avant lui,. La tradition prophétique ne rapporte… … Wikipédia en Français
Nukhbat al-Fikr — Nomenclature du sujet Cet article relate les principaux points sur les meilleures réflexions choisies [avis, pensées, analyses, thinking] des spécialistes de hadith par rapport à la classification des hadiths (نخبة الفكر, Noukhbat al Fikr), en… … Wikipédia en Français