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The main slave routes in Africa during the Middle Ages.

The Arab slave trade was the practice of slavery in the Arab world, mainly in Western Asia, North Africa, Southeast Africa, the Horn of Africa and certain parts of Europe (such as Iberia and Sicily) beginning during the era of the Arab conquests and continuing through the 19th century.[1] The trade was conducted through slave markets in the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, with the slaves captured from Africa's interior.

During the 8th and 9th centuries of the Fatimid Caliphate, most of those enslaved were Saqaliba Europeans captured during wars and along European coastlines.[2] Historians estimate that between 650 and 1900, 10 to 18 million people were enslaved by Arab slave traders and taken from Europe, Asia and Africa across the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara desert.[citation needed]

Toward the 18th and 19th centuries, the flow of Zanj (Bantu) slaves from Southeast Africa increased with the rise of the Oman sultanate, which was based in Zanzibar in Tanzania. They came into direct trade conflict and competition with Portuguese and other Europeans along the Swahili Coast.[3] The North African Barbary states carried on piracy against European shipping and enslaved thousands of European Christians for ransom.

Scope of the trade[edit]

19th-century European engraving of Arab slave-trading caravan transporting African slaves across the Sahara

Due to the nature of the Arab slave trade, it is impossible to precisely estimate actual numbers of slaves traded.[4][5][6] European and American historians assert that between the 8th and 19th century, 10 to 18 million people were bought by Arab slave traders and taken from Africa across the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara desert.[7][8][9] The term Arab when used in historical documents often represented an ethnic term, as many of the "Arab" slave traders, such as Tippu Tip and others, were physically indistinguishable from the "Africans" whom they bought and sold.

A female Bantu slave in Mogadishu (1882–1883).

Arabs also enslaved Europeans. According to Robert Davis, between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured between the 16th and 19th centuries by Barbary corsairs, who were vassals of the Ottoman Empire, and sold as slaves.[10][11] These slaves were captured mainly from seaside villages from Italy, Spain, Portugal and also from more distant places like France or England, the Netherlands, Ireland and even Iceland. They were also taken from ships stopped by the pirates.[12] The effects of these attacks were devastating: France, England, and Spain each lost thousands of ships. Long stretches of the Spanish and Italian coasts were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants, because of frequent pirate attacks. Pirate raids discouraged settlement along the coast until the 19th century.[13][14]

Periodic Arab raiding expeditions were sent from Islamic Iberia to ravage the Christian Iberian kingdoms, bringing back booty and slaves. In a raid against Lisbon in 1189, for example, the Almohad caliph, Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, took 3,000 female and child captives, while his governor of Córdoba, in a subsequent attack upon Silves in 1191, took 3,000 Christian slaves.[15]

The Ottoman wars in Europe and Tatar raids (although not Arabic themselves) brought large numbers of European Christian slaves into the Muslim world.[16][17][18] In 1769 a last major Tatar raid saw the capture of 20,000 Russian and Polish slaves.[19]

The "Oriental" or "Arab" slave trade is sometimes called the "Islamic" slave trade, but Patrick Manning states that a religious imperative was not the driver of the slavery. However, if a non-Muslim population refuses to pay the jizya protection/subjugation tax, that population is considered to be at war with the Muslim "ummah" (nation), and it becomes legal under Islamic law to take slaves from that non-Muslim population. Usage of the terms "Islamic trade" or "Islamic world" has been disputed by some Muslims as it treats Africa as outside Islam, or a negligible portion of the Islamic world.[20] According to European historians, propagators of Islam in Africa often revealed a cautious attitude towards proselytizing because of its effect in reducing the potential reservoir of slaves.[21]

From a Western point of view, the subject merges with the Oriental slave trade, which followed two main routes in the Middle Ages:

The Arab slave trade originated before Islam and lasted more than a millennium.[25][26][27] Arab traders brought captives across the Indian Ocean from the Swahili Coast of present-day Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania.[28] To meet the demand for plantation labor, the captured Zanj slaves were shipped to the Arabian peninsula and the Near East, among other areas.[29]

Sources and historiography of the slave trade[edit]

The Arab trade of Zanj (Bantu) slaves in Southeast Africa is one of the oldest slave trades, predating the European transatlantic slave trade by 700 years.[30][31][32] Male slaves were often employed as servants, soldiers, or laborers by their owners, while female slaves, including those from Africa, were long traded to the Middle Eastern countries and kingdoms by Arab and Oriental traders as concubines and servants. Arab, African and Oriental traders were involved in the capture and transport of slaves northward across the Sahara desert and the Indian Ocean region into the Middle East, Persia and the Far East.[31][32]

The most significant Jewish involvement in the slave-trade was in Al-Andalus, as Islamic Spain was called.[33] According to historian Alan W. Fisher, there was a guild of Jewish slave traders in Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The guild had about 2000 members.[19] The city was a major center of the slave trade in the 15th and later centuries. By 1475 most of the slaves were provided by Tatar raids on Slavic villages.[19] Until the late 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East, exporting about 2 million slaves from Poland-Lithuania and Russia over the period 1500–1700.[34]

650 to 20th century[edit]

Arab captors and Zanzibar workers

From approximately 650 until around the 1960s, the Arab slave trade continued in one form or another. Historical accounts and references to slave-owning nobility in Arabia, Yemen and elsewhere are frequent into the early 1920s.[30] In 1953, slaves accompanied sheikhs from Qatar attending the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and they did so again on another visit five years later.[citation needed]


As recently as the 1950s, Saudi Arabia's slave population was estimated at 450,000 — approximately 20% of the population.[35] During the Second Sudanese Civil War people were taken into slavery; estimates of abductions range from 14,000 to 200,000.[36] Slavery in Mauritania was legally abolished by laws passed in 1905, 1961, and 1981.[37] It was finally criminalized in August 2007.[38] It is estimated that up to 600,000 Mauritanians, or 20% of Mauritania's population, are currently in conditions which some consider to be "slavery", namely, many of them used as bonded labour due to poverty.[39]

The Arab slave trade in the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, and Mediterranean Sea long predated the arrival of any significant number of Europeans on the African continent.[30][40]

Purchase of Christian captives by Catholic monks in the Barbary states

David Livingstone wrote of the slave trade in the African Great Lakes region, which he visited in the mid-nineteenth century:[41]

We passed a slave woman shot or stabbed through the body and lying on the path. [Onlookers] said an Arab who passed early that morning had done it in anger at losing the price he had given for her, because she was unable to walk any longer.[42]

Some descendants of African slaves brought to the Middle East during the slave-trade still live there today, and are aware of their African origins. Some men were castrated to be eunuchs in domestic service.[43][44]

The North African slave markets traded also in European slaves. The European slaves were acquired by Barbary pirates in slave raids on ships and by raids on coastal towns from Italy to Spain, Portugal, France, England, the Netherlands, and as far afield as Iceland. Men, women, and children were captured, to such a devastating extent that vast numbers of sea coast towns were abandoned. Ohio State University history Professor Robert Davis describes the white slave trade as minimized by most modern historians in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800 (Palgrave Macmillan). Davis estimates that 1 million to 1.25 million White Christian Europeans were enslaved in North Africa, from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th, by slave traders from Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli alone (these numbers do not include the European people which were enslaved by Morocco and by other raiders and traders of the Mediterranean Sea coast),[45] and roughly 700 Americans were held captive in this region as slaves between 1785 and 1815.[46] 16th- and 17th-century customs statistics suggest that Istanbul's additional slave import from the Black Sea may have totaled around 2.5 million from 1450 to 1700.[47] The markets declined after the loss of the Barbary Wars and finally ended in the 1830s, when the region was conquered by France.

Medieval Arabic sources[edit]

These are given in chronological order. Scholars and geographers from the Arab world had been travelling to Africa since the time of Muhammad in the 7th century.

1816 illustration of Christian slaves in Algiers
  • Al-Masudi (died 957), Muruj adh-dhahab or The Meadows of Gold, the reference manual for geographers and historians of the Muslim world. The author had travelled widely across the Arab world as well as the Far East.
  • Ya'qubi (9th century), Kitab al-Buldan or Book of Countries
  • Abraham ben Jacob (Ibrahim ibn Jakub) (10th century), Jewish merchant from Córdoba[33]
  • Al-Bakri, author of Kitāb al-Masālik wa'l-Mamālik or Book of Roads and Kingdoms, published in Córdoba around 1068, gives us information about the Berbers and their activities; he collected eye-witness accounts on Saharan caravan routes.
  • Muhammad al-Idrisi (died circa 1165), Description of Africa and Spain
  • Ibn Battuta (died circa 1377), Moroccan geographer who travelled to sub-Saharan Africa, to Gao and to Timbuktu. His principal work is called A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling.
  • Ibn Khaldun (died in 1406), historian and philosopher from North Africa. Sometimes considered as the historian of Arab, Berber and Persian societies. He is the author of Muqaddimah orHistorical Prolegomena and History of the Berbers.
  • Al-Maqrizi (died in 1442), Egyptian historian. His main contribution is his description of Cairo markets.
  • Leo Africanus (died circa 1548), author of Descrittione dell’ Africa or Description of Africa, a rare description of Africa.
  • Rifa'a al-Tahtawi (1801–1873), who translated medieval works on geography and history. His work is mostly about Muslim Egypt.
  • Joseph Cuoq, Collection of Arabic sources concerning Western Africa between the 8th and 16th centuries (Paris 1975)
A slave market in Khartoum, Sudan, c. 1876

European texts (16th–19th centuries)[edit]

Arab slave traders and their captives along the Ruvuma River in Mozambique

Other sources[edit]

  • Historical manuscripts such as the Tarikh al-Sudan, the Adalite Futuh al-Habash, the Abyssinian Kebra Nagast, and various Arabic and Ajam documents
  • African oral tradition
  • Kilwa Chronicle (16th century fragments)
  • Numismatics: analysis of coins and of their diffusion
  • Archaeology: architecture of trading posts and of towns associated with the slave trade
  • Iconography: Arab and Persian miniatures in major libraries
  • European engravings, contemporary with the slave trade, and some more modern
  • Photographs from the 19th century onward

Historical and geographical context[edit]

The Slave Market (c. 1884), painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme.

The Islamic world[edit]

The religion of Islam appeared in the 7th century AD. In the next hundred years, it quickly diffused throughout the Mediterranean area, spread by Arabs after they conquered the Sassanid Persian Empire and many territories from the Byzantine Empire, including the Levant, Armenia and North Africa. The Muslims invaded the Iberian peninsula, where they displaced the Visigothic Kingdom. These regions therefore had a diverse range of different peoples and were, to some extent, unified by an Islamic culture built on religious, political and legal foundations. For example, they used the Arabic language and the dinar (currency) in commercial transactions. Mecca in Arabia, then as now, was the holy city of Islam and the center of pilgrimages for all Muslims, whatever their origins.[citation needed]

The conquests of the Arab armies and the expansion of the Islamic state that followed have always resulted in the capture of war prisoners who were subsequently set free or turned into slaves or Raqeeq (رقيق) and servants rather than taken as prisoners as was the Islamic tradition in wars. Once taken as slaves, they had to be dealt with in accordance with the Islamic law which was the law of the Islamic state, especially during the Umayyad and Abbasid eras.[citation needed] According to that law, slaves were allowed to earn their living if they opted for that, otherwise it is the owner’s (master) duty to provide for that. They also could not be forced to earn money for their masters unless with an agreement between the slave and the master. This concept is called مخارجة (mukhārajah) (Lane: "And خَارَجَهُ He made an agreement with him, namely, his slave that he (the latter) should pay him a certain impost at the expiration of every month; the slave being left at liberty to work: in which case the slave is termed عَبْدٌ مُخَارِجٌ") in Islamic law. If slaves agree to that and they would like the money they earn to be counted toward their emancipation, then this has to be written in the form of a contract between the slave and the master. This is called مكاتبة (mukataba) in Islamic jurisprudence. Muslims believe that slave owners are strongly encouraged to perform mukataba with their slaves as directed by the Quran:[citation needed]

...And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you. ...|Quran, sura 24 (An-Nur), ayah 33[48]

The framework of Islamic civilization was a well-developed network of towns and oasis trading centers with the market (souq, bazaar) at its heart. These towns were inter-connected by a system of roads crossing semi-arid regions or deserts. The routes were traveled by convoys, and slaves formed part of this caravan traffic.

In contrast to the Atlantic slave trade, where the male-female ratio was 2:1 or 3:1, the Arab slave trade instead usually had a higher female-to-male ratio. This suggests a general preference for female slaves. Concubinage and reproduction served as incentives for importing female slaves (often Caucasian), though many were also imported mainly for performing household tasks.[49]

Arab views on African people[edit]

In the Hadith, the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and the overwhelming majority of Islamic jurists and theologians, all stated that humankind has a single origin and rejected the idea of certain ethnic groups being superior to others.[1]

Despite this, some ethnic prejudices later developed among Arabs for at least two reasons: 1) their extensive conquests and slave trade;[1] and 2) the influence of Aristotle's idea of final causes which argues that slaves are slaves by nature.[50][POV? ] A refinement of Aristotle's view was put forward by Muslim philosophers such as Al-Farabi and Avicenna, particularly in regards to Turkic and black peoples;[1] and the influence of ideas from the early mediaeval Geonic academies regarding divisions among mankind between the three sons of Noah. However, ethnic prejudice among some elite Arabs was not limited to darker-skinned people, but was also directed towards fairer-skinned "ruddy people" (including Persians, Turks and Europeans), while Arabs referred to themselves as "swarthy people".[51] The concept of an Arab identity itself did not exist until modern times.[52] According to Arnold J. Toynbee: "The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue."[53]

By the 14th century, an overwhelming number of slaves came from sub-Saharan Africa, leading to prejudice against black people in the works of several Arabic historians and geographers. For example, the Egyptian historian Al-Abshibi (1388–1446) wrote: "It is said that when the [black] slave is sated, he fornicates, when he is hungry, he steals."[54]

Egyptian slavemaster and Waswahili slave.

Mistranslations of Arab scholars and geographers from this time period have led many to attribute certain racist attitudes that weren't prevalent until the 18th and 19th century to writings made centuries ago.[9][55]

Africa: 8th through 19th centuries[edit]

In April 1998, Elikia M’bokolo, wrote in Le Monde diplomatique. "The African continent was bled of its human resources via all possible routes. Across the Sahara, through the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean ports and across the Atlantic. At least ten centuries of slavery for the benefit of the Muslim countries (from the ninth to the nineteenth)." He continues: "Four million slaves exported via the Red Sea, another four million through the Swahili ports of the Indian Ocean, perhaps as many as nine million along the trans-Saharan caravan route, and eleven to twenty million (depending on the author) across the Atlantic Ocean"[56]

In the 8th century, Africa was dominated by Arab-Berbers in the north: Islam moved southwards along the Nile and along the desert trails.

  • The Sahara was thinly populated. Nevertheless, since antiquity there had been cities living on a trade in salt, gold, slaves, cloth, and on agriculture enabled by irrigation: Tiaret, Oualata, Sijilmasa, Zaouila, and others.
  • In the Middle Ages, the general Arabic term bilâd as-sûdân ("Land of the Blacks") was used for the vast Sudan region (an expression denoting West and Central Africa[57]), or sometimes extending from the coast of West Africa to Western Sudan.[58]). It provided a pool of manual labour for North and Saharan Africa. This region was dominated by certain states and people: the Ghana Empire, the Empire of Mali, the Kanem-Bornu Empire, the Fulani and Hausa.
A Zanj slave gang in Zanzibar (1889).
  • In eastern Africa, the coasts of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean were controlled by local Muslims, and Arabs were important as traders along the coasts. Nubia had been a "supply zone" for slaves since antiquity. The Ethiopian coast, particularly the port of Massawa and Dahlak Archipelago, had long been a hub for the exportation of slaves from the interior, even in Aksumite times. The port and most coastal areas were largely Muslim, and the port itself was home to a number of Arab and Indian merchants.[59] The Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia often exported Nilotic slaves from their western borderland provinces, or from newly conquered southern provinces.[60] The Somali and Afar Muslim sultanates, such as the Adal Sultanate, also exported Nilotic slaves that they captured from the interior, as well as some vanquished foes.[61] Additionally, Arabs set up slave-trading posts along the southeastern coast of the Indian Ocean; most notably in the archipelago of Zanzibar, along the coast of present-day Tanzania. The Zanj region or Swahili Coast flanking the Indian Ocean continued to be an important area for the Oriental slave trade up until the 19th century. Livingstone and Stanley were then the first Europeans to penetrate to the interior of the Congo Basin and to discover the scale of slavery there. The Arab Tippu Tip extended his influence there and captured many people as slaves. After Europeans had settled in the Gulf of Guinea, the trans-Saharan slave trade became less important. In Zanzibar, slavery was abolished late, in 1897, under Sultan Hamoud bin Mohammed.

Geography of the slave trade[edit]

"Supply" zones[edit]

Photograph of a slave boy in Zanzibar. 'An Arab master's punishment for a slight offence. ' c. 1890.

Merchants of slaves for the Orient stocked up in Europe. Danish merchants had bases in the Volga region and dealt in Slavs with Arab merchants. Circassian slaves were conspicuously present in the harems and there were many odalisques (from the Turkish odalık, meaning "chambermaid") from that region in the paintings of Orientalists. Non-Muslim slaves were valued in the harems, for all roles (gate-keeper, servant, odalisque, musician, dancer, court dwarf, concubine). In the Ottoman Empire, the last black slave sold in Ethiopia, named Hayrettin Effendi, was freed in 1918. The slaves of Slavic origin in Al-Andalus came from the Varangians who had captured them. They were put in the caliph's guard and gradually took up important posts in the army (they became saqaliba), and even went to take back taifas after the civil war had led to an implosion of the Western Caliphate. Columns of slaves feeding the great harems of Córdoba, Seville and Grenada were organised by Jewish merchants (mercaderes) from Germanic countries and parts of Northern Europe not controlled by the Carolingian Empire. These columns crossed the Rhone valley to reach the lands to the south of the Pyrenees.[citation needed]

There are also historical evidence of North African Muslim slave raids all along the Mediterranean coasts across Christian Europe and beyond to even as far north as the British Isles and Iceland (see the book titled White Gold by Giles Milton).[62] The majority of slaves traded across the Mediterranean region were predominantly of European origin from the 7th to 15th centuries.[63] The Barbary pirates continued to capture slaves from Europe and, to an extent, North America, from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Slaves were also brought into the Arab world via Central Asia, mainly of Turkic or Tartar origin. Many of these slaves later went on to serve in the armies forming an elite rank.

  • At sea, Barbary pirates joined in this traffic when they could capture people by boarding ships or by incursions into coastal areas, mainly in Southern Europe as well as other European coasts.
  • Nubia and Ethiopia were also "exporting" regions: in the 15th century, Ethiopians sold slaves from western borderland areas (usually just outside the realm of the Emperor of Ethiopia) or Ennarea,[64] which often ended up in India, where they worked on ships or as soldiers. They eventually rebelled and took power (dynasty of the Habshi Kings in Bengal 1487-1493).
  • The Sudan region and Saharan Africa formed another "export" area, but it is impossible to estimate the scale, since there is a lack of sources with figures.
  • Finally, the slave traffic affected eastern Africa, but the distance and local hostility slowed down this section of the Oriental trade.

Routes[edit]

Caravan trails, set up in the 9th century, went past the oasis of the Sahara; travel was difficult and uncomfortable for reasons of climate and distance. Since Roman times, long convoys had transported slaves as well as all sorts of products to be used for barter. To protect against attacks from desert nomads, slaves were used as an escort. Any who slowed down the progress of the caravan were killed.

Dhows were used to transport goods to Oman.

Historians know less about the sea routes. From the evidence of illustrated documents, and travellers' tales, it seems that people travelled on dhows or jalbas, Arab ships which were used as transport in the Red Sea. Crossing the Indian Ocean required better organisation and more resources than overland transport. Ships coming from Zanzibar made stops on Socotra or at Aden before heading to the Persian Gulf or to India. Slaves were sold as far away as India, or even China: there was a colony of Arab merchants in Canton. Serge Bilé cites a 12th-century text which tells us that most well-to-do families in Canton had black slaves whom they regarded as savages and demons because of their physical appearance. Although Chinese slave traders bought slaves (Seng Chi i.e. the Zanj[65]) from Arab intermediaries and "stocked up" directly in coastal areas of present-day Somalia, the local Somalis—referred to as Baribah and Barbaroi (Berbers) by medieval Arab and ancient Greek geographers, respectively (see Periplus of the Erythraean Sea),[31][66][67] and no strangers to capturing, owning and trading slaves themselves[68]—were not among them:[69]

One important commodity being transported by the Arab dhows to Somalia was slaves from other parts of East Africa. During the nineteenth century, the East African slave trade grew enormously due to demands by Arabs, Portuguese, and French. Slave traders and raiders moved throughout eastern and central Africa to meet the rising demand for enslaved men, women, and children. Somalia did not supply slaves -- as part of the Islamic world Somalis were at least nominally protected by the religious tenet that free Muslims cannot be enslaved -- but Arab dhows loaded with human cargo continually visited Somali ports.

—Catherine Lowe Besteman, Unraveling Somalia: Race, Class, and the Legacy of Slavery[70]

Slave labor in East Africa was drawn from the Zanj, Bantu peoples that lived along the East African coast.[31][32] The Zanj were for centuries shipped as slaves by Arab traders to all the countries bordering the Indian Ocean. The Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs recruited many Zanj slaves as soldiers and, as early as 696, we learn of slave revolts of the Zanj against their Arab enslavers in Iraq (see Zanj Rebellion). Ancient Chinese texts also mention ambassadors from Java presenting the Chinese emperor with two Seng Chi (Zanj) slaves as gifts, and Seng Chi slaves reaching China from the Hindu kingdom of Srivijaya in Java.[65]

Barter[edit]

Cowry shells were used as money in the slave trade

Slaves were often bartered for objects of various kinds: in the Sudan, they were exchanged for cloth, trinkets and so on. In the Maghreb, they were swapped for horses. In the desert cities, lengths of cloth, pottery, Venetian glass slave beads, dyestuffs and jewels were used as payment. The trade in black slaves was part of a diverse commercial network. Alongside gold coins, cowrie shells from the Indian Ocean or the Atlantic (Canaries, Luanda) were used as money throughout sub-saharan Africa (merchandise was paid for with sacks of cowries).[citation needed]

Slave markets and fairs[edit]

13th-century slave market in Yemen

Enslaved Africans were sold in the towns of the Arab World. In 1416, al-Maqrizi told how pilgrims coming from Takrur (near the Senegal River) had brought 1,700 slaves with them to Mecca. In North Africa, the main slave markets were in Morocco, Algiers, Tripoli and Cairo. Sales were held in public places or in souks. Potential buyers made a careful examination of the "merchandise": they checked the state of health of a person who was often standing naked with wrists bound together. In Cairo, transactions involving eunuchs and concubines happened in private houses. Prices varied according to the slave's quality. Thomas Smee, the commander of the British research ship Ternate, visited such a market in Zanzibar in 1811 and gave a detailed description:

'The show' commences about four o'clock in the afternoon. The slaves, set off to the best advantage by having their skins cleaned and burnished with cocoa-nut oil, their faces painted with red and white stripes and the hands, noses, ears and feet ornamented with a profusion of bracelets of gold and silver and jewels, are ranged in a line, commencing with the youngest, and increasing to the rear according to their size and age. At the head of this file, which is composed of all sexes and ages from 6 to 60, walks the person who owns them; behind and at each side, two or three of his domestic slaves, armed with swords and spears, serve as guard.

Thus ordered the procession begins, and passes through the market-place and the principle streets... when any of them strikes a spectator's fancy the line immediately stops, and a process of examination ensues, which, for minuteness, is unequalled in any cattle market in Europe. The intending purchaser having ascertained there is no defect in the faculties of speech, hearing, etc., that there is no disease present, next proceeds to examine the person; the mouth and the teeth are first inspected and afterwards every part of the body in succession, not even excepting the breasts, etc., of the girls, many of whom I have seen handled in the most indecent manner in the public market by their purchasers; indeed there is every reasons to believe that the slave-dealers almost universally force the young girls to submit to their lust previous to their being disposed of. From such scenes one turns away with pity and indignation.[71]

Towns and ports involved in the slave trade[edit]

A recent topic[edit]

The history of the slave trade has given rise to numerous debates amongst historians. For one thing, specialists are undecided on the number of Africans taken from their homes; this is difficult to resolve because of a lack of reliable statistics: there was no census system in medieval Africa. Archival material for the transatlantic trade in the 16th to 18th centuries may seem useful as a source, yet these record books were often falsified. Historians have to use imprecise narrative documents to make estimates which must be treated with caution: Luiz Felipe de Alencastro states that there were 8 million slaves taken from Africa between the 8th and 19th centuries along the Oriental and the Trans-Saharan routes.[72]

Olivier Pétré-Grenouilleau has put forward a figure of 17 million African people enslaved (in the same period and from the same area) on the basis of Ralph Austen's work.[73][page needed] Ronald Segal estimates between 11.5 and 14 million were enslaved by the Arab slave trade.[74][75][76]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

This article was initially translated from the featured French wiki article "Traite musulmane" on 19 May 2006.
  1. ^ a b c d Bernard Lewis (2003), "From Race and Slavery in the Middle East: An Historical Enquiry", in Kevin Reilly, Stephen Kaufman, Angela Bodino, Racism: A Global Reader, M.E. Sharpe, pp. 52–8, ISBN 0-7656-1060-4 
  2. ^ http://www.columbia.edu/itc/history/conant/mushin1998.pdf
  3. ^ Owen Alik Shahadah. "Arab Slave Trade". African Holocaust Society. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  4. ^ "Arab Slave Trade:". African Holocaust Society. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  5. ^ Queenae Taylor Mulvihill (2006). Warriors: Spiritually Engaged, page 253
  6. ^ Arab versus European: diplomacy and war in nineteenth-century east central Africa
  7. ^ "Focus on the slave trade", BBC
  8. ^ "The Unknown Slavery: In the Muslim world, that is — and it's not over", National Review
  9. ^ a b "Arab Slave Trade: Nominal Muslims". African Holocaust Society. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  10. ^ Research News: "When Europeans were slaves: Research suggests white slavery was much more common than previously believed", Ohio State University
  11. ^ Davis, Robert. Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800. Based on "records for 27,233 voyages that set out to obtain slaves for the Americas". Stephen Behrendt, "Transatlantic Slave Trade", Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (New York: Basic Civitas Books, 1999), ISBN 0-465-00071-1.
  12. ^ 17th-century Icelandic accounts of Barbary or "Turkish" raids, first in Turkish and then English.
  13. ^ BBC - History - British Slaves on the Barbary Coast
  14. ^ "Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates" by Christopher Hitchens, City Journal Spring 2007
  15. ^ Ransoming Captives in Crusader Spain: The Order of Merced on the Christian-Islamic Frontier
  16. ^ Supply of Slaves
  17. ^ Soldier Khan
  18. ^ "The living legacy of jihad slavery", American Thinker
  19. ^ a b c Mikhail Kizilov. "Slave Trade in the Early Modern Crimea From the Perspective of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources". Oxford University. pp. 7–28. 
  20. ^ Manning (1990) p.10
  21. ^ Murray Gordon, Slavery in the Arab World, New Amsterdam Press, New York, 1989. Originally published in French by Editions Robert Laffont, S.A. Paris, 1987, page 28.
  22. ^ Battuta's Trip: Journey to West Africa (1351 - 1353)
  23. ^ The blood of a nation of Slaves in Stone Town[dead link]
  24. ^ BBC Remembering East African slave raids
  25. ^ "Know about Islamic Slavery in Africa"
  26. ^ "The Forgotten Holocaust: The Eastern Slave Trade". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  27. ^ Irfan Shahid, Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, Dumbarton Oaks, 2002, p. 364 documents; Ghassanid Arabs seizing and selling 20,000 Jewish Samaritans as slaves in the year 529, before the rise of Islam.
  28. ^ Heart of Africa, vol. ii., chap. xv.
  29. ^ Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, Volumes 21-22. 1991. p. 87. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  30. ^ a b c Mintz, S. Digital History Slavery, Facts & Myths
  31. ^ a b c d F.R.C. Bagley et al., The Last Great Muslim Empires, (Brill: 1997), p.174
  32. ^ a b c Bethwell A. Ogot, Zamani: A Survey of East African History, (East African Publishing House: 1974), p.104
  33. ^ a b Slave Trade. Jewish Encyclopedia
  34. ^ Darjusz Kołodziejczyk, as reported by Mikhail Kizilov (2007). "Slaves, Money Lenders, and Prisoner Guards:The Jews and the Trade in Slaves and Captivesin the Crimean Khanate". The Journal of Jewish Studies. p. 2. 
  35. ^ £400 for a Slave
  36. ^ "Slavery, Abduction and Forced Servitude in Sudan". US Department of State. 22 May 2002. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  37. ^ "Slavery still exists in Mauritania"
  38. ^ Mauritanian MPs pass slavery law
  39. ^ "The Abolition season", BBC World Service
  40. ^ Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, in Les Collections de l'Histoire (April 2001) says:"la traite vers l'Océan indien et la Méditerranée est bien antérieure à l'irruption des Européens sur le continent"
  41. ^ Kwame Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis Gates (2005). Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience 5-Volume Set. Oxford University Press. p. 295. ISBN 0195170555. 
  42. ^ David Livingstone (2006). "The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death". Echo Library. p.46. ISBN 1-84637-555-X
  43. ^ Labb¿, Theola (2004-01-11). "A Legacy Hidden in Plain Sight". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-04-25. [dead link]
  44. ^ Dr Susan
  45. ^ Davis, Robert. Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800.[1]
  46. ^ Adams, Charles Hansford (2005). The Narrative of Robert Adams: A Barbary Captive. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. xlv–xlvi. ISBN 978-0-521-603-73-7. 
  47. ^ The Cambridge World History of Slavery: Volume 3, AD 1420–AD 1804
  48. ^ Quran 24:33 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)
  49. ^ Ehud R. Toledano (1998), Slavery and abolition in the Ottoman Middle East, University of Washington Press, pp. 13–4, ISBN 0-295-97642-X 
  50. ^ Aristotle, Politics, Book I.
  51. ^ Bernard Lewis (1992), Race and slavery in the Middle East: an historical enquiry, Oxford University Press, pp. 18–9, ISBN 0-19-505326-5 
  52. ^ Lindsay, James E. (2005), Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World, Greenwood Publishing Group, pp. 12–5, ISBN 0-313-32270-8 
  53. ^ A. J. Toynbee, Civilization on Trial, New York, 1948, p. 205
  54. ^ Lewis, Bernard (2002), Race and Slavery in the Middle East, Oxford University Press, p. 93, ISBN 0-19-505326-5 
  55. ^ Translation and the Colonial Imaginary: Ibn Khaldun Orientalist, by Abdelmajid Hannoum 2003 Wesleyan University.
  56. ^ Please note : The numbers occurring in the source, and repeated here on Wikipedia include both Arab and European trade. The impact of the slave trade on Africa
  57. ^ International Association for the History of Religions (1959), Numen, Leiden: EJ Brill, p. 131, West Africa may be taken as the country stretching from Senegal in the west, to the Cameroons in the east; sometimes it has been called the central and western Sudan, the Bilad as-Sūdan, 'Land of the Blacks', of the Arabs 
  58. ^ Nehemia Levtzion, Randall Lee Pouwels, The History of Islam in Africa, (Ohio University Press, 2000), p.255.
  59. ^ Pankhurst, Richard. The Ethiopian Borderlands: Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century (Asmara, Eritrea: Red Sea Press, 1997), pp.416
  60. ^ Pankhurst. Ethiopian Borderlands, pp.432
  61. ^ Pankhurst. Ethiopian Borderlands, pp.59 & 435
  62. ^ Conlin, Joseph (2009), The American Past: A Survey of American History, Boston, MA: Wadsworth, p. 206, ISBN 978-0-495-57288-6, retrieved 10 October 2010 
  63. ^ McDaniel, Antonio (1995), Swing low, sweet chariot: the mortality cost of colonizing Liberia in the nineteenth century, University of Chicago Press, p. 11, ISBN 0-226-55724-3 
  64. ^ Emery Van Donzel, "Primary and Secondary Sources for Ethiopian Historiography. The Case of Slavery and Slave-Trade in Ethiopia," in Claude Lepage, ed., Études éthiopiennes, vol I. France: Société française pour les études éthiopiennes, 1994, pp.187-88.
  65. ^ a b Roland Oliver, Africa in the Iron Age: c.500 BC-1400 AD, (Cambridge University Press: 1975), p.192
  66. ^ Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi, Culture and Customs of Somalia, (Greenwood Press: 2001), p.13
  67. ^ James Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Part 12: V. 12, (Kessinger Publishing, LLC: 2003), p.490
  68. ^ Henry Louis Gates, Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, (Oxford University Press: 1999), p.1746
  69. ^ David D. Laitin, Politics, Language, and Thought: The Somali Experience, (University Of Chicago Press: 1977), p.52
  70. ^ Catherine Lowe Besteman, Unraveling Somalia: Race, Class, and the Legacy of Slavery, (University of Pennsylvania Press: 1999), p. 51
  71. ^ Moorehead, Alan (1960), The White Nile, New York: Harper & Brothers, pp. 11–12, ISBN 9780060956394 
  72. ^ Luiz Felipe de Alencastro, "Traite", in Encyclopædia Universalis (2002), corpus 22, page 902.
  73. ^ Ralph Austen, African Economic History (1987)
  74. ^ Quoted in Ronald Segal's Islam's Black Slaves
  75. ^ Adam Hochschild (Mar 4, 2001). "Human Cargo". New York Times. Retrieved Dec 20, 2012. 
  76. ^ Ronald Segal (2002), Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ISBN 978-0374527976 

Further reading[edit]

  • Edward A. Alpers, The East African Slave Trade (Berkeley 1967)
  • Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah, trans. F. Rosenthal, ed. N. J. Dawood (Princeton 1967)
  • Murray Gordon, Slavery in the Arab World (New York 1989)
  • Habeeb Akande, Illuminating the Darkness: Blacks and North Africans in Islam (Ta Ha 2012)
  • Bernard Lewis, Race and Slavery in the Middle East (OUP 1990)
  • Patrick Manning, Slavery and African Life: Occidental, Oriental, and African Slave Trades (Cambridge 1990)
  • Paul E. Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa (Cambridge 2000)
  • Allan G. B. Fisher, Slavery and Muslim Society in Africa, ed. C. Hurst (London 1970, 2nd edition 2001)
  • The African Diaspora in the Mediterranean Lands of Islam (Princeton Series on the Middle East) Eve Troutt Powell (Editor), John O. Hunwick (Editor) (Princeton 2001)
  • Ronald Segal, Islam's Black Slaves (Atlantic Books, London 2002)
  • Robert C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 (Palgrave Macmillan, London 2003) ISBN 978-1-4039-4551-8
  • Owen 'Alik Shahadah, African Holocaust Audio Documentary

External links[edit]

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