Runaway Slave

Question

Could you please comment on the ḥadīth mentioned below? While there is such a great emphasis on freeing a slave, and on the principle of equality, how can be a human being required to submit himself as property of another human? Could you clarify its validity in the modern world? I find religion to be close to my heart, however this makes me wonder.


Answer

Here is the text of the Hadith:

ثلاثة لا تقبل لهم صلاة ولا ترفع لهم إلى السماء حسنة : العبد الآبق حتى يرجع , والمرأة الساخط عليها زوجها حتى يرضى , والسكران حتى يصحو

The ṣalāh of three is not acceptable nor any good deeds do rises to the heavens: a) a runaway slave until he returns to the master, b) a woman incurring anger of her husband until the latter is pleased and c) a drunkard until he comes to sense.

The hadith appears in Imam Bayhiqi (1/389). Imam Abu Hatim al-Razi says in al-'Ilal (1/356): The Hadith is munkar (a term in the science of hadith which means that an unreliable narrator has related this hadith and he is alone as there are not other supportive ahadith).

Al-Imam Zahbi says: The Hadith is munkar. (al-Muhazzab 1/383)

Imam al-Bani has declared it weak (Zaeef al-Targheeb (1218)

In the light of the above we can safely conclude that the hadith may not be attributed to the Prophet (pbuh). As for our view on slavery please refer to: Slavery

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