Why is Slavery Such a Central Component to the Spread of Islam?

Last Updated on August 23, 2021 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • Slavery is a core principle of Islam, and this was a primary reason why Islam spread.
  • Islam proves that large numbers of men want slaves and sex slaves.


Muslims frequently lie about Arab involvement in slavery. However, how slavery is one of the primary reasons that Islam spread so successfully. Globally, outside of Southeast Asia, the primary method of conversion to Islam has been through conquest. Mohammed hit on a foolproof way to continually recruit and motivate Islamic soldiers. This was to offer a religious justification for slavery and sex slavery.

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What is the Point of Slavery in Islam?

Reason #1: Recruitment and Motivation

Slavery was used for several purposes in Islam. One was to enable recruiting. Those who are promised both slaves, sex slaves, and sex slaves in the afterlife (Through 72 to 1000 virgins, in addition to 80,000 servants) become highly motivated to join Islam and fight for Islam. The vast numbers of virgins and servants in the afterlife are not promised to just any Islam, but martyrs, so those that die fighting for Islam.

The Motivation of an Unlimited Number of Sex Slaves

It is well known that Islam allows for 4 wives. However, a Muslim is allowed an unlimited number of sex slaves. This is covered in the following quotation.

Islam permits men to have sexual intercourse with them and there is no limit on the number of concubines they could keep, unlike in polygamy where there is a limit of four wives. The master could also sell her or gift her to someone else. The female slave was essentially a chattel.

In terms of motivation, slavery, and the religious justification for slavery were jet fuel types for Islam’s recruiting soldiers.

Reason #2: Enslavement as a Humiliation for the Non-Believer

A second reason is to humiliate the non-believer.

Historically, Muslims who invaded non-Muslim made life as difficult as possible for non-Muslims, which created a strong incentive to convert to Islam. Sometimes this was through threatening immediate death, but more often, it set up the conditions in the conquered lands that used extreme intimidation and degeneration of the person’s living condition such that they converted is Islam. If you are paying the Jizyah (extortion money) or are a slave who is being repeatedly raped by your Muslim slave master, you have a powerful incentive to convert is Islam.

This humiliation aspect is explained as follows.

Enslavement was intended both as a debt and form of humiliation. The sexual relationship between a concubine and her master was viewed as a debt of humiliation upon the woman until she gave birth to her master’s child and the master’s later death. Becoming a slave meant that the person was stripped of their honour. The ulama asserted that slavery was a divine punishment for not being a Muslim. In the words of az-Aziz b.Ahmad al-Bukhari “servitude is a vestige of obstinacy in refusing to believe in one God”. Al-Sharif al-Jurjani stated that slavery in Islamic law was a “penalty for unbelief.” An Algerian scholar who lived in Morocco, Ahmad al-Wansharisi, described the purpose of slavery as a “humiliation” for previous or continuing disbelief. – Wikipedia

Muslims receive our Golden Pinocchio Award for lying about Mohammed and Islam’s position on slavery. 


There is no way around the fact that Mohammed and Islam have been staunchly in favor of slavery. Muslims enslaved most people in human history, and slavery allowed Islam to spread through conquest so successfully. Islam proves that large numbers of men want slaves and sex slaves.