19 February 2014 CE | 17 Rabbi al-Thanni 1435 AH

Hadith Explanation

Free a Believing Slave

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever frees a believing slave will have Allah free all of his limbs from the Fire because of it, so He will free an arm for an arm, a leg for a leg…” [Ahmad]

When Ali ibn al-Husayn Zain al-Aabideen heard that Saeed ibn Mirjaanah narrated this hadith on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu), he asked him for confirmation. “Did you hear this from Abu Hurayrah?” he asked Saeed. Saeed replied, “Yes.” Ali ibn al-Husayn called for a slave of his, who was the best of his slaves, saying, “Call Matraf.” When Matraf came to him, he said: “Go. You are free for the sake of Allah.” According to Imaam Muslim, this slave who was set free by Ali ibn al-Husayn had been bought for a price of ten thousand dirhams.

Slavery was an ancient practice popular all over the world. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) encouraged us to treat slaves well and to free them (believing slaves taking precedence), by promising us plenty of compensation in return. The deeds of the righteous generations show us the depth of their belief in Allah’s promises.

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