2. Slave: the word

The Arabic word for slave is ABD which literally means worshipper, drived from the verb ABADA which means he worshipped.  Before Islam, the word was used for slaves who used to serve Masters in the society.  When Islam came, not only did it strongly and strictly prohibit the strong from making the weak worship them, but also the weak from worshipping the strong.  In the very first chapter of the Qur’an, we read this verse:


“Iyya ka nabudu ve iyya ka nastain.” which means “You alone do we worship and You alone do we seek help.”  So, through the very first chapter of the Qur’an, Islam frees all the weak who used to be forced to serve and worship so-called Masters of slavery in the sense they perceive and gives a new dimension to that concept which is being an honorable worshipper of God, rather than being a miserable slave of another man.


So, in Islam, everybody is free as it has already cut off, or more literally castrated the application of involuntary servitude to others.  If a man is ever to be called a slave, the only one who is worthy of being Master is Allah, and man can only be His slave in the sense of submitting himself to His just and uncapricious will so that not only is he physically and spiritually free of others who are equal to himself before Allah, but also he is free of lust and desire of his own concupiscent sould.  Thus, he is saved.  So, in Islamic literature, being a slave means one’s submitting him-/herself to the will of Allah, literally being a Muslim as the English word submitter can be translated into Arabic as Muslim.


Ibada literally means

Print   Close window