it remains, the ordinance must be a formidable bar, not only to national
prosperity, but to Mahometan states taking their place in the civilized world.
The conditions of inferiority, as declared in the Revelation, are no doubt
vague; but they are substantial, nevertheless, and every step taken to cancel
them is in abatement of the Divine injunction.
Following upon the wake of war against the unbelievers is the curse of
slavery, which, though in a mild and restricted form, has not the less fixed its
withering grasp upon the proud master, as well as on his wretched victim.
Slaves, male and femaleMoslem, heathen, Jew, or Christianare transferable,
like any other goods or chattels.† Irrespective of his four legitimate wives, the
believer is permitted by the Corân, and encouraged by the example of his
Prophet, without any further ceremony or rite, to consort with female slaves
taken captive in war, purchased, gifted, or otherwise legally acquired. There is
no restriction whatever as to number, nor any of the obligations attaching to
marriage. The concubine may be sold again at any moment; only if, she chance to
bear her master a son, she becomes (by the precedent of Mahomet and Mary) free.
So long as Islâm lives, this curse of humanity will survive along with it.
It has been held that Mahomet, by ameliorating the conditions of slavery,
paved the way for its extinction.1 Rather, while lightening, he
riveted the fetter. He enjoined that they should be treated kindly; but there is
no obligation whatever on a Moslem to release his slaves; on the contrary, among