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ʿAbd

ʿAbd (Arab., ‘servant’ (pl. ʿibād) or ‘slave’ (pl. ʿabīd). In the religious sense, a ‘servant’ or ‘worshipper’ of Allāh. In the secular sense, the Qurʿān speaks of slaves, of ‘a slave possessed (by a master)’ (ʿabd mamlūk, 16. 75). The Qurʾān accepts slavery as a fact, but encourages kind treatment of slaves, and to free them is an act of piety (2. 177). Women slaves could be taken as concubines, but could also become legal wives.

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