In the Islamic history Muslim masters were encouraged to release their slaves.
Qur’an [90:10-13] says :” Did we not show him the two paths? He should choose the difficult path. Which one is the difficult path? The freeing of slaves”.
I know that According to Qur’an and the Sunnah releasing of slaves were a good deed for Muslims. What I want to learn is : “Was it also a good deed to release non-Muslim slaves?”.
In a nutshell, does good deed cover non-Muslim slaves?
All acts of morality are absolutely without restriction. The Qur’an requires the believers to do good, irrespective of their religious affiliations and ascriptions. Thus, if you take a look at the related verses of the Qur’an, you shall see that all directives relating to mutual goodness and morality are without condition of religion and belief. For instance, if you look at Al-Nisaa 4: 36, you shall see that the verse directs the Muslims to do good towards their parents, relatives, the orphans and the needy in the society, their neighbors, wayfarers and their slaves, yet the verse does not qualify this ‘goodness’ with the religious affiliations and beliefs of these people. Furthermore, the Qur’an at a number of instances has prompted the believers to free their slaves, irrespective of the religious affiliations and beliefs of these slaves.
‘Doing good’, according to Islam, is not restricted to Muslims alone. All Muslims are required to behave with others, irrespective of their religious affiliations and beliefs, as they would like these others to deal with Muslims.
I hope this helps.
September 29, 2001