This work deals with the treatment of two important issues by a major world religion. It is written primarily from the standpoint of humanism.
Slavery is the worst kind of denial of human freedom and human rights essentially making one individual the property of another.
The denial of the freedom of belief is only slightly less important.
Humanists have been in the forefront in the fight against slavery and servitude of all forms, and in the fight for freedom of belief and opinion.
This work deals with Islam. This is not because Islam is the worst offender in the denial of these freedoms (even though it could well be) but because it provides a classic example of civil law based on religious jurisprudence. In a fully Islamic state there is no possibility of the separation of religion and the state. Thus an examination of the Islamic attitude to these questions can provide a classic instance of how religious principles could be used to influence basic human rights in these, and several other, areas. It can also provide useful conclusion to apply to states which are not completely theocratic but in the past have been theocratic whose traces still linger.