„Ibn Battutah while in Bengal says that a pretty kaniz (slave girl) could be had there for one gold dinar (or 10 silver tankahs). "I purchased at this price a very beautiful slave girl whose name was Ashura. A friend of mine also bought a young slave named Lulu for two gold coins."“

—  Ibn Battuta, Travels in Asia and Africa (Rehalã of Ibn Battûta), Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 4
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Ibn Battuta
1304 - 1377
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Muhammad bin Tughluq photo

„All sultans were keen on making slaves, but Muhammad Tughlaq became notorious for enslaving people. He appears to have outstripped even Alauddin Khalji and his reputation in this regard spread far and wide. Shihabuddin Ahmad Abbas writes about him thus:
“The Sultan never ceases to show the greatest zeal in making war upon infidels… Everyday thousands of slaves are sold at a very low price, so great is the number of prisoners”. Muhammad Tughlaq did not only enslave people during campaigns, he was also very fond of purchasing and collecting foreign and Indian slaves. According to Ibn Battuta one of the reasons of estrangement between Muhammad Tughlaq and his father Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, when Muhammad was still a prince, was his extravagance in purchasing slaves. Even as Sultan, he made extensive conquests. He subjugated the country as far as Dwarsamudra, Malabar, Kampil, Warangal, Lakhnauti, Satgaon, Sonargaon, Nagarkot and Sambhal to give only few prominent place-names. There were sixteen major rebellions in his reign which were ruthlessly suppressed. In all these conquests and rebellions, slaves were taken with great gusto. For example, in the year 1342 Halajun rose in rebellion in Lahore. He was aided by the Khokhar chief Kulchand. They were defeated. “About three hundred women of the rebels were taken captive, and sent to the fort of Gwalior where they were seen by Ibn Battutah.” Such was their influx that Ibn Battutah writes: “At (one) time there arrived in Delhi some female infidel captives, ten of whom the Vazir sent to me. I gave one of them to the man who had brought them to me, but he was not satisfied. My companion took three young girls, and I do not know what happened to the rest.” Iltutmish, Muhammad Tughlaq and Firoz Tughlaq sent gifts of slaves to Khalifas outside India….. Ibn Battutah’s eye-witness account of the Sultan’s gifting captured slave girls to nobles or arranging their marriages with Muslims on a large scale on the occasion of the two Ids, corroborates the statement of Abbas. Ibn Battutah writes that during the celebrations in connection with the two Ids in the court of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, daughters of Hindu Rajas and those of commoners, captured during the course of the year were distributed among nobles, officers and important foreign slaves. “On the fourth day men slaves are married and on the fifth slave-girls. On the sixth day men and women slaves are married off.” This was all in accordance with the Islamic law. According to it, slaves cannot many on their own without the consent of their proprietors. The marriage of an infidel couple is not dissolved by their jointly embracing the faith. In the present case the slaves were probably already converted and their marriages performed with the initiative and permission the Sultan himself were valid. Thousands of non-Muslim women were captured by the Muslims in the yearly campaigns of Firoz Tughlaq, and under him the id celebrations were held on lines similar to those of his predecessor. In short, under the Tughlaqs the inflow of women captives never ceased.“

—  Muhammad bin Tughluq Turkic Sultan of Delhi 1290 - 1351
Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5 (quoting Masalik-ul-Absar, E.D., III, 580., Battutah)

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„Alexander Gardner who later became the Colonel of Artillery in the service of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, had travelled extensively in Central Asia from 1819 to 1823 C. E. He saw a lot of slave-catching in Kafiristan, a province of Afghanistan, which was largely inhabited by infields at that time. He found that the area had been reduced to “the lowest state of poverty and wretchedness” as a result of raids by the Muslim king of Kunduz for securing slaves and supplying them to the slave markets in Balkh and Bukhara. He writes:
“All this misery was caused by the oppression of the Kunduz chief, who not content with plundering his wretched subjects, made an annual raid into the country south of Oxus, and by chappaos (night attacks) carried off all the inhabitants on whom his troops could lay their hands. These, after the best had been selected by the chief and his courtiers, were publicly sold in the bazaars of Turkestan. The principal providers of this species of merchandise were the Khan of Khiva, the king of Bokhara (the great hero of the Mohammedan faith), and the robber beg of Kunduz.
“In the regular slave markets, or in transactions between dealers, it is the custom to pay for slaves in money; the usual medium being either Bokharan gold tillahs (in value about 5 or 51/2 Company rupees each), or in gold bars or gold grain. In Yarkand, or on the Chinese frontier, the medium is the silver khurup with the Chinese stamp, the value of which varies from 150 to 200 rupees each. The price of a male slave varies according to circumstances from 5 to 500 rupees. The price of the females also necessarily varies much, 2 tillahs to 10,000 rupees. Even the double the latter sum has been known to have been given.
“However, a vast deal of business is also done by barter, of which we had proof at the holy shrine of Pir-i-Nimcha, where we exchanged two slaves for a few lambs’ skins! Sanctity and slave dealing may be considered somewhat akin in the Turkestan region, and the more holy the person the more extensive are generally his transactions in flesh and blood.”“

—  Alexander Gardner (soldier)
Alexander Gardner subsequently found a Muslim fruit merchant at Multan “who was proved by his own ledger to have exchanged a female slave girl for three ponies and seven long-haired, red-eyed cats, all of which he disposed of, no doubt to advantage, to the English gentlemen at this station.” Memoirs of Alexander Gardner, edited by Major Hugh Pearce, first published in 1898, reprint published from Patiala in 1970, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 1

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„We are covered in blood, girl. You know both our forefathers were slaves. Let us hope they've found mercy in their bone-filled graves.“

—  Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and artist 1941
Song lyrics, Slow Train Coming (1979), Precious Angel

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