come up with a question or topic of interest to you. This could be anything you found confusing, any connections you may have made with other material (past or present), links to other cultures or fields of inquiry, etc. Post your initial post of at least 250 words where you bring up what resonated with you the most in the weekly reading and why. Then, respond to at least 2 peers (minimum of 250 words per response)look at the uploaded file
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Topic: Module 9 Discussion

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Module 9 Discussion
Lilia Anand
Please complete the readings for this week (including the document) and come up with a question or
topic of interest to you. This could be anything you found confusing, any connections you may have
made with other material (past or present), links to other cultures or fields of inquiry, etc. Post your
initial post of at least 250 words where you bring up what resonated with you the most in the
weekly reading and why. Then, respond to at least 2 peers (minimum of 250 words per response).
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Michael Valderrama

Oct 16, 2019
Imagine if you will, that you are a little eight-year-old Muslim boy living in Bosnia during the time of
the Ottoman Empire. Today is the day that the sultan’s men are going from village to village,
forcefully taking Christian boys your age from their homes to be slaves in the sultan’s army.
Normally, as a Muslim, you would be exempted since, after all, shariah law states that the
enslavement of free Muslims is absolutely haram (forbidden).
However, your parents are excited when the sultan’s troop of recruiters and slavers pass by your
village. Your father rushes out to meet them with a hefty sack of coin and you realize that he is
trying to bribe them to take you – a free Muslim – as a slave! You rush to your mother and beg her
not to let them take you. She merely replies with,
“Nonsense, maksumce, you will make a fine addition to the sultan’s elite. You have good bones
and strong teeth, and you are a smart boy – inshallah (if Allah wills it) the janissary officers will
select you and you will live a far better life than any in the village have ever dreamed of.”
Naturally, the yayabashi, or janissary officers, accept your father’s bribe and you are dragged
away, sobbing and wailing, to be a slave with a dozen or so Christian boys. Little do you know how
right your mother is.
Topic: Module 9 Discussion
This week’s chapter mentions the use of slaves in the armies of the early Islamic world. The Turks
take this concept and exploit it to its fullest. I can personally find no other period in world history
when families would actually bribe slavers to enslave their children en masse (Sugar, P.
“Southeastern Europe Under Ottoman Rule: 1354 – 1804.” 2012.) except during this period in
history: the time of the Ottoman devshirme (literally “the collecting”) or “boy tax,” when Bosnian
Muslims and even some Christians from the Balkans bribed Ottoman officials to take their sons
into slavery. This was because these young Christian boys would be converted into Islam and
would eventually grow up to enroll in either the elite fanatic infantry of the sultan’s janissary corps
or, if they were especially studious and intelligent, in the body of viziers that would serve as the
sultan’s advisors. If one was especially lucky, they could even rise to the position of grand vizier
himself. The only requirement was that one had to be a slave to do it! This is perhaps the only time
in history when slavery was beneficial for those who were enslaved.
The devshirme was the practice of enslaving Christian boys between the ages of 8 and 18 who
lived in the Ottoman Empire in the name of service to the state. When it was first introduced,
Christian parents were understandably horrified, but after some time, when they realized that their
children had the chance of receiving considerable wealth and power after being enslaved and
converting to Islam, some – but not all – embraced the systematic kidnapping of their children, and
even some Anatolian and Bosnian Muslims such as in my short story above resorted to bribing
officials to enslave their children.
This was, of course, immensely illegal under shariah law. (Nicolle, D. “Conflict and Conquest in the
Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia.” 2011.) The sultan was effectively enslaving his own
subjects, and the law explicitly stated that conquered people should be protected and that no
slaves should be taken from inside an area with Islamic rule. The Ottoman Empire, being an
Islamic state, could not legally enslave its own people, according to shariah law.
However, the Turks were historically very bad at following shariah law since the beginning. Islam
practices aniconism – that is – Islamic art avoids the depiction of sentient beings such as animals
or people, to avoid idolatry. Turkish art ignores this principle, with the sultan often commissioning
portraits of himself and artists painting various scenes depicting soldiers, courtly life or animals.
The Ottomans also created kanun, a code of laws that were upheld by shariah but separate from
it; another violation, since shariah to Muslim purists is the only source of law. Even in the modern
world, Turkey has banned the hijab – a shock to many Muslim countries, but part of Turkey’s
efforts to be more secular. Is it not then surprising that the Muslims of the old empire would bend
or break with Islamic tradition to fit their lifestyle?
Rachel Ristevski

Topic: Module 9 Discussion
That was a nice little teaser you started out with. I want to read the rest of that book! This
subject was particularly interesting to read about and I appreciate you adding to the content
provided in the book. Here in America we have a particular vision of the idea of slavery and it’s
components. Because race relations are so high right now when we think of slavery most of
us immediately picture African Americans working plantations under terrible conditions and
treatment. I think it is important to note that slavery has always existed in some form or
another and for the most part it was not racially driven and shockingly, as you pointed out, not
always a bad thing apparently. It is fascinating that slavery could ever be thought of as a
means for advancement from the point of view of the enslaved. To know that you are enduring
this incredibly uncomfortable lifestyle so that you can be successful later is a little bit like
having to do the grunt work when you start a new job but knowing you will have the
opportunity to climb the ladder of success. As a mother though, I can not imagine handing my
babies over when they are that young, knowing I may never see them again, in the hopes that
they would have a better life. Then again, I am not in a position nor will I likely ever be in a
position where someone else could provide a substantially better life for my children than I
Ryan Heldmann

Michael once again our thinking is along the same track. So I’ll take my discussion and use
it as the response to yours. Slavery under the early Muslim Ottoman Empire being as rampant
as it was. Like it said in the text was justified under the Qur’an. It also had a secondary
backing under the fact that while true you’re not supposed to take slaves from Islamic states
the devshrime System as you pointed out drew from the Christian population. Corruption and
bribery will always plague systems where the marginalization of a human is accepted.
When you look at through the scope of the Janissaries as you pointed out the enslaved
conscripts into the military. These are kids taken usually at a very young age broken down
through harsh training indoctrinated into Islam if they weren’t already Muslim as your story
pointed out and then molded into an elite shock troop if you want to call it that. They have
more of what resembles Stockholm’s Syndrome than an Esprit de Corps to the Sultan. In a
way it almost sounds like the stories one would hear from the 1830-1920’s of getting
shanghaied into the French Foreign Legion.
The Janissaries and their 6 Cavalry Division counterparts where the backbone and only
standing parts of the Turkish Army during times of peace the would serve roles as body
guards, police, and firefighters. Like the legionnaires they were kind of seen as turks through
bloodshed. They were the only enslaved group that would be paid. As far as after their military
service all received a pension. Many would become administrators and Visiers.
As a collective group though they came to realize their importance to the military complex.
They would rise up many times until their disbandment; successfully demanding better wages,
staging coups to overthrow corrupt sultans, or just ousting those they didn’t like. This became
Topic: Module 9 Discussion
a huge thorn in the side of the sultanate. It wouldn’t be till the 1800’s that the Janissaries
would be quashed and it was through an intense and bloody fight.
 Reply
Rebekkah Mack

Chapter 9, for the most part, is strictly about the Islamic religion. I’ve always had a huge
fascination with the religion since my sophomore year in high school when I befriended a
freshman girl. Within 23 years, the religion spread to over ten countries. I think I’m so amazed
because all of this happened without the use of social media or any type of media. All of this
occurred using word of mouth.
I enjoyed reading about the Tenets of Islam. It’s so close to Christianity, as far as the rules
regarding things like circumcision and diet. But obviously, it makes sense since both Christianity
and Islam both acknowledge Moses as an important figure. Looking at the five pillars of Islam, I’m
confident that I would be damned to go to hell if I believed in the religion. There’s no way that I
could find the time in the day to pray five times a day or fast for a whole month. I do, however,
understand the reasonings behind it. It makes me think about how lax Christianity is. All
Christianity requires you to do is to follow the Golden Rule: treat others the way you wish to be
treated and to love and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Comparing the two religions
makes me question religion as a whole. Both are so different but come from the same ideals, It
makes me question my faith. People say that religion is only there to comfort and control citizens.
But a majority of the world isn’t controlled by theocracies anymore so how can that be true.
Tyler Kirkendoll

I agree with you so much about how insane it is that it spread so rapidly by word of mouth
and people practicing it for others to notice.
I like your point about how their are many similarities between christianity and islam with rules.
I’m a practicing christian and i didnt even know how islam has some of the same commands
until i read this chapter and that honestly really was interesting to me because sometimes i
think i know it all and in reality i have so much to learn an understand.
Topic: Module 9 Discussion
Now with your point about not having enough time in the day to pray 5 times a day and fast
and such i have multiple friends at UNT that are practicing muslims and they go to the gym
with me and they fast and do their prayers and make good grades and still have time to go to
the gym and work on their fitness, now i don’t know how they do it all but i know they are
dedicated and i have the most respect for them because of that. Also when it comes to
christianity yes we are supposed to treat others the way they want to be treated but there’s a
whole lot more than that that is given to us to do and be. we are asked to be witnesses of the
good news to those we come across whether that’s with giving your testimony, just being kind
and smiling and showing God’s love to others through our daily actions.
Michael Valderrama

Prepare to have your mind blown. Islam and Christianity have a lot more in common than you
think. Did you know that according to the hadith (a reliably transmitted report of what the
Prophet [Peace Be Upon Him] said, did, or approved) Jesus, Son of Mary will return on
Judgment Day to destroy al-Dajjal, the Muslim equivalent of the Antichrist? (Sahih Muslim,
bab nuzul ‘isa, Vol. 2; Sahih Bukhari, kitab bad’ al-khalq wa nuzul ‘isa, Vol. 4*)
Muslims also believe that Jesus is one of the Great Prophets, in the line of Adam, Noah,
Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, etc. and is one of the very few Great Prophets that Islamic
scholars acknowledge as capable of performing miracles. Yet the miracles of Muhammad
(Peace Be Upon Him) himself are debated by Islamic scholars, with some saying that he did
not perform any miracles at all, but all are in agreement that Jesus healed the blind, cured
lepers, raised Lazarus from the dead, and was able to predict things that were hidden or
unknown to others. (Qur’an 2:87) There are also several miracles attributed to Jesus that are
not mentioned in the Bible or are different from Christian canon.
The 19th Surah or chapter of the Qur’an is Surah Maryam; that is, a chapter that is named
after Mary the Mother of Jesus. In it, it describes Jesus’ birth: He was born in a desert, unlike
the Christian version where He is born in a manger, and the desert blossomed into an oasis,
with fruit and water to nourish Mary after she gave birth. When Mary brought Jesus before the
people, they accused her of unchastity since she was known to all to be a virgin. However, the
baby Jesus, mere moments old, said:
“Indeed, I am the servant of God. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And
He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long
as I remain alive. And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched
Topic: Module 9 Discussion
tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised
alive.” (Qur’an 19:30-33)
So there are indeed many similarities but some fascinating differences between the version of
Jesus that we have in Christianity and the Jesus of Islam.
*These long references are the traditional Islamic citations for hadith, and they read as “this is according to A, who heard it from B, who heard
it from C, etc.”
Hetal Patel

Hello Rebekkah, I agree with you that this chapter is all about the Islamic religion and to me all
the religions are different and are unique in their own way. It is very interesting how fast the
Islamic culture spread in over ten countries in a short amount of time. I have heard a few
things about the Islamic culture but had no idea of how similar this culture is to Christianity.
Just like you mentioned some Christians in the west adopted their Muslims patterns of speech
and dress and also gave up the practice of eating pork and developed a special appreciation
in their music and poetry. Many Christian women of elite status chose the Muslim practice of
going out in public with their face veiled. Another thing that I found interesting and common
between both the cultures was the Judgement Day, as both cultures believed that God on that
day will separate the saved and the damned. The Qur’an describes in detail the frightful
tortures with which God will punish the damned and the heavenly rewards of the saved and
the blessed. Even when both the cultures rejected each other, their worlds and their cultures
had a significant impact on each other. I also agree with you on the Five Pillars of Islam, as I
myself would never be able to follow those rules. I do fasting sometimes, but a month of
fasting is something I can never think of and I guess it works out for all the Muslims as they
get a lot of blessing, and also get to eat a lot of good food
 Reply
Tyler Kirkendoll

Topic: Module 9 Discussion
The section in chapter 9 that interested me most would be “Muhammad Signs a Treaty with the
Jews of Medina MUHAMMAD”. I had no clue at all that Muhammad met with the jews to discuss a
treaty in 625. I also says that Muhammad was so influential that many of the jewish tribes actually
ended up converting to islam. The treaty discusses many different scenarios for the jewish and
islamic people and tells them how to deal with them directly.
It’s really so surprising to me how much it seems like the jews and muslims were getting along
so well when everything was rapidly changing with Muhammad gaining such a large following and
having different beliefs then the traditional jews. Growing up in church and in a christian home I’ve
always heard how split in two the jews and muslims are now, many of them in Israel can’t stand
each other making it very difficult got like to be lived peacefully. There’s a constant dispute about
who claims what in Israel and who deserves what territory and land.
Some of the laws that were included in this treaty were interesting to me, one being “The
Believers shall not desert any poor person among them, but shall pay his redemption or bloodmoney, as is proper”. This basically meaning help a poor person out don’t just look at him or her
and walk by as if they don’t matter but instead help a man or women in need and it even says help
them pay back the money they owe to someone. That’s a pretty bold statement in that treaty
asking a person to give money to a poor person to help them pay off their debt that they might or
might not of got themselves into. And these weren’t just things that one religious group was
supposed to do it was for there jews and muslims alike because this treaty made them as equals.
Leslie Young

Hey Tyler!
I did my discussion on the rules as well and I appreciate your explanation of the rule because
for some reason my brain did not want to process what was being said. However, I do have a
question. Blood money is money received in the act of killing another (I think). Basically dirty
money. And the rule says about repaying blood money and redemption, as proper. Does this
mean basically excusing a murder because this person is poor? Does this bring of the custom
known as “necessity” which obviously is not introduced til much much later but could be seen
here regardless? By redemption does it mean, that if someone as broken a law or had some
moral wrong doing, is it to be forgiven and debts paid simply because the person is poor as
well as a man of god? What if that person is lying? Is that excused as redemption?
 Reply
Topic: Module 9 Discussion
Tyler Kirksmith

Something that was of interest to me during this week’s reading was how slavery was handled in
the Middle East. I’ve always been taught that slavery in America was the practice of owning,
buying, and selling slaves for the purpose of manual labor. Slaves in America often times received …
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