The Secret Beyond Matter

Policies applied to Jews and Christians in the time of our Prophet (saas) and the four caliphs

1.    Statements by Syrian Christians in the document known as the Umar Agreement in history presented to Abu Ubayda:

[We imposed these terms on ourselves:]… not to withhold our churches from Muslims stopping there by night or day; to open their doors to the traveler and wayfarer; … to entertain every Muslim traveler in our customary style and feed him… We will not abuse a Muslim, and he who strikes a Muslim has forfeited his rights.

(Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1955), 193-94.)


2.    When Hazrat Umar (ra) captured Jerusalem in person in 637 he issued a decree to the people of the city and announced that the places of worship of the People of the Book would not be touched.

3.    Hazrat Umar’s (ra) promise to the Medina Christians contains the principle that “None from the Christian faith shall be forced to become Muslims against their will.”

4.    The article concerning dhimmis in the treaty between Christians and Muslims in the time of Hazrat Umar (ra) is very important.


"If one of them becomes weak or old or suffers from sickness or becomes poor when once he was rich, he and his family will receive assistance from the public purse for so long as they are in Islamic territories."

5.    Hazrat Umar’s (ra) statement in the pre-agreement with the people of Sham (Damascus):

Do not take the lands bestowed by Allah away from people and impose the jizye [capitation tax] according to people’s ability to pay, as set out in the Book of Allah. Do not ask for more if the jizye is paid by them... If we share the lands among ourselves, nothing will remain for their children. If the lands are left to their true owners, then Muslims can live on what they produce. You may impose the jizye on them, but you can never take them captive. You may commit no injustice that will offend or harm them, and you may not take away their property of you have no right to it. You must fulfill the responsibilities you have accepted in their agreements with us. (Majid Khoduri, Islam in War and Peace, Fener Press, Istanbul, 1998, p. 216)

6.    Guarantees were given to the Christians living in the city of Tiberias, captured by peaceful means, in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) that their churches would not be touched.

7.    During the capture of the Armenian city of Dabil (Dvin), Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians were given assurances and guaranteed the protection of all their places of worship. Moreover, he never withheld permission to restore damaged churches and build new monasteries. For instance, the St. Sergius monastery outside of Medina was destroyed by Patriarch Mar Amme, but rebuilt during Hazrat Uthman's (ra) reign.

8.    For instance, the St. Sergius monastery outside of Medain was destroyed by Patriarch Mar Amme, but rebuilt during Hazrat Uthman's (ra) reign.

9.    The capitulation guarantee agreed by Hudhaifa ibn Al-Yaman (ra) with the people of Mah Dinar said “this guarantee is given for their lives, goods and lands. They cannot be forced to change faith, and the Shariah shall not enter among them.”

10.    Uqba, the governor of Egypt, contributed to a Nestorian monastery.

11.    During the reign of Mu'awiyya, the church of Urfa and the Saint Marcos Church was built in Alexandria.

12.    The Sinai Monastery with a mosque right next door is an important pilgrimage center on Mount Sinai and a symbol of Muslim acceptance.

13.    A letter by the Nestorian Patriarch Isho'yab III:

They [Abbasids] have not attacked the Christian religion, but rather they have commended our faith, honored our priests... and conferred benefits on churches and monasteries.
(Fred Aprim, “The A to Z of the ancient Chaldeans and their relation to modern Chaldeans;”

14.    When non-Muslims could not pay their taxes, they were supported by public funds, which were an important aspect of state support.

15.    The agreements between our Prophet (saas) and various non-Muslim groups particularly stressed that their lives and goods were guaranteed. (The treaty with the people of Juhayni, Hamidullah, Document no.151)

16.     The treaty issued by the Prophet (saas) guaranteeing the Christians of Najran their temples, put their places of worship under guarantee by saying the temples of the people of Najran are under the protection of Allah and the responsibility of His Prophet, Muhammad (saas). (Ibn Sa'd, I, 288, 357-58)

17.     According to the account in Abu Dawud, the treaty contains the term churches will not be destroyed. (Abu Dawud, Haraç, 29-30)

18.     The guarantee regarding places of worship was repeated in the capitulation document sent by our Prophet (saas) to clerics of Bani Haris b. Kab  of Najran. (Ibn Sa'd, I, 266)

19.    The Jews of Haybar once came to the Prophet (saas) and said that their goods had been taken away by certain Muslims without permission. At this, the Prophet (saas) summoned the Muslims to the mosque and told them it was unlawful to touch the goods of those with whom a treaty had been signed and that what they had done was wrong. (Musnad, IV, 89; Vakıdi, II, 691; Serahsi, Siyer, I, 133, IV, 1530)

20.    According to some hearsay, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) attended their weddings, visited their sick, and was generous to them. Prophet Mohammed (may God bless him and grant him peace) even spread out his cloak so that the Christians of Najran who came to visit him could sit on it.

21.    When the representatives of the Christians of Najran came to Madina, the Prophet (saas) and his companions performed the afternoon prayer. Since their time for prayer had also come, they entered the mosque and headed toward east and Rasulullah (saas) permitted them to perform their own religious observances. (Ibn Hişam, I, 574; Ibn Sa'd, I, 357)

22.     Article 17 of the Medina City State Treaty: "Those of the Jews who join us will be assisted and well-treated. They will suffer no injustice and their enemies will not be helped."

23. Article 25: *The Jews of the B’nai Awf and believers are a single united Ummah. They will live by their own faith and Muslims by theirs ".

24. Article 36: "There will be mutual aid, counsel and goodness between Muslims and Jews " (Ibn Kesir, es-Sire, II/322; Hamidullah, el-Vesaik, p.44-45; Cohabitation in Eastern and Western Sources, p.285)

25.    According to reports from different accounts narrated from Tabari and Zaemakhshari, there was a Christian living in Mecca who was an ironsmith, who knew the Torah and the Gospel very well, and who, the Prophet (saas) would personally meet and converse with. (et-Tabari; Cohabitation in Eastern and Western Sources, p.306)

26.    A letter sent by our Prophet (saas) to the Christians of Najran said; "... No matter what happens, no matter how much they own, be it much or little, their churches and monasteries belong to them. They are the responsibility of Allah and His Messenger. No bishop will be removed from where he is serving as bishop and sent elsewhere, nor any monk from his monastery or any priest from his own church. No change will be made to their rights, laws or customs. So long as they behave with honesty and abide by the responsibilities laid upon them, the protection of Allah and His Messenger will be upon them. They will suffer no oppression, and they will oppress nobody.”

2010-01-29 22:17:15

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