Sunday 17 January 2010

The Responsibility of Muslims Towards Christians

AltMuslim carries an article about an ancient document written by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that clearly lays out the responsibility Muslims have to protect the Christians that live in their midst. The document is held in St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai and dates to 628 AD. It's text includes the following:

"Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.

No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses.

Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants."

The article by Muqtedar Khan goes on to discuss the content of the document and say:

"A remarkable aspect of the charter is that it imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties!

The document is not a modern human rights treaty but even thought it was penned in 628 A.D. it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person."

You can read the full article here.

image source


  1. This text is interesting to me based on what I have recently read about the times before the Crusades. During that time of Islam expansion and conquering, many churches were destroyed or remodeled as mosques. At that same time, in some locations many Christians and Jews were murdered, at other locations, they were allowed to practice so long as they never evangelized. If, however, they did evangelize, they were killed. Also, if a Muslim were to change religions, they were killed. You can see why this writing is so interesting after the read I had.

    Also, my wife just mentioned that it is interesting that you stated these were writings of Muhammad. I truely believe he would have been able to read and write, because he had been a business man, but most muslims seem to believe he was illiterate.

    Great post.

  2. Hi,

    a letter doesn't have to be written yourself, it can also be dictated.

  3. Would he have done that with all his business transactions as well? Seems like bad business to do that and since he was hired by his first wife to direct the business, I assume she wouldn't have hired someone who couldn't perform the job responsibilities himself and would have use additional labor costs to have a scribe.

  4. You are looking back with a modern viewpoint. I suspect that in the 7th century, most people could not write and managed their transactions without writing things down. The Arabia of the time was known as an "oral" society with lore and poetry remembereed and recited rather than written and read.

  5. So what you are saying is that Muhammed made poetry of these transactions so they could be remembered? Thus he was a darn good poet as he was a businessman? This makes sense as the Quran is supposed to be poetry in his language, so it would then make it more realistic to say the Quran was his words and not Gods.

  6. I think you call that taking random statements and making assertions from them. Very logical. I am not going to argue this point with you because that is not the purpose of this site. There are others forums where you can do this with people who have more knowledge than me. Maybe try the site the article originates from?