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How Did Prophet Muhammad Treat Christians?
"This is a message from [Prophet] Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. 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 [in religion] is to be on them…”
There are many Muslims who are motivated by what I call a “gang mentality” where the “other” is considered in a category much less than them and are doomed to hell regardless of their deeds. This is not only true of Muslims but it is true of people belonging to other faiths and organizations. This is not the attitude of the Qur’an because in numerous places the Qur'an points out the same message as given in the following verses:
2.281. And fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to God. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly.
2.286. On no soul doth God Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.
Allah is clear in the above verse and many others like it. There were no qualifiers using words like “Muslim soul”, etc. Allah has made the same equal standard of what we earn by our deeds the basis for reward and punishment for all humanity.
The more interesting question to ask is: are the “gang mentality” Muslims -- having hatred and doom for others who are not like them -- following the leader of the Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (saaw)? Did Prophet Muhammad demonstrate sectarianism, doom and gloom of other faiths and people who did not believe like him? Would he have been like today’s Jewish sectarians, Christian sectarians, and even Muslim sectarians and subscribe to party loyalty as the Democrats and Republicans do?
I have no doubt that the answer to that is a resounding NO!!! One proof of that is the Charter of Privileges made to the Christians of Najran. Please be aware that this is only one proof of the Prophet’s tolerant treatment of people of other faiths. There are many other examples of the same tolerance, love and understanding in the Prophet’s treatment of "others". His treatment was reflective of the verses in the Qur’an revealed by Allah regarding Christian treatment.
The Charter of Privileges
"This is a message from [Prophet] Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
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 [in religion] 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.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. 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.
No one of the nation (of Muslims) is to disobey this covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."
Muslims today would do well to consider the actions of our leader in regards to treatment of religious people of other faiths. They should stop being Republicans and Democrats when it comes to Al-Islam. They should also consider these powerful words by Marmaduke Pickthall very carefully.
“In the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of culture in a people. It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture. Therefore the difference evident in that anecdote is not of manners only, but of religion. Tolerance was regarded as un-religious, if not irreligious. Before the coming of Al-Islam it had never been preached as an essential part of religion.”
M. Marmaduke Pickthall, English Historian and translator of the Qur’an
We believe in one God, like you do. We believe Jesus is the son of God, and that we are all the children of God because God is the creator of life, that means you are the son of God too. You believe what you believe, and I have much respect for Islam and Muslim people, and even though you do not identify with my religion I ask that you respect it. My religion does not teach me to kill, or lie or steal or hate. It teaches love, tolerance and compassion, as does yours. Hell is not reserved for an entire religion, it is for bad people. Our beliefs are what guide our choices and actions, and based on those teachings, it is up to us as individuals to decide if we want to be good or bad. But ultimately, only God can judge.
Excellent comment and agrees with the teachings in the Qur'an. Thank you Lara !
But I must agree , since I live in such a culture and I have experienced it myself some muslims donot respect any other religion. They think it a taboo to eat and drink with Christian minorities even mock them and taunt them by saying that they will be dwellers of hell.
I only feel sorry for these muslims who cannot follow the sunnah of our Prophet. Prophet may peace be upon him who said that by Allah christians are my citizens and by Allah I hold out anything that displeases them.
And would u believe me if I say that in quran a whole surah is based on the pure Mary( mother of Jesus ) and she is given the rank of women who have the highest position. Sooo I can only feel sorry for the muslims who have no respect for other religions
This also meant that the non-Muslims possessed the right to vote in the election of the head of the state as they elected Prophet Mohammed (SAWW) as their political head. In Islamic states, non-Muslim communities had always enjoyed a judicial autonomy, not only for personal status but also for all affairs of life including civil, penal and others. Judicial powers were delegated to Christian priests and the Jewish hakham in the reign of many caliphs. In the time of prophet Mohammed (SAWW), the Jews of Medina had their synagogue and educational institute and in the treaty with the Christians of Narjan, Prophet gave a guarantee not only or the security of person and property of the inhabitant’s but left the nomination of bishops and priests to the Christian community itself.
In an Islamic state, non-Muslims constitute a protected community and it is therefore the duty of the governments to protect their legitimate interests. In Abbasid caliphate: Muslims, Christians, Jews and others preserved their own modes of dress, their social manners and their distinct cultures. The conception of nationality in Islam is based neither on an ethnic source nor on place of birth but on the identity of ideology i.e. religion. The Islamic law categorically forbids all recourse to compulsion for converting others to Islam and maintains rigorous discipline on its adherents in case of transgression. The basis of “nationality”is religious and not ethnic, linguistic or regional. Islam is gaining ground In Europe, North and South America, Africa, South East Asia and it is not because of sword as many die-hard dim-hawks opponents say but because of its excellent message of love and peace for mankind.
The entire life of a good Muslim whether spiritual or temporal is a discipline regulated by Allah's commandment (ahkams). We are instructed in the Quran not to veer to the extremes but adhere to ummatum wassatun (middle path) and refrain from excess of any kind and 99.99% earnestly strive to attain this middle ground, which is the most fertile ground in which to practice our Deen as Allah intended for us: an Islam of peace, compassion, mercy, tolerance and justice for all.
We have to follow Islam in every aspect of our lives. Its distinct features are two: (1) harmonious equilibrium between temporal and the spiritual, permitting a full enjoyment of all that Allah has created; belief in one God without images and symbols. (2) All believers becoming brothers and sisters and equals without any distinction of class, race or tongue. The only superiority, which it recognizes, is a personal one, based on greater fear of Allah and greater piety (taqwa). Islam seeks to establish a world community where every individual makes a constant effort for spreading the good and prevent evil.