Our Prophet's (saas) Affectionate, Protective and Loving Attitude Toward The People of The Book

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OUR PROPHET (SAAS) GAVE THE NAJRAN CHRISTIANS PERMISSION TO WORSHIP IN THE MASJID-I NABAWI

“A Christian Najran delegation came to Medina at the time of the afternoon prayer and entered the Masjid-i Nabawai. Arriving when our Prophet (saas) and his people were still peforming the afternoon prayer, the Christians turned to the East and prepared to worship.SOME COMPANIONS WISHED TO PREVENT THEM WORSHIPING, BUT THE PROPHET (SAAS) COMMANDED THAT THEY BE LEFT ALONE AND PERMITTED TO WORSHIP.” (Tabarî, Ibn Kathir, Razî, Qurtubî; Surah Al‘Imran, 3/1-61; Part of these commentaries dealt with the beginning of the Surah, and some with the 61st verse, known as the mubahala verse).(Hamidullah, The Prophet of Islâm, trans.: Salih Tug, Ankara 2003, I, 920; Saricam, The Prophet Muhammad and His Universal Message, 278.)

OUR PROPHET (SAAS) SPREAD OUT HIS CLOAK FOR THE NAJRAN CHRISTIANS TO SIT ON DURING THEIR VISIT

In addition, according to some accounts, our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) attended their weddings, visited their sick, and was generous to them. THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAAS) EVEN SPREAD OUT HIS CLOAK SO THAT THE CHRISTIANS OF NAJRAN WHO CAME TO VISIT HIM COULD SIT ON IT.

 

OUR PROPHET (SAAS) SAID THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK WERE ENTRUSTED TO MUSLIMS

In the agreement which our Holy Prophet (saas) decreed the articles to Ibn Harris ibn Ka’b, who is a Christian, and other Christians:THE RELIGION, CHURCHES, LIVES, CHASTITY AND PROPERTY OF THE ENTIRE CHRISTIANS LIVING IN THE EAST AND THE WEST ARE UNDER THE PROTECTION OF ALLAH, HIS PROPHET (SAAS) AND ALL THE BELIEVERS.None of the people embracing the religion of Christianity will be forced to accept Islam. If one of the Christians suffers murder or injustice, Muslims are obliged to help him,” he narrated the verse: “Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way…” (Surat al-Anqabut, 29/46). (Ibn Hisham, Abu Muhammad Abdu’l-Malik, (v.218/834), as-Seerat an-Nabaweeyat, Daru't-Turasi'l-Arabiyye, Beirut, 1396/1971, IV/241-242; Hamidullah, Al-Wasaiq, s.154-155, No.96-97; Doğu Batı kaynaklarında birlikte yaşama, “Living together in Eastern and Western sources, p. 95)

OUR PROPHET (SAAS) MADE THE HOMES OF THE COMPANIONS AVAILABLE FOR VISITING MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK TO STAY IN

In the time of our Prophet (saas) envoys and delegations visited Medina in groups. Sometimes these groups – including the People of the Book – would stay for more than 10 days, such that the houses of some people such as Abdurrahman bin Awf, Mugire binSube, Abû Ayyub al-Ansarî and Ansar were made available for them. In addition, a tent pitched near the Masjid and where the People of Suffa, who acquired knowledge around the Masjid al-Nabawi, stayed would be prepared for the visitors.Our Prophet (saas) would give documents of privilege (written commands and instructions setting out rights and privileges bestowed on certain groups and individuals in agreements with foreigners)and official texts notifying the lands set aside for them. He would apppoint governors from among them to some regions. Again, in sending alms officials to Muslims, the Holy Messenger would also appoint Christians as non-Muslims capitation tax officials. In fact, these official delegations that arrived were all evidence of the whole Arabian peninsula’s acceptance of the Prophet Muhammed’s (saas) prophethood and dominion. (Saricam, The Prophet Muhammad and His Universal Message, 356.)

ON MATTERS THAT WERE NOT REVEALED, OUR PROPHET (SAAS) WOULD ACT ACCORDING TO THE BEHAVIOR OF THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, NOT THE PAGANS OF MECCA

In Mecca, Rasulullah (saas) opposed the Meccan pagans on subjects on which there had been no revelation, AND ACTED IN THE LIGHT OF THE BEHAVIOR OF THE POEOPLE OF THE BOOK. (Bukhârî, al-Libâs 70; Muslim, al-Fadâ’il 90)

OUR PROPHET (SAAS) SENT COMPANIONS ON HEJIRA TO THE CHRISTIAN NAJASHI

The first Christian country that attracted the interest of our Prophet (saas) before the Hejira and that he desired Muslims to migrate to was Abyssinia. In the face of the ruthless tortures and oppression on the part of the pagans of Mecca, Rasulullah (saas)desired the Muslims of Mecca to migrate to Abyssinia and he expressed those feeling in these words: "If you wish and have the means, seek shelter in Abyssinia. BECAUSE NOBODY IS PERSECUTED IN THE LANDS OF THE KING WHO RULES THERE. THAT IS A TRUE AND SAFE PLACE. STAY THERE UNTIL ALLAH MAKES THINGS EASIER." (Muhammad Hamîdullah, al-Wasaik al-Siyasiyya, (trans.Vecdi Akyuz), Kitabevi, Istanbul 1997,p.115; Hamîdullah, The Prophet of Islam, I,297.)

OUR PROPHET (SAAS) ROSE TO HIS FEET AS THE FUNERAL PROCESSION OF A JEW CAME PAST

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:A funeral procession passed in front of us and the Prophet stood up and we too stood up. We said, “O Allah's Apostle! This is the funeral procession of a Jew.”He said, "Whenever you see a funeral procession, you should stand up." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 398)

Narrated 'Abdur Rahman bin Abi Laila: Sahl bin Hunaif and Qais bin Sad were sitting in the city of Al-Qadisiya. A funeral procession passed in front of them and they stood up. They were told that funeral procession was of one of the inhabitants of the land i.e. of a non-believer, under the protection of Muslims. They said, "A funeral procession passed in front of the Prophet and he stood up. When he was told that it was the coffin of a Jew, he said, "Is it not a living being (soul)?" (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 399)

OUR PEOPHET (SAAS) COMMANDED THAT DHIMMIS ([NON-MUSLIMS] SHOULD NOT BE OPPRESSED

Our Prophet (saas) said: “Whoever oppresses a dhimmi or burdens a weight over him more than he can carry, I will be his enemy.”

OUR PROPHET (SAAS) USED TO SPEAK WITH CHRISTIANS WHEN THE PROPHETHOOD FIRST CAME TO HIM

... Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid ... Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza, who, during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. ... (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)

OUR PROPHET (SAAS) ALLOWED NOBODY TO INTERFERE IN ANYONE ELSE’S RELIGION

Our Prophet (saas) implemented the verse La ikraha fee alddeeni"There is no compulsion in the deen," (Surat al-Baqara, 256) referring to frredom to choose one’s faith, and in the year 630 he issued the following command to the envoys of the ruler of Himyar in order to notify them that they were Muslims:

"A Jew or a Christian are legally equal to believers if they are Muslims. WHOEVER WISHES TO REMAIN A JEW OR A CHRISTIAN, NOBODY SHALL INTERFERE WITH THEM."(Ibn Hishâm, as-Sîra, II, 586)

OUR PROPHET (SAAS) PERSONALLY DID BUSINESS WITH JEWS

One of the values on which Rasulullah (saas) based his relationships with people is honesty. The fact that someone in whom he perceived thayt virtue was from another faith did not prevent him establishing business relations with them. He personally took foodstuffs and loans from the Jews of Medina.

When Rasulullah (saas) died,the assets for the repayment of a loan he had received from a Jew were in an armored chest.

THE AFFECTION OUR PROPHET (SAA) SHOWED THE JEWS DURING THE CAPTURE OF HAYBAR

Among the spoils following the capture of Haybar were copies of the Torah in scroll form. The Prophet (saas) removed these texts from the spoils and ordered that they be restored to the Jews.

Again following the capture of Haybar, Muslim troops began eating from the vineyards and date gardens belonging to the Jews. The Jews complained to our Prophet (saas). And our Prophet (saas) commanded that nobody touches the belongings, vineyards or gardens belonging to the people of the region.

THROUGH THE CONSTITUTION OF MEDINA OUR PROPHET (SAAS) SAID THAT NOBODY SHOULD INTERFERE WITH THE JEWS’ RELIGION

The Prophet Muhammad (saas) allowed the Jews to become a party to the Constitution of Madinah signed with the Aws and Khazraj clans, which permitted them to continue living as a separate religious community. The basis for Muslims’ compassion and understanding of the Jews’ faith and traditions was laid down in the following article: “THE JEWS OF BANU AWF [NON-MUSLIM MINORITIES] ARE A COMMUNITY ALONG WITH THE BELIEVERS. TO THE JEWS THEIR RELIGION, AND TO THE MUSLIM THEIR RELIGION.”

The Compact of Medina, signed by the Muslim immigrants from Mecca, the indigenous Muslims of Medina and the Jews of Medina is another important example of justice. An article of this constitution reads:

"The Jews of Banu 'Awf are one nation with the Muslims; THE JEWS HAVE THEIR RELIGION AND THE MUSLIMS HAVE THEIRS…"

Article 16 of the treaty reads: "The Jew who follows us is surely entitled to our support and the same equal rights as any one of us. He shall not be wronged nor his enemy be assisted."

The Prophet’s (saas) companions remained true to that article in the treaty, even after his death, and even practiced it with regard to Berbers, Buddhists, Brahmans and people of other beliefs.

THE AGREEMENT OUR PROPHET (SAAS) MADE WITH THE CHRISTIANS OF NAJRAN SAID THAT THEY WERE UNDER MUSLIMS’ PROTECTION

The privileges that the Prophet (saas) granted the People of the Book in the settlements of Adruh, Maqna, Khaybar, Najran, and Aqaba prove that Muslims both guaranteed these non-Muslims’ lives and property and recognized their freedom of belief and worship. The following articles of the agreement between our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the Christians of Najran need to be pointed out:

TO THE CHRISTIANS OF NAJRAN AND THE NEIGHBORING TERRITORIES, THE SECURITY OF ALLAH AND PLEDGE OF HIS PROPHET ARE EXTENDED FOR THEIR LIVES, THEIR RELIGION, AND THEIR PROPERTY - TO THOSE PRESENT AS WELL AS THOSE ABSENT AND OTHERS BESIDES;

No bishop shall be removed from his bishopric, nor any monk from his monastery, nor any priest from his priesthood, and they shall continue to enjoy everything great and small as heretofore... They shall not oppress or be oppressed. If anyone demands his right from you, justice will be maintained between you.Neither you will be oppressed, nor will you be allowed to oppress others.

OUR PROPHET (SAAS) BESTOWED MANY AGREEMENTS ON THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK

Various agreements made at the time of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) granted the Jewish and Christian communities certain privileges that guaranteed their rights and existence. The privileges granted to the monks of the St. Catherine Monastery at Mt. Sinai are examples of this. These documents guaranteed the legal, religious, and social rights of those Jews and Christians who came under Muslim rule or acknowledged Islam's sovereignty. Problems were resolved by referring to these documents. For example, the history books mention that the Christians in Damascus presented the documents recording their privileges to Caliph Umar when they encountered a problem and asked him to resolve the issue accordingly.


2011-01-31 12:10:06
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