Month: May 2017

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By Charles Upton

In early May of 2017, the Library of Congress in Washington DC released digital copies of the Covenants of the Prophet. The precious documents were among the 1,687 manuscripts that were microfilmed at the Eastern Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine’s on Mount Sinai in 1949. Part of the LOC’s collection for over nearly seventy years, the Covenants of the Prophet were only previously available to researchers who requested to view them in person.

When Dr. John Andrew Morrow visited the Library of Congress in November of 2014 to study and make digital copies of the Covenants of the Prophet, Margaret Kieckhefer, the Senior Information and Reference Specialist, was stunned: “You are the only scholar who has consulted the Covenants of the Prophet. All the other scholars who come here are only interested in the Christian manuscripts.”

For years, the Covenants of the Prophet were the personal treasure trove of Professor Morrow. As far as other scholars were concerned, the Muhammadan Covenants could only be found at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt. “Considering that many Covenants of the Prophet were destroyed by fanatics and extremists in the past, and that the terrorists of our times are determined to destroy them, I was relieved to know that copies of them were safely stored in the Library of Congress,” explained Morrow.

Reaction to the release of the Covenants of the Prophet has been mixed. As Dr. Morrow expressed, “I am both sad and glad that these invaluable documents have been placed online under public domain. In the past, I had a monopoly over the manuscripts. This allowed me control over content. Anyone who wished to work in the field had to work with me directly or indirectly. Now, the field is wide open to both friends and foes alike. I am glad, however, that other academics will have access to these primary sources and I hope that they will stimulate scholarship for centuries to come.”

Rachida Bejja, a supporter of the Covenants Initiative, viewed the public dissemination of the Covenants of the Prophet as positive: “Prior to the publication of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, there was virtually no knowledge of these documents and even less interest. I am convinced that the Library of Congress published the Covenants of the Prophet online in response to the popularity of Professor Morrow’s ground-breaking book.”

Héctor Horacio Manzolillo, a political commentator and analyst, was far more cynical regarding the public release of the Covenants of the Prophet. “Dr. Morrow is a pioneer in this field. He published The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World in 2013. In 2017, he was set to publish Six Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christian Communities of His Time in over a dozen languages along with the 2-volume Islam and the People of the BookCritical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet. As was well-publicized, he was planning to publish the collection of Muhammadan Covenants he had gathered from Mount Sinai and other archives. That project has been scuttled by the Library of Congress. Their timing is certainly suspicious. It is as if they stabbed Dr. Morrow in the back. If they had the Covenants of the Prophet since 1950, why are they just making them available to the public at this very moment?”

In the mind of Manzolillo, the reason behind the release is clear: “The Covenants of the Prophet are an inconvenient truth. They were hidden for centuries. It was thanks to the work of Dr. Morrow that they were resurrected and made relevant. Since the enemies of truth cannot silence Morrow’s voice, they want to drown it out by opening the floodgates; namely, by financing scholars-for-dollars to refute his findings and marginalize his scholarship. The Covenants of the Prophet present a previously ignored societal model that poses a threat to existing power structures. By championing the Muhammadan Covenants, Morrow has made enemies, not only of non-Muslims but of Muslims as well. Whether they are Sunnis or Shiites, the states they have created are inconsistent with the teachings of the Prophet. They tried to ignore Morrow’s findings but they failed. They tried to co-opt Morrow’s findings but he stood firm. Now they seek dilute his findings and re-direct research to castrate the Covenants of the Prophet, make them apolitical, and transform them into ‘historical curiosities’ without practical applications.”

Whether one is positive or negative when it comes to the decision of the Library of Congress to publicly release the Covenants of the Prophet from the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai, the scholarly foundations established by Dr. John Andrew Morrow will remain firmly entrenched. His academic accomplishments have inspired scores of scholars, including the likes of Abdurrahman Abou al-Majd, Eduardo Wassim Abou Ltaif, Zafar Bangash, Kevin Barrett, Bouchra Belgaid, Craig Considine, Mohamed Elkouche, Rosinda Etchegoyen, Naglaa Hassan, Evangelos Katafylis, Qasim Rashid, Reza Shah-Kazemi, Muhammad Sultan-Shah, Walaa Nasrallah, and Ahmed El-Wakil, among many others who are following in his scholarly footsteps.

As Héctor Manzolillo explained, “Considering the socio-political implications of the Covenants of the Prophet, this scholarly interest is precisely what the powers-that-be wanted to prevent. They have used every means possible to convince people in Higher Education and in high-ranking political positions that the Muhammadan Covenants were forged by monks to protect their lives and to obtain other benefits from Muslim rulers. When the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World was published in 2013, articles and ‘scholarly’ studies surfaced alleging that the treaties in question were false and, indirectly, that Morrow was a liar because he based his findings upon them. Nonetheless, the sun continues to spread its light: the importance and veracity of the Covenants of the Prophet continues to spread in all directions: north, south, east and west. Since the truth of the treaties continues to spread, it seems that a new tactic has been developed to negate their importance and impact, particularly in the field of international politics, since the Covenants demonstrate, once and for all, that all the terrorism that is attributed to Muslims and which is devastating entire regions of the planet is un-Islamic. It has nothing to do with Islam. In fact, it is the invention of the enemies of Islam.”

When asked to help guide students and scholars through the massive collection of manuscripts, Dr. Morrow was as gregarious as ever: “Researchers should be pointed to the main page of the collection: (https://www.loc.gov/collections/manuscripts-in-st-catherines-monastery-mount-sinai/about-this-collection). The reel titled Arabic Firmans 1-48. Covenants of the Prophet and Decrees(https://www.loc.gov/item/00279389013-ms) contains five copies of the Covenant of the Prophet in Arabic. The first three date from 1737-1738, 1778, and 1800-1801, while the final two are undated. Scroll 77: Arabic Firmans 961, Addendum, contains a copy of the Covenant of the Prophet in Arabic (https://www.loc.gov/item/00279389153-ms). Microfilm Turkish Scrolls, Reel 1681, however, contains a much larger collection. It features 43 copies of the Covenant of the Prophet in Ottoman Turkish. The documents in the reel date from the 16th century to the 20th century. They can be accessed via the following link:https://www.loc.gov/resource/amedmonastery.00279388975-ms/?sp=1&st=gallery. The reel titled Arabic Manuscripts 695 contains two copies of the Covenant of the Prophet in Arabic, copied in 1683-84. Finally, Arabic Manuscripts 696 contains a Covenant of the Prophet, in Arabic and Turkish, that was copied in 1561 (https://www.loc.gov/item/00279388963-ms).”

As Dr. Morrow observed, the Covenants of the Prophet from St. Catherine’s Monastery are not the only treasures in its library’s ancient collection. “There are thousands of decrees and edicts from Fatimid Caliphs and Ottoman Sultans, along with Muslim jurists from the major schools of jurisprudence, that require meticulous study. Many of them explicitly confirm the rights and freedoms that the Prophet Muhammad granted to the monks of Mount Sinai.” Asked if he had any closing words for this article, Professor Morrow shook his head and said: “The Library of Congress, for good or bad, has released some of its riches. I pray they will prove profitable to investors in the hereafter instead of being squandered by pirates in search of worldly pleasure.”

Charles Upton was born in 1948. His books include Day and Night on the Sufi PathVirtues of the ProphetReflections of TasawwufThe System of Antichrist, and, with Dr. John Andrew Morrow, The Words of Allah to the Prophet Muhammad: Forty Sacred Sayings. He is also the conceiver of the Covenants Initiative, an international movement of Muslims to protect persecuted Christians, based on Dr. Morrow’s book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. In 1988, he embraced Islam. Since that time, under two shaykhs, he has followed the Sufi path.

By the Covenant Initiative

SHAFAQNA – 1) MUSLIMS ARE HUMAN BEINGS. 1.6 billion people profess the Islamic faith. 1 out of every 5 people on the planet is a Muslim.

2) MUSLIMS ARE DIVERSE. The Muslim community is as diverse as the Christian community. There are Muslims from every imaginable race, nationality, language, and culture.

3) MUSLIMS, LIKE ALL HUMAN BEINGS, HAVE SHORTCOMINGS. Like Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus, Muslims have virtues and vices. This is a fundamental part of the human condition.

4) MOST MUSLIMS PRACTICE TRADITIONAL, CLASSICAL OR CIVILIZATIONAL ISLAM. The mainstream Muslim majority practices moderate forms of Islam. They are Sunnis, Shiites, and Sufis.

5) TRUE ISLAM REJECTS EXTREMISM. Both the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad explicitly condemn religious extremism

6) TERRORISTS ARE A MINORITY. According to the FBI, 0.001% of so-called Muslims are terrorists.

7) EXTREMISTS ARE A MINORITY. According to the FBI, 7% of so-called Muslims support “Radical Islam.” According to the Pew Forum, the overwhelming majority of Muslims oppose ISIS and other terrorist groups.

8) RADICAL ISLAM IS NOT ISLAM. Extremists and terrorists all follow the Salafi / Wahhabi / Takfiri ideology, a radical re-interpretation of “Islam” that surfaced in Saudi Arabia less than two centuries ago.

9) MUSLIMS ARE THE GREATEST VICTIMS OF TERRORISM. Although they target Christians and Yazidis, the greatest victims of so-called “Radical Islam” are Muslims, particularly Shiites, Sufis, and traditional Sunnis. They represent 95% of the victims of terrorism.

10) MOST MUSLIMS ARE LOYAL, LAW-ABIDING, CITIZENS. Most Muslims are concerned primarily with providing for their families and their future. They are our greatest allies against the extremists and terrorists.

11) MANY MUSLIMS ARE ACTIVELY (NOT JUST PASSIVELY) OPPOSING THE TERRORISTS. There are literally hundreds of declarations, fatwas and ongoing campaigns by Muslims to combat terrorism, throughout the Muslim world and in the United States. One anti-ISIS edict was signed by 100,000 Muslim clerics. Another was issued by an Indonesian organization that represents over 50 million Muslims.

12) THE SALAFI-WAHHABI-TAKFIRIS HAVE BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED. In August of 2016, in Grozny, Chechnya, a group fatwa was issued by the Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar University, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, and several Grand Muftis (also seconded by the Russian Council of Muftis), declaring that the “Salafi / Takfirists… Daesh” and “other extremists” are “not Muslim.”

Conceived by Charles Upon (Sidi Akram), the Covenants Initiative was inspired by The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World by Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Sidi Ilyas Islam). Initially established as an international Muslim movement to protect persecuted Christians, the Covenants Initiative expanded its mandate to protect all  victims of Takfiri terrorism, be they Ahl al-Kitab or Ahl al-Qiblah. The central website of the Covenants Initiative is www.covenantsoftheprophet.com. It also operates the Covenants of the Prophet Channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqM3-puvWuKuCEJsDQDZFrA. Its Facebook page is @covenantsoftheprophet

By Dr. John Andrew Morrow

(al-Ustadh al-Duktur Ilyas ‘Abd al-‘Alim Islam)

Why don’t Muslims speak out against terrorism? It is as much a question as it is a statement. It implies that Muslims do not denounce terrorism because they implicitly support it. This is a logical fallacy. According to the New America Foundation, white, right-wing, so-called Christian extremists have killed more than twice as many Americans on US soil than so-called Muslim Jihadists. I have never heard Caucasian, Christian, Americans speak out against white supremacist terrorism. I don’t expect them to.

Asking Muslims if they support ISIS is as idiotic as asking white Christians if they support the Crusades, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Genocide of Native Americans under the name of Christ as Manifest Destiny, the Genocide of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia, the Spanish Inquisition, Western colonialism and imperialism, the Salem Witch Trials, segregation, Jim Crow, the lynching of over 5000 African Americans by “good God-fearing Christian,” the Biblically-justified apartheid in South Africa, the KKK and other white Christian supremacists, the Serbian Orthodox Christians who attempted to exterminate the Muslims and Catholics in the former Yugoslavia, the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda that has butchered 100,000 people in the name of Christ, or the Christian militias in the Central African Republic that are exterminating and cannibalizing Muslims. I know full-well that no true Christian would support such inhumanity.

Although some Christians are ill-intentioned, most are simply ill-informed. In fact, according to a Brookings Poll, 40% of Americans believe that most Muslims oppose ISIS; 14% think most Muslims support ISIS, and 44% believe Muslims are evenly balanced on the issue.

Support for ISIS in the Muslim World – Perceptions vs Reality
Support for ISIS in the Muslim World – Perceptions vs Reality

The fact of the matter is that Muslims speak out. Muslims scream and shout. As a minority that makes up merely 1% of the US population, it is hard for Muslims to get heard.

How many people have heard of ISNA’s Muslim Code of Honor? It denounces extremism and violence.

How many people have heard of the Fatwa against Terrorism and Suicide Bombing? Issued by Dr. Muhammad Tahir al-Qadri in 2010, it states that “Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence and it has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it.” In 2014, he asserted that: “The ISIS ideology is disbelief in Islam. It is anti-Islam; against the teachings of the prophet of Islam.”

How many people have heard of the Covenants Initiative? Inspired by The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, this international movement of Muslims is committed to protecting persecuted Jews, Christians and Muslims, and has been at the forefront of the ideological war against ISIS.

How many people have heard of Bin Bayyah’s fatwa? In September of 2014, Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, one of the most influential scholars in Sunni Islam, passed a lengthy fatwa condemning ISIS.

How many people have heard of the Letter to Baghdadi? Released in September of 2014, is a meticulously detailed refutation of ISIS. It was signed by over one hundred of Islam’s leading scholars and personally directed to the leader of the fake Islamic State.

How many people have heard of the Amman Message? Issued in November 2014, and signed by 200 Islamic scholars from over 50 countries, it calls for tolerance in the Muslim world.

How many people have heard the statement from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation? Released in 2014, it declares that the Islamic State has “nothing to do with Islam” and has committed crimes “that cannot be tolerated.”

How many people have heard of the fatwa from al-Azhar? Issued in 2014, it states that ISIS is “a danger to Islam.” 

How many people have heard of the Statement from the Arab League? Released in 2014, it denounces the “crimes against humanity” carried out by ISIS.

How many people have heard of the fatwa that was passed by Turkey’s top cleric, Mufti Mehmet Gormez? Issued in 2014, it states that ISIS is “hugely damaging” to Islam and Muslims.

How many people have heard of the condemnations made against ISIS by CAIR? Since 2014, they have repeatedly condemned ISIS as “Un-Islamic and morally repugnant.”

How many people have heard of the declaration made by the Muslim Council of Great Britain? Released in 2014, it affirms that “violence has no place in religion.”

How many people have heard of the fatwa published by the Fiqh Council of the Islamic Society of North America? Issued in 2014, and signed by 126 leading Muslim scholars, it asserts that the actions of ISIS are in no way representative of the teachings of Islam.

How many people have heard of the Joint Sunni-Shiite Fatwa issued by 100 U.K. Imams? Released in 2014, it describes ISIS as an “illegitimate” and “vicious group.”

How many people have heard of the statement issued by the Muslim Public Affairs Council? Published in 2014, it condemns ISIS and calls upon Muslim to “stand against extremism.”

How many people have heard of Nahdlatul Ulama? It is the largest Islamic organization in the world, representing 50 million Indonesian Muslims. In 2014, the NU launched a global campaign against extremism and Wahhabism.

How many people have heard of Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqubi thoughts on ISIS? In an interview conducted in 2014, he asserted that “ISIS has no nationality. Its nationality is terror, savagery, and hatred.” Furthermore, he asserted that “Baghdadi is going to hell.”

In 2015, Shaykh al-Yaqubi published a lecture titled Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal of its Religious and Ideological Foundations? In his booklet, he states that ISIS constitutes the most serious threat that Islam has ever faced.

How many people have heard of the jihad that was declared by the Muslim Youth Group in the UK in 2015? They declared that groups like ISIS have “no link with Islam or the Muslim community.”

How many people have heard of the mass fatwa against ISIS? Issued in December of 2015, it has been signed by over 100,000 Muslim clerics from India, Bangladesh, and beyond, and endorsed by millions of Muslims.

How many people have heard of the Marrakesh Declaration? Issued in 2016, and signed by hundreds of major Muslim leaders, it expresses their collective commitment to the cause of human, civil, religious, and minority rights in Muslim countries.

Last but not least, how many people have heard of the Grozny Declaration which excommunicated the Salafi-Takfiris?  A group fatwa issued in Chechnya in 2016 by, among others, the Grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar, the Grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, explicitly declared that “Salafi-Takfirists, Daesh (the so-called ‘Islamic State’) and similar extremist groups” were “not Muslim”.

I can assert with confidence, dismay, and despair, that 99% of non-Muslims have never heard of these efforts. And though millions of Muslims have participated in them, countless millions more have never heard of them. This ignorance is a scandal.

The Pew Research Center, the Washington Institute, ORB International, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, and Zogby all confirm that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are opposed to ISIS.

Support for ISIS in the Muslim World)

I call upon all Muslims who oppose to ISIS, particularly those with sufficient resources to influence the mass media, to dedicate themselves to the publication of these and all other Muslim struggles against Daesh and their co-conspirators to the four corners of the earth. I also call upon our non-Muslim brothers and sisters to share this information with their family, friends, and communities. Millions upon millions have spoken out. It is up to all of us to spread the word.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow is an Amerindian Muslim leader and a proud member of the Métis Nation. After embracing Islam at the age of 16, he became both a Western academic and a traditional Muslim scholar. He is the author of a large body of scholarly works, the most influential of which is The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.

His websites include www.covenantsoftheprophet.com and www.johnandrewmorrow.com.

His videos and lectures can be found on The Covenants of the Prophet Channel on YouTube. His Facebook accounts include @johnandrewmorrow and @covenantsoftheprophet. He can be followed on Twitter @drjamorrow.

BY: JOHN ANDREW MORROW   SOURCE: ISLAMICITY MAY 16, 2017 NO COMMENTS

Introduction

What good is religion if it is confined to private space? What good is religion if it fails to guide us in public life? We should not cast off our convictions, muzzle our morals, put aside our principles, and eject our ethics when we exit our homes. Almighty God, glorified and exalted be He, the Prophets, and the Messengers, peace and blessings be upon them, provided us with enduring values that are applicable at all times and all places. The Ten Commandments cannot be compromised. The Noble Eightfold Path cannot be compromised. The Golden Rule cannot be compromised. The Seven Grandfather Teachings cannot be compromised: humility, bravery, honesty, wisdom, truth, respect, and love, values that are becoming increasingly difficult for indigenous people to embody due to the soulless nature of secular society. So, woe to those who seek to bend and break universal moral values. They have no sense of the sacred.

The Qur’an and the Sunnah

The Prophet Muhammad provided us with guidance in matters of moral law, religious law, personal law, civil law, criminal law, environmental law, and international law. There are over 100 major fields of law: all of which have been addressed by the Hermit of Hira, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah.

Most Muslims read the Qur’an. And while it is wonderful to be able to read it in Arabic, Muslims should also make sure to study its meaning in a language they understand. When in doubt regarding its interpretation, Muslims consult the full-range of traditional commentaries of the Qur’an to see the full spectrum of readings. They should not rely on a single source. Most Muslims are familiar with Hadith literature. This is positive but perilous. Muslims should be extremely careful as to what they read. They should seek the guidance of traditional teachers. They should rely on reason and maintain moderation. They should focus on the spirit and not the letter.

If most Muslims read the Qur’an and some Muslims read the Hadith, few Muslims, however, have read, much less heard of, the letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah wrote (or dictated, as some prefer), hundreds upon hundreds of letters. This is a historical fact. It is indisputable. These documents are found in books of prophetic traditions, books of Qur’anic commentary, books of jurisprudence, and books of history. They form a fundamental part of our Islamic tradition and heritage. As Agapius of Hierapolis, a 10th century Christian author, acknowledged:

Their leader was a man called Muhammad, the son of ‘Abd Allah… He became their chief and king… Christians from the Arabs and others came to him and he gave them a guarantee of safety and wrote documents for them… All the people in opposition to him did likewise, I mean the Jews, the Zoroastrians, the Sabians, and others; they paid allegiance to him and took from him a guarantee of safety on the condition that they would pay him the poll-tax and the land-tax.

Ancient Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Samaritan, and Zoroastrian sources all confirm that the Prophet protected the lives, property, and places of worship of the People of the Book. Churches, monasteries, synagogues, and fire-temples, were all subject to protection.

The Letters, Treaties, and Covenants of the Prophet

If people wish to truly understand the Prophet Muhammad as a religious leader, as a diplomat, as a politician, and as a military strategist, they must absolutely study the letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet Muhammad and his extensive correspondence with Jews, Samaritans, Christians, and Zoroastrians.

Those who read Arabic should study Majmuʻah al-wathaʼiq al-siyasiyyah li al-ʻahd al-nabawi wa al-khilafah al-rashidah by Muhammad Hamidullah. Those who read Arabic should study Makatib al-Rasul by ‘Ali Ahmadi Minyanji. Those who read English should study Power Manifestations of the Sirah: Examining the Letters and Treaties of the Messenger of Allah by Zafar Bangash.

The most comprehensive source in the English language, however, is The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. It is a work that provides an authoritative analysis of prophetic pluralism. After that, I would point readers to Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet, a forthcoming work that should be printed at some point in 2017.

Although I cannot possibly cite hundreds of letters from the extensive and impressive correspondence of the Prophet Muhammad, I will limit myself to reading the Master Template that he used when granting covenants of protection to the People of the Book as reconstructed and translated by Ahmed El-Wakil.

The Master Template of the Muhammadan Covenant with the Christians

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

This is a writ that Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib the Messenger of Allah has written to all Christians and to all the nations within which they reside to protect and to safeguard them because they are Allah’s trust among His Creation, so that there be evidence in their favor and for people to no longer have an excuse in front of Allah after the coming of the messengers. And Allah is All-Mighty and All-Wise.

He wrote it for the people of his creed and to all those who profess the Christian religion — in the Eastern lands and in the West, near and far, be they Arabs or non-Arabs, known or unknown — a writ which constitutes an authoritative covenant, a definitive decree and an established sunnah so that justice may prevail and for it to stand as an inviolable pact of protection.

He who observes it holds to the religion of Islam and is worthy of it. As for he who violates it and jeopardizes the covenant by opposing and transgressing what the Messenger of Allah has commanded therein, he has broken the covenant of Allah, denied His oath, and forsaken his protection thereby making himself subject to the divine curse, regardless of whether he be a Sultan or any other person among the Believers and the Muslims.

I have committed myself to granting the covenants and the pledges which have been requested of me and from all those who follow my creed among the Muslims. I give the Christians the covenant of Allah and His pledge and place them under the safeguard of His prophets, His chosen ones and His saints from among the Believers and the Muslims so that it be binding among the first and the last of them.

My protection and pledge is the most solid that Allah has taken from a prophet who has been sent or from an angel who is stationed near [the divine throne], thereby rendering mandatory the obedience, obligations and adherence to the covenant of Allah.

I protect their land with all my power, my horses, my men, my weapons, my strength and my followers among the Muslims from every region where the enemy lies, whether they be close by or far away, and regardless of whether the Muslims are at peace or at war.

I protect their surrounding areas and grant security to their churches, convents, houses of worship, the places of their monks and pilgrims, wherever they may be found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, the caves or the inhabited regions, the plains, the desert or in buildings, that I should safeguard them, their religion and creed wherever they may be found in the sea or on land, in the East or West in the same way that I protect myself, my entourage, and the people of my creed from among the Believers and the Muslims.

I place them under my protection and I give them my pledge and my security at every moment. I defend them from every harm, mischief and retribution. I am behind them, protecting them from every enemy who wishes us harm. I myself protect them by means of my helpers, my followers and the members of my creed because they are under my responsibility and my protected people whom I govern. I must therefore care for them and protect them of all harm so that it does not reach them unless it first reaches me and my Companions who with me defend the integrity of Islam.

I remove from them all mischief that people of the covenant have to bear of supplies which they give as loaned goods and as land taxes [kharaj] except what they voluntarily consent to and that they should neither be forced nor compelled in this matter.

It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric, a monk from his monastic life, a Christian from his Christianity, an ascetic from his hermitage, or a pilgrim from his pilgrimage. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches or their convents or to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or homes for the Muslims. Whoever does such a thing will have violated the covenant of Allah, opposed His messenger and betrayed the protection granted to him by Allah.

It is not permitted to impose the jizyah or any kind of land tax [kharaj] on monks, bishops and those worshippers who by devotion wear woolen clothing or live alone in the mountains or in other regions secluded from human habitation.

The jizyah for those Christians who have not consecrated their lives to divine worship and who are neither monks nor pilgrims will either be at a rate of 4 dirhams per year or the provision of a garment to support the Muslims and to strengthen the Treasury. If the garment is too difficult for them then it will not be binding upon them unless they willingly consent.

The jizyah will not surpass more than twelve dirhams per year for landowners and proprietors of estates and large businesses at sea and at deep-sea — who exploit mines for precious stones, gold and silver — including those who are wealthy and powerful among those who have professed Christianity so long as they are inhabitants and residents of the land.

The traveler who is not a resident in the land and he who is a foreigner will not have to pay the land-tax [kharaj] or the jizyah except he who has inherited land over which the Sultan has a monetary right. He must pay the money as others do without there being any excesses and he should not be made to bear what is beyond his strength or means in the cultivation, development and harvest of the land. He should also not be taxed excessively and above the limit that has been set for landowners who are inhabitants of the land.

The people under our protection will not be obliged to go to war with the Muslims to face their enemies and to combat them. The reason for this is that they have been given our protection so that they be discharged of this obligation and it is therefore the Muslims who will be responsible for their safety and protection. The Christians will not be obliged to equip the Muslims for any of their wars against their enemies by means of weapons and horses unless they freely contribute of their own volition. Whoever does so will be the object of praise, reward, and gratitude, and his help will not be forgotten.

No one who follows the Christian creed will be forced to enter into Islam — and dispute not with them except with means that are better (Q29:46). They must be covered by the wing of mercy and all mischief and harm that could reach them, wherever they may find themselves and wherever they may be, must be repelled.

If a Christian were to commit a crime or an offense, Muslims must stand by his side, help him and support him. They must safeguard him and pay the penalty for his offense. They should encourage reconciliation between him and the victim to either help or save him.

The Muslims must not abandon the Christians and leave them without help and assistance since I have given them the covenant of Allah to ensure that they have the same rights and obligations as the Muslims. Furthermore, the Muslims have an obligation toward them with respect to the covenant, guaranteeing them the right of protection and safeguarding everything that is sacrosanct. They also have accepted that every mischief be removed from them and that they be bound to the Muslims so that they and the Muslims become partners with one another in the mutual rights and obligations that they share.

Christians must not be subject to suffer abuse in matters pertaining to marriages, except for what they themselves agree. Christian families should not be compelled to marry their girls to Muslims and they should not be subject to any maltreatment if they decline a suitor or refuse a marriage proposal. Such marriages should only take place if they desire them and with their approval and consent.

If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He must support her religious aspirations so that she may receive religious instruction from her [clerical] superiors and he must allow her to fulfill her religious obligations. He must not ever prevent her of this. He must also not force her to act contrary to her religion or abuse her so that she abandons it. If he does this, and forces her, then he has broken the covenant of Allah and violated the pledge [given to the Christians] by the Messenger of Allah, and in the sight of Allah he is among the liars.

The Christians hold the right to request assistance from the Muslims to help them repair their convents, monasteries or for any other matter pertaining to their religious affairs. The Muslims must help them without the aim of receiving any compensation: they should aim to restore that religion out of faithfulness to the covenant of the Messenger of Allah and as a gift and donation to them from Allah and His messenger.

In matters of war between them and their enemies, the Muslims must not employ any Christian as a messenger, guide, helper, informant, or for any other duty of war. Whoever obliges one of them to do such a thing will have committed an injustice, disobeyed the Messenger of Allah and become free of his protection. The Muslims must uphold the stipulations which Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the Messenger of Allah, has issued in favor of those who follow the Christian creed.

He has also placed conditions in their religion concerning their pact of protection which they must abide by as part of the covenant which they have contracted with him. Among other things, none of them are to support an enemy of war against the Muslims, either openly or covertly. They are not to shelter them in their homes from which they could await the moment to launch an attack. These enemies [of the Muslims] should never be allowed to halt in their regions, their villages, their places of worship, or in any other place belonging to their co-religionists. They must not provide any assistance to them by furnishing them with weapons, horses, men or other logistical support. They must not allow them to deposit any of their wealth or exchange any correspondences with them. They are not to host them as guests except that it should be in a monastery where they are seeking refuge and protection for their livelihoods and their religion.

The Christians must host the Muslims along with their mounts for three days and three nights when they halt among them. They must offer them wherever they may be located or stationed the same food that they consume. They are not obliged to do any more, for in fulfilling this obligation they have removed all harm and mischief that may reach the Muslims.

If one of the Muslims needs to hide in one of their homes or in one of their places of worship they must grant him hospitality, help him and stand by his side so long as the Muslim remains in hiding. They must conceal him from the enemy, not disclose his location and accommodate for all of his needs.

Whoever contravenes any of these conditions or transgresses them by altering them has freed himself of the protection of Allah and that of His messenger. The Christians possess the covenants and the pledges which I took from their priests, monks and from other Christians from among the People of the Book. It is the most solid trust that Allah and His prophet have placed on the community so that they may abide by what the Prophet himself has decreed upon them and upon all of the Muslims, to ensure their protection and as benevolence to them until the Hour arrives and the world comes to an end.  Whoever is unjust after this toward a protected person by breaking and rejecting the covenant, I will be his enemy on the Day of Judgment among all the Muslims.

Conclusions

What more could I possibly say? What on earth could I possibly add to the words of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. I am unworthy. His wisdom leave me completely and utterly speechless. Peace be upon the Prophet of Allah. Peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. And peace be upon all the followers of righteous guidance.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow is an Amerindian Muslim leader and a proud member of the Métis Nation. After embracing Islam at the age of 16, he became both a Western academic and a traditional Muslim scholar. He is the author of a large body of scholarly works, the most influential of which is The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. His websites include http://www.covenantsoftheprophet.com and http://www.johnandrewmorrow.com. His videos and lectures can be found on The Covenants of the Prophet Channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqM3-puvWuKuCEJsDQDZFrA . His Facebook accounts include @johnandrewmorrow and @covenantsoftheprophet. He can be followed on Twitter @drjamorrow.