Month: October 2017

Sophia Imaginalis: Journal of Visionary Art, Sacred Art, Traditionalism and Esoteric Studies

By Charles Upton

[This open letter has five themes: the present cultural and socio-political situation in the United State; the Covenants Initiative; the need to prevent metaphysics from devolving into ideology; the application of the doctrines of René Guénon to social analysis; and the plans of the globalist elites to weaken, control or virtually eliminate the world’s major religions.]

Dear Mr.Bannon:

Greetings. I believe that we may have certain things of serious import to discuss, so I have written you this open letter.I am a writer in a genre I call“metaphysics and social criticism”. I am associated with the Traditionalist or Perennialist School of comparative religion and traditional metaphysics, a school considered to have been founded by René Guénon, who I understand has also been a great influence on you.

My publisher, James Wetmore of Sophia Perennis is editor of the collective works of René Guénon and is almost single-handedly responsible for keeping them in print in English.Since 2013 I have been associated with an organization I conceived of called the Covenants Initiative, which has now become an international movement within Islam to counter radical Islamic extremism and defend persecuted Christians. Our movement is based on a truly ground-breaking book by Dr. John Andrew Morrow entitled The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World[Angelico/Sophia Perennis, 2013].

The covenants of the Prophet with various Christian communities, which Dr. Morrow re‐discovered in obscure monasteries and collections and sometimes newly translated, also providing powerful arguments for their validity, uniformly command Muslims not to attack or kill peaceful Christians, rob them, damage their buildings, stop their churches from being repaired, tear down their churches to build mosques, or even prevent their Christian wives from going to church and taking spiritual direction from Christian priests and elders. On the contrary, the Prophet commands all Muslims to actively defend these communities “until the coming of the Hour”—the end of the world.Thus the Prophet Muhammad himself, whose commands are law to every Muslim on earth, declared that groups like the mad dogs of ISIS lay under the curse of Allah before they ever drew breath.

When ISIS burned St. Mary’s Cathedral in Mindanao, the Philippines, in May of this year, the Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao immediately invoked the Covenants of the Prophet to prove that this action was “un-Islamic”. I can confidently state that this was due almost entirely to our efforts. Speaking for myself, I see the Covenants Initiative as—among other things—one of the possible exoteric expressions of the esoteric principle that René Guénon, and his followers in the Traditionalist or Perennialist School, call “the transcendent unity of religions.” And one of the great values of this principle, when applied to society, history, and politics, is that it prevents those who follow it from making an idol out of this or that political ideology, since it teaches them to base their thoughts and actions on eternal metaphysical principles, not ad hoc ideological strategies.

For this reason I have been able, though not without a few wrong steps in my earlier years, to largely steer clear of identifying myself as either a Liberal or a Conservative. Speaking as a Muslim who also accepts the validity of the Christian revelation, I can define American Liberalism as the secularization of Christian Mercy, and American Conservatism as the secularization of Christian Justice and Morality. And the problem with both Liberalism and Conservatism is, precisely, secularization, which is nothing less than an implicit or outright atheism thatacts to drive an unholy and unnatural wedge between Mercy and Justice.

In Christianity—that is, in God—Mercy and Justice are never and can never be separated. The Rulers of the Darkness of This World, however, have done their best to alienate Mercy and Justice from each other and set them at war. They have contrived false and counterfeit forms of them, perverting them both and thereby making both of them hateful to us. Extreme and authoritarian Liberalism, in an act of unparalleled viciousness, has transformed Mercy into what Dr. Morrow calls “compulsory immorality”, into the insidious vice of permissiveness—a cruel permissiveness that loves corruption and targets anyone who struggles to live a life of purity and decency, doing all it can to drive such conscientious people to despair—not simply by giving them no help in their struggles but by portraying their very love of virtue as a kind of self-loathing, and their desire to proclaim that love, and see it take root and grow and spread its loveliness throughout human society, as bigotry and hate.

It has imposed a loathsome regime of “political correctness”, a system which has resulted in an ideologically enslaved population who believe that anyone who does not agree with their own brand of Liberal extremism must be a Nazi or a Klansman or a Russian agent, as well as making them mortally afraid, not only of even the most moderate conservatives, but finally even of their own thoughts, thereby going a long way toward destroying freedom of speech in this country by defining certain opinions, in the terminology of George Orwell’s 1984, as thought crime.

Likewise its distrust of traditional moral values has expressed itself as an attack on Christianity, leading to a serious erosion of freedom of religion as well. It has exploited crucial and necessary efforts like environmental protection, the social advancement of women, and the struggles for survival of often-disadvantaged groups such as Blacks or Gays or Muslim and/or Latino immigrants, into unholy Liberal causes, causes which they then cynically employ to weaken the constitutional rule of law and attack and undermine their political opponents, as well as to impose extreme and destructive social experiments upon an initially unwilling, but often finally beaten and compliant, American public.

In so doing they have built up a backlog of racial and sexual hatred that the extreme Conservatives have no qualms about exploiting openly. And while pretending to still be in some sense “Leftists”, they have suppressed nearly all viable economic and class analysis, replacing it by “ethnic studies”, “gender studies” and a socially engineered racial conflict and hatred between the sexes that has poisoned this society from sea to shining sea. By this they have made Mercy itself hateful to many—and there is no greater crime than this.

Extreme and reactionary Conservatism, drawing partly on its own inherent tendencies and partly on a growing and widespread reaction against the excesses of Liberalism, has transformed the majestic virtue of Justice, Justice which is nothing less than militant Mercy, into a justification for tyranny and oppression, a code-word whose actual meaning and effect is to throw all support to the economic “1 percent” who have looted this country root and branch, destroyed the middle class, further impoverished the poor, made widespread unemployment and underemployment—cleverly concealed behind twisted and lying statistics—into the new normal, hypocritically praised family values while economically attacking and destroying actual families.

In the name of Justice and Morality they have turned the love of virtue into a license to hate and oppress anyone who does not live up to their own often ill-conceived and blindly imposed “moral” standards, recommending thrift and diligence to those who have spent years looking for a job and failed, recommending a stiff upper lip and decreased reliance on opiates to those who are in chronic pain and lack the resources to access more sophisticated treatments—standards they are zealous in imposing on others but often lax in applying to themselves, doing battle with the speck of dust in their neighbor’s eye while ignoring the two-by-four in their own.

They have made war on the poor, denying them health care, denying food stamps to the chronically mal-nourished, while doing all they can to give free rein the predatory economic forces that have brought us the savings-and-loan scandal, the Enron scandal, the sub-prime mortgage scandal, the Great Recession that has made this once rich and hopeful country into a nation of paupers, of old people who can never retire and young people who see no future but to drown themselves in the abyss of cyberspace while being a burden to their parents, who can never make marriages or families, who can never become adults! And their hatred of the poor is only equaled by their hatred of the environment, of the very Earth that sustains us all—even them. In so doing they have transformed the divine virtue of Justice which gives to everyone his or her rightful portion into an armed guard standing watch at the iron gate of the City of Robbery and Usury, making sure that the meek never will inherit the earth, that only the money-changers, those with the blood of the poor and defenseless still hot on their hands, will be granted admittance.

The terminal corruption of both Liberalism and Conservatism is clearly revealed by two sterling examples: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—Clinton, who openly despises the white working class and whose impending though finally derailed election, according to the Defcon website, brought the estimated danger of nuclear war with Russia to its highest level since the Cuban Missile Crisis—and Trump, who—though I applaud his powerful blows against ISIS, his apparently sincere desire to wipe them off the face of the earth—wants to cut Medicaid, deny food stamps to the poorest of the poor, axe environmental protection laws and privatize the national parks, and who—though his stated aim of rationalizing immigration policy to protect the U.S. from foreign terrorists makes a degree of sense, as long as it targets terrorists and not just Muslims—continues to offer inflammatory statements, without retracting them, that many have translated as “open season on immigrants and Muslims”, leading to a massive increase in hate crimes.

And behind both Liberalism and Conservatism lies the Deep State, the cadres of the Global Elites, who believe in nothing whatsoever, only in themselves and in the Satanic principle they worship, and who, from their position of inverted, Luciferian transcendence, can use either Liberal or Conservative ideology as they so choose, cynically, indifferently, with equal force, equal cruelty and equal and conspicuous success, according to which of these two hopeless alternatives the American people happen to have placed their feeble hopes in during a particular decade, a particular presidential administration, a particular year, in order to advance their transformation of this planet into a living hell .That’s why I thank the living God every day that He has led me to the noble science of metaphysics—and, in so doing, freed me from ideology.

Remember, Mr. Bannon—and I call on myself also to remember—that there is no Mercy without Justice and Morality; whoever believes in the contradiction of an unjust Mercy will be sorely punished by being transformed into a Liberal. Likewise there is no Justice without Mercy; whoever believes in the impossibility of a merciless Justice as will be severely chastised by being turned into a Conservative. What has Almighty God to do with flimsy human categories like Liberalism or Conservatism, the Left or the Right?

God is of neither the East nor the West: He is the Inner, the Outer, the End, the Beginning, the Highest of all, the Deepest of all, the Center of all, the Total Field—Light upon Light. To whom or what else should we turn to learn what Mercy is, and what Justice is, and how to enact them, and where to find the power to enact them? There is much good in liberality, in generosity, in compassion, in catholicity of taste, in breadth of sympathy—but Liberalism is a travesty.

Likewise there is much good in tradition, in holding to the right, in militantly protecting and defending the good, the true and the beautiful—but Conservatism is a curse. God is far above such weak and shameful human attempts to do His work for Him. And what is God? God—Mr. Bannon, and my dear friends—God is Love: Love Who is the sweetest of Mercies and the most relentless hand of Justice in a single, incandescent, thunderous, face of Truth.

By whatever Name He may be known, His is the standard I bear. So if you really want to do Justice to the profound truths that René Guénon has revealed to us, and find Mercy in them, and thereby grasp the essence of the great God-given religions, of Judaism and Hinduism, of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, of Christianity and Islam, then take care that you never espouse a principle or give support to a policy that violates either the Justice, or the Mercy, of Love—because if you do, you will have joined the army of the Enemies of Love, and thereby made Love Himself your enemy, that being a fate more terrible than human words can express.

So what is my purpose in sending you this message? To begin with, I simply wanted to alert you to the fact that a movement like the Covenants Initiative, which has already had great influence in the Muslim world and has gained a degree of notice in the Christian world as well, could have come out of the work of two American Muslims, Dr. John Andrew Morrow and myself, over the past four years. I hope that this piece of information will provide you with a new point of reference and challenge you to entertain the possibility that American Muslims might have a greater and more active role to play in the struggle against radical Islamic extremism than simply protesting their innocence and issuing disclaimers—a role based on the commands of the Prophet Muhammad himself.

Secondly, I felt that it might be useful for you to realize that a person such as myself with an early Catholic background like yours, someone who considers himself a follower of René Guénon just as you do, could have unexpectedly risen from obscurity to play a real though modest part in world affairs in the 21st Century. What is going on here? Most of my colleagues in the Traditionalist School in the English-speaking world have long resigned themselves to social marginalization, willingly accepted their apparent duty to keep the lamp of traditional metaphysics burning, even though we might have to hide it under a bushel basket to prevent it from being snuffed out by the Darkness of This World.

That some version of Traditionalist doctrine, which we had considered to be essentially a-political, could suddenly rise to prominence in the United States, Russia and elsewhere in terms of various political ideologies, has come as a real shock to many of us. Our surprise can partly be explained by the de-emphasis of Julius Evola in our branch of Traditionalism, since Evola has been the main road for many toward a political application ofGuénon’s ideas. Yet when the covenants of the Prophet suddenly appeared in my life, due to the ground-breaking research of Dr. John Andrew Morrow, I immediately saw that they represented a legitimate and entirely Traditional way of applying the Traditionalist doctrine of the transcendent unity of religions to social action.

This development has all the marks of a prophetic sign—but a sign of what? Is Traditionalism finally “coming into its own”? Or has the Darkness of This World at last found a way to co-opt and neutralize it? These are matters that merit serious discussion. Third and last, if there ever was a time when the world’s religions need to stand together against their common enemies, it is now. The forces of militant secularism, false magical/psychic religion and fundamentalist extremism are attacking all the God-given religions.

The time is therefore ripe for a “united front ecumenism” that recognizes this threat and begins the serious work of developing strategies to counter it. Unexpectedly, Guénon’s categories from The Reign of Quantity have proved highly useful for analyzing the emerging globalist hegemony; this is partly due to the fact that, at least since the Iranian Revolution, religion has begun to have a greater influence on social change and social conflict than (perhaps) at any time since the Reformation. One face of this hegemony is the direct atheist/secularist attack on religious faith; this would correspond to Guénon’s “Anti-Tradition.” The false magical or psychic religion of the New Age, its predecessors and successors, fits Guénon’s definition of “Pseudo-Tradition”. And the Luciferianism of the global elites expresses the very essence of his categories of “Counter-Tradition” and “Counter-Initiation”.

The globalist master plan to wipe the traditional religions off the face of the earth is based on two main strategies. The first is to weaken the faiths by infiltrating them with Pseudo-Traditional doctrines and practices, many of which are based on the idea that all the religions are naturally “evolving” toward one universalist meta-religion which will incorporate the “best” of each in the process of supplanting all of them—a meta-religion of which the globalist elites themselves would constitute the priesthood.

The long-term Freemasonic attack against Roman Catholicism is perhaps the clearest and most successful example of this strategy. (Parenthetically, the greatest contradiction—and irony—in Guénon’s doctrines is his hope that Masonry could be used to re-introduce a true esoteric spirituality into the Western world; he never seems to have realized that the Freemasonic lodges almost perfectly satisfy his own definition of Counter-Initiatic organizations.)

And even if the goal of a One-World Religion, or a federation of all the world’s religions under a single secular authority, is never in fact attained, nonetheless the push for it will have so weakened the traditional religions that they will no longer be able to stand in any effective way against the globalist hegemony. One of the tools employed by the global elites in their attack on the traditional religions is the established Interfaith Movement, which is heavily subsidized and directed by national governments, including the U.S. State Department, as well as various globalist foundations and think-tanks. (This criticism certainly does not apply to all Interfaith organizations, nonetheless the globalist influence remains a dangerous factor which is not often recognized for what it is.)

The globalist-influenced Interfaith Movement influences the religions to soft-pedal various “divisive” doctrines in the name of “tolerance” and “unity”, thus weakening their basic structure and making them more vulnerable to Pseudo-Traditional incursions. The Traditionalist doctrine of the transcendent unity of religions is strictly opposed to this sort of promiscuous Liberal ecumenism since it takes the differences between the faiths as providential and sees their unity not as a desirable worldly possibility but as a transcendent reality; the paths of the various faith finally come together only in God.

Likewise the Covenants Initiative does not require any degree of doctrinal unanimity between Islam and Christianity outside the belief in One God, necessarily supplemented by the understanding that any traditional religion that affirms this belief will find itself a target of the globalist elites. The second strategy, conceived and directed by these same elites, is to subsidize the various radical fundamentalist movements within the traditional religions—movements which, ironically, have often grown up as blind, narrow-minded and ill-conceived reactions against globalism: a perfect example of the venerable technique of the “controlled opposition”.

The radical fundamentalists—who are actually another form of Anti-Tradition—are useful to the elites because they tend to oppose and attack both the religious tradition out of which they have developed, seeing it as degenerate and heretical, and all the other religions as well, seeing them as false, Satanic counterfeits of the True Faith. This allows the elites to turn various hired religious or pseudo-religious terrorist organizations—ISIS is a prime example—against both the religion they profess to follow and every other traditional faith they can get their hands on.

This is why I believe that the meta-strategy of the globalists in supporting Islamic terrorism is to neutralize ALL the religions. After all, why should an elite cadre of oligarchs backed by global finance who aspire to world domination sit back and do nothing when the beliefs and aspirations and moral standards of billions of people are determined by “out-moded” religious institutions that they do not control? And if anyone still doubts that both “religious tolerance” and mutually-destructive inter-religious war could be subsidized by the same people at the same time for the same purpose, I can report from personal experience that, during the Obama administration, the Christian/Muslim Dialogue in my home town Lexington, Kentucky was hosting speakers from Homeland Security, the Federal Attorney’s Office, the State Department and the FBI, at the very same time that this same administration, via the CIA and other entities, was subsidizing and directing the Arab Spring and the growth of ISIS.

I refer those who still remain incredulous when faced with this claim to an article by Seumas Milne that appeared in the Guardianin June of 2015, entitled “Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq”. It maybe viewed at:

In conclusion, I only wish to point out that the emerging globalist hegemony, whether or not it finally takes the form of a One-World Religion or incorporates such a religion as one of its “ministries”, perfectly fits the prophesy of René Guénon, in The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, that the Counter-Tradition will ultimately express itself in terms of a visible organization that would be “the counterpart, but by the same token the counterfeit, of a traditional conception such as that of the ‘Holy Empire’”—a regime controlled by an “inverted hierarchy” which would be nothing less than the kingdom of Antichrist, the one that we Muslims call al-Dajjal, “the Deceiver”.

But still the question remains: what does it mean that the doctrines of an abstruse and reclusive French metaphysician who died in 1951 have been one of the factors that have brought both of us to our respective commitments to social action in this darkest of times in human history, the final days of the Kali-yuga? It’s a question worth discussing.

Explore the groundbreaking work and thought of Charles Upton here:

Por Taraneh Tabatabai

SHAFAQNA – El Dr. John Andrew Morrow, autor, activista y ganador de premios académicos, recibió un Certificado de Reconocimiento Especial por parte del Congreso de EEUU en el Centro Cultural IMAN en Los Ángeles (California) el 24 de septiembre de 2017.

El extraordinario reconocimiento al Dr. Morrow fue dado por su conferencia sobre “Los Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo”, publicado ahora como un libro.

El reconocimiento, firmado por Karen Bass ―miembro del Congreso de California por el distrito 37―, fue dado por la señora Parvaneh Kadivar, quien describió al profesor Morrow como “un escritor prolífico, un erudito  acreditado y un buen ser humano que ha dedicado su vida a la construcción de puentes entre las comunidades de fe diversa, invirtiendo su vida en la búsqueda de la verdad documentada”.

Dijo el Dr. Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) durante su conferencia sobre Los Pactos: “Teniendo en cuenta que la continuación del conflicto entre cristianos y musulmanes en todo el mundo ha sido artificialmente impulsado por las fuerzas del imperialismo ―especialmente en África, Oriente Medio y Asia―, el contenido de estos documentos históricos que son de un valor inestimable, puede arrojar luz sobre la historia temprana del Islam. Por medio de la información que provee esta documentación, somos testigos de la relación primordial entre los musulmanes y el Pueblo del Libro. Por lo tanto, estos Pactos pueden servir como fuente de inspiración para el establecimiento de una armonía sin igual entre las tres religiones abrahámicas: judaísmo, cristianismo e Islam”.

Relations between Muslims and Christians have been described as a centuries-old “clash of civilizations,” a binary worldview in which “Western Christendom” is “civilized” and the “Muslim world” is backward. This clash of civilizations proclaims that Western values and Islamic values are mutually exclusive and cannot coexist alongside one another in the same society or nation.

Current relations between Muslim and Christian communities are negatively shaped, even further, by the persecution of Muslims in Western countries and the persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries, especially across the Middle East. Considering these all-too-avoidable realities, it is essential to distinguish the rise of Islamophobia among Christians and the mistreatment of Christians by Muslims from Prophet Muhammad’s revolutionary Covenants. Simply, these Covenants are a set of charters or writs ratified by Prophet Muhammad which grant protection and other human rights to Christian communities in his midst. They help to contextualize current affairs and provide us with the necessary tools to build a more just world in which Muslims and Christians can live alongside one another in peace.

Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christian Community

While long known to religious scholars, Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christians of his time have largely been neglected or ignored by Muslim and non-Muslim leaders and policy makers alike. These Covenants, which have been resting for centuries in old monasteries and libraries across the world, have been made accessible to non-specialists thanks largely to Dr. John Andrew Morrow, author of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. In his book, Morrow describes the Covenants as:

a clear rejection of classism, elitism, and racism… all [people under the jurisdiction of the Covenants] are equal before God for whom the most important thing is not language, skin color, social status or class position, which exclude others, but rather the degree of piety, humanity, love for others (which includes not only human beings but the entire natural order), sincerity of faith, the acceptance of His Commandments, and complete certainly as to the special place occupied by His Prophets, Messengers, and Imams.

Morrow refers to the Covenants as the third foundational source of Islamic scripture, and as entirely compatible with the Qur’an and Hadith. These documents uniformly command Muslims not to attack peaceful Christian communities, rob them, stop churches from being built, or tear down churches to build mosques.

One of the most well-known Covenants is that of “The Covenant of the Prophet with the Monks of Mount Sinai,” which has been housed at Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt for the last nine centuries. According to the Covenant with the Christians of Mount Sinai, a “Muslim nation” must extend protection to Christian communities including their buildings and leaders. Consider the following passage from this Covenant:

A bishop shall not be removed from his bishopric, nor a monk from his monastery, nor a hermit from his tower, nor shall a pilgrim be hindered from his pilgrimage. Moreover, no building from among their churches shall be destroyed, nor shall the money from their churches be used for the building of mosques or houses for the Muslims.

So long as the monks of Mount Sinai submitted to Muslim authorities and sought the protection of Muslims, Prophet Muhammad was prepared to support them. Indeed, under the Prophet’s egalitarian vision, the Christian monks of Mount Sinai received the special statuses of dhimmi, or “protected peoples,” and al-mu’minin, or “the faithful.” This worldview is also one that supports democratic principles, such as the right to private property and freedom of religion.

Religious pluralism is clearly a central theme of the Covenants. According to Professor Diana Eck of the Harvard University Pluralism Project, religious pluralism is, among many things, an energetic engagement with religious diversity, as well as between religious communities. Religious pluralism involves speaking and listening as well as criticism and self-criticism, between and within religious communities. While religious pluralism has been discussed primarily as a Western sociological construct, as the Covenants reveal, the West does not have a monopoly on religious pluralism. The concept has a long history amongst philosophers of Islam and theologians of various schools of fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence.

The Prophet’s Example

The freedom that Prophet Muhammad granted to the monks of Mount Sinai directly contrasts with the actions of ISIS, a group which persecutes and attacks Christian communities in their midst. In February 2017, The Washington Post reported that Christians had recently been forced to flee the Sinai Peninsula in fear of attacks by Egypt’s ISIS affiliate. ISIS had targeted hundreds of Coptic Christians, as well as Coptic clergymen and human rights activists. Several deadly skirmishes have also taken place between Egyptian military forces and ISIS operatives, near the walls of Saint Catherine’s.

To confront these developments, Pope Francis traveled to Egypt in April 2017 in the hope of countering attacks on Christians and building bridges between Muslim and Christian communities. In a speech he gave at an international conference in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the Pope called on Muslim and Christian leaders to build a “new civilization of peace” by declaring together “a firm and clear ‘no’ to every form of violence, vengeance and hatred carried out in the name of religion and in the name of God.”

The Pope’s message of peace is clearly echoed in Prophet Muhammad’s Covenant with the monks of Mount Sinai:

If a monk or pilgrim seeks protection, in mountain or valley, in a cave or in tilled fields, in the plain, in the desert, or in a church, I am behind them, defending them from every enemy; I, my helpers, all the members of my religion, and all my followers, for they [the monks and the pilgrims] are my protégés and my subjects.

I protect them from interference with their supplies and from the payment of taxes save what they willingly renounce. There shall be no compulsion or constraint against them in any of these matters.

Prophet Muhammad made it obvious that protecting Christians was a priority under his leadership. What this passage also makes apparent is that in the levying of the jizya—the poll tax on Christian communities which was similar to the Islamic “spiritual tax” or zakat—Muslim leaders should not extract money if Christians are unable to pay the tax. Rather, Prophet Muhammad asks Muslims to negotiate with the Christians on these and other matters, without forcing them into an agreement or committing any violence against them. Such conditions were clearly stated in several other Covenants, including the “The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of the World,” “The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of Persia,” and “The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of Najran.”

“The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of Najran” stems from the Prophet’s early contact with the Christians of Najran around the second year of the hijrah, or great migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina. Around 631 CE, Prophet Muhammad sent letters to various religious and ethnic communities in the region, encouraging them to embrace Islam and accept his authority. The Najrans lived approximately 450 miles south of Medina in what is modern-day Yemen. Although they did not accept Prophet Muhammad’s call to Islam, the Christians of Najran sent a delegation of roughly forty-five scholars and fifteen assistants to Medina. When they arrived, Prophet Muhammad allowed these Christians to pray inside his mosque. Together, they later agreed to the Treaty of Najran, which, according to Abu Bakr, one of the Prophet’s senior companions, conferred complete religious and political autonomy to non-Muslims living in the Islamic state.

As the Covenant with the Christians of Najran underscores, Prophet Muhammad was a religious pluralist who engaged in a form of proactive cooperation with other religious groups, for the sake of the well-being of all members of the Islamic state. Consider this passage from the Covenant with the Najrans:

The Muslims must not abandon the Christians, neglect them, and leave them without help and assistance since I have made this pact with them on behalf of Allah to ensure that whatever good befell Muslims it would befall them as well and that whatever harm befall Muslims would befall them as well.

A similar passage is found in the Covenant with the monks of Mount Sinai, in which Muslims and Christians are asked to work alongside one another:

If in the interest of the benevolent Muslim public, and of their faith, Muslims shall ask of the Christians for assistance, the latter shall not deny them that help, as an expression of friendship and goodwill, they are to render… we deem all help and succor rendered to them every way legitimate.

These passages command Muslims and Christians to depend upon one another for both safety and prosperity. In doing so, they align closely with the Qur’an (16:91): “And fulfill the covenant of Allah, when you have made a covenant, and do not break (your) oaths after making them firm, and you have indeed made Allah your surety. Surely Allah knows what you do.” In this Qur’anic passage, God proclaims that mutual dependence between Christians and Muslims fosters a sound and healthy society. The sense of justice exuding from the passage can help to protect society from bitterness and violation of human rights.

Civic principles were also important to Prophet Muhammad’s vision for an Islamic state. The Prophet refused to allow the Islamic state to devalue citizens based on their ethnicity, religion, race, or cultural orientation. In the Covenant with the Christians of the World, he made it clear that he would not inflict harm on Christians or interfere with their privacy, simply because they were Christians:

The covenant of Allah is that I should protect their land, their monasteries, with my power, my horses, my men, my strength, and my Muslim followers in any region, far away or close by, and that I should protect their businesses. I grant security to them, their churches, their businesses, their houses of worship, the places of their monks, the places of their pilgrims, wherever they may be found.

The rights that Prophet Muhammad granted to Christians in his realm are neutral in nature. He did not grant different rights to different religious communities. Nor did the Prophet pursue policies that would result in the disenfranchisement of Christians. Citizenship, as outlined in the Covenants, relied on the right of all people to have a “fair hearing” of their views and “fair protection” of their interests and lives, regardless of their beliefs or religious preference.

Toward Religious Pluralism

The Covenants—alongside the Qur’an and Hadiths—attest to Prophet Muhammad’s support for religious pluralism and equal citizenship rights. The Qur’an (2:256) underscores the correctness of this belief, stating, quite clearly, that “There shall be no compulsion in religion.”

This should come as no surprise to those individuals and groups who have a clear understanding of the place of Christian communities in the Islamic tradition. A special place is reserved in Islamic scripture for Christians, as well as Jews. The Qur’an refers to both populations as ahl al-kitab (“People of the Book”), or people who have received the word of God. As the Qur’an (2:62) notes:

Those who believe in the Qur’an and those who follow the Jewish scriptures, and the Christians and the Sabians – any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Without a doubt, the Covenants offer a blueprint for advancing freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, and civic rights in “Muslim nations” and beyond. In the context of Islam, the Covenants remind us that the ummah is a form of social consciousness and an imagined community where Christians are also treated as “righteous believers.” This egalitarian creed, which stands for freedom and equality, entitles Christians and other non-Muslim communities to a secure and protected place in all Islamic societies.

So what can be done to improve relations between Muslims and Christians worldwide? It is simple: follow the example that Prophet Muhammad set by fostering religious pluralism and citizenship rights in societies across the world.

Posted by

19 Oct, 2017

Australasian Muslim Times 

Dr John Morrow recognised by US Congress

Dr John Andrew Morrow, the award-winning academic, author, and activist, received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition at the IMAN Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California on 24 September 2017.

The extraordinary recognition to Dr Morrow was given for his presentation of a lecture on The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, that has now been published as a book.

The recognition, signed by Karen Bass, Member of Congress for California’s 37th District, was presented to Dr Morrow by Mrs Parvaneh Kadivar, who described Professor Morrow as “a prolific writer, an accomplished scholar, and a fine human being who has devoted his life to building bridges between and among the diverse faith communities and who has spent his life in search of truth in scrolls and scriptures.”

During his lecture on the covenant Dr Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) said, “Considering that the continued conflict between Christians and Muslims across the world has been artificially ignited by the forces of imperialism, especially in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the content of these priceless historical documents can shed light on the early history of Islam. Via this information, we are witness to the primordial relationship between Muslims and People of the Book. Thus, these covenants can serve as a source of inspiration for the establishment of insuperable harmony between the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

 15 de octubre de 2017

SHAFAQNA – Por: Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam)

Como parte del “gran juego” que tuvo lugar a finales del siglo XIX y comienzo del siglo XX, las potencias occidentales conspiraron para dividir y destruir la ummah (comunidad) musulmana por medios tanto suaves como violentos. Se inició entonces una campaña de propaganda dirigida a socavar el Imperio Otomano interna y externamente.

El objetivo era convencer a musulmanes, cristianos y judíos de diversos orígenes étnicos, lingüísticos, culturales y tribales, que el mundo otomano era una fuente de estancamiento científico mientras que el mundo occidental era la encarnación del progreso. Lo que se desarrolló fue, en gran medida, una guerra entre lo religioso y lo secular, entre quienes creían en Dios y lo negaban.

Siguiendo la antigua estrategia imperial del divide et impera (divide y vencerás), los británicos, franceses y alemanes convencieron a las diferentes comunidades confesionales que estaban siendo oprimidas bajo el gobierno otomano y que tenían derecho a poseer sus propios estados-naciones homogéneos. ¡Arabia para los árabes! ¡Una patria para los judíos en Palestina! ¡Una república para los armenios! Y ¡un país para los kurdos!

De esa manera los imperialistas occidentales seculares consiguieron destruir el Imperio Otomano, erradicar de la Tierra el Islam como poder político y dividir a la poderosa ummah (comunidad) musulmana en un sinnúmero de estados-naciones débiles. Pero al no inventar esas naciones-estados con características étnicas y lineamientos religiosos claros y definidos, podrían ser usadas para que choquen entre ellas en el futuro. (Si bien eso sucedió), los kurdos, que participaron activamente en el exterminio de comunidades cristianas en el papel de instrumento de los imperialistas occidentales, se quedaron en definitiva sin el Kurdistán prometido por sus amos infieles.

Los nómadas kurdos, una antigua población de origen incierto, eventualmente desarrollaron un sentido de identidad étnica y solidaridad alrededor de los siglos XII y XIII. Aunque los imperialistas occidentales estimularon sus aspiraciones nacionales, el comienzo del siglo XX los encuentra esparcidos por distintas naciones: Siria, Turquía, Irak, Irán y Azerbaiyán.

La decisión de tener escindidos a los kurdos era deliberada. A pesar de que fueron traicionados por los poderes occidentales que los utilizaron cuando se rediseñaron las fronteras en la zona luego de la Primera Guerra Mundial, siguieron siendo fieles a sus (mandamases extranjeros) traidores y se volvieron más laicos que los musulmanes. Sus actuales amos infieles ―sionistas y norteamericanos― los atendieron convenientemente al considerarlos elementos valiosos para instrumentar en Oriente Medio la sedición interna, la división y la discordia desestabilizadora.


(Por su parte) los kurdos, en su papel de aliados incondicionales de norteamericanos e israelíes, se benefician de una campaña de relaciones públicas positiva en el mundo occidental, donde se presentan como liberales progresistas, democráticos y seculares cuando, en realidad, su ideología comunista maoísta y su comportamiento criminal se compara al de los guerrilleros de Sendero Luminoso, quienes aterrorizaron Perú durante décadas.

El líder del PKK (Partido de los Trabajadores del Kurdistán) ―Abdullah Öcalan― tiene la compasión de una cobra y sus combatientes han cometido crímenes de guerra de todo tipo. Lo mismo ocurre con las YPG (Unidades de Protección del Pueblo): como aliadas de los Estados Unidos e Israel, se confabularon con el ISIS para limpiar, arrasar a los árabes musulmanes y asirios cristianos del territorio que sería en un futuro la “patria” de los kurdos.

La mayor parte de lo que se presenta en los mapas como “Kurdistán”, es el territorio tradicional de los cristianos asirios. Se trata de zonas que fueron capturadas, ocupadas y reclamadas por los kurdos a través de un proceso de limpieza étnica que comenzó a finales de 1800, se intensificó a principio de 1900 y parece estar queriéndose ponerle el broche final antes que finalice el actual decenio.

Si los imperialistas finalmente logran su cometido, habrá un país para árabes suníes en partes del norte de Irak y Siria, un país para árabes shiitas en el sur de Irak y un país para los kurdos, luego del robo de territorio de Siria, Irak, Turquía e Irán. La creación de Kurdistán en tierras asirias es equivalente a la creación de Israel en tierras palestinas. Es una injusticia histórica de proporciones catastróficas.

En lugar de vivir en un falso presente, los musulmanes necesitan revivir un pasado basado en hechos para comprender las mentiras de esta época. ¿Quiénes son los asirios y quiénes los kurdos? ¿Qué relación tienen los musulmanes con los asirios? ¿Cuáles son nuestras obligaciones hacia ellos? Es necesario y obligatorio responder estas preguntas.

Según antiguos relatos asirios e islámicos, un Obispo cristiano llamado Sa’id junto a una delegación, visitó al Profeta Muhammad. El Obispo aceptó pagar el tributo correspondiente al Profeta en función de que los musulmanes garantizaran a los cristianos asirios el disfrute de la libertad de culto. Puesto que los asirios en cuestión provenían de Hakkari en Mesopotamia, la cédula al efecto fue escrito en lengua persa.

A la misma se la conoce bajo el nombre de Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos Asirios. Este inestimable documento fue transmitido de generación en generación por la familia Shimun, los patriarcas herederos de la iglesia Asiria de Oriente. La redacción original o “firman” del Mensajero de Dios fue realzada al hacérsela en un pergamino con letras de oro y escrito de manera circular alrededor de la impresión de la palma de la mano del Profeta estampada en el centro. Junto con ese Pacto, el Profeta entregó a la familia patriarcal una daga con un mango de plata en el que había una porción de coral rojo, en tanto que en la hoja había una inscripción con incrustaciones de oro.

El origen del Pacto del Profeta con los Cristianos Asirios se encuentra sólidamente establecido según criterios históricos (Nota del traductor: Los criterios históricos no establecen per se una verdad. En el tratamiento histórico lo que fundamenta la aceptación de la verdad es la actitud crítica de peso. Es decir, que el juicio de algo se arraigue en cuestiones demostrables y basadas en análisis rigurosos. Es lo que hace el Dr. Morrow en el tratamiento de este y otros Pactos).  Se lo atribuye al Profeta († 632 C.) y fueron testigos del mismo sus Compañeros (siglo VII C.). Sus principios fueron respetados por Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman y ‘Ali (632-661 C.). Las protecciones (a los cristianos asirios) que albergaba, resultaron ejemplares para Maris (siglo XII C.), Bar Hebraeus (1226-1268 C.) y Amrus (siglo XIV C.).

Su autenticidad fue confirmada por Asahel Grant (1841); Horatio Southgate (1856); Adolphe d ‘Avril (1864); Thomas William Marshall (1865); Bedr Khan Beg († 1868), su hijo y su nieto; Vital Cuinet (1891); Saturnino Ximénèz (1895); Earl Percy (1901); la Sociedad para la Propagación del Evangelio en el Extranjero (1904); George David Malech (1910); William Ainger Wigram (1910, 1920 y 1929); Abraham Yohannan (1916); Surma D’Bait Dar Shimun (1920); JG Browne (1937); Jeanne Aubert (1938); William Chauncey Emhardt y George M. Lamsa (1970); Carleton Stevens Coon (1972); John Joseph (1983); Gabriele Yonan (1996); Albert Edward Ismail Yelda (2001, 2002, 2004); AM Hamilton (2004); RS  Stafford (2006); Theodore D’Mar Shimun (2008); Areej Zufari (2012); John Andrew Morrow (2013 2015, 2017); los cientos de firmantes de la Iniciativa de los Pactos (2013 hasta la actualdiad) y Aḥmed El-Wakil (2016).

El Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos Asirios fue depositado en la Catedral de Mar Zaia, el principal pueblo de Jilu, en las montañas de Hakkari. Era tomado de allí todos los años para una celebración especial, ocasión en la que un clérigo musulmán lo leía púbicamente a los cristianos e islámicos. Su texto ha permanecido en la conciencia colectiva de ambas comunidades de la región desde el siglo VII C. hasta el presente.

¿Qué sucedió con el Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos Asirios, preciosa reliquia del siglo VII C. dictada directamente por el Mensajero de Allah a los seguidores de Cristo que habitaban la región de Hakkari?

El glorioso líder de los kurdos Bedr Khan Beg (1803-1868) declaró la guerra a los cristianos asirios, es decir, a los mismos a los que el Profeta Muhammad ―la paz y las bendiciones sean con él― les dio protección. Bedr masacró a más de diez mil, agredió sexualmente a sus hijas y mujeres, destruyó sus casas y quemó sus iglesias, catedrales y monasterios.

Y, ¿qué pasó con el Pacto otorgado por el Profeta? Fue destruido durante las masacres antes mencionadas a lo largo la década de 1840 por Bedr Khan Beg, último caudillo del emirato de Bohtan.

(Por lo tanto,) el nacionalismo kurdo se construye sobre la sangre de los cristianos asirios, tierras robadas en función de intereses antirreligiosos y la profanación y destrucción sacrílega del Pacto del Profeta. Como musulmanes, debemos ubicarnos junto a nuestro Profeta. Y nuestro Profeta ―la paz y las bendiciones sean con él― defendía y apoyaba a los cristianos asirios. Lo testimonia claramente:

Dios me ha dicho en una visión qué hacer, y yo confirmo Su Orden dando mi promesa solemne de mantener este acuerdo. (Nota del traductor: se refiere al respaldo a los cristianos asirios a través de lo enunciado en el Pacto con ellos). 

Digo a los seguidores del Islam: lleven a cabo mi orden, protejan y ayuden al pueblo nazareno (es decir, a los cristianos) en este país nuestro, en sus propias tierras. 

Dejen en paz sus lugares de culto; ayuden y asistan a su jefe y a sus sacerdotes cuando necesiten ayuda, (ya sea que) estén en las montañas, en el desierto, en el mar o en su casa. 

Dejen en paz todas sus posesiones, se trate de viviendas u otras propiedades, no destruyan nada de sus pertenenciaslos seguidores del Islam no dañarán ni molestarán a ninguno de esta nación, porque los nazarenos son mis súbditos, me pagan tributo y ayudarán a los musulmanes. 

No se recogerá de ellos ningún otro tributo más que el acordadosus iglesias quedarán como están,no pueden ser destruidas, modificadas o reemplazadas por otros edificios, sus sacerdotes podrán enseñar y adorar a su manera, los cristianos tienen plena libertad de culto en sus iglesias y hogares.

Ninguna de sus iglesias será derribada o convertida en mezquita, excepto que se lo haga con  el consentimiento y libre decisión de los nazarenos. Si alguien desobedece esta orden, la ira de Dios y Su Profeta serán sobre él. 

El tributo pagado por los cristianos se dedicará a promover la difusión del Islam y se deberá depositar en el bayt al-mal (es decir, la Tesorería General). El hombre común deberá pagar un dinar(un tipo de moneda), pero los comerciantes y las personas dueñas de minas de oro y plata y que sean ricas, pagarán doce dinares. A los extranjeros y a las personas sin vivienda ni otras propiedades raíces, no se les cobrará impuestos. Si un hombre hereda la propiedad, pagará una suma que será depositada en la Tesorería de bayt al-mal. 

Los cristianos no están obligados a hacer la guerra a los enemigos del Islam, pero si un enemigo ataca a los cristianos, los musulmanes no negarán su ayuda sino que les darán caballos y armas si los necesitan y los protegerán de los males de afuera y mantendrán la paz con ellos. Los cristianos no están obligados a hacerse musulmanes, hasta que la voluntad de Dios los haga creyentes. 

Los musulmanes no obligarán a las mujeres cristianas a aceptar el Islam, pero si ellas desean adoptarlo, los musulmanes serán amables con ellas. 

Si una mujer cristiana se casa con un musulmán y no quiere abrazar el Islam, tiene la libertad de practicar su culto en su propia iglesia según su propia creencia y su esposo no debe tratarla mal a causa de su religion. 

Si alguien desobedece esta orden, desobedece a Dios y a su profeta y será culpable de un gran delito. 

Si los nazarenos desean construir una iglesia, sus vecinos musulmanes deben ayudarlos. Se procederá así porque los cristianos nos han obedecido y han venido a nosotros suplicando paz y misericordia. 

Si entre los cristianos hay un gran hombre y erudito, los musulmanes deben honrarlo y no envidiar su grandeza. 

Si alguien es injusto y cruel con los cristianos, será culpable de desobedecer al Profeta de Dios. 

Los cristianos no deberán albergar a un enemigo del Islam o darle caballo, arma o cualquier otro tipo de ayuda. 

Si un musulmán necesita (ayuda), el cristiano lo recibirá y dará refugio de sus enemigos durante tres días y noches. 

Los cristianos, además, protegerán a las mujeres y a los niños musulmanes y no los entregarán ni los expondrán al enemigo. 

Si los nazarenos no cumplen con estas condiciones, perderán su derecho a la protección y el acuerdo será nulo e inválido. 

Este documento quedará en manos del jefe cristiano y cabeza de su iglesia para su custodia.

El Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) es un orgulloso miembro de la Nación Métis, uno de los tres pueblos indígenas reconocidos por el gobierno canadiense.  Abrazó el Islam a los 16 años de edad luego de estudiarlo seriamente durante cierto tiempo. Lleva más de treinta años analizando las ciencias islámicas y recorrió el mundo en búsqueda de conocimiento. Entre sus maestros se cuentan académicos tradicionales del Islam de diferentes escuelas de jurisprudencia y caminos espirituales. Asimismo, académicos occidentales. Se doctoró en la Universidad de Toronto a la edad de 29 años y alcanzó el rango de profesor titular a la edad de 43 años. Se retiró de ese trabajo en 2016 para dedicar todo su tiempo a la investigación y el culto. Lleva escritos cientos de artículos académicos y más de treinta libros académicos, el más influyente de los cuales es Pactos del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos del Mundo (2013). También es el director de redacción deIslam y la Gente del Libro, una enciclopedia de tres tomos sobre los Pactos Muhamadianos que cuenta con estudios críticos de más de veinte de los principales eruditos musulmanes y las traducciones de los Pactos del Profeta en más de una docena de idiomas. La Sociedad Islámica de América del Norte (ISNA) confirió al Dr. Morrow en 2016 el premio de liderazgo interreligioso y en 2017 la Cámara de Representantes de EEUU le otorgó un Certificado de Reconocimiento Especial. Además de ser un académico galardonado, escritor y activista, dicta conferencias en distintas partes del mundo y asesora a líderes mundiales.

The Muslim Post
October 12, 2017

Delivered at the United Nations on September 19, 2017

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “He who does not thank people does not thank Allah.” So, let me begin by thanking people. To his excellency, President Hassan Rouhani; to the honorable Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo; to the distinguished Manuchehr Ja-farzadeh: thank you for organizing this meeting with American Muslim leaders and thank you all for attending.

For those who know me, I need no introduction. For those who do not know me, and perhaps should know me, I am Dr. John Andrew Morrow, also known as al-Ustadh al-Duktur Ilyas Islam. I am a western academic and a full professor. I am also a traditionally trained alim.

I am the author of over 30 scholarly books, the most influential of which is The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, a work that follows in the scholarly footsteps of Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah’s al-Watha’iq, Ayatullah Ahmadi Miyanji’s Makatib al-Rasul, and Zafar Bangash’s Power Manifestations of the Sirah.

Many educated Muslims are familiar with the Covenant of Madinahthe Treaty of Najran, and perhaps, the Ashtinamehthe Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai, namely, with the Monastery of St. Catherine. These documents, however, merely scratch the surface. There are dozens upon dozens of covenants that the Prophet (pbuh) concluded with the People of the Book.

The principles enshrined in the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad and Imam ‘Ali (a) are simply astonishing. They are like a Universal Declaration of Islamic Human Rights and an Islamic Bill of Rights dating back to the 7th century. They have both theoretical and practical applications.

The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad have inspired a movement, the Covenants Initiative, which calls upon all Muslims to respect the rights that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) granted to the People of the Book.

The Covenants of the Prophet are backed by hundreds of Sunni, Shi‘i, and Sufi scholars. They are backed by al-Azhar. They are backed by the Grand Muftis of the Muslim world.

Imam Khamenei and Ayatullah Araki received copies of this book in 2013. They invited me to meet with them in Iran and to lecture on the Covenants of the Prophet in the Hawzah ‘Ilmiyyah. Unfortunately, due to conflicts in our schedules, I was unable to visit. Since then, I have been invited to Iran on numerous other occasions. Once again, due to my obligations, these trips did not come to pass.

Allah (swt) however, works in wonderful ways. Since 2013, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World has been translated into Spanish, Italian, and Arabic. The Arabic translation is being published in Beirut, Lebanon, by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, under the name ‘Uhud al-Nabi li-Masihiyyi al-‘Alam.

I would like to invite you, Mr. President, as head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to lend your support to the Covenants Initiative, to help disseminate The Covenants of the Prophet, and to stimulate more studies on this critically important subject.

Let us be interfaith ambassadors and not warmongers. Let us extend the olive branch to others as opposed to threaten to blow them off the face of the earth as we just heard someone do.

We are the people of truth. We are the people of justice. And we are the people of love. This is the need of the hour and the issue of the age. Thank you.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow, who spearheads the Covenants Initiative, an international movement committed to promoting co-existence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews, recently returned from a whirlwind tour of California where he shared the pluralistic message of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, with hundreds of listeners.

Organized by Zachary Markwith, a PhD candidate in Islamic Studies, and supported by various religious and academic centers, the lecture tour included speaking engagements at the IMAN Cultural Center in Los Angeles, Bayan in Claremont, the Islamic Center of Fresno, the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and the Islamic Culture Center of Northern California in Oakland.

Morrow’s positive and uplifting voice was well-received by audiences in southern and northern California. “What a wealth of knowledge!” commented Noor-Malika Chishti, who attended Morrow’s presentation in Los Angeles. Asked what motivated him to organize the week-long series of lectures held at the end of September, Zachary Markwith spoke of the significance of Morrow’s scholarship: “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World is one of the most important books written in recent decades. It is our duty, as Muslims, to share true Islam with the world.”

October 8, 2017

This is the first of a two-part series and was originally a speech delivered by Dr John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) at the 13th Annual National Muslim Congress Conference in Dallas, Texas, in the United States of America.

The Message of Love. Could there possibly be a better theme for this conference? The topic is timely, universal, and eternal. To begin, we must begin with the beginning: Allah (swt), the Mighty and Majestic. “God is love,” claim the Christians in theological error. God is not “love” because “love” is a noun, a name used to identify a person, a place or thing. However, God is not a person, a place or a thing. As Imam Ja‘far Al-Sadiq explains, He is only a thing, to bring him out of nothing; a thing like no other thing as all other things are created. [Kulayni & Saduq]

Although God is not Love, God is indeed Loving because “loving” is an adjective, a word or phrase used to describe an attribute. And how do we know God? By means of His Attributes. As we read in the Glorious Quran: “Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.” [17:110] In Islam, we do not say Allah huwa al-ḥub or “God is Love.” We do, however, say that Allah is al-Wadud, namely, “The Loving One.” As we read in the Glorious Qur’ān: “Verily, My Lord is Merciful and Loving.” [11:90] And yet again: “And He is the Forgiving and the Loving.” [85:14] As Almighty Allah (swt) glorified and exalted be He, states in a sacred saying, in Hadith Qudsi:  “I was a Hidden Treasure and I loved to be known. Therefore, I created the creatures so that I might be known.” [Ibn ‘Arabi, Ibn al-Khaṭib, Mulla Sadra.]

The cosmos is not eternal. Only Allah is Eternal. The cosmos did not come into being by itself. Nothing can not become something. Non-existence does not will itself into existence. A void or vacuum is devoid of agency. As heartbreaking as it may be to self-centered egotistical materialists, we, human beings, were not created for ourselves: we were created for God. Everything in existence was created by God and for God. And everything that exists was created out of Divine Love.

The Hidden Treasure that is God cannot be known without existence or knowledge. Creation is the ultimate act of love. Bringing entities from non-existences into existence is the greatest act of love imaginable. The Arabic word for universe is kawn. It means “existence” or “being.” Allah brought everything into being by way of love so that He could be known.

Human beings were created in the name of Allah. In other words, we are the receptacles in which the names and attributes of God can manifest themselves fully. Human beings are permeated by the original love of the Divine Essence. If is for this reason that human beings are inclined to perfection. As Almighty Allāh explains in the Glorious Quran: “And He taught Adam the names: all of them.” [2:31]. In other words, the Asma’ Allah al-ḥusna, the Most Beautiful Names.

If Divine Love was the cause of creation, and love that brought the world into existence, it is also the law that that governs God’s relationship with creation. As Almighty Allāh decreed upon Creation: “My Mercy prevails over My Wrath.” [Muslim, Bukhari, Ibn Majah, Nasa’i] Mercy and Compassion are manifestations of love. They are the most commonly invoked attributes of the Divinity: Bismillah al-Raḥman al-Raḥim / In the Name of Allāh, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. They derive from the root ‘raham’ which means “womb,” the very symbol of love, mercy, care, affection, safety, security, and compassion.

As Almighty Allah (swt) states in the Glorious Quran: “And I did not create the jinn and humankind except to worship Me.”[51:56]

The verb in question is ‘abada / ya‘budu. It is translated into English as “to worship,” “to serve,” “to submit,” and “to obey.” When we speak of ‘ibadah, we speak of obedience, submission, and devotion to God. ‘Ibadah, in Arabic, is related to words such as ‘ubudiyyah which means servitude and slavery. The meaning that is given to ‘ibadah and ‘ubudiyyah has a profound impact on one’s worldview. Many lay Muslims believe that people exist only to submit to Allāh. In their mind, God is some sort of Divine Dictator who decreed: “Be! Now, obey me or go to hell!” In other words, we are just slaves. That is the nature of the relationship between the Creator and the created. This limited and superficial understanding of Arabic and Islam can have serious consequences: spiritually, psychologically, socially, and politically. Imagine parents who have children for one reason and one reason only: to serve them: “I made you to serve me. Now go do the dishes or I will spank you.” Imagine employers who treat their employees as servants. Imagine husbands who tell their wives: “Obey me or I will slap you.” Imagine political leaders who believe that people should obey them, out of obligation, and out of fear: “You disobey, you die.” Why is the Muslim world full of despots and dictators? Look no further. I am not disputing what the Quran says; I am disputing the misinterpretation of the Quran that is so prevalent among certain Muslims. I seek to increase understand and elevate the discourse on the basis of authoritative Islamic sources: the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the teachings of the Twelve Imams (as), the teachings of Quranic commentators, the teachings of Muslim theologians, and the teachings of spiritual authorities.

“I did not create the jinn and humankind except to worship, serve, and obey Me.” [51:56] Yes, absolutely, but what is the meaning of ‘ibadah? It is obedience. It is submission. It is servitude. It is devotion. It is humility. But those are the means. What is the goal? Worship for the sake of worship? Servitude for the sake of servitude? Slavery for the sake of slavery? No! The ultimate goal is love for Allah: absolute love for the Loving. As Almighty Allāh says in a Hadith Qudsi: “Oh Son of Adam! Serve me. Verily, I love those who serve Me.” [Shirazi] What does it mean to serve and obey God? What does it mean to worship God? It means, first and foremost, to know God. And how is it that we know God? By knowing ourselves. As the Prophet, peace and blessings of Almighty Allāh be upon him, said: “He who knows himself knows his Lord.” [Ikhwan al-Safa’, Ibn ‘Arabi, al-Sha‘rani, al-Tamimi al-Amudi, Majlisi; see also, Quran 59:19]

Almighty Allah placed potentiality in the souls of humanity. Our souls are mirrors that reflect the Divinity. If we soil our souls, cloud up the mirror, scratch the mirror or crack and shatter the mirror, we will neither see ourselves nor our origin. However, if we purify our souls, clean our mirrors, and shine our mirrors, we will witness God in us and us in God. Or, to put things into simpler terms. As mothers and fathers, we see ourselves in our children. To know God means to remember God. It means to see Allah in all things. Everything in existence is a name of Allah. Everything is a signifier that points to the Signified. The Earth is not inanimate. She is alive. She feels, she communicates, and she speaks. She bears witness against our sins. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to pick up pebbles, smile, and share their words of divine praise with his Companions. Everything in creation is in constant adoration. As we read in the Glorious Quran: “Do you not see that Allah is exalted by whoever is within the heavens and the earth and [by] the birds with wings spread [in flight]? Each [of them] has known his [means of] prayer and exalting [Him].” [24:41]

Imam Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin evoked “the keepers of the rain, the drivers of the clouds, him at whose driving sound is heard the rolling of thunder, and the reverberating clouds swim before his driving, bolts of lighting-flash, the escorts of snow and hail, the descenders with the drops of rain when they fall, the watchers over the treasuries of the winds, those with the mountains lest they disappear, those whom Thou has taught the weights of the waters, and the measures contained by torrents and masses of rain, the angels who are Thy messengers to the people of the earth with the disliked affliction that comes down.”

The signs of Allah (swt) surround us if only we are sensitive enough to perceive them. As Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Quran: “He will show you His Signs and you will recognize them;” [27:93] “Whoever honours the symbols of Allah — indeed, it is from the piety of hearts, [22:32] and finally, “We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.” [41:53] The more we witness God, the more we love God. Let me repeat that: The more we witness God, the more we love God. As we read in the Glorious Quran:“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” [13:28] Since the creation is subservient to the Creator, we need to recognize our servitude. There are those who deny God: they are kuffar or unbelievers. There are those who associate partners with God: they are mushrikin or polytheists. To be a Muslim means to submit and surrender to God. The attitude one takes toward God can be one of two: that of the slave, the ‘abd, or that of the servant, the ‘abid. The slave is the one who obeys the Master out of fear. The slave does not steal out of fear of punishment. The servant, however, is the one who seeks the reward of His Master. In other words, the slave fears Hell while the servant yearns for Paradise. Most human beings are slaves whether they recognize it or not and whether they accept it or not. Some human beings are servants. They recognize and accept that they are slaves; however, rather than rebel and disobey, they choose to submit and obey. They are good and diligent servants.

There are, however, believers who are not simple slaves or servants. They escape the servant/slave dichotomy. They are not motivated by fear of punishment or by the yearning for a reward. They are those who seek the pleasure of the Master. They are those who love the Master. They are those who long for the love of the Master. Among this elite, a select few who become close to the Master, like Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), who became Khalilullah, the friend of Allah, the Prophet Muḥammad, who became Habibullah, the Beloved of Allah, and Imam Ali, who became Wali Allah or the Friend of Allah. We all begin as slaves of God. If we hear and we obey, we are good slaves. This is the bare minimum that is required of believers. All Muslims, however, should work on becoming servants of God. Rather than simply avoid damnation, they should actively seek salvation. Some, who grow spiritually, will strive to become ‘arifīn, the knowers of God, and ‘ashiqin, the lovers of God. With persistence, dedication, devotion, study, and piety, there are others who, by the will of God, and the love of God, can become awliyya’ al-salihin, the Friends of God and the Proofs of God for all creation.

Muslims have debated for over a millennium: is God transcendent or is God immanent? The jurists stressed that God was completely and utterly incomprehensible and unknowable. The mystics insisted that God was imminent and that our relationship with Him could be intimate. As always, the teachings of the Twelve Imams (peace be upon them), stress the middle ground: neither one nor the other. God is both transcendent and imminent. In matters of law, God is treated as transcendent. In matters of spirituality, God is treated as imminent. In other words, God is like a stern father and a loving mother.

Muslim theologians, however, avoid using terms such as father or mother when describing the divinity since they denote duality as opposed to divine unity. Although God is neither male nor female, Muslim theologians describe the Divinity in terms of attributes of power and beauty, namely, between feminine and masculine qualities. God, for example, is both Merciful and Wrathful, both Gentle and Severe, and both Beautiful and Majestic. Although a mother is all mercy, explains Rūmī, there is also mercy in the father’s severity for Allah’s mercy prevails over his wrath. In Islam, justice is tempered by love, mercy, and forgiveness.

Dr John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam) is an Amerindian with Canadian and American citizenship. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto in the year 2000. He worked as an Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Foreign Languages for over a decade and a half at Park University, Northern State University, Eastern New Mexico University, the University of Virginia, and Ivy Tech Community College. He is the author of over thirty academic books in the fields of Hispanic, Islamic, and Indigenous Studies, including the critically-acclaimed Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. A public figure and activist, he lectures all around the globe and acts as an advisor to world leaders. In recognition of his accomplishments, Dr Morrow received an ISNA Interfaith Achievement Award in 2016.

October 8, 2017

SHAFAQNA – By Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas Islam)

Delivered at Bayan-Claremont in California on September 26, 2017
The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, are controversial. These documents, which are found in Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Samaritan, and Zoroastrian sources have elicited a great deal of debate and discussion. All have sought to answer a simple question: are they authentic?

There are many ways to authenticate a document. The first is to track its provenance; its chain of transmission; its chain of custody. The Covenants of the Prophet have been transmitted by hundreds upon hundreds of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Samaritan, and Zoroastrian authorities, in dozens of different languages, for that past 1400 years. From the point of view of provenance, the Covenants of the Prophet appear to be authentic.

The second way to authenticate a document is by means of physical analysis. The scientific analysis of the paper, the papyrus, or the leather, as well as the ink, and the style of the script. The documents that have survived date from as recently as the 20th century as far back as the 7th century. So, we have, what presume to be, first hand copies, second hand copies, third hand copies, fourth hand copies, and fifth hand copies.

We can confirm, however, that the copies from the early 20th century are identical to the copies made in the 17th century and that the copies made in the 17th century are identical to the copies made in the 7thcentury. We can therefore confirm that the Covenants of the Prophet were transmitted accurately over the course of 1400 years. So, from the point of view of physical analysis, the Covenants of the Prophet appear to be authentic.

The third way to authenticate a document is by content analysis. Do the Covenants of the Prophet agree with the Qur’an? Do the Covenants of the Prophet agree with the authenticated sunnah? Can the Covenants of the Prophet be reconciled with the sirah or biography of the Prophet? Is the language an accurate reflection of the Arabic spoken at the time of the Prophet? The answer to all these questions is yes. So, from the point of view of content analysis, the Covenants of the Prophet appear to be authentic.

The fourth way to authenticate a document is by means of expert opinion. What have scholars said about the Covenants of the Prophet over the course of the past 1400 years. In some cases, opinion is divided. In other cases, most scholars have concluded that the content of the document is genuine. When we look at the dozens of Covenants that the Prophet concluded with different faith communities and denominations, we find that that the weight of scholarly opinion favors a conclusion of authenticity.

Today, we will examine a fifth way of authenticating a document, namely, the rulings of Muslim religious and political authorities throughout the ages. What did the Caliphs, Sultans, and Shahs say about the Covenants of the Prophet? Surprise, surprise: they had a lot to say and their conclusions and commands became the law of the land.

Let us take the case of the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Armenian Christians. It was authenticated by Caliph ‘Umar. It was authenticated by Imam ‘Ali. And it was authenticated by Salah al-Din. Let us take the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia. It was authenticated by Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq. It was authenticated by Shah ‘Abbas, the Safavid leader.

Let us take the Covenant of the Prophet with the Monks of Mount Sinai. It was authenticated by Caliph al-Mu‘izz (953-974 CE), Caliph al-‘Aziz (975-996 CE), Caliph al-Hakim (996-1021 CE), Caliph al-Zahir (1024 CE), Vizier al-Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali (1094-1121 CE), Caliph al-Hafiz (1134 CE), as well as by the Decree of Shirkuh (1169 CE). It was authenticated by the Ayyubids Caliphs (1195, 1199, 1201/02, and 1210/11 CE), by the Mamluk Decrees (1259, 1260, 1272, 1268/69, 1280 and 1516 CE), and by all the Ottoman Sultans from 1519 all the way to 1904.

If the Caliphs, Imams, Sultans, and Shahs, from the 7th century to the 20th century stated that the Covenants of the Prophet are authentic, then whom am I to argue otherwise. I take refuge in Allah from having the audacity and the insolence to believe that I know better than all the Caliphs, Imams, Sultans, and Shahs of Islam.

Since there are literally hundreds of firmans from the political leaders of Islam, and thousands of fatawa or edicts by the religious leaders of Islam, it would take me days to read them all to you and weeks to expound upon them. I will therefore limit myself to a short survey of imperial edicts from the rulers of the Muslim world that clearly confirm and renew the rights and protections that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, provided to the People of the Book.

The first of the edicts that is I would like to quote was authored by Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah ibn Yusuf ibn al-Hafiz (1149–1171), known as al-ʿAdid li-Din Allah, the fourteenth and final of the Fatimid Caliphs. The original document, which measures ten meters long, reads as follows:

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. This edict was issued by our most noble leader, the supporter of Allah’s religion, and the Leader of the Believers… May the blessings of Allah’s be upon him, his virtuous ancestors, and his noble progeny…
The Bishop of the Monastery of Mount Sinai and its monks, who live a life of seclusion and prayer, presented a petition in our presence with the habitual signatures. They have signed decrees from the days of al-Hakim and other records that they are honored to have received from these sublime ‘Alawite states.

The monks asked us to renew the privileges that they currently have. We ordered that this edict care for them, protect them, and make matters easy for them. We ordered that they be treated as befits their customs and that they be hosted well.
They should be helped so that they can manage their affairs well. They should be made hopeful and happy. They are to be protected wherever they are in the [Fatimid] State. And they should be helped to benefit from its bounties.
The monks should be relieved of what governors asked them to pay in taxes…. The Arabs are forbidden from entering the residences of the monks and robbing them from the savings they use to host pilgrims. The monks should be exempted from taxes and duties in accordance with the decrees of the Prophet that they have in their possession and which prohibit all attempts to change or alter the privileges in question or prevent them from being implemented. The friends of the monks, and all those who work for them, must be protected. The same applies to those who gather money from them, be it tithe or alms.

No harm should come to those who secure sustenance for them whether they are in Egypt, nearby countries or the rural areas. What is more, all taxes that were recently imposed on them must be dropped.
Anyone who reads or hears this decree — including leaders who oversee war in the east, may Allah support them, or those in charge of fortresses on Mount Sinai, may Allah keep them strong, and all the deputies and clerks — should abide by it, pay attention to its clauses, and be careful not to transgress it…. Written in Jumada II in 564 AH, March 1169 CE.

The decree of Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah confirms that the Sinai monks regularly requested the renewal of their privileges. It establishes that the monks had received decrees granting them rights and freedoms that dated back to the time of al-Hakim (996-1021 CE), the sixth Fatimid Caliph.

Not only were their ancient privileges renewed, Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah issued a long list of caring and compassionate commands that radiate love. His decree covers all the major points found in the Sinai Covenant; however, rather that focus on the letter, he stresses its spirit that is rooted in the Golden Rule. And like the Covenant of the Prophet, the decree of the last Fatimid Caliph warns against violating the rights of Christian contemplatives.

The second document that I wish to share with you this evening is the Decree that Sultan Selim I granted to the Monks of Mount Sinai in 1517. Remember, this is the Sultan who brought the Ashtinameh, the Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai, back to the Chamber of Relics in the palace of Topkapi in Istanbul. It reads:

Since the monks of Mount Sinai have come to our sublime Divan, and have humbly represented that Muhammad al-Mustafa, peace and blessings be upon him, being heretofore by their Monastery hospitably received in his travels, and according to their slender abilities, adorned with all kinds of honor and reverence, graciously exempting this community of Christian monks from their annual tribute, and in confirmation of it was pleased to give a holy writing signed with his own hand [print], after his example, we also, out of our great clemency, do ordain that the aforementioned monks be free from the yearly tribute paid by the rest, and to suffer without molestation to enjoy their churches and rites according to their obsolete law.
To this end, we have graciously ordered them an authentic copy of the Covenant of God’s Holy Prophet, confirmed by our inscription. We therefore enjoin every person exercising dominion or jurisdiction throughout our whole kingdom, not to burden the said monks of the tribe of Jesus with tribute or other political contributions. And whosoever shall act contrary to our noble decree and mandate, know that he shall be certainly punished and chastised. Given in Cairo…

Sultan Selim, the Grand Vizier, the Chief Mufti, and all the leading Muslim scholars at the service of the Ottoman Empire examined and authenticated the Sinai Covenant. They were not of the ignorant.

The third decree that I would like to cite was issued by Sultan Mustafa I (1591-1639), who ruled from 1617-1618 and from 1622 to 1623, and directed to Bishop Ghafril the Fourth in 1618 CE. It proclaims:

To the greatest judges of the states of Rumelia, Anatolia, and Egypt, the Protected. To the greatest judges of Damascus in Syria, the city that smells like Paradise. To the greatest judges of Baghdad, the city that looks like Paradise. To the judges and their deputies. To all those in charge of money. To the military commanders. To the customs directors and the port directors. To the distinguished members of the Secretariat and to all men of authority. May Allah empower them.
When this royal decree of mine arrives, it should be known that Pastor Ghafril IV, Bishop of Mount Sinai, based in that blessed mountain since days of old, presented to our highness a signed petition.

In the petition in question, he asks us for a sacred decree in accordance with the records and deeds in the hands of the monks of the Monastery of Mount Sinai as well as the text of the Sacred Covenant which was offered to the monks in question by the Greatest of the Prophets, Muhammad. He granted the monks this document after they met with him and accepted the terms that apply to non-Muslims. This event took place when the Prophet was passing through the sacred wilderness on a visit to the Cave of Moses, peace be upon him, along with other noble pilgrims that he was taking to Mount Sinai.
Based on the generous privileges provided to them by the Caliphs, may the blessings of Allah be upon them all, and by the previous Sultans, the protectors of religion. Based on the content of these decrees, records, and explanations preserved in the Royal Book. Based on the Sacred Covenant (of the Prophet) [mu‘ahadah muqqadisah] preserved by the two monasteries on the Mount of Moses, peace be upon him, and Mount Sinai since the Days of Ignorance, no military leader, nor any man of authority, should attack the monks, pastors or citizens of the two monasteries in question.

They are not to be attacked during their travels to Rumelia and Anatolia, to Egypt and Damascus, to the Mediterranean and Black Sea destinations, or to any cities and rural areas in Islamic States. They are not to be attacked while they are performing their religious rituals nor are they to be attacked when traveling to gather alms from Christians to feed and clothe the ascetics who live in the two monasteries in question and who feed the foreigners who perform pilgrimage to their monastery.
The monks of the monasteries in question are not to pay taxes or customs on their personal income or belongings in any place. Hence, when a monk passes away, neither the Secretariat nor any clerk in charge of dividing estates shall interfere with the property and belongings that were left behind by the deceased. This is because the property of deceased monks goes to the monks who are still alive…

Similarly, the monks of these two monasteries have the right to own property by means of endowment to their monasteries, churches, farms, hostels, residences, fields, groves, and orchards, as well as their lands and winter pastures in Rumelia and Anatolia, their churches and palm orchards along the seaside (in the city of al-Tur), such as the monasteries and properties endowed in the Jawanyah District at Bab al-Nasr in the capital of Egypt, their orchards, plots of land, and winter pastures in Alexandria and Rashid, as well as those found in any other ports, regions, directorates, cities, and rural areas.

The monks also have the right to own property. This includes lands that they themselves purchased as well as lands that were endowed or given to them by other Christians. The monks are not to be prevented from using their lands in any place and no taxes or fines are to be imposed on them, either by the directors of the Directorates, by their agents, by the supervisors of the Sultan’s endowments, by collectors of money, by the revenue officers, by the agents of the Secretariat, by the collectors of personal tribute, by tax inspectors, or by military and royal clerks and their agents…

No Patriarch or Bishop has the right, in any region or Directorate, to intervene with the affairs of the monks [from Mount Sinai] or terrorize them as these are the rights of their elected Archbishop. No one has the right to trouble them or treat them in any way that is contrary to the Sacred Covenant (of the Prophet) or the Decrees of the Sultans…
I have issued my order to you so that you can abide by the sublime orders that emanate from our illustrious ancestors along with my venerable order while avoiding anything and everything that might go against it… Be aware of that and place your trust in my sacred decree. Written on the 11th day of Safar in 1027 AH, April 7th, 1618 CE.

As Sultan Mustafa I indicates in his decree, the delegation of monks from Mount Sinai did not simply provide the proclamations of previous rulers to support their petition: they also provided a copy of the Covenant of the Prophet. This is precisely what we can expect was done when the monks approached Fatimid rulers and those who preceded them. Not only did Sultan Mustafa I acknowledge the authenticity of the Covenant of the Prophet, he confirmed the historical account of its granting.

If some scholars claim that there is no record of the Sinai Covenant and the events surrounding its granting in Muslim sources, they are in evident error. The decrees of Caliphs and Sultans are Islamic sources. According to most accounts, the Covenant of the Prophet was provided to the monks in pre-Islamic times when Muhammad traveled as a young merchant. He is said to have worked as a caravan leader for the monks. If this is the case, he was bringing pilgrims to the Monastery of St. Catherine.

There is also another account, lesser known than the former, that is quoted by Nektarios of Sinai (269-271). According to his sources, Muhammad’s pilgrimage to Mount Sinai took place during his prophethood. A delegation of monks from Mount Sinai had gone to Madinah to seek privileges from the Prophet. After he granted them what they had requested, they invited him to return with them to see the holy sites. This took place during the second year of the hijrah.

The account transmitted by Nektarios of Sinai appears to be echoed by Jeanne Aubert. According to her, the Covenant of the Prophet was granted in the second year of the hijrah. A battle took place between Muslims and Christians in which many of the latter lost their lives. News of the death-toll spread throughout the Middle East resulting in numerous delegations of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and Sabeans arriving in Madinah to offer their submission to the powerful new prophet.

Although the decree of Sultan Mustafa I does not indicate when Muhammad performed a pilgrimage to St. Catherine’s Monastery to visit the Cave of Moses, it does confirm that the event took place. As for the prophetic privileges themselves, Sultan Mustafa I did not simply repeat them: he interpreted and applied them in the most specific fashion.
The fourth and final decree that I would like to share with you was issued by Sultan ‘Abd al-Hamid II (1842-1918) to the Bishop Burvirius II who was the Bishop of Mount Sinai in 1904. The edict of the last Caliph and Sultan of Islam reads:

The Ottoman Tughrah: “The Conqueror ‘Abd al-Hamid ibn ‘Abd al-Majid Khan, may he be victorious forever.”
The Egyptian Khedive informed us that His Holiness Burvirius, the Archbishop of the Monastery of Mount Sinai, has retired because his age and illness and that the monks from the monastery met and elected His Holiness Burvirius Yougotis in his place.
The Egyptian Khedive asked us to issue a decree accepting his election and appointing the said person as the archbishop according to established rules. The regulations were reviewed and it was found that electing ecclesiastic rulers was one of the rights that was given to the monks. It is for this reason that we issue this Sultanic decree appointing His Honor Burvirius Yougotis as the Archbishop of the Monastery of Mount Sinai.
We order that no one interfere with their monasteries, churches, and orchards in the sacred Mountain of Moses and Mount Sinai; their church, palm orchards and olive orchards that are located along the seaside in the town of al-Tur); their monastery in the inner district at Bab al-Nasr in Egypt, the Protected; the two agencies on the right side of the mentioned district and its north; the church on the side of St. Catherine; their places of prayer and worship; their residences and agencies; as well as the other places of their endowments in Cairo. No law enforcement agents should enter their shops or stand in their way.
No fees should be charged from their orchards, their fig and fruit trees, as well as their palm and olive groves. The same applies to what they store in the city of al-Tur, in Syria, as well as in Egypt.
No one should stand in their way in their silk trade, their endowments, as well as their trees and farms in Cyprus. They should not be asked to pay customs and entrance fees in the ports of the Red Sea, the Western Sea in Alexandria, Rashid, Demiat, Cyprus, Damascus in Syria, Nadis, Hauran, Qistah, Ghazzah, Beirut, Seida, Tripoli in Syria, Latakia, and other ports. Customs should not be paid on soap, oil, grain, offerings, and alms coming from Islamic lands.
They have the right to visit their cemetery in Damascus, in Syria, according to their traditions. No one should stand in their way of burying their dead. No one should interfere with their graveyards.
The governors should fulfil their obligations [towards the monks] immediately and completely. They should prevent people from interfering with the rights [of the monks]. No judge, governor, trustee or civil servant should interfere with matters pertaining to the monks.
No Alexandrian Patriarch or any other Patriarchs of other denominations should treat them badly nor should they interfere with their matters in any way. They are free under the rule of their Patriarch.
Since our Prophet Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, gave the monks a blessed Covenant and considering that the Caliphs and the Sultans followed his honorable example by venerating his Covenant and his respect for the shari‘ah, they are to live in the mountain in question in complete security and equanimity. In accordance with the Covenant of the Prophet, the honorable decrees and obligatory orders [of the Caliphs and the Sultans], no one is permitted to attack or harm the monks.
Anyone who fails to respect the Covenant of the Prophet and the orders that have been given deserves a severe punishment. It is for this reason that I gave my orders to them to follow. Written on 15th of Ramadan al-Mubarak in 1322 AH, November 22nd, 1904 CE.

Although the purpose of the decree in question was the appointment of Burvirius II as the Archbishop of Mount Sinai, it was also an opportunity to renew the Sinai Covenant. Consequently, Sultan ‘Abd al-Hamid II confirmed the historicity of the Covenant of the Prophet and acknowledged that the rights of the monks were confirmed in writing by the previous Sultans and Caliphs. Anyone who claims to believe in the Caliphate is therefore obliged to abide by the commands of the Caliphs. As for those who oppose the Covenants of the Prophet, violate them, deny them or disregard them, they have made a mockery of their religion, have insulted the Prophet, and have defied his religious and political successors. And Allah is the Best of Judges.

7 de octubre de 2017
La Respuesta Oficial de los Califas, Sultanes y Reyes del Islam
Por: Dr. John Andrew Morrow
Discurso Pronunciado el 26 de Setiembre de 2017 en la Escuela Islámica de Estudios Superiores Bayan-Claremont ubicada en California (EEUU)

Los pactos del Profeta Muhammad ―la paz y las bendiciones sean con él― son polémicos. Estos documentos, que se encuentran en fuentes musulmanas, cristianas, judías, samaritanas y zoroastrianas, han suscitado un gran debate y discusión. Siempre se ha buscado responder una pregunta sencilla: ¿son auténticos?

Hay muchas maneras de autenticar un documento. La primera es rastrear su procedencia, su cadena de transmisión, su cadena de custodia. Los Pactos del Profeta han sido transmitidos durante 1400 años por cientos y cientos de autoridades musulmanes, cristianas, judías, samaritanas y zoroastrianas, en docenas de idiomas diferentes. Desde el punto de vista de la procedencia, los Pactos del Profeta se presentan auténticos.

La segunda manera de autenticar un documento es por medio de análisis físicos. Estos se realizan en el papel, el papiro, el cuero y la tinta usados y sobre el estilo de escritura. Entre los documentos que han sobrevivido, los más nuevos son del siglo XX y los más antiguos del siglo VII. Es decir, tendríamos copias de primera mano, de segunda mano, de tercera mano, de cuarta mano y de quinta mano.

Podemos afirmar que los ejemplares de principios del siglo XX son idénticos a las copias realizadas en el siglo XVII y que las copias realizadas en el siglo XVII son idénticas a las copias realizadas en el siglo VII. Por lo tanto podemos afirmar que los Pactos del Profeta fueron transmitidos con precisión a lo largo de 1400 años. Así, desde el punto de vista del análisis físico, los pactos del Profeta se presentan auténticos.

La tercera forma de autenticar un documento es analizando su contenido. ¿Concuerdan con el Corán? ¿Concuerdan con la sunnah autenticada? ¿Se ajustan a la sirah o biografía del Profeta? ¿Su lenguaje tiene que ver con el existente en la época del Profeta? La respuesta a todas estas preguntas es “sí”. Por lo tanto, en función del análisis de sus contenidos, los Pactos del Profeta se presentan auténticos.

La cuarta forma de autenticar un documento es por medio del dictamen pericial. ¿Qué han dicho los estudiosos sobre estos Pactos a lo largo de 1400 años? A veces la opinión está dividida y en la mayoría de los casos se coincide en su autenticidad. El hecho de que el Profeta concluyese docenas de Pactos con denominaciones y comunidades de fe diferentes, aporta a la conclusión académica de que son genuinos.

Hoy examinaremos una quinta forma de autenticar un documento. Es decir, los criterios de las autoridades religiosas y políticas musulmanas a través del tiempo. ¿Qué dicen los califas, sultanes, y reyes acerca de los Pactos del Profeta? Muy sorprendente: tenían mucho que decir y sus conclusiones y mandamientos se convirtieron en ley.

Tomemos el caso del Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los cristianos armenios. Fue autenticado por el califa Omar. Fue autenticado por el Imam Ali. Y fue autenticado por Salah al-Din. Tomemos el Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los cristianos de Persia. Fue autenticado por el Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq y por Shah ‘Abbas, el primer líder safávida.

Tomemos el Pacto del Profeta con los monjes del Monte Sinaí. Fue autenticado por el califa al-Mu’izz (953-974 C.), por el califa al-‘Aziz (975-996 C.), por el califa al-Hakim (996-1021 C.), por el califa al-Zahir (1024 C.), por el visir al-Afdal ibn Badr al-Jamali (1094-1121 C.), por el califa al-Hafiz (1134 C.), por el Decreto de Shirkuh (1169 C.), por los califas ayúbidas (1195, 1199, 1201/02 y 1210/11 C.), por los Decretos Mamelucos (1259, 1260, 1272, 1268/69, 1280 y 1516 CE) y por todos los sultanes Otomanos desde 1519 hasta 1904.

Si los califas, imames, sultanes y reyes de los siglos VII al XX declararon que los Pactos del Profeta eran auténticos, entonces quien soy yo para sostener lo contrario. Me refugio en Dios para no caer en la osadía e insolencia de creerme superior a esos califas, imames, sultanes y reyes del Islam.

Puesto que hay literalmente cientos de “firmans” (órdenes o decretos) de los líderes políticos del Islam y miles de “fatawas” o edictos de los líderes religiosos del Islam, me llevaría días leerlos y semanas hablar a ustedes respecto a sus contenidos. Por lo tanto me limitaré a una breve exposición sobre esos edictos imperiales de los gobernantes del mundo musulmán que claramente confirman y renuevan los derechos y protecciones que concedió el Profeta Muhammad ―la paz y las bendiciones sean con él― al Pueblo del Libro (judíos y cristianos).

El primero que quiero citarles fue escrito por Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah ibn Yusuf ibn al-Hafiz (1160 – 1171 C.), conocido como al-Adid li-Din Allah, decimocuarto y último califa fatimita. El documento original, que mide diez metros de largo, dice lo siguiente:
Alabado sea Dios, Señor de los Mundos. En el nombre de Dios, el Más Compasivo, el Más  Misericordioso. Este edicto fue emitido por nuestro líder más noble, el protector de la religión de Dios y líder de los creyentes… Que las bendiciones de Dios sean con él, sus antepasados virtuosos y su progenie noble…

El Obispo del Monasterio del Monte Sinaí y sus monjes ―quienes viven una vida de recogimiento y oración― nos presentaron una petición con las firmas habituales. (Expusieron) los decretos de la época de al-Hakim y otros registros cuya posesión les honra, entregados por esos sublimes estados Alauitas.

Los monjes nos pidieron renovar los privilegios que actualmente tienen. Dejamos constancia que este edicto los protege, ampara y facilita sus cosas. Dispusimos que sean tratados de manera que se respeten sus costumbres y que se los atienda bien.
Deben ser ayudados para que puedan administrar sus asuntos sin problemas. Debe alentárseles y hacerlos sentir felices. Deben ser protegidos dondequiera que se encuentren en el estado [fatimita]. Y se los debe ayudar para que obtengan beneficios de las bondades (de nuestras tierras).

Los monjes quedan exentos de los impuestos gubernamentales… Los árabes tienen prohibido entrar en las residencias de los monjes y robarles sus ahorros, utilizados para albergar a los peregrinos. Los monjes quedan liberados de pagar impuestos y derechos, como lo señalan los decretos del Profeta que tienen en su posesión. Esos decretos también prohíben todo intento de cambiar o alterar los privilegios en cuestión o que se intente que no sean implementados. Los amigos de los monjes y todos los que trabajan para ellos, deben ser protegidos. Lo mismo se aplica respecto a esos que obtienen dinero de ellos, ya sea diezmo o limosna.

Nadie debería dañar a quienes garantizan su sustento, ya sea en Egipto, en los países vecinos o en las zonas rurales. Más aún, deben descartarse todas las gabelas recientemente impuestas.

Cualquier persona que lea o se entere de este decreto ―incluidos los líderes que supervisan la guerra en el este –quiera Dios respaldarlos– o los responsables de las fortalezas en el Monte Sinaí –que Dios los mantenga vigorosos– y todos los representantes y secretarios― debe regirse por él, prestar atención a sus cláusulas y tener cuidado de no transgredirlo… Escrito en Yumada II en 564 AH, Marzo de 1169 C.

El edicto de Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah confirma que los monjes del Sinaí solicitaban regularmente la renovación de sus privilegios y establece que habían recibido decretos otorgándoles los derechos y libertades que se remontan a la época de al-Hakim (996-1021 C.), el sexto califa fatimita.

No solo fueron renovados sus antiguos privilegios sino que Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah emitió una larga lista de órdenes cariñosas y compasivas que irradian amor. Su decreto abarca todos los puntos principales encontrados en el Pacto de Sinaí. Sin embargo, más que centrarse en la letra, lo hace en el espíritu, arraigado en la Regla de Oro (Nota del traductor: dicha Regla expresa: «Desea para los demás lo que deseas para ti»). Al igual que el Pacto del Profeta, el decreto del último califa fatimita advierte que no se deben violar los derechos de los cristianos contemplativos.

El segundo documento que deseo compartir con ustedes esta noche es el Decreto que el Sultán Selim concedió a los monjes del Monte Sinaí en 1517. Recuerden que este es el sultán que llevó el “Ashtinameh” (el Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los monjes del Monte Sinaí) a la cámara de las reliquias en el Palacio de Topkapi en Estambul. Allí se lee:

Puesto que los monjes del Monte Sinaí han llegado a nuestro sublime Diván (Consejo Imperial) y humildemente han declarado que Muhammad al-Mustafá ―la paz y las bendiciones sean con él― fue en aquella época recibido con hospitalidad en su monasterio donde se le brindó las mejores atenciones que podían; (puesto que debido a ello) se eximió graciosamente a esa comunidad de monjes cristianos del tributo anual; (puesto que debido a ello) y en confirmación de esa medida (Muhammad) les dio un santo escrito firmado con su propia mano [es decir, aplicó toda su mano entintada como firma], nosotros también, independientemente de nuestra gran clemencia, ordenamos que los monjes ya mencionados queden libres del tributo anual pagado por el resto y disfruten de sus iglesias y ritos según su legislación obsoleta.

En función de ello les dejamos una copia auténtica del Pacto del Santo Profeta de Dios, matriculada por nosotros. Por lo tanto, prohibimos a lo largo de todo nuestro reino que alguien ejerza dominio o jurisdicción sobre dichos monjes, (quienes están) libres de todo tributo o contribución política. Y quienquiera que actuara en contra de nuestro noble decreto y mandato, sabrá que seguramente será sancionado y castigado. Dado en el Cairo…

El Sultán Selim, el Gran Visir, el Mufti principal y todos los importantes eruditos musulmanes al servicio del imperio del otomano examinaron y autenticaron el Pacto del Sinaí. Y ellos no eran ignorantes.

El tercer decreto que me gustaría citar fue emitido por el sultán Mustafá I (1591-1639 C.), quien gobernó entre 1617-1618 y 1622-1623. Este documento fue dirigida al Obispo Ghafril Cuarto en 1618 C. Proclama:

A los principales jueces de los estados de Rumelia, Anatolia y Egipto, el Protegido. A los principales jueces de Damasco en Siria, la ciudad que huele al Paraíso. A los principales jueces de Bagdad, la ciudad que se parece al Paraíso. A los magistrados y sus secretarios. A todos los responsables del dinero. A los comandantes militares. A los directores de aduanas y a los administradores del puerto. A los distinguidos miembros de la Secretaría y a todos los hombres de autoridad. Quiera Dios concederles las capacidades (pertinentes).

Cuando les llegue este decreto mío, es necesario que sepan que el Pastor Ghafril IV, Obispo del Monte Sinaí, ubicado en esa Montaña bendita desde hace mucho tiempo, presentó a nuestra Alteza una petición (debidamente) rubricada.

En la misma nos pide un decreto sagrado conforme a los registros y escrituras en posesión de los monjes del monasterio del Monte Sinaí y conforme al texto del Pacto Sagrado que les fue ofrecido por el más grande de lo Profetas, Muhammad. Él concedió a los monjes este documento después de una reunión y que ellos hubiesen aceptados los términos que se aplican a los no musulmanes. Este evento ocurrió cuando el Profeta transitaba por el desierto sagrado en una visita a la Cueva de Moisés ―la paz sea con él― junto con otros nobles peregrinos, a los que llevaba al Monte de Sinaí.

En base a los privilegios generosos proporcionados a ellos por los califas ―las bendiciones de Dios sean sobre todos ellos― y por los sultanes anteriores, los protectores de la religión; en base al contenido de dichos decretos, registros y explicaciones preservadas en el Libro Real; en base al Pacto Sagrado (del Profeta) [mu’ahadah muqqadisah] preservado por los dos monasterios, en el Monte de Moisés ―la paz sea con él― y en el Monte Sinaí desde los Días de la Ignorancia, ningún jefe militar u hombre de autoridad debe atacar a los monjes, pastores o ciudadanos de los dos monasterios en cuestión.

(Los monjes) No deben ser atacados durante sus viajes a Rumelia, Anatolia, Egipto, Damasco, a los destinos del Mediterráneo y Mar Negro o a las ciudades y zonas rurales de los Estados islámicos. No deben ser atacados mientras realizan sus rituales religiosos ni cuando viajan para recoger limosnas de los cristianos con el objeto de alimentar y vestir a los ascetas que viven en los dos monasterios en cuestión, monasterios en donde se alimenta a los extranjeros que peregrinan allí.

Los monjes de los monasterios en cuestión no deben pagar impuestos o derechos de aduana por sus consumos o pertenencias en ningún lugar. Por lo tanto, cuando un monje fallezca, ni la Secretaría ni ningún funcionario encargado de las sucesiones se inmiscuirá en lo relativo a las propiedades y pertenencias del fallecido. Esto es así porque la propiedad de los monjes difuntos pasa a los monjes con vida…

Del mismo modo, los monjes de estos dos monasterios tienen el derecho a la propiedad de los fondos legados a sus monasterios, iglesias, granjas, hostales, residencias, campos, bosques y huertos, así como a sus tierras y pasturas de invierno en Rumelia y Anatolia, sus iglesias y los huertos de palmeras a lo largo de la costa (en la ciudad de al-Tur).

Asimismo les pertenecen los monasterios y propiedades recibidos en donación en el distrito de Jawanyah en Bab al-Nasr, en la capital de Egipto. De la misma manera les pertenecen sus huertos, parcelas de tierra y pastura de invierno en Alejandría y Rashid, así como lo que posean en otros puertos, regiones, direcciones, ciudades y zonas rurales.

Los monjes también tienen el derecho a la propiedad. Se incluyen tierras que hayan comprado y las que fueron legadas o dadas por otros cristianos. No se debe impedir a los monjes el uso de sus tierras en ninguna parte y ninguno de los funcionarios del sultán, recaudadores o no,  debe cobrarles impuestos o multas…

Ningún Patriarca u Obispo tiene derecho, en cualquier región o lugar, a intervenir en los asuntos de los monjes [del Monte Sinaí] o atemorizarlos, pues estos son derechos de sus Arzobispos electos. Nadie está facultado para tratarlos de forma contraria a lo que estipula el Pacto Sagrado (del Profeta) o los Decretos de los sultanes…

Yo he emitido a ustedes este mandato para que acaten las órdenes sublimes emanadas de nuestros ilustres antepasados y eviten todo lo que podría contradecir estas disposiciones… Sean conscientes de ello y confíen en mi decreto sagrado. Escrito el día 11 de Safar de 1027 H. ; 07 de abril de 1618 C.

Como indica en su decreto el Sultán Mustafá I, la delegación de los monjes del Monte Sinaí, en función de su petición, no proporcionaron simplemente los documentos de los gobernantes anteriores sino que también proporcionaron una copia del Pacto del Profeta. Entendemos que, precisamente, es esto lo que sucedió al presentarse los monjes ante los gobernantes fatimíes y ante aquellos que les precedieron. El sultán Mustafá I no solo reconoce la autenticidad del Pacto del Profeta sino que confirma el relato histórico de su concesión.

Si algunos eruditos afirman que en las fuentes musulmanas no existe registro del Pacto del Sinaí y de los acontecimientos que rodearon su concesión, están evidentemente equivocados. Los decretos de los califas y sultanes están en fuentes islámicas. Según la mayoría de los relatos, el Pacto del Profeta estuvo a disposición de los monjes en la época preislámica. Es decir, cuando Muhammad viajó en su juventud siendo un comerciante. Se dice que cumplió el papel de líder de la caravana de los monjes. Si este fuese el caso, llevaba a peregrinos al Monasterio de Santa Catalina.

También hay otro relato, menos conocido que el anterior, relatado por Nektarios de Sinaí (269-271 C.). Según sus fuentes, la peregrinación de Muhammad al Monte Sinaí tuvo lugar durante su misión profética. Una delegación de monjes del Monte Sinaí había ido a Medina para que el Profeta les conceda seguridad y amparo. Después que les concedió lo que  pedían, los monjes invitaron a Muhammad a ir con ellos para ver los lugares sagrados. Esto ocurrió durante el segundo año de la Hégira.

Parece que Jeanne Aubert se hizo eco del relato de Nektarios de Sinaí. Según ella, el Pacto del Profeta fue concedido en el segundo año de la Hégira. Hubo una batalla entre musulmanes y cristianos en la que muchos de estos últimos perdieron la vida. La noticia de las pérdidas se esparcieron por todo el Oriente Medio y numerosas delegaciones de cristianos, judíos, zoroastrianos y sabeos fueron a Medina para ofrecer su sumisión al nuevo profeta poderoso.

Si bien el decreto del sultán Mustafá I no indica cuándo realizó Muhammad una peregrinación al Monasterio de Santa Catalina para visitar la Cueva de Moisés, confirma que el evento tuvo lugar. En cuanto a los privilegios concedidos, el Sultán Mustafá I no hizo una copia mecánica de los anteriores sino que los analizó y otorgó según las nuevas necesidades y coyuntura.

El cuarto y último decreto que me gustaría compartir con ustedes se trata del emitido por el Sultán ‘Abd al-Hamid II (1842-1918 C.) al obispo Burvirius del Monte Sinaí en 1904. En el  mismo se lee:

(Dice) el sello  otomano: “Quiera el Conquistador ‘Abd al-Hamid ibn ‘Abd al-Majid Khan ser victorioso para siempre”.

El Khedive (virrey) egipcio nos informó que Su Santidad Burvirius, Arzobispo del Monasterio del Monte Sinaí, se ha retirado debido a su edad y enfermedad y que los monjes del monasterio se reunieron y eligieron en su lugar a Su Santidad Burvirius Yougotis.

El Khedive egipcio nos pidió emitir un decreto aceptando esa elección y el nombramiento de la persona mencionada como arzobispo según las normas establecidas. Las regulaciones fueron revisadas y se encontró que elegir gobernantes eclesiásticos fue uno de los derechos que se concedió a los monjes. Es por ello que emitimos este Decreto Real que establece que el Venerable Burvirius Yougotis es el Arzobispo del Monasterio del Monte Sinaí.

Ordenamos que nadie interfiera en sus monasterios, iglesias y huertos en la sagrada Montaña de Moisés y Monte Sinaí; en sus iglesias, huertos de palmeras y olivos que se encuentran a lo largo de la orilla del mar en la ciudad (de al-Tur); en su monasterio en el distrito interno en Bab al-Nasr en Egipto, el Protegido; en sus dos instituciones en el lado derecho del mencionado distrito y el norte; en su iglesia al costado de Santa Catalina; en sus lugares de oración y culto; en sus residencias y organismos; en sus otras posesiones en el Cairo. Ningún funcionario de la justicia debe entrar en sus tiendas o interponerse en su camino.

No debe cobrarse ningún arancel por sus huertos, higueras, árboles frutales y plantaciones de palma y oliva. Tampoco a lo que almacenan en la ciudad de al-Tur, en Siria y en Egipto.

Nadie debe molestarlos en su negocio de la seda, en sus posesiones y en sus bosques o  granjas en Chipre. No se les debe cobrar derechos de aduana y tarifas de entrada en los puertos del Mar Rojo, el Mar Occidental ―Alejandría, Demiat, Chipre, Rashid―, Damasco en Siria, Nadis, Hauran, Qistah, Ghazzah, Beirut, Seida, Trípoli de Siria, Latakia y otros puertos. (Tampoco) debe cobrárseles aranceles por el jabón, aceite, granos, ofrendas y limosnas provenientes de tierras islámicas.

Tienen derecho a visitar su cementerio en Damasco, en Siria, según sus tradiciones. Nadie debe interferir ante el procedimiento de entierro de sus muertos. Nadie debe interferir en sus cementerios.

Los gobernadores deben cumplir sus obligaciones [para con los monjes] de manera inmediata y plena. Deben impedir que la gente perturbe los derechos [de los monjes]. Ningún juez, gobernador, administrador o funcionario debe entrometerse en las cuestiones propias de los monjes.

Ningún Patriarca Alejandrino o de cualquier otra denominación debe tratarlos mal ni meterse en sus asuntos de ninguna manera. (Los monjes) son libres bajo el gobierno de su Patriarca.

Puesto que nuestro Profeta Muhammad, el Mensajero de Dios, dio a los monjes un Pacto bendito y teniendo en cuenta que los califas y sultanes siguieron su ejemplo honorable por medio de venerar su pacto y su respeto por la Sharíah, (los monjes) deben vivir en la montaña en cuestión en completa seguridad y tranquilidad. En conformidad con el Pacto del Profeta y las honorables órdenes y decretos obligatorios [de los califas y sultanes], no se permite a nadie que ataque o dañe a los monjes.

Cualquier persona que no respete el Pacto del Profeta y las órdenes que se han dado, merece un castigo severo. Es por esta razón que ordeno el comportamiento que debe seguirse. Escrito el 15 de Ramadán al-Mubarak de 1322 H. ; 22 de noviembre de 1904 C.

Aunque el propósito del decreto en cuestión tiene que ver con el nombramiento de Burvirius II como Arzobispo del Monte Sinaí, también sirvió para renovar el Pacto del Sinaí. En consecuencia, el Sultán ‘Abd al-Hamid II confirma la historicidad del Pacto del Profeta y reconoce que los derechos de los monjes fueron confirmados en manuscritos por los anteriores sultanes y califas. Por lo tanto, cualquiera que afirme creer en el califato está obligado a acatar las órdenes de los califas. En cuanto a aquellos que se oponen a los Pactos del Profeta, los violan, los niegan o los desprecian, se están mofando de su religión, insultan al Profeta y desafían a sus sucesores políticos y religiosos. Y Dios es el Mejor de los Jueces.