Month: January 2018

By Jehad ElSayed

Egypt Today
Sat, Jan. 27, 2018
The Holy Quran - CC via Pixabay/ Tariq786
CAIRO – 27 January 201: Following allegations made by the U.S. Congress regarding violations committed against Coptic Christians in Egypt, Egypt Today provides evidence of Islam’s preservation of Christians’ rights.

Recently, Egypt’s Minister of Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa said that the protection of churches is as legitimate as defending mosques, stressing that those who died in the defense of a church are martyrs.

Religious freedom is a well-known Islamic principle. {There is no compulsion in religion; the right direction is clearly distinguished from the wrong} (Quran 22:56) . So it’s clear that each person should be allowed to find their own path in life. People of other religions are free to practice their own faith, as Islam does not force any one to embrace it.

Not only does Islam demand their freedom to practice religion, but also that they be treated justly and kindly as any other fellow human. {Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah love those who are just} (Quran 60:8) .

Regarding the protection of churches, Allah says, {Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause)} (Quran 22:40) .

Islamic scholar Ibn Khuwaiz stated that this verse included the prohibition of demolishing the churches of non-Muslim citizens, their temples, and their houses of worship.

One of the best examples of strictly safeguarding the rights of non-Muslims and their freedom to practice their religions in early Islamic history was the practice of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, the second caliph of Islam. Umar was particularly sensitive to the demands of justice concerning non-Muslims living under his authority. In a famous story, Umar was invited by the patriarch of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to pray inside the church. Umar refused, however, not out of reluctance to pray inside a church, but rather because he feared some ignorant Muslims might seize the church after him and turn it into a sort of shrine.

“If I prayed inside the church, the Muslims after me would take it and they would say: ‘Umar prayed here’,” Ibn Al-Khattab said.

This church still exists today in Jerusalem as the headquarters of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, even though it was under the authority of Muslims for centuries.

In one of the most eye-catching scenes in Egypt during the January 25 Revolution, some Egyptian Muslims were seen guarding Coptic churches while Christians pray, and, on Friday, Christians were guarding the mosques while Muslims prayed.

The recently published book “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World”, written by Canadian religious authority, academic, and activist John Andrew Morrow, begins with a reference to these mostly neglected “literary monuments in the history of Islam.” The author comments:

“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.”

Extremists of both the Muslim and Islamophobic non-Muslim varieties try to ignore, or even deny, the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but all accept the authenticity of the Constitution of Medina. There is no doubt that in this there was a clear paragraph:

“The Jews of Banu ‘Awf are one community with the believers; the Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs; their freedmen and their persons except those who behave unjustly and sinfully, for they hurt but themselves and their families.”

The second paragraph of the covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians states, “To the followers of Islam I say: Carry out my command, protect and help the Nazarene nation in this country of ours in their own land.”

The significance of these words is that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recognized the Nazarenes (Christians) as a people and a nation existing among of the people.

Thus, it’s obvious that Islam guarantees the protection of Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims who reside in Muslim lands. Their houses of worship should be defended from attack and their right to worship according to their choice respected.

Dear Signatories and Observers:

The last full COVENANTS INITIATIVE REPORT was issued in June of last year. Since then our publication efforts, in terms of both books and articles, have expanded exponentially. In addition, Dr. Morrow has been giving numerous lectures, generally on a weekly basis.

1} As I mentioned in the last INTERIM report, Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet is now available from Amazon. It can be purchased at:

https://www.amazon.com/Islam-People-Book-Volumes-1-3/dp/1527503194/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514477219&sr=1-1&keywords=critical+studies+on+the+covenants+morrow

2} The Italian version of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World—I Patti del Profeta Muhammad con I Cristiani del mondohas been published and is being distributed to hundreds of Catholic and Muslim leaders in Italy by Imam Yahya Pallavicini. It can be purchased at:

https://www.amazon.com/Patti-Profeta-Muhammad-Cristiani-Italian/dp/1621382966

3} The Arabic version of the book, Uhud al-Nabi li-Masihiyyi al-‘alam should soon be published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah in Beirut, Lebanon, one of the largest publishers in the Arab world. It features a preface from Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari, the Egyptian-born, British scholar of Islam, and founder of the Ihsan Institute.

4} A second encyclopedic work on the Covenants containing material by Dr. Morrow and entitled The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad: Past, Present, and Future, is currently being prepared under the direction of Dr. Emad Shahin and Dr. Ibrahim Zein from Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar.

5) Arabia Jewel has published a book titled A Hijazi Gift of Love that includes an article by Dr. Morrow on the Sinai Covenant, along with poetry about the Ahdname. It can be found at:

Home

Arabia Jewel is committed to spreading the Covenants of the Prophet throughout the Arabian Peninsula and plan to share the Covenants with diplomats and ambassadors based in the region. The Covenants Initiative will be training their members to speak about the Covenants of the Prophet and will provide them with lectures and Power Point presentations.

8} Here is the list of Covenants Initiative articles and speeches since June 21, 2017; links to these can be found at https://johnandrewmorrow.com/newsreviewsevents/ :

Rahyafteha. “Escritor y activista nuevo musulmán.” Rahyafteha (12 de enero de 2018).

Perra, Daniele. “Heidegger el islam y la cuarta teoría (política).” Revista Cultural Biblioteca Islamica (5 de enero de 2018).

Castleton, Barbara. “Tesoros Islámicos: Los Tratados del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos de su Época.” Shafaqna (28 de diciembre de 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Message of Love: Concluding Part.” New Age Islam (December 25, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Muslim Documents Everyone Should Know.” Khutbah Bank (December 24, 2017).

Castleton, Barbara. “Hallelujah! Recently Unearthed Islamic Texts Unlock the Prophet Muhammad’s Intentions.” Medium (December 23, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Message of Love: Part 1.” New Age Islam (Dec. 21, 2017).

Castleton, Barbara. “Islamic Treasures: The Treaties of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time.” Islamicity (December 22, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “No Fear Shall be Upon Them, Nor Shall They Grieve: The Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christians.” Shafaqna (December 18, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “El Pacto del Profeta Muhammad con los Cristianos: Nada tendrán que temer ni se afligirán.” Shafaqna (December 13, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Muslims Documents Everyone Must Know.” Islamicity (December 6, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Hamza Yusuf: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Shafaqna (December 6, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Message of Love: Part 2.” The Muslim Vibe (December 6, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Coalition Building as a Major Strategy of Prophetic Success.” The Muslim Post (December 5, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Hamza Yusuf: Lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo.” Shafaqna (5 de diciembre de 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Slayer of Dragons.” Shafaqna (December 3, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Americans Honored for Massacre.” Crescent International (December 1, 2017).

Daniels, Justin. “International lawyer Karim Khan argues peace at core of Islam.” The Stanford Daily (December 1, 2017).

Shafaqna. “Hujjat El-islam Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai speaks on Arbaeen.” Shafaqna (November 16, 2017).

Demoslimkrrant. “De Islam en de Mensen van het Boek.” Demoslimkrant (November 15, 2017).

اختصاصی مشرق/ نویسنده و محقق آمریکایی در اجتماع جهانی اربعین +عکس

Considine, Craig. “Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet.” Craig Considine (November 1, 2017).

“The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.” Religions for Peace Australia (October 29, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Prophetic Wisdom and Advice on Vinegar.” The Muslim Village (Oct. 29, 2017).

Upton, Charles. “An An Open Letter To Steve Bannon from an American Muslim and Follower of René Guénon.” Sophia Imaginalis: Journal of Visionary Art, Sacred art, Traditionalism and Esoteric Studies (Oct. 26, 2017).

Tabatabai, Taraneh. “Reconocimiento al Dr John Morrow por parte del Congreso Americano.” Shafaqna (23 de octubre de 2017).

“Muhammad (s): Mtume aliyelingania uhuru wa itikadi na ibada.” Risala (October 21, 2017).

Considine, Craig. “Modern Day Lessons from Prophet Muhammad’s Religious Pluralism.” Muftah (October 20, 2017).

Tabatabai, Taraneh. “Dr. John Morrow Recognised by US Congress.” The Australasian Muslim Times (October 19, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Los Kurdos Frente a los Pactos del Profeta.” Shafaqna (15 de octubre de 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Calling Iran to the Covenants of the Prophet: Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s Address to President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations.” The Muslim Post (October 12, 2017).

Harbi, Hanan al-. “The Covenants of the Prophet in California.” The Muslim Post (October 12, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Message of Love: Part 1.” The Muslim Vibe (October 8, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Covenants of the Prophet Confirmed: The Official Response of the Caliphs, Sultans, and Shahs of Islam.” Shafaqna (October 8, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Los pactos del Profeta son reales.” Shafaqna (7 de octubre de 2017).

Tabatabai, Taraneh. “President Rouhani and American Muslim Leaders.” Crescent International (Muharram 1439).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Terroristët masakrojnë një fshat të tërë.” Gazeta Impakt (September 26, 2017).

Upton, Charles. “An Open Letter to Steve Bannon.” Geopolitika (September 13, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Muslim Menace Next Door.” Crescent International (September 1, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Terrorists Massacre Entire Village.” Crescent International (September 1, 2017).

Helminsky, Kabir. “Why Muslims Must Help Counter Totalitarian Islamism.” Tikkun 32.3 (Summer 2017).

A.H.M. Azwer, Former Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. “Passage to Bliss.” Daily News (August 30, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Muslim Scholar and the US Marine.” Islamicity (August 29, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Being and Becoming Métis and Muslim. ” The Muslim Vibe (August 24, 2017).

The Quran Love. “Surah al-Saff: the Ranks.” The Qur’anic Compassion (August 23, 2017).

MARTÍN RUBIO, MARÍA DEL CARMEN. “El islam de Mahoma y el de hoy.” ABC (22 de agosto de 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Iraqi American Receives Humanitarian Award.” The Islamic Monthly (August 22, 2017).

Harbi, Hanan al-. “Muslim Leader Maligned for Moderation.” The Muslim Post (August 11, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Dr. John Andrew Morrow’s address at the 69th Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.” The Muslim Times (August 10, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Being and Becoming Métis and Muslim.” The Muslim Vibe (August 9, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Justice, Kindness and Kinship: An Islamic and American Imperative.” Muslim Writers Guild (August 3, 2017).

Seraaj, Intisar. “Power of Muslim Museum Extends Far Beyond Jackson.” Mississippi Today (August 1st, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Horror in the Hot Desert Sand.” Crescent International (August 2017).

Manzolillo, Hector. “Who is ‘We’? Humera Khan’s Dismissal of Divine Decrees.” Crescent International (August 2017).

Upton, Charles, and John Andrew Morrow. “An Offering of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World in the Twenty-First Century.” Veterans Today (July 30, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Justice, Kindness and Kinship: An Islamic and American Imperative.” Islam Ahmadiyya (July 25, 2017).

Harbi, Hanan al-. “Muslim Leader Was Harassed by a US Marine and Here is Why it’s Problematic.” Mvslim (July 23, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “83 Years Old and Graduates from Grade One: Why Women’s Education Matters in Morocco.” Morocco World News (July 22, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Leveraging the Medina Charter.” Islamicity (July 15, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “The Role of Faith in a Culture of Fear in America.” The Muslim Post (July 14, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Who Hates Whom?” Crescent International (July 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “Takfirism and Islamophobia: Two Sides of the Same Coin.” Crescent International (July 2017).

Azwer, Alhaj A.H.M. “Islam’s Tolerance and Justice Equal to All.” Ceylon Today (June 29, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “US Military Actively Training White Supremacist Terrorists.” Shafaqna (July 1, 2017).

Morrow, John Andrew. “US Military Actively Training White Supremacist Terrorists.” Veterans Today (June 28, 2017).

Upton, Charles, and John Andrew Morrow. “Templar Resonances: Part 2.” Knight Templar (July 2017).

7} Last but not least, 7th century Covenant of the Prophet was reportedly rediscovered in Mar Bahman in northern Iraq. Miraculously, it survived the attacks of both ISIS and the US.

Medium (December 23, 2017)

By Barbara Castleton

Even with so much information bombarding every one of us all day every day, it is still a rare moment when we can legitimately stop and say, “Wow! I didn’t know that!” Such was my reaction when a co-author and friend, Dr. John A Morrow asked me to review his book “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time” pre-publication. A rigorously researched book, The Covenants .. details documents composed by the Prophet Muhammad in the early days of his caliphate which granted unheard of rights to non-Muslims, including Christians and Jews.

Wait! Aren’t we told almost daily that Muslims despise these two groups? Certainly, some may think so, either out of true belief or politically driven agendas, but just as our plantation-owning southern forefathers thought slavery was a condition approved by God and promoted in the Bible, the modern reigning view of Islam has a not a few fallacious quirks as well.

As much as Muhammad was the prophet of God and the receiver of divine instruction, he was also the soul and architect of the Islamic state, or Ummah, a body of influence, culture, religious strength, and expansion that had more to do with acculturation than subjugation. His connections with the ultimate wisdom enabled him to see both the societies of the Middle East and beyond with clarity and pragmatism, but also to construct a vision of what steps would produce a society in which all were safe and received in brotherhood. Says Morrow, “ A visionary long-term planner, the Prophet understood that the spread of Islam could take centuries. What he sought to create were the conditions under which the seeds of Islam could be planted and watered, thus enabling Muslim seeds to sprout, grow, and spread. If a population preferred to remain heathen, Christian or Jewish, they were entitled to do so as long as they entered into a covenant with the Islamic State as protected people.”

It began with the Constitution of Medina, one of the first governmental texts of its kind. Muhammad and around 75 disciples and family members were invited to Medina to be a catalyst for peace and civility within a conflicted population. Composed within months of his arrival in Yathrib (Medina), in 622 CE, the Constitution detailed an explicit administrative and governmental structure and specific rights and benefits of all citizens, including, “To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality. He shall not be wronged nor shall his enemies be aided.”

Al-Waqidi, a historian writing 200 years after the fact, explains that “ …when the Messenger of God arrived in Medina, the Jews, all of them, were reconciled with him, and he wrote an agreement between him and them. The Prophet attached every tribe with its confederates and established a protection between himself and them. He stipulated conditions to them, among which it was stipulated that they would not help any enemy against him.” In addition to this, the Constitution of Medina drew up laws that took the Ummah, the Islamic nation state, from a mere theocracy, or even a strictly political entity, into a social construction that had never before been attempted, a hybrid state in which a benign umbrella was spread over all, regardless of whether they were Muslim, Christian, Sabean, or Jew, all monotheists in the Abrahamic tradition.

As Islam spread among the people of Yathrib and the Arabian Peninsula, the Prophet went further, reaching out to multiple communities with an eye to achieving a mutually beneficial relationship. Two of the first recipients were the Christian community in Najran, in what is now the southern part of Saudi Arabia, and strangely, the monks who occupied the Monastery of St. Catherine, located far away at the base of Mount Sinai.

Abbey of St. Catherine — Mount Sinai

Tradition as well as ancient religious writings place Muhammad on the Sinai in his early years, accompanying his uncle on caravans that took them far and wide. It is said that the abbot of the monastery spotted an eagle circling young Muhammad’s head as the cleric looked down from the abbey’s heights. He prophesied that the young man would become a great leader, and when, in fact, that is what happened, the leadership of the monastery asked the Prophet Muhammad to honor their long-term relationship. The resulting covenant, signed with Muhammad’s palm print, served to to protect the abbey, the monks, the service workers, and all the physical structures as long as the “sea wets the shells.”

The covenants laid out a system of behavior, rights, privileges, and expectations for both parties, the Islamic state and its Muslim adherents, and other members of the community. Prime among these was the ongoing respect and protection of the religious institutions of the non-Muslim citizens. In document after document, the same phrases appear, anchoring these concepts. In the Covenant with the Monks from the Monastery of Saint Catherine, written in 2 AH, or 624 CE, the dictated treaty stipulates, “ No bishop is to be driven out of his bishopric. No monk is to be expelled from his monastery. No changes will be made with regards to their rights and sovereignty or anything in their possession provided that they remain friendly [towards Islam and Muslims]. They will reform the rights incumbent on them. They will not be oppressed nor will they oppress.” The Covenant with the Christians of Najran echoes these ideas, “To the Christians of Najran and its neighboring territories, God’s protection and the pledge of His Prophet extend to their lives, their religion, and their property. It applies to those who are present as well as those who are absent. There shall be no interference with the practice of their faith or their religious observances. There will be no change to their rights and privileges. No bishop shall be removed from his bishopric; no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his parish. They shall all continue to enjoy everything they previously enjoyed great or small. No image or cross shall be destroyed. They will not oppress or be oppressed.

Finally, in the The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, we can read, “Never should any Christian be subjected to tyranny or oppression in this matter. It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric, a monk from his monastic life, or anchorite from his vocation as a hermit. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims. Whoever does such a thing will have violated the pact of Allah, disobeyed his Messenger, and become estranged from the Divine Alliance.”

In treaty after treaty, these core promises were transcribed onto parchment and upheld, with rare exceptions, for centuries as each successive caliph honored the Prophet’s intentions by rewriting verbatim the original texts as they aged flaked, cracked, and gradually disintegrated.

Dr. Morrow has authenticated over a dozen covenants, documents written for communities that criss-crossed what was then the Islamic world, and in every one, the terms resonated with acceptance, community, and tolerance. Just a portion of the covenants researched and verified include:

The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Armenian Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Jews of Maqna
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Yemenite Jews
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Coptic Christians of Egypt
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Syriac Orthodox Christians
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Samaritans
The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Zoroastrians

John Morrow believes in and has launched a campaign to promote the idea that it is incumbent upon Muslims to adhere to the divinely composed wishes laid down by the Prophet Muhammad. This Covenant Initiative asks that members of all sects of Islam sign off on a declaration which says, “We the undersigned hold ourselves bound by the spirit and the letter of the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad…with the Christians of the world, in the understanding that these covenants, if accepted as genuine, have the force of law in the shariah today and that nothing in the shariah, as traditionally and correctly interpreted, has ever contradicted them.” The declaration, mirroring the intention of the covenants themselves, continues, specifically seeking to rebuild the bridge first outlined by the Prophet Muhammad between all the major monotheistic religions.