Prophet Muhammad (s) authored hundreds of letters. They are found in books of prophetic biography, traditions, jurisprudence, history, and Qur’anic commentary. Dozens of letters are cited in Jewish, Samaritan, Christian, and Zoroastrian sources. More than half a dozen originals survive in mosques, monasteries, museums, and private collections.

These documents were dictated by the Prophet himself. Although he used many different scribes, the major covenants with the People of the Book were written down by ‘Ali (r) and Mu‘awiyyah (r) and witnessed by dozens of prominent Companions of the Prophet, including Abu Bakr (r), ‘Umar (r), and Uthman (r), among many others.

The Messenger of Allah signed some of his correspondence with his palm-print and, later, when his ring was made, he marked them with his famous seal.

Most of the letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet can be found in al-Watha’iq, by Dr Muhammad Hamidullah, Makatib al-Rasul by Ayatullah Ahmadi Miyanji, and Kalimah Rasul al-A‘zam by Ayatullah Hasan Shirazi.

The most important studies on the subject include Power Manifestation of the Sirah by Zafar Bangash, the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World by Dr John Andrew Morrow, and Islam and the People of the Book: Critical Studies on the Covenants of the Prophet, edited by the former, which features contributions by dozens of leading scholars.

The letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (s) form a central part of his Sunnah. They permit us to properly interpret the Holy Book based on the Prophet’s instructions.

As a prophet, messenger, statesman, political leader, and military strategist, Muhammad (s) engaged in extensive diplomatic efforts to spread Islam, invite people, tribes, and nations to the Muslim faith, or offer them to enter into an alliance with the Confederation of Believers that he created.

By means of the Covenant of Madinah, the Prophet produced the first constitution in the history of humanity.

By means of the Covenants with the People of the Book, he produced declarations of human rights and charters of civil rights and freedoms, the likes of which would not be seen until the rise of modern Western democracies.

Prophet Muhammad (s) granted rights and privileges the People of the Book who formed part of the Muslim Ummah or who were its allies.

These include:

  • The Covenant of Madinah.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Monks of Mount Sinai.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Najran.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of Persia.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Assyrian Christians.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Syriac Orthodox Christians.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Coptic Christians of Egypt.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Armenian Christians.
  • The Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad with the Samaritans.
  • 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.