It is the story of the Prophet’s signing a historic document shown above.
The document was the Prophet’s promise to all the Christians about their protection; and a binding upon the Muslims to fulfill it, until the end of time.
Sadly, it is not widely known to the world; Muslims and non-Muslims equally ignored it because of their preconceived notions about Islam and the Prophet which is rooted in rhetoric of the extra-Quranic resources of Islam.
This charter of promise was given to the Christian delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery who went to the Prophet in Medina and requested Christians’ protection there.
But before the discussion had begun, it was the time of the Christian Prayer. So, the delegates asked the Prophet’s permission to leave the mosque and go elsewhere for their Prayer. But the Prophet said that they could pray in the mosque too.
St. Catherine’s Monastery, located at the foot of Mt. Sinai in Egypt is the world’s oldest monastery; it has a huge collection of Christian manuscripts and is a world heritage site. It is a treasure-house of Christian history that has remained safe since the time of Prophet Muhammad under Muslim protection.
The knowledge of this Promise/Charter is a guideline of Muslim conduct towards Christians, and to non-Muslims as well until the end of time.
It consists of several clauses covering all aspects of human rights including topics such as the protection of Christians, freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property, exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war.
This is the summery of the Charter translated into English:
- This is a message from Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
- Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
- No compulsion is to be on them.
- Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.
- No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.
- Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
- No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.
The Muslims are to fight for them.
- If a female Christian is married to a Muslim , it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.
- Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
- No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).
Muslims generally respect the Sunnah (precedent) of their Prophet, and try to practice it in their lives. However, there are black- sheep in all communities.
Please listen to Prof. Dr. Craig Considine’s short video in this regard, below:
In the video below Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan speaks about this Charter/promise **at the World Government Summit 2019 Dubai | 10 Feb, 2019** at 10 min 28 sec.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad ‘s Letter to the Monks of St. Catherine in Mt. Sinai in Egypt