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The covenant of Madinah

By bsawaf Feb 25, 2014 648 Words
Bashir Al Sawaf
Constitution of Madinah

The covenant of Madinah that was established by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) him self was the first of its kind in history. Justly, and faithfully this constitution reflected pluralistic views like never before. The Prophet (PBUH) created a pact that treated all the civilians equally. This constitution created stability, safety and last but least it created a community. Looking at this remarkable trademark that the Prophet (PBUH) created, is just a small percentage that gives you a sense that this man had god with him through all the steps he took to achieve what wasn’t imagined off those days.

Before the Prophet (PBUH) set foot in Madinah there were tribal wars going on constantly. People from different backgrounds and social ethnic groups didn’t mix together well. People mistake this horrific act in history as something that only had to do with revenge, politics, and the attempt of gaining the most power. What a lot of people mistake or might not know; is the fact that the prophet (PBUH) didn’t mix religion with politics. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) consulted many of his companions when he needed to make a practical judgment. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the of course our religion of Islam believe in being a person who respects all people and especially people from different religions or ethnic groups. Which enables the idea of pluralism. The idea of “Al Ummah” isn’t specifically looked at the right way these days. People tend to look at the idea of al Ummah as only a Muslim society. However some reports show us the indication that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) meant that al Ummah intended to be a pluralistic community where all religions, ethnic groups, and humans in general from different backgrounds respected one another. When you assess the official constitution of Madinah you see that it was pro pluralism. “Anyone (any individual or party) who is wronged must be helped.” This is one of the laws that were written in the constitution it says that no matter what background you come from and what religion you believe in you just like everybody else. So if your ever in need of help and see yourself as a victim you will be helped. For example if a Muslim wronged a Jew then another Muslim can come and help the Jew, only if the Jew was wronged. Another significant law that was written in the constitution was “No Jew will be wronged for being a Jew.” This displays that the Prophet made sure that the Jews and their religion were respected. Furthermore they felt safe and secure to agree upon the constitution. “Quraysh and their allies will not be given protection.” Out of the all the corresponding laws in the historical constitution of Madinah this is one of the few that is what we call an external law. As broad and blunt it may seem, it actually has a lot of sense and cleverness behind it. That’s because that it will make the people of Madinah feel like they are one and they all have a mutual opponent which will psychological bring them closer to one another.

What the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) accomplished in his early preaching day is great and powerful. However, from the constitution of Madinah the prophet achieved something that hasn’t been ever done before in history. Creating such a pluralistic community is hard, and no one can imagine how hard it was at the time of the prophet and his companions. Because parties that time were much more prejudiced, and it was hard to have them listen to you if you were from a different party. From how we see Prophet Muhammad portrayed the idea that in the Muslim religion we must respect one another and respect people from different groups and beliefs why are we moving forward backwardly?

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