The declaration of Madinah was the first written constitution of the world. It is an ample proof that Islam stands for peace with all other faiths and prefers justice at any cost. The following lines is the history of Islam to prove the same claim. Let everybody witness how Allah’s final messenger to mankind dealt with even his avowed enemies. One must keep in mind that this agreement was signed in a war situation when a handful of the Muslims were surrounded by their dreadful enemies from the out and troubled by the hypocrites from within.
In Madīnah Rasūlullāh (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) had to deal with three types of people: his Sahābah (Companions), the old and original tribes of Mushrikīn who had not embraced Islam yet, and the Jews.The Mushrikūn were having a deep sense of enmity against the Sahābah (Muhājirūn and Ansār). But they could not dare to meet them face to face. On the other hand the Jews, consisting of three famous tribes of Banū Qaynuqā‘(allies of Khazraj), Banū Nadīr and Banū Qurayzah (both allies of Aws), had for long been raising hatred among Aws and Khazraj and giving rise to bloody wars like the famous war of Bu‘āth etc. for their own selfish ends, would not welcome Islām which had come to unite them all in a peaceful relationship.Therefore, for the establishment of the peaceful and just order, Allāh’s Messenger undertook the great task of uniting all of them in a common bond. An agreement was made between the Muhājrīn, the Ansār and the Jews. This is called Mīthāq of Madīnah and its main articles as described by Ibn Hishām are as under:
1. “In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. This document is from Muhammad the Prophet (an agreement) between the Muhājirīn and the Ansār and him who followed them and became one of them and accompanied them in Jihād.”
2. “Verily they are one ummah against all other people.”Then he mentioned various tribes like Muhājirūn from the Quraysh, Banū ‘Awf, Banū al-Hārith, Banū Sā‘idah, Banū Jusham, Banū al-Najjār, Banū ‘Amr b. Awf, Banū al-Nabīt and Banū al-Aws and said about all of them separately:
3. (The Muhājirūn, Banū ‘Awf and others) will pay the blood money according to their own norms and every group of them will free their prisoners by paying the ransom themselves so that the mutual treatment of the believers will be on the basis of good and justice.
4. And the believers will leave no Mufrah (a man having large family and huge debt on him) without helping him and paying ransom or blood money on his behalf.
5. And that no believer shall, without the consent of another believer, make any agreement with his (the latter’s) mawlā (brother through agreement).
6. And the righteous believers shall rise against one who transgresses or commits injustice or sin or spreads mischief among the believers; all of them shall join hands against such person be he son of anyone of them.
8. And Allāh’s dhimmah (protection, shelter) is same (for all). If the simplest Muslim gives protection to a person, all the Muslims shall respect it. And the believers are brothers against other people.
9. And whoever from among the Jews obeys (our principles of peace and justice) shall be given help and treated with equity. Neither shall injustice be done against such people nor shall anyone be helped against them.
10. And Sulh (peace making) of the believers shall be the same. A believer shall not make Sulh with the enemy in the way of Allāh during Jihād unless this Sulh is same for all.
11. And all the groups who fight along with us are one after the other.
12. And the believers shall take revenge against what (wrong) is done to their blood in the way of Allāh.
13. And verily the righteous Muslims are on the best and straight guidance (way).
14. And no polytheist (of Madīnah) shall give protection and shelter to the wealth and any person of Quraysh nor shall he become obstacle to a Muslim in this regard.
15. And whosoever kills an innocent Muslim and witnesses also prove it, Qisās (Law of Equal Punishment) will be taken from him. However, if his guardians except blood money then all the Muslims shall have to except it.
16. And it is not lawful for a Muslim who agreed with what is in this document and believes in Allāh and the Last Day (of judgment) to help any mischief monger or to give him shelter; whosoever gives him (the mischief monger) shelter on him will be Allāh’s curse and his wrath on the Day of Resurrection and no compensation will be accepted from him.
17. And whenever you dispute about anything in this (document), then it shall be put before Allāh And Muhammad
18. And the Jews shall spend with the Muslims as long as they fight along with them.
19. And the Jews of Banī ‘Awf constitute a political unity with the Muslims. The Jews shall follow their religion and the Muslims shall follow their religion be they the Mawali’s or the natives.
However, those who commit injustice and crime shall ruin none but their own selves or their households.
Dr Nazir Ahmad Zargar teaches at CUK.To be continued...
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.