The Covenants of Compassion from the Messenger of Mercy (Part 3)


AMUST (27 May, 2018)

Although the Covenants of the Prophet were common knowledge to educated Muslims throughout most of Islamic history, knowledge of them faded after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.

While the works of Hamidullah and Miyanji were familiar to some Muslim scholars, it was only after the publication of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World that knowledge of them became widespread.

The publication of the book in 2013 inspired the Covenants Initiative, an international movement that calls upon Muslims to abide by the spirit and the letter of the Covenants of the Prophet as they are in perfect agreement with the traditional teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

The Covenants Initiative has been signed by over three hundred Muslim scholars, intellectuals, and activists. The movement helped inspire the Marrakesh Declaration on the rights of religious minorities in the Muslim world as well as the Fortenberry Resolution which condemned ISIS for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Fourteen hundred years after the death of the Prophet, these Covenants demonstrate that the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians by extremist groups and the destruction of their religious buildings represents a gross violation of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophet, including the Prophet’s letters and Covenants.

Indeed, these Covenants can serve as a source of inspiration for the establishment of insuperable harmony between the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The Covenants of the Prophet can strengthen tolerance, goodwill, and better understanding between faiths. They represent a genuine call for reconsidering the deteriorated relationships between the three religions. These findings serve to promote peaceful coexistence, respect, and care beyond mere tolerance.

In fact, they shed light upon the nature and policy of the Prophet vis a vis how to govern diverse groups and maintain relationships among other people, both of which are completely in line with the Prophet’s life and teachings.

Whether it is the Constitution of Medina, the letters or Covenants of the Prophet, or the Qur’an, these teachings represent a practical example for how to build peaceful and successful relationships between different faith communities in the contemporary world.

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Dr. John Andrew Morrow is a senior scholar specializing in Islamic, Indigenous, and Hispanic Studies.