Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Muhammad’s Letter to the Christian monks at Mt Sinai

01 Muslims and Christians protest attack against church in Egypt

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One issue often discussed on news site and blogs over the last several days is the many attacks on Egypt’s Christian communities. Several outlets reported that violence by supporters of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Isa al-Ayyat left dozens of Christian churches and Coptic-owned businesses and properties burnt. Fears of widespread sectarian strife seem to be growing among Egypt’s Christian minority.

The violence against Egypt’s Christians reminds me of the important symbolism of the Prophet Muhammad’s letter to the Christian monks at St Catherine Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in 628 AD. In his letter, Muhammad championed universal peace and harmony between Christians and Muslims. Not only did he outline how Muslims should treat Christians, but Muhammad also touched upon human rights, including freedom of conscience, freedom of worship, and the right to protection in war.

Here’s an English translation of Muhammad’s letter:

This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who profess Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily the servants, the helpers, my followers, and I 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 you to remove their judges 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’re 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. Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it can’t take place without her approval. No one is prevent her from visiting her church to pray. You shall respect their churches. You shall neither prevent them from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey this covenant until the Last Day (end of the world).

The attacks by some Egyptian Muslims on their fellow Egyptian Christian citizens is deplorable, for the simple fact that the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, would’ve condemned any violence towards Christians and people of non-Muslim faiths. One has to wonder if the Egyptian Muslims involved in these attacks can even call themselves “Muslims” with any sense of integrity or legitimacy.

Please, visit Craig Considine’s excellent blog where this was originally posted here. You’ll find many such inspirational articles.

18 August 2013

The American Muslim

http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/egyptian-muslims-forget-muhammads-letter-to-christian-monks-at-mt.-sinai/0019989

 

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