Prophet Muhammad (saw)'s Letter to the Monks of St. Catherine Monastery

The Letter Reads:

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).

St Catherines monestary has this to say about their letter:

“According to the tradition preserved at Sinai, Mohammed Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) both knew and visited the monastery and the Sinai fathers. The Koran makes mention of the Sinai holy sites. In the second year of the Hegira, corresponding to AD 626, a delegation from Sinai requested a letter of protection from Mohammed (saw). This was granted, and authorized by him when he placed his hand upon the document. In AD 1517, Sultan Selim I confirmed the monastery’s prerogatives, but took the original letter of protection for safekeeping to the royal treasury in Constantinople. At the same time, he gave the monastery certified copies of this document, each depicting the hand print of Mohammed Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) in token of his having touched the original. ”

(taken from yursil)

no doubt you will claim the the muslims do not prevent the maintenance of churches in Arabia

perhaps you could sent s copy of this letter to the muslims of pakistan who d not seem to understand it. tom perhaps cc the Arabian rulers?

I will not claim that as I have no idea what the situation is the arab countries is (but I would be surprised if it is uniform in all arab countries.)

Is Muslims really wanted to destroy churches, they had over a thousand years to do so. Yet, some of the oldest churches in the world are in Muslim countries.

As for Pakistan - unfortunately there is a lot of violence there. But even there, until recently, it was between Muslims and rarely against Christians (but now they are sometimes targeted too... all of the violence being unfortunate).

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

so you pretend that you were unaware that there are no churches in Saudi Arabia?

violence against christians in pakistan is not unfortunate it is the islamists policy and its its foul poison is spreading to europe

i am not concerned about the tolerance of islam 1400 years ago but the lack of tolerance today tom

tom wrote:
violence against christians in pakistan is not unfortunate it is the islamists policy and its its foul poison is spreading to europe

You seem to be ignoring the general atmosphere of violence that is pervading thoughout the country. Everyone who disagrees with the militants is being targeted, maybe even people that agree with them too as their aim seems to be to spread chaos.

tom wrote:
i am not concerned about the tolerance of islam 1400 years ago but the lack of tolerance today tom

which, by making muslims aware of the letter above should be increased - they should see that the tolerance was mandated by the prophet and it was mandated for all time.

Are you concerned by a lack of tolerance, or more about seeing a community that you do not feel a part of and are prejudiced against?

Equating everyone under one brush seems to hint at the latter to me.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

actions speak louder than words in fact both violent actions and words are all part of the global jihad believed in by so many - largely illiterate and uneducated cannon fodder, but exploited by fundis and dangerous. tom

peace and tolerance and are all bidahs according to them.

tom wrote:
peace and tolerance and are all bidahs according to them.

Cannot be since the above letter would be a form of hadith, so it cannot be bid'ah.

Have you actually heard this from their mouths or has someone fed you with this idea?

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

so a letter ftom your prophet cannot be a bidah for obvious reasons. so go tell those who terrorise christians and destroy churches in iraq and pakistan.

forward them a link to this topic. That should go down well. and if they have questions, maybe someone will answer them too...

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

what would be the point 500,000 christians have been forced to leave iraq since the overthrow of saddam actions speak louder than words so mohammed's letter is not relevant since its spirit has been ignored by the brave jihadis

Iraq was invaded by foreign forces. If that had nopt been done so, would those people have fled?

I do not know where you get the 500,000 christians fleeing figure (source?), and I am sure there were also many others who fled too. can you compare the relative rates of the two to see if there is a difference?

These people would not have had to flee and thousands of deaths would have been avoided if Monsieur Bush had decided to not carry out an invasion of the place, and also had avoided describing it as a crusade.

Actions have reactions, which can be ugly, but the problem there was the action. the invasion. If it was a fault of Islam, those same christians would have long fled years earlier, but no they were able to remain there - a christian even being the deputy leader of the country.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

try googling christians iraq persecution. or look at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,699409,00.html

its the fault of islamists and mad fundis fortunately most psople can now see through the " peaceful islam facade" ask the shia in pakistan and any other non-sunni group that dares to defy the brave jihadis what use is islam to europe?

what mohammed may have written 1400 years ago does not stop islam being a faith based on violence and death tom

tom wrote:
what mohammed may have written 1400 years ago does not stop islam being a faith based on violence and death tom

in your opinion.

tom wrote:
what would be the point 500,000 christians have been forced to leave iraq since the overthrow of saddam actions speak louder than words so mohammed's letter is not relevant since its spirit has been ignored by the brave jihadis

so it’s irrelevant because it has been ignored by some?

right...

Tom, Islam is a community or set of communities as well as a faith, so expect a diversity even in dictatorships but especially in the west, and bear in mind you can have a proper conversation and not just leave dumb hit and run comments like that. If you support your point of view properly instead of conflating everyone with a particular bunch of terrorists you might get a conversation and everyone might learn a thing or two.

  • It can never be satisfied, the mind, never. -- Wallace Stevens

If muslims are not fulfilling what is laid out in the promise made by the Prophet (saw), they are in the wrong.

People do wrong things - especially when anger or hurt blinds them from reason. Sometimes ignorance also plays its part (but basic humanity and compassion should be in everyone). Not these is an excuse for them not fulfilling their obligations, just an understanding that you do not need comic book villains to see bad things happen.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

tom wrote:
what would be the point 500,000 christians have been forced to leave iraq since the overthrow of saddam actions speak louder than words so mohammed's letter is not relevant since its spirit has been ignored by the brave jihadis

Errmm....

millions of Iraqis have been forced to leave Iraq since saddam was overthrown, of all backgrounds. There are over a million in neighbouring Syria (which, incidentally has a huge population of Arab Christians of different denominations who all live harmoniously alongside the Muslim majority).

If anything, your argument suggests that the position of minorities was more secure under saddam than the occupying forces of America and Britain, or the cronies that they have put in charge since.

Don't just do something! Stand there.

yes, in my opinion and after every attempted act of terrorism, that opinion looks more sensible. islam was founded in a civil war and apread by he sword and its the death sentence if you are a muslim who decides that he/she wants to seek god in another way. since one cannot leave islam, reason hardly applies, as nobody can change islam that is its tragedy - incapable of reform and incapable of being wrong in the eyes of the zealots. i am not sure if the west can allow the present situation to continue for much longer whwt do you think happens then? tom

tom wrote:
yes, in my opinion and after every attempted act of terrorism, that opinion looks more sensible. islam was founded in a civil war and apread by he sword and its the death sentence if you are a muslim who decides that he/she wants to seek god in another way. since one cannot leave islam, reason hardly applies, as nobody can change islam that is its tragedy - incapable of reform and incapable of being wrong in the eyes of the zealots. i am not sure if the west can allow the present situation to continue for much longer whwt do you think happens then? tom

Could you give us some sources as to where you got that information please?

Otherwise it is a baseless stereotype.

Don't just do something! Stand there.

where did i get whst information - do you deny any of

that the sentence for apostacy is death?
that islam was born in an Arabian civil war, which forced mohommed to flee? did you never hear of the battle of the trenches and so on? nor the massacre of the Banu Qurayza

or that muslim armies invaded iran, the rest of the midddle east, N Africa, Spain and France?

islam was born in violence and never looked back. there is no muslim organisisation that could agree to change snd no muslim Luther so islam is tragically locked into its past tom

My personal feeling, Tom, and whether this is taken as uplifting or an insult by others I will acknowledge your point, is that the Muslim authorities aren't swayed by calls for the sort of liberalising and emancipating reform that other societies have undergone. But your comment about a Muslim Luther (not that he was all that) may be mistaken. As we have all gotten about and tried to think of a global village - and none of us has been that brilliant at it - the intellectuals of every society have been exposed to one hymn sheet, as it were, and I think are all now, for the first time in history, quietly fulfilling a common pursuit in promoting a civilised global future, and that some in society such as yourself possibly and some Iranian mullahs and various terrorist organisations you might name are slow on the uptake. I admit that is an optimistic point of view, but I see enough evidence, as might you if you hang around.

  • It can never be satisfied, the mind, never. -- Wallace Stevens

Joie de Vivre wrote:
I will acknowledge your point, is that the Muslim authorities aren't swayed by calls for the sort of liberalising and emancipating reform that other societies have undergone.

Just to add - I see that as a good thing. Absolutes can be a good thing and if they are compromised in order to be "more inclusive", what is the difference between religion/faith and a social club?

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

Most of the wars happened AFTER the proclamation of Prophethood, not before, hence it was not born of civil war. (the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam (Peace and Blessings be upon him) was also from a well respected clan, so he was nobility in the old system).

Technically, the punishment for apostasy is not death. It requires a further step for the punishment to be death - to turn against the community/treachery. The historical accounts of death being used as generally on the battle field. Scholars over a thousand years ago were arguing against the use of the death penalty for apostasy on the argument that if everyone did the same, people could not convert to islam either. The Ottoman grand shaykh in the 19th century even gave the fatwa against the death penalty.

Saying that, some muslim countries do have the death penalty, but this was done more recently and many of the regimes with such laws may even have western backing.

Also to mention, apostasy in many religions has the death penalty.

You also cannot judge the past to todays standards. Well, you can but this day and age is a different time. yet there are still wars, invasions, murder, crime.

Caliph Umar was not wanting to conquer the Persian empire - he considered the moutanous border with it to be a natural separation, but then the persians allied themselves with the byzantium empire with a view to raising a joint army. the two empires were divided and persia conquered.

At the end of Caliph Umar (ra) reign, he was inward looking, wanting to consolidate lands and not expand, yet expansion still happened.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

arabia was tribal society and within that were clans and around the deeds of the prophet a horrid civil war was fought, atrocities by modern standards committed and islam has always looked on those as golden days which are the source of the sunnah as islam cannot change and cannot be changed that leaves us looking to contain the threat which is evident. i do not believe that sunni islam can coexist with the west. if more muslims were like queen rania or those from the oxford centre for islamic studies that would be different but they are not i think it would be to everyone's benefit if the uk authorities shut down the fundi mosques and bookshops in the uk that would be better than a rerun of 1290 would it not?

I disagree with your reading of history and I also do think it has co e3xisted quite well.

What you are asking is for people to not be themselves, but be what you want to be - mere... mirages of the real world instead of actually being real.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

You wrote:
Absolutes can be a good thing and if they are compromised in order to be "more inclusive", what is the difference between religion/faith and a social club?

Run an absolutist social club but I don't see why that's better than a compassionate one.
  • It can never be satisfied, the mind, never. -- Wallace Stevens

Absolutes do not require you to ignore compassion, so it can be both. However, the degree of flexibility is fixed and some things cannot be undone.

As an example of this, the original letter up top - it cannot be done no matter how many people want to ignore and forget about it.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

Oh and I should have stayed out of this anyway, the original post didn't warrant the discussion I got into and supports your point there. Sorry. Absolutism we can discuss another day.

  • It can never be satisfied, the mind, never. -- Wallace Stevens

if you think being evil is amusing so be it. in the meantime people "being themselves is meaningless - in the uk i merely want them to respect our customs and mores and obey the law, thats all shutting fundi mosques and bookshops would help that

tom wrote:
in the uk i merely want them to respect our customs and mores and obey the law, thats all shutting fundi mosques and bookshops would help that

Wait............ how is stopping freedom of speech by closing mosques and bookshops part of 'british customs and morals'????

You can't have it both ways you hypocritical buffoon.

Don't just do something! Stand there.

incitement to violence has always been a criminal offence. during wartime freedom of speech is rightly curtailed not wartime now eh? did you not hear of the global jihad? its ironic that you claim the protection of laws that a you despise of the options available now shutting the fundi mosques is probably the lesser evil or perhaps we should insist that sermons are preached in english, they would then be cheaper to monitor tom

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