But recently the hatred and violence against Northern Christians has been terrible, there is hardly a week that passes that one doesnt hear about the killing of Christians in the North by the terrorist group known as BOKO HARAM and they justify their action claiming it is the "Muslim way"..
I am Igbo and a Christian by birth , however I love my Muslim Sisters and Brothers and I have always had an admiration for Fulani and Hausa customs. One time I went to Wuse Market in Abuja , I observed that 90 percent of the men who came to buy gold jewellery for their wives were northerners...and they were very protective of women, they wouldnt allow them carry any heavy load
I have been heart broken since last sunday's wicked bombing of Saint Rita's Catholic Church in which about 15 innocent christians lost their lives and another 100 were injured, I was starting to question my own sentiments until I came across a friends facebook post " Kaduna Bombing - Not Islamic...:" and after a few comments ,I did a little research and found this Text which I share with you today..
I am hoping that this will be help people understand that BOKO HARAM IS NOT THE NORTHEN MUSLIM'S SENTIMENTS TOWARDS CHRISTIANS!
HISTORY OF THE TREATY
A delegation of 60 Christians living in the community of Narjan, to some 600 km of Médine, the city or lived the Prophet mahomet, went at his place as a delegation in year 631. The talks between the representatives of a community monotheist with the founder of another lasted three days. They made it possible to once and for all clarify the model of Moslem ethics with respect to " the autre" in religion.
The meeting with the Christians of Najran evoked above was not, far from there, an event isolated in the life from the Prophet, who testifies constantly to the permanence of his interreligieuses relations. A pact former concluded with the Christians from the Sinai to the monastery from co. Catherine (charter of the privileges), and whose documentation exists still today, brings the proof from there
TEXT OF THE TREATY
“In the name of lenient and miséricordieux God.
“Charter of protection given by God and his Apostle to those which received the Book (crowned), with the Christians who belong to the religion of Najran or any other sect Christian woman. He was written to them by Mohammad, envoy of God close to all the men, in pledge of protection on behalf of God and his Apostle, and so that he is for the Moslems who will come after him a pact which will engage them, that they will have to admit, to recognize for authentic and to observe in their favor. It is defended with any man, was it governor or holder of authority, the enfreindre or to modify it. The Believers will not have to be the responsibility of the Christians, in their imposing of other conditions that those which are carried in this writing. That which will preserve it, which will respect it, which will conform to what is contained there, will discharge its duties and will observe the pact of the Apostle of God. That which, on the contrary, will violate it, which will be opposed to it, which will change it, will relate its crime to its head; because it will have betrayed the pact of God, will have violated his faith, will have resisted its authority and contravened the will of its Apostle: he will be thus impostor with the eyes of God. Because the religion that God imposed, and the pact whom it made, make protection obligatory. That which will not observe this pact, will violate its sacred duties, and that which violates its sacred duties does not have fidelity and will be disavowed by God and all the sincere Believers. The reason for which the Christians deserved to obtain this pact of protection of God, his Envoy and the Believers, is a right which they were acquired, and which engages whoever is Moslem, to obtain this charter established in their favor by the men of this Religion and which forces any Moslem to have regard there, to lend to him hand-strong, to preserve it, keep it perpetually and to respect it accurately. ”
the protection of god and the guarantee of the prophet muhammad, sent from God, extend on najran and neighborhood, that is to say on their goods, their people, the practice of their worship, their absent and present, their families and their sanctuaries, and all that large and small, is in their possession
No bishop will be moved of his episcopal seat,
Nor no monk of his monastery,
Nor no priest of his cure,
No humiliation will weigh on them,
Nor the blood of a revenge former to the tender,
They will be neither assemble nor assujetis with the dime,
No troop will press their ground
and when one of them claims its,
equity will be of setting parmis them
they will be neither oppressed oppressors nor
and quiquonque of them in the future wear will practice, will be put out of my protection.
No man among them them will be held for person in charge of the fault of another "T el is the contents of the "Pact of Najran" after the tender of the Christians to the authority of the prophet of the Islam"
PROPHET MUHAMMAD'S PROMISE TO CHIRISTIANS
The document is not a modern human rights treaty but even thought it was penned in 628 A.D. it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person, says Muqtedar Khan.
Muslims and Christians together constitute over fifty percent of the world and if they lived in peace, we will be half way to world peace. One small step that we can take towards fostering Muslim-Christian harmony is to tell and retell positive stories and abstain from mutual demonization.
In this article I propose to remind both Muslims and Christians about a promise that Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) made to Christians. The knowledge of this promise can have enormous impact on Muslim conduct towards Christians. Muslims generally respect the precedent of their Prophet and try to practice it in their lives.
In 628 AD, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to Prophet Muhammed and requested his protection. He responded by granting them a charter of rights, which I reproduce below in its entirety. St. Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai and is the world’s oldest monastery. It possesses a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1400 years under Muslim protection.
The Promise to St. Catherine:
"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 God! 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)."
The first and the final sentence of the charter are critical. They make the promise eternal and universal. Muhammed asserts that Muslims are with Christians near and far straight away rejecting any future attempts to limit the promise to St. Catherine alone. By ordering Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment the charter again undermines any future attempts to revoke the privileges. These rights are inalienable. Muhammed declared Christians, all of them, as his allies and he equated ill treatment of Christians with violating God’s covenant.
A remarkable aspect of the charter is that it imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties!
Once again, the document is not a modern human rights treaty but even thought it was penned in 628 A.D. it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person.
I know most readers, must be thinking so what? Well the answer is simple. Those who seek to foster discord among Muslims and Christians focus on issues that divide and emphasize areas of conflict. But when resources such as Muhammad’s promise to Christians are invoked and highlighted it builds bridges. It inspires Muslims to rise above communal intolerance and engenders good will in Christians who might be nursing fear of Islam or Muslims.
When I look at Islamic sources, I find in them unprecedented examples of religious tolerance and inclusiveness. They make me want to become a better person. I think the capacity to seek good and do good inheres in all of us. When we subdue this predisposition towards the good, we deny our fundamental humanity. In this holiday season, I hope all of us can find time to look for something positive and worthy of appreciation in the values, cultures and histories of other peoples.
Dr. Muqtedar Khan is Director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware and a fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.