Seeds of Peace

The Achtiname (Charter of Privileges) of the Prophet Muhammad, given to the monks of St. Catherine's monastery.

Last Sunday, I preached against Islamophobia from the pulpit of Boonville Presbyterian Church.  As a supportive addendum to that message, I offer this post in hopes of fostering greater goodwill and understanding between Christians and Muslims.

The purpose of this post is to lead readers from all religions toward more peaceful coexistence.  If that’s not something you want, then don’t read or comment on this article.  All offensive comments will be deleted.  I’m telling you now so that you don’t take it personally when it happens. 

The following verses from the Qur’an and the English translation of the Achtiname of Muhammad were found in an article by Dr. Zakir Naik in the online magazine Islamic Voice.  You can visit their website at: www.islamicvoice.com

Passages from the Qur’an on violence and forced conversions:

  • “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error” [Al-Qur’an 2:256]
  • “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” [Al-Qur’an 16:125]

The Achtiname (Charter of Privileges) is a document produced by the Prophet Muhammad himself for the monks of St. Catherine’s monastery on Mt. Sinai.  The document provides a beautiful insight on the Prophet’s attitude toward Christians.  The document has been preserved by the monks for centuries and stands as a memorial to interfaith respect.

Charter of Privileges

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).

7 thoughts on “Seeds of Peace

  1. Edward Ratazzi

    This document proves that the people causing trouble in the world are not Muslims but gangsters. They are disobeying the Prophet. This needs to be spread far and wide. Most of the loonies will not read it but many thoughtful people will.

  2. Erika

    I am new to all of this, but I am curious about this. I realize that this may not provide all the credible sources for this document, but is anyone able to explain to me more the Islamic theology toward the poll-taxes in the translated version that mentions it.

    I have seen several renditions of this document that omit that part. Is it erroneous? Was it agreed that it no longer applied. Does it still apply?

    In Christianity, we debate these theological issues and people state their sources and reasonings etc. I would like to hope that we can do that as well. Because I can not deny that it is written there, and it is not speaking to the afterlife, it is speaking to the hear and now, and lines 12-19 are directed at all Christians not just the monks at St. Catherines.

    Please provide with me any sources if they are known. I am extremely curious to know this, and I am just beginning to explore Islam and it’s theology. Thank you.

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