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Pure Motivation » General Discussion » Prophet of Mercy Muhammad PBUH » The covenant between the Prophet and the Jews

The covenant between the Prophet and the Jews

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1 The covenant between the Prophet and the Jews on Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:54 pm


Soon after emigrating to Al-Madeenah and making sure that the pillars of the new Islamic community were well established on strong bases of administrative, political and ideological unity, the Prophet embarked upon the task of establishing regular and clearly-defined relations with the non-Muslims there, who comprised of Jews and Arab tribes. All of these efforts were exerted solely to provide peace, security, and prosperity to all mankind at large, and to bring about a spirit of rapport and harmony within his region in particular.

The Prophet was also keen on establishing friendly relations between the Muslims and non-Muslims. He was very meticulous in not leaving any area in the charter that would allow pre-Islamic traditions to slip in or violate the new environment he wanted to establish.

Geographically, the nearest people to Al-Madeenah were the Jews. Despite harbouring evil intentions and nursing a bitter grudge, they showed neither the least resistance nor the slightest animosity. The Prophet decided to ratify a treaty with them with clauses that provided full freedom in faith and wealth. He had no intention whatsoever of following severe policies involving banishment, seizure of wealth and land, or hostility.

Included in the treaty were a number of terms and conditions. The main condition being that, in case of an attack on Al-Madeenah launched by outsiders, the people of Al-Madeenah as a whole would raise arms, collectively, against the enemies. Another condition being that the Jews of Al-Madeenah would not provide refuge to the Quraysh of Makkah or their allies. None of the citizens of Al-Madeenah would put any hurdle in the way of anyone else's religion, life or property. If two people of Al-Madeenah had a falling-out on an issue and were not able to find any solution to it by themselves, they would have to abide by the decision made by the Prophet concerning it. The Muslims of Al-Madeenah would be considered as friends of the Jews, and they (the Jews) would therefore have to treat as friends those tribes and clans who were in alliance with the Muslims. All kinds of fighting and bloodshed would be treated as prohibited in the territory of Al-Madeenah.

The most important provisions of the treaty were as follows:

1. The Jews of the tribe of ‘Awf were to be one community with the believers. The Jews would profess their religion and the Muslims theirs.

2. The Jews would be responsible for their expenditure, and the Muslims for theirs.

3. If attacked by a third party, each would come to the assistance of the other.

4. Each party would hold counsel with the other. Mutual relations would be founded on righteousness; sin was totally excluded.

5. Neither group would commit sins to the prejudice of the other.

6. The wronged party would be aided.

7. The Jews would contribute to the cost of any war, so long as they were fighting alongside the believers.

8. Al-Madeenah would remain sacred and inviolable for all who would join this treaty.

9. If any disagreement were to arise between the signatories of this treaty, then Allah the All-High and His Messenger would settle the dispute.

10. The signatories to this treaty would boycott Quraysh commercially; they would also abstain from extending any support to them.

11. Each would contribute to defending Al-Madeenah, in case of a foreign attack, in its respective area.

12. This treaty would not hinder either party from seeking lawful revenge.

After the agreement was finalised, the Prophet made an all-out effort to bring the clans around Al-Madeenah into the fold of this pact so that all disruptions, disorder and bloodshed were curbed once and for all. The Prophet was so eager to widen the scope of this pact that he made a special journey to premises of Dhamrah bin Bakr bin 'Abd Manaaf to bring them around to this recently signed pact. He won over their chief, 'Amr bin Makhshi, to the idea and he put his initials on the document. He also got the people of Mount Buwat and of Thul-'Ushayrah in Yanbu' and Banu Mudlij to accept the peace treaty. The purpose of the Prophet in constructing this peace pact was to create an atmosphere of peace and order so that the people could be at peace and be able to reflect on the message of Islam in an air of safety and security. These peace efforts were yet to bring fruit when clandestine activities in Al-Madeenah and onslaughts from outside plunged Al-Madeenah into disorder once again.

Al-Madeenah and its suburbs, after the ratification of this treaty, turned into a coalition state, with Al-Madeenah proper as capital and Muhammad as de facto president; authority rested primarily in the hands of the Muslims, and consequently it was a real capital of Islam.

The peace pact made all the people of Al-Madeenah recognise the strength and supremacy of Islam and they all signed it, signifying their acceptance of the superiority of the Muslims.



The History of Islam, by Akbar Shah Najeebabadi

The Sealed Nectar, by Safi Ar-Rahman Al-Mubarakapuri



I heard that when Prophet Muhammad started preaching Islam, the Jews were very upset and they wanted to test him to find out whether he was a true Prophet, so they prepared 40 difficult questions and asked him. Is this true, if yes, please, explain what are the 40 questions and what were the answers given by the Prophet Muhammad?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

No doubt that the Jews disbelieved in what Allaah revealed to our Prophet Muhammad and hated it. They were envious of him - except a few of them - because he was not one of them, i.e. did not descend from the children of Israel.

Allaah Says (which means): {And when there came to them a Book [i.e. the Quran] from Allaah confirming that which was with them - although before they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved - but [then] when there came to them that which they recognized, they disbelieved in it; so the curse of Allaah will be upon the disbelievers. How wretched is that for which they sold themselves - that they would disbelieve in what Allaah has revealed through [their] outrage that Allaah would send down His favor upon whom He wills from among His servants. So they returned having [earned] wrath upon wrath. And for the disbelievers is a humiliating punishment.} [Quran 2:89-90].

However, we do not know of any authentic Hadeeth stating that they prepared forty questions for the Prophet and asked him about them. What is proved in the books of Imaans Al-Bukhaari and Ahmad as well as other authentic sources is that they asked him seven questions.

Al-Bukhaari reported that Anas narrated that when 'Abdullaah Ibn Salaam heard about the arrival of the Prophet to Madeenah, he came to him and asked him about some things saying: "I will ask about three things that none except a messenger knows: what is the first sign of the Hour? What is the first meal that the dwellers of Paradise eat? Why is it that the child sometimes resembles his father and other times his mother?" The Prophet said: "Jibreel (Gabriel) informed about this earlier. Ibn Salaam said: "That is the Jews' enemy from the angels." The Prophet said: "As for the first sign of the Hour, it is a fire that gathers the people from the East and the West. As for the first meal that the dwellers of Paradise eat, it is a portion of the fish liver. As for the child, if the water (i.e. sperm) of the man comes before that of the woman, the child resembles his father and if the mother's water comes first then the child resembles her. Thereupon, Ibn Salaam said: "I bear witness that none has the right of being worshipped but Allaah and that you are His messenger." Then Ibn Salaam said: "O Prophet of Allaah, the Jews are people of falsehood. So ask them about me before they realize that I have become Muslim. The Jews came and the Prophet asked them: "How do you grade 'Abdullaah Ibn Salaam within your community." They said: "Our best and the son of our best." Thereupon, the Prophet said: "What if 'Abdullaah Ibn Salaam becomes Muslim?" They said: "May Allaah protect

him from that!" The Prophet then repeated the same questions and the Jews repeated the same answers. At that time, 'Abdullaah Ibn Salaam came out to them and said: 'I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah and that Muhammad is His messenger.' Thereupon, they (the Jews) said: "He is our worst and the son of our worst," and demeaned him. Ibn Salaam said: 'This is what I feared, O Prophet of Allaah."

Ahmad reported that Ibn Abbaas said: "A group of Jews came one day to the Prophet and said: 'O Abu Al-Qaasim, tell us some things that only true messengers of Allaah know.' The Prophet said: "Ask me about whatever you wish, but promise me by the Name of Allaah and by the covenant Prophet Ya'qoob took from his sons, that if I tell something that you know, then you will follow me and become Muslims." They said: "That's for you." Thereupon they said: "Tell us about the following four things: tell us about the meal that Israel forbade himself before the revelation of the Torah and tell us about the water (sperm) of the woman and the water of the man how is the male child formed from that? And tell us this illiterate Prophet during his sleep and who is his guardian from the angels." The Prophet said: "Do you accept by the covenant of Allaah that you will follow me if I inform you?" They gave him as much covenant and promise as he wished. Then the Prophet said: "I ask you by the One Who revealed the Torah to Moosaa do you know that Israel (Ya'qoob ) fell badly sick and his sickness took a long time, then he made a vow to Allaah that he would forbid on himself the food he liked most if Allaah cures him, and the food he liked most was camel meat and the drink was camel milk. They said: "Yes." He said:

"O Allaah testify against them." Then he said: "I ask you by Allaah, the One Who has no partners Who revealed the Torah to Moosaa do you know that the man's water is white and thick and that the woman's water is yellow and thin. Any of the two waters gets above the other gets the resemblance of the child in his sex and characters by the will of Allaah. If the water of the man gets over the woman it is a male by the Will of Allaah and if the water of the woman gets above that of the man then it is a female by the Will of Allaah. They said: 'By Allaah what you said is true.' The Prophet said: "O Allaah testify against them."

Then he said: "I ask you by the One Who revealed Torah to Moosaa do you know that the eyes of this illiterate Prophet sleep but his heart does not." They said: 'By Allaah that is true.' He said: "O Allaah, testify against them." They said: 'You, now tell us about your guardian from the angels, we will stay with you or leave you according to that.' He said: "My guardian is Jibreel (Gabriel) and Allaah never sent any Prophet but he was his guardian." The Jews said: 'So, we will separate from you. Had your guardian been another angel not Jibreel, we would have followed you and believed in what you brought.'

The Prophet said: "But what prevents you from believing in him?" They said: 'He is our enemy.' Then Allaah revealed the following verses (which means): {Say, “Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel - it is [none but] he who has brought it [i.e. the Quran] down upon your heart, [O Muhammad], by permission of Allaah,…} [Quran 2:97]. Allaah Says (which means): {And when a Messenger from Allaah came to them confirming that which was with them, a party of those who had been given the Scripture threw away the Book of Allaah behind their backs as if they did not know.} [Quran 2:101]. Allaah Says (which means): {So they returned having [earned] wrath upon wrath} [Quran 2:90].

Allaah Knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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