The Prophet’s Letters to Christians

Salaam and Greetings of Peace: 

Letter to the Monks of St. Catherine Monastery

In 628 C.E. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) granted a Charter of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt.Sinai. It consisted of several clauses covering all aspects of human rights including such
topics as the protection of Christians, freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property, exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war. An English translation of that document is presented here:

“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).”

____________

A Letter from the Prophet Muhammad To The Assyrian Christians

“God has told me in a vision what to do,  and I confirm His command by giving my solemn promise to keep this agreement.

“To the followers of the Islam I say: Carry out my command, protect and help the Nazarene nation in this country of ours in their own land. Leave their places of worship in peace; help and assist their chief and their priests when in need of help, be it in the mountains, in the desert, on the sea, or at home. Leave all their possessions alone, be it houses or other property, do not destroy anything of their belongings, the followers of Islam shall not harm or molest any of this nation, because the Nazarenes are my subjects, pay tribute to me and will help the Muslims. No tribute, but what is agreed upon, shall be collected from them, their church buildings shall be left as they are, they shall not be altered, their priests shall be permitted to teach and worship in their own way-the Nazarenes have full liberty of worship in their churches and homes. None of their churches shall be torn down, or altered into a mosque, except by the consent and free will of the Nazarenes. If any one disobeys this command, the anger of God and His Prophet shall be upon him.

“The tribute paid the Nazarenes shall be used to promote the teachings of Islam and shall be deposited at the treasury of Beth Almal. A common man shall pay one denar (piece of money), but the merchants and people who own mines of gold and silver and are rich shall pay twelve denars. Strangers and people who have no houses or other settled property shall not have taxes levied upon them. If a man inherits property he shall pay a settled sum to the Baitulmal treasury. The Christians are not obliged to make war on the enemies of Islam, but if an enemy attacks the Christians, the Muslims shall not deny their help, but give them horses and weapons, if they need them, and protect them from evils from outside and keep the peace with them. The Christians are not obliged to turn Muslims, until God’s will makes them believers.

“The Muslims shall not force Christian women to accept Islam, but if they themselves wish to embrace it, the Muslims shall be kind to them.

“If a Christian woman is married to a Muslim and does not want to embrace Islam, she has liberty to worship at her own church according to her own religious belief, and her husband must not treat her unkindly on account of her religion. If any one disobeys this command, he disobeys God and his prophet and will be guilty of a great offense.

“If the Nazarenes wish to build a church, their Muslim neighbors shall help them. This shall be done, because the Christians have obeyed us and have come to us and pleaded for peace and mercy.

“If there be among the Christians a great and learned man the Muslims shall honor him and not be envious of his greatness.

“If any one is unjust and unkind to the Christians he will be guilty of disobeying the Prophet of God.

“The Christians should not shelter an enemy of Islam or give him horse, weapon or any other help. If a Muslim is in need the Christian shall for three days and nights be his host and shelter him from his enemies. The Christians shall, furthermore, protect the Mohammedan women and children and not deliver them up to the enemy or expose them to view. If the Nazarenes fail to fulfil these conditions, they have forfeited their right to protection, and the agreement is null and void.

“This document shall be entrusted to the Christian chief and head of their church for safe keeping.”

The peace of God be over them all! This agreement is written by Moavijah Ben Sofian, according to the dictates of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, in the 4th year of the Hegira in the city of Medina.

___________

Al Qur`an says: “And abuse not those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest exceeding the limits, they abuse Allah through ignorance. Thus to every people have We made their deeds fair-seeming; then to their Lord is their return so he will inform them of what they did” (6:109)

Al Qur’an says: “Those who restrain their anger and pardon men. And Allah loves the doer of good (to others)” (3: 133)

Ya Haqq!

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41 Responses to The Prophet’s Letters to Christians

  1. Sadiq says:

    Saalam to the praised Prophet, Muhammad. May God’s blessings & mercy be upon him.

    these two letters demonstrate such a powerful teaching for Muslims and NonMuslims alike, how tolerant and dynamic was the personality of the Last Messenger. It shows his great compassion and understanding and stands as a testimony of his great respect for the common servants of God.

    Thanks a thousand for sharing the two letters. Saalam to you as well.

  2. shaharazed says:

    Salaams,

    I agree with Sadiq. Not only non-Muslims, but Muslims also have to be reminded of the character and practice of Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasalaam.

    The world is truly in need of that tolerance and compassion that he displayed to others.

  3. Koonj says:

    Amazing. I wasn’t aware of this. Thank you, Irving.

  4. M. Shahin says:

    Salaam,

    Thank you for posting this brother Irving. I’ve read the letter and I’m glad it is circulating around. Sometimes Muslims forget how generous and kind our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was to Christians. His example has been left behind by many Muslims, but once we inhabit his character once again, people will see Islam shine as it truly should.

    Wa Salaam

  5. SUROOR says:

    Jazaak Allah Kheir for this Brother Irving!

  6. sf says:

    These letters depict Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ‘s magnanimity, broad mindedness, his just nature and tolerance to embrace all people. He was indeed sent as a Mercy to Mankind. His character and position are unmatchable. Is there any better way to be Exalted than he being sent blessings by Allah(SWT) Himself???

    O Allâh! send your blessings (and the Holy Words of Yours) upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as You have send blessings upon Ibrâhim and the family of Ibrâhim. You are worthy of all praise, All Glorious.
    O Allâh! bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You have already blessed Ibrâhim and the family of Ibrâhim. You are worthy of all praise, All Glorious.

    Alhamdolillah! thanks for this priceless post……
    Jazaak Allah Khair, br. Irving

  7. samaha says:

    I have never seen this letter before. Thank you for posting it. I will post and link back to you.

  8. Maliha says:

    Salamaat,
    awesome post Mashaallah. I pray that we learn how to exemplify such amazing qualities and such diplomacy, wisdom and tact.

    Jazaka Allah kheir and Eid Mubarak :)

  9. Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams Irving,

    Thank you for posting them: may God reward you. As a student of history, can I ask a quick question: where do they come from (i.e what’s their source)?

    Keep up the good work brother, and may Allah strengthen your arm.

    Abdur Rahman

  10. Ya Haqq , Ya Haqq

    Brother Irving

    Thak you very much for shar it with us.

    I am going to find this beautiful words in Persian to share it with my freind that he thinks , in Islamic world there is no place for other religions!

    Ya Haqq!

  11. Irving says:

    Salaam Alaikum Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Thank you all for the comments. Indeed, the best way to combat the bias spread about the nature of Islam and the Prophet (pbuh) is with the truth, which should be spoken of and reprinted over and over again by each of us, until its voice is heard as often as the lies and misinformation.

    Eid Mubarak to all of you :) May Allah bless you with love and happiness, and the remembrance of Hu, the cause of all good things. When you are in a warm home among family and friends, eating and drinking, by the grace of Allah, please hold in your heart this old Christian saying of grace before the meal.

    “O Lord, we thank Thee for the bounty of the table, when so many in the world go hungry, and we thank Thee for our family and friends, when so many in the world walk alone.”

    Amen

    Ya Haqq!

  12. 'Abd ul-Hakeem says:

    Salaam alaykum brother Irving,

    This is great, alhamdulillah. Is there a collection of letters published in English? Insha’Allah there will be. What an amazing record we have of a prophet with Islam. Many people will insha’Allah benefit from learning about him. Have you ever studied the writing of Plato? Socratese seems to share several habits with Muhammed (p.b.u.h.).

    Eid Mubarak brother, insha’Allah Allah will reward you for your work during this most beautiful month of Ramadan. You will be in my dua’, insh’Allah.

    Jazak Allahu khair.

  13. altaf says:

    Salaam

    very good letter, something we can all learn from, no doubt, what is the source, by the way?

    (Note from Darvish: I have deleted the rest of this comment for being too political and accusatory, which goes against the adab of this blog. With apologies to Altaf. )

  14. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Here are a couple of links to the sources for the letters posted, plus other letters as well.

    http://www.cyberistan.org/islamic/charter1.html

    http://www.mpac-ng.org/special_features/prophetscovenant.php

    Ya Haqq!

  15. sf says:

    Salaam Brother Irving,

    Eid Mubarak to you and your family!
    Eid Mubarak to all those who visit your blog!

  16. [...] Please visit this post “The Prophet’s Letter to Christians” to see the translations and within the comments Irving has also listed additional sources to the letters.  Please take some time and read his other posts as his blog is beautiful! Posted in Christianity, Islam, Muhammed, Assyrians, Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), Monks of St. Catherine Monestary | [...]

  17. M. Shahin says:

    Just wanted to wish you a beautiful Eid :-)

  18. [...] 5. The Prophet’s Letters to Christians Letters written by Muhammad to Christians over 1300 years ago.  Translation of two different letters to the “Monks of St. Catherine Monastery” and the “Assyrian Christians”.  For those willing to read, a different take than you normally hear in Western media.  (Never take a single source and believe it applies to a whole religion or people group.  Read, learn, process, have a broader understanding.) [...]

  19. Mohammed says:

    Asalamolkum,

    Mashallah these 2 letters are great, although first time i have read something like this and i am skeptical on the authenticity of these recording I dont see any sound chain of narrations can anyone tell me?

  20. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brother Mohammed:

    If you go to this website, you can read the Prophet’s letters to others as well, including the Kings of Abyssinia, Persia, the Byzantine Emperor, Egypt and Malabar, India. They are from scholarly books, and apparently many of the letters survive to this day.

    http://www.cyberistan.org/islamic/index.htm#muhammad

    Ya Haqq!

  21. Peace be with you!

    I am so grateful to find your site and these letters from the Prophet towards Christians. With all that is going on in the world, it is so wonderful to read positive love for all men and women of the One God. Centuries of fighting between Christians and Muslims is such a disappointment to God, as both the Prophet and Jesus both taught that we are to love and respect all of God’s creation.

    May these words enter the ears and eyes of all believers and may we find peace in our world as a way to show our love for the Creator.

    Fr. David

  22. Irving says:

    Salaam and Greetings of Peace Dear Rev. Father David:

    Thank you for the kind comment :) and Amen to your prayer. May all men come to know their similiarlities in this human realm, and not be deluded by false differences of color, race, and religion. I also read your website and liked it very much :) May God bless you and your church for the good work it does.

    Ya Haqq (the Truth)!

  23. As-Salaam Aleikum,
    Thank you for posting this link on my website. Sorry it took me so long to visit here, but I am new to blogging and had to figure out how to moderate comments.

    I was aware in theory that these documents existed, but I had not read them for myself. These letters are beautiful and speak to the nature of peace and tolerance in Islam which I have encountered from Muslims I have worked with and those who have been my teachers (especially at the military’s Language Institute.) Indeed there was no compulsion, but we were all curious about the faith just from the way these teachers lived their lives! That is how we should all share our faith, really.

    Again thank you for the link, and Allah Khaleik, as they say in Iraq.

    -Another Believer.

  24. Ibn Khalid says:

    Please quote and islamic source for these letters for any of the books of the saheehain.

    Ibn Khalid

  25. javier says:

    We need a reference to an authentic source for these letters, not mentined in the common “sira” books.

  26. Irving says:

    Salaam Brother Javier:

    Here is a link to an ebook you can read online that has all the Prophet’s (pbuh) letters, including copies of the original to start each chapter, and source information also.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3737025/The-Letters-of-the-Prophet-Muhammad

    Inshallah, I will add more references as I find them. I think I remember reading that the original letters were preserved in Turkey during Ottoman times, but I will check that also.

    Ya Haqq!

  27. sbox53 says:

    can I ask for the references

  28. Irving says:

    Sbox, just read through the comments and you will find the references, including the one above you :)

    Ya Haqq!

  29. [...] are among them priests and monks, and because they are not proud. You can also take a look at these letters of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) to Christian monks. 3. It does, in a number of places. 4. Why dont you [...]

  30. i will post it on my website.

  31. richter says:

    thanks for posting, important document like LAST SERMON, which is forgotten in Arabia

  32. raheel says:

    thats what my propphet mohammed was puritiy of humanity , thats why evey one is fell in love with him .

  33. Nahren says:

    Thank GOD more people are aware of these letters now, it is so important for people from all walks of life to read them.

    Nahren

  34. Apagu Birdling says:

    But why are we killing ourselves. Please this killing should be a thing of the past and any Muslim that need my help please let me know. I love you all

  35. k i says:

    This is FAKE letter in the name of Prophet. No such letter exists. Completely unauthentic material supplied to deceive people. There is no proof at all for the letter quoted in this site. I wish author has provided any proof.

  36. Ahmed Umar Bolori says:

    This is a very important documents. However, such an important message should go with a reference to ensure its authenticity. Kindly send the source of this important message. Thanks.

  37. Jeanne says:

    Whether or not these letters are valid or not, I’ve been blessed to talk and share back and forth about the Quran and the Bible to find out that Muslims are largely more tolerant of Christians and Jews than we too often are of them. I’ve been seeking to change minds and hearts in my own Christian community in favour of my Muslim brethren and to try and offset some lies of the media propaganda. I know they have protected Christians from extremists to this day in Egypt, Africa. Let tolerance and solidarity prevail. We need peace and love in the name of God.

    Blessings to you all.

  38. Irving says:

    Dear Friends, such proofs as you all seek can be found, I think, in this new book. They are the best that can be obtained in the modern world. I believe the letters to represent an authentic view of how the Prophet (saw) felt toward Christians by all that has been written about him, and all that he has said in the hadiths as an example for humanity. :

    Ya Haqq!

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