BFnews:The Constitution of Madinah which the Prophet drew up with the multi-religious community of Madinah, soon after his arrival there, remains a shining model for communities that strive for social justice to this day.
This document guaranteed the freedom of worship to all religious communities. And the spirit evidenced there shone into the hearts of all the followers of the Prophet. That is the spirit of equity, tolerance and understanding.
This was quite in keeping with the verse in the Noble Quran that say that He has made people into nations and tribes so that they can know and deal with each other in an equal temper of kindness and generosity: [O humankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know and deal with each other in kindness (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God (is he who is) the most righteous of you, and God is Knower, Aware.] (Al-Hujurat 49:13)
The above verse emphasizes the point that in Islam there is no place for intolerance, prejudice and bigotry, based on color, race, nationality or any of such considerations. This
” Islam teaches that the Quran was not just revealed for Muslims, but for all people, including Jews and Christians. Prophet Muhammad was in the line of previous prophets of God, including Prophets Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them all). “
all-encompassing tolerance of Islam applied to all aspects of the Prophet's life, and to the diverse aspects of the life and affairs of his followers.
The Prophet came to Madinah after a period of thirteen years of preaching Islam to the Quraish. Here he found many who were ready to receive him and help him in his mission. At that time, the city of Madinah and its surrounding area were home to many Jewish and Arabian tribes. There were also people of various racial and national origins including Romans, Persians and Ethiopians.
Taking into consideration the hopes and aspirations of this community of multi-ethnic, multi-religious background, Prophet Muhammad drew up the basic principles of a pluralistic constitution. The new constitution helped the strengthening of the unity and brotherhood between the emigrants from Makkah and their helpers in Madinah. And more, it established the rights and equality of every citizen, irrespective of their religious orientation, before the law, as well as freedom of religion, trade, and speech.[And dispute not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong and injury.] (Al-`Ankabut 29:46)
The Prophet was careful in taking all measures to avoid dispute, anger, or other negative feelings between him and others. In fact the essence of the Quranic view was: "Here is a Prophet living in your midst exemplifying the truth of all the earlier scriptures. This book and this Prophet came to confirm the truth of all the revelations before them or the truth of all revealed religions."
” And the essence of justice is the recognition that all humans are equal. Once we accept the principle of human equality, then we need to reject all racism, jingoism, and ethnocentrism. This is something some people find difficult to accept; but that is the one remedy leading us towards justice and peace. “
taught that the term kafir (non-believer) was not to be applied to anyone who said "salam" (peace) to the Muslims. From the point of view of the Quran, the kafirun (non-believers) are the conscious rejecters of truth in any race or community.[O you who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.] (Al-Ma'idah 5:8)
Islam is strongly opposed to all forms of injustice. And the Prophet took all measures to ensure that justice prevailed in every dealing he had undertaken with people.
Indeed, Islam teaches that the Quran was not just revealed for Muslims, but for all people, including Jews and Christians. Prophet Muhammad was in the line of previous prophets of God, including Prophets Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them all).
And the essence of justice is the recognition that all humans are equal. Once we accept the principle of human equality, then we need to reject all racism, jingoism, and ethnocentrism. This is something some people find difficult to accept; but that is the one remedy leading us towards justice and peace.
The Prophet has taught: "He is not a believer who eats his fill when his neighbor beside him is hungry"; and: "He does not believe whose neighbors are not safe from his injurious conduct."
That is to say, the essence of lasting peace is the recognition of the brotherhood of all humans irrespective of color, language, nationality, and so on.
In this age of "apartheid" and "racial profiling", Prophet Muhammad's teaching of human brotherhood and justice based on human equality, shows the way like a brilliant star.