In Medina, two communities, namely, Khazraj and the Aws, had been battling for some time. They recognized Prophet Muhammad as Allah’s messenger who had accepted Islam as declared in the Aqaba Pledge. The immediate arrival of Prophet Muhammad in Medina was marked by unity and peace between the warring communities. However, due to concerns over the welfare of all Medina people, He also decided to provide services to other communities, including the Jews.
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This situation led to the Treaty of Medina, which was ratified by non-Muslims, including Arabs, the Jews of Medina, and the Muslim communities. The treaty promised to safeguard the rights of all people by ensuring that they spread justice, rather than becoming rebellious, spreading enmity, or engaging in sedition. The Treaty of Najran involved Prophet Muhammad’s honor for Najran people and their surroundings. The prophet declared a decision for accepting the supply of garments at the specified price of not more than 40 Dirham for every piece.
The Islamic government would also help people of Najran to overcome the danger of war from Yemen based on the terms specified in the treaty. Allah and the prophet would also protect Najran people’s places of worship, property, land, and lives provided they gave up usury. Prophet Muhammad had high respect for non-Muslims. Justice was universal to all people, irrespective of their religion. Prophet Muhammad made a covenant that non-Muslims and Muslims would equally work in Islamic nations if their economic activities were acceptable in Islam, for instance, through avoidance of usury.
Prophet Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, adheres to the values of respecting other people, irrespective of their religious beliefs, ethnicity, gender, or any other differentiation criteria. This claim is evidenced by His treatment of Muslims and non-Muslims as documented in the Treaty of Madina, Treaty of Najran, and His general treatment of non-Muslims. Prophet Muhammad migrated to Medina since Mecca’s chiefs had declared action against Him.
They planned to kill him at His home. His arrival in Medina brought about peaceful coexistence of warring communities, namely, Khazraj and the Aws. Prophet Muhammad delivered service to people of Medina without considering their religious inclination or ethnicity. Through the treaty of Medina, he established the fabric for the peaceful coexistence of people, including Arabs, Aws, and Jews, regardless of whether they were Muslims or non-Muslims, based on principles of universality of justice, avoidance of enmity, rebellion, and sedition.
Through the Najran Treaty, Prophet Muhammad demonstrated that Muslims could trade and offer help to non-Muslims when faced with danger. However, such people would need to observe Islamic economic principles such as avoidance of usury. Prophet Muhammad also exemplified this position through his general treatment of non-Muslims, including the Jews. For instance, He visited sick Jews. He also permitted trade between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Prophet Muhammad ordered all Muslims to ensure they took care of Christians and Jews who lived among them. He ordered Muslims to deal fairly with non-Muslims by giving trust where it was due and judging with justice. Muslims were called upon to respect all people who they lived together without considering their religious orientation since Islam is not about the compulsion of religion. To this extent, Prophet Muhammad was a clear good example of respect for human rights in a universal context.