Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad

by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui

The Prophet’s Treatment of Christians

Some Christian Fathers came to the Prophet to discuss with him the merits of the true religion. Muslim hospitality lodged them in houses surrounding the mosque of the Prophet. For a Muslim, the whole of the earth is his mosque; the Christian guests had to find a church in which to offer their prayer, and there was no church to be found. The Prophet came to their rescue by offering them his own mosque. Allah neither begets, nor is He begotten. Yet the very place where Allah was worshipped, now became a place of worship for those who believed in the begotten Son of God. The Prophet’s tolerance and generosity went further in the granting of concessions to non-Muslims under his rule. The following historical documentation illustrates this further:

“To the Christians of Najran and the surrounding territories, the security of God and the pledge of His Prophet are extended for their lives, their religion, and their property… to those present as well as to the absent, and others beside. There shall be no interference with (the practice of) their faith or their observance, nor any change in their rights or privileges. No bishop shall be removed from his bishopric nor any monk from his monastery, nor any priest from his priesthood. They shall continue to enjoy everything, great and small, as they hitherto did. No image or cross shall be destroyed. They shall not oppress, nor be oppressed. They shall not practice the rights of blood-vengeance as in the Days of Ignorance. No tithes shall be exacted from them, nor shall they be required to furnish provisions for the troops.”