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The next major incident of the early Madani period is the Treaty & Constitution

of Madinah. So what exactly is this treaty? One of the problems we have is this
the treaty is not mentioned in every classical source of seerah. When we go back
to ibn Ishaaq, he mentions it in full but says 'it has been narrated to me'. Th
e issue here is there is 150 years between him and the prophet PBUH. So we don't
have direct isnaad. Other early books mention the treaty but without a full cha
in of narrations. Some books of hadith i.e. Musad Imam Ahmed who references to t
he treaty. The problem comes is that there is no early book which mentions the w
hole treaty with an isnaad. Imam az-Zhahabi and others just gloss over it so it
seems many people underestimated the importance of the treaty. Al Waaqida hardly
mentions it etc. Its mentioned in bits and peaces by others so therefore it see
ms the signifcance of the treaty is not fully appreciated. For us the treaty is
very heartaning and optimistic. And note we don't know the exact reason why the
prophet PBUH did it. Note however many modern researchers say, when you look at
the treaty and the style, language etc of the treaty - it's a very archaeic lang
uage so it would very difficult/impossible for someone even in Ibn Ishaaq's time
to fabricate. Therefore the majority of scholars consider it to be authentic. N
ote the treaty takes up 5 pages so we cannot discuss it all. We will rather brea
k up the treaty is four issues.
1.
2.
3.
4.

Everything
Everything
Everything
Everything

related
related
related
related

to
to
to
to

muslims
the jews
the pagans
everyone in general

Note the treaty is written in sentences that the prophet PBUH said this, and thi
s, and this etc and alot of what is mentioned are the names of tribes we don't k
now anymore. Recall the Ansar means 'the helpers' - but they were composed of 40
/50 subtribes, the main two being the Aws and Khazraj. And in fact the treaty me
ntions every single on their names (which is a sign of authenticity too) and wha
t is required. The same applies to the jews: there were three large tribes but w
ithin them there were many subtribes etc. And the way the treaty was written was
very different to today: sentences were jumbled up (not each in their own secti
on). This is common, even if we go back just 200 years. So in short its a very d
ifficult treaty to analyse, and we will simplify it.
1. Clauses related to the muslims
Of the clauses the prophet PBUH is saying "the muslims from the Quraysh and Yath
rib..." Notice here 'Yathrib' is used which again shows it authenticity because
right when the prophet PBUH came Madinah was still called Yathrib. The fact it's
called Yathrib shows he is talking to people not used to Madinah yet. Also the
term 'ansar' isn't used yet. So he says "the muslims from the Quraysh and Yathri
b and anywhere else are one ummah, and this ummah is in and unto itself to the e
xclusion of the rest of mankind" i.e. its a unique ummah. He then mentions 40 su
btribes all by name and says "every subtribe will be left with their own respons
ibilities they had before Islam". So the welfare system was local - if someone n
eeded help they would keep it to a tribal level. That is, if someone is poor the
y would go to their tribe. If someone needs blood money you go to the tribe etc.
The shariah if you accidently kill someone is to fast two months and give i.e.
100 camels. In short every tribe takes care of its own.
Another clause: all the muslims will unite against anyone who does wrong even if
its one of our own. This goes back to the treaty of the Hilf al-Fudul.
Final clause was "the protection granted by the muslims is the same, and even th
e prophet PBUH can get protection". The Hilf al-Fudul every muslim has a right t
o give anyone a 'visa' into the state of Islam. Even a child has the permissabil
ity to allow someone to come in with a visa. This means then no one can harm him
, and disputes must go the state. So anyone can give 'dhimma' which is protectio

n to others. Note here the prophet PBUH is making the muslims one ummah to the e
xclusion of all mankind.
2. Clauses related to the jews
The prophet PBUH mentions the jews of Banu Awf, and of the Banu... all the jews
are mentioned by name specifically and there are around 12 different clauses. So
me are as follows:
- The prophet PBUH said "all of these jew are one ummah, along with the believer
s". Meaning they have a type of status that in some ways is equivalent to an umm
ah. And the prophet PBUH said "they shall take care of their own disputes, affai
rs, blood money, internal crime etc" - meaning they are all in charge of it, unl
ess they are to come to the muslims for help OR if it involves an event between
both the jews and muslims. So notice the affairs of the jews is the business of
the jews unless its between both parties.
- The prophet PBUH further said "between the two shall be mutual support against
those who fight the people of this treaty. And the jews will stand among the mu
slims as long as they are being fought". So notice financial obligations for dom
estic affairs are not the same. The muslims must take care of their poor, the je
ws will take care of their poor. The muslims sort out their feuds, the jews thei
rs. However if someone attacks, the muslims must spend on defence and the jews m
ust equally spend on defence. Both will spend for the sake of the protection of
Madinah. Therefore at time of crisis the two shall unite and help one another.
- The prophet PBUH said "no jews can leave Madinah without the permission of the
prophet PBUH". 'Leaving' means changing your citizenship. Where you live is whe
re your tribe is, and that's where your citizenship is. For them to leave Madina
h means renoucing your citizenship - you can't just leave and become a traitor/n
eutral. To this day if you want to leave USA and give up your citizenship you mu
st renounce it. Similarly for the case of MAdinah.
- Another clause is that if any jew wishes to convert to Islam, he shall be help
ed and protected and nobody can harm him.
3. Clauses related to the pagans
Note this phase of clauses shows us there were still pagans in Madinah. This las
ted until the Battle of Badr; when the prophet PBUH was victorious every pagan r
ealised we can't stay pagan now so they convert.
The main clause is that the prophet PBUH said "no muslim shall offer protection
to the Quraysh even if its in return for money or life, and no qurayshi can inte
fere in matters between Mecca and Madinah" i.e. the prophet PBUH is saying you c
annot support the pagans in Mecca or defend them, or come between us or them. In
short, to stay out of affairs between Mecca and Madinah. This shows us the prop
het PBUH allowed the pagans to be in Madinah. And indeed look how fair this is.
Later on there was a contraversy: can pagans live in the state of Islam? Should
we extend the rights and protection to pagans? Of course jews, christians etc ar
e allowed. Hanafi say yes but other schools of thought say no. Of the evidence o
f the Hanafi thought is that the prophet PBUH allowed the pagans to live in MAdi
nah - this is what some of the classical scholars say. They were pagans are were
allowed to be pagans but with an extra condition that they remain neutral.
4. Clauses related to the everyone
- The prophet PBUH said Madinah is a haram for everyone inside. Thus it's a sacr
ed land and all the rules of a haram must be followed. No weapons that are unshe
athed; no plucking leaves or tress; no hunting; no fighting or killing etc.

- And the prophet PBUH also clarified exactly what is Madinah: he mentioned the
four points and said 'this is the haram'. At North and South is the mountains of
Ayne and Thore, and the bulk of people lived in the haram.
- He also said "whatever disagreement occurs between the peoples of this treaty,
which leads to internal arguments, shall be deicded by Allah and His messenger"
. This means if there is a conflict between any two parties the prophet PBUH him
self will decide.
- He also said "It will not be allowed for any believer to help and rebel or sup
port him. Whoever does so will have the curse of Allah, the angels and no good d
eeds will be accepted".
- The final point he mentions "whoever leaves or stays in Madinah will be safe,
as long they have not commited a crime or a sin, and Allah will protect those wh
o are righteous". And the treaty ends with "and Muhammad is Allah's messenger".
What is the status of this treaty?
Misinterpretations
Some people exaggarate its importance; others disregard it completely. One acade
mic scholar said Thomas Jefferson read this treaty and based the whole constitut
ion of the USA on it. This is an extreme. And indeed it is a sort of inferiority
complex that everything has to be related to Islam. There is no doubt this trea
ty was ahead of its time, and the western civilisation took some aspects from it
. But to claim the USA is based on the treaty is far fetched.
Another extreme is people who say the prophet PBUH had bad intentions in that he
wanted to isolate the jews. It's a very delicate concept that the accusation th
e prophet PBUH treated the jews unfairly, and for non muslims is a fact. So they
say this treaty is anti-semetic. Obviously its not the case because the same ob
ligations on the jews is on the muslims.
As usual the truth is in between the two extremes: the treaty was very significa
nt, it had long lasting implications and it establishes how an Islamic state is
run. Of the most important constitution is that the prophet PBUH is defining rel
ationships based upon theology. This is completely unique in the history of Arab
ia. Because he said the Ansar, muhajir etc are all one ummah. Anyone who convert
s to the faith will become apart of the ummah. So the old system of lineage, tri
balism, of 'you are who your father was' is being broken. Now you are who YOU ar
e. In that time it was completely unprecented. The concept of being an ummah was
ludicirous. Bilal RA was a slave and Abu Bukr RA was a noble man from a pure li
neage - however this treaty in words now means they are one and the same, in one
ummah. The word 'umm' comes from 'ama' which means to 'strive for'. 'Ama' is ba
sically the object of attention and when a child is born that object is their mo
ther, so mother is 'umme'. Now when we look at ummah, this means the bonds betwe
en every person in an ummah is so strong its as if they have one mother. Of cour
se they are many other meaning of ummah; Ibrahim AS is an ummaton since his imaa
n is so strong its as if he is an umamh etc. The point is the word ummah comes f
rom umm because the people are bonded so strongly they are one family.
The treaty demostrates the justice of the prophet PBUH. He treated the jews with
the upmost respect and gave them their full rights. They were the ones who kept
on making things difficult for themselves. They were treated because of their a
ctions, not because what they were. Notice the treaty says "you are an ummah and
we are an ummah, along with each other we are two ummahs". Its an amazing respe
ct given to the jews. If they fulfilled the treaty they would have been shown th
e upmost honour and benefited the most. They were businessmen etc and the succes

s of the muslims would have meant their success aswell. They would have risen al
ong with the muslims but they broke these promises. The clause was very clear: d
o not side with the pagans against us. But the Banu Qurayda did! So what was com
ing to them was fully deserved. Similarly any issues between the jews and muslim
s would be dealt with by the prophet PBUH.
Another benefit is that the prophet PBUH's political status has now become a lea
der. His followers are so numerous he can negotiate treaties on their behalf. Ev
en the jews and pagans; they are told they have independance but any internal is
sues must be resolved by the prophet PBUH. Therefore this treaty made official w
hat was already understood: that the prophet PBUH is the defactor and the accept
ed ruler of Madinah.
Note there is no jizia mentioned. Why? The laws of jizia had not been releaved b
y Allah. Therefore it dosen't contradict jizia but does not enforce it. Another
benefit is the reality of Islam without politics or appeasement. Freedom of reli
gion is guaranteed to a great extent. Classical fiqh did not give the types of f
reedom the modern world gives. The non muslims does not have the right to preach
and convert others. But apart from that pretty much everything is allowed; the
non muslims are even allowed to sell alcohol amongst themselves. So much so the
books of fiqh discuss the issue if a muslim is married to a christian lady, can
he prevent her from drinking wine? And the majority scholars say no. He can enfo
rce the wine not be in the house, but he cannot enforce her not to drink the win
e because wine is halal for her. The irony is we are accused of being intolerabl
e, but yet if we compare our track record with theirs its unbelievable how they
can have the audacity to say such things. We cannot allow people to say things a
bout Islam when they dont know anything about themselves. Western powers were fr
ankly the most intolerable to faiths in the history of time. Even when constanti
ne converted to christianity, what did he do? He adopted a version of triniartia
n christianity and outlawed all other christianities. Those that believed jesus
is not the son of God etc. Those who were jews who believed Jesus is just a prop
het. Constantine came along and banned everyone who didn't follow the trinity fo
rm of christianity. Everyone had to either flee or get killed. Arias, the main o
pponent of Constantine, did not believe in the trinity or divinity of Jesus. He
had to run away and go down south; it's said therefore the ruler of Abyssinia wa
s aware of the 'Arias creed'. Throughout medival times, the catholic church kill
ed millions. The roman catholic church could not tolerate descent. There was a g
roup called the huygonots where thousands were killed. The annobaptists: 20 - 30
,000 were killed. There were wars between romans and protestants. Even Martin Lu
ther had to flee to Switzerland. This is intolerance of their own religion! They
are killing their fellow christians. It's ironic that even Jon Lock (the main f
ounding father of intellectual political science of this country - considered to
be the greatest philosopher of the time) said to look at the turks. He is putti
ng the ottomans (turks) as the role models. Jon Lock said to the christians "the
turks allow different faiths to live peacefully - why don't you follow them?"
Getting back to the treaty we notice the semi independance of each ummah. The pr
ophet PBUH is giving them almost full independance without the state of Islam. H
owever when it comes to the issue of the state; everyone becomes ONE group and t
he prophet PBUH will decide. Some say the system is a 'federlist' system. It's t
rue this type of government was unique for its time. The state very minimally go
t involved with the domestic affairs of the people. Another benefit: if you're m
uslim or non muslim, if you do a crime they will be dealt with. The treaty says
"all of the muslims will be united against them". Simply being a muslim does not
let you off the hook. If someone commits a crime, everyone has to unite against
him regardless of the religion. No one can shelter a murderer etc. Again these
are novel ideas for the time and so the prophet PBUH is being very foward thinki
ng here.
The prophet PBUH accepted the legal norms and customs of every tribe as long as

they didn't conflict with the laws of the shariah. One of the primary pricinples
of Islam: there are five major rules that govern all of fiqh. One of them is is
the absence of a shariah ruling, the culture of a people will be given preceden
ce (how people interact with one another).
Let us now take a step back and examine again what the prophet PBUH has done aft
er arriving in Madinah. When the prophet PBUH comes the fist things he does is b
uild a masjid. This is the basis of tawheed and fundamental of Islam. He then es
tablishes the bonds between the muhajiroon and the ansar. Firstly through the mu
akar (pairing) - and then making this entire treaty affirming the status of the
muslims, jews etc.
Point of note: classical fiqh says clearly the people of the book are allowed to
freely worship in the state of Islam. But there are restrictions: what you say
in your churches you can say. But you cannot blaspheme out loud in public. So th
ere isn't ultimate freedom of expression. And classical fiqh has the penalty of
blaspheming Allah and his messenger. The question arises: do we have room for fi
ne tuning? Here we have a spectrum of opinion. Major scholars have their positio
ns about this. Yasir Qadhis position is that it dosen't make sense to apply this
law to a nation state. Because this deals with multiple factors, one of them be
ing the supremacy of Islam. When the state is not run by Islam, it dosen't make
sense. For example for Pakistan to have a system of blasphemy laws - it dosen't
make sense since it is not fully islamic. It is more secular. In Pakistan the ri
ghts of a muslim, jew etc are the same. But classical fiqh tells us the rights o
f a muslim are different; the rights of a jew is different etc. The point is thi
s is a sensititve question: if we had a perfect Islamic system that is one thing
. We only however have attempts to do so. Tariq Ramadan and others are looking i
nto matters such as these. Other scholars give more lax in fatwas - why? Because
modernity demands it. Classical fiqh without any doubt gives the right of other
religions to worship, build churches and even have their own courts.
Q. Why aren't non muslims allowed into Mecca and Madinah?
A. The prophet PBUH on his death bed said (reported in Bhukari and Muslim) "I wi
sh to get the people of the book out of 'jazeera tul Arab'". But he didn't actua
lly do it as he was on his death bed. Abu Bukr RA was too busy to fulfill it so
Umar RA was the first person to execute it. And he put a number of conditions. T
hey can only come if:
1. Someone invites them in
2. Come temporarily for business or what not
3. Non free slaves can also come in
Classical fiqh therefore took this hadith and the shafi'i, maliki and hanbali al
l agreed the people of the book cannot perminantly reside in Mecca and Madinah.
There is then ikhtilaaf between them how long they can stay there. Allah says in
surah Tawbah (one of the last few verses to be revealed) "... let them not come
close to masjid al haram". So the hanbalis said "masjid al haram they can never
enter". You can be a christian/jew in Jeddah etc. But when you are driving to M
ecca there is a big sign which says no non muslim can enter. The shafi'i have a
similar reasoning. The only madhab to disagree is Hanafi who say they can enter
Mecca and Madinah.
The ikhtilaaf comes: what is "jazeera tul Arab"? There are books written on this
. A modern scholar has the positon the entire Arabian Penesilla is "jazeera tul
Arab". But this isn't the majority opinion. The majority opinion is the centre o
f Arabia i.e. Mecca. Even when the prophet PBUH said this there were still jews
in Yemen. But again this is legitimate fiqh opinions. There were scholars who sa
y the entire Arabia is "jazeera tul Arab" even Baghdad etc. Note anywhere outsid
e "jazeera tul Arab" the shariah says the ahleh khatab can build whatever they w

ant, churches etc. Just not inside "jazeera tul Arab".