UMAR-PACT WITH CHRISTIANS

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In the name of Allāh,

the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.

DEDICATED TO

Allāh–the Glorious and the High,

Lord of the worlds

AND TO

Mohammad–who brought the world

to our feet and eternity to our arms.

*

‘UMAR–PACT WITH CHRISTIANS

Pact of ‘Umar (viewed on the Internet): It states:

“The Pact of Umar is supposed to have been the peace accord offered by the Caliph Umar to the Christians of Syria;” “We heard from 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Ghanam [died 78/697] as follows: When Umar ibn al-Khattab….accorded a peace to the Christians of Syria, we wrote to him as follows: ….This is a letter to the servant of God Umar [ibn al-Khattab]….from the Christians of such-and-such a city. When you came against us, we asked you for safe-conduct (aman) for ourselves, our descendants, our property, and the people of our community, and we undertook the following obligations toward you:” (it lists 15 conditions which the Christians proposed), “ (When I brought the letter to Umar….)” “Umar ibn al-Khattab replied: Sign what they ask, but add two clauses and impose them in addition to those which they have undertaken. They are: “They shall not buy anyone made prisoner by the Muslims,” and “Whoever strikes a Muslim with deliberate intent shall forfeit the protection of this pact.” (from Al-Turtushi, Siraj al-Muluk, pp. 229-230).  Note: This was a from [I believe this should have been ‘from a’]  hand out at an Islamic History Class at the University of Edinburgh in 1979.  Source of translation not given.”) (Emphasis added).

   As emphasized, ‘Umar did NOT design this “pact.” This was submitted by the Christians. Umar only accepted it and made two stipulations, as evidenced in the concluding paragraph.

   ‘Umar could not have been unjust to the Christians when Islam requires justice even against one’s own self.  To cite one instance of Muslims’ benevolence towards non-Muslims, Muhammad Ali  notes: 

“Muir, after admiring the leniency of the Arab conquerors towards the conquered and their justice and integrity, quotes a Nestorian Bishop of the time:  “These Arabs to whom God has accorded in our days the dominion are become our masters;  but they do not combat the Christian religion; much rather they protect our faith;  they respect our priests and our holy men, and make gifts to our churches and our convents” (p. 128).” (The Early Caliphate, p. 86)

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