‘Medina Charter and Pluralism’ – by Sean William WHITE. Listen the audio and read the article on how pluralism was advanced and instated in Medina

July – August 2010 Issue : 76:‘The Fountain’

The above Link is updated on 28.04.13 (PBSJ)


Sean William WHITE

The clash of civilizations, cultures, tribes, and religions seems to be prevalent throughout all of history. At the same time, history reveals simultaneous conflict and efforts to resolve tensions and division feeding animosity through mediation, diplomacy, and dialogue. Many conflicts seem too complicated for an agreement to be established on just one point, whether or not the conflict revolves around territory, religion, or ethnic discrimination. So what approach is best to mediate issues in a contemporary world that seems to be driven by economics, natural resources, and ethnic or religious ideologies? The Medina Charter serves as an example of finding resolve in a dispute where peace and pluralism were achieved not through military successes or ulterior motives but rather through respect, acceptance, and denunciation of war – aspects that reflect some of the basic tenets of the religion Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was guiding and promoting.
Through an examination of the Medina Charter, I will show how pluralism was advanced and instated in Medina and the reasons reflecting on such a document could help avoid the divide and misunderstanding plaguing much thought, rhetoric, and media today between Muslims, Christians, and Jews all over the world.
Read complete article in ‘The Fountain’

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Constitution of Medina – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Constitution of Medina (Arabic: صحیفة المدینه‎, Ṣaḥīfat al-Madīna), also known as the Charter of Medina, was drafted by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It constituted a formal agreement between Muhammad and all of the significant tribes and families of Yathrib (later known as Medina), including Muslims, Jews, and pagans.[1][2] This constitution formed the basis of the future caliphates, and it’s spirit inspires all potential Islamic states. The document was drawn up with the explicit concern of bringing to an end the bitter inter tribal fighting between the clans of the Aws (Aus) and Khazraj within Medina. To this effect it instituted a number of rights and responsibilities for the Muslim, Jewish, and pagan communities of Medina bringing them within the fold of one community—the Ummah. [3]

The precise dating of the Constitution of Medina remains debated but generally scholars agree it was written shortly after the Hijra (622).[4] It effectively established the first Islamic state. The Constitution established: the security of the community, religious freedoms, the role of Medina as a haram or sacred place (barring all violence and weapons), the security of women, stable tribal relations within Medina, a tax system for supporting the community in time of conflict, parameters for exogenous political alliances, a system for granting protection of individuals, a judicial system for resolving disputes, and also regulated the paying of Blood money (the payment between families or tribes for the slaying of an individual in lieu of lex talionis).

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