The constitution of Medina was a pride for Islamic civilization, one of the milestones of human history, and a beacon for the human glory. It was written immediately after the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Medina in the first year of migration i.e., 623 AD.
It is considered the first civil constitution in history which aimed to regulate the relationships between the communities of Medina including the Immigrants, the Supporters, the Jewish sects, and others. According to the constitution, Muslims, Jews, and all factions must defend Medina against any external aggression. By writing that constitution and signing it by all factions, Medina has become a harmonious state and the Prophet (peace be upon him) was the first president, the Islamic Shari`ah has become the main and only reference, and all human rights were protected such as the freedom of thought, the freedom of practicing religious rituals, and the values of equity and justice were reinforced.
The constitution clearly stated that the freedom of religion was guaranteed, so freedom was sacred at Muslims since the first moment in establishing the Muslim state.
There was no minimum reflection to fight a sect or compelling a weak person, but all expressions were for the support of an oppressed, protecting neighbors and private and public rights, and asking for the support of Allah and invoking Him to pour His Wrath upon those who may betray, deceive, or double-cross.
That constitution contained fifty two articles, of which were twenty five related to Muslims and their affairs and twenty seven were about the relationships between Muslims and the followers of other religions, particularly the Jews and idol worshippers. That Constitution was written down in a way that allows the followers of other religions to co-exist with Muslims freely and they may perform their rituals as they wish without annoying anyone.
Laws and items that were based on good neighboring and on pardon and forgiving away from a world that was fanatic and arrogant was the best refute to those who claim that Islam is a religion that does not accept other religions, moreover it is a refutation to those who claim that Islam came to eradicate others and stay alone in this world.
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to Medina, he found conspiring Jews and provocative polytheists, but he did not think of exiling them or confiscating their properties, but he accepted the existence of the Jews and polytheists and offered them a treaty to include them all on equal footing with Muslims by having their religion as Muslims do.
Part of that constitution spoke about Muslims who came from Quraysh, Yathrib and those who followed them and fought with them are one nation.
The believers shall fight anyone oppresses, attacks them, or spreads corruption among them.
A polytheist should not protect the money or another polytheist from Quraysh and does not stand before a Muslim if he wants to kill him.
No believer admitted this agreement and believed in Allah and the Last Day is to aid an apostate or provide shelter for him and whoever does so, he shall incur the wrath and the curse of Allah on him on the Day of Recompense. The Jews shall spend of their money along with Muslims as long as they fight others, and the Jews of Banu `Awf are one nation with Muslims but they have their religion and Muslims shall have theirs.
That constitution expressed the desire of Muslims for sincere cooperation with the Jews of Medina to spread tranquility and beating at the hands of abusers and perpetrators of sedition whatever their religion was.
It was expected that the Jews would welcome Islam and if not, they shall be slower than polytheists in fighting it because Muhammad (peace be upon him) called for the oneness of Allah, righteous actions, and getting ready to a sublime life in the Hereafter. Moreover, the religion which he brought was similar to the religion which Moses (peace be upon him) came with and asked the Jews to execute and abide by its rulings but the Jews denied his prophethood and showed stubbornness. "And those who disbelieve, say: You (O Muhammad SAW) are not a Messenger. Say: Sufficient for a witness between me and you is Allah and those too who have knowledge of the Scripture (such as 'Abdullah bin Salam and other Jews and Christians who embraced Islam)." [Surat Ar-Ra`d: 43].
Furthermore, the boldness of the Jews and polytheists to Allah and aversion to His Provisions increased and described Him with low descriptions.
Islam rebuked those who attributed children to Allah whether a son or idols, so how about those who describe the Lord of heavens and the earth with poverty and miserliness?
"The Jews say: Allah's Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend of His Bounty). Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered." [Surat Al Ma'idah: 64].
"Indeed, Allah has heard the statement of those (Jews) who say: Truly, Allah is poor and we are rich! We shall record what they have said and their killing of the Prophets unjustly, and We shall say: Taste you the torment of the burning (Fire)." [Surat Al `Imran: 181].
Islam did not leave those people in their error but it kept on calling them and revealing its true essence and filled the atmosphere with its Ayahs and signs. So, those who found ease entered it and enjoyed its blessings otherwise they are free to go and Islam does not require him to do anything but to be peaceful, decent, and leave the truth walks without hindrance.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Medina stretching his hand to the Jews, offered them advices, and endured their harm, but when he saw them gathering and insisting on fighting him and mocking at his religion, he fought them. So, he exiled the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa` after the incident of the Muslim women in the second year after migration then exiled the Jews of Banu An-Nadir after the incident of assassination which they plotted against the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the fourth year after migration, then exiled the Jews of Banu Qurayzhah after the great treason which they made in the Battle of the Trench in the fifth year after migration. Thus, Medina got rid of all the people who preached the agreement and all the people who made conspiracies and plots in the community of Medina and it has become pure. Thereupon, Muhammad, the Leader established the civil society on cooperation, unity, piety, sincerity, justice, equality, love, and brotherhood then matters were settled down and Muslims found a room to renew their forces, arrange their affairs, and adapting their positions.
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