Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with Christians can be viewed as establishing freedom of religion and civic rights for Christians living within the ummah. The Covenants were designed “to protect and defend peaceful Christian communities, not attack them”. The Prophet’s cordial relations with Christians were not due merely to political expediency or personal aspirations, but rather they resulted from his belief that Christians should be able to freely practice their own faith in accordance with their own will.

The Qur’an (2:256) clearly supports this statement when it declares in no uncertain terms: “There shall be no compulsion in religion ([51], p. 62). In tandem with the Qur’an, hadiths, and the Constitution of Medina, the Covenants assure Christians that they will have the freedom to choose their spiritual destiny as citizens of the ummah. His inclusive position on incorporating Christians reflects this verse of the Qur’an (3:64): “Say: O People of the Book, come to an equitable word between us and you” ([51], p. 83). Far from being a tyrant, as depicted in modern representations [102]. Muhammad developed a democratic aptitude towards Christian communities. The Prophet’s relationships with Christians can be characterized by more than mere tolerance, but rather by compassion and the fostering of peace.

Dr. Craig Considine (Faculty member of the department of sociology at Rice University)

Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a “Muslim Nation”: An Analysis of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with Christians.” Religions 7.2 (2016): 15.