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  1. Zia Shah

    The Charter of Medina pre-dated the English Magna Carta by almost six centuries
    The Charter of Medina pre-dated the English Magna Carta by almost six centuries. It was executed and implemented for 10 years (622-632 A.D.) and applied to 10,000 citizens living in Medina at that time. Remarkably 45% of the total population in Medina consisted of non-Muslim Arabs, 40% consisted of Jews, and only 15% consisted of Muslims. These numbers were recorded by Prophet Muhammad (sa) himself through a census that he commissioned. In others words, Prophet Muhammad (sa) penned the Charter of Medina as a minority sovereign. His express goal was to govern a multi-religious pluralistic society.The Charter consists of 47 clauses which set forth the formation of a sovereign nation-state with a common citizenship for all communities. The Charter protects fundamental human rights for all citizens, including equality, cooperation, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Clause 25 specifically states that Jews and non-Muslim Arabs are entitled to practice their own faith without any restrictions. In short, the Charter of Medina was the first document in history to establish religious freedom as a fundamental constitutional right.

    Click to access Religious-Freedom-in-America.pdf

  2. Zia Shah

    Additional excerpts from William Montgomery Watt
    A document has been preserved which is often called the Constitution of Medina (the text will be found in my Muhammad at Medina, pp. 221-5). In the form in which we have it, it contains nearly fifty articles, some of them somewhat repetitive. Scholars generally accept its authenticity but disagree about its dating and how it has been put together. It seems fairly certain that the main articles represent the agreement made between Muhammad and the Muslims of Medina before he actually emigrated there, but that other articles have been added at later dates. Basically the document creates a federation between the tribe or clan of Emigrants from Mecca and eight clans of Arabs of Medina. Such a federation remained the nominal form of the Islamic state until after the fall of the Umayyad dynasty in 750, though many other Arab clans and tribes were added to it in Muhammad’s lifetime and later. Non-Arab Muslims had to become clients of one of the Arab clans in the federation. The Jews of Medina were also provided for in a subordinate position. The three main Jewish clans are not named, but there are articles about Jewish groups associated (in a kind of clientship) with the Arab clans. Muhammad is accepted as the prophet, and it is also stated that serious disputes in the community are to be referred to him.William Montgomery Watt. Islam: A short history. One World, 1999. 26-27.

  3. Zia Shah

    ‘Everyone in this room a 100 years ago would have been a racist’: Richard Dawkins
    Here is a very interesting confession about the Western civilization by Prof. Richard Dawkins in his debate against Alister McGrath, ‘Everyone in this room a 100 years ago would have been a racist.’ Here is the relevant part of the debate:

    Where does human equality come from? I suggest from the Holy Prophet Muhammad and Islam!

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