Treaties in Islam – Political and Social Welfare for Humanity

O Ye who believe fulfill your agreements (5:1).
Fulfill (every) contract, for (every) contract will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning) (17:34). [Explained in note 1 below]

Prophet said that if four characteristics are found in a person then that person is a complete hypocrite 1. Deceives when trusted 2. Lies when speaks 3. Reneges (breaks) contracts 4. Uses foul words when debated. The worst punishment in hell belongs to hypocrites.

Prophet proclaimed “Beware !!!, I would level case in the judgment day against the one who does oppression or denial of rights or burdening or acquiring things without consent with a non-Muslim who is bound by treaty”.

Excerpts of Prophets treaty at Medina

1. Those within the treaty would be united against those who are outside the treaty. 2. The responsibility of just recompense for crimes done by a group would be owned by that group. 3. If any Muslim is not capable to provide justice in such an event, the entire Muslim community would be responsible to provide just recompense.4. Muslims would publically be against those who create problems/losses and does oppression, even if such people are our own sons. 5. If any Muslim takes ownership of security for any one every other Muslims would honor such an act. 6. If any one turns against any group within our treaty, we shall unite to help that group. 7. Muslims should be well wishers and compassionate with the Jews who are part of this treaty and should not repress them and should not help those who plans to oppress them. 8. Muslims are one of the groups within the treaty, including other groups to the treaty would be done by due consultations and considering justice and rights of parties concerned.9. It is obligatory for Muslims to adopt high quality and best character in fulfilling the treaty. 10. From now on Jews and Muslims are parties to the treaty, each party is bound to follow their own religion, and both parties would be dealt on same ground in other matters like oppression, crime, and breaking treaty for which they would be punished. 11. If a third party wages war then we would fight together and each army would be funded by their own party. 12. The parties in the treaty shall conduct with mutual trust and be well wishers of each other. None shall oppress or be unjust to the other, if so every one shall be united against the oppressor to help the oppressed. 13. Neighbors shall be loved more than ones life until and unless they do not cause harm.
Abiding by treaty in Islamic History
During the time of the prophet, Muslims had treaties with Christians in Najran, Jews in Medina, and Polytheists in Mecca not even a single treaty was broken by Muslims and there is not one incident in which they had conducted in a way conflicting the treaty. After the time of Prophet, Muslims had treaties with many groups and every such treaty include clauses like equality in justice and law, hurting or spreading rumor against any non-Muslim is a crime, consider religions sentiments of those sections in matters pertaining to them. They would be free in their regions to do things which their religions permits even though such acts may be prohibited in Islam, following records testify to these facts.
1. During the time of First Khalipha (Caliph) Hazrath Abu Bakkar (RA) conquest of Kufa happened, the treaty that was written on the occasion contained clauses like “places of worship of Jews and Christians would not be destroyed, they would not be prevented from ringing bells or carrying the Cross”
2. During the time of Second Khalipha Hazrath Umar the treaty that was made with citizens of Damascus contained the clause “I take responsibility of protection of your life, wealth and places of worship”
3. Hazrath Umar gave following treaty to the people of Baithul-Muqaddas, “Life, wealth, places of worship, crosses, would be protected, places of worship would not be destroyed or be acquired, and there would not be interference in your religious matters”.
4. Muslims citizens had to pay Zakath and non-Muslims citizens had to pay Jizya to the political establishments.
5. Hazrath Abu Darda (RA) used to pay for the use of water, use of shade of trees, or gracing his animal to the concerned persons when he used to travel to places which were under treaty.
6. King Harun Rashid had built and repaired damaged Churches as those churches were built during the time the Sahaba (Companions of prophet).
Kings of India
Shaikhul Islam Moulana Ahmad Madani; who was a strong opponent of formation of Pakistan; wrote “It is a unique heritage that our India has not accepted demarcation in political or national matters, whether it was in rule of Hindu kings or of Muslim kings. We are well aware of Akbar’s rule, King Jahangir had 50,000 guns and 3000 ballistic and its chief in charge was Vikramaditya, Even Aurangzeb who is picturised as a communal ruler had stated that position in administration cannot be given based on religion, among his trusties were Jaisingh, Jaswant Singh, Rajendra (Shivajis sisters son), Munshi Ram has stated that the number of such people was in hundred. Even king Ranjit Singh had Muslims in his ministry Azeezud-din was minister and Elahi Baqsh was chief in charge of armory, chief in charge of Armory for Maratha was Ibrahim Gory. Chief in charge of Armory for Ahmed Shaheed was Rajaram, Chief of naval command of Chera kings were Muslims. W.H Tarsan and Pandit Sunderlal have cited numerous such examples”.
Pre Indian Independence
“On every matter where people from different religions join hands for a common purpose utmost care has to be taken so that they don’t hurt each others religious sentiments” decreed Shaikhul Hind Moulana Mahmudul Hasan( Deuband -1920 ) during the freedom struggle, he was one of the pioneers who joined hands with Gandhi.
Moulana Anwarsha Kashmiri (disciple of Shaikhul Hind) stated (1927) “The prophet; who is the role model for all Muslims; had immense love for his motherland hence it is impossible for any Muslim to be insincere in patriotism”
Post Indian Independence
The wounds of post partition and the poison that emanated from the event infused into political and social fabric of our country. Visionaries and the philanthropic leaders from different sections came forward to preserve the Ganga-Yamuna (Hindu-Muslim) culture of our country. The result of which was a constitution which proclaimed the protection of life, wealth, pride and religion of all sections. “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a [SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC] and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the 2[unity and integrity of the Nation]; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.” These lines uphold and augment justice, freedom of religion, equality, mutual brother hood, unity and security of our country.

Our history reveals pictures of opportunity, peace and welfare for humanity and those pictures comes alive with the colors of righteous people who loved, cared for human beings and empathized with their sufferings. Tomorrow we would become a part of history, and only future would tell what colors we contributed.

Sincere thanks to Ulema Deoband and Moulana Abdullahil Maurufi

Note 1 - Explaining the verse Ulema clarifies that the verse encompasses treaties of every kind. Which are broadly classified as one – with the creator in believing him and obeying him on do-s and don'ts; two – personal which includes pledges, making intentions to do a good deed, owning responsibility on a matter etc; three – treaties between people (business contracts, social contracts like adoption, marriage etc), groups, nations etc. In short keeping treaties is fundamental aspect of Islam

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