The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World
JOHN ANDREW MORROW
ISBN: 13: 978-1-59731-465-7
The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World is a departure from what we usually publish at Angelico Press, but we thought it of vital importance in pointing to a new way for Christians to understand the ethos of early Islam, and for Muslims to conceive of Christian/Muslim relations, based on covenants established by the founder of Islam.
Muhammad’s treaties with the Christians of his time, which John Andrew Morrow has rediscovered in obscure collections and often newly translated, uniformly state that Muslims are not to attack peaceful Christian communities, but defend them “until the End of the World.” It is a direct appeal to all Muslims to condemn the violence against Christians in the Middle East in the name of Muhammad himself, as these covenants constitute possibly the third foundational pillar for Islam (along with the Qur’an and hadith). The “Covenants Initiative” within the book represents a movement by Muslims, both prominent and unknown, in support of Christians under attack. These treaties and the Covenants Initiative desperately need to be better known among Christians, Muslims, and the general public.
For scholars, Covenants provides much difficult-to-obtain material: facsimiles of primary sources in Arabic and Persian; corrected versions in modern Arabic typescript; and alternate translations. They now have all they need to study the covenants in depth.
Praise for The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad:
“This narrative has the power to unite Muslim and Christian communities. A work of scholarship, its release is timely, and its content critical in fostering mutual respect and religious freedom.”―Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Chairman, Cordoba Initiative
“In his indispensable contribution to the study of the Abrahamic faiths, John Andrew Morrow tells the story of how the Prophet Muhammad used his desert experiences of hospitality and protection to bring Muslims and Christians together. Morrow quotes the Prophet’s instruction—as relevant today as in his time: ‘With the People of the Book there is to be no strife.’”―Joseph Hobbs, University of Missouri
“Today, we realize more than ever that either we will learn to live together like siblings, or we shall perish together like fools. These letters from the Prophet Muhammad to Christian communities can serve to inspire both Muslims and Christians about our ability to live together as God’s people, as friends, as neighbors, and as custodians of the same small planet.”―Omid Safi, University of North Carolina
“The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad is a useful source for all those interested in the cultural and religious history of the Muslim world and the cultural relationship between Islam and Christianity. It will be very helpful in strengthening tolerance, goodwill, and better understanding between different civilizations; and it opens new horizons for further studies.”―Aida Gasimova, Baku State University
“With painstaking effort and much dedication invested in this groundbreaking work, Professor Morrow will surely manage to attract the attention of Islamic studies students and specialists. Indeed, the book is a genuine call for reconsidering the relationship among the three revealed Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.”―Amar Sellam, Mohamed I University
“This book documents what is possibly the third foundational source of Islam: the Prophet’s treaties and covenants among people of the Abrahamic faiths. Dr. Morrow brings forth exceptionally important findings that dictate peaceful coexistence among Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and includes multiple translations for comparison of how the Prophet and his followers treated Christians and Jews with respect and care, far beyond a mere tolerance.”―Bridget Blomfield, University of Nebraska
“These covenants are not merely historical documents; they remain valid, binding covenants for all Muslims from the moment of their inception until the end of time. Dr. Morrow’s work has illuminated a new horizon of Islamic public international law and promotes further scholarly investigation of the covenants.”―Hisham M. Ramadan, S.J.D., Kwantlen Polytechnic University
“The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad is a timely, pioneering, and penetrating study that sheds much light on the thoughts and the policy of the Prophet Muhammad.” ―Mohamed Elkouche, Mohamed I University
About the Author
John Andrew Morrow completed his Honors BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Toronto, as well as post-doctoral studies in Arabic in Morocco and at the University of Utah’s Middle East Center. Besides his academic training, he has also completed the full cycle of traditional Islamic seminary studies. He has served as a faculty member and administrator at numerous colleges and universities, and has authored and edited many books, including the Encyclopedia of Islamic Herbal Medicine (McFarland, 2011), Religion and Revolution: Spiritual and Political Islam in Ernesto Cardenal (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012), and Islamic Images and Ideas: Essays on Sacred Symbolism (McFarland, 2013).