Prophet Muhammad (S) suffered immense persecution through his time in Makkah after Allah blessed him with prophethood. Eventually, it got to an extreme level, and the Muslims had to migrate to Medina. It was after the migration that the Muslims drafted the Constitution of Medina. The Prophet (PBUH) declared it openly to the people of the city, including Muslims and non-Muslims. As a result, the Muslims formed an Islamic state where people of all religions and backgrounds could coexist in peace.
When the Muslims moved to Medina, there were large factions and tribes already there. Several of them were Jewish tribes. The Constitution of Medina aimed to give rights to the different communities of the city and ensure peace. Co-operation between all groups in Medina was essential, especially in the face of impending aggression from the Quraish.
The constitution of Medina contained some important points that Muslim countries can learn from and implement. In this article, we will look at some of the points of the Medina constitution that are most pertinent to us today.
The Constitution of Medina prohibited Muslims from killing each other
One of the most pertinent points of the Constitution of Medina was that Muslims shouldn’t kill each other. It also specified that Muslims shouldn’t help the disbelievers against their own people. This can serve as an important lesson to the Muslims of the world today. Mainly due to political reasons, Muslims continue to kill fellow Muslims in many countries. Allah says in the Quran that if a person kills an innocent person, it’s as if he has killed all of humanity.
The Islamic state protected its minorities as per the Constitution of Medina. As long as Jews obeyed the state and didn’t wrong the Muslims, their lives were inviolable. However, the charter mentioned a qualifier. It didn’t allow the Jews to help outsiders against the Muslims. They also didn’t have the right to harm Muslims. Hence, if their intentions and actions were clear, the Muslims had to protect them.
The Muslims must resist anyone who tries to disrupt peace or spreads mischief
Since the state was new, the Constitution of Medina aimed to ensure that the people maintained peace by any means. The Muslims must resist anyone who tried to spread corruption in the land, whether it was injustice, tyranny, or mischief. This is applied regardless of any relation or blood connection. The Muslims must go after the person and stop him even if he was the son of a ruler.
The Constitution of Medina guaranteed life protection to all Muslims
This point ensured that all the Muslims were equal in the eyes of the state. Their social standing or financial position had no impact. A rich or poor Muslim’s life was equally valuable. If anyone wronged a Muslim, it was the responsibility of the others to correct that wrong and to fight back or avenge him.
The punishment of execution for a person who intentionally kills a Muslim
This point of the Constitution of Medina was according to the clear law in Islam. If anyone takes the life of a Muslim, they must kill him as retribution. The only way that he can avoid this is if he pays blood money to the family of the victim, and they accept it. Muslims must carry out justice in such a case.
The Constitution of Medina granted freedom of religion to all
Muslims had the right to freedom of religion. The same right was given to the non-Muslims minorities as well. People could believe in whatever they wished to as long as they didn’t violate any treaty. This serves to strike down claims of delusional people who say that Islam is intolerant.
All people shared joint responsibility of defending Medina if it came under attack
The Muslims and the non-Muslims had the same responsibility. All communities were one when it came to protection and safety. Similarly, all had to take responsibility to protect Medina if it came under attack. The Muslims were aware that the Quraish were likely to transgress and attack Medina at some point.
The Constitution of Medina forbade fighting and bloodshed among its people
The charter didn’t allow the people of Medina to take part in any fighting or bloodshed. This applied to all the participants, including Muslims and non-Muslims. They were all forbidden from taking part in any activities that would disrupt the peace in the land and cause tribulation.
The people must engage in mutual consultation and honorable dealing
The Constitution of Medina emphasized the importance of the communities helping each other and consulting with each other. The charter required Muslims and non-Muslims alike to fulfill all pledges and abide by the rules of the treaty. Going against these rules was tantamount to breaking the law and was completely forbidden.
The charter prohibits treachery while helping the oppressed is a must
The key to success for the Constitution of Medina was that all concerned parties obey all its laws. If anyone went against any of the laws or broke the treaties, they must face punishment. Similarly, they could not give an oppressor a free hand. It was the responsibility of the community to fight and help the oppressed.
Muslims must live in accordance with Islam in the Constitution of Medina
All the Muslims who feared Allah were to live according to the rules of Islam. They must carry out the obligatory duties and obey and follow the Prophet (PBUH). Allah revealed Islam as the ideal way of life for everyone on Earth. While the constitution allowed people the freedom of religion, Muslims must follow the injunctions of Islam.
Allah and the Prophet (PBUH) are the final authority in case of a dispute
If any of the people of Medina had a dispute about anything, the Constitution of Medina stipulated that they must refer it to Allah and the Prophet (PBUH). Any ruling that comes from Allah or His Prophet (PBUH) is far above and beyond any ruling or solution from any other being.