Al-Marayati Discusses Charter of Medina

June 5, 2014

Within the past two months, MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati has given seven lectures on the Medina Constitution across Southern California mosques, including this past Friday at the Islamic Institute of Orange County. Speaking alongside Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi (chair of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California), Al-Marayati began by reviewing a translated version of the document found in “The Life of Muhammad” and ended with a comparison of values with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

“Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told the companions not to write down the hadith because he knew that this would result in Muslims adulating him,” Al-Marayati said before going over the text of the document highlighting the importance of familiarizing ourselves with the Medina Constitution. “But when he emigrated to Medina, he ordered them to write down what he was about to say and that was what formed the social contract between the tribes, Jewish and Muslim, of Yathrib [Medina]. Today, we refer to that document as the Medina Charter or the Medina Constitution.”

The values of religious freedom, equity, and justice are the foundation of an open society that upholds equality and justice for all. Al-Marayati uses the comparison to show Muslim’s potential in America.

"The Medina Constitution established the Jews as an ummah alongside the Muslims with their own religion and under one nation," Al-Marayati said. "The United States is the only nation today that embraces open citizenship, and it also protects freedom of religion. This is what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) established through the Medina Constitution.”  

Understanding the similarities between the Medina Constitution and the founding documents of the United States of America empowers Muslims to embrace their identity as Muslim and American in harmony. And when engaging the Medina Constitution, in contrast to the systems of governance in modern Islamic countries, we gain invaluable insight into how politicized Islam blurs the line between ethics and dogma: a dangerous and corrupt manipulation to further the agenda of an authoritarian few.



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