REMEMBERING THE COVENANTS OF THE PROPHET MUḤAMMAD
SHARED HISTORICAL MEMORY OF GOOD GOVERNANCE AND PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE
Keywords:Covenants, Islam, governance, co-existence, Prophet Muhammad, Constitution of Madina
There has, in recent years, been much renewed interest in the covenants that the Prophet Muhammad issued to the non-Muslim communities of his time. This paper argues that the covenants in the hands of non-Muslims possess a great deal of parallels to the compacts that exist in the Muslim sources. When examined through a valuational lens, we find that the textual parallelisms between political documents ascribed to the Prophet and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs share a common historical memory pointing to good governance and peaceful co-existence as the foundational principles of early Islamic polity. We therefore conclude by making the case that the original treaties of the Prophet would have reflected the Qur’ān’s eternal values of justice in how Muslims ought to govern state affairs and in their tolerance of the other.