Sunday, July 12, 2015

How Christians were treated during the reign of Caliph Umar R.A?

Even though, in today’s day and age we are getting to see a more radical Islamic mindset in some misguided unfortunate people, it seems that it was not always like this. Islam is and always will be a religion of peace, tolerance and harmony between people of other religions and cultures. During and after the time of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) people of all religions under the rule of Islam were given equal opportunities and given all their rights.The following account is how the second Caliph of Islam Umar Ibn Al Khattab (peace be upon him) treated the Christian people of Jerusalem after its conquest.

Caliph Umar assured the Christian people of Jerusalem that he personally as a servant of God assures them that they, along with their properties, crosses, churches, the rituals of their religion and the sick and healthy alike will have total protection. The responsibility of protecting their churches was on his shoulders. He assured the Christian people that no Muslim man or woman would unlawfully try and inhabit the land of any Christian nor would a Muslim try and inhabit any of the churches in Jerusalem. He also assured them that not even one church will be destroyed in Jerusalem and none of their properties or land will be damaged. He gave them assurance that no one would be forced to convert to Islam.

More or less like all other lands in those days, the people of Jerusalem now too had to pay taxes to the Islamic rulers and must also banish all of the Byzantines as well as the robbers. Caliph Umar did not order the massacre of the Byzantines but instead allowed them safe passage out of the country. He also allowed those of the people of Jerusalem who want to leave with the Byzantines to take all their properties and valuables and leave without fear of any repercussions. The villagers were also allowed to stay in the city, but they also had to pay taxes like every other citizen. He assured them that nothing would be taken of them before their harvest.

If the people pay their taxes as they are obliged to, then the terms and conditions which had been assured in Caliph Umar’s letter to the people of Jerusalem had become the responsibility of the Holy Prophet, the Caliphs and all the faithful Muslims.When Caliph Umar (peace be upon him) entered the city of Jerusalem it was the time for prayers. The Christians of Jerusalem offered him a place to pray inside a church. However Caliph Umar refused their offer as He didn’t want the Muslims after him to use it as an excuse to convert the church into a mosque. He prayed in a place nearby which then became Masjid Umar Ibn Al Khattab.

The religion of Islam has guaranteed the wellbeing and safety of all religions under the control of an Islamic Government. Christians and Jews have lived under Muslim rule for centuries and have thrived and grown.

Source: Ilm Feed

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