Prophet Muhammed’s Promise to St. Catherine
by Weam Namou
I had a meeting Saturday afternoon with a friend producer about a film project we’re currently working on. I told him about my experience at the masjid and he said that people have created so many divisions when really we are all cousins who stem from Prophet Abraham and today. He said that, if Prophet Muhammad or Jesus saw what we were doing to each other, they would turn around and go back into their graves.
“All this fighting is not about religion,” he said. “It’s about real estate.”
He said quite a few interesting things, some of which I knew, that Jesus and all the prophets are revered in the Quran and Mary is the only woman’s name mentioned. Surah 19, one of the longest chapters in the Quran, carries the title “Maryam: Mary.” One thing I never heard is the story of the document that Prophet Muhammed wrote to St. Catherine’s Monastery, the world’s oldest continuously inhabited monastery which is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai in Egypt. The document that Prophet Muhammed wrote is hung inside the monastery along with its other manuscripts, which are outnumbered only by the Vatican library.
The Promise to St. Catherine:
“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.
The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”
Well, off to church I go now.