Shaykh Ahmed Saad al-Azhari, the respected Egyptian scholar, who heads the Ihsan Institute, has endorsed The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.
This traditional, Maliki, Sunni, and Ash’ari religious authority, who descends from the Prophet Muhammad (s) through his grandson, Imam Hasan, and who was trained at the prestigious al-Azhar University in Egypt, provided the following commendatory preface to the Arabic version of the work, Uhud al-Nabi li-Masihiyyi al-‘Alam, which has been translated into English as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may Allah bless our master Muhammad, the beloved one of the Lords of the Worlds.
I have seen with great passion the work of this brother and researcher, Dr. John Andrew Morrow, on the prophetic covenants and charters with the protected people from the People of the Book.
In addition to the importance of the research and what it discovers about the deep-rooted connection between Islam and other religions, which are based on respect and mutual respect of rights, the book’s appearance at this moment … is very important considering the dark views and extremist interpretations that have appeared on the world stage…
Although Islam itself is spotless, minds have become confused when it comes to historical figures and facts. Consequently, many wonder about the nature of the relationship between Islam and other religions. Is it peace or is it war?
There is no doubt that the scholars of Islam and its religious leaders know that God sent His Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as a mercy to the worlds. However, how can there be mercy when there is a sword upon one’s neck and fire ravaging God’s green earth?
Since the origin of the relationship between Islam and other religions provides for safety, dignity, security, covenants of protection, and mutual respect, as stated in the verses of the Qur’an, the research findings regarding the Covenants of the Noble Prophet … are practical in application and leave no room for ignorant interpretation, impersonation or distortion…
As we read in a tradition transmitted by Ibn ‘Abbas, Imam ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, went to talk to the Kharijites to explain to them that the Qur’an required them to follow the teachings of the Sunnah and Covenants since they reflected the true meanings of the verses and confirmed the nature of their relationship. The fact of the matter is that such long-standing covenants and charters almost fell into oblivion.
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not kill any of the hypocrites. On the contrary, he placed ‘Abd Allah ibn Salul under his protection, even though his hypocrisy was known to him. He said: “Let nobody claim that Muhammad kills his own Companions.” This was to make a formal point.
People should be judged on their professed beliefs. Nobody has the right to judge people on their appearance or to judge what is in their hearts and use it as a pretext to spread blood and commit murder. This is because Islam has come with truth from the Lord to protect human souls from harm in this world and the hereafter.
In conclusion, the release of these Covenants, which were concluded with the leaders of Christian communities, monks, priests, and bishops, is visible evidence that Islam is a religion that seeks and calls to co-exist in peace and security with members of other faiths, that justice, goodness, and safety are the highest of human goals, that people have the right to live in dignity and peace, that people should be free from religious coercion, and that no one should be deprived of protection.
I ask Allah, the Exalted, to bless this effort and maximize its benefit throughout the world, to thank and reward the researcher, and to open other avenues of exploration for him in this impactful field.
Praise be to Allah, the First and the Last.
Written by al-Sharif Ahmed ibn Muhammad Saad al-Hasani al-Idrisi al-Azhari, a guest of Great Britain, Founder of the Ihsan Institute