Author: jmorrow

The social and political reform of the Prophet

The Arabian society in the 6th century CE in which Prophet Muhammad (s) grew up was devoid of political organization. People were divided into warring tribes. Tribalism, racism, and prejudice were rampant. The rich exploited the poor. The powerful enslaved the weak. Women were viewed as sexual objects and treated as chattel. They could be brutalized without mercy. With the exception of small numbers of Jews and Christians, along with the monotheistic Hanifs and a segment of Zoroastrians, the overwhelming majority of the population was pagan, animistic, idolatrous, and polytheistic. Unlike the Hindus, however, the Arab idolaters did not...

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Towards building a pluralistic society in Iraq

I spent the last week of November in Iraq traveling between Najaf, Karbala, and Baghdad and presented my paper titled “The Sacred Duty of Protecting Sacred Sites” at a conference in Karbala on Iraq’s heritage and antiquities that featured scholars from 22 different countries. I demonstrated that the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the Sirah, and the letters, treaties, and covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (s) are testimonies to the tolerance of Islam and its commitment to protect the lives and property of both Muslims and non-Muslims. I proved that, in Islam, the protection of people and their property is inseparable and...

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Parliament of World’s Religions calls for understanding

The seventh Parliament of the World’s Religions, the oldest, largest, most diverse and inclusive global interfaith event, was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, between 1 November and 7 November, 2018. The conference, which was themed, “The Promise of Inclusion, the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change,” was attended by over 10,000 people of faith and conscience from 80 different nations, and featured over 500 programs and events. One particular panel, titled “An Offering of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad in the 21st Century,” featured Charles Upton, the Muslim American scholar, activist, and intellectual, who issued...

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Christian author accepts the Covenants of the Prophet

After a ritual reading of a treaty that the Prophet Mohammad (s) made with the Assyrian Christians in the seventh century, a formal offering of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (s) was made at the Parliament of the World’s Religions which convened in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday 3 November 2018. The offering was made by the Covenants Initiative, on behalf of all believing Muslims, to Jennifer Doane Upton, on behalf of all faithful Christian friends and allies. Jennifer Doane Upton, the Christian author and intellectual, shared the following words with the audience: As we learn from Dr Morrow’s...

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The Covenants of Compassion from the Messenger of Mercy (Part 3)

Although the Covenants of the Prophet were common knowledge to educated Muslims throughout most of Islamic history, knowledge of them faded after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. While the works of Hamidullah and Miyanji were familiar to some Muslim scholars, it was only after the publication of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World that knowledge of them became widespread. The publication of the book in 2013 inspired the Covenants Initiative, an international movement that calls upon Muslims to abide by the spirit and the letter of the Covenants of the Prophet as they are in perfect agreement with the traditional teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. The Covenants Initiative has been signed by over three hundred Muslim scholars, intellectuals, and activists. The movement helped inspire the Marrakesh Declaration on the rights of religious minorities in the Muslim world as well as the Fortenberry Resolution which condemned ISIS for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Fourteen hundred years after the death of the Prophet, these Covenants demonstrate that the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians by extremist groups and the destruction of their religious buildings represents a gross violation of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophet, including the Prophet’s letters and Covenants. Indeed, these Covenants can serve as a source of inspiration for the establishment of...

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