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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

the prophet (saas) called on the people of the book to have faith, without resorting to idolatry, and to live by the morality of the qur'an. yet, he still treated those who refused to obey him most gently and justly. he left the people of the book free to worship as they saw fit, allowed them to maintain all their own customs, and ordered his own people to treat them with justice. it is recorded that the prophet (saas) said:

"whoever killed a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the muslims shall not smell the fragrance of paradise."64

the texts of agreements made by the prophet (text) and those who succeeded him with various christian, jewish and other religious groups are today conserved as important documents. in the text of an agreement he had prepared for the christian ibn harris bin ka'b and his co-religionists, for instance, the prophet (saas) first had the following words written: "the religion, churches, lives, chastity and goods of all christians living in the east are under the protection of allah and all believers. none of those living by christianity will be forced to turn to islam. if any christian is subjected to any killing or injustice, muslims must help him"65 and then read this verse from the qur'an: "only argue with the people of the book in the kindest way …" (surat al-'ankabut: 46)

the prophet (saas) was commanded to advise his people how they should treat the people of the book in these terms in the qur'an:

say, "do you argue with us about allah when he is our lord and your lord? we have our actions and you have your actions. we act for him alone." (surat al-baqara: 139)

 




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