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Prophet Muhammad granting protection and
other privileges to the monks of Saint Catherine's Monastery,
Image of Patent
from Prophet Muhammad to the Christians of St. Catherine's
Monastery, Mt. Sinai
Per a preserved information
at Sinai's St. Catherine's Monastery, a Patent (see above
image) from Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was given to a Chrisian
delegation who visited him in Medina in 628 AD. The Patent
was sealed with an imprint representing Muhammad's hand.
The Prophet personally granted by the charter
the rights and privileges to the monastery, including freedom
of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges
and to own and maintain their property. Here is an English
translation of the charter.
"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)."
Some History about this Document
The original letter was taken away in 1517 by the
Turkish Sultan Selim I and is now in the Topkapi Museum
in Instanbul, but the sultan gave the monks a copy of it
and sanctioned its terms. From the enormous collection of
ancient and modern rolls preserved in the monastery's library,
it is clear that the Covenant of the Prophet, whether or
not authentic, was in some way or other renewed, and the
privileges of protection and safe-conduct for the monks
The monastery was under the protection of the Prophet Mohammed,
Arab and Turkish leaders and Napoleon, which helped to preserve
it virtually undameged. In the walled compound there is
a Fatimid mosque built next to the Orthodox church, a rare
coexistence of religions in today's World.
a You Tube video clip of this historical document
at the St. Catherine in Mt. Sinai