Pave the Way Foundation Advisor Sheikh Syed Agha Jafri stated, “During these days when violence in the name of religion is commonplace, it is even more significant to raise worldwide awareness of this covenant of protection."
New York, NY (PRWEB) September 16, 2012
Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF) has identified and brought to light an original document from the Prophet Muhammad, indicating that Muslims must protect the “people of the book” (Jews and Christians) and their churches until the end of time. This covenant of protection was given to the monks of the St. Catherine monastery in Egypt, in 628 CE. The original, which remains in the monastery, is imprinted with the hand of the Prophet Muhammad himself.
Pave the Way Foundation works to identify and eliminate non-theological obstacles between the faiths throughout the world. This covenant of protection was discovered through the foundation’s work to encourage Islamic support for re-opening the Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary in Turkey, closed since 1971. Recently, PTWF issued five letters to the Turkish government, signed by a group of international Muslim leaders, requesting that the seminary be re-opened. The letters cited the fact that this covenant instructs the followers of Muhammad to protect the people of the book and not to interfere with the houses of their religion. The document serves as religious basis for the request to re-open the Halki seminary.
The covenant is translated as:
"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 God! 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)."
Commenting on this most important document, PTWF Advisor Sheikh Syed Agha Jafri stated, “During these days when violence in the name of religion is commonplace, it is even more significant to raise worldwide awareness of this covenant of protection. The document gives a clear order of protection, in the name of Islam, of the people of the book. It is likely that very few are aware that this covenant exists, even amongst the Muslim population. This should be trumpeted worldwide to oppose those whose private agendas have insulted and sullied Islam by encouraging violence in its name.”
Gary Krupp, President of PTWF, stated, “The enemies of peace are the extremists that exist within each of our faiths. Religious violence comes about from the ‘tail wagging the dog’ where extreme minorities instigate hatred and violence, violating benevolent precepts common to the Abrahamic faiths. If peace is ever to be achieved, Jews must take responsibility for Jewish extremists, Christians must take responsibility for Christian extremists, and Muslim must take responsibility for Muslim extremists.”
About Pave the Way Foundation
PTWF is a nonsectarian foundation whose mission is to identify and work to resolve non-theological obstacles between religions through the trust garnered from our work to initiate historic gestures between the faiths “paving the way” to removing the use of religion as a tool to justify private agendas and violence.