Soon after emigrating to Madinah and making sure that the pillars of
the new Islamic community were well established on strong bases of administrative,
political and ideological unity, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) commenced
to establish regular and clearly-defined relations with non-Muslims. All
of these efforts were exerted solely to provide peace, security, and prosperity
to all mankind at large, and to bring about a spirit of rapport and harmony
within his region, in particular.
Geographically, the closest people to Madinah were the Jews. Whilst harbouring
evil intentions, and nursing bitter grudge, they showed not the least
resistance nor the slightest animosity. The Prophet decided to ratify
a treaty with them with clauses that provided full freedom in faith and
wealth. He had no intention whatsoever of following severe policies involving
banishment, seizure of wealth and land or hostility.
The treaty came within the context of another one of a larger framework
relating to inter-Muslim relationships.
The most important provisions of the treaty are the following:
- The Jews of Bani ‘Awf are one community with the believers. The Jews
will profess their religion, and the Muslims theirs.
- The Jews shall be responsible for their expenditure, and the Muslims
- If attacked by a third party, each shall come to the assistance of
- Each party shall hold counsel with the other. Mutual relation shall
be founded on righteousness; sin is totally excluded.
- Neither shall commit sins to the prejudice of the other.
- The wronged party shall be aided.
- The Jews shall contribute to the cost of war so long as they are fighting
alongside the believers.
- Madinah shall remain sacred and inviolable for all that join this
- Should any disagreement arise between the signatories to this treaty,
then Allâh, the All-High and His Messenger shall settle the dispute.
- The signatories to this treaty shall boycott Quraish commercially;
they shall also abstain from extending any support to them.
- Each shall contribute to defending Madinah, in case of a foreign attack,
in its respective area.
- This treaty shall not hinder either party from seeking lawful revenge.
Madinah and its suburbs, after the ratification of this treaty, turned
into a coalition state, with Madinah proper as capital and Muhammad (Peace
be upon him) as ‘president’; authorities lay mainly in the hand of the
Muslims, and consequently it was a real capital of Islam. To expand the
zone of peace and security the Prophet (Peace be upon him) started to
enter into similar treaties with other tribes living around ‘his state’.