Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Islamic Society
28 Sep 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com
Misaaq-i-Madinah: First Written Constitution of the World

By Nilofar Ahmed

A set of rules known as the Misaaq-i-Madinah (‘Pact of Madinah’), was drafted in the first year after Hijra (623 C.E.). It has come down to us in its complete form in the Prophet’s biography by Ibn Ishaq. The document is made up of about 52 clauses. Dr Hamidullah says it is the “first written constitution of the world”. He also says that the Prophet introduced moral values in politics, institutionalised the provision of justice and declared that real and final power belonged to God alone. He did away with the concept that the king could do no wrong. He declared himself to be God’s Prophet and His representative on earth and considered the instructions that he brought for his followers, binding on himself. M. Akhtar Muslim says in his book,Quran Aur Insani Huquq, (‘Quran and Human Rights’) that this document attempts to meet all the challenges and needs of every class and individual with regard to justice, tolerance, peace and freedom, including freedom of religion and the principle of coexistence. He also says that even Jews, who were well-known for their knowledge, skills and intelligence for centuries and were quite sharp in their dealings with others, accepted this agreement willingly, peacefully and completely. -- Nilofar Ahmed

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