The Charter of Madinah: Arabic Text and English Translation

http://rahbar.co.uk/the-charter-of-madinah-arabic-text-and-english-translation/


(Photo Credit @The_MuslimTimes)

Syed Sharfuddin

The Charter of Madinah in two parts, the first part dealing with the rights and obligations of the Mohajirs and Ansaar of Madinah (Clauses 1-24) and the second part dealing with the rights and obligations of the Jews, their clients and friends, pagans, polytheists and other inhabitants of Madinah. The original Arabic text of the Charter has been translated in different ways and versions. The version I have selected for analysis in this essay consists of 49 clauses. The date of the Charter is not confirmed but it is generally believed to be 623 ADS, before the Battle of Badar.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

* * *
هذا كتاب من محمد النبي (رسول الله) بين المؤمنين والمسلمين من قريش وأهل يثرب ومن
اتبعهم فلحق بهم وجاهد معهم إنهم أمة واحدة من دون الناس1
1. This is a document from Muhammad, peace be upon him, the Messenger of Allah, to the believers and Muslims from Quraysh (Makkah) and Yathrib (Madinah) and all those who followed, joined and laboured with them. They constitute one Ummah distinct from other people.
المهاجرون من قريش على ربعتهم يتعاقلون بينهم وهم يفدون عانيها بالمعروف والقسط بين المؤمنين.2
2. The emigrants of the Quraysh, according to their former condition, shall pay the blood-wits (compensation for the shedding of blood) within their number and each clan shall redeem their prisoners with kindness common among the believers
وبنو عوف على ربعتهم يتعاقلون معاقلهم الأولى، وكل طائفة تفدى عانيها بالمعروف والقسط بين المؤمنين.3
3. Banu Auf, according to their former condition, shall pay the blood-wits within their number and each sub-clan shall redeem their prisoners with the kindness and justice common among the believers.
وبنو الحارس (من الخزرج) على ربعتهم يتعاقلون معاقلهم الأولى، وكل طائفة تفدى عانيها بالمعروف والقسط بين المؤمنين.4
4. Banu Harith from Al-Khizrij, according to their former condition shall pay the previous blood-wits within their number and each sub-clan shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among the believers.
وبنو سعادة على ربعتهم يتعاقلون معاقلهم الأولى، وكل طائفة تفدى عانيها بالمعروف والقسط بين المؤمنين.5
4. Banu Saidah, according to their former condition, shall pay the previous blood-wits within their number and each sub-clan shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among the believers.
وبنو جشم على ربعتهم يتعاقلون معاقلهم الأولى، وكل طائفة تفدى عانيها بالمعروف والقسط بين المؤمنين.6
6. Banu Jasham, according to their former condition, shall pay the previous blood-wits within their number and each sub-clan shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among the believers.
وبنو النجار على ربعتهم يتعاقلون معاقلهم الأولى، وكل طائفة تفدى عانيها بالمعروف والقسط بين المؤمنين.7
7. Banu Najjar, according to their former condition, shall pay the previous blood-wits within their number and each sub-clan shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among the believers.
وبنو عمرو بن عوف على ربعتهم يتعاقلون معاقلهم الأولى، وكل طائفة تفدى عانيها بالمعروف والقسط بين المؤمنين.8
8. Banu Amir-bin-Auf, according to their former condition, shall pay the previous blood-wits within their number and each sub-clan shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness common among the believers.
وبنو النبيت على ربعتهم يتعاقلون معاقلهم الأولى، وكل طائفة تفدى عانيها بالمعروف والقسط بين المؤمنين.9
9. Banu Nabith, according to their former condition, shall pay the previous blood-wits within their number and each sub-clan shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness common among the believers.
وبني الأوس على ربعتهم يتعاقلون معاقلهم الأولى، وكل طائفة تفدى عانيها بالمعروف والقسط بين المؤمنين.10
10. Bani Al-Aus, according to their former condition, shall pay the previous blood-wits within their number and each sub-clan shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among the believers.
وأن المؤمنين لا يتركون مفرحاً بينهم أن يعطوه بالمعروف في فداء أو عقل.11
11. The believers shall not leave any one destitute among them by not paying his redemption money or his blood-wit in kindness.
وأن لا يخالف مؤمن مولى مؤمن دونه.12
12. A believer shall not take as an ally the freedom of another Muslim without his consent.
وأن المؤمنين المتقين أيديهم على كل من بغى منهم أو ابتغى دسيعة ظلم أو إثماً أو عدواناً أو فساداً بين المؤمنين، وأن أيديهم عليه جميعاً ولو كان ولد أحدهم 13
13. God-fearing believers shall be against anyone who rebels or seeks to spread injustice or sin or enmity or corruption amongst the believers; they will be against him jointly, even if he were the son of any one of them.
ولا يقتل مؤمن مؤمناً في كافر ولا ينصر كافراً على مؤمن.14
14. A believer shall not kill a believer for the sake of an unbeliever nor he shall support an unbeliever against a believer.
وأن ذمة الله واحدة يجير عليهم أدناهم، وأن المؤمنين بعضهم موالي بعض دون الناس.15
15. Allah’s protection is one and is equally extended to the humblest of the believers. The believers are friends to one another to the exclusion of others.
وأنه من تبعنا من يهود فإن له النصر والأسوة غير مظلومين ولا متناصر عليهم.16
16 Whosoever of the Jews follows us, he shall have our help and equality: He shall not be wronged nor shall his enemies be sided against him.
وأن سلم المؤمنين واحدة لا يسالم مؤمن دون مؤمن في قتال في سبيل الله إلا على سواء وعدل بينهم.17
17. The peace of the believers is indispensable. No believer shall make peace to the exclusion of others in a fight in the way of Allah except on equality and justice among them.
وأن كل غازية غزت معنا يعقب بعضهم بعضاً.18
18. In any military expedition made with us the parties shall take turns with us.
وأن المؤمنين يبئ بعضهم عن بعض بما نال دماؤهم في سبيل الله.19
19. The believers shall avenge the blood of another shed in the path of Allah.
وأن المؤمنين المتقين على أحسن هدى وأقومه.20
20.The God-fearing believers enjoy the best and the most upright guidance.
وأنه لا يجير مشرك مالاً لقريش ولا نفساً ولا يحول دونه على مؤمن.21
21.No polytheist shall take the property or person of Quraysh under his protection nor shall he intervene in his favour against a believer.
وأنه من اعتبط مؤمناً قتلاًَ عن بينة فإنه قود به إلا أن يرضى ولى المقتول (بالعقل)، وأن المؤمنين عليه كافة لا يحل لهم إلا قيام عليه.22
22.Whosoever kills a believer without a just cause shall be subject to retaliation, unless the representatives of the murdered are satisfied with blood-wit. The believers shall be against the murderer as one, and nothing is permissible to them except to take action against him.
وأنه لا يحل لمؤمن أقر بما في هذه الصحيفة وآمن بالله واليوم الآخر أن ينصر محدثاً أو يؤويه، وأنه من نصره أو أراه فإن عليه لعنة الله وغضبه يوم القيامة ولا يؤخذ منه صرف ولا عدل. 23
23.It is not permissible for a believer who approves what is written in this document and believes in Allah and the Day of Judgement to help an evil-doer or shelter him. On the Day of Judgement, the curse and anger of Allah shall be upon him who helps and shelters him.
وأنكم مهما اختلفتم فيه من شئ فإن مرده إلى الله وإلى محمد.24
24. Anything which you may disagree upon is to be referred to Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him).
* * *
وأن يهود بني عوف أمة مع المؤمنين لليهود دينهم وللمسلمين دينهم مواليهم وأنفسهم إلا من ظلم أو أثم فإنه لا يوتغ إلا نفسه وأهل بيته.25
25. The Jews of Banu Auf are an Ummah with the believers. The Jews have their own religion and the Muslims their own. This applies to their clients and to themselves with the exception of anyone who does wrong or acts treacherously, he brings evil on himself and his family members.
وأن ليهود بني النجار مثل ما ليهود بني عوف.26
26. For the Jews of Bani Najjar the like of what is for the Jews of Bani Auf.
وأن ليهود بن الحارث مثل ما ليهود بني عوف.27
27. For the Jews of Bani Harith the like of what is for the Jews of Bani Auf.
وأن ليهود بني ساعدة مثل ما ليهود بني عوف.28
28. For the Jews of Bani Saidah the like of what is for the Jews of Bani Auf.
وأن ليهود بني جشم مثل ما ليهود بني عوف.29
29. For the Jews of Bani Jasham the like of what is for the Jews of Bani Auf.
وأن ليهود بني الأوس مثل ليهود بني عوف.30
30. For the Jews of Bani Al-Aus the like of what is for the Jews of Bani Auf.
وأن ليهود بني ثعلبة مثل ما ليهود بني عوف إلا من ظلم وأثم فإنه لا يوتغ إلا نفسه وأهل بيته.31
31. For the Jews of Bani Thalabah the like of what is for the Jews of Bani Auf with the exception of anyone who does wrong or acts treacherously, he brings evil on himself and his family.
وأن جفته بطن من ثعلبة كأنفسهم.32
32. Jufta, who are a sub-clan of Thalabah are like themselves (Bani Thalabah).
وأن لبنى الشطبية مثل ما ليهود بني عوف وأن البر دون الإثم.33
33. For Bani Shatbah the like of what is for the Jews of Banu Auf. Piety and loyalty stand in the way of treachery.
وأن موالى ثعلبة كأنفسهم.34
34. The clients of Bani Thalabah are like themselves (Bani Thalabah).
وأن بطانة يهود كأنفسهم.35
35. The close friends of the Jews are like themselves (Jews).
وأنه لا يخرج منهم أحد إلا بإذن محمد.36
36. None of them are to go to war (military expedition) without the permission of Muhammad peace be upon him.
وأنه لا ينحجز على ثأر جرح، وأنه من فتك فبنفسه وأهل بيته إلا من ظلم وأن الله على أبر هذا.37
37. He shall not be prevented from seeking vengeance for wrongdoing when this involves him and his family members except where a man has been wronged. God will guarantee this agreement.
وأن على اليهود نفقتهم وعلى المسلمين نفقتهم، وأن بينهم النصر على من حارب أهل هذه الصحيفة، وأن بينهم النصح والنصيحة والبر دون الإثم. 38
38. The Jews shall bear their own expenses and Muslims their own. Each must help the other against anyone who attacks the people of this document. They must seek mutual advice and consultation. And loyalty is a protection against treachery.
وأنه لا يأثم أمره بحليفه وأن النصر للمظلوم.39
39. A man is not liable for his ally’s misdeeds. The wronged must be helped.
وأن اليهود ينفقون مع المؤمنين ما داموا محاربين.40
40. The Jews shall contribute to the expenditure of war as long as they continue to fight alongside of the believers.
وأن يثرب حرام جوفها لأهل هذه الصحيفة.41
41. The interior of Yathrib shall be sacred for the people of this document.
وأن الجار كالنفس غير مضار ولا آثم.42
42. A protected neighbour is as sacred as the protector himself as long as he does not harm and does not act treacherously.
وأن لا تجار حرمة إلا بإذن أهلها.43
43. A woman shall not be given protection without the consent of her family.
وأنه ما كان بين أهل هذه الصحيفة من حدث أو اشتجار يخاف فساده فإن مرده إلى الله44 وإلى محمد رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم)، وأن الله على أتقى ما في هذه الصحيفة وأبره
44. If any dispute or controversy is likely to cause problem or trouble among the people of this document, it must be referred to Allah and Muhammad the Messenger of Allah. Indeed, Allah will guarantee the observance of this document.
وأن لا تجار قريش ولا من نصرها.45
45. The tradesmen among the Quraysh should neither be given protection nor support.
وأن بينهم النصر على من دهم يثرب.46
46. Between them is help against whoever suddenly attacks Yathrib.
وإذا دعوا إلى صلح يصالحونه ويلبسونه فإنهم يصالحونه ويلبسونه، وأنهم إذا دعوا إلى مثل ذلك فإنه لهم على المؤمنين إلا من حارب في الدين.47
على كل أناس حصتهم من جانبهم الذي قبلهم.
47. When they are called to make peace, they conclude and accept it; they, in turn, call for reciprocity. It is for them upon the believers whosoever fights for religion. Everyone shall have his portion from his side.
وأن يهود الأوس مواليهم وأنفسهم لأهل هذه الصحيفة مع البر المحض من أهل هذه الصحيفة، وأن البر دون الإثم لا يكسب كاسب إلا على نفسه وأن الله على أصدق ما في هذه الصحيفة وأبره. 48
48. The Jews of Aus, both their clients and they themselves, are in the same position as belongs to the people of this document in pure loyalty from the people of this document. Loyalty is a protection against treachery. He who acquires it for himself should do so. Allah is the most upright and trust fulfiller of what is written in this document.
وأنه لا يحول هذا الكتاب دون ظالم أو آثم، وأنه من خرج آمن ومن قعد آمن بالمدينة إلا من ظلم أو آثم، وأن الله جار لمن بر واتقى، ومحمد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم). 49
49. This written document will not protect the unjust and the sinner. The man who goes out for fighting is safe and the man who stays in the city is safe, unless he has been unjust or has sinned. Allah is the protector of him who is good and God fearing and Muhammad, peace be upon him is the Messenger of Allah.

[Arabic Text credit:“Al Wasaq Aldoliyah Al Moaiyena bey Huqooq al Insan”, Arabic, Volume 2, Dar Ul Shurooq Publications, Cairo 2003]

Also see related essay: Muslim Ummah and Minorities

February 25, 2018