Muslims as Neighbors (A historical credit)
During Abbasid Caliphate
• During the Abbasid period the Christian Patriarch, the Jewish Rabbi and Hakham were considered to be the highest dignitaries of the Muslim state and the Caliph used to consult them in the affairs of their respective communities.
- The Caliph Omar Ibn ElKhattab signed the treaty of peace. It ran as follows:
"From the servant of Allah and the Commander of the Faithful, Omar:
The inhabitants of Jerusalem are granted security of life and property. Their churches and crosses shall be secure. This treaty applies to all people of the city. Their places of worship shall remain intact. These shall neither be taken over nor pulled down. People shall be quite free to follow their religion. They shall not be put to any trouble..."
- The Caliph visited the biggest Christian church of the city. He was in the church when the time for the afternoon prayer came. "You may pray in the church," said the Bishop. "No," replied Omar, "if I do so, the Muslims may one day make this an excuse for taking over the church from you."
- The Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain, also known as the Golden Age of Arab (or Moorish) Rule in Iberia, refers to a period of history during the Muslim rule of the Iberian Peninsula (the former Roman and Visigothic Hispania) in which Jews were generally accepted in society and Jewish religious, cultural, and economic life blossomed.
Wikipedia: The Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain
- Tolerance of the Jews and Christians by the Muslims, characterized the early centuries of Islam in Spain. All the Jews and Christians who accepted the Muslims as the rulers of the country were allowed to retain their possessions and their beliefs and religious practices, and to continue their way of life within the framework of the society despite the fact that both these communities denied the continuance of the prophetic tradition beyond their respective prophets, Moses and Jesus, on whom be peace. The Muslims gave the Christians the freedom to make up their own minds. As long as the Muslims of Spain followed the guidance they had been given, they did not molest the Christians and, writes Gibbon: "In a time of tranquility and justice, the Christians have never been compelled to renounce the Gospel or to embrace the Qur'an."
Islamic Civilization: ANDALUSIA
- Maria Rosa Menocal, a specialist in Iberian literature, has argued that "tolerance was an inherent aspect of Andalusian society".
In her view, the Jewish and Christian dhimmis living under the Caliphate were much better off than in other parts of Christian Europe. Jews from other parts of Europe made their way to al-Andalus, where in parallel to Christian sects regarded as heretical by Catholic Europe, they were not just tolerated, but where opportunities to practise faith and trade were open without restriction.
- Will Durant said in his book The Story of Civilization: “Moslems seem to have been better gentlemen than their Christian peers; they kept their word more frequently, showed more mercy to the defeated, and were seldom guilty of the brutality as marked the Christian capture of Jerusalem in 1099.”
- From the web site: The rise of Islam, Harun Yehia
Prince Charles describes Islamic civilization and what Andalusia and the Ottoman experience in the Balkans has taught Europe:
Diplomacy, free trade, open borders, the techniques of academic research, of anthropology, etiquette, fashion, alternative medicine, hospitals, all came from this great city of cities. Mediaeval Islam was a religion of remarkable tolerance for its time, allowing Jews and Christians to practice their inherited beliefs, and setting an example which was not, unfortunately, copied for many centuries in the West. The surprise, ladies and gentlemen, is the extent to which Islam has been a part of Europe for so long, first in Spain, then in the Balkans, and the extent to which it has contributed so much towards the civilization which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely Western. Islam is part of our past and present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe. It is part of our own inheritance, not a thing apart.
The Wisdom Fund: Islam's Contribution to Europe's Renaissance
Actually the examples are numerous; it does not need too much digging in history to understand that in most of the Islamic ruling periods tolerance was the main foundation that governed the relationship between Muslims and non Muslims