The Medina Constitution
One of the main tasks of human society is the formation of such a model of social structure, which leads to the improvement of everyone's life, the unification of all people into a single civilization with its further evolutionary development. The history of the current consumerist format of society goes back more than 6,000 years old. This format of society values only wealth and power. As a result, human history is a history of war and violence. There have always been attempts to change the format of society from consumerist to creative.
All the Prophets and Messengers of the One Allah came to this world to give knowledge to all mankind, to illumine people with the light of the Wisdom of the One Allah and to show them the Path leading to peace, unity and creation. The mission of all the Prophets, including the Last Prophet of the One Allah, was to unite all people into one human family. Islam, harmoniously combining the personal spiritual work of each person with the active creative actions of the whole Ummah for the benefit of society, was originally given to all people in order for us, as humanity, to become a single civilization.
The greatest of men, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) proclaimed 14 centuries ago that we, humans, must live in a creative format of society, where the highest value is the life of each person. He showed by his example how it is possible to change everything in a short time and build the world where people respect each other, show kindness and mercy, cooperate in all issues and develop all their best qualities for the benefit of the society! And the whole society actively supports and encourages each individual's aspirations! The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) enshrined all these foundations in a historic document, the Medina Agreement. This agreement is also called the Medina Constitution or the Constitution of the Prophet (peace be upon him). In those distant days, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself laid the foundation of the Creative Society for the peaceful coexistence of all people regardless of religion, color or social status. Moreover, the Last Prophet (peace be upon him) built such a society on the scale of a single city as an illustrative example. In doing so, he showed in practice that building a creative format of society is an absolute reality.
The Medina Constitution is a historical precedent for our civilization, which occurred after the Hijrah, the relocation of Muslims led by the Prophet (peace be upon him) from Mecca to Medina. The population of Medina in those distant times was multi-faith, with Jews, pagans, Muslims, and Christians living in the city. The communities lived scattered and in case of an external threat, each lived defensively in isolation, without coordinating their actions with the other townspeople. The Medina Constitution, created by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself, became a social contract that united people of all religious confessions and beliefs into one united Ummah. The importance and significance of the Medina Constitution also lies in the fact that it was discussed with the people and was created taking into account the demands and requirements of the people really living at that time.
The Medina Constitution was the foundation of the new free Muslim state, which gave rights, freedom, and patronage to all who lived or wished to live in Medina, regardless of clan and class affiliation.
The Constitution guaranteed the protection and security of every person and all communities of the state, as Article 49 of the Constitution declared Medina a sanctuary of peace and security. Thus, any act of violence, oppression or injustice among the inhabitants of Medina was considered unacceptable and, accordingly, suppressed.
The constitution made the citizens of Medina, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, responsible for the common arrangement of the city to ensure the prosperity of the entire society. Material provision was also divided equally and fairly.
The constitution spelled out the responsibility of all residents of Medina to defend the city together to ensure the peace of their citizens. And also for collective resistance to any acts of violence.
A special role in this document was given to protecting the unity of believers, their care for one another, and their concern for their lives. This document described that the life of a community member is of the highest value and that no one has the right to take a person's life.
The key position in the Medina Constitution was the principle of freedom of religion. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), being the Last Messenger of Allah and being firmly aware of the truth of Islam, did not establish a single religion in his Constitution and left the choice to everyone. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not force anyone to recognize him as a Prophet in the Constitution of Medina. This makes the Constitution of Medina an example of the highest form of religious tolerance.
At the same time, the Prophet, peace be upon him, himself mentioned every Jewish tribe by name, guaranteeing their right to protection under the new Constitution. The 30-40 articles of the Medina Constitution listed Jewish tribes such as Auf, Najar, Harris, Sayyid, Jusham, Aus, Talaba, and Jafna, which inhabited both Medina itself and its surroundings. The Medina Constitution proclaimed these tribes and Muslims as one Ummah. They were guaranteed freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom to establish and obey their own laws.
All this shows that the new state was intended not only for Muslims, but for people of all religions and confessions who agreed to live in peace and harmony with each other. Thus, any attempt to purge Medina of representatives of other faiths would be a violation of the Constitution, and Muslim society would have been obliged to stand up for them.
The living conditions of the communities in Medina were fair and equal for all. The responsibility of criminals was individualized, that is, it deprived criminals of the protection of their clan, regardless of their religion. This was an extraordinarily wise decision of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He put a legislative barrier to inter-clan struggle, thereby putting an end to the pagan custom of blood feuds, frequent murders, and retaliation that was prevalent in Arabia at that time.
All parties who signed the agreement were to consult with each other and promote righteousness in the city, encourage good deeds and discourage all forms of sin, help those in need and those who find themselves in trouble.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) left us all such a foundation of society, where there was no authority of one person over all, but the responsibility of each person for the whole society. And just as importantly, the responsibility of the whole society for each individual. That is why it was a priority and important in the Prophet's Ummah to consult, to make joint collective decisions.
The constitution clearly shows us that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not seek power, because all ties and obligations of different clans and the authority of local chiefs were preserved. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reserved for himself only the right to settle disputes and conflicts that might arise among the people of Medina. That is, he took responsibility for the peace and well-being of all residents of Medina when disagreements arose. According to this document, the power began to be vested in the inhabitants of that city themselves. And according to historical facts, helping and caring for one's neighbor became an integral feature of the Medina community.
The Medina Agreement is unique in its thoughtfulness and fairness. It ensured peace and harmony among very different ethnic and religious groups at the time. It remains to this day a historical precedent testifying to the outstanding political and diplomatic gift of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), his highest justice, wisdom, and benevolence.
The Medina Agreement has had its continuation in today's society. Millions of people have expressed their will to live in an equitable, just and secure world where human life is considered as the highest value. What the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) laid down in the Constitution of the Medina is formulated today as the eight pillars of the Creative Society.
The Creative Society is a universal project aimed at building a united human family on the scale of the entire planet. Today, people from all over the world are already building such a society. And every Muslim now has a real chance to build the society of which the greatest of men, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) dreamed of!