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“Whoever Harms a Dhimmī I Shall Be His Foe on the Day of Judgment”: An Investigation into an Authentic Prophetic Tradition and Its Origins from the Covenants

College of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, P.O. Box 34110 Doha, Qatar
Religions 2019, 10(9), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10090516
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 5 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interfaith, Intercultural, International)
The ḥadīth, “whoever harms a dhimmī I shall be his foe on the Day of Judgment’, can be found as an end clause to covenants which the Prophet Muḥammad issued to Christian, Jewish, and Magian communities. As it is highly unlikely for different non-Muslim communities to have forged this Prophetic statement at the end of their respective documents, this paper argues that this utterance is authentic and can be confidently traced back to the Prophet. This paper examines the occurrence of this statement as a ḥadīth in the Islamic literature and notes how it was dismissed by scholars of tradition who only accepted one of its variants. The paper then compares the rights granted to non-Muslims in the covenants to those conveyed in a number of ḥadīths and notes the discrepancies between early Islam’s official documents and the legal injunctions found in Muslim tradition. It argues that the ḥadīths on the rights of non-Muslims oftentimes reflect legal maxims of scholars living in the ‘Abbasīd era and that these were back-projected to the Prophet and his Companions using fictitious isnāds. Finally, this paper concludes by recommending the incorporation of the Prophet’s official decrees, which includes the covenants, within the fabric of Islamic law. View Full-Text
Keywords: Prophet; Muhammad; Islam; covenant; authenticity; dhimmi; hadith Prophet; Muhammad; Islam; covenant; authenticity; dhimmi; hadith
MDPI and ACS Style

El-Wakil, A. “Whoever Harms a Dhimmī I Shall Be His Foe on the Day of Judgment”: An Investigation into an Authentic Prophetic Tradition and Its Origins from the Covenants. Religions 2019, 10, 516.

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