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The Prophet Muḥammad’s Covenant with Yūḥannah Ibn Ru’bah and the Christians of Aylah
Article

The Covenants of the Prophet and the Problems of Transmission: An Analysis of a Manuscript Copied by Fāris al-Shidyāq

Department of Foreign Languages, Ivy Tech Community College, Fort Wayne, IN 46805, USA
Academic Editor: Susanne Olsson
Religions 2021, 12(9), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090751
Received: 28 June 2021 / Revised: 4 August 2021 / Accepted: 18 August 2021 / Published: 11 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Letters, Treaties, and Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad)
This study examines a covenant of the Prophet, namely, a treaty, patent of protection or charter of privileges, that was copied by Fāris al-Shidyāq at some time before the middle of the nineteenth century. It provides a biographical sketch of the copyist. It reproduces the Arabic original as found in Majmū‘ fawā’id along with an English translation. This is followed by a commentary on the covenant and a series of conclusions, namely, that the “Shidyāq Covenant” from 1857 is a copy of the “Rylands Covenant,” which appears to be an Ottoman-issued document dating from the sixteenth or seventeenth century. This “Shidyāq/Rylands Covenant” could represent the missing link between the “Covenant of the Prophet Muḥammad with the Christians of Najrān,” found in the Chronicle of Seert, and the “Covenant of the Prophet Muḥammad with the Christians of the World,” namely, the Testamentum et Pactiones made famous by Gabriel Sionita in 1630. The significance of this study resides in the fact that it shares a previously unpublished and unstudied covenant of the Prophet Muḥammad, in both Arabic and English, with the scholarly community, while exploring the problems posed by transmission. The more covenants that are rediscovered, the better we will understand their origin, diffusion, and relationship, allowing us to better assess their authenticity. What is more, if these documents are accepted by Muslims as authentic, either in word or in spirit, they can help counter and prevent radicalization, promote moderation, and help protect minorities. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aḥmad Fāris al-Shidyāq; Covenants of the Prophet Muḥammad; Mu‘āwiyah; ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib; Rashīd Daḥdāḥ; Ibrahim Mohamed Zein; Ahmed El-Wakil; Jeanne Aubert; William Scawen Blunt; Chronicle of Seert; Treaty of Najrān; religious pluralism; John Rylands Library Aḥmad Fāris al-Shidyāq; Covenants of the Prophet Muḥammad; Mu‘āwiyah; ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib; Rashīd Daḥdāḥ; Ibrahim Mohamed Zein; Ahmed El-Wakil; Jeanne Aubert; William Scawen Blunt; Chronicle of Seert; Treaty of Najrān; religious pluralism; John Rylands Library
MDPI and ACS Style

Morrow, J.A. The Covenants of the Prophet and the Problems of Transmission: An Analysis of a Manuscript Copied by Fāris al-Shidyāq. Religions 2021, 12, 751. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090751

AMA Style

Morrow JA. The Covenants of the Prophet and the Problems of Transmission: An Analysis of a Manuscript Copied by Fāris al-Shidyāq. Religions. 2021; 12(9):751. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090751

Chicago/Turabian Style

Morrow, John A. 2021. "The Covenants of the Prophet and the Problems of Transmission: An Analysis of a Manuscript Copied by Fāris al-Shidyāq" Religions 12, no. 9: 751. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090751

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