A.D. Assyrian History
The Message of Prophet Mohammed
The agreement between Mohammed and the Syrian Christians of Nazarai between Islam and Christendom is a manuscript of great
scientific value, and it is highly treasured by the Syrian
Christians. The original document is currently located in
Istanbul, Turkey. It shielded and protected them against the
attacks of the Islamites. The document had such a power, that
wherever it was shown, the followers of Islam would drop their
weapons and obey the command of the prophet - to leave the
Syrian Christians unharmed. If a Moslem disobeyed this command
he would be guilty of an offense, that would exclude him from
the blessings of heaven forever.
- “The Covenant of Omar,” which
is referred to in:
a. Samuel Hugh Moffett, "A History of Christianity in Asia," vol. 1,
second revised edition. New York: Orbis Books, 1998, page 345. Moffett
quotes Tritton, "Caliphs," 12ff., quoting from the "Kitab ul Umm."
- “The Charter of Protection,”
written in A.D. 1138, granted by Muktafi II (1136-1160), Caliph of
Baghdad, to Patriarch Abdisho III (1138-1147). Photocopy of the
Arabic version and the English translation is published in:
a. Alphose Mangana, ed. "A Charter of Protection Granted to the
Nestorian Church in A.D. 1138 by Muktafi II, Caliph of Baghdad."
Published in the official magazine of the Assyrian Church of the East
"Voice From the East," vol. 1, no. 3 (April 1, 1983) issue, page
- “Assyrian Church Customs and the Murder of
Mar Shimun” by Surma D'Bait Mar Shimun
The Firman of the Prophet Mahommed, Granted to the Patriarchal House,
It is a thing of common knowledge among the Mussalmans
of Hakkiari that there was a special firman granted by the Prophet to
our house, and therewith, as the universal belief went, a certain
special knife of his giving that was preserved to the time of Bedru Khan
Once in the year, a selected Mollah of Julamerk used to come up and
read that document in the public assembly. Further, the strictest
Moslems, who will not as a rule eat anything that has been slaughtered
by a Christian, will eat without hesitation of any animal slaughtered by
a member of the Patriarchal family.
These things were kept among the treasures of the Patriarchate till
the day of the massacre,
and when the firman, which was then captured, was brought and shown to
Bedru Khan, he exclaimed, “The curse of Allah be upon Nurullah Beg of
Julamerk, for he it was who stirred me up against the firman of the
prophet. Had I known that this house possessed this firman, I
should never have dared to go against them. May God require this
war of you.”
The firman was engrossed in letters of gold, on parchment, and was
written “circlewise,” with the print of a hand in the middle.
(This is an ancient type of Arab script. The print of the hand of
the donor of the grant was impressed in the middle of the
parchment, and the substance of the decree written round it, in one
continuous spiral.) The knife had a shaft of silver, with a piece
of red coral set in the pommel, and an inscription inlaid in gold on the
"God has told me in a vision what to do, and I confirm His
command by giving my solemn promise to keep this agreement."
"To the followers of the Islam I say: Carry out my command, protect and help the
Nazarene nation in this country of ours in their own land. Leave their places of
worship in peace; help and assist their chief and their priests when in need of
help, be it in the mountains, in the desert, on the sea, or at home. Leave all
their possessions alone, be it houses or other property, do not destroy anything
of their belongings, the followers of Islam shall not harm or molest any of this
nation, because the Nazarenes are my subjects, pay tribute to me and will help
the Moslems. No tribute, but what is agreed Upon, shall be collected from them,
their church buildings shall be left as they are, they shall not be altered,
their priests shall be permitted to teach and worship in their own way-the
Nazarenes have full liberty of worship in their churches and homes. None of
their churches shall be torn down, or altered into a mosque, except by the
consent and free will of the Nazarenes. If any one disobeys this command, the
anger of God and his prophet shall be upon him."
"The tribute paid the Nazarenes shall be used to promote the teachings of Islam
and shall be deposited at the treasury of Beth Almal. A common man shall pay one
denar (piece of money), but the merchants and people who own mines of gold and
silver and are rich shall pay twelve denars. Strangers and people who have no
houses or other settled property shall not have taxes levied upon them. If a man
inherits property he shall pay a settled sum to the Beth-Almal treasury. The
Christians are not obliged to make war on the enemies of Islam, but if an enemy
attacks the Christians, the Mohammedans shall not deny their help, but give them
horses and weapons, if they need them, and protect them from evils from outside
and keep the peace with them. The Christians are not obliged to turn Moslems,
until God’s will makes them believers."
"The Mohammedans shall not force Christian women to accept Islam, but if they
themselves wish to embrace it, the Mohammedans shall be kind to them."
"If a Christian woman is married to a Mohammedan and does not want to embrace
Islam, she has liberty to worship at her own church according to her own
religious belief, and her husband must not treat her unkindly on account of her
religion. If any one disobeys this command, he disobeys God and his prophet and
will be guilty of a great offense."
"If the Nazarenes wish to build a church, their Mohammedan neighbors shall help
them. This shall be done, because the Christians have obeyed us and have come to
us and pleaded for peace and mercy."
"If there be among the Christians a great and learned man the Mohammedans shall
honor him and not be envious of his greatness."
"If any one is unjust and unkind to the Christians he will be guilty of
disobeying the prophet of God."
"The Christians should not shelter an enemy of Islam or give him horse, weapon
or any other help. If a Mohammedan is in need the Christian shall for three days
and nights be his host and shelter him from his enemies. The Christians shall,
furthermore, protect the Mohammedan women and children and not deliver them up
to the enemy or expose them to view. If the Nazarenes fail to fulfil these
conditions, they have forfeited their right to protection, and the agreement is
null and void."
"This document shall be intrusted to the Christian chief and head of their
church for safe keeping."
Here follows the signatures of Mohammed and his foremost men and followers:
- Prophet Mohammed
- Abubakr Zadik
- Omar Ben Chetab
- Moavijah Ibn Abi Sofijan
- Abu Darda
- Abu Zar
- Abu Bra
- Abdula Ibn Masud
- Abdulah Ibn Abas
- Hamza Ibn Almulabb
- Fazl Ibn
- Zaibar Ibn Aqam
- Tilha Ibn Abdullah
- Saad Ben Maaz
- Saad Ibn
- Sabeh Ibn Kebis
- Jazid Ibn Sabid
- Abdullah Ben Jazid
- Suhail Ibn Mifah
- Othman Ibn Mazum
- David Ibn Gijah
- Abu Alalijah
- Abdullah Ibn Omar Alqazi
- Abu Harifah
- Ibn Azir
- Ibn Rabiah
- Ebar Ibn Jaamir
- Hashim Ibn Azijah
- Hasan Ibn Zabid
- Kab Ibn Kab
- Kab Ibn Malech
- Jafar Ibn Abu Falib."
"The peace of God be over them all! This agreement is written by Moavijah Ben
Sofian, according to the dictates of Mohammed, the messenger of God, in the 4th
year of the Hegira in the city of Medina."
A.D. Assyrian History Archives