Christian-Muslim interaction in the Prophet’s Sirah and its impact on Peaceful Co-existence with Special Reference to the Christians of Najran
“Studying the prophet Muhammad's (peace be on him) history, one comes
across several instances when there was Christian-Muslim interaction. Examples
begin with the first Muslim migration towards the Christian territory – Abyssinia
and ends with sending Muslim preachers to Christian tribes, Prophetic treaties,
letters to Christian governors and Emperors and dialogue with delegations like the
Christians of Najrān.
The paper will start with a brief introduction of the historical presence of
Eastern Christianity with different denominations in the Arabian Peninsula, who
had covered the areas of Internal Arab, Bahrain, ‘Ammān, Yemen and Iraq. It will
discuss the nature ofearlyChristian-Muslim interactions with them briefly with
special reference to the Christians of Najran because itwas the first ever regular
interaction between Muslims and Christians. Therefore, this incident has an
academic and historic importance; we will explore who were these people- their
religious or political status? What brought them to the table of dialogue with
Muslims? What issues they had in their minds to discuss with the Holy Prophet?
During the discussion, what kind of attitude they showed and how the Holy
Prophet and His companions responded to that? Why they signed a peace treaty?
What were the clauses of the treaty? Had it an impact on peaceful co-existence?
Which model of dialogue can we extract from these events? At end, the paper will
present the opinions of some prominent western Christian scholars and historians of
Islam to see how this incident has been narrated in Christian sources. And will
conclude with asserting the best pluralistic approach that has ever been practiced by
the founder of any religion. Both the classical Islamic and contemporary Christian
sources have been consulted.”