On our homepage, you will find a remarkable document titled “Founding Principles for Modern Imperatives: The Overlooked Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad” issued by Lord Daniel Brennan, our Chairman emeritus and myself.
The report notes the discussions and presentations made to a small study group convened by the Caux Round Table (CRT) to consider the historicity and contents of covenants made by the Prophet Muhammad to respect and protect Christian communities. Our colleagues noted in the report contributed with diligence and grace to our discussions and to the writing of it.
To consider the covenants of the Prophet, the CRT drew on its network of scholars and thoughtful colleagues, asking them to participate in this two-year study of long forgotten documents.
For no doubt very human reasons, which I do not fully comprehend, these covenants made by the Prophet himself have been rather thoroughly overlooked by both Muslims and Christians for centuries.
But we today are not bound by the practices of our predecessors. We can read the covenants for ourselves, assess their meaning and, if we choose, apply them in our time to relations between Christians and Muslims.
For me personally, having participated in the three workshops noted in our report, it is incumbent upon Christians to acknowledge the good faith and grace of the Prophet in making these covenants, which are to stand until the end of time and are, by their terms, binding on all faithful Muslims. Reciprocally, it is similarly incumbent upon Muslims to reflect upon that same good faith and grace of the Prophet Muhammad as guidance for their own lives.
In these covenants, the Prophet Muhammad, to me, set forth high standards of fraternity and humane responsibility for the good of others which are most fitting for our global community of different ethnic, intellectual and religious expressions of something common – our human dignity and spiritual resourcefulness in this world which we did not create on our own.