The term “Islamic State” is not new, it may feel new to us, but that is because we are not aware of the original and true Islamic State, the one established by Prophet Muhammad May God bless him. This article will expose the shocking differences between the group that calls its self “Islamic State” and the original Islamic state.
Original Islamic State
The original Islamic State was founded by the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him), the state was established in 622 CE in the city of Medina (at that time it was known as Yathrib). At that point the city had a diverse mix of religions, cultures and races. Between each of these groups there were conflicts, tribes battled rival tribes for generations, each religion would treat each other differently and some races had more rights than others. To give a “flavor” of the ideas of the time, the Jews have a book called the “Talmud” which is a collection of their teachings, in which it explains non Jews are actually animals in human form, and should be treated as such (eg Non-Jews are Not Human Baba Mezia 114a-114b there are many more). There is a theory that Christians of the time were doubtful women were human and therefore didn’t have a soul, a debate in 581CE Church Council at Mâcon ended without agreement, whether or not this is true, women were widely seen as defective (Eg St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine of Hippo writes to this effect) . The Bedouin Arabs were polytheists and had little respect for other tribes, races or religions. So if you can imagine all these different groups living in a city, the incompatibility of their ideologies will lead to chaos, and it did, the levels of crime were off the scale and the violence shocking. However, even in the midst of this madness, the people were still able to recognise what was right and what was wrong, so when a man came and announced that he had a religion which brings equality to all and rules fairly, the people recognised the need for this, and were willing to give him a chance, this man was the Prophet Muhammad may God bless him. In order to improve the human condition he proposed a state, an Islamic State where all people would be equal in law and all people would be respected, the Prophet then established the state and created a constitution, which is called the constitution of Medina.
Constitution of Medina
The amazing thing about all of this is that we have complete access to the document, and there is no doubt about its existence or content, for a document over a 1000 years old, that is quite special. It is the oldest known constitution in existence, to give you an idea of how progressive and forward thinking this document was, most people think the Magna Carta was ground breaking, that came in 1215, a full 500+ years later. The American Constitution was formed in 1787, so the Medina Constitution of 622 was revolutionary. There are 63 “articles” in the charter, which are basically points or issues that the document deals with, to see the full list click here. Here are the key points from the Medina Constitution :
- Collective resistance against injustice, tyranny and mischief – Article 16
- Non-Muslim minorities have the same right of life protection (like Muslims) – Article 20, 15, 17
- Each group will bear an equal proportion for any military costs. – Article 29
- Equality of rights for all branches of the Jews – Article 40
- The articles are very Pluralistic.
Click Here to see all the articles. The theme of the document is one of pluralism, equality, justice and peace. Sounds completely the opposite to what ISIS have done with the Islamic State…
Hence “Medina Minds”
A few people have asked “Why Medina Minds?”, hopefully now that the history of Medina and the original Islamic State is clear in your mind the answer should be more clear. The original Median constitution truly reflected the spirit and ethos of Islam, its values, hopes and desires, that of peace, justice and improving the quality of life for all. Therefore the hope of this website is to show the world how the real Islamic State was, and how utterly un-Islamic the new “Islamic State” is.
New “Islamic State”
The Islamic State of today exists in parts of Iraq and Syria, it evolved from several groups, mostly militant salafi groups, it formally announced its worldwide caliphate in June 2014. Key facts about ISIS:
- Completely reject pluralism.
- Ultra sectarian and divisive.
- Extreme violence and disproportionate punishments.
- Rights of non-ISIS members are zero.
Even a casual reader will be able to see how different the two lists are, the original Islamic State started by the Prophet SAW was one that is just, pluralistic and fair, giving rights to all. These are the true principles of Islam.
Why the difference?
There are many reasons for ISIS’ methodology, there adoption of a form of Islam which encourages extremism, the militarisation of the entire region, the breakdown of society etc. However, in my view the main and underlying issue is their Ideology. Their ideology will be examined in detail in other articles, however suffice to say it is simply incompatible with the Islam that we read about in the Quran and from authentic historical accounts.
An ideology based on creating differences and labeling others as inferior will inevitably turn on itself and divide into smaller and smaller groups as even subtle differences of opinion become major issues. I expect that the Islamic State will be surrounded and opposed by the armies of Syria and Iraq and as things become difficult they will turn against each other. I would also expect areas with a high concentration of people with similar ideologies are at risk of affiliated activities, these areas include Saudi Arabia, the gulf, and migrant communities in Europe. Essentially where ever there are people who have the ideology of ISIS, there will be behavior like ISIS.