Prophet Muhammad (S) and his Companions established good relations with other communities living in Madinah. There was a large Jewish community as well as some other Arab tribes who had not accepted Islam. The Prophet prepared a mithaq (a covenant or a constitution) for organizing relations between these communities. The covenant of Madinah laid down broad principles on which cordial relations would be established between Muslims and non-Muslims. Protection of life and property, and freedom of thought and of worship were guaranteed. Among the principles of the covenant are:
“… Their (Muslims, Jews and others) relationship shall be one of mutual advice and consultation, and mutual assistance and charity rather than harm and aggression
. . . Charity and goodness are clearly distinguishable from crime and injury, and there is no responsibility except for one’s own deeds. God is the guarantor of the truth and good will of this covenant.
This covenant shall constitute no protection for the unjust or criminal.” (See Sirat Ibn Hisham, pp. 110-111).
Muslim minorities, therefore, should not only peacefully co-exist with other communities of their new country, but they should also support and assist them in goodness as much as they can.
In doing so, Muslims are following the path of the Prophet (S) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who worked for the interest and wellbeing of all communities living with them in Madinah.
On arriving in Madinah, the Prophet built his masjid to provide social and educational services for the community. People used to gather to hold educational and spiritual sessions in the Prophet’s masjid. Social celebrations and gatherings—such as weddings—took place in the masjid. People discussed various concerns of the city in the Prophet’s masjid, which was not confined to the performance of Prayers.