A bishop shall not be removed from his bishopric, nor a monk from his monastery, nor a hermit from his tower, nor shall a pilgrim be hindered from his pilgrimage.
That’s one of Rice University professor of sociology Craig Considine’s favorite verses from ‘The Covenant with the Christian Monks of Mount Sinai’. Dr. Considine recently published a paper featuring four lesser-known covenants from Prophet Muhammad’s time – ‘The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of Najran’, ‘The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of Persia’, ‘The Covenant of the Prophet with the Monks of Mount Sinai’, and ‘The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of the World’.
Many of these documents have not been circulated into society, Dr. Considine said, because “they have been historically located in obscure collections,” for instance in private palaces and monasteries, “and were rarely translated from their original languages.”
But the ancient covenants contain passages that “clearly highlight the Prophet’s plan to establish a community based on religious freedom and liberty,” Dr. Considine wrote. With his latest research, the professor aims to combat Islamophobia and cultivate more peace in the Middle East.