"This is a message from [Prophet] Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion [in religion] is to be on them…” There are many Muslims who are motivated by what I call a “gang mentality” where the “other” is considered in a category much less than them and are doomed to hell regardless of their deeds. This is not only true of Muslims but it is true of people belonging to other faiths and organizations. This is not the attitude of the Qur’an because in numerous places the Qur'an points out the same message as given in the following verses:
2.281. And fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to God. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly.
2.286. On no soul doth God Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.
Allah is clear in the above verse and many others like it. There were no qualifiers using words like “Muslim soul”, etc. Allah has made the same equal standard of what we earn by our deeds the basis for reward and punishment for all humanity.
The more interesting question to ask is: are the “gang mentality” Muslims -- having hatred and doom for others who are not like them -- following the leader of the Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (saaw)? Did Prophet Muhammad demonstrate sectarianism, doom and gloom of other faiths and people who did not believe like him? Would he have been like today’s Jewish sectarians, Christian sectarians, and even Muslim sectarians and subscribe to party loyalty as the Democrats and Republicans do?
I have no doubt that the answer to that is a resounding NO!!! One proof of that is the Charter of Privileges made to the Christians of Najran. Please be aware that this is only one proof of the Prophet’s tolerant treatment of people of other faiths. There are many other examples of the same tolerance, love and understanding in the Prophet’s treatment of "others". His treatment was reflective of the verses in the Qur’an revealed by Allah regarding Christian treatment.
The Charter of Privileges
"This is a message from [Prophet] Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.Muslims today would do well to consider the actions of our leader in regards to treatment of religious people of other faiths. They should stop being Republicans and Democrats when it comes to Al-Islam. They should also consider these powerful words by Marmaduke Pickthall very carefully.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion [in religion] is to be on them.
Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.
No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.
The Muslims are to fight for them.
If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.
Their Churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
No one of the nation (of Muslims) is to disobey this covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."
“In the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of culture in a people. It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture. Therefore the difference evident in that anecdote is not of manners only, but of religion. Tolerance was regarded as un-religious, if not irreligious. Before the coming of Al-Islam it had never been preached as an essential part of religion.”
M. Marmaduke Pickthall, English Historian and translator of the Qur’an