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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

A series of agreements draw up by the Prophet during the two or three years following the Hijra (622 CE), or the migration from Mecca to Medina of Muhammad and about seventy of his followers. These agreements were made between the Muhajirun and the important tribes of Yathrib (Medina), including Jews, Christians, and the newly-converted Muslims known as the Ansar. The Constitution of Medina establishes the umma as a community united across tribal boundaries and separate from pagan society. It also incorporates the Muhajirun into Medinan tribal structure, as the Muhajirun had abandoned the security of their Meccan clan links and were concerned about their future in Medina. Several clauses also deal with the relationship between the Muslim community and the Jewish tribes, stating that each group has a right to practice its religion freely. The Constitution of Medina establishes the city as a new haram, much like that in Mecca, with Muhammad as its founding holy man. These agreements demonstrate the Prophet's role as a community leader and arbiter.