Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Constitution of Medina
(679 words)

According to the early Islamic historians Ibn Isḥāq and al-Wāqidī, Muḥammad struck an agreement with the inhabitants of Medina (originally Yathrib) shortly after he arrived there in 622. Many historians refer to this document as the Constitution of Medina. Ibn Isḥāq’s Sīra, or canonical biography of the Prophet, is the only historical source to preserve the text. In Ibn Isḥāq’s work, the document defines the relationship between three groups in Medina: the Muslim emigrants from Mecca who came to Medina in the first wave, Medinese converts to Islam, and some of the Jews of Medina.

The ag…

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Shari Lowin, “Constitution of Medina”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 26 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0005750>
First published online: 2010

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