In researching Islamic history I have found in many cases that during the life time of the Holy Prophet (sawa), and also during the times of the twelve righteous Imams from his Holy Household (Ahl-ul-Bayt, as), some of the Christians stood up for the members of Holy Household when they were oppressed. It makes one wonder, why did these Christians support and defend the Prophet (sawa) and his pure family, when they belonged to a different religion? The Prophet and his family’s character were so noble that even the idol worshippers at the time of the holy Prophet (sawa), who hated him, could not come up with anything bad to say about his morals. The Prophet’s title, even before proclaiming his Prophethood, was “The Trustworthy” (Al-Ameen) and “The Truthful” (As-Saadiq). These Holy personalities shined their light on everyone they came in contact with. It was amazing for people to witness such sublime morality in a human being, as they (as) treated everyone with fairness and justice.
The Christians felt safe under the true Islamic government during Prophet’s (sawa) and Imam Ali’s (as) rule, and all of their rights were protected under their ruler-ship.
The Prophet (sawa) and his pure family (as) felt that it was their duty to help their fellow human being in need. When the Christians witnessed the Prophet’s (sawa) family being oppressed, some of the Christian monks acknowledged the right of their divine leadership (Imamate) and they stood up for justice and died defending them.
In this humble attempt I have compiled some historical accounts from the life of Prophet Muhammad (sawa) and his Family’s treatment towards Christians during there respected times. Also I have included historical accounts of Christians who protected the Holy Prophet (sawa) and some who gladly laid down their lives for his Holy family (as). I hope this book will show the reader about how the Prophet (sawa) and his family demonstrated the true relationship between Islam and Christianity and how it should be today.
This is the Islam that was practiced by Muhammad (PBUH) and his Family, not the Islam which was hijacked, and is still hijacked, by the corrupt rulers after the Prophet’s (sawa) martyrdom.
Prophet Muhammad (sawa) treated everyone with justice and equality, but the rulers who took away the divine leadership from his family, excessively performed terrible deeds in the name of Islam. We need to recognize the distorted actions performed by these corrupt rulers and disassociate from their actions entirely and show people the true form of Islam as taught by our Prophet Muhammad (sawa) and his Household. It is up to us as God-fearing people to bridge the gaps between the two religions of Christianity and Islam; and to treat one another kindly with the aim to please the one and only God who created us all.
Imam Ali (as) is reported as saying “Know that people are of two types: they are either your brothers in religion or your equal in creation.”
Find in-depth narrations of these stories and more in the book Christians who Defended and Died for Prophet Muhammad and his Family by Mateen J. Charbonneau.