THE MEDINA CHARTER
In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful.
(1) This is a document from Muhammad the prophet (governing the
relations) between the believers and Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib, and those
who followed them and joined them and labored with them.
(2) They are one community (umma) to the exclusion of all men.
(3) The Quraysh emigrants according to their present custom shall pay
the bloodwit within their number and shall redeem their prisoners with the
kindness and justice common among believers.
(4-8) The B. ‘Auf according to their present custom shall pay the
bloodwit they paid in heatheism; every section shall redeem its prisoners with
the kindness and justice common among believers. The B. Sa ida, the B.
‘l-Harith, and the B. Jusham, and the B. al-Najjar likewise.
(9-11) The B. ‘Amr b. ‘Auf, the B. al-Nabit and the B.
(12)(a) Believers shall not leave anyone destitute among them by not
paying his redemption money or bloodwit in kindness.
(12)(b) A believer shall not take as an ally the freedman of another
Muslim against him.
(13) The God-fearing believers shall be against the rebellious or him
who seeks to spread injustice, or sin or animosity, or corruption between
believers; the hand of every man shall be against him even if he be a son of
one of them.
(14) A believer shall not slay a believer for the sake of an unbeliever,
nor shall he aid an unbeliever against a believer.
(15) God’s protection is one, the least of them may give protection
to a stranger on their behalf. Believers are friends one to the other to the
exclusion of outsiders.
(16) To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality. He shall not be
wronged nor shall his enemies be aided.
(17) The peace of the believers is indivisible. No separate peace shall
be made when believers are fighting in the way of God. Conditions must be fair
and equitable to all.
(18) In every foray a rider must take another behind him.
(19) The believers must avenge the blood of one another shed in the way
(20)(a) The God-fearing believers enjoy the best and most upright
(20)(b) No polytheist shall take the property of person of Quraysh under
his protection nor shall he intervene against a believer.
(21) Whoever is convicted of killing a believer without good reason
shall be subject to retaliation unless the next of kin is satisfied (with
blood-money), and the believers shall be against him as one man, and they are
bound to take action against him.
(22) It shall not be lawful to a believer who holds by what is in this
document and believes in God and the last day to help an evil-doer or to
shelter him. The curse of God and His anger on the day of resurrection will be
upon him if he does, and neither repentance nor ransom will be received from
(23) Whenever you differ about a matter it must be referred to God and
(24) The Jews shall contribute to the cost of war so long as they are
fighting alongside the believers.
(25) The Jews of the B. ‘Auf are one community with the believers
(the Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs), their freedmen and
their persons except those who behave unjustly and sinfully, for they hurt but
themselves and their families.
(26-35) The same applies to the Jews of the B. al-Najjar, B. al-Harith,
B. Sai ida, B. Jusham, B. al-Aus, B. Tha'laba, and the Jafna, a clan of the
Tha‘laba and the B. al-Shutayba. Loyalty is a protection against
treachery. The freedmen of Tha ‘laba are as themselves. The close friends
of the Jews are as themselves.
(36) None of them shall go out to war save the permission of Muhammad,
but he shall not be prevented from taking revenge for a wound. He who slays a
man without warning slays himself and his household, unless it be one who has
wronged him, for God will accept that.
(37) The Jews must bear their expenses and the Muslims their expenses.
Each must help the other against anyone who attacks the people of this
document. They must seek mutual advice and consultation, and loyalty is a
protection against treachery. A man is not liable for his ally’s misdeeds.
The wronged must be helped.
(38) The Jews must pay with the believers so long as war lasts.
(39) Yathrib shall be a sanctuary for the people of this document.
(40) A stranger under protection shall be as his host doing no harm and
committing no crime.
(41) A woman shall only be given protection with the consent of her
(42) If any dispute or controversy likely to cause trouble should arise
it must be referred to God and to Muhammad the apostle of God. God accepts what
is nearest to piety and goodness in this document.
(43) Quraysh and their helpers shall not be given protection.
(44) The contracting parties are bound to help one another against any
attack on Yathrib.
(45)(a) If they are called to make peace and maintain it they must do
so; and if they make a similar demand on the Muslims it must be carried out
except in the case of a holy war.
(45)(b) Every one shall have his portion from the side to which he
(46) The Jews of al-Aus, their freedmen and themselves have the same
standing with the people of this document in purely loyalty from the people of
this document. Loyalty is a protection against treachery. He who acquires ought
acquires it for himself. God approves of this document.
(47) This deed will not protect the unjust and the sinner. The man who
goes forth to fight and the man who stays at home in the city is safe unless he
has been unjust and sinned. God is the protector of the good and God-fearing
man and Muhammad is the apostle of God.
This text is taken from A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad —
A Translation of Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, Oxford University Press, Karachi,
1955; pp. 231-233. Numbering added.
Text Version | Alternate Translation 1 | Alternate Translation 2