36. Funeral day

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Article summary: 

The article states that true Islam does not allow discrimination against Christians, and that any practices contradicting with this fact are non-Islamic.

Article full text: 

The author stresses that he has previously mentioned that Islam treats its followers and non-Muslims who live under Islamic rule as equals. This means that true Islam urges equal treatment, and any other practices are non-Islamic.

The author says there are some unusual declarations, such as preventing Christians from tolling churches’ bells loudly or fixing crosses to their churches. Ibn ‘Abbās said that Christians should not toll the bell in a city conquered by Arabs.

The author adds that there were four acts that would cause killing a Christian to be permissible; atheism and blasphemy, insulting the Qur’ān, insulting Islam, or insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Musallamah Ibn Mukhallad, the governor of Egypt, banned bell tolling in churches [Reviewer: Mukhallad ruled during the seventh century A.D].

The author says that in 492 AH [1071 A.D], a decree was issued banning many Christian feasts in Egypt, and in 664 AH [1243 A.D] Christians were denied access to Abraham’s Cenotaph in Hebron. In 702 AH [1281 A.D], al-Zāhir Bibars prevented Christians from celebrating the Nile Flood Day.

The author explains that churches were sometimes used for purposes other than prayer, for example to declare various decrees issued by a countries ruler. Al-Shafei, one of the four founders of Islamic jurisprudence, found it permissible to build churches for travelers to rest in. Al-Muqarrī said in his book ‘Nafh al-Tīb,’ [Perfume Fragrance] that he liked churches and loved hearing their bells. However, all the attempts of Umar Ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz and al-Mutawakil to eliminate any of the Christian traditions failed.

Discrimination against Christians is not an Islamic principle
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