Write a 2-3
or page paper on the following topic:
The two primary documents on the
pages below show highly contrasting ways in which the Christian Charlemagne and
at least some Muslim rulers dealt with non-believers within their realms. What are the main differences between the two
approaches and how would you explain them?
Is this a fair and representative examination of the contrasts between the
ways the two 'great' monotheistic religions fused with political-military power
in the medieval period? Why or why not?
Base your work on the two primary documents, as well as on
the course textbook and lectures. Be
sure to cite the page numbers from which you draw any material from the
textbook; cite the date or number of the lecture from which you draw any
particular material. Refer to
Charlemagne's directives as "The Capitulary on Saxony", or, just
"The Capitulary"; refer to the other document as "The Pact of
Umar", or, just "The Pact".
Grading criteria will include the clarity and quality of all
of the following: focus on the given topic, critical analysis, argumentation,
use of evidence, historical insight, and quality of writing.
The paper should be double-spaced,
with normal margins and 12 point font. It must
have a title. Please put it in a word document, not in pages or any
other type of file. Free from plagiarism
Pact of Umar: Could be
anywhere from the 7th to the 9th century CE.
The Status of
Non-Muslims Under Muslim Rule
Introduction: After the rapid expansion of the
Muslim dominion in the 7th century, Muslims leaders were required to work out a
way of dealing with Non-Muslims, who remained in the majority in many areas for
centuries. The solution was to develop the notion of the "dhimma", or
"protected person". The Dhimmi were required to pay an extra tax, but
usually they were unmolested. This compares well with the treatment meted out
to non-Christians in Christian Europe. The Pact of Umar is supposed to have
been the peace accord offered by the Caliph Umar to the Christians of Syria, a
"pact" which formed the pattern of later interaction.
When Umar ibn al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him,
accorded a peace to the Christians of Syria, we (Christians) wrote to him as
In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate. This is
a letter to the servant of God Umar [ibn al-Khattab], Commander of the
Faithful, from the Christians of such-and-such a city.When you came
against us, we asked you for safe-conduct (aman) for ourselves, our
descendants, our property, and the people of our community, and we undertook
the following obligations toward you:
We shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhood,
new monasteries, Churches, convents, or monks' cells, nor shall we repair, by
day or by night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters
of the Muslims.
We shall keep our gates wide open for passersby and
travelers. We shall give board and lodging to all Muslims who pass our way for
We shall not give shelter in our churches or in our
dwellings to any spy, nor bide him from the Muslims.
We shall not teach the Qur'an to our children.
We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert
anyone to it. We shall not prevent any of our kin from entering Islam if they
We shall show respect toward the Muslims, and we shall rise
from our seats when they wish to sit.
We shall not seek to resemble the Muslims by imitating any
of their garments, the qalansuwa, the turban, footwear, or the parting of the
hair. We shall not speak as they do, nor shall we adopt their kunyas.
We shall not mount on saddles, nor shall we gird swords nor
bear any kind of arms nor carry them on our- persons.
We shall not engrave Arabic inscriptions on our seals.
We shall not sell fermented drinks.
We shall clip the fronts of our heads.
We shall always dress in the same way wherever we may be,
and we shall bind the zunar round our waists
We shall not display our crosses or our books in the roads
or markets of the Muslims. We shall use only clappers in our churches very
softly. We shall not raise our voices when following our dead. We shall not
show lights on any of the roads of the Muslims or in their markets. We shall
not bury our dead near the Muslims.
We shall not take slaves who have beenallotted to Muslims.
We shall not build houses overtopping the houses of the
(When I brought the letter to Umar, may God be pleased with
him, he added, "We shall not strike a Muslim.")
We accept these conditions for ourselves and for the people
of our community, and in return we receive safe-conduct.
If we in any way violate these undertakings for which we
ourselves stand surety, we forfeit our covenant [dhimma], and we become liable
to the penalties for contumacy and sedition.
Umar ibn al-Khittab replied: Sign what they ask, but add two
clauses and impose them in addition to those which they have undertaken. They
are: "They shall not buy anyone made prisoner by the Muslims," and
"Whoever strikes a Muslim with deliberate intent shall forfeit the
protection of this pact."
from Al-Turtushi, Siraj al-Muluk, pp. 229-230.
Charlemagne: Capitulary for Saxony 775-790 CE
1. It was pleasing to all that the churches of Christ, which
are now being built in Saxony and consecrated to God, should not have less, but
greater and more illustrious honor, than the fanes of the idols had had.
2. If any one shall have fled to a church for refuge, let no
one presume to expel him from the church by violence, but he shall be left in
peace until he shall be brought to the judicial assemblage; and on account of
the honor due to God and the saints, and the reverence due to the church
itself, let his life and all his members be granted to him. Moreover, let him
plead his cause as best he can and he shall be judged; and so let him be led to
the presence of the lord king, and the latter shall send him where it shall
have seemed fitting to his clemency.
3. if any one shall have entered a church by violence and
shall have carried off anything in it by force or theft, or shall have burned
the church itself, let him be punished by death.
4. If any one, out of contempt for Christianity, shall have
despised the holy Lenten fast and shall have eaten flesh, let him be punished
by death. But, nevertheless, let it be taken into consideration by a priest,
lest perchance any one from necessity has been led to eat flesh.
5. if any one shall have killed a bishop or priest or
deacon, let him likewise be punished capitally.
6. If any one deceived by the devil shall have believed,
after the manner of the pagans, that any man or woman is a witch and eats men,
and on this account shall have burned the person, or shall have given the
person's flesh to others to eat, or shall have eaten it himself, let him be
punished by a capital sentence.
7. If any one, in accordance with pagan rites, shall have
caused the body of a dead man to be burned and shall have reduced his bones to
ashes, let him be punished capitally.
8. If any one of the race of the Saxons hereafter concealed
among them shall have wished to hide himself unbaptized, and shall have scorned
to come to baptism and shall have wished to remain a pagan, let him be punished
9. If any one shall have sacrificed a man to the devil, and
after the manner of the pagans shall have presented him as a victim to the
demons, let him be punished by death.
10. If any one shall have formed a conspiracy with the
pagans against the Christians, or shall have wished to join with them in
opposition to the Christians, let him be punished by death; and whoever shall
have consented to this same fraudulently against the king and the Christian
people, let him be punished by death.
11. If any one shall have shown himself unfaithful to the
lord king, let him be punished with a capital sentence.
12. If any one shall have ravished the daughter of his lord,
let him be punished by death.
13. If any one shall have killed his lord or lady, let him
be punished in a like manner.
14. If, indeed, for these mortal crimes secretly committed
any one shall have fled of his own accord to a priest, and after confession
shall have wished to do penance, let him be freed by the testimony of the
priest from death.
15. Concerning the lesser chapter all have consented. To
each church let the parishioners present a house and two mansi of land, and for
each one hundred and twenty men, noble and free, and likewise liti [freedmen],
let them give to the same church a man-servant and a maid-servant.
16. And this has been pleasing, Christ being propitious,
that whencesoever any receipts shall have come into the treasury, either for a
breach of the peace or for any penalty of any kind, and in all income
pertaining to the king, a tithe shall be rendered to the churches and priests.
17. Likewise, in accordance with the mandate of God, we
command that all shall give a tithe of their property and labor to the churches
and priests; let the nobles as well as the freemen, and likewise the liti,
according to that which God shall have given to each Christian, return a part
18. That on the Lord's day no meetings and public judicial
assemblages shall be held, unless perchance in a case of great necessity or
when war compels it, but all shall go to the church to hear the word of God,
and shall be free for prayers or good works. Likewise, also, on the especial
festivals they shall devote themselves to God and to the services of the
church, and shall refrain from secular assemblies.
19. Likewise, it has been pleasing to insert in these
decrees that all infants shall be baptized within a year; and we have decreed
this, that if any one shall have despised to bring his infant to baptism within
the course of a year, without the advice or permission of the priest, if he is
a noble he shall pay 120 solidi to the treasury, if a freeman 60, if a litus
20. If any shall have made a prohibited or illegal marriage,
if a noble 60 solidi, if a freeman 30, if a litus 15.
21. If any one shall have made a vow at springs or trees or
groves, or shall have made any offerings after the manner of the heathen and
shall have partaken of a repast in honor of the demons, if he shall be a noble
60 solidi, if a freeman 30, if a litus
15. if, indeed they have not the means of paying at once,
they shall be given into the service of the church until the solidi are paid.
22. We command that the bodies of Saxon Christians shall be carried to the
church cemeteries and not to the mounds of the pagans. 23. We have ordered that
diviners and soothsayers shall be given to the church and priests.
33. Concerning perjuries, let it be according to the law of
34. We have forbidden that all the Saxons shall hold public
assemblies in general, unless perchance our missus shall have caused them to
come together in accordance with our command; but each count shall holdjudicial
assemblies and administer justice in his jurisdiction. And this shall be cared
for by the priests, lest it be done otherwise.
In Boretius, No. 26, p. 68, trans.
by D. C. Munro in - University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of History: Translations
and Reprints from the Original Sources of European history, published for the
Dept. of History of the University of Pennsylvania., Philadelphia, University
of Pennsylvania Press . Vol. VI, No. 5, pp. 2-4