Thomas Jefferson and the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad

The revelation that Thomas Jefferson had a Qur'an and that Islam had influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States was groundbreaking. Inspired by the findings published by Denise A. Spellberg in Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders, a work that appeared in 2013, I set off to study the nearly seven thousand titles in Thomas Jefferson's personal library in search of any traces of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, namely, the charters of rights and freedoms that the Messenger of God had granted to the Christians of the Middle East and the world. The results of this research are remarkable. They confirm that Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America and its third President, had numerous accounts of the Covenants of the Prophet in his library collection. This suggests that the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, along with multifarious other sources, may have played a role in the creation of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the third President of the United States, owned and read a copy of the Qur'an. When it came to law, Thomas Jefferson insisted upon being universal. He opposed the use of "Jesus Christ,” and other synonyms, in bills, since it implied "a restriction of the liberty defined in the Bill to those professing his religion only” (Spellberg 119-120). He specifically stated that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786) was written "to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Muslim, the Hindu, and infidel of every denomination.” Speaking of the Constitution of 1780, Massachusetts governor, Chief Justice Theophilus Parsons, affirmed that it afforded "the most ample liberty of conscience… to Deists, Muslims, Jews, and Christians.”

Quoting John Locke (1632-1704), Thomas Jefferson asserted that "Neither Pagan nor Muslim nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion.” His ally, Richard Henry Lee, even passed a motion in Congress on June 7, 1776, in which he asserted that "True freedom embraces the Muslim and the Hindu as well as the Christian religion.”

Thomas Jefferson and the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad - Maydan

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