A historical study of Muslim treatment of Christians in Islamic Jerusalem at the time of 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab and Salah al-Din with special reference to Islamic value of justice

  • Maher Abu-Munshar

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The thesis is concerned with the study of Muslim treatment of Christians in Islam in general and in Islamic Jerusalem in particular. It conducts detailed research based on primary sources illustrating the juristic principles and rules. This formed the conceptual framework o f Muslim treatment o f non-Muslims which later became most useful in finding plausible explanations for ‘Umar and Salah al-Din’s treatment of Christians in Islamic Jerusalem. In order to provide more support for an accurate picture of ‘Umar and Salah al-Din’s treatment of Christians, the study further analyses some historical episodes of their treatment of Christians outside Islamic Jerusalem.

The study discusses and analyses the steps taken by the Muslims towards the first and second conquest of Islamic Jerusalem, the situation of Christians in Islamic Jerusalem prior to, and the attitude of the Christian towards, both conquest, and the treatment of the Christians in Islamic Jerusalem after both conquests. As ‘Umar’s assurance of safety defines the status of Christians communities under the new Muslims rule and established the foundations of the way Muslims should follow when treating Christians in Islamic Jerusalem, the study examines and critically analyses the assurance using al-Tabari’s and the orthodox patriarchate versions. After discussing Salah al-Din’s preparation to liberate Islamic Jerusalem the study verifies the accounts of the communication between Salah al-Din and the Crusaders and analytically discusses the peace negotiations between Salah al-Din and Richard, the Lion-Heart King of England. Finally, the study concludes with a final discussion and summary of the findings, together with some critical remarks and recommendations.

This study attempts to establish and develop new evidence for an academic debate concerning the Muslim treatment of Christians in Islamic Jerusalem, and to link the juristic principles with the historical facts relating to the Muslim treatment of Christians during ‘Umar and Salah al-Din’s era. The aim of this research is not only intended to make an in depth academic discussion, but also it is hoped that it is a significant contribution to and a valuable source of reference in this field.
Date of AwardJun 2003
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Abertay Dundee
SponsorsIslamic Research Academy

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