The general policy in Islam is to guarantee full rights to non- Muslim populations and therefore people subscribing to other religions were granted full civic rights by the virtue of the Quran and through the application of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Non- Muslim populations living within Muslim communities were granted peaceful and prosperous life through guaranteeing security for both their lives and properties and were given the appellation of "ahl al-Dhimma" which denotes those people with whom Muslims have an agreement or the responsibility of their personal safety and security of their property are undertaken by the Muslim state.
The basic guidelines which were laid by the Prophet peace be upon him in the early stage in Madinah where he established a city-state formed a blue print of how Muslims should deal with Christians and Jews among many other adherents to different religions. Granting minority rights to different religious groups through pledges, documents and mutual agreements succeeded in creating a healthy atmosphere for the development of both spiritual and material growth of the different religious groups living under the Islamic rule.
In order to achieve and grant full rights for different religious minorities living in Madinah, the Prophet peace be upon him initiated a historical charter which was later known as "the Charter of the Madinah". By the virtue of this charter, preventive measures were in place to avoid blood feuds and crimes among different Arabian tribes composed of all creeds. The universality of the Islamic creed was meant for the totality of human beings and this necessitated fair treatment and full equality to those who chose not to subscribe to the Islamic view on life. Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him made a historical move of abolishing religious and social inequality.
Eradicating injustice and ill treatment to different social and religious groups was not meant as a bait to lure new converts into Islam but actually was meant to rectify the crooked way of looking and thinking of other human beings who do not happen to share the same social status or religious affiliation.
What Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him achieved was not less than opening a new chapter of tolerance and justice in world history. Establishing an independent judiciary system free from external influences guaranteed the protection of the interests of the citizens and securing justice for all regardless of their color or creed. The scrupulous observation and literal adherence of the Muslims to the terms of the pacts, treaties, alliances and agreements with non-Muslims was a foundational step into establishing an effective system of international law.
By setting clear rules for war engagements and prohibiting Muslims soldiers from excesses in war fares, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him left indelible imprint on the annals of humanity. In his endeavor to establish rules of justice and freedom for different religious groups, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him emphasized in different occasions that "whoever oppresses a dhimmi, shall find me to be their advocate on the Day of Judgment (against the oppressing Muslim)". The Prophet peace be upon him also warned the Muslims against abusing Dhimmis as he stated "Remember, one who is unjust to a dhimmi, breaks his word with him, overburdens him or dispossesses him, I shall plead against him on the Day of Judgment".
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was sent as a mercy to the world to establish the true meaning of brotherhood among humans as they should all stand united regardless of their skin color or theological belief. He succeeded in liberating man from the bondage of man. He gave the dynamic conception of an undivided humanity, the family of Man, the children of Adam. He managed to raise the ambitions of people from the limited confinements of national identity to the liberal wide-open meaning of humanity.
The world is passing through a dark phase of moral bankruptcy, social disintegration and parochial loyalties which helped in inciting wars and increasing the weight of the roaring voices calling for enmity and hatred. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)'s message sanctified the life of all human beings irrespective of their racial origin or religious affiliation. He taught us the true meaning of mercy to all and came to confirm the essence of the three Abrahamic faiths; an essence based on dispassionate love for humanity regardless of color, culture or creed.