BITS ‘N’ PIECES
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (R.A):
I heard Allah’s Apostle (S.A.W) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 1
The Magna Carta was introduced by some of the most notable barons of the thirteenth century in an act of rebellion against their king, King John I (24 December 1199 – 19 October 1216).
Increased taxes, the king’s excommunication by Pope Innocent 111 in 1209 and his unsuccessful and costly attempts to regain his empire in Northern France had made John hugely unpopular with his subjects. John’s failed attempt to defeat King Phillip 11 of France in 1214 and his unpopular fiscal strategies led to a barons’ rebellion in 1215. The barons argued that John was not adhering to the Charter of Liberties. This charter was a written proclamation issued by John’s ancestor Henry I when he took the throne in 1100, which sought to bind the King to certain laws regarding the treatment of church officials and nobles.
Unsuccessful negotiations took place throughout the first six months of 1215. On 10 June, the barons entered the King’s London Court by force. The king was persuaded to affix his great seal to the ‘Articles of the Barons’. This significant moment, the first time a ruling monarch had been forcibly persuaded to renounce a great deal of his authority, took place at Runnymede, a meadow on the banks of the River Thames near Windsor on 15th June. The article outlined the barons’ grievances and stated their rights and privileges. Four days later, after further modifications, the king and the barons issued a formal version of the document, which would become known as the Magna Carta.
For their part, the barons renewed their oaths of allegiance to the king on 19th June 1215. The formal document which was drafted by the Royal Chancery as a record of this agreement on 15th July was to become known retrospectively as the first version of the Magna Carta.
After John’s death in 1216, advisors to his nine-year-old son and successor, Henry III, reissued the Magna Carta with some of its most controversial clauses taken out, thus averting further conflict. The document was reissued again in 1217 and once again in 1225 (in return for a grant of taxation to the king). Each subsequent issue of the Magna Carta followed that “final” 1225 version.
Eventually, the Magna Carta served as the foundation for the English system of common law. Later generations of Englishmen would celebrate the Magna Carta as a symbol of freedom from oppression, as would the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, who in 1776 looked to the charter as a historical precedent for asserting their liberty from the English crown.