The article demonstrates how the Constitution of Medina (622 ce) is a multidimensional rhetoric of justice that countered rampant violence in the nascent city-state known as Medina. To make this argument, the article first introduces this legal-political text and explicates the rhetorical exigence that mandated Medina's inhabitants to articulate a framework for rights and obligations. Second, the article demonstrates how the constitution unified this citizenry by (1) recognizing everyone's equal standing, equality, and rights—especially to religious freedom and justice—across their religious and tribal affiliations; and (2) establishing institutional measures that realize these rights. As rhetoric of possibility, the Constitution of Medina constituted a community and modeled rights discourse.

This content is only available via PDF.