Discussion in 'Misconceptions About Islam' started by Mairo, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Mairo

    Mairo Maryama

    Dec 15, 2007
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    A disbeliever who pays the jizyah is called a dhimmi. Dhimmi are those citizens of the Khilafah that hold different beliefs and values to the ideology of the state i.e. Islam. The word dhimmi is derived from the Arabic word dhimmah, which means pledge or covenant (‘ahd).

    The state makes a pledge to treat the dhimmi in accordance with the specific terms of the peace treaty made with them (if applicable) and not to interfere in their beliefs, worships and those actions that contradict Islam but were permitted to the dhimmi by the Messenger of Allah (saw) such as drinking alcohol, for example. In all other areas they are viewed and treated in the same way as Muslims unless belief in Islam is a condition for the action.

    The dhimmi are citizens of the Khilafah and enjoy all the rights of citizenship such as protection, guaranteed living and fair treatment. They also enjoy the right of being treated with kindness, leniency, justice and clemency. They can join the Islamic armed forces and fight alongside the Muslims if they choose to do so, but they are not obliged to fight as the Muslims are. They are viewed by the ruler and the judge in the same light as the Muslims are viewed without any discrimination in terms of managing their affairs and when implementing the rules of transactions (mu’amilat) and the penal code (hudud) upon them.

    Therefore, the dhimmi enjoys all the rights, equally and exactly as those enjoyed by the Muslims except those rights which are specific to them because of their belief or specific to Muslims because of their belief. Muslim and dhimmi communities live together, side by side in the Khilafah. They are not persecuted, hated and forced to live in fear by the Muslims. The dhimmi neighbors have the same rights as Muslim neighbors with no distinction. Muslims and dhimmi will visit each other, be courteous and socialize together. The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to visit the poor from amongst the dhimmi. It is narrated that a Jewish valet who used to serve the Messenger of Allah (saw) was once taken ill, so the Messenger of Allah (saw) visited him. The Prophet (saw) said: “Jibril (Angel Gabriel) kept recommending treating neighbors with kindness until I thought he would assign them a share of inheritance.”

    The classical scholars of Islam also detailed the rights of the Muslims towards the dhimmi. The famous Maliki jurist, Shaha al-Deen al-Qarafi states:
    “The covenant of protection imposes upon us certain obligations toward the ahl al-dhimmah. They are our neighbors, under our shelter and protection upon the guarantee of Allah, His Messenger (saw), and the religion of Islam. Whoever violates these obligations against any one of them by so much as an abusive word, by slandering his reputation, or by doing him some injury or assisting in it, has breached the guarantee of Allah, His Messenger (saw), and the religion of Islam.”

    The Jizya is taken from the men who are sane and mature. It is not taken from the youth, the insane or the women. The level of Jizya is not fixed but the amount is left to the opinion and Ijtihad of the Caliph. The Caliph takes in to consideration the aspect of prosperity and poverty in a way that does not overburden the dhimmi. It is forbidden for the Khilafah to overburden the dhimmi with heavy taxation.

    In his message to the people of Al-Hirah, Khalid bin Walid is recorded as saying (in reference to the jizya), "When a person is too old to work or suffers a handicap, or when he falls into poverty, he is free from the dues of the poll tax; his sustenance is provided by the Muslim Exchequer."

    It was related from the Messenger of Allah that he appointed Abdullah b. Arqam over the Jizya of the people of dhimmah and when he was leaving, he (saw) called him back and said (Narrated in the Hadith book of Abu Dawud): “Surely, whoever oppresses a person under covenant or imposes upon him more than he can afford and humiliates him or takes anything from him without his consent I will challenge him (i.e. the oppressor) on the day of judgment.”

    ‘Amr ibn Maymun said, “I saw ‘Umar four nights before he was assassinated sitting on top a camel, saying to Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman and ‘Uthman ibn al-Hunayf, ‘Review the affairs under your charge. Do you think that you have burdened the tenants with what they cannot bear?” ‘Uthman replied, ‘I have levied on them an amount that I could double and they would still have the ability to pay.’ Hudhayfa said: ‘I have imposed on them an amount that leaves a large surplus.’

    Abu Ubayd commenting on this said: this is the legal rule in our view for the imposition of jizya and kharaj; they are levied in accordance with the capacity of the dhimmis to pay, without burdening them and without adversely affecting the fay’ of the Muslims; however, no limit is imposed on it. When collecting the jizya this cannot be collected by abusing and torturing the dhimmi as some have claimed.

    Jizya is not an oppressive tax, as compared to the taxes people pay in the West today like income tax and VAT. Financially, the dhimmi prospered under the Islamic State and set up many businesses and engaged in much trade.

    According to Muslim accounts of Umar, in his time some payers of the jizya were compensated if they had not been cared for properly. The accounts vary, but describe his meeting an old Jew begging, and assisting him; according to one version:

    Umar said to him, "Old man! We have not done justice to you. In your youth we realized Jizyah from you and have left you to fend for yourself in your old age". Holding him by the hand, he led him to his own house, and preparing food with his own hands fed him and issued orders to the treasurer of the Bait-al-mal that that old man and all others like him, should be regularly doled out a daily allowance which should suffice for them and their dependents.

    The protection of the dhimmi is the responsibility of the Muslims. The dhimmi are not obliged to join the army and fight to defend the Islamic State. Ibn Hazm said that one of the rights of the People of Covenant is that if Dar ul Islam is attacked and the People of the Covenant reside in that part of the land then Muslims have to die to defend them. Any leniency in this regard would be leniency in the rights of the People of Dhimma. If they choose to, non-Muslims can be part of the Islamic army and be paid a wage for this. But they are not allowed to hold positions of authority within the army.

    A letter attributed to Khalid bin Walid said that "This is a letter of Khalid ibn al-Waleed to Saluba ibn Nastuna and his people; I agreed with you on al-jezyah and protection. As long as we protect you we have the right in al-jezyah, otherwise we have none.”

    Abu Yusuf gives the following report:
    After getting on peaceful terms with the people of Syria and collecting the dues of the Jizya and the Kharaj, news reached Abu ‘Ubeida that the Byzantines had amassed their troops to attack him. The effect of this was great on Abu ‘Ubeida and the Muslims. He sent messages to the rulers of cities with whose citizens he had made peace, asking them to return to their subjects the paid dues of the Jizya and Kharaj with an instruction to tell them: ‘We hereby return to you the money you have paid us, because of the news of the enemy troops amassed to attack us, but, if God grants us victory against the enemy, we will keep up to the promise and covenant between us.’ When this was delivered to the dhimmis and their money returned to them, they told the Muslims: ‘May God bring you back to us and grant you victory over them!’

    It’s true that a dhimmi cannot hold any ruling position within the Khilafah. This is because the Shari’ah has restricted these positions to those who believe in the ideology of the state i.e. Islam. This is no different to any ideological state within the world today.

    Muhammad Asad states:
    One cannot escape the fact that no non-Muslim citizen – however great his personal integrity and his loyalty to the state – could, on psychological grounds, ever be supposed to work wholeheartedly for the ideological objectives of Islam; nor, in fairness, could such a demand be made of him. On the other hand, no ideological organization (whether based on religious or other doctrines) can afford to entrust the direction of its affairs to persons not professing its ideology. Is it, for instance, conceivable that a non-Communist could be given a political key position – not to speak of supreme leadership of the state – in Soviet Russia? Obviously not, and logically so: for as long as communism supplies the ideological basis of the state, only persons who identify themselves unreservedly with its aims can be relied upon to translate those aims into terms of administrative policy.

    Having said this dhimmi can be civil servants and directors of the administrative government departments. Discrimination against dhimmi for civil service posts is forbidden. The evidence for this is from the Islamic rules on hiring (Ijara) where it is permitted to hire any person whether Muslim or non-Muslim. This is because the evidences for hiring came in a general form. The Messenger of Allah (saw) himself once hired a man from the tribe Banu Ad-Deel who was a non-Muslim, which indicates that it is permitted to hire a non-Muslim just as it is to hire a Muslim.

    The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Allah (swt) said; I will challenge three people on the day of Judgment... and a man who employed a laborer, he received from him (the work) but did not give him his wage.”

    Although dhimmi cannot hold ruling positions within the government this does not mean they cannot politically participate within the Khilafah. One of the pillars of the Islamic ruling system is consultation (shura). This function is institutionalized within an elected council called the Majlis al-Ummah (Council of the Ummah) that forms part of the Khilafah government.

    The Majlis al-Ummah is an elected council whose members can be Muslim, non-Muslim, men or women. These members represent the interests of their constituencies within the state. The majlis has no powers of legislation like in a democratic parliament but it does have many powers that act as a counterbalance to the executive powers of the Khaleefah.

    Members of the majlis can voice their political opinions freely without fear of imprisonment or rebuke. This makes the Majlis ul-Ummah a very powerful institution for accounting the Khaleefah and his government which the dhimmi can fully participate in.

    The jizyah will remain in effect until the time when Isa returns (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425 states that Isa/Jesus will abolish the jizya, as does Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657)

    Allahu Alam

  2. Mairo

    Mairo Maryama

    Dec 15, 2007
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    This article was posted on www.guidetosalvation.com. Comments are welcome.



    Chapter 9, verse 29 of the Qur'an reads:

    "Fight those of the People of the Book who do not [truly] believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, who do not obey the rule of justice, until they pay the tax and agree to submit."

    It's important to note that the Arabic word that is translated to tax is "jizya", which means 'payment in return'. Muslims pay what is called Zakah, which is every adult that is mentally stable, and financially able is required to pay to certain groups of people as outlined in the Qur'an chapter 9 verse 60:

    "Alms are meant only for the poor, the needy, those who administer them, those whose hearts need winning over, to free slaves and help those in debt, for God's cause, and for travelers in need. This is ordained by God; God is all knowing and wise."

    People of the Book living in Muslim territories were required to pay jizya. As stated above, jizya means 'payment in return'. What they're getting in return is protection from the Muslim state along with all the benefits and exemptions from military service. Also, they were also exempt from paying the Muslim tax (zakah). This tax was only required of able-bodied men that have attained puberty, and exempted monks. This tax was ridiculously low (one dinar per year.)

    So basically it was a situation where the state protected the Jews and Christians, gave them all the benefits, didn't make them risk their lives as the Muslims did, and didn't require them to pay the zakah tax, which is 2.5% of total savings, jewelry and property at the end of the year. Two quick points:

    1. If an Muslim country came under attack , Muslims were required to defend it. Christians and Jews didn't need to ever raise a sword, but were still protected because their payment of jizya earned them the protection of the Muslims.

    2. While Muslims were required to pay 2.5% of their savings, jewelry, and property, Christians and Jews were not required to pay jizya on property, livestock, crops or produce, and only paid at all if they could afford it. Who do you think has the more difficult burden?

    3. It comes down to this. Muslims pay the higher Zakah tax and are required to defend their country (including Jews and Christians.) Jews and Christians paid a lower tax and didn't need to ever fight.

    So that jizya tax wasn't a penalty or meant as punishment, it was a tax that helped run the state. If we refuse to pay taxes in the U.S., we end up in prison. The argument that everyone has to pay the same tax could be made, but again, the tax on Christians and Jew was low, and not required of those that couldn't afford it. And everyone was taxed, Muslims with any decent or semi-decent amount of savings were required to pay much more than Christians and Jews. Some countries today execute tax evaders (China). How can Christians and Jews demand all the rights of Muslims, plus protection without ever needed to step into a battlefield for nothing in return, while Muslims that do fight to defend the country, including Christians and Jews are required to pay zakah, which in most cases is much higher than jizya anyway?

    The Romans at the time levied high taxes trying to support their military conquests. The following is from: http://www.crystalinks.com/romanempire7.html

    "There is no simple explanation for the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, but several interconnected elements provide some answers. The demands of the military and the growing bureaucracy forced the government to seek more income. When the elite avoided taxes, the burden fell on the peasantry, who had barely enough to feed themselves and no surplus to pay taxes. When farmers fled the land, incomes declined still further and manpower shortages forced the military to hire German mercenaries."

    Unlike the Roman Government, the Muslim states protected the poor, women, children, and monks while exempting them from having to pay the jizya tax. Christian and Jews were also given equal rights, and allowed to practice their religion. Also, they were allowed to build houses of worship, and their monks were tax exempt. That is tolerance.

    The following comes from Wikipedia:

    Under Caliph Umar the Zoroastrian Persians were given People of the Book status, and jizya was levied on them. Christian Arab tribes in the north of the Arabian Peninsula refused to pay jizya, but agreed to pay double the amount, and calling it sadaqa, a word meaning "alms" or "charity". According to Yusuf al-Qaradawi the name change was done for the benefit of the Christian tribesmen, "out of consideration for their feelings".[11] Fred Donner, however, in The Early Islamic Conquests, states that the difference between sadaqa and jizya is that the former was levied on nomads, whereas the latter was levied on settled non-Muslims. Donner sees sadaqa as being indicative of the lower status of nomadic tribes, so much so that that Christian tribesmen preferred to pay the jizya. Jabala b. al-Ayham of the B. Ghassan is reported asked Umar "Will you levy sadaqa from me as you would from the [ordinary] bedouin (al-'arab)?" Umar acceded to collecting jizya from him instead, as he did from other Christians.[12]

    Sir Thomas Arnold, an early 20th century orientalist, gives an example of a Christian Arab tribe which avoided paying the jizya altogether by fighting alongside Muslim armies "such was the case with the tribe of al-Jurajimah, a Christian tribe in the neighborhood of Antioch, who made peace with the Muslims, promising to be their allies and fight on their side in battle, on condition that they should not be called upon to pay jizya and should receive their proper share of the booty".[13]

    In his message to the people of Al-Hirah, Khalid bin Walid is recorded as saying (in reference to the jizya), "When a person is too old to work or suffers a handicap, or when he falls into poverty, he is free from the dues of the poll tax; his sustenance is provided by the Muslim Exchequer."[14] A letter attributed to Khalid bin Walid said that "This is a letter of Khalid ibn al-Waleed to Saluba ibn Nastuna and his people; I agreed with you on al-jezyah and protection. As long as we protect you we have the right in al-jezyah, otherwise we have none.”[15]

    According to Muslim accounts of Umar, in his time some payers of the jizya were compensated if they had not been cared for properly. The accounts vary, but describe his meeting an old Jew begging, and assisting him; according to one version:

    Umar said to him, "Old man! We have not done justice to you. In your youth we realized Jizyah from you and have left you to fend for yourself in your old age". Holding him by the hand, he led him to his own house, and preparing food with his own hands fed him and issued orders to the treasurer of the Bait-al-mal that that old man and all others like him, should be regularly doled out a daily allowance which should suffice for them and their dependents.[16]

    If Jizya is unfair on anyone, it would be the Muslims. They were, after all, required to pay higher taxes, and protect those that paid Jizya. Still, you never hear them complain, because that is what God ordered.

  3. Mairo

    Mairo Maryama

    Dec 15, 2007
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    Dr. Monqiz As-Saqqar

    Ph.D in Christian Doctrines and Scriptures, Faculty of Usul al-Din, Umm al-Qura University, Saudi Arabia.
    Translated by Hayam Elisawy. Edited by Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi


    The Qur’anic commandment of collecting the Jizya[1] from the People of the Book is equivocal and confusing for some. The commandment is clearly stated in the following verse:

    “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, form among the People of the Book until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”[1]

    Some have thus erroneously viewed this Qur’anic commandment as a form of injustice, oppression and humiliation of nations and peoples who came under Islamic rule. Undoubtedly those to hold to this view have neglected the great privileges attributed to the rights of those who are imposed the jizya upon in Islam. Rather, these persons believe that Islam is similar to other ruling regimes that preceded and succeeded it. Islam is a unique regime as regards the matter at hand or any other issues. Islam is totally detached from the injustice and oppression as was the norm of how the People of Jizya used to be commonly treated, as it will become obvious in the following impartial and objective scientific research.

    Jizya from the Linguistic Perspective

    “Jizya” is derived from the root “Jaza” or “compensate”. Arabs usually say the phrase “Jaza, yajzi” which means “compensate” or ‘reward” if a person rewards another for the service rendered by the latter. “Jizya” is a derived term in the form of “ficla” from “Mujaz㦱uot; which is the noun “compensation”, meaning “a sum of money given in return for protection”. Ibn Al-Mutaraz said: “It is derived from “?idjz㦱uot; or “substitute” or “sufficiency” because it suffices as a substitute for the “dhimmi’s[2] embracement of Islam”[2]

    Jizya in Pre-Islamic Times

    Islam was not the first religion to pre-ordain the Jizya and Muslims were not the first nation to levy the Jizya unto the peoples subdued by them. Victorious nations throughout history have persisted in levying the Jizya on their conquered subjects. Examples of such an action are abundant in human history.

    This is reflected in the New Testament when Christ(P) told Simon the following:

    “What do you think Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes ? from their own sons or from others?” “From others” Peter answered. “Then the sons are exempt” Jesus said to him.” (Matthew 17:24-25).

    When the prophets, peace be upon them, conquered certain kingdoms with the will and victory of Allah, they levied the jizya upon the conquered peoples. They had in fact also enslaved the conquered peoples as was done by Joshua on the people of Canaan when he conquered them:

    “They did not dislodge the Canaanites dwelling on Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to pay Jizya.” (Joshua 16:10).

    Thus Joshua had both enslaved and levied Jizya on the people of Canaan.

    Christianity did not abrogate any of the laws of Judaism. Christ(P) did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, rather, he came to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17). Christ(P) even commanded his followers to pay the Jizya to the Romans and he himself had expediently paid it. He told Simon:

    “Go to the lake and throw your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” (Matthew 17:24-27)

    When asked by Jews (as per the New Testament) about his opinion as regards the payment of the Jizya, he acknowledged Caesar’s right to take it

    “They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You are not swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said,”You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, ?Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription???? “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:16-21).

    Christ(P) took no offense in sitting and loving tax-collectors who collected Jizya and delivered it to the Romans (See Matthew 11/19). Christ(P) had in fact elected Matthew the tax-collector to be one of his twelve disciples (see Matthew 9:9).

    The New Testament considers the payment of Jizya to the ruler as a legislative right. It is clad in holiness and is rendered as a religious matter. It says:

    “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God?s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He Is God?s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God?s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:1-7).

    Jizya in Islam

    Islam did not halt the societal norms and human practices which precedes its advent. Rather, Islam sets a higher standard above the misgivings of others. Islam lends its own civilized features to the nations that come under its rule.by elevating the Jizya to become not merely a poll-tax paid by the conquered to the victorious but as a binding covenant made between the Muslim nation and the peoples who eventually came under Islamic rule. The jizya became a contract or an agreement between two parties, duly guarded and blessed by Allah’s Commandments and ordinances represented in pledges and the respect and abidance by covenants. The contract is sealed and authenticated by the Prophet?s wrath, peace and blessings upon him, to those who violate such an agreement. This is manifested in the expression “the People of the Dhimma” (or Covenant), this dhimma which may never be violated and which must be duly fulfilled and guarded by virtue of the commandment given by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

    Allah(T) preordained that Jizya be taken from fighters exclusively as the verse obviously states:

    “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, form among the People of the Book until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”[3]

    Al-Qurtubi said:

    “Our scholars said: The Qur’an proves that Jezya is taken from fighters…This is ijma?[3] (consensus) by scholars that jizya is levied only on adult, free men who are qualified to go to war not on women or children or slaves or mad people or defeated people or senile or the elderly.”[4]

    ?Umar(R) wrote to his army generals: ?Never levy the tax (Jizya) on women or little children and never levy the tax except on men who shave their beards??? which means adults who started to have beards and shave them.[5]

    The sum of jizya was never large to the extent that the men were unable to pay. Rather, it was always available and reasonable. During the reign of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, jizya never exceeded one dinar annually and it never exceeded four dinars under the Umayyad rule.

    When the Prophet(P) sent Mu?az to Yemen, he took one dinar as jizya from every adult man. Mu?az says:

    “The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, sent me to Yemen, he commanded me to take a male or female calf for every thirty cows and a cow for every forty cows (this is the Zakat levied on Muslims) and one dinar from every adult man or the equivalent thereof in the form of clothes (jizya)”[6]

    In the reign of ?Umar Ibn Al-Khatt㢠? May Allah be pleased with him- he levied jizya on gold-sellers in the amount of four dinars and on paper-sellers in the amount of forty dirhams in addition to the wealth of Muslims and a three-day hospitability[7].

    1) Warning against injustice toward the People of Dhimma

    Allah(T) in His Book and the Prophet(P) in his hadith preordain benevolence and good deeds to the People of Jizya. Shari`a staunchly prohibits injustice and oppression toward them. The Holy Qur?㮠urges Muslims to be good and just with peaceful People of the Book who do not aggress Muslims:

    “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just.”[8]
    Benevolence and kindness are the most sublime types of dealing. Thus Allah preordains this degree of good treatment with the parents. This is clearly and patently clarified and expressed by the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him in another hadith: “Kindness is good morals and ethics.”[9]

    The Prophet(P) also says warning against being unjust to the People of Dhimma or impairing their rights: “The one who wrongs a covenanter or impairs his right or overworks him or forcibly takes something from him, I will be his prosecutor on the Day of Judgment”[10]. He also says: “The one who kills a covenanter will never smell the scent of heaven and its scent is found at the distance of forty years.”[11]

    When some Muslims mistreated the People of Jizya, the stance of knowing scholars was strict. Hesham ibn Hakim ibn Hizam once passed by a group of Nabatcans in the Levant who were made to be staying in the sun. He said: What?s wrong with these people? They said: They are imprisoned because they did not pay the jizya. Hesham said: “I witness that I have heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him saying: “Allah tortures those who torture people in this lifetime.” He said: “And their ruler at the time was ?Umair Ibn Sa?d on Palestine, so he went to him and passed his orders so they were discharged.”[12]

    As for the commandment of subdue set out in the Qur?anic verse “and feel themselves subdued”, it is a meaning that could never contradict the sayings of the Prophet(P) which preordain kindness, justice, prohibition of injustice and oppression. [That] is how the scholars of Islam understood it. Al-Shaf?i interpreted this phrase as preordaining that the rules and regulations of Islam apply to them or to their public. Jizya is a sign of a nation subdued and conquered due to the general properties of the conquering nation.

    The successor, ?Ikrima the servant of Ibn ?Abbas interpreted this as the image of payment of Jizya to Muslims. He said: “They should be standing up while giving it while the takers should be sitting down???. As the giving hand has always been the upper hand, so it should be the upper, they were required to make the jizya payer feel their superiority over him and not his superiority over them. Al-Qurtubi says in his interpretation:

    “So the hand of an almsgiver is made the upper hand while the hand of the jizya giver is the lower hand while the hand of the jizya taker is the upper.”[13]

    2) Certain forms of Dhimma Treaties and Covenants in the Islamic State

    Islam gave unique guarantees to the People of Dhimma that were and will never by encountered by humanity. In return for very few dirhams to be paid by men who are able to go to war and fight, they enjoy living in security and absolute protection by Muslims in addition to the security of their churches and faith.

    This was manifest in the councils given by Caliphs to their army leaders as asserted by the forms and wording of agreements duly signed by Muslims with jizya payers. We would like to draw the reader?s attention to contemplate the guarantees given by Muslims and the sum of money paid by the People of Jizya in return.

    We will start by the historians? accounts on the covenants of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, with the People of Jizya. In the onset we will set forth the account of Ibn Sa?d in his ?Tabaqaat??? from the covenant of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to Rabica Al-Hadrami, where he says:

    “The Messenger of Allah wrote to Rabica Ibn Zi Marhab Al-Hadrami, his brothers and uncles that they are entitled to their property, palm trees, slaves, wells, trees, water, waterwheels and plants in Hadhramaut, and that the fruit and nabq of each mortgaged land shall be included in the sum of mortgage due to him. All good that is in their fruit they will never be questioned for and Allah and His Messenger are free from it. The jamaca of Muslims must defend the people of zi Murhab and their land must never be violated together with their property, lives and zafer the orchard of the king, which used to flow to the people of Qays and Allah is the Protector. Executed by Mu’awiya.”[14]

    The phrase “The jamaca of Muslims must defend the people of zi Murhab” comprises a significant implication viz Muslims would sacrifice their lives for those who come under their protection and covenant. This is the dhimma of Allah Almighty and the dhimma of His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, Al-Qarafi says:

    “An agreement which is duly maintained by lives and property is verily a magnificent one.”[15]

    The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, wrote a letter of dhimma and covenant to the Christian people of Najraan which is conveyed to us by Ibn Sa’ad in his Tabaqaat:

    “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, wrote to the bishop of the sons of Al-Harith Ibn Ka?b and the bishops, clergymen, adherents and priests of Najraan, telling them that they are entitled to whatever property in their possession notwithstanding its being large or small including their synagogues, prayers, priests as well as the protection of Allah and His Messenger, no bishop may be removed from his bishopric, no priest will be denied his priesthood and no clergyman will be denied his ministry. Nothing of their rights may be breached or abolished and neither their authority nor any of their status-quo will be violated so long as they give sincere advice and put their conditions to order without being unjust or being wronged. This was executed by Al-Mughira.”[16]

    The companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, applied what they learnt from their magnificent Messenger and they abided by the principles and civilized features of Islam vis-୶is the people of jizya. Historians gave accounts of a number of covenants granted by Muslims to the people of dhimma. For example the ‘Omarian covenant given by ‘Omar to the people of Aelia. It reads as follows:

    “In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate and Most Gracious. This is the covenant of security granted by the servant of Allah, ‘Omar the Commander of the Faithful, to the people of Aelia. He, hereby, guarantees the security of their persons and property, their churches and crosses, the little and the great and all adherents of the Christian religion. It is prohibited that their churches be inhibited or demolished or diminished as regards the church itself or its domain. Neither may their cross be impaired or any of their property in any manner.

    They should not be coerced to abandon their faith and no one of them may be harmed. No Jews are permitted to live with them in Aelia. Upon the people of Aelia falls the obligation to pay the jizya, as is the case with the people of Mada’in, as well as evict from their midst the Byzantine. Whoever of these who leaves Aelia will be granted security of person and property until he reaches his destination. Whoever decides to stay in Aelia will also be granted same, and share with the people of Aelia in their rights and the jizya. The same applies to the people of Aelia as well as to any other person. Those who would like to march with the Byzantines may go and those who would like to return to their people will not be bound to pay anything until they reap their harvest.

    Allah attests to the content of this treaty, and so do His Prophet, his successors and the believers.

    This is witnessed by Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, ‘Amr Ibn Al-’Aas, Abdul-Rahman Ibn ‘Awf and Mu’awiyah Ibn Abi Sufian. Executed in the year 15 Hijri.”[17]

    ‘Umar wrote a similar treaty to the people of Al-Lid.[18]

    When Khalid Ibn Al-Walid conquered Damascus, he wrote a similar treaty to its people.

    “In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate and Most Gracious. This is the covenant granted by Khalid Ibn Al-Walid to the people of Damascus if he enters it. They will be secure regarding their lives, property and churches. The fence of the city may not be demolished and no house owned by them may be dispossessed or inhibited. This is the covenant of Allah and the dhimma of His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, the Caliphs and the believers. They are to be well-treated conditional upon their payment of jizya.”[19]
    ‘Abada Ibn Al-Samit records these civilized features of jizya in Islam when depicting the Islamic stance vis-୶is Al-Muqawqas, the king of the Copts:

    “Either to embrace Islam…if you and your companions accept this, you’ll have attained the happiness of both this life and the after-life and we will not fight you and will never injure you or aggress you. However if you refuse, you have to pay jizya. Pay us the jizya and we will agree on a sum satisfactory to both of us to be collected every year so long as we and you remain. Thus we will defend you and fight your enemies or those who violate your lands, lives and property and we will undertake this duty so long as you are in our dhimma and so long as a covenant is binding on us towards you…”[20]

    Again it is noticeable that the Muslim sacrifices his life to protect the people of jizya and their property “We will defend you?”

    3) Muslims’ Keenness on Honoring the Dhimma Agreement

    The Caliphs were afraid lest the Muslims impair the rights of the People of Dhimma. Therefore they used to regularly inspect how the jizya was obtained. Al-Tabari gives an account of this in his history in the context of ‘Umar’s speech with a delegation from a country of dhimma, ” ‘Umar said to the delegation: Do Muslims mistreat you or impair your rights? They said: We never knew but honor and good treatment.”[21]

    When he received the collected taxes he asked about the source lest it be oppression and coercion. It was said that he, may Allah be pleased with him, “received a large amount of money, I reckon he said it is of the jizya and said: “I am afraid you might have forced people into paying?” They said: “No, by Allah, we only took it satisfactorily and with no grudge.” He said: “With neither whip nor lash?” They said: “Yes.” He said: “Praise be to Allah who prevented such acts from taking place at my hand and during my rule.”[22]

    When he was about to pass away he never missed to advise Muslims to protect and care for the people of dhimma. He said: “I hereby advise the Caliph to succeed me to be good to the people of dhimma and to honor their covenant and to fight for them and not to overwork them.”[23]

    Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, wrote to his tax officials saying. “If you reached them never sell them a garment either in winter time or in summer time nor sell them food to eat or an animal to work on and never lash any of them even once for a dirham and never make any of them get to his feet to ask for a dirham. Never sell any of them anything of the taxes. Allah commanded us to take from them jizya with kindness. If you disobey me, the punishment of Allah will befall you and not me and if otherwise is reported to me, you will be dismissed from office.”[24]

    Al-Walid Ibn Yazid evicted the Christians of Cyprus out of his fear that they might help the Romans. But Yazid Ibn Al-Walid brought them back. Isma’il Ibn ‘ayash says regarding the deed of Al-Walid: “Muslims found this action horrible and Jurisprudents found it terrible. When Yazid Ibn Al-Walid succeeded his father, he reinstated them. Muslims approved of such an act and they found it just.[25]

    When Al-Walid Ibn Abdel-Malek forcibly took over the Church of John from the Christians and annexed it to the masjid, Muslims viewed this as usurpation. When Omar Ibn Abdul-?Aziz succeeded him the Christians filed a complaint to him. So he wrote to his tax-collector ordering him to return the additional parts annexed to the masjid to them.[26]

    4) Muslim Jurisprudents on the Security and Acknowledgment of the Rights of the People of Dhimma.

    The Islamic rule was a pioneer in protecting the rights of the people of dhimma. This is reflected in the maintenance of their rituals and churches. The shari’a law provides for the following: “The second issue: The rights due to them by us, namely to maintain their residence in our countries except the Arab Peninsula namely Hijaz and Yemen; to secure their lives and property and not to impair their churches, wine and pigs so long as they do not display the same.”[27]

    Al-Tahawi accounts for Muslims’ consensus on the freedom of the people of dhimma to eat pork and drink wine or the like which is permitted by their religion. He says:

    “They unanimously agreed that the Imam, ruler, may not prevent the people of dhimma from drinking wine, eating pork or residing in the houses which they took by consent where such people are in a non-Islamic country (in countries where they form a majority)”[28]

    The Shari’a maintains the life and property of the dhimmi. It even stipulates the life penalty for the murderer of a dhimmi. A Muslim was sentenced to death during the rule of Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, for killing a dhimmi, but the dhimmi’s brother appeared and chose ransom instead so Ali told him: “Have they threatened you?” He said: “No but I chose ransom and I don’t think my brother will come back by the killing of another man” so Ali released the murderer and said: “You know better that the one in our dhimma is treated as one of us as regards to blood [life] and ransom.”[29]

    In maintenance and protection of a dhimmi’s property, Shari’a does not differentiate between a dhimmi’s property and a Muslim’s property. So stealing a dhimmi’s property is punished for by amputation even if it were a Muslim’s hand. Al-Qurtubi says:

    “A dhimmis’ life is perpetually inviolable and so is a Muslim’s life and both have become people of the House of Islam. The evidence of this is that a Muslim’s hand is amputated if he steals a dhimmi’s property. Therefore, a dhimm’s life would by analogy be as inviolable as a Muslim’s life as property derives its inviolability from the inviolability of its owner.”[30]
    Al-Mawardi says:

    “And he -? an Imam — is bound to ensure two rights for them; first, to save and spare their lives and second, to protect them so that they would be secure by being spared and guarded by being protected.”[31]
    Al-Nawawi said:

    “We must spare their lives and indemnify them against any damage caused by us to their lives and property. We are also committed to defend them against the people of war.”[32]
    Muslim jurisprudents reiterated this concept. Ibn Al-Najar Al-Hanbali says:

    “An Imam must protect the people of dhimma, deter those who injure them and defend them against those who seek to harm them.”[33]
    When the Mongolian general Qatloushah invaded Damascus in the early eighth century Hijri and imprisoned Muslims as well as Christian and Jewish dhimmis, Imam Ibn Taimiyyah went to him with an august of scholars claiming the release of the prisoners. The general agreed on releasing the Muslims exclusively. Sheikh-ul-Islam, then replied:

    “All prisoners including Jews and Christians who are in our dhimma must be released and we will never let any prisoner with you including Muslims and dhimmis. Dhimmis are equal to Muslims as regards rights and duties.”
    So the Mongolian general released them all.[34]

    Al-Qarafi quotes Imam Ibn Hazm who in turn accounts for Muslims’ unprecedented consensus on the following:

    “We are obliged to fight people of war who seek a dhimmi with weapons and we must sacrifice our lives to this end in order to protect people in the dhimma of Allah Almighty and the dhimma of His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, as handing a dhimmi over without such struggle and sacrifice is an omission of the dhimma covenant.”[35]
    5) Examples of the Treatment of Dhimmis by Muslims
    When Muslims became incapable of honoring the condition of protection of dhimmis, they refunded to them the jizya for non-satisfaction of its pre-condition namely protection.

    Judge, Abu Youssef, quotes in his book, Taxes, as well as other books, Makhoul who reports that a sequence of news was reported to Abu ‘Ubaida declaring the invasion by the Roman troops. Abu ‘Ubaida and the Muslims found this unmanageable, so Abu ‘Ubaida wrote to every visor of the cities whose people agreed with Muslims on Jizya ordering them to refund the Jizya and taxes. He ordered them to inform the dhimmis of the following:

    “We hereby reimburse your money as we have been informed of the troops that are about to invade us and the condition between us was to protect you and we cannot do this now, so we will reimburse the money we took from you. We do abide by our agreement and we will honor our condition if Allah rendered us victorious over them.”[36]
    When the people of dhimma participated in defending their countries, they were exempted from the jizya. This was done by Mu’awaiyah, may Allah be pleased with him, with the Armenians. The French historian Lauren says in his book Armenia between Byzantine and Islam:

    “Armenians welcomed Muslims to free them from the oppressive Byzantine rule. They even allied with Muslims to fight the Khazr. Arabs maintained for Armenians their accustomed conditions and the covenant was given by Mu’awaya in 653 AD to Commander Theodor Rakhtoni and to all his co-nationals so long as such is their wish. The covenant in brief is as follows: “They will be exempted from jizya for three years. Then they are free to pay the amount they view appropriate. They also covenanted and assured him that they will cater for fifteen thousand knights instead of jizya and that the Caliph would send to the forts and strongholds of Armenia any Emirs or commanders or horses or judges and that if they were invaded by the Romans he is to provide them with all the help they might need. Mu’awaya hereby takes this covenant before Allah Almighty.”[37]
    The right of the people of dhimma does not stop short at defending them against their enemy, but it also includes defending them against any injury that might disturb them or cause them unrest even if by speech. Al-Qaraafi says: “The dhimmi agreement stipulates rights for the people of dhimma that we should honor because they are in our protection and neighborhood. They are also in our dhimma, the dhimma of Allah Almighty and the dhimma of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and Islam. So if any person attacks them even by ill speech or backbiting he has violated the dhimma of Allah and the dhimma of His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, and the dhimma of Islam.”[38]

    Muslims, guided by their religion, continued their civilized giving when they were transformed from Jizya takers to almsgivers to protect and sustain poor dhimmis. Ibn Zangawaih narrated that ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab(R) saw a senile dhimmi man begging, so he said: “We are unfair to you if after this old age we ask you to pay jizya.” Then he wrote to his workers prohibiting them from taking jizya from old people.[39] He also commanded: “Reduce the sum of jizya for people who cannot afford for it and give alms to those who are incapable of paying at all.”[40]

    Caliph ?Umar ibn Abd ?Aziz also wrote to his worker in Basra ‘Udai Ibn Arta’a saying: “If you find that a dhimmi becomes old, weak and poor, give him [some alms] from the Muslims’ Treasury House.”[41]

    Nevertheless if a dhimmi who can afford to pay jizya refrains from payment, he will be punished without violating his covenant. Al-Qurtubi says:

    “It is permissible to punish them if they refrain from payment while such being affordable. However the one proving to be incapable of payment may not be punished because the one who is incapable to pay is exempted and the rich are not bound to pay the jizya for the poor.”[42]

    Muslim jurisprudents realized the significance of the dhimma covenant and the seriousness of breaching it; and that it is never terminated by mere abstention from payment. Al-Kasaru Al-Hanafi says:

    “As for the agreement (the dhimma covenant) it is binding on us so that Muslims may not terminate it in any way whatsoever. As for dhimmis it is unbinding.”[43]

    Testimony of Western Historians

    A person might ask: Have Muslims realized these magnificent ideal principles? Have they really honored the dhimma of their Prophet throughout their lengthy history? We will hereby state three testimonies by Westerners who repeated the truth duly established in our great history.

    Welldiorant says:

    “The people of dhimma: Christians, Zaradishts, Jews and Sabi’a; enjoyed a degree of tolerance during the Umayyad rule which can never be assimilated to Christian countries nowadays. They were free to practice their rituals. They maintained their churches and synagogues and the only obligation was that they should wear a special color and pay tax for every person pro rata his income. This sum ranged between two and four dinars. This tax was exclusively levied on non-Muslims who can go to war. However priests, women, children, slaves, elderly men, the disabled, the blind and the destitute were exempted from the tax. Dhimmis were exempted from military service in return. They were also exempted from zakat which is 2.5% of the annual income and the government was bound to protect them.”[44]

    Adam Mitz in his book The Islamic Civilization says:

    “Dhimmis used to pay jizya each pro rata his income. Jizya was similar to national defense tax as it was only paid by men who can go to war while the disabled, priests, clergy were exempted unless they have wealth.”[45]

    Thomas Arnold in his The Preaching of Islam says:

    “The purpose of levying this tax on Christians ? as reiterated by some researchers ? was not a form of punishment for not accepting Islam. They rather used to pay it with the remaining dhimmis namely non-Muslims subjects of the Islamic state whose beliefs prevent them from joining the military service in return for the protection secured to them by Muslims’ swords.”[46]

    Islam thus is patently cleared by the historical testimony of objective non-Muslims from the allegation attributed to it by the unjust and non-objective.

    Finally I ask Allah(T) to relieve us and bestow on us the ability to understand one another as regards controversial issues as Allah Almighty is the Omnipotent and may Allah(T) bless our Prophet Muhammad(P) and all his Companions(R).


    [1] Surat Al-Tawba: 29

    [2] Al-Jami’ Le’ Ahkaam el Quraan (114/8), Al-Mugharab Fi Tarteeb Al-Mu’rab (143/1), see Mukhtarel-Sahaah (44/1)

    [3] Surat Al-Tawba: 29

    [4] Al-Jami’ Le’ Ahkaam el Quraan (72/8)

    [5] See ‘Irwa’ Al-Ghaleel (1255)

    [6] Narrated by Attermizi in his Sunan (623), Abu Dawood in his Sunan (1576), and An-Nasa’i in his Sunan (2450). The hadith was verified by Al-Albani in several places including Sahih At-Tarmizi (509)

    [7] Mishkat Al-Masabeeh (3970), verified by Al-Albani

    [8] Surat Al-Mumtahana (8)

    [9] Narrated by Muslim under number (2553)

    [10] Narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan (3052) in (170/3), verified by Al-Albani (2626). The same is mentioned in Sunan an-Nasa’i (2749) in (25/8)

    [11] Narrated by Bukhari (2295)

    [12] Narrated by Muslim (2613)

    [13] Al-Jami’ Le’ Ahkaam el Quraan (115/8), and the interpretation of Al-Mawardi (352-351/2)

    [14] Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad (266/1).

    [15] Al-Forouq (15-14/3).

    [16] Al-Tabaqaat Al-Kubra by Ibn Sa’ad (266/1).

    [17] Al-Tabari’s History (4/449).

    [18] See: Al-Tabari’s History (449/4).

    [19] Fotouhel-Bildaan by Al-Belathri (128).

    [20] Fotouh Misr wa Akhbaraha by Ibn Abdel-Hakam (68)

    [21] Al-Tabari’s History (503/2)

    [22] Al-Mughni (290/9), Ahkaam Ahlel-Dhimma (139/1)

    [23] Narrated by Bukhari (1392) in (1356/3)

    [24] Taxes (9)

    [25] Fotouh Al-Bildaan (156).

    [26] Fotouh Al-Bildaan (132)

    [27] Canonical Laws (176)

    [28] Difference of Jurisprudents (233).

    [29] Al-Shafi’i’s Musnad (344/1).

    [30] Al-Jami’ Le’ Ahkaam al Quraan (246/2).

    [31] Sultan Rules (143).

    [32] See Mughniel-Muhtaag (253/4)

    [33] Matalib ‘Ouliel Noha (602/2)

    [34] Majmou’ el-Fatawa (618-617/28)

    [35] Al-Forouq (15-14/3)

    [36] Taxes (135), also see Fotouhel Beldaan by Al-Belathri, and Fotouhel-Shaam by Alathri.

    [37] See Fotouhel Beldaan (211-210)

    [38] Al-Forouq (14/3)

    [39] Property (163/1)

    [40] The History of the City of Damascus (178/1)

    [41] Property (170/1)

    [42] Al-Jami’ Le’ Ahkaam el Quraan 74-73/8

    [43] Bada’iel-Sana’I (112/7)

    [44] The History of Civilization (131/12)

    [45] The Islamic Civilization (96/1)

    [46] The Preaching of Islam


    [1] Head tax on free non-Muslims under Muslim rule.

    [2] A person from the People of the Book who did not convert to Islam but accepts to live under the Islamic rule.

    [3] Consensus of the authorities in a legal question; one of the four principles of Islamic Law.

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    What happens to non-muslims in a shariah state - Page 3 - LI Islamic Forum said on 24 July 2007:
    […] the non-muslim citizens are required to pay Jizya (for more information on Jizya, please refer to Jizya in Islam and Jizyah and non-muslim minorities). Dr. Monqiz As-Saqqar writes concerning the Jizya tax: The […]

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