PLIGHT OF NON-MUSLIMS IN AN ISLAMIC STATE

The following citations will give the readers of what life would be like under Islamic rule.

IBN KATHIR

The Order to fight People of the Scriptures until They give the Jizyah

Allah said…

<Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.>

Therefore, when People of the Scriptures disbelieved in Muhammad, they had no beneficial faith in any Messenger or what the Messengers brought. Rather, they followed their religions because this conformed with their ideas, lusts and the ways of their forefathers, not because they are Allah’s Law and religion. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad, because all Prophets gave the good news of Muhammad’s advent and commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him, even though he is the mightiest of all Messengers. Therefore, they do not follow the religion of earlier Prophets because these religions came from Allah, but because these suit their desires and lusts. Therefore, their claimed faith in an earlier Prophet will not benefit them because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all Prophets. Hence Allah’s statement

<Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture,>

This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah’s religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims’ control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians, on the ninth year of Hijrah, and he prepared his army to fight the Romans and called the people to Jihad announcing his intent and destination. The Messenger sent his intent to various Arab areas around Al-Madinah to gather forces, and he collected an army of thirty thousand. Some people from Al-Madinah and some hypocrites, in and around it, lagged behind, for that year was a year of drought and intense heat. The Messenger of Allah marched, heading towards Ash-Sham to fight the Romans until he reached Tabuk, where he set camp for about twenty days next to its water resources. He then prayed to Allah for a decision and went back to Al-Madinah because it was a hard year and the people were weak, as we will mention, Allah willing. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 9:29 https://www.alim.org/quran/tafsir/ibn-kathir/surah/9/28; emphasis mine)

And:

Paying Jizyah is a Sign of Kufr AND DISGRACE

Allah said …

<until they pay the Jizyah>, if they do not choose to embrace Islam …

<with willing submission>, in defeat and subservience …

<and feel themselves subdued.>, DISGRACED, HUMILIATED AND BELITTLED. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, FOR THEY ARE MISERABLE, DISGRACED AND HUMILIATED. Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said…

<<Do not initiate the Salam to the Jews and Christians, and if you meet any of them in a road, FORCE THEM TO ITS NARROWEST ALLEY.>>

This is why the Leader of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, demanded his well-known conditions be met by the Christians, THESE CONDITIONS THAT ENSURED THEIR CONTINUED HUMILIATION, DEGRADATION AND DISGRACE. The scholars of Hadith narrated from `Abdur-Rahman bin Ghanm Al-Ash`ari that he said, “I recorded for `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, the terms of the treaty of peace he conducted with the Christians of Ash-Sham:

‘In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. This is a document to the servant of Allah `Umar, the Leader of the faithful, from the Christians of such and such city. When you (Muslims) came to us we requested safety for ourselves, children, property and followers of our religion.

We made a condition on ourselves that we will neither erect in our areas a monastery, church, or a sanctuary for a monk, nor restore any place of worship that needs restoration nor use any of them for the purpose of enmity against Muslims.

We will not prevent any Muslim from resting in our churches whether they come by day or night, and we will open the doors [of our houses of worship] for the wayfarer and passerby.

Those Muslims who come as guests, will enjoy boarding and food for three days.

We will not allow a spy against Muslims into our churches and homes or hide deceit [or betrayal] against Muslims.

We will not teach our children the Qur’an, publicize practices of Shirk, invite anyone to Shirk or prevent any of our fellows from embracing Islam, if they choose to do so.

We will respect Muslims, MOVE FROM THE PLACES WE SIT IN IF THEY CHOOSE TO SIT IN THEM.

We will not imitate their clothing, caps, turbans, sandals, hairstyles, speech, nicknames and title names, or ride on saddles, hang swords on the shoulders, collect weapons of any kind or carry these weapons.

We will not encrypt our stamps in Arabic, or sell liquor.

We will have the front of our hair cut, wear our customary clothes wherever we are, wear belts around our waist, refrain from erecting crosses on the outside of our churches and demonstrating them and our books in public in Muslim fairways and markets.

We will not sound the bells in our churches, except discretely, or raise our voices while reciting our holy books inside our churches in the presence of Muslims, nor raise our voices [with prayer] at our funerals, or light torches in funeral processions in the fairways of Muslims, or their markets.

We will not bury our dead next to Muslim dead, or buy servants who were captured by Muslims. We will be guides for Muslims and refrain from breaching their privacy in their homes.’

When I gave this document to `Umar, he added to it, `We will not beat any Muslim. These are the conditions that we set against ourselves and followers of our religion IN RETURN FOR SAFETY AND PROTECTION. If we break any of these promises that we set for your benefit against ourselves, then our Dhimmah (promise of protection) is broken and you are allowed to do with us what you are allowed of people of defiance and rebellion.’” (Ibid.; emphasis mine)

‘UMDAT al-SALIK

011.0 NON·MUSLIM SUBJECTS OF THE ISLAMIC STATE (AHL AL-DHIMMA)

011.1 A formal agreement of protection is made with citizens who are:

(1) Jews;

(2) Christians;

(3) Zoroastrians;

(4) Samarians and Sabians, if their religions do not respectively contradict the fundamental bases of Judaism and Christianity;

(5) and those who adhere to the religion of Abraham or one of the other prophets (upon whom be blessings and peace).

011.2 Such an agreement may not be effected with those who are idol worshippers (dis: o9.9 (n:)) or those who do not have a Sacred Book or something that could have been a Book.

(A: Something that could have been a Book refers to those like the Zoroastrians, who have remnants resembling an ancient Book. As for the pseudoscriptures of cults that have appeared since Islam (n: such as the Sikhs, Baha’is, Mormons, Qadianis, etc.), they neither are nor could be a Book, since the Koran is the final revelation (dis: w4).)

011.3 Such an agreement is only valid when the subject peoples:

(a) follow the rules of Islam (A: those mentioned below (011.5) and those involving public behavior and dress, though in acts of worship and their private lives, the subject communities have their own laws, judges, and courts, enforcing the rules of their own religion among themselves);

(b) and pay the non-Muslim poll tax jizya).

THE NON-MUSLIM POLL TAX

011.4 The minimum non-Muslim poll tax is one dinar (n: 4.235 grams of gold) per person (A: per year). The maximum is whatever both sides agree upon.

It is collected with leniency and politeness, as are all debts, and is not levied on women, children, or the insane.

011.5 Such non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:

(1) are penalized for committing adultery or theft, though not for drunkenness;

(2) are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar);

(3) are not greeted with “as-Salamu ‘alaykum”;

(4) must keep to the side of the street;

(5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;

(6) are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,) recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;

(7) and are forbidden to build new churches.

011.6 They are forbidden to reside in the Hijaz, meaning the area and towns around Mecca, Medina, and Yamama, for more than three days (when the caliph allows them to enter there for something they need).

011.7 A non-Muslim may not enter the Meccan Sacred Precinct (Haram) under any circumstances, or enter any other mosque without permission (A: nor may Muslims enter churches without their permission).

011.8 It is obligatory for the caliph (def: 025) to protect those of them who are in Muslim lands just as he would Muslims, and to seek the release of those of them who are captured.

011.9 If non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state refuse to conform to the rules of Islam or to pay the non-Muslim poll tax, then their agreement with the state has been violated (dis: 0 I l.1 I) (A: though if only one of them disobeys, it concerns him alone).

011.10 The agreement is also violated (A: with respect to the offender alone) if the state has stipulated that any of the following things break it, and one of the subjects does so anyway. though if the state has not stipulated that these break the agreement, then they do not; namely, if one of the subject people:

(1) commits adultery with a Muslim woman or marries her:

(2) conceals spies of hostile forces;

(3) leads a Muslim away from Islam;

(4) kills a Muslim;

(5) or mentions something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam.

011.11 When a subject’s agreement with the state has been violated, the caliph chooses between the four alternatives mentioned above in connection with prisoners of war (09.14). (Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ‘Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices Edited and Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller [Amana Publications, Beltsville, Maryland U.S.A Revised Edition], pp. 607-609; bold emphasis mine)

And:

THE OBJECTIVES OF JIHAD

o9.R The caliph (025) makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the nonMuslim poll tax (jizya, def: 01 L4)-which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself-while remaining in their ancestral religions) (0: and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax (0: in accordance with the word of Allah Most High,

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden-who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book-until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled” (Koran 9:29), the time and place for which is before the final descent of Jesus. After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them. for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus’ descent (upon him and our Prophet be peace), which is the divinely revealed law of Muhammad, the coming of Jesus does not entail a separate divinely revealed law, for he will rule by the law of Muhammad, As for the Prophet’s saying, “I am the last, there will be no prophet after me,” this does not contradict the final coming of Jesus (upon whom be peace), since he will not rule according to the Evangel, but as a follower of our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)).

09.9 The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim (0: because they are not a people with a Book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax (iizya:)) (n: though according to the Hanafi school, peoples of all other religions, even idol worshippers, are permitted to live under the protection of the Islamic state if they either become Muslim or agree to pay the poll tax, the sale exceptions to which are apostates from Islam and idol worshippers who are Arabs, neither of whom has any choice but becoming Muslim (al-Hidaya sharh Bidaya al-mubtadi’ (y21). 6.48–49)).

THE RULES OF WARFARE

09 .10 It is not permissible (A: in Jihad) to kill women or children unless they are fighting against the Muslims. Nor is it permissible to kill animals, unless they are being ridden into battle against the Muslims, or if killing them will help defeat the enemy. It is permissible to kill old men (0: old man (shaykh) meaning someone more than forty years of age) and monks.

69.11 It is unlawful to kill a non-Muslim to whom a Muslim has given his guarantee of protection (0: whether the non-Muslim is one or more than one, provided the number is limited, and the Muslim’s protecting them does not harm the Muslims, as when they are spies) provided the protecting Muslim has reached puberty, is sane, and does so voluntarily (0: and is not a prisoner of them or a spy).

09.12 Whoever enters Islam before being captured may not be killed or his property confiscated, or his young children taken captive.

09.13 When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.

09.14 When an adult male is taken captive, the caliph (def: 025) considers the interests (0: of Islam and the Muslims) and decides between the prisoner’s death, slavery, release without paying anything, or ransoming himself in exchange for money or for a Muslim captive held by the enemy.

If the prisoner becomes a Muslim (0: before the caliph chooses any of the four alternatives) then he may not be killed, and one of the other three alternatives is chosen. (Ibid., pp. 602-604; bold emphasis mine)

FURTHER READING

Is Islam a religion of Peace?

The Myth of Islamic Tolerance  

The Mistreatment and Degradation of the People of the Book 

“Kill those who Associate Partners (Mushrikun) Wherever You Find Them!”

Should Muslims Accept Peace or Not?

Fighting All People Until They Do What?

Compel them or Not?

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