Christians and Jews Under Islamic Law

How are Christians and Jews to be treated under Islamic law? Let’s let the Muslims tell us!

From Al-Maghili, a fifteenth century Muslim theologian:

On the day of payment {of the jizya} they {the dhimmi} shall be assembled in a public place like the suq {place of commerce}. They should be standing there waiting in the lowest and dirtiest place. The acting officials representing the Law shall be placed above them and shall adopt a threatening attitude so that it seems to them, as well as to others, that our object is to degrade them by pretending to take their possessions. They will realize that we are doing them a favor in accepting from them the jizya and letting them go free.

From al-Ghazali, a Sufi theologian and jurist:

…the dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle…Jews, Christians, and Majians must pay the jizya …on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear … They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells…their houses may not be higher than the Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle-work] is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths…[dhimmis] must hold their tongue….

I don’t quite understand this very much, but Christians paying the Muslim alms-tax doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s part of the religion of Islam, not Christianity or Judaism. We “People of the Book” shouldn’t be subject to Islamic law because it is spoken from the words of Mohammed, not Christ.

I’ve had two priests from Egypt tell me about this “tax” and other laws that must be adhered too.

I’d be very interested in hearing an explanation from the muslims on this forum.

Are both of those from the 15th century?:confused:

I believe those writings provided by the OP are from the 15th century, but the practice of collecting the “tax” that allows one to practice their faith is still carried out in the present day. It shows the subjection to the Islamic state.

Yes, I would definitely want to hear from the Muslims for explanation.

Interesting…can you provide the source (the names of the books preferably)

You probably won’t like the blog, which is why I didn’t cite it, but since you want the source, here it is:

In the name of Allah , Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Guest Name Dr. Jamal Badawi,

Famous Da’iyah and Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research

Subject Citizenship & Dhimmah: Understanding the Concepts

Shadi - Egypt

Question : In fact, I, as a Muslim, see that the term “dhimmi” enjoys more privileges in the Muslim state than the term “citzen” in the secular states.

Then, why we Muslim feel ashamed to explain the privileges of "dhimmis " which far exceeds the privileges of “citizen”. Why Christian feel sensitive to such term that is based on considering their rights and protecting their interests.

In more than one hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked Muslims to be kind, just, and fair to dhimmis, to the extent that he pointed out that a Muslim** who harms a dhimmi is harming the Prophet himself**, and Allah Almighty and the Prophet will be angry at any Muslim who infringes upon the rights of a dhimmi.

In short, I think we, Muslims, have to be proud of our Islamic literature and terms that are very accurate and significant, and not to hurry to please the Westerners by saying that “dhimmis” is no more there after the creation of the term “citizenship”.

Thanks, wa as-salam


I fully agree with you. The confusion arises because of the lack of understanding of both the meaning and concept of dhimmah. First, dhimmi comes from dhimmah which literally means covenant.

As such the term dhimi means a covenanted person. The word covenant here means that he or she has the covenant of Allah, His messenger and the Muslim community that their legitimate right shall be safeguarded. It is a more profound and protective concept than citizenship.

Minority citizen rights could be marginalized even in free democratic society based on one vote whereas dhimmah means that their rights as stipulated in the primary sources of Islam, the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah, cannot be revoked or diminished even by the majority of society.

Dhimmah does not mean or imply, as some may allege, that the dhimis are second-class citizens; it is actually greater respect for their identity and religious sentiments. For example, Muslims are required to pay Zakah, which helps finance needs such as services, defence and social security.

All citizens, Muslims and dhimis, have equal access to such services without discrimination. If the Shari`ah required dhimmis to pay Zakah exactly like their fellow Muslim citizens, it may be insensitive to their religious identity. The reason is that Zakah is not merely a tax, even though it serves the purposes of taxes. Zakah is an Islamic concept and is one of the five pillars of Islam. To ask a dhimmi to pay Zakah implies requiring him to tacitly believe in one of the pillars of Islam that he does not believe in.

On the other hand, if he shares the cost of above services under a different and more neutral title, it is even more respectful and the term jizya that is used for dhimmis’ share literally comes from jaza’ which means something in return for something, i.e. services, defense and social security in return for financial contribution.


Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah (Arabic: جزْية‎; IPA: ʤɪzjæh] Ottoman Turkish: cizye; both derived from Pahlavi and ultimately from Aramaic gaziyat [1]) is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state’s non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria. The tax is/was to be levied on able bodied adult males of military age and affording power,[2] (but with specific exemptions,[3][4] though these were discarded at various points in history[5]). From the point of view of the Muslim rulers, jizya was a material proof of the non-Muslims’ acceptance of subjection to the state and its laws, “just as for the inhabitants it was a concrete continuation of the taxes paid to earlier regimes.”[6] In return, non-Muslim citizens were permitted to practice their faith, to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy, to be entitled to Muslim state’s protection from outside aggression, to be exempted from military service and the Zakah as obligatory upon Muslim citizens.[7][8][9]

They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing],

Now you know where Hitler got his idea for a yellow star to be worn by Jews, pink triangles by homosexuals, and the like.

One of his correspondents and supporters was the Mufti of Jerusalem–the uncle of Saddam Hussein.

Dhimmism is Fascism by another name. Only it is more dangerous because the name of God is being evoked.

This is very ridiculous…I find it really hard to laugh at this statement…not funny

Unless you provide me with a source indicating where these quotes were taken from “should be in a book”…these quotes are meaningless and unauthentic

this site does not mention any book of these two Islamic scholars

Let’s move beyond a “book”. Please explain the jizya required of non-muslims and if it’s viewed as a non-muslim’s subjection to Islamic law.

As I said, I visited with two Catholic priests from Egypt who told me about this “tax” and other restrictions for non-muslims, according to Islamic law. I’d be interested in hearing the muslim perspective. It doesn’t seem to be a subject that is discussed by those seeking converts to Islam.

While you are waiting for an answer from the muslim members, here is my contribution to the topic.

If you look at the koran, chapter 9 verse 29 it states this…

29 **Fight those who believe not in Allah **nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

**JIZYA **- The poll-tax or rather “protection money” that has to be paid by the “Dhimmis” under Islamic rule.

**DHIMMI **- A person belonging to the category of “protected people” (ahl ad-Dhimmah) in the Islamic state.

Only those from the “people of the Book” (Jews and Christians) can become Dhimmis and then have certain rights, like privately worshipping according to their religion, **as long as they pay the “protection money” (jizya) but are not considered citizens of the country. **

Their status has to be one of humiliation (Surah 9:29).

One needs to understand this term “protected people” properly.

Protected from whom?

From the Muslims!

**It is the same dynamic as when the mafia comes to a shop owner and tells him, from now on we are protecting you, and you are going to pay us such amount of money for this protection. **

It’s ironic that the people claiming Islam to be a “peaceful” religion do not discuss this while “sharing” their “truth”. If this is justifiable and a part of their religion, why isn’t it something muslims bring up on these forums? One has to ask themself, is avoidance of a subject still “truth”? Is Islam’s view of freedom of religion, only for those who are under submission and subdued?

It’s called Kithman.

Kithman is a command to deliberately conceal one’s beliefs. It is a particular form of lying primarily practiced by the minority Shia’ Muslims. This doctrine is articulated by Imam Jafar Sadiq, the sixth Imam of Shia’ Islam:

*One, who exposes something from our religion is like one who intentionally kills us.

You belong to a religion that whosoever conceals it, Allah will honor him and whosoever reveals it, Allah will disgrace him. *

The majority of Muslim rulers in our view are criminals and Usurpers

And there is also the **lying **in islam.

The morality of lying is one of the most confusing aspects of Islamic thought and, as a result, creates the impression that whether a person is truthful, or deceitful, depends entirely on the ethics of the situation.

There are ONLY TWO times where a muslim cannot lie… the first is a lie against allah and the second is a lie against mohamad.

But if they lie to another muslim it’s just a sin. - BUT…

They can lie in 3 different situations.

  • to save their own life, they can lie :thumbsup:

  • to persuade a woman :eek:

  • to reconsile something :rolleyes:

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