||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (April 2014)|
Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah (Arabic: جزية ǧizyah IPA: [dʒizja]; Ottoman Turkish: cizye) is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim subjects, who meet certain criteria. The tax is and was to be levied on able-bodied adult males of military age (but with specific exemptions). 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. In return, non-Muslim subjects are permitted to practice their faith, to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy, to be entitled to the Muslim state's protection from outside aggression, and to be exempted from military service and from the zakat tax levied upon Muslim citizens. The jizya continued to be applied in Persia and many North African countries into the 19th century, but almost vanished in the 20th century. The tax is no longer imposed by nation states in the Islamic world. However, armed groups such as ISIS enforce it in some areas they have captured. In the 21st century, it is widely regarded as being at odds with contemporary secular conceptions of citizen's civil rights and equality before the law, although there have been occasional reports of religious minorities in conflict zones and areas subject to political instability being forced to pay jizya.
- 1 Etymology and meaning
- 2 Rationale
- 3 Islamic law
- 4 Application
- 5 History
- 6 Comparison between Zakat and Jizya
- 7 Criticism and support
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Sources
- 11 External links
Etymology and meaning
In Arabic it means: "What is taken from the dhimmis, which is the amount of money agreed upon in the contract that gives the non-Muslim the Dhimmai status; and it's derived from the act of the verb "reward"; as if it (jizya) is a requital for not being killed.".
The Arabic term jizya appears in verse Quran 9:29, but the Qur'an does not specify jizya as a tax per head. According to Paul Heck, the jizya taxation seems to be a developed form of the Sassanian practice of taxation.[full citation needed]
Commentators disagree on the definition and derivation of the word jizya:
- Shakir and Khalifa's English translations of the Qur'an render jizya as "tax", while Pickthal translates it as "tribute". Yusuf Ali prefers to transliterate the term as jizyah.
- Yusuf Ali states "The derived meaning, which became the technical meaning, was a poll tax levied from those who did not accept Islam, but were willing to live under the protection of Islam, and were thus tacitly willing to submit to the laws enforced by the Muslim State."
- Edward William Lane, citing Ibn Athir in An Arabic-English Lexicon defines jizya as "the tax that is taken from the free non-Muslim subjects of a Muslim government whereby they ratify the compact that assures them protection, as though it were a protection for their not being slain.
- Ibn Rushd explains that jizya is in fact a broader concept than just a head-tax. It also includes monies exacted in times of war – what is normally understood in English by the word ‘tribute’ – as well as levies (‘ushr) on non-muslim merchants who are trading in the Dar al-Harb.
In practice, the word is applied to a special type of tax, levied upon the non-Muslim adult males living under an Islamic state.
Jizya has been rationalized as a fee in exchange for the dhimma, that is the permission to practice one's faith with some communal autonomy, and to be entitled to Muslim protection. The second rationale offered is that the imposition of jizya on non-Muslims is similar to the requirement of Zakat from Muslims. Thirdly, jizya created a place for the inclusion of a non-Muslim dhimmi in a land owned and ruled by a Muslim, where routine payment of jizya was a tool of social stratification and treasury's revenue. Finally, jizya served as a reminder of subordination of a non-Muslim under Muslims, and created a financial and political incentive for dhimmis to convert to Islam.
And al-Razi says in his interpretation of the quranic verse(9:29) in which the jizya was enacted:
The intention of taking the jizya is not to approve the disbelief of non-Muslims in Islam, but rather to spare their lives and to give them some time; in hope that during it; they might stop to reflect on the virtues of Islam and its compelling arguments, and consequently converting from disbelief to belief. That's why it's important to pay the jizya with humiliation and servility, because naturally, any sensible person cannot stand humiliation and servility. So if the disbeliever is given some time watching the pride of Islam and hearing evidences of its authenticity, and see the humiliation of the disbelief, then apparently this might carry him to convert to Islam, and that's the main rationale behind the enactment of the jizya.
Many Muslim rulers saw jizya as a material proof of the non-Muslims' acceptance of the authority of the Islamic state.
Many scholars believe jizya is sanctioned by the Qur'an, the primary source of Islamic law, based on the following verse:
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.
Since the verse does not define what jizya means, hadith texts that are needed to provide the definition. Not all scholar agree on the exact definition, most notably the Quranist scholars as they generally avoid hadith-inspired interpretation of the Qur'an.
Jizya is mentioned a number of times in the hadith. Common themes across multiple hadith (and often multiple collections of hadith) include Muhammad ordering his military commanders to fight non-Muslims who aggressed against the Muslims, until they accepted Islam or paid the jizya, Muhammad and a number of caliphs imposing jizya on non-Muslim residents of Islamic lands, and the eventual abolition of jizya by Jesus' Second Coming.
- Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 23, Number 475 states 'Umar's concern for the well-being of dhimmis on his deathbed (after he was stabbed by a dhimmi). 'Umar commanded his would-be successor to "abide by the rules and regulations concerning the dhimmis (protectees) of Allah and His Apostle, to fulfill their contracts completely and fight for them and not to tax (overburden) them beyond their capabilities".
- Volume 2, Book 24, Number 559 states that the King of Aila wrote to Muhammad that his people agreed to pay the jizya tax in return for being allowed to stay in their place.
- Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425 states that Jesus will abolish the jizya, as does Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657.
- Volume 4, Book 53, Number 384 states that Umar did not take the jizya from the "Magian infidels" (Zoroastrians) until he heard testimony that Muhammad had taken the jizya from the Magians of Hajar.
- Volume 4, Book 53, Number 385 states that Muhammad collected jizya from the people of Bahrain, as do Volume 5, Book 59, Number 351 and Volume 8, Book 76, Number 433.
- Volume 4, Book 53, Number 386 states that Muhammad commanded Al-Mughira and his army to fight non-Muslims until they worshiped Allah alone or gave jizya.
- Volume 4, Book 53, Number 404 has Muhammad stating that one day Allah will make the dhimmis "so daring that they will refuse to pay the jizya they will be supposed to pay".
- Volume 9, Book 83, Number 49 reports that Muhammad said: "Whoever killed a Mu'ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling)",
- Sahih Muslim Book 1, Numbers 287 and 289 state that the "son of Mary" will "descend as a just judge" and, among other things, abolish the jizya.
- Book 19, Number 4294 states that Muhammad commanded his military leaders to demand jizya from non-Muslims if they refused to accept Islam, and to fight them if they refused to pay.
- Book 32, Number 6328 states that Hisham b. Hakim b. Hizam passed by Syrian farmers who had been detained for jizya and made to stand in the sun, and Number 6330 states that he came by some Nabateans who had been detained "in connection with the dues of jizya". In both cases his response was to quote Muhammad as saying "Allah would torment those persons who torment people in the world." 
- Book 42, Number 7065 states that that Muhammad collected jizya from the people of Bahrain.
- Sunan Abu-Dawud Book 19, Number 2955 has Umar ibn al-Khattab stating that he provided protection for non-Muslims by levying jizya on them, and neither took one-fifth from it, nor took it as booty.
- Book 19, Number 3031 states that Muhammad captured Ukaydir, the Christian prince of Dumah, and spared his life and made peace with him on the condition that he paid jizya.
- Book 37, Number 4310 states that Jesus will come again, and at that time will (among other things) abolish jizya, as Allah will "perish all religions except Islam".
- Al-Muwatta of Malik Book 17, Number 17.24.42 states that Muhammad collected jizya from the "Magians" (Zoroastrians) of Bahrain, Umar ibn al-Khattab from Magians of Persia, and Uthman ibn Affan from the Berbers.
- Book 17, Number 17.24.44 states that Umar ibn al-Khattab imposed a jizya tax of four dinars on those living where gold was the currency, and forty dirhams on those living where silver was the currency. As well, they had to "provide for the Muslims and receive them as guests for three days".
- Book 17, Number 17.24.45 states that Umar ibn al-Khattab took a camel branded as jizya (not zakat) and ordered for it to be slaughtered, the meat placed on platters with fruits and delicacies, and distributed to the wives of Muhammad. He then had the remainder prepared and invited the Muhajirun and the Ansar to eat it. Malik stated regarding this "I do not think that livestock should be taken from people who pay the jizya except as jizya." 
- Book 17, Number 17.24.46 states that Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz relieved those who converted to Islam from paying jizya. It also gives the sunnah on those who must pay jizya, principally non-Muslim males who have reached puberty, rather than zakat, as zakat is for the purpose of purifying Muslims, whereas jizya is for the purpose of humbling non-Muslims. It also outlines the additional tithe or 'ushr travelling traders must pay, and the rationale for that.
Islamic legal commentary
- Malik, in Al-Muwatta (Book 17, Number 17.24.45), protests the practice of summarily appropriating livestock from dhimmis; he states that livestock should only be taken as jizya. In Book 17, Number 17.24.46, he states that the sunnah is that jizya is only taken from male dhimmis and Zoroastrians who have reached puberty. jizya is imposed on non-Muslim "People of the Book" to humble them; also, they do not have to pay zakat, which is paid by Muslims as mandatory charity. If the non-believers remain in one country, they pay no other property taxes; however, if they do business in multiple Muslim countries, then they have to pay ten percent of the value of the traded goods each time they move to another country. The reason given is that jizya is imposed on the condition (which they have agreed to) that they will stay in one country and avail of the security thus availed them by their submission; if they do business in multiple countries, then this is outside the stipulated agreements and conditions for jizya, and therefore they must pay ten percent each time. Malik also states that this was the practice in his city. Finally, in Book 21, Number 21.19.49a Malik states that when one collects jizya from a people who surrendered peacefully, then they are allowed to keep their land and property. However, if they are overcome in battle and forced to give jizya, then their land and property become booty for Muslims.
- Abu Yusuf, an eighth century Hanafi jurist states in his Kitab al-Kharaj that "The wali [governor of a province] is not allowed to exempt any Christian, Jew, Magian, Sabian, or Samaritan from paying the tax, and no one can obtain a partial reduction. It is illegal for one to be exempted and another not, because their lives and possessions are spared only on account of the payment of the jizya. He also cautions that "[n]o one of the ahl al-dhimma should be beaten in order to exact payment of the jizya, nor made to stand in the hot sun, nor should hateful things be inflicted upon their bodies, or anything of that sort. Rather, they should be treated with leniency. [...] It is proper, O Commander of the Faithful—may Allah be your support—that you treat leniently those people who have a contract of protection from your Prophet and cousin, Muhammad—may Allah bless him and grant him peace. You should look after them, so that they are not oppressed, mistreated, or taxed beyond their means."
- Javed Ahmed Ghamidi writes in Mizan that certain directives of the Qur’an were specific only to Muhammad against peoples of his times, besides other directives, the campaign involved asking the polytheists of Arabia for submission to Islam as a condition for exoneration and the others for jizya and submission to the political authority of the Muslims for exemption from death punishment and for military protection as the dhimmis of the Muslims.
- The Islamic historian Al-Tabari wrote that some members of the Christian community asked the companion “Umar bin al-Khatab if they could refer to the jizya as sadaqah which literally means "charity", which he approved of. Al-Tabari extensively recorded the universal application of jizya and its justification. He noted the following precept of Umar: Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept it from them, but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency. Fear God with regard to what you have been entrusted.
As Muslim army commanders expanded their empire and attacked countries in Asia, Africa and southern Europe, they would offer three conditions to their enemies: convert to Islam, or pay jizyah (tax) every year, or face war to death. Those who refused war and refused to convert were deemed to have agreed to pay jizya.
Source of jizya tax
In early periods of Islam (which periods?), jizya was applied to every free adult male non-Muslim. Slaves, women, children, the old, the sick, monks, hermits and the poor,[full citation needed] were all exempt from the tax, unless any of them was independent and wealthy. Though there is no mention of any such exemptions in Sunni Islamic Law, or any example of exemptions being given by Prophet Muhammad or his companions. However, these exemptions were no longer observed during later periods in Muslim history, and discarded entirely by the Shāfi‘ī School of Law, which prevailed in Egypt, also in theory.
Though jizya was mandated initially for People of the Book, viz. adherents of other monotheistic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Sabianism), under the Maliki school of Fiqh, jizya was extended to all non-Muslims. Thus some Muslim rulers collected jizya from Hindus and Sikhs under their rule.
Jizya tax had to be paid by each non-Muslim male in person, by presenting himself, arriving on foot not horseback, by hand, in order to confirm that he lowers himself to being a subjected one, accepts humiliation of having been conquered, willingly pays in gratitude for his life being spared in lieu of the taxes.
Rate of jizya tax
By time of Mohammed, the jiyza rate was one dinar per year imposed on male dhimmis in Medina, Mecca, Khaibar, Yemen, and Nejran and maximum of twelve dirhams under Achtiname of Muhammad for Saint Catherine's Monastery. Yusuf claims there was no amount permanently fixed for the tax, though the payment usually depended on wealth: the Kitab al-Kharaj of Abu Yusuf sets the amounts at 48 dirhams for the richest (e.g. moneychangers), 24 for those of moderate wealth, and 12 for craftsmen and manual laborers.
Other scholars claim the tax rates and amounts were fixed and strictly implemented. The rate of jizya and Kharaj tax, head tax and land tax respectively, exceeded 20% for all non-Muslims, and payable by new moon. In the western Islamic states, for dhimmis who were Christians and Jews of Egypt and Morocco, these taxes were often graded into three levels with minimum rate being 20% of all estimated assets and any sales. The highest rates ranged from 33% to 80% of all annual farm produce on land inside the Islamic empire. In the eastern Islamic states, for dhimmis who were Hindus and Jains, the tax structure were similar, with non-Muslims paying jizya and Kharaj tax rate at least twice the zakat tax rate paid by Muslims. The discriminatory and high tax rates led to mass civil protests of 1679 in India, these protests were crushed by Aurangzeb.
In return for the tax, those who paid the jizya were permitted to keep their religion, practice it in private without offending Muslims, but were not allowed to build new Churches, Synagogues or Temples. They were considered to be under the protection of the Muslim state, subject to their meeting certain conditions.
Associated taxes with jizya
Along with jizya as head tax (sometimes called neck tax), non-Muslims were also required to pay Kharaj as land tax. This was levied on anyone who worked on land or owned property on land. Both jizya and kharaj were not payable by Muslims or if the non-Muslim converted to Islam.
Other taxes payable, by or from the property of non-Muslim subjects, along with jizya were fai, ghanima and ushur. Fai (sometimes spelled fay) was non-Muslim property seized by a Muslim official; the non-Muslim was sometimes allowed to reclaim the seized property by paying 100% of assessed value of the seized property. Ghanima was the 20% tax paid by the Muslim army commander on the booty and plunder collected from non-Muslims by force (anwatan) after a war or after the commander launched a raid against non-Muslim trade posts, temples, or caravans. The commander and his Muslim soldiers were entitled to keep 80% of the booty. Ushur (sometimes spelled ushr) was customs tax payable when people entered or exited the borders of an Islamic state. Non-Muslims paid twice the rate than Muslims on assessed value of property in possession of the transiting person. This was in addition to the jizya.
Jizya and other associated taxes were payable by sedentary non-Muslim populations. Sadaqa was a tax levied on nomadic people, instead of jizya. There is some controversy is sadaqa was mandatory or voluntary.
Punishment for failure to pay taxes
According to Abu Yusuf, jurist of Harun al-Rashid, those who didn't pay jizya should be imprisoned not to be let out of custody until payment. Though it was an annual tax, non-Muslims were allowed to pay it in monthly installments. If someone had agreed to pay jizya, leaving Muslim territory for non-Muslim land was, in theory, punishable by enslavement if they were ever captured. This punishment did not apply if the person had suffered injustices from Muslims.
In practice, non-payment of jizya tax, or the associated Kharaj tax, by any non-Muslim subject in a Muslim state was punished by his family's arrest and enslavement. The women and girls of an enslaved family would become property of a Muslim master and serve as houseworkers and female sex slaves (raqiq or baghiya). A non-Muslim could avoid arrest or stop paying the jizya tax any time by converting to Islam as it was a punishment for not accepting Islam, and he was constantly reminded of this. In some regions of Islamic rule, the Sultans faced rebellion and the non-Muslim masses refused to convert to Islam or pay jizya. Militant opposition erupted to Islamic punishment for refusal to pay discriminatory jizya taxes, such as in India, Spain and Morocco. In some cases, this led to its periodic abolishment such as the 1704 AD suspension of jizya in Deccan region of India by Aurangzeb.
Use of jizya tax
Jizya was used to build mosques, buy freedom for Muslim prisoners of war in non-Muslim states, fund Islamic charities meant to help Muslims, fund enlargement of armies, and pay for the wars of expansion. Non-Muslims and slaves owned by Muslims had no right to expenditures or grants from any collected jizya and other taxes. Jizya and associated taxes also ended up in "private" treasuries.
Taxation from the perspective of people who came under the Muslim rule, was a concrete continuation of the taxes paid to earlier regimes, but now lower under the Muslim rule and from the point of view of the Muslim conqueror was a material proof of the payer's subjection to the state and its laws. In Ottoman Hungary the tax was known as jizzye (Hungarian: harács).According to Bat Ye'or, this fiscal policy in the forms of jizya, kharaj was a primary cause for the disappearance of dhimmi populations through conversion to Islam or flight.
During Muhammad's Era
Jizya was levied in the time of Muhammad on vassal tribes under Muslim control and protection, including Jews in Khaybar, Christians in Najran, and Zoroastrians in Bahrain. William Montgomery Watt traces its origin to a pre-Islamic practice among the Arabian nomads wherein a powerful tribe would agree to protect its weaker neighbors in exchange for a tribute, which would be refunded if the protection proved ineffectual.
Three military campaigns during Muhammad's era culminated with the agreement requiring the new non-Muslim subjects to pay jizya, in return for Muslim protection: Battle of Khaybar and the expedition of Abdur Rahman bin Auf. During the Invasion of Banu Qaynuqa, Muhammad reportedly asked the Jews to pay the tribute (jizyah), but they refused and instead taunted Muhammad by claiming his God is poor. Islamic tradition says that the Quran verse [Quran 3:118] was revealed because of the comments. The verse states not to take non-Muslims as "Bitanah", which has been interpreted as meaning, advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers and friends.
Early Islam and the Rashidun Caliphate
- in historical texts, the term "jizya" is used with different meanings, and thus medieval historians (who collected the text) tended to interpret them according to the meaning which was best defined in their own time;
- the system established by the Arab conquest was not uniform, rather resulted from a series of non-identical agreements or decisions;
- finally, the system that followed after the earlier systems are imperfectly understood and subject to controversy.
|This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (May 2008)|
Following his migration to Medina, Muhammad drafted a document, known as the Constitution of Medina, which codified the rights and duties among Medina's communities, including the Jews and Muslims. According to F. E. Peters, the Jewish tribes of Medina rejected Muhammad's claim to be a prophet, and secretly liaised with Muhammad's enemies in Mecca to overthrow him.
Prompted by what he saw as their treasonous behavior, Muhammad's ensuing reaction — in contrast to his treatment of Jews outside of Medina — was determined and progressively more violent. After each major battle against Mecca, the Jewish tribes of Medina were accused of treachery. Having broken the terms of their compliance to Muslim rule, the Jewish tribes of Medina were first banished, then enslaved and finally part of the community was executed en masse.
Moshe Gil writes that during the Tabuk campaign however, Muhammad altered his policies towards Jewish and Christian communities by offering them protection in exchange for certain promises as evidenced from the Qur'an. In this new policy, Gil sees a "paradigm" shift occurring in the treaties and letters of security that future Muslim leaders issued to conquered peoples. These letters of protection were sent to several of these towns, asking them to pay taxes (jizya) and to agree not to maintain military forces in return for protection by Muslim forces (dhimma).
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".
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.
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 neighbourhood 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".[dead link]
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." 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.”
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.
In India, Islamic rulers imposed jizya starting in the 11th century. It was abolished by Akbar. However, Aurangzeb, the sixth prominent Mughal Emperor, levied jizya on his mostly Hindu subjects in 1679. Reasons for this are cited to be financial stringency and personal inclination on the part of the emperor, and a petition by the ulema. His subjects were taxed in accordance with the property they owned. Government servants were exempt, as were the blind, the paralysed, and the indigent. Its introduction encountered much opposition, which was, however, overborne. Certain historians are of the view that the tax was aimed at forcibly converting Hindus to Islam.
Nineteenth and twentieth centuries
The kadi Uwida and the kadi Mawlay Mustafa had mounted their tent today near the Mellah [Jewish ghetto] gate and had summoned the Jews in order to collect from them the poll tax [jizya] which they are obliged to pay the sultan. They had me summoned also. I first inquired whether those who were European-protected subjects had to pay this tax. Having learned that a great many of them had already paid it, I wished to do likewise. After having remitted the amount of the tax to the two officials, I received from the kadi’s guard two blows in the back of the neck. Addressing the kadi and the kaid, I said” ‘Know that I am an Italian protected subject.’ Whereupon the kadi said to his guard: ‘Remove the kerchief covering his head and strike him strongly; he can then go and complain wherever he wants.’ The guards hastily obeyed and struck me once again more violently. This public mistreatment of a European-protected subject demonstrates to all the Arabs that they can, with impunity, mistreat the Jews.
The jizya was eliminated in Algeria and Tunisia in the 19th century, but continued to be collected in Morocco until the first decade of the 20th century (these three dates coincide with the French colonization of these countries).
It is important to note that in the Ottoman Empire the "jizya" was abolished in 1856. It was replaced with a new tax, which non-Muslims paid in lieu of military service. It was called "baddal-askari" (Arab. Military substitution), a tax exempting Jews and Christians from military service. The Jews of Kurdistan, according to the scholar Mordechai Zaken, preferred to pay the "baddal" tax in order to redeem themselves from military service. Only those incapable of paying the tax were drafted into the army. Interestingly, Zaken shows that paying the tax was possible to an extent also during the war. Zaken shows that some Jewish individuals paid 50 gold liras every year during World War I. Apparently - according to Dr. Zaken - "in spite of the forceful conscription campaigns, some of the Jews were able to buy their exemption from conscription duty." Based on the testimonies of several Kurdish Jews, Zaken came to the conclusion that the payment of the "baddal askari" during the war was a form of bribe that bought them only a brief relief from military service. "It may have been a deferment of the military service for a one year period or shorter."
As late as 2013, in Egypt jizya was reportedly being imposed by the Muslim Brotherhood on 15,000 Christian Copts of Dalga village.
The jizya poll tax is no longer imposed in the Islamic world. In the 21st century, jizya is widely regarded as being at odds with contemporary secular conceptions of citizen's civil rights and equality before the law, although there have been occasional reports of religious minorities in conflict zones and areas subject to political instability being forced to pay jizya.
In 2009 it was claimed that a group of militants that referred to themselves as the Taliban imposed the jizya on Pakistan's minority Sikh community after occupying some of their homes and kidnapping a Sikh leader.
In 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced that it intended to extract jizya from Christians in the city of Raqqa, Syria, which it controls. Christians who refused to pay the tax would have to either convert to Islam or die. Wealthy Christians would have to pay the equivalent of USD 664 twice a year; poorer ones would be charged one-fourth that amount. In June, the Institute for the Study of War reported that ISIL claims to have collected jizya and fay.
Comparison between Zakat and Jizya
|obligatory upon Muslims||obligatory upon Dhimmis|
|Zakat is obligatory if a Muslim's income and net worth of assets exceeded the Nisab (excess of certain basic amount)||Jizya is obligatory on a Dhimmi's regardless of income or wealth; no minimum (Nisab) to determine Jizya|
|only payable on income and on assets continuously owned over one lunar year that are in excess of the Nisab; to be paid on day of harvest (income)||payable on all assets and income, paid yearly or quarterly regardless to Nisab.|
|the amount of Zakat paid was specified by Sharia||the amount paid was not specified by Sharia.; by the time of the Prophet, at least one gold Dinar and 12 Dirhams; later on, these taxes were often graded into three levels with minimum rate being 20% of all estimated assets and any sales. The highest rates ranged from 33% to 80% of all annual farm produce on land inside the Islamic empire.|
|paid only by the owner of the assets himself/herself||paid by all able-bodied adult males of military age and affording power |
|refusal to pay Zakat was treated with flexibility in some sultanates, with penalty and punishment in others||refusal to pay Jizya by any non-Muslim subject in a Muslim state was a capital crime, punished by his family's arrest and enslavement. The women and girls of an enslaved family would become property of a Muslim master and serve as houseworkers and female sex slaves. In some cases, the family could escape this punishment by converting to Islam.|
|should be paid seeking God's pleasure||paid with humiliation, servility and belittlement|
Criticism and support
Supporters argue that it is fair, since all Muslims are obliged to pay Zakat. While the tax rate and nature of zakat and jizya were different, supporters often cite jizya as a form of protection money and a religious requirement against non-believers in Islam per Sharia.
In practice, however, Timothy H. Parsons states that during the early caliphate, non-Muslims had to pay the kharaj. The sum of the jizya and kharaj taxes levied on non-Muslims were considerably larger than the zakat tax on Muslims and conversion generally brought tax relief. Some evidence suggests that the jizya was sometimes double the Zakat; for example, the Hedaya (Guide on Mussalman Law), an Islamic legal text, declared it lawful to require twice as much of a Zimmee (dhimmi) as of a Mussulman (Muslim).
- Jewish tax
- Tolerance tax
- Rav akçesi
- Devşirme system
- Dhimmi laws
- Ottoman Millet system
- Minority religion
- Second-class citizen
- Islam and other religions
- Divisions of the world in Islam
- Shahid Alam, Articulating Group Differences: A Variety of Autocentrisms, Journal of Science and Society, 2003
- Ali (1990), pg. 507
- John Louis Esposito, Islam the Straight Path, Oxford University Press, Jan 15, 1998, p. 34.
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"To Yuhanna bin Ruba and the worthies of Ayla, Peace be with you! Praise be Allah, there is no God save Him. I have no intention of fighting you before writing to you. Thou hast to accept Islam, or pay the tax, and obey God and his Messenger and the messengers of His Messenger, and do them honour and dress them in fine clothing, not in the raiment of raiders; therefore clothe Zayd in fine robes, for if you satisfy my envoys, you will satisfy me. Surely the tax is known to you. Therefore if you wish to be secure on land and on sea, obey God and his Messenger and you will be free of all payments that you owed the Arab [tribes] or non-Arabs, apart from the payment to God [which is] the payment of his Messenger. But be careful lest thou do not satisfy them, for then I shall not accept anything from you, but I shall fight you and take the young as captives and slay the elderly. For I am the true Messenger of God; put ye your trust in God and his books and his messengers and in the Messiah son o f Maryam, for this is God's word and I too, put my trust in Him, for he is the Messenger of God. Come then, before a calamity befalls you. As for me, I have already given my envoys instructions with regard to you: give Harmal three wasqs of barley, for Harmala is your well-wisher, for if it were not for God and if it were not for this, I would not be sending you messengers, but rather you would be seeing the army. Therefore if you my messengers, you will have the protection of God and of Muhammad and all that stand at his side. My messengers are Shurahbil and Ubayy and Harmala and Hurayth b. Zayd who is one of the sons of the Banu Tayy'. All that they decide with regard to you shall be according to my wishes, and you will have the protection of God and of Muhammad the Messenger of God. And peace will be with you if you obey me. And the people of Maqnā thou shall lead back to their land."
The letter sent to the people of Adhruh:
"In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate. From Muhammad the Prophet to the people of Adhruh; They [will live] securely by virtue of the letter of security from God and from Muhammad. They are due to pay 100 dinars, good and weighed, on every Rajab. And if one [of them] flees from the Muslims, out of fear and awe—for they feared the Muslims—they shall live securely until Muhammad will visit them before he leaves."
- jizyah and non-Muslim Minorities - IslamonLine.net - Ask The Scholar
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- jizyah, Jihad… or Islam? - Reading Islam.com - Ask About Islam[dead link]
- IslamWay Radio
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- "The Zoroastrians who remained in Persia (modern Iran) after the Arab–Muslim conquest (7th century AD) had a long history as outcasts. Although they purchased some toleration by paying the jizya (poll tax), not abolished until 1882, they were treated as an inferior race, had to wear distinctive garb, and were not allowed to ride horses or bear arms." Gabars, Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 29 May 2007.
- Bat Yeor. Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002, pp. 70–71.
- "Though in Tunisia and Algeria the jizya/kharaj practice was eliminated during the 19th century, Moroccan Jewry still paid these taxes as late as the first decade of the twentieth century." Michael M. Laskier, North African Jewry in the Twentieth Century: Jews of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, NYU Press, 1994, p. 12.
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- Goiten, S.D. "Evidence on the Muslim Poll Tax from Non-Muslim Sources", Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 1963, Vol. 6.
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- Laskier, Michael M. North African Jewry in the Twentieth Century: Jews of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, NYU Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8147-5129-6
- Maududi, Sayyid Abul Ala. The Meaning of the Qur'an, A. A. Kamal (Editor). ISBN 1-56744-134-3
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- Seed, Patricia. Ceremonies of Possession in Europe's Conquest of the New World, 1492–1640, Cambridge University Press, Oct 27, 1995, ISBN 0-521-49757-4
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- jizya – Encyclopædia Britannica