Once a land is conquered by Islamic armies the ruler can impose a taxation on those non-Muslims who will not convert to Islam.
Jizyah is paid as a sign of submission and gives Dhimmis some legal protection in return. Under dhimmitude (the status that Islamic law, the Sharia, mandates for non-Muslims) Dhimmis usually are not allowed to carry arms to protect themselves, serve in the army or government, display symbols of their faith, build or repair places of worship etc. If the conquered do not wish to pay or convert, their fate may very well be slavery (under which, rape is permitted) or (as evidenced in the quotes above) death.
The amount of the Jizyah tax and the way it was collected varied from time to time and from place to place, but when imposed, the forced payment of Jizyah greatly stimulated the conversion of non-Muslims into Islam. In some cases the taxation of the non-Muslims was so profitable that the Islamic rulers prohibited their subjects from converting to Islam, lest they should lose their income.
To be fair to history; Jizyah was not entirely an Islamic initiative or the innovation of its prophet Muhammad, (Emphasis on the word “entirely”). A certain form of Jizyah had existed among the tribes of Northern Arabia in pre-Islamic times. This fact is attested by the famous historian Philip. K. Hitti in his History of Arabs. Ghazw (غزو) or raiding others for feeding mouths was an accepted norm among the Bedouin tribes of that time. As Hitti noted, "Ghazw was a manly occupation of Bedouins where fighting mood was a chronic mental condition". For people among the tribes, everything that belonged to the other tribes guaranteeing material gain made a legitimate target. The context made it necessary for a weaker tribe or a sedentary settlement on the borderland to buy protection from the stronger tribe by paying what it then called Khuwwah which later became Jizyah in Muhammad’s Islam. Along with the booty acquired through raids and wars, Jizyah turned out to be a good source of income for believers when they were constantly occupied in spreading the newly founded religion by means of violence. To sum up, by imposing Jizyah on subjugated unbelievers Muhammad was reinstating an undivine tribal norm into his religion, thus broadening an abject backward practice.
A Sign of Kufr and Disgrace
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Approval from Islamic Scholars
Saudi Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd Al-Rahman Al-'Arifi, Imam of the mosque of King Fahd Defense Academy, discussed the coming Muslim conquest of the Vatican. Citing a Hadith in an article posted on the Kalemat website in 2002, he stated:
[The Islamic State] cannot allow that they should remain supreme rulers in any place and establish wrong ways and impose them on others. As this state of things inevitably produces chaos and disorder, it is the duty of the true Muslims to exert their utmost to bring to an end their wicked rule and bring them under a righteous order.As regards the question, "What do the non-Muslims get in return for Jizyah?" it may suffice to say that it is the price of the freedom which the Islamic State allows them in following their erroneous ways, while living in the jurisdiction of Islam and enjoying its protection. The money thus collected is spent in maintaining the righteous administration that gives them the freedom and protects their rights. This also serves as a yearly reminder to them that they have been deprived of the honor of paying Zakat in the Way of Allah, and forced to pay jizyah instead as a price of following the ways of error.
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, Tafhim al-Qur'an
Jizyah in History
Mohammed Yousuf, Journal of Turkish Weekly, May 19, 2005
Jizyah in the Modern World
Sandro Magister, Chiesa News, December 29, 2005
The Associated Press, Fox News, May 07, 2007
Threats against Sikhs and Hindus are but the latest in a series of warnings against religious minorities in the NWFP, including Christians who have had to pay jizya and submit to Sharia.“We were living under fear: fear of the Taliban, fear of Lashkar-e-Islam and fear of other armed groups,” a Sikh man told the Daily Times
Fareed Khan, Asia News, July 28, 2009
Mobeena, [the Christians sister], told ICC, “Suqlain is still free and hanging around. The government has done nothing to help us, even though my brother is a prominent businessman. We feel insecure, our children are too scared to go out anymore - please help us, we need justice.”
Jeremy Reynalds, ASSIST News Service, July 22, 2009
“Before 2003, there were around 2.1 million Christians in Iraq, but now there are not more than 500,000 of them,” Masho said.He criticized the Iraqi government for being unable to protect Christians, and said that it did not even fulfill its promises to compensate them.
Aswat al-Iraq, December 26, 2009
He was given a deadline of less than a week to pay them 10,000 kroner (1,800 USD) if he wanted to live in the area. Police told him that they could no longer guarantee his safety in Mjølnerparken [Muslim ghetto in Copenhagen, Denmark]. When Lejerbo (the company renting out apartments in the area) found him, he was crying and had slept on the street.
Nicolai Sennels (Translator), Weekendavisen (Danish daily, not online), March 1, 2012
. . .
"It is over; we can't get back what we lost," said one discouraged Christian refugee here in Jordan. "It will never be the same anymore for me or my family. We've lost hope." He said he had to flee with his family at night, because anti-Christian persecution in Syria is becoming a steadily growing reality.
"I had my own business. I ran a supermarket, and we were financially stable. Unfortunately, that's not the case anymore. Our dreams vanished when a group of terrorists threatened to kill my family, burn our house, and set fire to the supermarket if I didn't pay them $7,000.
"I paid the amount, hoping that they would leave us alone, but they did not. Instead, they kidnapped me for a whole week. They only let me go on one condition: that each month I would pay them the same amount."What do you think I could do? I fled. I packed our stuff, taking only the basics. I took my family and came to Jordan. My son, Omar, has one year left to finish his bachelor's degree, but now his dreams have vanished as well. I used to be a business owner...but now I am a laborer who can hardly provide the day-to-day basics for my family."
MNN, April 19, 2012
Agenzia Fides, August 31, 2012
Kalyan himself was picked up by militants and offered three options: To embrace Islam, to become part of their jihad or to pay a sum of Rs500 million.
“I could not even consider the first two options. I was released when residents intervened and the Sikh community paid Rs6.5 million as Jizya (protection money for non-Muslims),” Kalyan said.Residents left the area within half an hour of the warning, leaving most of their valuables behind.
Umer Farooq, The Express Tribune, October 5, 2012
Walter Laqueur, Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2006
Interviewer: They are unemployed...
Mojahed Bosify: Many of them consider this to be the jizya poll tax, on the basis of official fatwas.
Interviewer: They consider social security to be the jizya?
Mojahed Bosify: When they go to the ATM or the bank teller, and say: "Convert to Islam or pay the jizya."
. . .
Interviewer: And the teller has no idea...Mojahed Bosify: No, he just says: "Here is your money," and that's the end of it. Today, fewer people behave this way, but some still do.
MEMRI, Clip No. 3834, April 19, 2013
In Malaysia the non-Muslims have been subject to the disguised Jizyah of the Bumiputra system, which favors economically the Muslims, and essentially involves a transfer of wealth from the more industrious and entrepreneurial non-Muslims (Chinese and Hindus) to Muslims (Malays, but not the members of the indigenous tribes, which were christianized, or remained pagan -- and only now are being islamized through intense pressure and Da'wa campaigns).Elsewhere, as in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the Hindus and Christians live in a state of permanet physical danger, and that danger also is one of losing their property to Muslim looters and marauders who cannot be sued or brought to justice on the say-so of a non-Muslim. The Jews of the Arab world fled -- nearly one million of them -- leaving their property, which was the last transfer of wealth. In Egypt, under Nasser, the property of most Jews and the Levantine Christains -- Greeks, Italians, and others -- were "nationalized" as Nasser put it. But this was nothing more than the seizure of Infidel property by Muslim governments. Copts in Egypt do not pay a direct Jizyah. But there are other ways to force local Christians, constantly fearful for their own well-being, to have them pay off, or take as local partners, Muslims who may protect them. There is no security for the property of non-Muslims in Muslim lands, and there are various ways in which the "protection money" that is the Jizyah is paid, often in indirect, informal, and disguised ways, when the more direct imposition would attract too much unwanted Western attention and, presumably, outrage.
Other Islamic Taxes
Some will say that Muslims also had to pay a tax equivalent to the jizjah paid by Dhimmis'. It is true that Muslims, under the empire, paid a tax called zakat. However, this zakat is a 2.5% tax, while the jizyah (which can vary) is about a 10% income tax (although it has been known to be as high as 50%). Muslims are obligated to pay this so-called "charity tax" even today, as its one of the five pillars of Islam. But, instead of paying it to the state, they now pay zakat to charities of their choice. It must however be noted that the majority of Islamic scholars are of the view that non-Muslims should not benefit from this alms giving, which is why we find mainstream Islamic charities, like Islamic Relief, almost exclusively focusing their humanitarian work in Muslim majority nations or areas in non-Muslim countries which are heavily populated by Muslim minorities. In the aftermath of the 2010 Pakistan floods, many Christian survivors were denied aid supplied by Muslim charities for this very reason.
The Encyclopædia Britannica
- Jizyah - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Jizyah
- The Jizyah Tax: Equality And Dignity Under Islamic Law?
- Jizyah and the Zimmî
- Dhimmitude Past and Present: An Invented or Real History?, by Bat Ye'or
- Payments to Hamas as Jizyah
- Jizyah - Wikipedia (Additional information and contains some more Hadith references)
- Regarding Jizyah on non-Muslim Citizens - Understanding-Islam.com
- Jizyah and non-Muslim Minorities - Fatwa Bank at IslamOnline.net
- Jizya - Encyclopedia Britannica
- The Next Pope and Islamic Prophecy frontpagemag.com
- Haytham bin Jawwad al-Haddad, "The way of giving Zakat al-Fitr in non-Islamic Lands", IslamicAwakening, Article ID: 984, November 20, 2002 (archived), http://www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php?articleID=984.
- Islamic Relief and the Myth of Non-Discriminating Muslim Charity - TROP
- Pakistan: some Christians denied aid unless they convert to Islam - Catholic Culture, September 6, 2010