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 Regarding the Jizyah Paid by non-Muslims Living in an Islamic State

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PostSubject: Regarding the Jizyah Paid by non-Muslims Living in an Islamic State    Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:12 am

Question Number: 2517861 on Islamweb

Question:

Assalamu alaikum I would like to know a number of things related to the issue of Jizyah and Zakah please. What was the jizyah paid for exactly? Did thimmis have to pay taxes in addition to the Jizyah? Also was the JIzyah paid only by men? Were Thimmis who served in the military exempt from the Jizyah? Concerning Muslims, did Muslims in the early ages of Islam pay the Zakah to bayt el mal? Was it not then distributed to the categories of people mentioned in the Qur'an? And did the Muslims who did not serve in the military for one reason or another also paid the Jizyah? Jazakum Allah khair.


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

First of all, one of the justifications for imposing Jizyah on non-Muslims is the fact that it is paid in exchange for providing protection for the lives and possessions of the Thimmis who refuse to embrace Islam and choose to retain their disbelief, while awarding them freedom to practice their religion and live in peace among Muslims. Therefore, whenever the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, feared inability to protect the lives and possessions of the Thimmis - from external aggression - they used to pay them back the Jizyah (for non-satisfaction of its pre-condition, namely protection). Hence, Jizyah cannot be perceived as usurpation of people’s wealth as some people who raise malicious accusations against Islam claim. In fact, Jizyah is levied in exchange for providing protection for the Thimmis as well as providing financial assistance (from the Public Treasury) for those who are unable to earn a living. This is evidenced by what ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, did for the old Jewish man (who was begging for money); he, may Allah be pleased with him, ordered that the Jew should be given enough financial assistance to support himself and his dependents from the Muslims' Public Treasury.

Secondly, the only financial obligation imposed on the Thimmis is paying the Jizyah. However, they may be liable to pay land tax for the (agricultural) lands which were left in their possession according to their treaty with Muslims and the like. This is different from Jizyah.

Thirdly, not all Thimmis are required to pay Jizyah. Jizyah is levied only on adult, free, sane men from the people of the Book who are able to fight and able to pay the Jizyah. It is not levied on women, children, slaves, mad people, the senile or elderly, or the destitute who are financially unable to afford it (they were exempted from it). Note that the amount of Jizyah is significantly small. Muslims may pay more than the amount of Jizyah in Zakaah, and, therefore, Muslims are exempted from paying the Jizyah; Muslims are only obliged to pay the Zakaah. This answers your last question.

Fourthly, some contemporary Muslim scholars, like Dr. ‘Abd Al-Kareem Zidaan, held that the preponderant opinion is that Jizyah is levied in exchange for providing protection for the Thimmis and defending their safety. Hence, it is cancelled when they join the military service and participate with Muslims in defending the Islamic state against its enemies. Dr. Zidaan wrote, "The Thimmis who join military service of the Islamic state and defend the Islamic state against its enemies are given exemption from the payment of Jizyah. Participating in defending the Islamic state entails exempting the Thimmis from the payment of Jizyah or cancels the obligation of imposing it in the first place, as we saw in the historical incidents that we mentioned." [Ahkaam Ath-Thimmyeen wa Al-Musta’maneen fi Dar Al-Islam]

Fifthly, in principle, the Muslim is obliged to pay the Zakaah himself; however, if the Muslim ruler decided to levy it, it should be given to him on condition that he is trustworthy and the Public Treasury is running in an organized manner, as Muslim jurists asserted


Allah Knows best.
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