Fatwa ID: 03436
Answered by: Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
Was jizya (tax on non-Muslim subjects) a tool of oppression that the Islamic caliphs have had over their non-Muslim subjects? (The dhimma- chiefly Christians and Jews). Why or why not?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Islam came as a mercy from Allah (SWT) to bring the Deen of truth and justice to all of mankind.
Allah (SWT) says:
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ ۚ
“It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religions.”
(Surah al-Fath, Verse 28)
In order to bring this truth and justice to both Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, it is required for them to live under the justice of Islamic Governance and experience it for themselves. This is where the jizyah comes in.
The jizyah is a small payment made to the Islamic Government by the Non-Muslim citizen in order that they may receive all the benefits of living there and be given security and protection.
Those that pay the jizyah are known as the Ahlul-Dhimmah, which literally means ‘the people of protection’. This is because their rights are protected and taken care of. Furthermore, they are allowed to practice their own religion and are not compelled to convert to Islam. If any harm comes to them, then the Muslims are bound to help them.
Therefore, the jizya is not a tool of oppression, rather it is a means of achieving liberation by bringing those who are in darkness, into the light of Islam.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham