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Jizya or jizyah (Arabic: جزية ǧizyah IPA: [dʒizja]; Ottoman Turkish: cizye) is a per capita yearly tax historically levied by Islamic states on certain non-Muslim subjects—dhimmis—permanently residing in Muslim lands under Islamic law. Muslim jurists required adult, free, sane males among the dhimma community to pay the jizya, while exempting women, children, elders, handicapped, the ill, the insane, monks, hermits, slaves, and musta'mins—non-Muslim foreigners who only temporarily reside in Muslim lands. Dhimmis who chose to join military service were exempted from payment, as were those who could not afford to pay.
Jizya is mandated by the Quran and hadiths (but not the rate or amount). However, scholars largely agree that early Muslim rulers adapted existing systems of taxation and tribute that were established under previous rulers of the conquered lands, such as those of the Byzantine and Sasanian empires.
The application of jizya varied in the course of Islamic history. Together with kharaj, a term that was sometimes used interchangeably with jizya, taxes levied on non-Muslim subjects were among the main sources of revenues collected by some Islamic polities.[which?] Jizya rate was usually a fixed annual amount depending on the financial capability of the payer. Sources comparing taxes levied on Muslims and jizya differ as to their relative burden depending on time, place, specific taxes under consideration, and other factors.[not in citation given]
Historically, the Jizya tax has been rationalized in Islam as a fee for protection provided by the Muslim ruler to non-Muslims, for the permission to practice a non-Muslim faith with some communal autonomy in a Muslim state, and as material proof of the non-Muslims' submission to the Muslim state and its laws. Jizya has also been rationalized by some[who?] as a symbol of the humiliation of the non-Muslims in a Muslim state for not converting to Islam, while others argue that if it were meant to be a punishment for the dhimmis unbelief then monks and the clergy wouldn't have been exempted.
The jizya tax was historically imposed on Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians in the Arabian peninsula, the Levant, Iraq, North Africa, Caucasus and Spain, and on Hindus in South Asia into the 19th century, but almost vanished during the 20th century. The tax is no longer imposed by nation states in the Islamic world, although there are reported cases of organizations such as the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS attempting to revive the practice.
Some modern Islamic scholars, such as Abul A'la Maududi of Pakistan, have said that Jizya should be re-imposed on non-Muslims in a Muslim nation. However, most Muslims generally reject the dhimma system, which encompasses jizya, as inappropriate for the age of nation-states and democracies.
Commentators disagree on the definition and derivation of the word jizya:
Most Muslim jurists and scholars regard the jizya as a special payment collected from certain non-Muslims in return for the responsibility of protection fulfilled by Muslims against any type of aggression, as well as for non-Muslims being exempt from military service, and in exchange for the suppliance of poor dhimmis. In a treaty made by Khalid with some towns in the neighborhood of Hirah, he writes: "If we protect you, then jizya is due to us; but if we do not, then it is not due." Early Hanafi jurist Abu Yusuf writes:
‘After Abu ʿUbaydah concluded a peace treaty with the people of Syria and had collected from them the jizya and the tax for agrarian land (kharāj), he was informed that the Romans were readying for battle against him and that the situation had become critical for him and the Muslims. Abu ʿUbaydah then wrote to the governors of the cities with whom pacts had been concluded that they must return the sums collected from jizya and kharāj and say to their subjects: "We return to you your money because we have been informed that troops are being raised against us. In our agreement you stipulated that we protect you, but we are unable to do so. Therefore, we now return to you what we have taken from you, and we will abide by the stipulation and what has been written down, if God grants us victory over them."’
The orientalist Thomas Walker Arnold gives the example of the tribe of al-Jurajima, a Christian tribe in the neighborhood 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." He further adds that even Muslims were made to pay a tax if they were exempted from military service, like non-Muslims. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani states that there is a consensus amongst Islamic jurists that jizya is in exchange for military service. In the case of war, jizya is seen as an option to end hostilities. According to Abu Kalam Azad, one of the main objectives of jizya was to facilitate a peaceful solution to hostility, since non-Muslims who engaged in fighting against Muslims were thereby given the option of making peace by agreeing to pay jizya. In this sense, jizya is seen as a means by which to legalize the cessation of war and military conflict with non-Muslims. In a similar vein, Mahmud Shaltut states that "jizya was never intended as payment in return for one's life or retaining one's religion, it was intended as a symbol to signify yielding, an end of hostility and a participation in shouldering the burdens of the state."
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.[not specific enough to verify]
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.[need quotation to verify] The Muslim jurist and theologian Fakhr al-Din al-Razi suggested in his interpretation of Q.9:29 that jizya is an incentive to convert. Taking it isn't intended to preserve the existence of disbelief (kufr) in the world. Rather jizya allows the non-Muslim to live amongst Muslims and experience the goodness of Islam in the hope that the non-Muslim will convert to Islam.
Jizya is sanctioned by the Qur'an based on the following verse:
Fight those of the People of the Book who do not [truly] believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, who do not behave according to the rule of justice, until they pay the tax and submit to it.
1. Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day (qātilū-lladhīna lā yuʾminūna bi-llāhi wa-lā bi-l-yawmi-l-ākhir)
Commenting on the jizya verse, Abū Ḥayyān states, ‘they are so described because their way [of acting] is the way of those who do not believe in God’, while Ahmad Al-Maraghī comments on it: "fight those mentioned when the conditions which necessitate fighting are present, namely, aggression against you or your country, oppression and persecution against you on account of your faith, or threatening your safety and security, as was committed against you by the Byzantines, which was what lead to Tabuk." In any case, there is nothing in the Qur'an to say that not believing in God and the Last Day is in itself grounds for fighting anyone.
2. Do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden (wa-lā yuḥarrimūna mā ḥarrama-llāhu wa-rasūluh)
The closest and most viable cause must relate to jizya, that is, unlawfully consuming what belongs to the Muslim state, which, al-Bayḍāwī explains, ‘it has been decided that they should give’, since their own scriptures and prophets forbid breaking agreements and not paying what is due to others. His Messenger in this verse has been interpreted by exegetes as referring to the Prophet Muḥammad or the People of the Book’s own earlier messengers, Moses or Jesus, but the latter must be the correct interpretation as it is already assumed that the People of the Book did not believe in Muḥammad or forbid what he forbade. They are condemned for not obeying their own prophet, who told them to honour their agreements.
3. Until they pay jizya with their own hands while they are subdued (ḥattā yu‘ṭū-l-jizyata ‘an yadin wa-hum ṣāġirūn).
Here ʿan yad (from/for/at hand), is interpreted by some to mean that they should pay directly, without intermediary and without delay. Others say that it refers to its reception by Muslims and means "generously" as in "with an open hand," since the taking of the jizya is a form of munificence that averted a state of conflict. M.J. Kister understands 'an yad to be a reference to the "ability and sufficient means" of the dhimmi. Similarly, Rashid Rida takes the word Yad in a metaphorical sense and relates the phrase to the financial ability of the person liable to pay jizya. Mark R. Cohen writes that 'while they are subdued' was interpreted by many to mean "humiliated state of the non-Muslims". In contrast, Al-Shafi‘i, the founder of the Shafi'i school of law, wrote that a number of scholars explained this last expression to mean that "Islamic rulings are enforced on them." This understanding is reiterated by the Hanbali jurist Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, who interprets wa hum saghīrūn (while they are subdued) as making all subjects of the state obey the law and, in the case of the People of the Book, pay the jizya.
Islamic jurists required adult, free, sane, able-bodied males of military age with no religious functions among the dhimma community to pay the jizya, while exempting women, children, elders, handicapped, monks, hermits, the poor, the ill, the insane, slaves, as well as musta'mins (non-Muslim foreigners who only temporarily reside in Muslim lands) and converts to Islam. Dhimmis who chose to join military service were exempted from payment. If anyone could not afford this tax, they would not have to pay anything. Sometimes a dhimmi was exempted from jizya if he rendered some valuable services to the state.
The Hanafi scholar Abu Yusuf wrote, "slaves, women, children, the old, the sick, monks, hermits, the insane, the blind and the poor, were exempt from the tax" and states that jizya should not be collected from those who have neither income nor any property, but survive by begging and from alms. The Hanbali jurist al-Qāḍī Abū Yaʿlā states, "there is no jizya upon the poor, the old, and the chronically ill". Historical reports tell of exemptions granted by the second caliph ‘Umar to an old blind Jew and others like him. The Maliki scholar Al-Qurtubi writes that, "there is a consensus amongst Islamic scholars that jizya is to be taken only from heads of free men past puberty, who are the ones fighting, but not from women, the children, the slaves, the insane, and the dying old." The 13th century Shafi'i scholar Al-Nawawī wrote that a "woman, a hermaphrodite, a slave even when partially enfranchised, a minor and a lunatic are exempt from jizya." The 14th century Hanbali scholar Ibn Qayyim wrote, "And there is no Jizya upon the aged, one suffering from chronic disease, the blind, and the patient who has no hope of recovery and has despaired of his health, even if they have enough." Ibn Qayyim adds, referring to the four Sunni maddhabs: "There is no Jizya on the kids, women and the insane. This is the view of the four imams and their followers. Ibn Mundhir said, ‘I do not know anyone to have differed with them.’ Ibn Qudama said in al-Mughni, ‘We do not know of any difference of opinion among the learned on this issue." In contrast, the Shāfi‘ī jurist Al-Nawawī wrote: "Our school insists upon the payment of the poll-tax by sickly persons, old men, even if decrepit, blind men, monks, workmen, and poor persons incapable of exercising a trade. As for people who seem to be insolvent at the end of the year, the sum of the poll tax remained as debt to their account until they should become solvent." Abu Hanifa, in one of his opinions, and Abu Yusuf held that monks were subject to jizya if they worked.
Though jizya was mandated initially for People of the Book (Judaism, Christianity, Sabianism), it was extended by Islamic jurists to all non-Muslims. Thus Muslim rulers in India, with the exception of Akbar, collected jizya from Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs under their rule.[not specific enough to verify]
The sources of jizya and the practices varied significantly over Islamic history.[not specific enough to verify][not specific enough to verify] Shelomo Dov Goitein states that the exemptions for the indigent, the invalids and the old were no longer observed in the milieu reflected by the Cairo Geniza and were discarded even in theory by the Shāfi‘ī jurists who were influential in Egypt at the time. According to Kristen A. Stilt, historical sources indicate that in Mamluk Egypt, poverty did "not necessarily excuse" the dhimmi from paying the tax, and boys as young as nine years old could be considered adults for tax purposes, making the tax particularly burdensome for large, poor families. Ashtor and Bornstein-Makovetsky infer from Geniza documents that jizya was also collected in Egypt from the age of nine in the 11th century.
The rates of jizya were not uniform. By the 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. According to Muhammad Hamidullah, the rate of ten dirhams per annum represented the expenses of an average family for ten days. Abu Yusuf, the chief qadhi of the caliph Harun al-Rashid, states that 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, moreover, it could be paid in kind if desired; cattle, merchandise, household effects, even needles were to be accepted in lieu of specie, but not pigs, wine, or dead animals.
The jizya varied in accordance with the affluence of the people of the region and their ability to pay. In this regard, Abu Ubayd ibn Sallam comments that the Prophet imposed 1 dinar (then worth 10 or 12 dirhams) upon each adult in Yemen. This was less than what Umar imposed upon the people of Syria and Iraq, the higher rate being due to the Yemenis greater affluence and ability to pay.
The rate of jizya that were fixed and implemented by the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, namely 'Umar bin al-Khattab, during the period of his Khilafah, were small amounts: four dirhams from the rich, two dirhams from the middle class and only one dirham from the active poor who earned by working on wages, or by making or vending things. The 13th-century scholar Al-Nawawī writes, "The minimum amount of the jizya is one dinar per person per annum; but it is commendable to raise the amount, if it be possible to two dinars, for those possessed of moderate means, and to four for rich persons." Abu 'Ubayd insists that the dhimmis must not be burdened beyond their capacity, nor must they be caused to suffer.
Ibn Qudamah narrates three views in what concerns the rates of jizya. First, that it is a fixed amount that can't be changed, a view that is reportedly shared by Abu Hanifa and al-Shafi'i. Secondly, that it is up to the Imam (Muslim ruler) to make ijtihād (independent reasoning) so as to decide whether to add or decrease. He gives the example of 'Umar making particular amounts for each class (the rich, the middle class and the active poor). Finally, the third opinion considered the strict minimum to be one dinar, but gave no upper bound concerning the maximum amount.[source needs translation] Ibn Khaldun states that jizya has fixed limits that cannot be exceeded. In the classical manual of Shafi'i fiqh Reliance of the Traveller it is stated that, "[t]he minimum non-Muslim poll tax is one dinar (n: 4.235 grams of gold) per person (A: per year). The maximum is whatever both sides agree upon."
Ann Lambton states that the jizya was to be paid "in humiliating conditions". Ennaji and other scholars state that some jurists required the jizya to be paid by each 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, and willingly pays. According to Mark R. Cohen, the Quran itself does not prescribe humiliating treatment for the dhimmi when paying Jizya, but some later Muslims interpreted it to contain "an equivocal warrant for debasing the dhimmi (non-Muslim) through a degrading method of remission". In contrast, the 13th century hadith scholar and Shafi'ite jurist Al-Nawawī, comments on those who would impose a humiliation along with the paying of the jizya, stating, "As for this aforementioned practice, I know of no sound support for it in this respect, and it is only mentioned by the scholars of Khurasan. The majority of scholars say that the jizya is to be taken with gentleness, as one would receive a debt. The reliably correct opinion is that this practice is invalid and those who devised it should be refuted. It is not related that the Prophet or any of the rightly-guided caliphs did any such thing when collecting the jizya." Ibn Qudamah also rejected this practice and noted that the Prophet and the rightly-guided caliphs encouraged that jizya be collected with gentleness and kindness.
According to Abu Yusuf, jurist of the fifth Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid, those who didn't pay jizya should be imprisoned and not be let out of custody until payment, however, the collectors of the jizya were instructed to show leniency, and avoid corporal punishment in case of non-payment. If someone had agreed to pay jizya, leaving Muslim territory for enemy 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.
Failure to pay the jizya was commonly punished by house arrest and some legal authorities allowed enslavement of dhimmis for non-payment of taxes. In South Asia, for example, seizure of dhimmi families upon their failure to pay annual jizya was one of the two significant sources of slaves sold in the slave markets of Delhi Sultanate and Mughal era.
Jizya was considered as one of the basic tax revenue for the early Islamic state along with zakat, kharaj, and others, and was collected by the Bayt al-Mal (public treasury). Holger Weiss states that four-fifths of the fay revenue, that is jizya and kharaj, goes to the public treasory according to the Shafi'i madhab, whereas the Hanafi and Maliki madhabs state that the entire fay goes to the public treasury.
In theory, jizya funds were distributed as salaries for officials, pensions to the army and charity. Cahen states, "But under this pretext it was often paid into the Prince's khass, "private" treasury." In later times, jizya revenues were commonly allocated to Islamic scholars so that they would not have to accept money from sultans whose wealth came to be regarded as tainted.
Sources disagree about expenditure of jizya funds on non-Muslims. Ann Lambton states that non-Muslims had no share in the benefits from the public treasury derived from jizya. In contrast, Islamic tradition records a number of episodes in which the second caliph Umar stipulated that needy and infirm dhimmis be supported from the Bayt al-Mal, which some authors hold to be representative of Islam. Evidence of jizya benefitting non-residents and temporary residents of an Islamic state, is found in the treaty Khalid bin al-Walid concluded with the people of Al-Hirah of Iraq, wherein any aged person who was weak, had lost his or her ability to work, fallen ill, or who had been rich but became poor, would be exempt from jiyza and his or livelihood and the livelihood of his or her dependents, who were not living permanently in the Islamic state, would be met by Bayt al-Mal. Hasan Shah states that non-Muslim women, children, indigent, slaves, aren't only exempted from the payment of jizya, but they are also helped by stipends from the public treasury when necessary.
The history of the origins of the jizya is very complex for the following reasons:
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.
Jews and Christians in some southern and eastern areas of the Arabian peninsula began to pay tribute, called jizya, to the Islamic state during Muhammad's lifetime. It was not originally the poll tax it was to become later, but rather an annual percentage of produce and a fixed quantity of goods.
During the Tabuk campaign of 630 Muhammad sent letters to four towns in the northern Hejaz and Palestine urging them to relinquish maintenance of a military force and rely on Muslims to ensure their security in return for payment of taxes. Moshe Gil argues that these texts represent the paradigm of letters of security that would be issued by Muslim leaders during the subsequent early conquests, including the use of the word jizya, which would later take on the meaning of poll tax.
Jizya received divine sanction in 630 when the term was mentioned in a Quranic verse (9:29). Max Bravmann argues that the Quranic usage of the word jizya develops a pre-Islamic common-law principle which states that reward must necessarily follow a discretional good deed into a principle mandating that the life of all prisoners of war belonging to a certain category must be spared provided they grant the "reward" (jizya) to be expected for an act of pardon.
In 632 jizya in the form of a poll tax was first mentioned in a document reportedly sent by Muhammad to Yemen. W. Montgomery Watt has argued that this document was tampered with by early Muslim historians to reflect a later practice, while Norman Stillman holds it to be authentic.
Taxes levied on local populations in the wake of early Islamic conquests could be of three types, based on whether they were levied on individuals, on the land, or as collective tribute. During the first century of Islamic expansion, the words jizya and kharaj were used in all these three senses, with context distinguishing between individual and land taxes ("kharaj on the head", "jizya on land", and vice versa). In the words of Dennett, "since we are talking in terms of history, not in terms of philology, the problem is not what the taxes were called, but what we know they were." Regional variations in taxation at first reflected the diversity of previous systems. The Sasanian Empire had a general tax on land and a poll tax having several rates based on wealth, with an exemption for aristocracy. In Iraq, which was conquered mainly by force, Arabs controlled taxation through local administrators, keeping the graded poll tax, and likely increasing its rates to 1, 2 and 4 dinars. The aristocracy exemption was assumed by the new Arab-Muslim elite and shared by local aristocracy by means of conversion. The nature of Byzantine taxation remains partly unclear, but it appears to have involved taxes computed in proportion to agricultural production or number of working inhabitants in population centers. In Syria and upper Mesopotamia, which largely surrendered under treaties, taxes were calculated in proportion to the number of inhabitants at a fixed rate (generally 1 dinar per head). They were levied as collective tribute in population centers which preserved their autonomy and as a personal tax on large abandoned estates, often paid by peasants in produce. In post-conquest Egypt, most communities were taxed using a system which combined a land tax with a poll tax of 2 dinars per head. Collection of both was delegated to the community on the condition that the burden be divided among its members in the most equitable manner. In most of Iran and Central Asia local rulers paid a fixed tribute and maintained their autonomy in tax collection, using the Sasanian dual tax system in regions like Khorasan.
Difficulties in tax collection soon appeared. Egyptian Copts, who had been skilled in tax evasion since Roman times, were able to avoid paying the taxes by entering monasteries, which were initially exempt from taxation, or simply by leaving the district where they were registered. This prompted imposition of taxes on monks and introduction of movement controls. In Iraq, many peasants who had fallen behind with their tax payments, converted to Islam and abandoned their land for Arab garrison cities in hope of escaping taxation. Faced with a decline in agriculture and a treasury shortfall, the governor of Iraq al-Hajjaj forced peasant converts to return to their lands and subjected them to the taxes again, effectively forbidding peasants to convert to Islam. In Khorasan, a similar phenomenon forced the native aristocracy to compensate for the shortfall in tax collection out of their own pockets, and they responded by persecuting peasant converts and imposing heavier taxes on poor Muslims.
The situation where conversion to Islam was penalized in an Islamic state could not last, and the devout Umayyad caliph Umar II has been credited with changing the taxation system. Modern historians doubt this account, although details of the transition to the system of taxation elaborated by Abbasid-era jurists are still unclear. Umar II ordered governors to cease collection of taxes from Muslim converts, but his successors obstructed this policy. Some governors sought to stem the tide of conversions by introducing additional requirements such as undergoing circumcision and the ability to recite passages from the Quran. According to Hoyland, taxation-related grievances of non-Arab Muslims contributed to the opposition movements which resulted in the Abbasid revolution. In contrast, Dennett states that it is incorrect to postulate an economic interpretation of the Abbasid revolution. The notion of an Iranian population staggering under a burden of taxation and ready to revolt at the first opportunity, as imagined by Gerlof van Vloten, "will not bear the light of careful investigation", he continues.
Under the new system that was eventually established, kharaj came to be regarded as a tax levied on the land, regardless of the taxpayer's religion. The poll-tax was no longer levied on Muslims, but treasury did not necessarily suffer and converts did not gain as a result, since they had to pay zakat, which was instituted as a compulsory tax on Muslims around 730. The terminology became specialized during the Abbasid era, so that kharaj no longer meant anything more than land tax, while the term "jizya" was restricted to the poll-tax on dhimmis.
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In India, Islamic rulers imposed jizya on non-Muslims starting with the 11th century. The taxation practice included jizya and kharaj taxes. These terms were sometimes used interchangeably to mean poll tax and collective tribute, or just called kharaj-o-jizya.
Jizya expanded with Delhi Sultanate and continued during most of the Mughal Empire rule. Alā’ al-Dīn Khaljī, a Sultan of the Khilji dynasty who ruled over most of North, West and parts of Eastern India, from 1296 to 1316 AD, legalized the enslavement of the jizya and kharaj defaulters. His officials seized and sold these slaves in growing Sultanate cities where there was a great demand of slave labour. The Muslim court historian Ziauddin Barani recorded that Kazi Mughisuddin of Bayanah advised Alā’ al-Dīn that Islam requires imposition of jizya on Hindus, to show contempt and to humiliate the Hindus, and imposing jizya is a religious duty of the Sultan.
In the late 14th century, mentions the memoir of Tughlaq dynasty's Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq, his predecessor taxed all Hindus but had exempted all Hindu Brahmins from jizya; Firoz Shah extended it over all Hindus. He also announced that any Hindus who converted to Islam would become exempt from taxes and jizya as well as receive gifts from him. On those who chose to remain Hindus, he raised jizya tax rate.
During the early 14th century reign of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, expensive invasions across India and his order to attack China by sending a portion of his army over the Himalayas, emptied the precious metal in Sultanate's treasury. He ordered minting of coins from base metals with face value of precious metals. This economic experiment failed because Hindus in his Sultanate minted counterfeit coins from base metal in their homes, which they then used for paying jizya.[page needed]
Jizya was temporarily abolished by the third Mughal emperor Akbar, in the late 16th century. However, Aurangzeb, the sixth emperor, re-introduced and levied jizya on non-Muslims in the 17th century. Aurangzeb ordered that the collected jizya be used for charitable causes to support the increasing number of impoverished and unemployed Muslim clerics in his empire.
The jizya rate of at least twice the zakat tax rate paid by Muslims led to mass civil protests of 1679 in India.[not specific enough to verify][not specific enough to verify] Attempts to punish non-payment of jizya has sometime prompted violent resistance. In some cases, this led to its periodic abolishment such as the 1704 AD suspension of jizya in Deccan region of India by Aurangzeb.
After the Norman conquest of Sicily, taxes imposed on the Muslim minority were also called the jizya (locally spelled gisia). This poll tax was a continuation of the jizya imposed on non-Muslims in Sicily, by Muslim rulers in the 11th century, before the Norman conquest.
|Taxation in the Ottoman Empire|
Jizya collected from Christian and Jewish communities was among the main sources of tax income of the Ottoman treasury. In some regions, such as Lebanon and Egypt, jizya was payable collectively by the Christian or the Jewish community, and was referred to as maktu - in these cases the individual rate of jizya tax would vary, as the community would pitch in for those who could not afford to pay.[page needed]
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).
The Ottoman Empire abolished the "jizya" in 1856. It was replaced with a new tax, which non-Muslims paid in lieu of military service. It was called baddal-askari (lit. "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. Zaken says that paying the tax was possible to an extent also during the war and some Jews paid 50 gold liras every year during World War I. According to Zaken, "in spite of the forceful conscription campaigns, some of the Jews were able to buy their exemption from conscription duty." Zaken states that the payment of the baddal askari during the war was a form of bribe that bought them at most a one-year deferment."
The jizya is no longer imposed by Muslim states. According to Matthew Long, in the 21st century, jizya is at odds with contemporary secular conceptions of citizen's civil rights and equality before the law. Nevertheless, there have been reports of non-Muslims in areas controlled by the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS 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 fay, i.e. jizya and kharaj.
Some modern Islamic scholars, such as Abul A'la Maududi of Pakistan have said that Jizya should be re-imposed on non-Muslims in a Muslim nation. Yusuf al-Qaradawi of Egypt also held that position in the mid-1980s, however he later reconsidered his legal opinion on this point, stating: "Nowadays, after military conscription has become compulsory for all citizens — Muslims and non-Muslims — there is no longer room for any payment, whether by name of jizya or any other." Moderate Muslims generally reject the dhimma system, which encompasses jizya, as inappropriate for the age of nation-states and democracies.
Some authors have characterized the complex of land and poll taxes in the pre-Abbasid era and implementation of the jizya poll tax in early modern South Asia as discriminatory and/or oppressive, and the majority of Islamic scholars, amongst whom are Al-Nawawi and Ibn Qudamah, have criticized humiliating aspects of its collection as contrary to Islamic principles.[source needs translation] Discriminatory regulations were utilized by many pre-modern polities. However, W. Cleveland and M. Bunton assert that dhimma status represented "an unusually tolerant attitude for the era and stood in marked contrast to the practices of the Byzantine Empire". They add that the change from the Byzantine and Persian rule to Arab rule lowered taxes and allowed dhimmis to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy. According to Bernard Lewis, available evidence suggests that the change from Byzantine to Arab rule was "welcomed by many among the subject peoples, who found the new yoke far lighter than the old, both in taxation and in other matters".
Ira Lapidus writes that the Arab-Muslim conquests followed a general pattern of nomadic conquests of settled regions, whereby conquering peoples became the new military elite and reached a compromise with the old elites by allowing them to retain local political, religious, and financial authority. Peasants, workers, and merchants paid taxes, while members of the old and new elites collected them. Payment of various taxes, the total of which for peasants often reached half of the value of their produce, was not only an economic burden, but also a mark of social inferiority.
Norman Stillman writes that although the tax burden of the Jews under early Islamic rule was comparable to that under previous rulers, Christians of the Byzantine Empire (though not Christians of the Persian empire, whose status was similar to that of the Jews) and Zoroastrians of Iran shouldered a considerably heavier burden in the immediate aftermath of the Arab conquests. He writes that escape from oppressive taxation and social inferiority was a "great inducement" to conversion and flight from villages to Arab garrison towns, and many converts "were sorely disappointed when they discovered that they were not to be permitted to go from being tribute bearers to pension receivers by the ruling Arab military elite," before their numbers forced an overhaul of the economic system in the 8th century.
The influence of jizya on conversion has been a subject of scholarly debate. Julius Wellhausen held that the poll tax amounted to so little that exemption from it did not constitute sufficient economic motive for conversion. Similarly, Thomas Arnold states that jizya was "too moderate" to constitute a burden, "seeing that it released them from the compulsory military service that was incumbent on their Muslim fellow subjects." He further adds that converts escaping taxation would have to pay the legal alms, zakat, that is annually levied on most kinds of movable and immovable property. Other early 20th century scholars suggested that non-Muslims converted to Islam en masse in order to escape the poll tax, but this theory has been challenged by more recent research. Daniel Dennett has shown that other factors, such as desire to retain social status, had greater influence on this choice in the early Islamic period. According to Halil İnalcık, the wish to avoid paying the jizya was an important incentive for conversion to Islam in the Balkans, though Anton Minkov has argued that it was only one among several motivating factors.
Mark R. Cohen writes that despite the humiliating connotations and the financial burden, the jizya paid by Jews under Islamic rule provided a "surer guarantee of protection from non-Jewish hostility" than that possessed by Jews in the Latin West, where Jews "paid numerous and often unreasonably high and arbitrary taxes" in return for official protection, and where treatment of Jews was governed by charters which new rulers could alter at will upon accession or refuse to renew altogether. The Pact of Umar, which stipulated that Muslims must "do battle to guard" the dhimmis and "put no burden on them greater than they can bear", was not always upheld, but it remained "a steadfast cornerstone of Islamic policy" into early modern times.
Yaser Ellethy states that the "insignificant amount" of the jizya, as well as its progressive structure and exemptions leave no doubt that it was not imposed to persecute people or force them to convert. Niaz A. Shah states that jizya is "partly symbolic and partly commutation for military service. As the amount is insignificant and exemptions are many, the symbolic nature predominates." The French polymath Gustave Le Bon wrote "that despite the fact that the incidence of taxation fell more heavily on a Muslim than a non-Muslim, the non-Muslim was free to enjoy equally well with every Muslim all the privileges afforded to the citizens of the state." Muhammad Abdel-Haleem states, "[t]he jizya is a very clear example of the acceptance of a multiplicity of cultures within the Islamic system, which allowed people of different faiths to live according to their own faiths, all contributing to the well-being of the state, Muslims through zakāt, and the ahl al-dhimma through jizya."
...jurists divided the dhimma community into two major groups. The first group consists of all adult, free, sane males among the dhimma community, while the second includes all other dhimmas (i.e., women, slaves, minors, and the insane). Jurists generally agree that members of the second group are to be granted a "blanket" exemption from jizya payment.
The Hanbali position is that boys, women, the mentally insane, the zamin, and the blind are exempt from paying jizya. This view is supposedly shared by the Hanafis, Shafi'is, and Malikis
Free adult males who were not afflicted by any physical or mental illness were required to pay the jizya. Women, children, handicapped, the mentally ill, the elderly, and slaves were exempt, as were all travelers and foreigners who did not settle in Muslim lands. [...] As Islam spread, previous structures of taxation were replaced by the Islamic system, but Muslim leaders often adopted practices of the previous regimes in the application and collection of taxes.
... the jizyah was levied on the able-bodied males, in lieu of the military service they would have been called upon to perform had they been Musalmans; and it is very noticeable that when any Christian people served in the Muslim army, they were exempted from the payment of this tax. Such was the case with the tribe of al-Jurājima, a Christian tribe in the neighborhood 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 jizyah and should receive their proper share of the booty.(online)
Sources indicate that the taxation system of early Islam was not necessarily an innovation of Muslims; it appears that 'Umar adopted the same tax system as was common at the time of the conquest of that territory. The land tax or kharaj was an adapted version of the tax system used in Sassanid Persia. In Syria, 'Umar followed the Byzantine system of collecting two taxes based on the account of lands and heads.
There is evidence to show that the Arab conquerors left unchanged the fiscal system that they found prevailing in the lands they conquered from the Byzantines, and that the explanation of jizyah as a capitation-tax is an invention of later jurists, ignorant of the true condition of affairs in the early days of Islam. (Caetani, vol. iv. p. 610 (§ 231); vol. v. p. 449.) H.Lammens: Ziād ibn Abīhi. (Rivista degli Studi Orientali, vol. iv. p. 215.)(online)
"There is little doubt that in origin kharaj and jizya were interchangeable terms. In the Arabic papyri of the first century AH only jizya is mentioned, with the general meaning of tribute, while later the poll tax could be called kharaj ala ru'us ahl al-dhimma, i.e. a tax on the heads of protected peoples. The narrower meaning of the word is brought out by Abu Hanifa, "No individual can be liable at the same time to the zakat and to kharaj." [emphasis added]
the jizya was one of the main sources of revenue accruing to the Ottoman state treasury as a whole.
This tax was not imposed on the Christians, as some would have us think, as a penalty for their refusal to accept the Muslim faith, but was paid by them in common with the other dhimmīs or non-Muslim subjects of the state whose religion precluded them from serving in the army, in return for the protection secured for them by the arms of the Musalmans.(online)
Quote: The tax of jizya is imposed on the non-Muslims subjects of a Muslim state. In view of the general body of the Fuquha, it is imposed upon the non-Muslims as a badge of humiliation for their unbelief, or by way of mercy for protection given to them by the Muslims. Some Fuqaha consider this tax as punishment for their unbelief, there being no economic motive behind its imposition, because their continued stay in a Muslim land is a crome, hence they have no escape from being humiliated.
In a statement posted to Jihadi websites and signed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-designated emir of the future Islamic caliphate of Raqqa, as well as the founder of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] rebel brigade, Christians are urged to pay a tax in order to continue living under ISIS’s protection.
One of Mawdudi's most significant legacies was the reintroduction into the modern world - and into modern language - of an idealized vision of the Islamic community. [...] Non-Muslims in the Muslim state would be categorized, in classical terms, as dhimmis, a protected class; would be restricted from holding high political office; would have to pay the jizyah poll tax; ...
They were called upon to pay the jizyah or tax imposed on the non-Muslim subjects, but they felt it to be humiliating to their pride to pay a tax that was levied in return for protection of life and property, and petitioned the caliph to be allowed to make the same kind of contribution as the Muslims did. So in lieu of the jizyah they paid a double Sadaqah or alms,—which was a poor tax levied on the fields and cattle, etc., of the Muslims.(online)
jizyah — a word which originally denoted tribute of any kind paid by the non-Muslim subjects of the Arab empire, but came later on to be used for the capitation-tax as the fiscal system of the new rulers became fixed.(online)
According to the dhimma status system, non-Muslims must pay a poll tax in return for Muslim protection and the privilege of living in Muslim territory. Per this system, non-Muslims are exempt from military service, but they are excluded from occupying high positions that involve dealing with high state interests, like being the president or prime minister of the country. In Islamic history, non-Muslims did occupy high positions, especially in matters that related to fiscal policies or tax collection.
Again, in the treaty made by Khālid with some towns in the neighborhood of Hīrah, he writes: “If we protect you, then jizyah is due to us; but if we do not, then it is not due.”(online)
The Emperor Heraclius had raised an enormous army with which to drive back the invading forces of the Muslims,who had in consequence to concentrate all their energies on the impending encounter. The Arab general, Abū ʻUbaydah, accordingly wrote to the governors of the conquered cities of Syria, ordering them to pay back all the jizyah that had been collected from the cities, and wrote to the people, saying, “We give you back the money that we took from you, as we have received news that a strong force is advancing against us. The agreement between us was that we should protect you, and as this is not now in our power, we return you all that we took. But if we are victorious we shall consider ourselves bound to you by the old terms of our agreement.” In accordance with this order, enormous sums were paid back out of the state treasury, and the Christians called down blessings on the heads of the Muslims, saying, “May God give you rule over us again and make you victorious over the Romans; had it been they, they would not have given us back anything, but would have taken all that remained with us.”(online)
On the other hand, when the Egyptian peasants, although Muslim in faith, were made exempt from military service, a tax was imposed upon them as on the Christians, in lieu thereof.(online)
The rates of jizyah levied by the early conquerors were not uniform(online)
In the time of the Prophet, the jizyah amounted to ten dirhams annually, which represented the expenses of an average family for ten days.
Instead of cash, jizya may be paid in kind.
This tax could be paid in kind if desired; cattle, merchandise, household effects, even needles were to be accepted in lieu of specie, but not pigs, wine, or dead animals.(online)
[...] those who remained faithful to their old religions and lived as protected persons (dhimmis) under Muslim rule could not, if free, be legally enclaved unless they had violated the terms of the dhimma, the contract governing their status, as for example by rebelling against Muslim rule or helping the enemies of the Muslim state or, according to some authorities, by withholding payment of the Kharaj or the Jizya, the taxes due from dhimmis to the Muslim state.
As these examples show, the responsibility for social safety and security that the Islamic state has undertaken has not been restricted to its citizens, but has also included all residents.
Rappelons ici la pratique du Calife Abû Bakr : après la conquête de la ville de Hîrah, le commandant Khâlid, au nom du calife, conclut un traité, où il dit : "... en outre, je leur accorde que tout vieillard qui deviendrait inapte au travail, ou qu'aurait frappé un malheur, ou bien qui, de riche deviendrait pauvre, se mettant ainsi à la merci de la charité de ses coreligionnaires, sera exonéré par moi de la jizya (capitation), et recevra l'aide du Trésor Public des Musulmans, lui et les personnes dont il a la charge, et ce, pour aussi longtemps qu'il demeurera en terre d'Islam (dâr al-Islam).
Quote - The Sultan then asked, "How are Hindus designated in the law, as payers of tributes or givers of tribute? The Kazi replied, "They are called payers of tribute, and when the revenue officer demands silver from them, they should tender gold. If the officer throws dirt into their mouths, they must without reluctance open their mouths to receive it. The due subordination of the zimmi is exhibited in this humble payment and by this throwing of dirt in their mouths. The glorification of Islam is a duty. God holds them in contempt, for he says, "keep them under in subjection". To keep the Hindus in abasement is especially a religious duty, because they are the most inveterate enemies of the Prophet, and because the Prophet has commanded us to slay them, plunder them, enslave them and spoil their wealth and property. No doctor but the great doctor (Hanafi), to whose school we belong, has assented to the imposition of the jizya (poll tax) on Hindus. Doctors of other schools allow no other alternative but Death or Islam.
In the mid-1980's Yusuf al-Qaradawi argued that non-Muslims should not serve in the army and should pay the jizya on the basis that the Islamic state is best protected by those who believe in it.
It is to be noted that this tax was collected in lieu of military service, but the problem gets compounded when we learn that so many Hindus fought in Muslim armies. It was only with expanding Muslim rule by the later half of the fourteenth century, that jizya was levied on non-Muslims as a discriminatory tax, but was relaxed here and there.
the jizya [was] the symbol par excellence of the superiority of Muslims over non-Muslims: it is highly doubtful that it was in reality levied as a tax distinct from the land tax; the terms jizya and kharaj are interchangeable in the texts dating from this time. The extremely theoretical nature of this discrimination must be kept in mind when there is reference to its abolition or its restoration under the Moguls.
Imposing poll-taxes and other regulatory measures on minority religious communities was not unique to the Islamic tradition. Rather, discriminatory regulations were utilized by many polities throughout antiquity, late antiquity, and the medieval period.
The (cor)relation between the payment of the poll-tax and conversion to Islam, has long been the subject of scholarly debate. At the beginning of the twentieth century scholars suggested that after the Muslim conquest the local populations converted en masse to evade the payment of the poll tax. This assumption has been challenged by subsequent research. Indeed Dennett's study clearly showed that the payment of the poll tax was not a sufficient reason to convert after the Muslim conquest and that other factors—such as the wish to retain social status—had greater influence. According to Inalcik the wish to evade payment of the jizya was an important incentive for conversion to Islam in the Balkans, but Anton Minkov has recently argued that taxation was only one of a number of motivations.
... but this jizyah was too moderate to constitute a burden, seeing that it released them from the compulsory military service that was incumbent on their Muslim fellow-subjects. Conversion to Islam was certainly attended by a certain pecuniary advantage, but his former religion could have had but little hold on a convert who abandoned it merely to gain exemption from the jizyah; and now, instead of jizyah, the convert had to pay the legal alms, zakāt, annually levied on most kinds of movable and immovable property.(online)