Muslims in India levied jizya and shameful abuseNovember 3, 2011
We hear so frequently that the jizya that even “moderate” Muslims would like to impose on non-Muslims would be “modest” and less than zakat. That is a lie.
Further evidence of that lie comes to us through a wonderful piece posted to Satyagni last month by somebody called “Rushmore,” who documents the degree to which Hindus in India historically faced tyrannical taxation and shameful abuse under the invading Muslims. Past is prologue…
…Unlike the lightning victories that Muslim armies saw from Spain to Mongolia, India was way too large, too populous, too varied (geography, society, customs) and importantly too resistive to Islamic onslaughts. While Muhammad Bin Qasim gained a toehold in Sind, be it him or any of the future Islamic warriors could not gain complete control from Kashmir to Deccan or from Sind to Bengal. In fact prior to Hajaj, two other Caliphs had sent at least ten expeditions to subjugate India but they were all beaten back.
As the Islamic rule was beginning to get established in pockets of North West India and then in Delhi, the invading Islamic rulers and their advisers realized the futility of completely Isalmizing India, unlike a Syria or Egypt. So they fell back on a combination of forced conversions and jizyah in order to forward the Islamic cause. And India did not have one emperor or figure head, who, once defeated, would mean the subjugation of the entire land mass. As soon as a Muslim army won and beheaded a Hindu king and plundered the city, another Hindu ruler had to be contended with. And there were always open revolts in many parts of India against the Muslim rulers.
All these prompted Islamic rulers had to come up with an innovation, where, the wealth of the people that was propelling the rebellions had to be rooted out. Simply put, if the people are brought down to a hand to mouth existence they will not have any wherewithal to revolt. This mindset of Muslim rulers is reflected in Fatawa-i-Jahandari by Barani and in Farishtah, where, the strict imposition of jizya was followed up with a rise in the land tax (kharaj) to 50% and they started taxing possessions like cows, buffaloes and goats. Added to this was another tax called the grazing tax. Barani proudly writes that all these meant “Hindu women and children went out begging at the doors of the Musalmans.”
The same is chronicled in Tarikh-i-Wassaf and Futuh-us-Salatin by Wassaf and Isami respectively. In order to ensure the realization of these tyrannical taxing systems, a separate department called Diwan-i-Mustakhraj was established by the Muslim rulers. There were many recorded instances where defaulting of tax payments by peasants led to their wives and children being carried away as slaves. The tillers were made to part with more than 2/3rd of the produce failing which, they were apprehended and if an entire village opposed it, the village was sacked by the local Muslim commander [Abdul Fazal, Akbar Nama].
All this not only led to the complete crippling of the agriculture based economy driving people out of their settlements but the desperate situation gradually led people to convert to Islam to escape taxes and lead a normal life. While the fanatic brainwashed Muslims, today, claim that even Muslims pay Zakat as an obligatory tax, Muslims rulers usually levied jizya to be twice that of zakat. (And please remember that Zakat is not the symbol of any inferior status of the payer but Jizya is). This is permissible based of “Hedaya” which is an Islamic legal text.
In FuthuHat-i Firozshahi by Shaikh Abdur Rashid, one can read the following, after Firoz Shah Tuglaq imposed jizyah on Hindus also said that jizya would be exempted if they converted to Islam: “‘the Hindus thronged in clusters after clusters and groups after groups and were glorified by the glory of Islam. And likewise to this day of ours, they come from far and wide, embrace Islam, and Jizyah is off from them.” Kashmir had a unique situation, where Sikandar Butshikan levied both zakat and jizyah upon Hindus, which obviously multiplied the economic miseries manifold. And Amir Khusrau writes about jizya being a hatch for the dhimmis: “Did the Dhimmis not enjoy the concession of the Shariah, all trace of the Hindus would vanish root and branch.”
And the actual event of a collector of Islamic jizya visiting a Hindu neighborhood was shameful for the kinds of things he engaged in. Qadi Mughith ad-Din told Sultan Ala’ud-Dîn Khaljî: “If the Jizyah-collector asks a Hindu for silver, the latter should offer gold in all humility. If the collector wishes to spit into his mouth, the latter should open his mouth without demur, so as to enable the former to spit into it.” [from Diyâ' ad-Dîn Baranî, Tarîkh-i Firozshâhi, Sayyid Athar Abbas Rizwi, selected Hindi tr., in his Khaljî-Kalîna Bhârata, Aligarh, 1955, p. 70]
In conclusion, while jizya was viewed as the second best thing by Islamic rulers of India (given the factors unique to India that prevented complete Islamization), it is this Islamic tax system that led to so much of economic hardships of the common Hindus that many ended up converting to Islam to escape the tyranny and many had their wives and children enslaved by Islam.
And from the standpoint of economy, the Islamic tax system simply broke the back of the wealthy Indian economy, where, Hindus were reduced to a hand to mouth existence, agricultural productions dropped, as, many agrarian families escaped from their native agricultural land for fear of punishment and in general, the human enterprise of the native Hindu was thrown out.
What a tragic development that Indian Muslims- the descendants of those Hindus who had to pay Jizya and later convert to Islam from the fear of enslavement- are now paying Jakat to strengthen the same Arabic system that once enslaved their forefathers! May Eeshvar give strength to all Muslims to come to their ancestral roots, Vedas. In the next article we will discuss Islamic way of spreading the cult- Imperialism.