Aurangzeb: How to tax, oppress, and humiliate

August 3, 2012

A history lesson comes to us from the Bikaner Museum’s exhibit on Aurangzeb, the Muslim emperor who ruled over India and forced the Koran-based jizya tax upon Hindu subjects:

Aurangzeb, as he was according to Mughal Records

an exhibition mounted by FACT – India

Aurangzeb versus dhimmis

Exhibit No. 18: Hindus forced to suffer humiliation in paying the Jizyah tax

On 2nd April 1679, Aurangzeb re-imposed Jizayah upon the Hindus which had been abolished by Emperor Akbar in 1564. The author of Maasir-i-Alamgiri writes: ‘As all the aims of the religious Emperor (Aurangzeb) were directed to the spreading of the law of Islam and the overthrow of the practices of the infidelity, he issued orders ….. that from Wednesday, the 2nd April 1679/1st Rabi I, in obedience to the Qur’anic injunction, “till they pay Jizyah with the hand of humility”, and in agreement with the canonical traditions, Jizyah should be collected from the infidels (zimmis) of the capital and the provinces’.

The economic burden of Jizyah was felt most by the poor who formed the vast majority of the Hindus; for the middle classes and the rich, it was not so much the economic burden which mattered but the humiliation involved in the prescribed mode of payment, which the Jizyah collector could always insist upon, as of right i.e. by insisting that he would accept it only when paid personally. The Qur’anic injunction that war must be made upon all those who do not profess Islam “till they pay Jizyah out of their hand and they are humiliated”, was interpreted to mean that the Hindus must be made conscious of their inferior position when paying this tax.

In the painting, a number of Hindus, both rich and poor are lining up to pay Jizyah while the arrogant Jizyah collector is picking up the coins from the palm of a Hindu Jizyah payer. Some people have come from the neighbouring areas in their bullock-carts; their bullocks are resting under the shade of the trees.

More on the history of jizya can be found in our prior coverage here.

Okay, trolls, here’s your big chance.  This is where you can respond and repeat your false claims that jizya isn’t in effect today (even though it is), that the jizya tax rate is low (even though it isn’t), that jizya isn’t a tax but some type of “compensation,” or “recognition” of the state (which it isn’t), that jizya is “fair” because Muslims pay zakat (which is irrelevant), that jizya is a progressive or “graduated” tax (a misleading claim), or that jizya has been imposed by Hebrews against their enemies (which is false), etc.


  1. Reblogged this on The Muslim Issue.

  2. I am just learning of this ‘jizyah’ tax moslems impose on their conquered victims. No wonder they forcibly converted conquered territories into Islam. Who can endure huge tax indefinitely?

    • Why don’t you go to your local colleges and preach this, since you’re trying to come off as so truthful and object (which you possibly can’t be)

  3. Regain National PRIDE by renaming Aurangzeb Road (Cruel Intolerant Tyrant) to Guru Tegh Bahadur Road (Epitome of Sacrifice for All Religions)

    My Fellow Citizens

    Please do not mistake this for HATE or another attempt to rake up the past or religious bigotry. I have the fullest respect for our Muslim brothers and hold the Muslims in reverence.

    As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of Art of living said “No nation can move forward, unless it squarely faces its past. The courage to remember helps us not to repeat the same mistakes and to build a better future for our children”.

    So, it is necessary to regain our National Pride and make wrong things RIGHT!

    I am OUTRAGED that a road where Billionaires live and a stone’s throw away from the Prime Minister’s residence; is named after one of the most tyrannical tormentor perpetrator of Intolerant Inhuman Barbaric crimes in India.

    The decorated glorification is AURANGZEB ROAD. This road serves as a constant reminder of the horrors Aurangzeb perpetrated against Indians, including his own people. Emperor Aurangzeb has the following claims to his fame:

    – Executed own brother Dara Shikoh for taking an interest in Hindu religion.

    – Confined his father in his own palace at Agra. Killed one brother and had two other brothers, a son, and a nephew executed.

    – Initiated laws, which interfered with non-Muslim worship.

    – Enforced the conversion of non-Muslims to Islam with economic and political coercion. His rule significantly favoured Muslims over non-Muslims.

    – Gave out robes of honor, cash gifts, and promotions to converts to convey that conversion was a sure way to the Emperor’s favour.

    – Outlawed music and other performances in 1668. Both Muslims and Hindus were forbidden to sing, play musical instruments or to dance or paint or practice art.

    – Ordered the destruction of non-Muslim sacred places, idols, temples; over four figures. Lord Krishna’s birth temple in Mathura; the rebuilt Somnath temple on the coast of Gujarat; the Vishnu temple replaced with the Alamgir mosque now overlooking Benares; and the Treta-ka-Thakur temple in Ayodhya.

    – Ordered the enslavement of Christian missionaries.

    Tortured and killed prisoners of war, political prisoners, and anyone he considered unIslamic.

    – Imposed ever-higher taxes the hated jizya, or poll tax, on non-Muslims in 1679 in order to pay for his wars.

    – Non-Muslims were not permitted to keep arms or Turbans.

    – Forced conversions of Kashmiri Pandits who then pleaded with 9th Sikh Guru Guru Tegh Bahadur, for help. Guru Tegh Bahadur was MARTYRED on the orders of Aurangzeb for protecting the religious freedom of non-Muslims in Mughal India. Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das were also executed on his orders. His son the 10th Sikh Guru Guru Gobind Singh was persecuted and his whole family was martyred including his wife and four young kids apart from his close associates.

    The Guidelines mandated to the State Names Authority under Delhi Government say “Names of Roads: The service rendered by the nominee to the nation and particularly to Delhi will be the major guiding principle for taking a decision.”

    In the same Capital where the 9th Sikh Guru laid down his life in defiance of forced conversion of Kashmiri Pandits, the Government has named a road after the cruel Hitlerian ruler. No street is named after Hitler in the West, yet in New Delhi we have Aurangzeb Road.

    In the same Guidelines issued to State Names Authority, Delhi; it is mentioned” Change should not be made merely on grounds of local patriotism or for linguistic reasons, e.g. villages etc. should not be renamed after national leaders merely to show respect to them or for satisfying local sentiment in the matter of language etc. An exception can, however, be made in the case of Martyrs where the name can be suitably added to the name of a place sought to be changed, if a request is made by the State government to that effect and there is general recognition of the role of the Martyr in national life.”

    I Appeal to fellow Indians who consider Guru Tegh Bahadur ji as a symbol of sacrifice for all Religions and as a MARTYR who laid down his life to save other fellow Indians, to please SIGN this petition and regain National PRIDE!


    God Bless!

  4. https://aurangazeb.wordpress.com/category/jizya/

    Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb: Bad Ruler or Bad History?
    April 9, 2009
    By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
    Posted: 9 Jamad-ul-awwal 1427, 5 June 2006

    Source: Albalagh

    Of all the Muslim rulers who ruled vast territories of India from 712 to 1857 CE, probably no one has received as much condemnation from Western and Hindu writers as Aurangzeb. He has been castigated as a religious Muslim who was anti-Hindu, who taxed them, who tried to convert them, who discriminated against them in awarding high administrative positions, and who interfered in their religious matters. This view has been heavily promoted in the government approved textbooks in schools and colleges across post-partition India (i.e., after 1947). These are fabrications against one of the best rulers of India who was pious, scholarly, saintly, un-biased, liberal, magnanimous, tolerant, competent, and far-sighted.

    Fortunately, in recent years quite a few Hindu historians have come out in the open disputing those allegations. For example, historian Babu Nagendranath Banerjee rejected the accusation of forced conversion of Hindus by Muslim rulers by stating that if that was their intention then in India today there would not be nearly four times as many Hindus compared to Muslims, despite the fact that Muslims had ruled for nearly a thousand years. Banerjee challenged the Hindu hypothesis that Aurangzeb was anti-Hindu by reasoning that if the latter were truly guilty of such bigotry, how could he appoint a Hindu as his military commander-in-chief? Surely, he could have afforded to appoint a competent Muslim general in that position. Banerjee further stated: “No one should accuse Aurangzeb of being communal minded. In his administration, the state policy was formulated by Hindus. Two Hindus held the highest position in the State Treasury. Some prejudiced Muslims even questioned the merit of his decision to appoint non-Muslims to such high offices. The Emperor refuted that by stating that he had been following the dictates of the Shariah (Islamic Law) which demands appointing right persons in right positions.” During Aurangzeb’s long reign of fifty years, many Hindus, notably Jaswant Singh, Raja Rajrup, Kabir Singh, Arghanath Singh, Prem Dev Singh, Dilip Roy, and Rasik Lal Crory, held very high administrative positions. Two of the highest ranked generals in Aurangzeb’s administration, Jaswant Singh and Jaya Singh, were Hindus. Other notable Hindu generals who commanded a garrison of two to five thousand soldiers were Raja Vim Singh of Udaypur, Indra Singh, Achalaji and Arjuji. One wonders if Aurangzeb was hostile to Hindus, why would he position all these Hindus to high positions of authority, especially in the military, who could have mutinied against him and removed him from his throne?

    Most Hindus like Akbar over Aurangzeb for his multi-ethnic court where Hindus were favored. Historian Shri Sharma states that while Emperor Akbar had fourteen Hindu Mansabdars (high officials) in his court, Aurangzeb actually had 148 Hindu high officials in his court. (Ref: Mughal Government) But this fact is somewhat less known.

    Some of the Hindu historians have accused Aurangzeb of demolishing Hindu Temples. How factual is this accusation against a man, who has been known to be a saintly man, a strict adherent of Islam? The Qur’an prohibits any Muslim to impose his will on a non-Muslim by stating that “There is no compulsion in religion.” (surah al-Baqarah 2:256). The surah al-Kafirun clearly states: “To you is your religion and to me is mine.” It would be totally unbecoming of a learned scholar of Islam of his caliber, as Aurangzeb was known to be, to do things that are contrary to the dictates of the Qur’an.

    Interestingly, the 1946 edition of the history textbook Etihash Parichaya (Introduction to History) used in Bengal for the 5th and 6th graders states: “If Aurangzeb had the intention of demolishing temples to make way for mosques, there would not have been a single temple standing erect in India. On the contrary, Aurangzeb donated huge estates for use as Temple sites and support thereof in Benares, Kashmir and elsewhere. The official documentations for these land grants are still extant.”

    A stone inscription in the historic Balaji or Vishnu Temple, located north of Chitrakut Balaghat, still shows that it was commissioned by the Emperor himself. The proof of Aurangzeb’s land grant for famous Hindu religious sites in Kasi, Varanasi can easily be verified from the deed records extant at those sites. The same textbook reads: “During the fifty year reign of Aurangzeb, not a single Hindu was forced to embrace Islam. He did not interfere with any Hindu religious activities.” (p. 138) Alexander Hamilton, a British historian, toured India towards the end of Aurangzeb’s fifty year reign and observed that every one was free to serve and worship God in his own way.

    Now let us deal with Aurangzeb’s imposition ofthe jizya tax which had drawn severe criticism from many Hindu historians. It is true that jizya was lifted during the reign of Akbar and Jahangir and that Aurangzeb later reinstated this. Before I delve into the subject of Aurangzeb’s jizya tax, or taxing the non-Muslims, it is worthwhile to point out that jizya is nothing more than a war tax which was collected only from able-bodied young non-Muslim male citizens living in a Muslim country who did not want to volunteer for the defense of the country. That is, no such tax was collected from non-Muslims who volunteered to defend the country. This tax was not collected from women, and neither from immature males nor from disabled or old male citizens. For payment of such taxes, it became incumbent upon the Muslim government to protect the life, property and wealth of its non-Muslim citizens. If for any reason the government failed to protect its citizens, especially during a war, the taxable amount was returned.

    It should be pointed out here that zakat (2.5% of savings) and ‘ushr (10% of agricultural products) were collected from all Muslims, who owned some wealth (beyond a certain minimum, called nisab). They also paid sadaqah, fitrah, and khums. None of these were collected from any non-Muslim. As a matter of fact, the per capita collection from Muslims was several fold that of non-Muslims. Further to Auranzeb’s credit is his abolition of a lot of taxes, although this fact is not usually mentioned. In his book Mughal Administration, Sir Jadunath Sarkar, foremost historian on the Mughal dynasty, mentions that during Aurangzeb’s reign in power, nearly sixty-five types of taxes were abolished, which resulted in a yearly revenue loss of fifty million rupees from the state treasury.

    While some Hindu historians are retracting the lies, the textbooks and historic accounts in Western countries have yet to admit their error and set the record straight.

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