Aurangzeb: How to tax, oppress, and humiliateAugust 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
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.