Posts Tagged ‘Abu Yusuf’


The Jizya, Part II

October 31, 2009

Part II of III:  The Islamic basis of the jizya

The Koran 9:29 says:

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

 The word “tax” here has been translated in different versions of the Koran as “tribute” or simply “jizya.”  Christians and Jews, “who have been given the Book,” but do not accept Islam, must convert or pay the jizya.

The Hadith, the collection of the words and deeds of Muhammad, are even more explicit.  The Sahih Muslim, one of the Hadith accepted by all Muslims, lays out Islam’s famous three-part ultimatum of conversion, payment of the jizya, or death:

When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…  If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.  (Book 19, Number 4294.)

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