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Jizya (tax) for non muslims

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Brother Burhan,


Assalaamo alaikum. Thank you for your service to the Islamic community. I am writing an essay on Islamic political system. I would like you to help me in explaining the guidelines regarding calculation of jizya that the non-Muslim subjects of an Islamic state are supposed to pay to the Islamic state instead of Zakat. Also, what rights a non-Muslim resident does not have as compared to a Muslim resident of a Islamic state, especially when it comes to holding a leadership position, like a high government office or judiciary. Please reply to this email as soon as you can. Thank you.




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Jizya for Non-Muslims

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


The non-muslim subjects in an Islamic States are levied a ‘tax’ which is termed ‘Jizya’ in Shariah in leiu of the tax levied on the muslim subjects in the same State which is termed ‘Zakaah’ in Shariah.


The calculation of the Zakaah tax varies from product to product (agriculture 5%-10%, rental 10%, etc.), but the general tax on wealth is calculated at 2.5% per annum on the net worth of the person. There is no fixed calculation of the Jizya tax, as the calculation is determined by the State depending on the situation and period.


The Jizya tax is levied on the non-muslim subjects in an Islamic State in order to enable the State to protect their lives and property from external enemies. It is the duty of the State to protect their citizens at times of war, where the non-muslim subjects will not be required to join the army; whereas it is a duty of the muslims in the State to join the army and fight the enemies. When a ‘jizya’ paying non-muslim citizen becomes old and/or jobless, it was the duty of the State to provide him a monthly stipend from the National Treasury.


After the death of the Prophet (saws), one of his noble companions, Abu Ubaydah ibn Jarrah (r.a.) was appointed the commander of the muslim army and for some time he ruled over the non-muslims in an area of Syria, where he levied the Jizya tax on them. For tactical reasons, the muslim armies had to withdraw from the location, and Hadrat Abu Ubaydah ibn Jarrah (r.a.) refunded their Jizya on a pro-rata basis as the muslims would no longer protect them.


Your Question: Also, what rights a non-Muslim resident does not have as compared to a Muslim resident of a Islamic state, especially when it comes to holding a leadership position, like a high government office or judiciary.

The rights of the non-muslim citizen paying Jizya, will be the same as the muslims in an Islamic State. He will be dealt in all cases, exactly as the muslim citizens.


The non-muslim citizen can hold any leadership position in the Islamic State according to their merit and capabilities. The only positions which cannot be allotted to him are the position of the ‘Ameer’ or leader, and a judiciary position, simply because the Islamic State will obviously be ruled according to the Laws of Islam and Shariah. But other than that, there is no harm if a non-muslim citizen is given a high ranking position in the Islamic government according to his capabilities. History is indeed proof that many non-muslims held ministerial positions in the Islamic governments in Egypt, Spain, etc. at the height of the Muslim rule.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,




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