The Taxes on the Dhimmis

May 12, 2006 at 9:08 pm (Uncategorized)

One thing We love about comments is questions readers have. As is Our habit, sometimes Our responses are quite lengthy. But ever so often a question is so good, eliciting such a response, that We feel others may be wondering the same. In that case, We will post the question and the answer.

We would also like to say that We will try to respond to every comment, either to thank the commenter or to respond to any comments or questions a commenter may leave. Please forgive Us if We are less than most prompt in this regard.

On to the question!

Tom M asked:

Thabnk you for the post, Muslihoon.
I was wondering if you knew whether the “taxes” that a dimmmi would be required to pay were somewhat equivalent to the (tithe?) zakaah, and how does it get determined?

Thanks, in advance.

Tom M

We responded:
Thanks for your comment/question, Tom M!

What dhimmis paid was called the jizyah. It was a capital tax (meaning that it was paid per head) whose value, it seems, was determined according to the dhimmi’s socioeconomic status. The richer dhimmis paid more; the poorer dhimmis paid less. In addition to this was the kharaj, a land tax that initially only dhimmis paid but later which Muslims had to pay as well.

This is not to introduce any equivalence between Muslims and dhimmis. Islamic authorities ensured that dhimmis had to pay at least twice what Muslims had to pay.

zakaah (pronounced as zakaat by non-Arabs) is determined by sharee’ah. One part (zakaatu-l-fitrah) is a capital tax (paid per head) paid usually at the end of ramaDaan. Another part (zakaatu-l-maal) is 2.5% of certain possessions meeting certain conditions.

Shiites pay an additional tax, the khums (one-fifth tax on certain goods meeting certain conditions, divided into two portions, each going to a different group of people).

However, paying the jizyah was usually done in a public ceremony where the dhimmis’ inferiority to Muslims was emphasized: the dhimmi would give the tax in a debasing posture, and the tax-collecter would administer two blows to the head or neck. Indeed, such humiliation is commanded by the Qur’an (“until they pay the jizyah from their hand and they are humiliated/made small”). Furthermore, jizyah was collected on the poor, sick, old, and dead.

Wikipedia on: dhimmi, taxation of dhimmi, jizyah, zakaah, khums.

We can get details, and post them even, on zakaah, khums, jizyah, and kharaj if anyone is interested.

Update: Tom M responded with a few comments We thought were quite pertinent:

It is, however quite illuminating to be told what to expect if we lose. Not that anyone who could use the lessons would actually read the posts, but I would find it interesting what other restrictions await us if we don’t get this right.

We never saw it that way but it makes sense. Prepare to be struck on the head while kneeling before an arrogant Muslim, if The West does not win this war with militant Islam!

innaa naHnu-l-a’lam.

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