Islamic conquests and the Jizya

Were Muslim conquests meant to forcefully convert people to Islam?

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons)

This has to be the most typical, worn-out contentions put forward against Islam by its detractors (most often by Christian evangelists): that Islam spread across the world through the sword. This pedestrian notion contends that Muslim conquests assaulted innocent neighbouring countries and forced their denizens to accept Islam, pay a tax poll or die. Often the tax poll would not even be mentioned in the argument. They would have their audience believe Muslim military expeditions were sweeping through the world, sword in hand and giving the ultimatum, Islam or death. Nothing could be further than the truth. Even if one were to accept the basic assumption that there were military operations under the supervision of Muslim generals that had its victims compelled into Islam or die upon refusal that cannot in any way be used as an indictment against Islam for the simple fact that excercising compulsion on people to enter into Islam is antithesis to its very roots. The Qur’an clearly sets forth the criterion unambiguously that is to be observed by its adherents:

لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي ٱلدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ ٱلرُّشْدُ مِنَ ٱلْغَيِّ فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِٱلطَّاغُوتِ وَيْؤْمِن بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدِ ٱسْتَمْسَكَ بِٱلْعُرْوَةِ ٱلْوُثْقَىٰ لاَ ٱنفِصَامَ لَهَا وَٱللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“Let there be no compulsion in religion for truth stands out clear from error. Whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has taken hold of the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks and Allah hears and knows all things.” (Surah al-Baqarah, chapter 2, verse 256)

The above verse was revealed in Medinah regarding the Ansar who were trying to force their children to accept Islam which means that the disbelievers were free to accept Islam or deny it even when the Muslims were in control of the state.

رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ كَانُواْ مُسْلِمِينَ

ذَرْهُمْ يَأْكُلُواْ وَيَتَمَتَّعُواْ وَيُلْهِهِمُ ٱلأَمَلُ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ

“And it will come to pass that those who are [now] bent on denying this truth will wish that they had surrendered themselves to God [in their lifetime]. Leave them alone; let them eat and enjoy themselves the while the hope [of vain delights] beguiles them: for in time they will come to know [the truth].” (Surah al-Hijr, Chapter 15, verses 2-3)

The above two verses describe those who consciously reject Islam and the response that the believers ought to display when faced with the rejecters. The command is to simply leave them alone and let them eat and enjoy their life. If they were to be killed this would be an instance of such a place where the Qur’an would have ordered such a thing.

وَلَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ لآمَنَ مَن فِي ٱلأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعاً أَفَأَنتَ تُكْرِهُ ٱلنَّاسَ حَتَّىٰ يَكُونُواْ مُؤْمِنِينَ

 “Had your Lord willed, all those on earth would have believed altogether. Would you, then, compel people, so that they become believers?” (Surah Yunus, Chapter 10, verse 99)

The above verse is as clear as crystal as it rhetorically forbids compelling those who reject to accept belief.

وَقُلِ ٱلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَاراً أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُواْ يُغَاثُواْ بِمَآءٍ كَٱلْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي ٱلْوجُوهَ بِئْسَ ٱلشَّرَابُ وَسَآءَتْ مُرْتَفَقاً

“And say: “The truth [has now come] from your Sustainer: let, then, him who wills, believe in it, and let him who wills, reject it.”
Verily, for all who sin against themselves [by rejecting Our truth] We have readied a fire whose billowing folds will encompass them from all sides; and if they beg for water, they will be given water [hot] like molten lead, which will scald their faces: how dreadful a drink, and how evil a place to rest!” (Surah al-Kahf, Chapter 18, verse 29)

The above verse unequivocally shows like all the other aforementioned verses that there is no temporal duty for a Muslim to force someone to convert to Islam. It is in fact against the clear decree of letting them believe as they wish.

There are so many other such verses that ensure the freedom of belief for those who encounter Islam and the Muslims. They can never be forced to accept Islam.

We should however, recognise that there were indeed Muslim conquests that swept throughout the world. The battles and wars that were waged to consolidate power and sovereignty was commonplace in the days of old. It should be strictly noted that most if not all of the expansionist efforts of Muslim powers were not aimed at converting its conquered denizens by force.

Answering the question ‘Was Islam spread by the sword?’ Cambridge based Islamic scholar and theologian T. J. Winter or now known as Sheikh Dr. Abdul Hakim Murad and John A. Williams of College of William and Mary write:

“In general, no. The laws of Muslim warfare forbid any forced conversions, and regard them as invalid if they occur. The political sway of Muslim rulers has sometimes been achieves through warfare, but this must be distinguished clearly from the spiritual expansion of the Islamic religion. There has never been a large-scale Muslim ‘inquisition’ or a Muslim ‘crusade’ which set out to massacre unbelievers or convert them by force, except against Arab idolators when they continually attacked the Muslims. The Qur’an insists that ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ (2:256), and Had your Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Shall you then force people to become believers? (10:99)” [1]

One is reminded of the event of the opening of Mecca where the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. together with 10 000 of his followers marched unto Mecca and conquered it. Those who were vanquished were the Arab idolaters who had persecuted the Prophet s.a.w. personally and his companions for more than twenty years including a woman called Hind who killed the prophet’s beloved uncle, Hamzah in the battle of Uhud after which she tore open his body and ate a part of his liver in retribution for the death of her father in the previous battle of Badr. Did the Prophet s.a.w. exact vengeance upon these evil disbelievers? No, he did not. The Prophet s.a.w. showed great magnanimity and forgave the Arab idolaters. Oxford based scholar and theologian Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti recalling the event writes, “there was a general amnesty [wa-mannun ‘alayhi bi takhliyati sabilihi or naha ‘an safki d-dima’] for the Jahili Arabs there.” [2]

The Muslim armies spread around the world bringing with them the assurance of tolerance and justice in the face of oppression and persecution of minorities in Christian and other non-Muslim controlled lands as Winter and Williams write:

“The purpose of Muslim rule is not to impose Islam, but to bring about freedom of worship for Muslims and for others within the established framework. While Islamic tradition recognizes the advent of over 124, 000 religious prophets inspired by God over the ages, the Qur’an recognizes the particular truth of the original revelations given by God to the Jews and Christians: Those who believe [in Islam], and those who are the Jews, and Sabeans and Christians – whoever believes in God and the Last Day, and does right – no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they grieve. (5:69)

Hence Islam’s theology of war entails a self-sacrificial effort against intolerance and oppression; Muslims see it as a form of ‘liberation theology’. The early Muslims liberated the Near East, and brought religious toleration to many Jewish and also sectarian Christian minorities which had formerly been the victims of bitter persecution either in the Byzantine Empire or the Persian dominions. Later on, history was to witness the slaughter by the Crusaders of thousands of Muslims and Jews when they captured Jerusalem in 1099, which contrasts sharply with Saladin’s recapture of the city in 1187 and the tolerance he displayed towards the Christian population, as well as his permission allowing the Jews to return.

The lack of connection between islam’s political and spiritual growth may again be highlighted in another way. In many countries – including Indonesia, which is the most populous of all Muslim states – Muslim political authority was established only after the population had embraced Islam at the hands of traders and preachers, and not as a sequel to military conquest. A further comparison could be made by recalling the intolerance and persecution of the Jews and Muslims in Catholic Spain with the tolerance Jews and Christians experienced under eight centuries of Muslim rule in Andalusia.” [3]

Had it not been for the necessary military intervention of Muslim powers Jewish and sectarian Christian minorities would have been expunged from the face of the earth through systematic oppression and persecution.

The Jews of Babylon were saved from annihilation by the Muslims as a Jewish website readily recognises:

The Jews of Babylon The oldest and most stable of Jewish communities was saved from the Christians by Muslims sweeping through the Middle East.” [4]

Scholar Madeline Pelner Cosman and Associate Professor of History Linda G. Jones write:

“The Muslim conquests of Palestine, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa saved the Jews from probable religious, if not physical, extinction.” [5]

The conquered minority communities such as the Jews were grateful towards Muslim conquerors for uprooting their Christian masters under whom they suffered immeasurable persecution and intolerance. Contemporary Jewish scholar Dr. Zion Zohar who is professor of Religious Studies at Florida International University writes:

“After a time, the government legitimized forced baptisms, creating the first cases of “anusim,” namely, Jews who were forced to profess Catholicism publicly while practicing Judaism in secret. Thus, when Muslims crossed the Straits of Gibraltar from North Africa in 711 CE and invaded the Iberian Peninsula, Jews welcomed them as liberators from Christian persecution.” [6]

An expert on the historical encounters between Muslims and Jews in Spain contemporary Jewish scholar Raymond Schiendlin who is professor of Medieval Hebrew Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary writes:

“One of the Islamic regions that was flourishing just as Iraq was entering its decline was Spain, which the Muslims had conquered in the eighth century. This conquest saved the tiny Jewish community from a regime that had treated them with particular severity (see chapter 3). Under the benevolent rule of Islam, the Jews of the territory prospered along with the country as a whole, which quickly freed itself from the control of the empire…The economic success and the growing sense of a distinctive regional identity and pride benefited the Jews as well, some of whom became wealthy through the manufacture of textiles and through trade.” [7]

The Muslim liberators clearly gave the Jewish communities liberty and a new lease on life as Professor Schiendlin further writes :

“Most of the Jews in the world were now inhabitants of a single Islamic empire stretching from the Indus River in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, including Spain. This development brought the Jews of Palestine, Egypt, and Spain nearly instant relief from the persecutions, harassment, and humiliation that they endured under hostile Christian rule. It also brought them, for the first time since the beginning of the Diaspora, into a single cultural, economic, and political system. Both these new conditions would enable them to flourish and to create  the most successful Jewish Diaspora community of premodern times.” [8]

He also recognises a fact that Muslims have long claimed:

“The Arabs did not embark on their conquest with the intention of converting the world to Islam.” [9]

If the Muslim military expeditions failed to liberate the Jews their heritage would have become nothing but a passing footnote in history. The Muslims in fact, helped save the Hebrew language from complete extinction by exposing the Jewish community to the Muslims’ own language namely, Arabic. Thus Norman Roth who is professor of Jewish History at Wisconsin University writes:

“We have already seen that the knowledge of the Arabic language, which the Jews of Muslim Spain (mostly immigrants from Iraq, Iran and other Muslim lands) brought with them as their native tongue, played a crucial role in the cultural development of the Jews and their relations with Muslims. Moses Ibn Ezra(h), for example, observed that when the Muslims conquered the Iberian peninsula from the Goths, who had prevailed over the Romans some 300 years before, the Jews “after a time” learned their language (Arabic) and investigated Arabic grammar, which aided the Jews in understanding the Hebrew language and grammar. This would seem to indicate that the Jews who remained in Spain from the Visigothic era, who obviously had not known Arabic, were taught Arabic by the Muslims even prior to the massive immigration of Arabic-speaking Jews into Spain.

In any case, what he says about the importance of Arabic in aiding in the scientific investigation of the Hebrew language and a creation of a correct and accurate Hebrew grammar by Spanish Jews is absolutely correct. I have already dealt with this elsewhere at length, and shown that the “renaissance” of the Hebrew language which thus took place was connected with the ‘Arabiyya concept (claims of the “perfection” and superiority of the Arabic language).

….

In the amazing advances that were made in uncovering the foundations of Hebrew grammar and lexicography, Arabic as a cognate language came to play an increasingly important role. Indeed, almost all of the works written on Hebrew language in Muslim Spain were written in Judeo-Arabic (Arabic in Hebrew letters). More than that, numerous obscure Hebrew words were explained, more often than not correctly, on the basis of an Arabic cognate.” [10]

What we learn from the above is that the revival of the Hebrew language is directly credited to the expanding empire of the Muslims which gave sufficient exposure of the Arabic language to the Jews that came under the fold of Muslim governance. If this historical episode did not take place in Islamic Spain and elsewhere much of the important Qumran discovery in 1946 would have yielded little sense as Hebrew would probably have become extinct as a language.

Popular author Jamie Frater (not to be confused with British criminal Jamie Frater) who is a non-Muslim observer describes the idea that Islam was spread by the sword as a myth. In fact, he nicely captures the reality of things in the following:

MYTH

Islam was spread by the sword.

BULLSHIT! Right? Maybe not. Historian De Lacy O’Leary states, “History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.” There is no record in history that shows people being forced by sword point to convert to convert to Islam. When Islam spread through centuries, people would set up private churches and synagogues for the non-Muslims they were governing, and because of the good treatment they had received, many non-Muslims would convert. If one considers the small number of Muslims who initially spread Islam to the West, all the way from Spain and Morocco and east from India and China, one would realize that such a small group of people could not force others to be members of a religion against their will. It is also interesting to note that when the Mongols invaded and conquered large portions of the Islamic empire, instead of destroying the religion, the adopted it! [11]

Let us now turn our attention to this Jizyah business. What exactly is Jizyah? Jizyah in brief is a specific type of payment tolling non-Muslims residing in Muslim governed states, hence it is often called a ‘poll tax’. Why is there a special type of taxation upon non-Muslim citizens of a Muslim state? Is this discrimination? The candid answer to that is yes. That is indeed discrimination. Yet it is discrimination of a positive sort. That is because their Muslim counterpart is not exactly free of any kind of taxation. Rather, the Muslim resident has to pay rather more in what is known as zakah which is divided into zakah al-fitr and zakah mal. Those are the two types of payments incumbent upon a Muslim citizen. Upon the fulfillment of the Jizyah obligation the life of the preservation of the life of the non-Muslim is the responsibility of all able bodied Muslims in the land. The non-Muslims themselves are exempted from military service.

What is the amount of Jizyah that a non-Muslim citizen would ordinarily have to pay? The classic manual of Islamic jurisprudence Reliance of the Traveller states the following:

“The minimum non-Muslim poll tax is one dinar (n: 4.235 grams of gold) per person (A: per year). The maximum is whatever both sides agree upon.

It is collected with leniency and politeness, as are all debts, and is not levied on women, children, or the insane.” [12]

The above shows that the non-Muslim citizen is obliged to pay a rather meager amount per year which is more than reasonable compared to taxes that one would normally have to pay in say the United States of America. The amount can be increased but only upon the agreement of both parties! In addition, it is to be collected with politeness and leniency without coercion. What is even more astounding is that women and children are exempted as opposed to modern Christian secular laws that demand taxation of babies (their food and other services) and women.

The second caliph of Islam ‘Umar r.a. the great companion of the Prophet s.a.w. said:

أوصي الخليفة من بذمة الله وذمة رسولو (ص) : أن يوفى لهم بعهدهم, وأن يقاتل من ورائهم, وأن لا يكلفوا فوق طاقتهم.

“I advice my successor to fulfill the contract of the non-Muslim citizens who are under the protection of Allah and His Messenger s.a.w. I enjoin them to fight for them if the need arises and not to burden them with more than they can bear.” [13]

The above substantiates Reliance of the Traveller in showing leniency to non-Muslim citizens and to not burden them with things that they cannot bear. It also shows that the Muslims are obliged to defend them should the threat of war or the like arise. The non-Muslims are not themselves commanded to defend the land. The Muslims carry that specific responsibility.

Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri cites another pertinent example:

During his journey to Syria, ‘Umar saw that the tax officials were making the non-Muslim citizens stand out in the sun as their taxes were collected. Upon seeing this, he said:

دعوهم, لا تكلفوهم ما لا يطيقون, فإني سمعت رسول الله (ص) يقول : لاتعذبوا الناس, فإن الذين يعذبون الناس في الدنيا يعذبهم الله يوم القيامة.

“Spare them from this and do not burden them with more than they can bear. Indeed, I heard the Messenger of God say, “Do not torture people, for those who torture people in this life will be tortured by God on the day of Resurrection.” [14]

A former slave of ‘Umar r.a. who was freed by him named Aslam stated:

أن عمر كتب إلى أمراء الأجناد : أن لا يضربوا الجزية على النساء,ولا على الصبيان

“’Umar r.a. wrote a letter to the military commanders stating that they should not impose tax on non-Muslim women and children.” [15]

The above shows that women are children are exempted from the Jizyah as stated in Reliance of the Traveller..

فإن عمر أتي بمال كثير, قال أبو عبيد : وأحسبه من الجزية. فقال: إني لأظنكم قد أهاكتم الناس,قالوا : لا,واالله,ما أخذنا إلا عفوا صفوا. قال : بلا سوط ولا نوط ؟ قالوا : نعم. قال : الحمدلله الذي لم يجعل ذلك على يدي ولا في سلطاني

“A large amount of wealth was brought to ‘Umar, and Abu ‘Ubayd said, “I believe it was money collected from tax”. ‘Umar said, “For certain, you have destroyed the people!” They [the tax collectors] said, “No, by God! We have only taken with tenderness and ease”. ‘Umar inquired, “Was it acquired without recourse to a whip or coercion?” They replied, “Yes”. He said, “All praise is due to God, Who did not put that on my hands or during my rule”. [16]

The above narration shows that coercing non-Muslim subjects to part with their wealth through Jizyah is intolerable and unacceptable in the eyes of Islam.

إن أمير المؤمنين عمر مربشيخ من أهل الذمة يسأل على أبواب الناس, فقال : ما أنصفناك أن كنا أخذنا منك الجزية في شبيبتك, ثم ضيعناك في كبرك. فال : ثم أجرى عليه من بيت المال ما يصلحه

“The Commander of the Faithful, ‘Umar, passed by an elderly man amongst the non-Muslim citizens who was begging at people’s doors. ‘Umar said to him, “We have not been fair to you if we have taken the tax from you when you were younger but left you in helplessness in your old age”. After that, ‘Umar issued instructions for the man to receive enough money from the public treasury that would take care of his needs’. [17]

The above informs us of a well-known incident involving an underprivileged, poor Jewish man who was begging for money so as to pay the Jizyah. He was unaware of the fact that his situation exempted him from any payment and in fact obligated the state to look after him which is why he was given money from the treasury and taken care of afterwards. This is clear evidence that the elderly and the unfortunate indigent is not to be taxed, but is rather to be looked after. This also completely demolishes the nonsensical allegation that Islam is anti-semitic or anti-Jew. An astute observer might ask, “How do you know the story related above is of a Jewish indigent?” That is because the above is a concise report of an incident that is elaborated with more details in Abu Yusuf’s Kitab al-Kharaj whereby the man is specifically identified as a Jew. For the sake of brevity we will cite the relevant part where his Jewish heritage is identified:

و قال: من أي أهل الكتاب أنت؟ فقال: يهودي

“And he(‘Umar) said, “From which group amongst the People of the Book do you belong?” The man replied, “I  am a Jew”.” [18]

Ensuring the rights of the non-Muslim subject is protected Jundub bin Abdillah r.a. narrates that the Prophet s.a.w. said:

من يخفر ذمتى كنت خصمه ومن خاصمته خصمته

“Whoever disrespects the protection I have granted to a non-Muslim, I will be his enemy, and one whose enemy I become, I will defeat him.” [19]

The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is also reported to have said:

ألا من ظلم معاهدا أو انتقصه٬ أو كلفه فوق طاقته٬ أو أخذ منه شيئا بغير طيب نفس٬ فأنا حجيجه يوم القيامة

“Whoever oppresses a non-Muslim subject or puts a burden on him beyond his capacity or forcibly takes away anything from him shall find me to be their advocate on the day of Resurrection (against the oppressing Muslim).” [20]

Writing on the treatment of non-Muslim subjects under an Islamic government and citing a similar hadith to the above Winter and Williams write:

“Jewish and Christian citizens of an Islamic state have the status known as dhimma (‘protection’). The Prophet s.a.w. said, ‘Whoever oppresses any Jew or Christian enjoying the dhimma status, shall have me as his adversary.’ A dhimma citizen is exempted from the zakat tax payable by all Muslim citizens, and from conscription (although jurists frequently hold that non-Muslims are entitled to volunteer to fight for their country). Dhimma citizens also enjoy the right to establish their own law-courts where questions of personal law such as marriage, divorce and inheritance are adjudicated by a judge of their own religion, in accordance with their own values. In exchange for the extension of the protection primarily to life and property, dhimma citizens pay a tax known as jizya which may be roughly equivalent to the zakat, a tax paid only by Muslims. Failure to provide this prime service and security renders them non-liable to the payment of this due. Indeed, cases are known of Muslim leaders returning the jizya to their non-Muslim subjects in cases of their inability to extend this protection.” [21]

From Reliance of the Traveller(‘Umdat al-Salik), the narrations cited above and Winter and William one can conclude the following:

  1. Jizyah is specifically for non-Muslim subjects who are able to pay it.
  2. Women, children and the poor are automatically exempted from Jizyah.
  3. Muslims are obliged to sacrifice their lives for the protection of non-Muslims pursuant to the proper observance and fulfillment of the Jizyah system.
  4. The Jizyah is to be tolled or exacted in a kind, lenient, fair and polite manner without involving torture of any kind.
  5. Failure to properly observe the correct etiquette of dealing with non-Muslim subjects incurs the wrath of the Prophet s.a.w. turning him into the non-Muslim’s advocate against the Muslim.
  6. Complete freedom of religion is afforded to non-Muslim subjects to the extent that they are granted the opportunity of judicial autonomy for their own community.

A proper understanding of the Jizyah system cannot in any way stimulate a complaint from thinking non-Muslims. They should as a matter of fact, heartily embrace what is clearly a magnanimous treatment of non-Muslim subjects enshrined in the Islamic constitution. Muslims are not permitted to wage war willy-nilly and treat life in a trivial manner. Life including that of a disbeliever is sacred. Upon citing over 40 narrations of the sacredness of life the erudite Mufti Taqi Usmani writes:

“Many of the above mentioned forty Ahadith have condemned and pronounced warnings against taking the life of not only a Muslim, rather they have condemned unjustly taking the life of any human being, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.” [22]

 

References:

[1] Winter, T. J., & Williams, J. A. (2002). Understanding Islam and the Muslims: The Muslim Family Islam and World Peace. Louisville, Kentucky: Fons Vitae. P. 82

[2] Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti (2005). Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless Against the Killing of Civilians. United Kingdom: Aqsa Press. p. 31

[3] Winter, T. J., & Williams, J. A. Op. Cit.

[4] Anon. History of Judaism (Crash Course). Retrieved from http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/Jewish_History/

[5] Cosman, P. C., & Jones, L. G. (2007). Handbook to Life in the Medieval World. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 91

[6] Zohar, Z. (2005). A Global Perspective on Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry: An Introductory Essay. In Zion Zohar (ed.), Sephardic and Mizhary Jewry from the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times. New York: New York University Press. p. 9

[7] Scheindlin, R. P. (2000). A Short History of the Jewish People: From Legendary Times to Modern Statehood. New York. Oxford University Press. pp. 82-83

[8] Ibid. p. 73

[9] Ibid.

[10] Roth, N. (1994). Jews, Visigoths & Muslims in Medieval Spain: Cooperation and Conflict. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill. pp. 171-172

[11] Frater, J. (2011). I Call Bullshit: Debunking the Most Common repeated Myths. Berkeley, California: Ulysses Press. p. 246

[12] Ahmad Ibn Naqib Al-Misri (1994). Reliance of the Traveller (Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Trans.). Beltsville, Maryland: Amana Publications. (Original work published 1800). p. 608

[13] Sahih Bukhari as cited in Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (2010). Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings. London: Minhaj-ul-Quran International. p. 148; Muhammad Taqi Usmani (2010). The Sanctity of Human Life in the Qur’an and Sunnah (Shakir Jakhura, Trans.). Karachi, Pakistan: Maktaba Ma’riful Quran. p. 32

[14] Tahir-ul-Qadri Ibid. p. 149

[15] Ibid. p. 148

[16] Ibid. p. 149

[17] Ibid. p. 150

[18] Ibid. p. 151

[19] Muhammad Taqi Usmani. Op. Cit. p. 32

[20] Sunan Abi Dawud as cited in Kaleem-Ullah Khan (2003). Islam: The Source of Universal Peace. New Delhi, India: Goodword Books. p. 123

[21] Winter, T. J., & William, J. A. Op. Cit. p. 83

[22] Muhammad Taqi Usmani Op. Cit. p. 31

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6 Responses to “Islamic conquests and the Jizya”

  1. menj says:

    A good article but it can be better improved by contrasting the Futuhat campaigns with other similar campaigns by different religious groups, and highlighting the differences between them and the Futuhat.

  2. rockybalboa says:

    i think the christian missionaries and thier followers are the biggest hypocrites on planet earth. mary was the daughter and mother of thier god, and mary gave birth to thier god, but before mary gave birth she herself had to be decendant of a people who slaughtered and butchered people. would thier god have been born if amalekites + canaanites were in thier masses? if that were the case , mary would have been DECENDANT of pagan ancestors and and most likely she would be pagan also.REMEMBER that verse in the ot which says to COMPLETELY slaughter/butcher the canaanites or else they would make thier polythesim win in the hearts and minds of the weak faith hebrews? christians, your god butchered people to make way for his daughter to give birth to him and then he used violence unto his flesh to satisfy/appease himself to save you from himself.

    i ask you, violence is IMPORTANT in your damned religion, why attack islam?

  3. Jesus says:

    A great article bolstered by references from scholars in the field.

    So much for the antisemitism which missionaries blame Islam .

    By showing them this article i will ask them to look inside their pants .

    Keep it up and thank you akhi .

  4. Adam says:

    Salamu ‘Alaikum, good article mashaAllah. However I feel like I need to mention that the book that was quoted “The Reliance of the Traveller” also mentions that all non-Muslims that do not belong to the “People of the Book” (ie Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians etc) are to be fought against until they become Muslim. This is the opinion of Imam Shafi’i and a number of (although a minority) of classical Muslim jurists. So the idea that Islam was spread by the sword, although exaggerated and de-contextualized, does have some basis. Also many of the classical jurists have used Ayah 9:29 of the Qur’an for the conquest of non Muslims, and the establishment of Shari’ah and subsequently the expansion of the Dar al Islam (Abode of Islam). So I would say that Islam as a faith did not spread through the sword.. BUT Islam as a political movement and empire, initially did expand through conquest. Also the pagan Arabs of Quraysh were forced to accept Islam after the conquest of Makkah. Islamic Law is a vast spectrum of interpretative and scholarly opinions, it is not statuary or monolithic.

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