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Dhimmi's and their rights

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    Dhimmi's and their rights

    In another thread H.K. brought out that minorities in Islam are protected (Dhimmi's). A search on the net produces a lot of awful things about Dhimmi's and their miserable condition. Anyone here knows of an accurate reference to who and what were Dhimmis? No propoganda please.
    I have found a paragraph in "Triumph over Discrimination: The Life Story of Farhag Mehr". He was some high official in Iran and lived through the early years of Khomeni's rule. He mentions that the constitution of Iran since 1906 has had a provision (and it still exists in the present) "If a Zoroastrian converted to Islam, all assets of the deceased parent would go the newly converted to Islam, regardless of the number or situations of siblings, regardless of the wishes of the deceased." (page 11; the books ISBN is 0-9709937-0-6). And apparently this was an improvement from what was being practiced before. The book by Bat Yeor on dhimmis appears to be very very harsh on islam's treatment, and so i am discounting it. So, references for study please?

    [This message has been edited by OldLahori (edited February 13, 2002).]

    I found a site: Encyclopedia of the Orient run by a Norwegian Guy that contains some information. Life as a Dhimmi does not sound all that great.

    Arabic: dhimmi

    Muslim juridical term for Christians and Jews, sometimes Zoroastrians, Mandeans or even Hindus, living in a society governed by Muslims rulers and law.
    Dhimmis have limited autonomy, but full rights to practice their religion and shall be secured full protection by the rulers. Earlier there was a specific tax, jizya ( Koran 9,29), that Dhimmis had to pay to receive these benefits. Dhimmis who did not pay this tax, should either convert to Islam or face death penalty. This tax, higher than the tax Muslims had to pay, was in several occasions one of the most important sources of income for the rulers, and therefore they were often little inclined to encourage conversion to Islam, as this would represent a decrease in their income.
    It was early endeavour of the Sharia that added details to the regulations of the jizya. It involved that the Christians could keep all of their churches and convents, but were not allowed to erect new structures nor restore ruined buildings. The Dhimmis had to give lodging to Muslims for up to 3 days and they had to show Muslims their respect. They could not perform public ceremonies and no crosses could be used in Muslim quarters. They could not ride on horseback with saddles, they could neither carry weapons nor sell alcoholic beverages to Muslims.
    Christians were not allowed to build houses taller than their neighbours' houses. In public they had to carry visible tokens of to the religion to which they belonged. If there was a case at the court, Muslim statements were considered of more value than the ones form Christians. But there were no limitations to the professions which could be performed.
    Later there were more regulations imposed, like in 853, when Caliph al-Mutawakkil forbade Dhimmis to ride on horses they had to stick to donkeys and mules. In 14th century Egypt, Jews had to carry a a yellow turban, Christians a blue one.
    But in practice, there was less distance between the people of the different religions: people lived side by side. Non-Muslims could hold the highest positions in society and this during times when Jews in Europe had few or no social rights.

    If anyone knows a better site or reference.


      What rights do dhimmis or non-muslims have in an Islamic State?

      Can a society that treats their women as "half of men" treat its dhimmi minorities any different?

      Heard of the Bahais?

      They, the bahais of iran, decided to leave Islam some 150 years ago when their Messiah appeared. You can research how their Bab and later their Messiah - Bahaullah and countless bahais were treated/murdered at the hands of the ayatollahs?

      While at it - look up what rights are guaranteed the shia minority of Saudi Arabia?


      the Ahmedia minority of Pakistan under the Islamic laws of pakistan?


        This from a Saudi site. I hope someone can still provide me with a better reference. What are the rules under Shariya for Minorities?

        Rights due to non-Muslims

        The term "non-Muslim" comprises all disbeliveers. They can be classified into four categories: hostile non-Muslims, non-Muslims seeking asylum in an Islamic environment, covenanted non-Muslims and Dhimmi (non-Muslims living among the Muslims and paying Jizya " tax).

        Hostile non-Muslim have no right to protection, whatsoever. Non-Muslims seeking refuge and security in an Islamic territory have the right to full protection, and here Allah says:

        "And if anyone of the Mushrikūn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbeliveers in the Oneness of Allah) seek your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur"an), and then escort him to where he can be secure..." (9:6)
        The covenantee non-Muslims have the right to holding us committed to honor the covenant we entered upon with them so long as they commit themselves to the articles of the agreement, and neither conspire against us nor slander our religion. Allah says:

        "Except those of the Mushrikūn with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in augth, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfil their treaty to them to the end of their term. Surely Allah loves Al-Muttaqūn (the pious)." (9:4)
        But Allah Almighty goes on saying:

        "But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and attack your religion with disapproval and criticism then fight (you) the leaders of disbelief (chiefs of Quraish ¾ pagans of Makka) ¾ for surely their oaths are nothing to them." (9:12)
        Dhimmi are the group most eligible for rights, because they live in an Islamic territory and under the protection of the Muslims, besides the Jizya (tribute) they pay to the public treasury. Here the Muslim Imam (ruler) has to judge by the light of what Allah revealed in all matters relating to lives, property and honor. He is also bound to observe the fixed punishment recognized among them. Last and foremost, the Leader of the Muslims is under strict obligation to provide protection to them and shield them against any sort of potential or actual harm that may befall them.

        Dhimmi must be discriminated from Muslims in their attire. They are not allowed to display any abominable deed or gesture that could go in conflict with Islam such as the cross or bell.

        Praise is to Allah, the Lord of the worlds; and peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his Family and all his Companions.

        P.S. Observation of the above mentioned rules promotes amity among Muslims and removes all traces of enmity and hatred, moreover, the working in the light of these rules blots out sins, augments good deeds and exalts him in degrees of rank whose abides by them. May Allah render success to Muslims and again, peace and blessings of Allah be on our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him).


          Islamic Terms Dictionary


          a non-Muslim living under the protection of a Muslim state. He is exempt from duties of Islam like military and zakat but must instead pay a tax called jizyah.


          a tax paid by non-Muslims living in a Muslim State. Since the non-Muslims are exempt from military service and taxes imposed on Muslims, they must pay this tax to compensate. It guarentees them security and protection. If the State cannot protect those who paid jizyah, then the amount they paid is returned to them.

          What Islam enjoins are :-

          T he sovereignty in the Islamic State belongs to Allah; the people exercise it by trust from Him to enforce His laws. The ruler is only an acting executive chosen by the people to serve them according to Allah's law. The State is to administer justice and provide security for all citizens. Rulers and administrators must be chosen from the best qualified citizens. If an administration betrays the trust of Allah and the people, it has to be replaced. Non-Muslim can administer their personal life of marriage, divorce, foods and inheritance according to the Islamic law or to their own religious teachings. They may pay Zakah or a different tax tributes "Jizyah". They are entitled to full protection and security of the State including freedom of religion.

          Man has a common origin, human status and aim. Other people's interests and right to life, honour and property are respected as long as the right of Muslim are in tact. Transgression is forbidden. War is only justified if the state security is endangered. During war, destruction of crops, animals and homes, killing non-fighting women, children and aged people are forbidden.

          Go here for full treatment on Islam and its history

          Charter of Privilages at
          In 628 C.E. Prophet Muhammad (s) granted a Charter of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai. It consisted of several clauses covering all aspects of human rights including such topics as the protection of Christians, freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property, exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war.

          An English translation of that document is presented below.

          This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.

          Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.

          No compulsion is to be on them.

          Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.

          No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses.
          Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.

          No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.

          The Muslims are to fight for them.

          If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.

          Their churches are to be respected.

          They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.

          No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).

          Ibrahim says: So Old Lahori, why not ask for references from the web site you had quoted ? after that read this at


            Thank you Ibrahim. I got the site by doing a search. I did not cite any sites that I thought were inflammatory. I did not see any obvious place on those sites where I could ask for references. I will go through the references you have provided and will be back if I don't get something.