Rights of Non-Muslims

By Sheikh al-Othaimeen.

Non-Muslim is a broad term that covers all those who are disbelievers in the faith and principles of Islam. These people are classified into four categories as follows:
• Warriors
• Peace seekers
• Peace truce holders
• Non-Muslims living or residing in an lslami-governed country.
The following is an attempt to present a brief account of each one of the above stated categories:
1- Warriors:
This group is at a continuous war against Islam, in particular, and against all Muslims, regardless of creed, color, geographical location, social status or other criteria.

2- Peace seekers:
This group is entitled for Muslim protection in accordance with the time and place specified and agreed upon by both parties, such as peace seekers (non-Muslims), and peace granters (governing Muslims). This is based upon the statement from the Glorious Qur’an:
“And if anyone of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Words of Allah (i.e., the Qur’an). Then grant him his safety. That is because they are men without knowledge.” (Attawbah, 6)

3- Peace truce holders:
Muslims must fulfill peace treaties made with this group of people in accordance with the terms and conditions of the treaties as long as these people did not breach their contract or do something contrary to the terms and conditions agreed upon by both parties, did not assist a third party against Muslims, did not criticize the religion of Islam openly, or did anything that make them loose their entitlement for the peace treaty with Muslims. This, of course, is based on the statement of Allah, the Almighty, in the Glorious Qur’an:
“Excepted are those with whom you have made a treaty among the polytheists and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So complete for them their treaty until their term (has ended). Indeed, Allah loves the righteous.” (Attawbah, 4)
And also the statement of Allah, the Almighty, in the Glorious Qur’an:
“And if they break their oaths after their treaty, and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths (sacred) to them; fight them that so they might be restrained.” (Attawbah,1 2)
4- Non-Muslims living or residing in an lslamicly governed country: This group has and enjoys the utmost rights upon Muslims. They are also required to practice certain things which are dictated by Muslims’ rights unto them as well.
In the first place, this group physically resides in an Islamic governed county and enjoys the protection, services and all other things that Muslims themselves enjoy from their Islamic government such as schooling, health care, road systems, housing, and all other major or minor services that an Islamic government avails for its people. In fact, this group enjoys all of the above due to the fact that they pay a special protection and services tax called: “JIZYEH , or “head tax which is a tax imposed on non-Muslims residing in an Islamic county for this very purpose. This group, however, do not participate in fighting or military operations if the protecting Islamic county has been threatened and a war is waged against its territories.
Muslim governors must be fair and just to this group, in particular, and pass all judgments and sentences upon them on the basis of the true, accurate and precise Islamic jurisdictions in finance, economics, political or educational undertakings, and all other matters. A Muslim governor must establish capital or corporal punishments upon this group of people in accordance with the principles of their own religious or divine laws. They also should enjoy every protection that is naturally extended to the Muslim citizens residing in the same country.


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