I got an email this morning making reference to my explanation of Dhimmi Watch (see above left):
Do you think the Quranic command that they should “feel themselves subdued” (Sura 9:29)(your translation)is a permanent, eternal and absolute command required to be applied and implemented under all circumstances, time and space, or was it specific to those who were and had been at war with the nascent Islamic community and tried their best to finish it? Thanks. [Name deleted]
This is one of many emails that I receive regularly, challenging my knowledge of this field. If 9:29 and the dhimma was only meant for the time of the “nascent Islamic community,” you see, then it has nothing to do with the oppression of non-Muslims in Islamic countries today. So on this occasion I’d like to issue an open invitation: please prove me wrong. Remember, however: it is not enough for you to quote Qur’an 2:256 or 109:1-5 and assert on that basis that the oppression of the dhimmis never took place. There is abundant evidence that it did, as I document in all my books, and has been definitively established by Bat Ye’or in her books. It is likewise not enough for you to assert that the dhimmis were treated as well or better than the Muslims. That is false, and there is a mountain of historical evidence that establishes its falsity. Nor is it enough for you simply to maintain without evidence that the dhimma is a relic of history, never to be revived, since (search the archives here and you’ll see) there are numerous jihadists who have made it quite clear that they hope to reestablish it if and when they gain power.
If, however, you have evidence of Islamic schools of jurisprudence actually abrogating the dhimmi laws, please let me know here. I don’t think any such evidence exists, but since so many people are anxious to tell me I am ignorant of Islam, I am inviting them to teach me. Here is how I responded to the letter above:
Judging from the fact that the laws of the dhimma still appear in modern-day manuals of fiqh, I would say that most jurists understand them to be permanent, eternal, and absolute commands. However, those same manuals make it clear that they are not to be implemented under all circumstances, but only when various requirements are met. Cf. the Shafi’i manual ‘Umdat as-Salik, section o11.
In fact that translation of 9:29 is Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s. It appears to me to be an accurate rendering of the Arabic. Do you disagree?
However, I would like nothing better than to find jurists who have explicitly ruled out the application of the dhimmi laws in the modern period, or at any time in the future. If you have such citations, please send them. Thanks.
I look forward to receiving them.