“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29
“When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. […] If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” — Muhammad (Sahih Muslim 4294)
Some Sikhs have left because of this demand for jizya (here, jazia). Others cannot. “History’s Hostages: Held to a huge ransom by the Taliban, NWFP’s Sikhs have nowhere to go,” by Behroz Khan for the May 4 issue of Outlook India (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Jazia and Sikhs
* In Orakzai, Taliban have imposed a sum of Rs 12 million as jazia on Sikhs
* Contrary to media reports, the amount is not paid yet. Sikh families remain in the custody of Taliban.
* In medieval times, jazia was levied on non-Muslims in an Islamic state
* Those who paid jazia could follow their religion, provided protection
* Since Muslims paid zakat or alms for the poor to the state, which was spent on welfare, non-Muslims had to contribute their share through jazia
* But jazia was unpopular. Akbar removed it; Aurangzeb reimposed it.
[…] Kalyan Singh refused to shift out from what he saw as his ancestral home, believing he was safe living among the Orakzai tribals. But then, a fortnight ago, Hakimullah descended on the Ferozkhel valley and ordered members of the Sikh community, including women, to gather in an open area. They were told they were now in the custody of Taliban, and that they must pay jazia (a religious tax imposed on non-Muslims living under Islamic rule in the medieval times) or convert to Islam.
The soldiers of the Islamic emirate then picked up Kalyan Singh, tortured him in custody for 10 long days even as negotiations for the amount to be paid as jazia kept apace. Herjeet Singh, a local Sikh, quotes an eyewitness to say, “The militants convened a shura of their own and passed the verdict that Sikhs should pay Rs 100 million as jazia. Our elders pleaded that poor members of the community have no means to raise such a huge amount.” Herjeet is among those who sneaked out of Orakzai before jazia was imposed.
The Sikh community”s plea prompted further talks, with the Taliban scaling down their initial demand to Rs 40 million, ultimately agreeing to Rs 12 million as the jazia, a source told Outlook. Kalyan Singh was then set free and asked to raise the demanded amount. His and 50 other families were held hostage. They were warned that any attempts to escape would lead to the slaying of men and conversion of children and womenfolk to Islam. “This is unheard of. Our forefathers lived among the Pashtuns for centuries and were never subjected to such humiliation and barbarism,” laments Herjeet Singh.
Kalyan, these days, is in Peshawar, persuading the Sikh community here to somehow raise the whopping amount. Sources say he has managed to collect Rs 3.5 million. Only when Rs 12 million is paid fully will the Sikhs in Ferozkhel be set free, provided protection and allowed to practise their religion.
Read it all.