The jizya is a tax that non-Muslims must pay as a sign of their subjugation to the Muslims, and it is mandated in the Qur’an: “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
Muslim spokesmen in the West routinely claim that this verse has no applicability in the modern world. They’re lying.
It is, in the first place, stipulated as a general obligation in commentaries on the Qur’an and in Islamic jurisprudence. The Tafsir al-Jalalayn says that this when v. 29 specifies that Muslims must fight against those who “follow not the Religion of Truth,” it means those who do not follow Islam, “which is firm and abrogates other deens [religions].” Ibn Kathir gives a hint as to why this is so when he explains that the People of the Book were in bad faith when they rejected Muhammad, and that they are not true believers even in their own religions:
Therefore, when People of the Scriptures disbelieved in Muhammad, they had no beneficial faith in any Messenger or what the Messengers brought. Rather, they followed their religions because this conformed with their ideas, lusts and the ways of their forefathers, not because they are Allah”s Law and religion. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad, because all Prophets gave the good news of Muhammad”s advent and commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him, even though he is the mightiest of all Messengers. Therefore, they do not follow the religion of earlier Prophets because these religions came from Allah, but because these suit their desires and lusts. Therefore, their claimed faith in an earlier Prophet will not benefit them because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all Prophets.
As-Sawi specifies that the payment of the jizya signifies that the non-Muslims are “humble and obedient to the judgements of Islam.” As-Suyuti notes that the jizya is “not taken from someone in a state of hardship,” although that was a stipulation at times honored in the breach. For example, a contemporary account of the Muslims” conquest of Nikiou, an Egyptian town, in the 640″s, says that “it is impossible to describe the lamentable position of the inhabitants of this town, who came to the point of offering their children in exchange for the enormous sums that they had to pay each month”¦”
This was a manifestation of the “state of abasement” specified by this verse and spelled out by the Bedouin commander al-Mughira bin Sa”d when he met the Persian Rustam. Said al-Mughira: “I call you to Islam or else you must pay the jizya while you are in a state of abasement.”
Rustam replied, “I know what jizya means, but what does “˜a state of abasement” mean?”
Al-Mughira explained: “You pay it while you are standing and I am sitting and the whip hanging is over your head.”
Similarly, Ibn Kathir says that the dhimmis must be “disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.” The seventh-century jurist Sa”id ibn al-Musayyab stated: “I prefer that the people of the dhimma become tired by paying the jizya since He says, “˜until they pay the jizya with their own hands in a state of complete abasement.”” As-Suyuti elaborates that this verse “is used as a proof by those who say that it is taken in a humiliating way, and so the taker sits and the dhimmi stands with his head bowed and his back bent. The jizya is placed in the balance and the taker seizes his beard and hits his chin.” He adds, however, that “this is rejected according to an-Nawawi who said, “˜This manner is invalid.”” Zamakhshari, however, agreed that the jizya should be collected “with belittlement and humiliation.”
And as Islamic supremacists grow increasingly assertive today, it is more and more frequently being demanded of religious minorities. “The shoes I walk in: Minorities blame growing discrimination for the loss of a feeling of fellowship,” from the Express Tribune, January 26 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
KARACHI: In 1947, there were a 100 Parsi families living in Quetta. Today, there are only two.
“This figure alone tells the deplorable state of minorities in the country,” aptly concluded Justice (retd) Mehta Kailash Nath Kohli, the keynote speaker on the first day of a two-day workshop, ‘Status of Religious Minorities in Pakistan: Challenges and Response’, organised by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) at the Avari Towers on Saturday.
The judge, who hails from Quetta, spoke how his community members — the Hindus — are being abducted and kidnapped. “Since Pakistan’s inception, not a single law has been legislated in favour of religious minorities,” he added….
A speaker, M Prakash, said that there were 350 temples and gurdwaras in Sindh but only five to 10 were owned by them. Minority members pointed out how discussions over the misuse of the blasphemy law have disappeared from the forefront. “We have forwarded recommendations to the government on how can we stop the misuse of this law,” said father Emmanuel Yousaf.
Another participant, Jaipal Chhabria, lamented that there was not a single Christian parliamentarian in Sindh Assembly. “Bilawal Bhutto dreams of having a Christian prime minster but his government did not to make the required amendments to allow minorities to hold important positions.”
He frowned that the media showed Hindus as opportunists. HRCP’s vice-chairperson Amarnath Motumal discussed how personal laws and marriage rights of their community were being completely ignored. “The courts do not recognise our rights. Even seven-year-old girls are being converted.”
Pushpa Kumari broke down into tears as she narrated the incident when a body of a 17-year-old girl was taken out from a graveyard because she was buried in a Muslim graveyard.
Carrying a bunch of newspapers dated last week, she said, “There are five cases of sexual harassment of Hindu women in Sindh, including the gang rape of a teenager.”
Kumari said that recently the government released 39 bonded labourers of the Hindu community, but asked would it take their responsibility. She narrated how in 1996, she was told to quit her job at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission because their policy did not allow Hindus to work there.
A Sikh community member, Sardar Kalyan Singh, said that when they go to Peshawar or FATA, they have to pay Jizyah, which is sometimes Rs25,000, per person per year.
“Two days ago, a member of the Sikh community was killed because he refused to pay Jizya. When we spoke to the minister, he said that he is being forced to pay the same, so we should abide.”
A member of the Ahmadi community, Amir Mahmood, called for elimination of the anti-Ahmadi Ordinance.
Barkat Ali from the Hazara community said that he had lost his cousin in the recent attack on Hazara pilgrims. “We are left with no hope and we think the government is not serious about solving anything.”
Bigger picture: Foreign activists paint dismal picture
Foreign human rights defenders also shared the situation in their countries. Ihsan Ali Fauzi, a researcher at the Center for the Study of Religion and Demonstration in Indonesia, said that since 2006, discrimination and violence against Ahmadis, Biharis, Christians and Shias had increased.
Through his presentation, he shared that attacks on minorities have risen from 216 in 2010 to 244 in 2011. Fauzi said that the blasphemy law which came into existence in Indonesia in 2008, and the laws pertaining to seeking permission before building a house of worship led towards religious intolerance….