Justice: The Non-Muslim Poll Tax

This is another article in the chapter Justice from the classical manual on Sharia called Reliance of the Traveller. The articles are posted one by one in the order they are given in the book.

011.4 The minimum non-Muslim poll tax is one dinar (n: 4.235 grams of gold) per person (A: per year). The maximum is whatever both sides agree upon. It is collected with leniency and politeness, as are all debts, and is not levied on women, children, or the insane.
011.5 Such non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:
(1) are penalized for committing adultery or theft, though not for drunkenness;
(2) are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunna:r);
(3) are not greeted with “as-Salamu ‘alaykum” ;
(4) must keep to the side of the street;
(5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
(6) are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,) recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;
(7) and are forbidden to build new churches.
011.6 They are forbidden to reside in the Hijaz, meaning the area and towns around Mecca, Medina, and Yamama, for more than three days (when the caliph allows them to enter there for something they need).
011.7 A non-Muslim may not enter the Meccan Sacred Precinct (Haram) under any circumstances, or enter any other mosque without permission (A: nor may Muslims enter churches without their permission).
011.8 It is obligatory for the caliph (def: 025) to protect those of them who are in Muslim lands just as he would Muslims, and to seek the release of those of them who are captured.
011.9 If non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state refuse to conform to the rules of Islam. or to pay the non-Muslim poll tax, then their agreement with the state has been violated (dis: 0 I l.1 I) (A: though if only one of them disobeys, it concerns him alone).
011. IO The agreement is also violated (A: with respect to the offender alone) if the state has stipulated that any of the following things break it, and one of the subjects does so anyway. though if the state has not stipulated that these break the agreement, then they do not; namely, if one of the subject people:
(1) commits adultery with a Muslim woman or marries her:
(2) conceals spies of hostile forces;
(3) leads a Muslim away from Islam;
(4) kills a Muslim;
(5) or mentions something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), or Islam.
011.11 When a subject’s agreement with the state has been violated, the caliph chooses between the four alternatives mentioned above in connection with prisoners of war (09.14).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s