Sixty Sultaniyya

Dealing with non-Muslims justly

Hadith 24, He who kills a covenanted person enjoying the oath of Allah and the oath of His Messenger, then he has betrayed the oath of Allah so he shall not smell the scent of Heaven; its scent is found the distance of a seventy year march (Tirmidhi)
Hadith 25, The Messenger of Allah (SAW) made peace with the people of Najran on condition that they hand over to the Muslims 2000 garments....upon that their churches would not be destroyed, and that no priest of theirs is banished, and that they would also not be coerced away from their faith provided they did not innovate any matter and they did not deal in usury (Abu Dawud)


A: In essence every one who is a citizen of the Islamic state, whether a Muslim who chose to make hijra there or a non-Muslim who took an oath from the Muslims (and is therefore mentioned from the people of dhimma), is treated equally and fairly by the ruler as mentioned in the generality of the verses of Quran such as "And if you judge between people that you judge with justice; truly how excellent is the teaching Allah (SWT) gives you, for Allah (SWT) is He Who hears and sees everything." (TMQ 4:58)

B: In the same way that the ahl-dhimma are protected and treated equally under the law, the same public rules that the Muslims have to abide by apply to all people (except for those actions which make Islam a condition for their acceptance such as prayer and Zakat). This is derived from the words and example of the Prophet (SAW) who used to exact the same punishment upon the disbelievers and the Muslims, for example when he (SAW) punished a Jew by killing him for killing a woman.

C: The narration makes it clear that the Muslims are obliged to give the ahl-dhimma the same protection as given to each other.

D: It is narrated that Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) said while giving advice for whoever would be the next Khalifah at his death regarding the ahldhimma "And direct him that by the oath of Allah (SWT) and the oath of His Messenger (SAW), he should fulfil their oath towards them, to fight on their behalf and not to burden them with more than they could bear."

E: The agreement with the people of Najran makes it clear that the rituals and places of worship of the non-Muslims can be left as long as they fulfil their obligation to abide by what is upon them from the rules and laws of the Islamic state. This is a practical manifestation of the Quranic words that there is no compulsion in religion. There is difference in the schools of thought as to the necessity of leaving their places of worship to them, with the majority considering that it is permitted for the Imam to decide either way according to the situation and benefit to the Muslims.

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