All Other Rights To Mankind Are Worthless Before The Right To Life Prioritised By Islam Over All Other Rights Enjoyed By Mankind
1.Life is a precious gift bestowed by Allah.
2.People lose their interest in life because of their weak psychological and divine understanding of the value of life
3.There is a message of good tidings after we come true to Allah’s trials.
There is a very popular saying, ‘Life is not a bed of roses." Roses are signs of happiness and thorns are signs of sorrow. So life is full of happiness as well as sorrow, which when understood makes a human being psychologically balanced both in happiness and sorrow. Learning to be balanced in happiness and grief strengthens a man’s desire to live and his unshakable belief in the right to life.
Many people lose their interest in life because of their weak psychological and divine understanding of the value of life. Life is a precious gift bestowed by Allah, the Most Merciful. Allah has granted the human being resources of a comfortable living in this world but it is we, the human beings who have created inhuman inequality among ourselves which take some of us to the extreme of taking our own or others' lives.
Mankind’s efforts to live and let other’s live is a part of understanding that the calamities befallen on the world are nothing but a test from his Creator to test his patience and belief in Him. Allah, the Most Merciful says in the Holy Quran:
"And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient." (Surat Al-Baqarah: 155) - Sahih International
Along with the message of being tested, there is a message of good tidings after we come true to Allah’s trials. Calamities befalling on a human being are most of the time man-made. Man forgets that everything needs some rules and regulations to run and so is the case with this world. The world runs on the rules formulated by Allah, the Al Qayyum, (The Sustainer), without any hindrance except when He creates calamities to refresh the human being’s memory that their actions against nature will cause horrific devastation for them. Nature is a creation of God that helps human being sustain and make life comfortable. Going against nature is an action against the will of Allah. And that is like a universal suicide, knowingly or unknowingly, being committed. In this regard, Allah, the Sustainer says in the Holy Quran:
And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. (The Holy Quran, An-Nisa, Ayat 29) - Sahih International
Killing oneself or killing one another is killing the right to life given to mankind as one of the most precious gifts. Life is given by Allah so it is His will to take it, not that of the human being.
Islamic Approach towards Right to Life
Among all the human rights bestowed by Islam to the humankind, right to life is a divine endowment to all of us, irrespective of religion, caste or creed as Allah, the Sustainer is the Creator of the whole universe and all that it has. All other rights to mankind will be worthless before the right to life that has been prioritised by Islam over all other rights enjoyed by mankind. It is in this context that Allah, the Sustainer says in the Holy Quran:
"... And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely...." (Surah Al-Ma'idah - 32) — Saheeh International
Saving a life, in the present pandemic context when humanity is in a grip of uncertainty towards life, by providing medical assistance, providing food or solace by talking and taking care is like keeping one’s right to life intact. And as per Allah’s promise, the concerned saviour will be rewarded accordingly in life and after death.
And in the very Ayat of Surah Al-Maidah, Allah, the Almighty says:
"Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely." Surah Al-Ma'idah - 32) — Saheeh International
Above mentioned part of the Ayat of Surah Al-Maidah says that if an individual in the capacity of a doctor or an official is responsible to save a life but instead of saving life takes one because of his carelessness or any other thing will be taken as he has trodden the right to life of whole mankind with his callousness or criminal negligence.
Under the ‘right to life,’ Islam has vividly underlined the value of human life and described the rewards for its saviour and punishment for its destroyer. Underlining the divinity of the right to life under Islamic jurisprudence, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) emphasised the aspect of respect for human life in his ‘farewell sermon’ in Meena as:
"O, People! Verily your lives and your wealth are sacred and forbidden upon you until you meet your Lord, as sacred as this day and this month are."
Above mentioned part of the Prophet’s last sermon delivered at Meena commands human being to respect each other’s life till the day of resurrection. It throws light on the importance of the right to life guaranteed by Islam that among many important issues the Apostle of Allah mentions the point and says that life is a sacred thing and no one is allowed to snatch this right from anyone, in any circumstances.
Allah, the Most Merciful is the only one who gives life hence all mankind is commanded to respect the right to life of every member of this world, as He is the creator of the universe so He talks not of Muslims or non-Muslims. In the Holy Quran, Allah the Sustainer says:
"and that He is the One who gives death and gives life" (Quran, 53:44) — Mufti Taqi Usmani
"He is the One who gave life to you, then He brings death to you, then He will give you life (again). Surely, man is very ungrateful." (Quran, 22:66) — Mufti Taqi Usmani
Right to Life during Poverty
The world is witnessing innumerable incidents related to poverty because of the economic slowdown this pandemic has brought. Poverty has been a curse for our world for centuries sometimes because of famine and flood and most of the times because of us, human being’s greed and unequal distribution of national resources.
Taking poverty as one of the reasons that many people do not respect the right to life and kill themselves and their children. In this context, consider the following Ayaat from the Holy Quran, in which Allah, the Almighty says:
"And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin." (Quran 17:31)
Allah the Almighty is the sustainer of the whole world and He commands not to kill the children for fear of starvation as it is a grave sin. And He says that He sustains the divine gift of life that He has given both to the child and his parents.
Kudos to the ‘Life Saving Warriors’
Appreciations to all the ‘life-saving warriors’, like the scientist, the medical fraternity and the individual social workers who are saving lives, endangering their lives during this pandemic time which has become devastating for human life. All such people will be rewarded with the ‘recognition (رضا) of Allah’ because they have saved ‘life’ the most divine and precious gift of Him.
Let the human being come to assistance of the human being as this is not a time to think of any other humanly trait. Those who are doing this are doing injustice with their life more than that of others.
Those who have shut their eyes on the loss of life or are not fulfilling their duties towards their responsibilities of saving human life because of having otherworldly priorities, have to be answerable to Allah, the Almighty on the day of resurrection.
Fatima Is Not Just A Name But An Institution From Where We Can Get Inspiration Change Our Life For The Better
1.Syeda Fatima is known as Fatima az-Zehra, meaning sparklingly bright and beautiful.
2.Allah purified Syeda Fatima’s family completely and granted them perfection.
3.Prophet (pbuh) said; Fatima is the leader of all women of Paradise.
4.Fatima is the perfect role model for Muslim women around the world.
Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) – daughter of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadijah (R.a), needs no introduction. No believer can be unfamiliar with this name. However, Fatima is not just a name but an institution from where we can get inspiration change our life for the better. For that purpose, we need to know her more although understanding her to the fullest is not possible.
Syeda Fatima, also known as Fatima az-Zehra (Zehra- meaning sparklingly bright and beautiful) was born in 605 in Mecca. Her childhood was different from others. Averse to normal childhood activities, she would spend most of her time with her mother Khadijah, absorbing the best qualities from her. Her habits resembled mostly Muhammad (SAW). According to Aisha Siddiqa, ‘I have not seen anyone the like of Allah’s Messenger in manners, habits, character, and way of sitting and standing more than Fatima, the daughter of merciful Prophet (pbuh) (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi). She is known by many titles like Batool – which means ‘ascetic’ as she was devoted to God. For her chastity, she is titled as Tahira. She would be absorbed in prayers from dusk to dawn and is therefore called Sajida meaning devout worshipper of Allah.
She was married to Ali ibn Abi Talib and had two children – Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain. All these constitute Ahl-u-Byahh (people of House). The status of this family can be understood from the verse of the Quran: ‘Verily the Allah only desires to keep away (all kinds of) impurity from you, o people of the house (Prophet’s family) and to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33). This verse is known as ‘Aayat’e Tatheer’ (purification verse) and is related to this noble family as is evident from the hadith of Sahih Muslim narrated by Saffiyah quoting Hazrat Aisha (R.a). According to this tradition, once, Prophet (pbuh) came out wearing a cloak having camel saddles woven onto it with black wool and took Hussain, Hassan, Fatima, and Ali beneath it. After enwrapping them with a cloak, Prophet (pbuh) recited aforementioned verse of the Quran. Thus interpreting its theme through this act. Besides, the prophet (pbuh) would recite this verse at the door of Fatima’s house at dawn hour of the morning and this continued for 7 months. This implies that Allah purified this family completely and granted them perfection.
The individual virtues of Fatima al-Zehra are evident from different traditions of the Islamic Prophet (pbuh). Fatima has been declared as leader of Women (Bukhari) which is why she is known as Syeda’tun Nisaa’ il Aalameen. Furthermore, Prophet (pbuh) said; Fatima is the leader of all women of Paradise (Tirmidhi) so is the name ‘Khatoon’e Jannat’.
Prophet’s love for Fatima was extraordinary. While greeting Prophet (pbuh), His companions would often say; ‘May our parents be sacrificed for you’ but Prophet (pbuh) used to say this for his beloved daughter – Fatima. Al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban report that Abdullah bin Umar narrates whenever the Holy Prophet set out on the journey, the last person he would speak to from his family before setting off would be Fatima. When he returned from a journey, the holy Prophet would meet Fatima first and would say to her ‘oh Fatima! My mother and father be sacrificed for you.
Fatima is the blessed woman about whom Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Fatima is part of me’ in other words the integral part of Prophet’s soul (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). So much love Prophet (pbuh) had for his daughter that he remarked; the pleasure of Fatima is my pleasure (Musnad Ahmad) and whosoever angers her angers me’ (Bukhari). In addition to these narrations, any number of authentic traditions are available that show how close she was to Allah’s apostle.
Fatima is the perfect role model for Muslim women around the world, not because Prophet of Islam, Muhammad had a deep affection for her but due to her spectacular mode of living. Despite having the grandeur of being the leader of all women of the human world, as declared by Prophet (pbuh) she lived the austere life. And discharged her responsibilities as a wife, a mother, and as a daughter to the point of perfection. Biographers write that once Fatima was ill. Still, she did not abandon her routine nightlong prayers. Her husband Ali went to the mosque for morning prayers. On returning home, he saw Fatima busy with household chores that ranged from grinding wheat, bringing water, to cooking food. Ali said to her; Fatima, you need rest to recover. Fatima replied smilingly, Ali; ‘Allah’s remembrance and your obedience is a remedy for all my ills’.
It was the impact of her guidance that her children – Hassan and Husain earned the title of being masters of the youths of paradise (Tirmidhi). It was the result of her upbringing that her sons at that attained significant position in Islamic history. And are greatly revered by Muslims. In connection with this Allama Iqbal writes and conveys a message to modern women; Batool’e Baash O Pinhaan Shou Azeen Asr : Ki Darr Aagosh Shabirey Bigiri (Emulate Batool and stay away from the evils of time so that person like Hussain would be your child).
Fatima’s generosity and compassion for the destitute constitute an important aspect of her life. Many a time she would have nothing to eat and feed the family, but no beggar or needy returned empty-handed or unattended from her door. She and her family would fast without having anything for Suhoor (pre-dawn meals) and Iftar (breaking of fast) except water but used to feed the mendicants. Allah (swt) describes this exceptional feature in Quran; ‘And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive’ (76:8).
In nutshell, ‘Fatima is Fatima’ – the lady having no match. After considering all the aspects of her life, Allama Iqbal concluded; I am bound by Islamic laws. I am beholden to saying of Prophet. Else, I would have gone about her tomb and would have fallen prostrate, worshipping her dust.
Fatima passed away on 3rd Ramdhan 11 Hijri (632/633) in Medina , a few months after the death of Holy Prophet (pbuh).
Today Muslims imitate bogus models and resultantly our condition is piteous all around the world. However, by following the true models like Fatima, Muslims can surely regain their glory as the success lies in the lifestyle of these great people for whom Allah says : Allah is pleased with them and they with him.
The Holy Month Of Ramadhan Is An Auspicious Time To Be Grateful To Our Beloved Allah For Giving Us Another Opportunity To Observe Fasting And Gain The Benefits From This Spiritual Exercise
1.Fasting during Ramadan a spiritual exercise.
2.Abstaining from drinking, eating and from other carnal needs are training activities for us in our daily struggle against the evil.
3.Sufi saints always insist that while fasting, it becomes mandatory to remember that the fast is not confined to our gustatory and gastronomic acts only.
4.May Allah help us all at this time of the COVID pandemic.
The holy month of Ramadhan is an auspicious time to be grateful to our Beloved Allah for giving us another opportunity to observe fasting and gain the benefits from this spiritual exercise. In His divine wisdom, All-Merciful Allah, who is the Lord of both our bodies, minds and spirits, prescribed a spiritual exercise specifically for our own benefit so that through this practice of fasting, we can gradually deny gratifications that are even lawful, such as eating and drinking from dawn to sundown, so our spirits will be strong to firmly deny all sinful and unlawful acts. Ramadhan fasting is established by our Beloved Allah for our own good. He establishes fasting not out of tyranny, caprice or of unreasonable whim.
The Holy Qur’an clearly declares the very purpose of fasting during this holy month: “Oh you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil…” (Surah Baqarah 2:183). From this holy verse, we can reflect that training our hearts, minds and souls to detest evil is the very purpose why our Beloved Allah prescribes fasting for us. Abstaining from drinking, eating and from other carnal needs are simply training activities for us in our daily struggle against the evil of our self-gratification and our wanton appetites for sin, worldliness and carnality. Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him and his Companions) had clearly made this very important point that it is not hunger or thirst and our self-denial of food and drink that reaches Allah but what Allah is interested in, is the result of genuine fasting within the devotee’s heart; which is the believer’s firmness in denying his evil-commanding self within (Nafs Ammarah).
Sufi saints of Sunni Islam always insist on this: that while doing fasting, it becomes mandatory for us to remember that the fast is not confined to our gustatory and gastronomic acts only. It is training in observance of abstinence of all parts of our body and senses that is prone to sin as the mark of our obedience to our Beloved Allah so that He may be pleased with us. The reason why humans are being considered superior to all other creatures of Allah is the human capacity to control, delay, or even deny his bodily demands for a higher goal or lofty purpose. Sufi saints stress that the aim of life and all our acts of servitude to Allah is not just to avoid hell and earn paradise, for that would be very self-serving, very egotistical, superficial and very petty. For Sufi Muslims, the very intention of all our acts of worship is to gain the love of Allah and to please Him; in the words of Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (may Allah illumine his grave), to merit being called Allah’s “Wali” (friend) or His “ashiq” (lover) and “Habib” (beloved).
Furthermore, the Sufi saints of Sunni Islam remind us not to be too legalistic to simply confine ourselves only to the external forms and rules on fasting, but to transcend the external aspects of fasting by reflecting upon the very spirit (ruhaniyyah), true intention (niyyah) and inward reality (haqiqah) of fasting: that is, our Beloved Allah enjoined fasting for us so we can tame and control our hedonistic and egotistic self. For this essay, I will quote one example to exemplify this point. Externally, we deny the hold of the tongue’s appetite upon us when we fast—that is the external legal demand of fasting. But let us consider the tongue and how we can still utilize the tongue in sinning, so that even though we are not eating or drinking during Holy Ramadhan, we still commit various hurtful offenses against our Beloved Allah and against our fellow humans. The tongue can be used wrongly for lying, slander, abuse, hurling insults, and worst of all; backbiting and gossiping. The inner reality of fasting is therefore to deny the tongue its power to commit offenses against our Beloved Allah and to avoid hurting our fellow humans. The tongue’s desired use would be for truth, for spreading the good news of love, peace and harmony to everyone, for teaching respect to one-and-all, using our tongues to share words of kindness to everyone, and for spreading peace in the world.
Frankly speaking, simply fasting on drinks and food but engaging our tongues in sinful and unkind words and deeds betray the very purpose of fasting as set-forth by our Beloved Allah, which is to train our spirit to fight evil coming from our “evil-commanding self” (Nafs Ammarah). There is indeed a very great spiritual wisdom coming from the “Naseehat” (spiritual advice) of Hazratan Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, the first Khalifah-e-Mutlaq (the Paramount Caliph [Successor]) of the Holy Prophet when he said: "Fasting of the tongue or the stomach is only a mirror and a shadow of the real fast. The real fast is the fasting of the heart from all things that displease Allah and fasting of our mind, tongue and actions from breaking the hearts of other creatures of Allah." (Naseehat-e-Abu Abu Bakr Siddiq-e-Akbar [Advice from Abu Bakr the Truthful, the Great]; p. 72.).
May this Holy Ramadhan fasting become a spiritual mirror of our true standing as Allah’s slaves. May our struggles, failures and victories over our egotistical self and our hedonistic senses during this holy month will show us the true reflection of our real self when compared to the "mirror" of Allah’s beautiful divine character—as to how we are yet so very far in becoming Allah’s friends (Wali-Ul-Llah), lovers (Ashiq-Ul-Llah) and beloved (Habib-Ul-Llah). Keeping these points in view, there is yet tremendous scope for correction and betterment of one’s self during this holy month. But we must remind ourselves that the effort we have expended in the taming of our unruly self, along with our exercises of self-denial during fasting should not just only be for one month, but for the rest of our remaining ephemeral earthly lives. At the end of Ramadan Sharif, we should make an all-out effort to continue the spiritual gains we have attained during this blessed month for the rest of the year, by the grace and mercy of our All-Forgiving and All-Merciful Allah alone.
I sincerely pray that our Beloved Allah grant us the opportunity to observe Holy Ramadan in its true spirit, as outlined by our great Sunni Ulama (scholars) and exemplary Sufi Murshid (preceptors). As we continually perform this holy training of controlling our unbridled senses and our untamed egos during this holy month, let us offer whatever merits we have for a peaceful world, for harmony and world unity and Allah’s blessings for one-and-all: Muslims and non-Muslims alike. May the Most Compassionate Allah make it easy for all of us to complete the number of days of the fasting month. May our Beloved Allah Taala, the All-Merciful assist us with His grace and mercy so that we will be able to fulfil all our acts of worship during this holy month, and may He be pleased by all these manifestations of our humble servanthood to Him. May our Beloved Allah help us all who are presently going through trials in our lives whatever these may be, especially at this time of the COVID pandemic. For the sake of this most holy of all months, Ramadhan Sharif, may we have the grace to bear our trials with courage and resignation to the holy will of our Almighty Allah. Ameen, summa Ameen (Amen, and again Amen). Ramadhan Kareem Mubarak to all.
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu is Associate Professor-7 of Philosophy and Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines (UP), Cebu City, Philippines. He was former Academic Coordinator of the Political Science Program at UP Cebu from 2011-2014. He was former Coordinator of Gender and Development (GAD) Office at UP Cebu from 2015-2019. His research interests include Islamic Studies particularly Sunni jurisprudence, Islamic feminist discourses, Islam in interfaith dialogue initiatives, Islamic environmentalism, Classical Sunni Islamic pedagogy, the writings of Imam Al-Ghazali on pluralism and tolerance, Islam in the Indian Subcontinent, Turkish Sufism, Ataturk Studies, Ottoman Studies, Muslim-Christian Dialogue, Middle Eastern Affairs, Peace Studies and Public Theology.
Explaining verse 9:29 out of 26 Verses Presented by Wasim Rizvi in Supreme Court
Main points discussed in part 8
1.Five types of revenues or taxation in the Prophet’s era
2.A brief Introduction to Ghanimah, Fai’, Zakat, Jizyah and Kharaj
3.Jizyah was collected from Dhimmis only to be spent on their protection
4.Jizyah was collected only from the wealthy dhimmis
5.Hazrat Umar Prevented Muslims from harming the dhimmis with reference to Sunnah-proof
6.The purpose of fighting against Jews and Christians as mentioned in verse 9:29 was to end mischief and corruption
(12) “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah (tax) willingly while they are humbled.” (9:29)
This verse of Surah Tawbah commands the believers to fight the People of the Book, the Jews and the Christians until they are willingly ready to pay Jizyah for the protection of their rights. Since this verse denotes the obligation of Jizyah and its permissibility, we will briefly highlight the concept of Jizyah and its similar revenues here so that It becomes clear that not only the People of Book or non-Muslim minority but also the Muslims had to pay such revenues but in the form of Zakat.
There were five types of revenues or taxation in the era of the holy Prophet (peace be upon him):
(1) ghanimah (spoils of war) (2) fai’ (booty / treasure obtained without a fight) (3) Zakat (obligatory charity) (4) Jizyah (poll tax) (5) Kharaj (land tax)
(1) ghanimah or spoils of war: This is the wealth gained from the conquered nation at the time of victory. One-fifth of this wealth was allocated, in the name of Allah and His Messenger, for the public treasury governed by Islamic law to meet the social needs and achieve other purposes. The rest of the wealth was equally distributed among the soldiers under one regulation.
(2) Fai or booty: It is the wealth that the Muslims used to acquire without fighting the infidels, for example, under the terms of peace and reconciliation. This had to be under the control of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He used to spend it on the needs of relatives, orphans, the needy, the poor travellers and ordinary Muslims.
(3) Zakat or obligatory charity: This was obligatory only on Muslims and was collected through four ways; 1) cash, 2) fruits and products, 3) livestock and 4) merchandise.
This was the spirit and light of faith that encouraged Muslims to pay zakat (obligatory charity) and sadaqat (voluntary charity) by themselves. However, a regular system for collecting the revenues was needed in a big kingdom for collection of revenues. Therefore the Holy Prophet appointed collectors for collecting Zakat. This service was usually given to the chief of each tribe. In the books of history and biographies, the names of Zakat-collectors are mentioned in detail.
(4) Jizyah or poll tax: This was obtained from non-Muslim minority or citizens in exchange for protection of their rights, life, property, family and children. In the Prophet’s time, one dinar was annually collected from every mature man who had the capability to pay. We will explain it after a short while.
(5) Kharaj or land tax: This tax was received from non-Muslim farmers in return for land ownership. They had to pay the amount fixed only after mutual agreement as per the land production. Kharaj was collected from Khyber, Fadak, Wadi al-Qura etc. There was a strict rule that no amount of Kharaj should be collected by way of oppression.
The revenues through jizyah (poll tax) and Kharaj (land tax) were utilized only for the salaries of soldiers and war expenses. Two shares were given to the married soldiers and one share to the unmarried soldiers.
The jizyah was a kind of security tax collected from the dhimmis (non-Muslim minority), but this tax was spent only for the protection of their own lives and property. The dhimmis were exempt from military service but if military service was taken under certain unavoidable circumstances, then they were not asked to pay Jizyah tax. Similarly, the dhimmis who were poor, destitute or disabled were also exempted from paying Jizyah. But rather the revenues were spent on themselves by the Islamic treasury which was established in every province to meet all their needs. It is recorded in many treaties of the Rightly Guided Caliphate, especially Hazrat ‘Umar Farooq’s caliphate era, that there was only Jizyah or security-tax collected for the protection of the dhimmis’ lives and property. The words of the treaty mutually agreed between the people of Gorgan and the Farooqi Caliphate read:
“We take the responsibility of your protection on the condition that you will have to pay the annual jizyah as per your capability, and if we seek your help, the jizyah will be forgiven in return."
In the victory-treaty of Azerbaijan, this was written that “Those who serve as the army-soldiers in any year will not be asked to pay the jizya for that year”
You can see many such examples in the books of history and biographies. In fact, if some Muslims were not able to protect the dhimmis for any reason, the collected amount of Jizya was also returned to them, as it took place in the battle of Yarmuk when the Muslim military became incapable of protecting the dhimmis, the commander of the army, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah b. Jarrah issued a decree to the authorities of Syria and the conquered territories that all the collected Jizyah should be returned.
Furthermore, no strict action was taken for the collection of Jizyah. During a journey to Syria, Hazrat Umar Farooq (May Allah be pleased with him) saw at one place that the Dhimmis were being severely punished. When he asked the reason, it was found that these people are reluctant to pay the Jizyah because of their poverty. After knowing about their situation, he said, “Leave them” because I have heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, “Do not harm people. Allah will punish on the Day of Judgment those who harm and persecute the people in this world”.
During the collection of jizyah discounts and concessions were given to such an extent that if an old dhimmi became disabled from doing work or fell victim to a calamity or became poor after richness and his religious people started giving charity to him, then his jizyah too would be forgiven. And not only was he forgiven, but he and his descendants were also paid from the Muslim treasury.
In short, the jizyah was a purely protective tax that was spent only on their protection and the Muslims were not exempt from such payments but in the form of Zakat. However, the amount of zakat binding on the Muslims was much higher than that of Jizya. Therefore, it should be known to everyone that such taxes were levied not only on the Muslim minorities but also on the Muslims. From this, the brothers of the homeland and the followers of Islam can get a good idea of how just and equitable the practice of Islam is with other communities and nations. They can also know that the degree of Islamic tolerance has reached such a higher culmination that if a Muslim killed a dhimmi, Hazrat Umar Farooq (may Allah be pleased with him) did not hesitate to give punishment of retribution (qisas) to him.
Once a Christian from the city of Heera was killed by a Muslim from the tribe of Bakr b.Wa'il, Hazrat Umar handed over the Muslim killer to the heirs of the slain Christian and they killed him in retribution. Similarly, if the dhimmis’ property was damaged by any means, they were compensated for that. The dhimmis had all kinds of freedom under the Islamic kingdom. An excerpt from the treaty that Hazrat Umar Farooq (May Allah be pleased with him) wrote to the Christians after the conquest of Jerusalem reads;
“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is the assurance of safety which the servant of God, Umar, the Commander of the Faithful, has given to the people of Jerusalem. He has given them an assurance of safety for themselves for their property, their churches, their crosses, the sick and healthy of the city and for all the rituals which belong to their religion. Their churches will not be inhabited by Muslims and will not be destroyed. Neither they, nor the land on which they stand, nor their cross, nor their property will be damaged. They will not be forcibly converted” (summarised from Taareekh-e-Islam, vol.1, p.191-193)
For more details, please see the relevant subjects in the books such as Kitab al-Kharaj, Tarikh-e-Tabari vol.5, and Futuh al-Buldan.
From this quote, the brothers of the homeland can understand well that Islam is a champion of national unity, tolerance, justice, equality, brotherhood and protection of one another’s rights. Islam never allows oppression, aggression, unjust killing, bloodshed and mischief.
After this explanation, let us now ponder over verse 29 of Surah Tawbah. This verse of Surah Tawbah commands the believers to fight the People of the Book, the Jews and the Christians until they are willingly ready to pay Jizyah for the protection of their rights, as it is clear from the last part of the verse, “[fight] until they give the jizyah (tax) willingly” (9:29)
This verse mentions four reasons for fighting Jews and Christians:
(1) They do not believe in Allah.
(2) They do not believe in the Hereafter.
(3) They don’t believe in the impermissibility of what Allah and His Messenger have declared Haram (forbidden).
(4) These people do not follow the religion of truth.
Believing in Allah means to believe in His oneness, His essence (Zaat) and all His positive and negative attributes (Sifat-e-Thubuti and Sifate-Salabi). According to some commentators (mufassirin), the belief in Allah also includes the belief in His Messengers. Though the Jews and Christians claimed that they believed in God Almighty, their claim was simply wrong because the Jews attributed physical shape to God and the Christians believed in the incarnation (hulool), as the verse 9:30 reads:
“The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah"; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah." That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?” (9:30)
The Jews consider Hazrat Ezra (peace be upon him) to be the son of God, and the Muslim commentators (mufassirin) have stated the reason that the Jews killed many prophets after Moses (peace be upon him), because of which God Almighty took the Torah (Old Testament) from them (i.e. erased it from their hearts). Thereafter Allah reminded Ezra (peace be upon him) of the Torah word by word through the angel Jibreel (peace be upon him) whereby the Jews started saying that God Almighty can inculcate the Torah only in the heart of His son, as the same is mentioned in the commentary of Abi Saud vol.4, p.59.
As for the Christians’ believing Hazrat Jesus (peace be upon him) to be the son of God, the reason for that is he was born without a father and also that he used to resurrect the dead by the command of Allah and heal the people affected with diseases such as leprosy, due to which the Christians believed that it was impossible for other than the son of God to do so as it is mentioned in the commentary of Abi Saud: “They (the Christians) said, “It is impossible for a child to come into existence without a father. It is also impossible for other than God to treat the leper and the blind and revive the dead”
Similarly, they neither believed in the Hereafter nor in the impermissibility of things forbidden in the light of revelations. They went so far as to distort the Torah and the Gospel and did not follow the religion of truth which is Islam that has abrogated all the previous Shariats. Also, they did not keep their peace covenant and were always ready for attacking the Muslims, causing evil, mischief and corruption in the land. For all these reasons, the Muslims were commanded to fight against them. However at the same time, an exception was made that if they believed, or agreed to pay Jizyah in case of disbelief, they will not be harassed in any way, and in return for the payment of Jizyah, their rights, lives and property will be protected.
Maulana Badruddoja Razvi Misbahi, Principal of Madrasa Arabia Ashrafia Zia-ul-Uloom Khairabad, District Mau, UP (India) is a Sufi-minded, well-mannered, classical Islamic scholar, an expert teacher, an excellent writer, a good poet and orator. He has authored numerous books, some of which are as follows: 1) Fazilat-e-Ramazan, 2) Zad-ul-Haramain, 3) Mukhzin-e-Tib, 4) Tauzeehat-e-Ahsan, the commentary on the well-known logical book “Mulla Hasan” 5) Muhazarat fi Halle Qutbi Tasawwurat, 6) Tahzib al-Faraid commentary on “Sharh al-Aqaid”, 7) Atayib al-Tahani fi Halle Mukhtasar al-Ma’ani, 8) Commentary on Sahih Muslim