Jihad Watch : A friend called to tell me about an Open-Mosque evening he recently
Yes, he said, it was as predicted: “Earnest, ostentatiously
sincere ask-us-anything faces. Thirty or so unwary Infidels. The main
speaker began by telling us that Islam means ‘peace’, then quoted the
Pope who had said that ‘Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the
Koran are opposed to every form of violence'”. Qur’an 5:32was presented
in its abridged form: “If any one slew a person… it would be as if he
slew a whole people; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he
saved the life of a whole people”.
Then again they will not mention the chapter and verse immediately after the former 5:33 which says: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.
Someone in the audience asked about the Jizyah and the speaker took it
in stride. He said, not missing a beat, that the Jizyah was what
non-Muslims paid to the state, instead of the Zakat that Muslims had to
pay. Since non-Muslims were receiving protection (from whom was not
spelled out) and did not have to serve in the army, it was only just
that they be asked to pay their fair share — hence the Jizyah. In fact,
he added, the Zakat was actually more burdensome than the Jizyah. No
one sought to take issue with the speaker; the audience seemed satisfied
with that preposterous claim.
In K. S. Lal, “The Theory and Practice of the Muslim State In India”,
Delhi,1999, on pp. 139-140, the author makes plain the difference
between Zakat and Jizyah:
“There is a desire to equate Zakat with Jizyah to
emphasize the fairness of the Islamic fiscal system. The Muslims pay
Zakat and the non-Muslims Jizyah. But the analogy is fallacious. The
rate of Zakat tax is as low as 2.5 per cent and that on the apparent
[visible] property only. All kinds of concessions for payment of the
Zakat exist with regard to the taxable minimum. In its collection no
force is applied because force vitiates its character.
“On the other hand, the rate of Jizyah is very high for the
non-Muslims: 48, 24, and 12 tankahs [one of the main historical
currencies in Asia] for the rich, the middling, and the poor, whatever
the currency and whichever the country. Besides, what is central to
Jizyah is always the humiliation of the Infidel, particularly at the
time of collection. What is central in Zakat is that it is voluntary; at
least it should not be collected by force. In India Zakat ceased to be a
religious tax imposed only on the Muslims.
Zakat was levied in the
shape of customs duties on merchandise and grazing fees on all
milk-producing animals or those which went to pasture, and was realized
both from Muslims and non-Muslims. According to Muslim law, ‘import
duties for Muslims were 5 per cent and for non-Muslims 10 per cent of
the community. Abu Hanifa, whose Sunni school of jurisprudence
prevailed in India, would tax the merchandise of the Dhimmis as imposts
at double the Zakat fixed for Muslims.
Jizyah was calculated so as to
inflict real financial pain on Infidels, and had to be paid no matter
how poor they might be. This was part of their punishment for being
Infidels, to pay for their own protection (protection from Muslims
themselves). Zakat, on the other hand, was never meant to be a financial
burden on Muslims. Normally it would be only 2.5% of a Muslim’s wealth,
and imposed only if he possessed a certain minimum wealth, or nisab.
An important part of the Jizyah payment, which is never mentioned by
Muslim apologists (and certainly not at any Open-Mosque event) was the
deliberate humiliation, while making the payment, of the dhimmi. The
Jizyah was not, as most Infidels would understandably assume, simply
handed over to Muslim collectors. There had to be humiliation. Surah
9:29 states that the people of the book (Christians and Jews) are to pay
the Jizyah in a state where they are saaghiruun. This word, according
to the Arabic experts, means “humiliation or disgrace.” (See Tafsir
Al-Tabari, Volume 12, page 96; Al-Qaradihi, Kitab Al-‘Ayn Lil-Khaleel,
Volume 4, page 372).