Dhimmi – Non Muslims living in the Khilafah

Abdul Kareem Newell

Paperback, 30 Pages
21 x 14.8 cm
MaktabaIslamia Publications

Non-Muslim citizens living under the Khilafah are referred to, in the Shari’ah, as dhimmi. The term “dhimmi” is derived from the word “dhimma,” which means “obligation to fulfill a covenant”. Islam considers all people living under the Khilafah as citizens of the Islamic State and treats them with equal status. Discrimination between Muslims and dhimmi is forbidden. The state must secure and protect their beliefs, honor, mind, property and life.

The status given to the dhimmi was clarified by the Messenger of Allah (saw), who said, “The one who kills a Mu’ahid (non-Muslim under the protection of the Khilafah) without right will not smell the fragrance of Jannah [Paradise] even if its smell was forty years traveling distance” [Ahmed].

Imam Qarafi also summed up the responsibility of the State to the dhimmi when he said: “It is the responsibility of the Muslims to the People of the Dhimma to care for their weak, fulfill the needs of the poor, feed the hungry, provide clothes, address them politely, and tolerate their harm even if it was from a neighbour, even though the Muslim would have an upper hand. The Muslims must also advise them sincerely on their affairs and protect them against anyone who tries to hurt them or their family, steals their wealth, or violates their rights.

What must be understood is that the fair and just treatment of “ahl al-dhimma” (people of the covenant) is attributable to the adherence to the laws of Allah (swt). Just as Muslims are obligated by Allah (swt) to establish salat, Muslims are obligated to be just to the non-Muslims. Islam does not permit the Muslims to renege on their obligations to non-Muslims under the pretext of “national security”.

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