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ƏDƏBİYYAT 

 

1.

 



Гурани  Кярим.  Яряб  дилиндян  тяръцмя  едянляр  З.М.Бцнйадов; 

В.М.Мяммядялийев. Бакы: Гисмят, 2004, 607 с. 

2.

 

Müqəddəs kitab, Əhdi-Ətiq və  Əhdi Cədid. Bakı:  Müqəddəs kitab 



nəşriyyatı, 2009,1248 s. 

3.

 



Sistani Seyyid Əli Hüseyni Ayətullahil Uzma. İzahlı  Şəriət Məsələləri. 

Moskva: 2003, 519 s. 

4.

 

Balcı Ramazan. Əbu Hureyre. İstanbul: Nəsil, 2006 



5.

 

Buhari. “Səhihi Buhari”, Muhtasarı Tecridi Sarih. terc. Abdullah Feyzi 



Kocaer, İstanbul: 2003,  

6. Эцненъ Щалил. Бцйцк Шафии илмищали. Истанбул: Илм йайым еви, н.и.й.,513 с 

7. İbn Mace. ”Sünən”. İstanbul: Çağrı neşriyyat, 1992, ,462 s. 

8. İbn Rüşd, Bidayətul Müctəhid tər.Ahmed Meylani, İst.1991,IV,1961 

9.

 

Карадави Йусиф. Ислам щукуку. Истанбул, 1999, 230 с. 



10.

 

Karslı  İbrahim H. Kuran yorumlarında kadın. Rağbet nəşriyyatı,  İstanbul-



2003. 234 s. 

11.


 

Mustafa Fayda. TDV İslam Ansiklopedisi. ”Aişe” maddəsi, İst. 1989 



İslam ailə hüququnda miras üzərindəki haqlar, əhatə dairəsi və vəsiyyət 

93

12.



 

Şerif Muhammed (cev. Ahmet Özberk) İslamda ve başka dinlerde kadın. 

İstanbul: 2001,  

13.


 

Əbu Davud, “Sünen” Çagrı  nəşriyyatı, İstanbul: 1992,  

14.

 

 Əl-Qurtubi Abdullah Məhəmməd bin İsmayıl.  Əhkam  əl – Quran. Beyrut, 



1335 

15.


 

Əş-Şökani Məhəmməd bin Əli Muhəmməd. Neyləl-əvtar. Qahirə. N.İ.Y. 

16.

 

Əş – Şafii. Əl umm. Beyrut.1973 



 

 


 Mirzəyeva Səbinə Həmid qızı 

94

 



XÜLASƏ 

 

İslam hüququnda miras ölünün özündən sonra qoyduğu və mirasçılarına çatacaq 



şeylərdir. Miras yalnız varislərin haqqı deyil. Ömür boyu ona sahib olan və qoruyan 

ölünün cənazə  xərclərinin  ilk haqıdır.  İslam hüququnda vəsiyyətin məşru olmağı 

Qurani-Kərimə, sünnətə və icma dəlilinə əsaslanır.Vəsiyyətin hökmünü dünyalıq və 

axirətlik olaraq iki yerə ayırmaq olar. Vəsiyyət yalnız vəsiyyət edən insanın 

ölümündən sonra, onun borcları ödəndikdən sonra icra edilə bilər. 

 

 



РЕЗЮМЕ 

 

В  исламском  праве  наследством  считается  то,  что  оставляет  после  себя 



покойный  наследникам.  Первым  правомсчитаются  расходы  на  поминки  из 

имущества  покойного.  Далееследуют  права  тех,  кому  был  должен  покойный, 

права  лиц,  кому  по  своей  воле  завещал    покойный  и,  наконец, 

праванаследников.  В  исламе  завещать  имущество  для  владельца  считается 

обязательным.  Завещание  можно  подразделить    на  мирское  и  загробное. 

Примером  мирскоо завещания является хадж, загробного – имущество. 

 

 

SUMMARY 



 

Inheritance  rights  and  the  will  in Islamic  family  law 

 

In Islamic  law  inheritance  is  things that  the deceased  leave  to the  



inheritants.  Inheritance  is not only  inheritants` right. The first  right  is  funeral  

costs  from  theproperty  of  the  deceased. Then  the  rights of people whom  the  

deceased  owed, the  rights of people…. 

 


Status of non-Muslim inhabitants in an Islamic State 

95

 



 

STATUS OF NON-MUSLIM INHABITANTS  

IN AN ISLAMIC STATE 

 

By Dr. Namig Abuzarov 

 

 



Key words: Non-Muslims, dhimmi, jizya, minority, Medina constitution, the 

people of the Book. 

Açarsözlər: Qeyri-Müsəlmanlar, zimmilər, cizyə, azlıqlar, Mədinəkonstitusiyası, 

əhli-kitab. 

Ключевые слова:Немусульманы, зымми, джизья, 

меньшинства,Мединская 

конституция, люди книги. 

 

Introduction 

Islam is the second major living religion in the world with 1.6 billion followers, 

which comprise nearly 23% of the world`s population. Muslims make up a majority 

of the population in 49 countries.

1

 There are hundreds of nations within the scope of 



Islam.  Despite some of them being smaller in number than others, since the 7

th

 



century but they have been sharing the same religious values regardless of their 

ethnic origin, race, nationality and language. The followers of other religions 

including Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and so forth, have lived in Muslim 

majority areas or in the Islamic State under the status of “non-Muslims” since that 

time.  The term “non-Muslim” differs from the modern concept of “minority” in 

some ways. 

There is no single and broadly accepted definition of minority at the 

international level. The 1

st

 article of The United Nations Minorities Declaration 



refers to minorities as based on national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic 

identity, and provides that States should protect their existence, but it does not 

provide internationally agreed definition as to which groups constitute minorities.

2

 



                                                 

1

 Pew Research, (2012), The Global Religious Landscape, retrieved from 



  http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-exec/ 

2

 United Nations, Minority Rights: International Standards and Guidance for Implementation



New York and Geneva 2010, p. 2.  

Namig Abuzarov 

96

According to a special rapporteur of the UN Sub-Commission on the Prevention 



of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (SCPDPM) Francesco Capotorti, a 

minority is “a group numerically inferior to the rest of population of a state, in a non-

dominant position, whose members -being nationals of the state- possess ethnic, 

religious and linguistic characteristics differing from those of the rest of the 

population and show, if only implicitly, a sense of solidarity, directed towards 

preserving their culture, traditions, religion and language.”

3

 The notion of “number” 



predominates this definition, and it implies that numerically inferior groups are 

central part of the concept “minority” and they are the most vulnerable part of a 

society. 

According to Kristen Henrard, the author of numerous books on minority, the 

two most important reasons for the difficulty to arrive at a generally accepted 

definition of the concept “minority ” are the complexity and diversity of the minority 

phenomenon and the fear of the states regarding the consequences of the recognition 

of minorities (and the ensuing rights). The typical fear of states is that the recognition 

of minorities and Minority Rights will lead to an escalation of nationalistic and even 

secessionist movements and finally to the break-up of the state.

4

 

Islamic equivalent of “Minority” is “Dhimmi” (The Protected non-Muslim), the 



notion that is primarily based on religious identity. Islam has rejected all the notions 

of minority on which ethnic, racial, nationalistic and linguistic characters of a society 

base. It has selected only the identity of ideas- a thing which depends on the choice 

of a man and not the accidents and hazards of birth- as the basic tie of the society and 

the factor of union. 

5

 So, there is a fundamental difference between the Western-



derived concepts of “minority” and that of Islam.  

In this article I examine the Islamic concept of “Minority” that the Prophet 

Muhammad and the early Muslim community conceived in the 7

th

 century and 



explore how Islamic legislation with regard to non-Muslim subjects enacted by the 

Prophet and adopted by the orthodox caliphs in this period. Thus, I confine my 

                                                 

3

 Francesco Capotorti, Study on the Rights of Persons Belonging to Ethnic, Religious and 



Linguistic Minorities, (New York, United Nations, 1979), para. 568. 

4

 Henrard, K, Devising an Adequate System of Minority Protection: Individual Human 



Rights, Minority Rights and the Right to Self-Determination, (2000), Kluwer Law and 

Taxation Publishers, p.172. 

5

 Hamidullah, M., Introduction to Islam, Ankara 2007, 3th edition, p. 224. 



Status of non-Muslim inhabitants in an Islamic State 

97

research to the years 622-661 AD, because this period provides a lot of precedents by 



which the later Islamic Law took its form.  

 

Medina Constitution 

Medina constitution is the most vivid example that provides basic principles 

with regards to the status of non-Muslim inhabitants in an Islamic State.  The Prophet 

Muhammad drew up this unique historical document or the first written constitution 

of Islamic community soon after his migration to Medina by mutual consent.  

This document contains 53 sentences, or, to use legal terminology, sections; and 

is an invaluable example of the legal language and the manner of document-writing 

of the time. The importance of it has been felt by the European Christians even more 

than by the Muslim historians. Besides Welhausen, Mueller, Grimme, Sprenger, 

Wensinck, Caetani, Buhl and others, an English historian, in the course of a short 

history of the world, has felt it necessary to mention it in considerable detail.

6

 

Representatives of different religions used to live in the same city, Medina. It 



was under these circumstances that the Prophet arrived in Medina, where the 

following problems demanded urgent solution: 

1.

 

Definition of the rights and obligations, his own as well as those of local 



inhabitants.  

2.

 



Arrangement for the settlement and livelihood of the Meccan refugees. 

3.

 



An agreement with the non-Muslims of the city, particularly the Jews.

7

 



In Medina, the Prophet Muhammad constituted a City-State, in which Muslims, 

Jews, a small number of Christians, and pagan Arabs, all entered into a statal 

organism by means of this social contact.

8

 



The very fact that, at the time of the constitution of this City-State, the 

autonomous Jewish villages acceded with their free will to the federal State, and 

recognized Muhammad as their supreme political leader, implies that the non-

Muslim subjects possessed the right to vote in the election of the head of the Muslim 

State at least in as far as the political life of the country was concerned.  

The following articles of the Medina constitution played central roles in 

establishing multi-cultural environment, viz: 

                                                 

6

 Hamidullah, M., The First Written Constitution of the World, (1941), p. 4.  



7

 Ibid., p. 8.  

8

 Hamidullah, Muhammad, Introduction to Islam, p. 227. 



Namig Abuzarov 

98

Section 2.They (All citizens of Medina) shall constitute a separate political unit 



(Ummat) as distinguished from all the people (of the world). 

Section 25.And the Jews of Banu ‘Awf shall be considered as one political 

community (Ummat) along with the believers—for the Jews their religion, and for 

the Muslims theirs, be one client or patron. He, however, who is guilty of oppression 

or breach of treaty, shall suffer the resultant trouble as also his family, but no one 

besides.


9

 

Section 40. The clients (mawla) shall have the same treatment as the original 



persons (i.e., persons accepting clientage). He shall neither be harmed nor shall he 

himself break the covenant.

10

 

On the one hand, The Prophet did not at all interfere in social and internal affairs 



and institutions like ransom, blood-money, asylum or quarter, membership of a tribe 

by treaty agreement and other customs were left untouched (25, 31 and 40)

11

. On the 



other hand, the other religious groups then living in Medina, especially the Jews, 

were guaranteed complete protection with a social and political status not less viable 

than what was envisaged for the Muslims. The most significant is the fact that the 

non-Muslims who were a party to the Charter were declared as integral part of the 

Prophet`s newly conceived polity so long as the remained faithful to its terms.

12

 



 

The concept of “Dhimmi” and “Jizyah” 

The term “dhimmi” literally means “protection” and “ahl al-dhimma” refers to 

Jews, Christians and others who agree to live in Islamic State. In other words, non-

Muslim citizens of the Islamic state whose protection is guaranteed by the state in 

return for paying “Jizyah” are called “dhimmis”

13

 



The Islamic Law divides non-Muslim citizens into three categories, viz: 

1.

 



Those who become the subjects of an Islamic State under some treaty or 

agreement; 

2.

 

Those who become its subjects after being defeated by the Muslims in a war; 



                                                 

9

 The Prophet Muhammad dedicated the sections of Medina constitution ranging from 25 to 



30 to the Jewish tribes who settled in Medina. See, for example, Hamidullah, M., The First 

Written Constitution of the World, pp. 37-38.  

10

 Hamidullah, Muhammad, The First Written Constitution of the World, pp. 31-40. 



11

 Ibid., p. 26.  

12

 Ahmad, Z., The concept of Jizyah in Early Islam, Islamic Studies, Vol. 14, No. 4 (1975), 



Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad p.296.  

13

 Srakhsi, al-Mabsut, (1993), Beirut, Dar al-Kutub, Vol. 5, p. 31. 



Status of non-Muslim inhabitants in an Islamic State 

99

3.



 

Those who are there in the Islamic State in any other way. 

14

 

The Jizyah is levied only on those who may be admitted into the status of the 



dhimmi, namely, Christians, Jews, both of whom possess a Scripture, and the 

idolaters, fire worshipers and all unbelievers.

15

 On the other hand, in accordance with 



Islamic law a non-Muslim who comes to Islamic state and lives within its boundaries 

for more than a year, gains a legal status of “dhimmi” and is subject to pay a tax 

called “jizyah”

16

 



It is worth mentioning that “jizyah” was a tax that paid by “dhimmis” in return 

for their full protection against enemies and for their exemption from military 

services and hence, only non-Muslim adult males were obliged to pay jizyah.  Since 

the defense expenses of the Islamic State were reasonably high, so, Prophet 

Muhammad and the Orthodox caliphs imposed “jizyah” to make non-Muslim males 

contribute financially to defense budget.

17

 However, if whosoever from “dhimmis” 



joined the army voluntarily, he was exempted from “jizyah” as long as he was 

affiliated to the army. 

18

 

All other members of non-Muslim tribes namely poor or low-income adults, 



women, children, slaves, lames, age-stricken or physically disabled persons and those 

who do not have any fixed sources of income or depend on others for their 

livelihood, are completely exempted from jizyah. Similarly the clergy, the monks, 

the nuns and the servants of the monasteries are exempt therefrom.

19

 

“Jizyah” was a levy that imposed on “Dhimmis” who possess a certain amount 



of dirhams. In other words, jizyah was an impost on wealth, not on incomes of 

protectorates. The levy, therefore, corresponds to non-Muslims as what “zakah” is to 

Muslims.

20

 



In order for a non-Muslim to pay jizyah he had to be financially independent. 

The amount of Jizyah was to be fixed in accordance with their financial position. 

Those who were rich had to pay more, while those who belonged to the middle class 

paid less and the least amount was charged to the poor class. According to Islamic 

                                                 

14

 Maududi, A.A., Rights of non-Muslims in Islamic State, KaziPubns Inc. (June 1975), p.10 



15

 Aghnides, N.P., Mohammedan Theories of Finance, New York 1916, p. 399. 

16

 Keskioglu, O., “Taxation in Islamic Law”, Izmir 1966, p. 38.  



17

 Hamidullah, M., The Prophet of Islam, Istanbul, 2003, p. 968. 

18

 Ibid. 


19

 Abu Yusuf, Kitab al Kharaj, Istanbul, 1973, p. 200. 

20

 Peerzade, S.A., Jizyah: A Misunderstood Levy, JKAU: Islamic Economy, Vol. 23, No. 1, 



p. 156. 

Namig Abuzarov 

100


law, a person owning 10,000 dirhams and more is rich, the person owning more than 

200 dirhams, but less than 10,000 dirhams belongs to the middle class and finally a 

person owning less than 200 dirhams is considered as poor.

21

 In the time of the 



Prophet, the jizyah amounted to ten dirhams annually, which represented the 

expenses of an average family for ten days.

22

  However, the least amount of jizyah 



that imposed by the Prophet and his orthodox caliphs was to the count of one dinar 

per adult male. 

23

 

In the time of the second Islamic Caliph Umar, the non-Muslim subjects divided 



into three categories in terms of jizyah, namely “general public” who were obliged to 

pay 1 to10 dinars per head

24

, “merchants” who had to pay 24 dinars per head and 



“the heads of the tribes, the landlords and the rich” who had to pay 48 dinars per 

head annually.

25

 Umar`s second regulation with regards to jizyah was his exemption 



from this tax of all those below the age of 20 and above that of 50

26

. It allows us to 



argue that the majority of non-Muslim inhabitants were exempted from jizyah. 

However, according to one account, total amount of jizyah that collected during the 

times of the Prophet was (1,56,010) dirhams

27



 

General Rights of Dhimmis 

In return for paying the jizyah the non-Muslim inhabitants of the Islamic state 

possessed some legal rights. The acceptance of the jizyah establishes the sanctity of 

their lives and property, and thereafter neither the Islamic state, nor the Muslim 

public has any right to violate their property, honor or liberty.

28

 



After the agreement, the Zimmis continue to enjoy the ownership of their 

properties and their heirs have full rights of inheritance in it. They possess full 

powers of sale, transfer, grant and mortgage in respect of all such properties and the 

                                                 

21

 Aghnides, N.P., Mohammedan Theories of Finance, New York 1916, p. 403 



22

 Hamidullah, M., Introduction to Islam, p. 229. 

23

 Ahmad, Z., The concept of Jizyah in Early Islam, Islamic Studies, Vol. 14, No. 4 (1975), 



Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad p. 296. 

24

 It was found that the actual historical standard for the dinar to be 4.5gm of pure gold.  



Retrieved from: http://www.ahamedkameel.com/archives/444. 

25

 Abu Yusuf, Kitab al Kharaj, pp. 126, 200.  



26

 Yadav, T. P., The Myth of Jizyah,  Journal of Indian Research, April-June, 2013, Vol. 1, 

No. 2, p.34. 

27

 Hasan, S.M., The Economic Functions of the Early Islamic State, International Islamic 



Publishers, Karachi, 1981. p. 180. 

28

 Maududi A.A., Rights of non-Muslims in Islamic state, KaziPubnsInc (1975), p.12 



Status of non-Muslim inhabitants in an Islamic State 

101


Islamic state has no right to dispossess them of any of these rights.

29

  In other words, 



the life of a Zimmi is considered as sacred as that of a Muslim.

30

 



At the beginning of each agreement letter on which mutual rights and 

obligations of Islamic state and non-Muslims were written down, the Prophet 

Muhammad assured the other parties of the contract that their lives, properties, 

religions and temples would be under protection by the following statements: 

 

This is a guarantee of security from God and his Messenger, 



You are under protection of God and Muhammad, 

For you are the protection of God and the protection of His Messenger

31

 

 



The Islamic Prophet not only sent letters of assurance to the neighboring non-

Muslim tribes, but also urged his successors and Muslims to obey the rules of these 

agreements.  A prophetic tradition is quoted in this regard: 

 

“Beware!  Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, curtails their 



rights, burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them 

against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on 

the Day of Judgment.”

32

 



 

The same approach was adopted by the second caliph of Islam, Umar to the non-

Muslim subjects of the state.  He warns his successors about dhimmis saying: “

advice my successor to fulfill the contract of the non-Muslim citizens who are under 



the protection of Allah and His Messenger. I enjoin them to fight for them if the need 

arises and not to burden them with more than they can bear

33

 



 

According to the Islamic law, the non-Muslim inhabitants who settle in the 

Islamic State enjoy the privileges granted by the State. For instance, those dhimmis 

who are afflicted by disease that left them disabled, or were severely injured in 

                                                 

29

 Ibid., p. 11. 



30

 See, for example, Hamiduallah, M., al-Majmua al-Wathaaiq al-Siyasiyya, Beirut 1985, pp. 

118-120. 

31

 Ibid. 



32

 Abu Dawood, Sunan, The Book of Kharaj 23, hadith no. 2654. 

33

 Bukhari, al-Sahih, al-Manaqib, 31, hadith no. 3424; Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj, p. 205. 



Namig Abuzarov 

102


accidents and cannot earn their livelihood, or went bankrupt that became independent 

of others in terms of living, are not only exempted from Jizya, but were entitled to 

help from the State Treasury (Beyt al-Mal)

34

 



A reputable jurisprudent Kasani states that, if a dhimmi commits crimes, or even 

refuses to pay the jizya or kills an innocent Muslim or abuses the Holy Prophet or 

attacks the honor of a Muslim woman, and yet these will not disqualify him from the 

status of “dhimmi” and he will not considered to have lost his right of protection.

35

 

However, if non-Muslims commit the following two crimes, it will deprive them of 



their right of protection: 

1.

 



When they cooperate with enemies against Muslims

2.

 



When they rebel against the state to overthrow it. 

36

 



 

In accordance with Islamic law, all personal matters of the Dhimmi are to be 

decided in accordance with their Personal Law.  The corresponding laws of Shariah 

are not to be enforced on them. If anything prohibited for Muslims in their Personal 

Law, but the same is not prohibited to the Dhimmis by their religion, they will have 

the right to use that thing and the courts in the country will decide their cases in the 

light of their Personal Law. For instance, marriage without witnesses and without 

fixation of Mehr (dower money) will be allowed to stand. Similarly, dhimmis are 

exempted from punishment for adultery and drinking wine, while it is prohibited for 

Muslims.  On the other hand if a Muslim spoils of a wine of a dhimmi, or harms his 

pigs, he will have to pay for them.

37

 



Dhimmi traders also have to pay a trade tax as is charged from the Muslim 

traders on trade goods of the value of 200 dirhams or more or if they own 20 

mithqals (equal to 85 grams) or more of gold

38

.  



The non-Muslim minorities have practiced their worship and fulfill their 

religious obligation freely. The orthodox caliphs of Islam upheld this freedom 

thorough their tenure and did not destroy any of the existing churches, synagogues 

and other sanctuaries. It astonished the Umayyid caliph, Umar bin Abd al-Aziz that 

why so much religious liberty had been given to non-Muslim inhabitants by his 

                                                 

34

 Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj, p. 232.  



35

 Kasani, A.E., Badai as-Sanai, Beirut (1997), Vol. 7, p. 336 

36

 Maududi A.A., Rights of non-Muslims in Islamic state, p. 15. 



37

 Ibid., pp-12-16. 

38

 Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj, p. 216. 



Status of non-Muslim inhabitants in an Islamic State 

103


predecessors. He asked, well-known Islamic scholar, namely, Hasan al-Basri about 

it. The answer of this jurisprudent was that, the status given them in the state was due 

to the jizya they paid. He advised the caliph that he should keep firm to what his 

predecessors had done in this respect

39



It is worth mentioning that Muslims do not have the right to confiscate the 



places of worship in such towns as have been taken by storm. All the places of 

worship were left as they were. They were neither destroyed, nor the conqueror had 

the right to deprive these places of worship of their goods or properties. 

40

 It implies 



that it is not permissible for Muslims to destroy ancient places of worship of non-

Muslim subjects.  

As it was mentioned above, Dhimmis have been exempted from military 

services as well, since it is Muslim population`s accountability to defend the state 

against the enemies. Jizyah is not only loyalty to the state but it is also the 

contributory compensation for exemption from military service. Whenever Muslims 

felt unable to protect the non-Muslim minorities they gave the jizya back to non-

Muslims.


41

 For instance, at the time of the Battle of Yermuk in 634, when the 

Romans gathered huge armies to fight against Muslims and the Muslims had to 

forego their occupation of most of the towns of Syria in order to concentrate a single 

point. Abu Ubeydah, the Commander, ordered his treasury officer to refund the 

jizyah that collected from Syrian Christians and to inform them that Muslims were 

unable to protect them

42

. Hence, many non-Muslim inhabitants, including Christian 



tribes consider this as just treatment that made them prefer Islamic rule.

43

 



 



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