Rights of Non-Muslims in Islam
Let us start with the Islamic greetings as it is mentioned in the Old, New, and Final testament.
Salamun Alaykum – Peace be unto you (says Qur’an 6:54, and that Allah is Himself Peace, see: 59:23), Sholom Aleichem as Jews accept to say (God is Peace, See: Judges 6:24) and as Jesus used to often say: Peace be unto you. [Book of Luke 24:36 (KJV), Rather the exact wording actually used by Jesus too was “shalom Aleichem” John 20:19, 21, 26]
Author’s Note: It is mostly Muslims who have kept this tradition alive and they say As-Salamu ‘alaykum every time they meet, whereas others (including Christians) are paying the opportunity cost of changing this into Hello, Hi, Hiya, and a more formal way of greeting starting as “Good morning (going up til Good night)” Saying Good morning to someone on a funeral for instance would be illogical or inappropriate, whereas the greeting with “Salam” is appropriate and soothing no matter what occasion or place we are at.
In the world we live in today, our dear Muslim faith called “al-Islam” has unfortunately become the most misunderstood faith out of all religions. The primary reason for this is constant anti Islamic propaganda or rhetoric, and also some unaware/ignorant Muslims who do not understand Islam itself and hence give fuel to bigotry against their own faith without realizing it. Some ignorant ones assume themselves to be the champions of Islam and with this pride they end up doing things which Islam never allowed them at first place (Hadith proves that, Pride and Faith cannot mix – Sahih Bukhari)
We are making this post on rights which Islam gives to non-Muslims because currently our world is going through a very delicate phase as was already told by Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) when he said, that near the hour there would be a lot of killing. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) rather analyzed this present situation very deeply about 1430+ Years ago
The Hadith: The Killer would not know why he killed and the one who got killed would not know why he was killed [Two most authentic books of hadith i.e. Sahih Bukhari and Muslim Hadith # 1356 in the latter]
We would like to write a commentary on this hadith and also go slightly off the topic so that when we come back, we have proper understanding of context of why this world has become such a bad place to live and why Islam is deliberately made to be misunderstood the most?
This hadith pretty much solves the problems faced by modern world today, the wars which are led by big countries upon smaller ones (Big fish eating small), but still putting the blame on the ones being mass murdered as always happened throughout history (Read Qur’an 2:11-12 to understand the ideology of state actors of terrorism), the pre-emptive full fledged genocides of people in Iraq and that too on false grounds of “Weapons of Mass destruction” (which were never found but rather had magical legs with which they ran into neighbouring countries for future reference). Hence in this context the above hadith clearly proves that the killer (any state actor of terrorism) does not know why it killed and the ones being killed do not know why they were being bombarded
Remember ignorance has become a norm in this world. It is spread on a wide scale and the biggest tool of ignorance is “Generalization” i.e. if some Muslim commits a crime then not only that person is to be blamed but rather all Muslims and Islam is to be attacked. We know for sure that Islam is not alone targeted but this blame has been put on other religions too, for example blame of crusades firmly lies upon Christianity, wars as mentioned in Old testament somehow depict the God of Moses as a war monger according to secularists and atheists.
The Muslims on the other hand are declared as terrorists by default in order to carry out the long term and wide scale terrorism upon them. Unlike what west wants to propagate that Muslim scholarship never speaks against terrorism, we want to clarify once again that Muslims do not consider Muslims to be infallible. We accept that there are “Ignorant” Muslims too who legitimize the lame western propaganda by committing crimes which Islam totally shuns in it’s primary sources.
Let us now see what Islam says about rights of non-Muslims.
Qur’an states: O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you”INTO NATIONS AND TRIBES” that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the ”MOST RIGHTEOUS OF YOU” . And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). [49:13]
This verse is a constitutional law for all nations ordained in Qur’an.
Qur’an states at another place: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand- hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things. (2:256)
This above verse proves that If any Muslim forces a non-Muslim to accept Islam (let alone killing him due to difference in faith) then he is a blunt liar and transgressor because Qur’an forbids compelling others into faith at first place.
There is a whole chapter in Qur’an with the name of Al-Kafiroon (i.e. the disbelievers), some would assume straightaway that this chapter would have direct orders to kill all disbelievers at sight, but to their amazement let’s see what the chapter actually states:
109.1: Say: O disbelievers!
109.2: I worship not that which ye worship;
109.3: Nor worship ye that which I worship.
109.4: And I shall not worship that which ye worship.
109.5: Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
109.6: Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.[Translation by a revert from Christianity to Islam i.e. Marmaduke Pickthal]
This short chapter of Qur’an which has been shown in totality, proves beyond doubt that Islam prescribes right in it’s most holy scripture that everyone has freedom of religion and expression, without any if’s and but’s.
Some would argue by taking Quranic verses out of context like many anti Islamic propagandists claim that Quran advises in 2:191 to kill disbelievers wherever one may find them (One of the most widely spread hoaxes in the world). They while grossly misquoting such verses know for sure that they are not being honest in the approach by hiding other part of the same verse itself and also ignoring 1 verse before and 2 verses afterwards which prove the context to be in regards to Battlefield only. Plus fighting was permitted against those disbelievers who had broken the treaties, initiated the fight, driven Muslims out of their own homeland, and committed worst barbarism upon Muslims.
The amount of importance and respect given to minorities in Islam is unimaginable when we read these following words of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), these words are so strong that If Muslims do not follow them then there is a chance of them having a total loss in their own faith.
The Prophet of Mercy said: Beware! Whosoever oppresses a Muahid (i.e. Non-Muslim living in Muslim land with agreement) or snatches (any of) his rights or causes him pain which he cannot bear, or takes anything from him without his permission, Then “I WILL FIGHT AGAINST SUCH A (MUSLIM) ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT” [Sunnan Abu Dawud, Volume No. 3, Page No. 170, Hadith No. 3052]
I.E. the Prophet (Peace be upon him) will be a lawyer against such a Muslim, hence no sane Muslim should expect to win the case when the lawyer against him shall be none other than Muhammad (Peace be upon him) the law giver himself.
This is not just an advice but a “LAW” in Islamic Jurisprudence.
In another hadith the Prophet (Peace be upon him) is more explicit, he said: If any Muslim killed a Muahid (i.e. non-Muslim living in Muslim land with agreement) then he (Muslim) shall not even smell the fragrance of Paradise although the fragrance of Paradise would have been perceived from the distance of travelling for 40 years [Sahih Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadith # 2995]
“Christians allowed to pray inside the Prophetic Mosque which is the most holy place after Mecca (a part from Prophetic grave which is more holier than even Ka’ba and Throne) ”
Hadith: Once a delegation of Christians comprising of 14 members came to Madina. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) made them stay in his mosque (i.e. Masjid an Nabwi) and he gave them permission to perform their worship in their own manner inside his Mosque. [Imam Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqat al Kubra, Volume No. 1, Page No. 357]
The polytheists of Makkah had oppressed the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his companions continuously to an extent that he and his companions remained expelled from their own homeland Makkah, however when Muslims won their freedom and went back to their homeland after a long and treacherous exile, a commander from Muslims exclaimed loudly:
Today is a day of revenge (fight), at this the Prophet (Peace be upon him) became angry and said: Today is the day of open forgiveness, then he asked his enemies: How should I treat you today? They replied: We expect you to treat us Just like Prophet Joseph treated his wrongdoing brothers, the Prophet said in reply the same sentence which Joseph had said to his brothers: There is no questioning from you today and you are all free [Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, Fath ul Bari, Volume No. 8, Page No. 18]
The biggest enemy of Muslims at that time was Abu Sufyan, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Whosoever takes shelter in “ABU SUFYAN’S HOUSE” is safe [Sahih Muslim, Volume No. 3, Hadith # 1780]
The west boasts about their so called wars for democracy, but they have never set such an example.
Abu Lahab against whom a whole Surah has been revealed in Qur’an, his two sons who used to cause a lot of pain to Prophet (Peace be upon him), they after conquest of Makkah took shelter behind curtains of Kaaba, the Prophet himself brought them out and forgave them [Imam Zayli, Nasb ar Raiya 3:336]
Whereas the legitimate leader of Libya i.e. Qaddafi was unjustly killed through the hands of American created rebels (although previously USA had failed to kill him by shooting missiles at his whereabouts, finally they realized that the most convenient and clever way to destabilize a whole Muslim country is by creating a civil war within)
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: To protect the rights (of non-Muslims) is amongst the primary duties of mine [Sunnan Baihaqi, Volume No. 8, Page No. 30]
Once a governor of Egypt punished a non-Muslim wrongly, the case was brought to the caliph of time i.e. Umar ibn ul Khattab (the second caliph of Islam), the Muslim governor was proven to be wrong, Umar the great (ra) told the non Muslim to punish the Egyptian governor in same fashion, after it Umar (ra) said: Since when have you considered people as your slaves? Although their mothers gave birth to them as free living people [Kanz ul Amaal, Volume No. 4, Page No. 455]
Quran states the ethics with which people could be invited towards Islam: Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (16:125)
The decision of guidance or misguidance of someone is to be attributed to Allah as authority over it is only in His hands, even Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was told by Allah (sometimes strictly) that his duty was only to convey the message.
Quran states: If it had been thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe?(10:99)
The Prophet (Salallaho alaihi wasalam) said: Najran (i.e. Christian land) and its leaders are assured the security from Allah and his Apostle. Their lives, their legislation, land, wealth, near and far away people, their worship places will be protected. No priest from his religious post, no officer of his official post shall be removed [Tabaqat Ibn Saad, Volume No. 1 Page No. 228]
As Muslims have to give “OBLIGATORY CHARITY” similarly the non-Muslims living in Muslim lands had to give Jiziya Tax, however Islam does not put this condition upon “POOR, OLD AND INCAPABLE” non Muslims.
It states in one of the leading book of Islamic Jurisprudence: If they are poor, old or suffering (from financial or physical ailments) to the extent that people from their own faith start giving them charity then the Law of Jiziya will be “LIFTED” from them and from Bayt ul Maal (Muslim house of wealth i.e. a bank) they will be helped instead but till the time they live in the Muslim land [Imam Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Khiraaj, Page No. 155]
Quran states: Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. (60:8)
Quran states: Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion; He admonishes you that you may be mindful(16:90)