Islamic Law for non-muslims
are four primary schools of Islamic Law
(Shari'a) and these have significant differences in their rulings from
each other. However, they all include a variety of rules for Non-Muslims
(also referred to as non-believers, infidels, kafirs, dhimmi, or zimmi)
some of which may be found in:
- Section O.11 of
The Reliance of the Traveller - By Ahmad Ibn Naqib Al-Misri. This is one
of the best known references on Shari. This is available online at:
A few additional
conditions may be found in:
Non-Muslim subjects of Muslim states are:
- To show respect to
every Muslim and allow them to participate in their private meetings. To
keep to the side of the street and wear a distinctive dress which
separates them from Muslims.
- Not to propagate
their customs and usages among the Muslims. They are forbidden to openly
display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,)
recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their
funerals and feastdays. Not to build any new places of worship or repair
any old places of worship which have been destroyed by the Muslims. May
not build higher than or as high as the Muslims' buildings.
- To allow Muslim
travelers to stay in their places of worship and must entertain for
three days any Muslim who wants to stay in their homes, and for a longer
period if the Muslim falls ill.
differently in matters of testimony in law-courts,
taxation, appointment to public offices, and charity. For example
non-Muslims are not be allowed to testify or hold office (since they may
not have "authority" over a Muslim), they must pay an
additional tax, and they may not receive zakat (an obligatory form of
Acts which are
punishable by death include anyone who:
- Mentions something
impermissible about Allah, its prophet, or Islam.
- Tries to revert to
their ancestral faith after having once embraced Islam.
- Marries Muslim
women without first getting converted into Islam.
When a subject's
agreement with the state has been violated, the caliph chooses between
the four alternatives for prisoners of war:
- release without
- or ransoming
himself in exchange for money or for a Muslim captive held by the enemy.
If the prisoner
becomes a Muslim (before the caliph chooses any of the four
alternatives) then he may not be killed, and one of the other three
alternatives is chosen.
Quotes from the
Qur'an and Hadith
A few interesting
quotes from the Qur'an (note, there is some variation in the reference
numbers depending on the source). I would recommend using the links
listed below to read these in context and with their commentaries. In
some cases this takes some of the edge off and in others it simply
claim that Non-Muslims misinterpret the Qur'an's meaning because of its
beauty and complexity. However as Ali Sina notes the Qur'an claims to be
clear (5:15), "easy to understand" (44:58 , 54:22 , 54:32,
54:40), and "explained in detail" (6:114).
- 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
(possible consistency issues with Shari'a as noted above)
- Let not the
believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers:
if any do that, in nothing will there be help from God: except by way of
precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But God cautions you
(To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to God. 3:28 (In other
words the only acceptable reason to treat a Non-Muslim as a friend, is
to protect yourself or Islam from them. As Mohammed said, "War is
- But when the
forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye
find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in
every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular
prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for
God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 9:5
- O ye who believe!
fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in
you: and know that God is with those who fear Him. 9:123
- And those who
launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to
support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject
their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors; 24:4
The requirement for
four witnesses appears to protect women; however, this rule has also
been applied to cases of rape. If a woman accuses a man of rape, without
producing four male witnesses, the women have been whipped and
imprisoned. There are reportedly thousands of women imprisoned in
Pakistan for accusing men of rape and then failing to produce sufficient
- Also from the
Qur'an: 2:191, 2:193, 3:118, 4:75-76, 4:84, 4:104, 5:33, 5:51, 5:57,
5:80-81, 8:12-14, 8:50, 8:65, 9:23, 9:38-39, 9:42, 9:45, 9:49, 9:73,
9:123, 25:52, 27:69-70, 32:21, 33:60-61.
The passages from
Sura 9 are normally applied to cases where Muslims feel they have been
attacked or restricted in their practice of Islam. For quotes from the
Qur'an with commentary additional searchable Islamic texts see:
- Hadith Malik
511:1588 The last statement that Muhammad made was: "O Lord, perish
the Jews and Christians. They made churches of the graves of their
prophets. There shall be no two faiths in Arabia." During the last
55 years 99% of the Jews, in Middle Eastern and North African Muslim
countries, have been evicted or killed with over a million of them
taking refuge in Israel, minus their property and bank accounts..
Book 11, chapter 234. A comment by the author with regard to this
chapter's hadiths on Jihad. "The Ahadith mentioned in this chapter
make the importance of Jihad and the reason for so much stress on it
abundantly clear. These also show how great a crime it is to ignore it.
It is very unfortunate indeed that present-day Muslims are guilty of
renouncing Jihad in every part of the world. May Allah help us to
overcome this negligence."