Islamic Law for non-muslims

by Perfanalyst



 The 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:

For example, 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.

- Treated 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 Muslim charity).

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:
- death,
- slavery,
- release without paying anything,
- 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 reinforces them.

Muslims frequently 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 deception".)

- 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 evidence.

- 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..

- Riyad-us-Saliheen 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."





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