Username : Password :
  New User?   Forgot Password?  
 Home | Learn | FAQ | Participate |
  :: Contemporary Issues
  Women's Rights
  Evils of Interest

The word Kaafir most probably should be one of the most misunderstood terms in the history of world languages. The term has been abused & projected by media in such a fashion that it induces spontaneous hatred among people to whom this term is being referred. Any language at it's best, conveys what it's made out to convey.

Factually speaking there is nothing derogatory or insulting about the term Kaafir. The term (derived from Kufr in Arabic language) means 'One who rejects (denies) the truth' or 'One who does not believe' or a 'Non-believer'. A person who is not a Christian is called a Non-Christian; a person who is not a Hindu is known as a non-Hindu; similarly, a person who is not a Muslim is called a non-Muslim, which when translated in to Arabic language is called a Kaafir.

It's as simple as that. In fact, the term Kaafir relates more to the status of a person's belief system and reflects less about the physical entity that he is. A more apt, politically and socially significant term Zimmi used in Arabic literature to denote non-Muslims has been ignored and has gone unnoticed by Muslim bashers.

A non-Muslim subject in an Islamic state is called Zimmi (derived from Zimma meaning responsibility) meaning a subject whose life, honour and property will be protected by the Islamic State. He will have freedom to follow his own belief system. He will have his own set of laws, administered by his own tribunals and own judges, without any interference on the part of the Muslim authorities. He will also be exempted from participation in the wars,

otherwise compulsory to the Muslim subjects of the state. He will not be required to pay the compulsory annual Zakaat (a type of compulsory tax collected annually from all Muslims by Islamic Governments and disbursed to poor Muslims). Against all these privileges the non-Muslim subject Zimmi have to pay a nominal tax called Jizya.

The quantum of Jizya will be reasonable enough as not to be a financial burden on him. In case of any uncertainty with respect to the safety of non-Muslim subjects, an Islamic state will forfeit its right to collect such tax. History tells us that the second Caliph Umer (RA) returned a huge sum of money collected through Jizya to the non-Muslim subjects in one such compelling circumstance.

The Zimmis also will not be allowed to participate in legislation process. For that matter, not even the Muslim subjects. Because the law making (Legislation) authority rests with Allah and hence will be solely based on Qur'an & Sunnah.

The Islamic State will only be a law-enforcing agency. At the time of the revelation of the Holy Qur'an, when most of the non-believers in Mecca and Madina had waged a pitched battle with believers; Allah (SWT) sensing the question upper most in the minds of most Muslims with respect to their dealings with other non- believers who were not hostile to them issued the following instruction: "Allah does not forbid you to be kind and deal justly with non-Muslims, who do not wage war against you on account of your religion and do not drive you out of your homes. Verily Allah loves those who are just". (60-8)

The above-mentioned verse in fact is a policy statement in this matter. This is further exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) who said: "One who kills a Zimmi, will not get even the scent of the paradise. In another statement he said: " I shall stand witness against the believer, who will be guilty of persecuting a Zimmi." It should be noted that while discussing the rights of neighbours and the wayfarers, Islam does not make any distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims.

A non-Muslim neighbour has as much rights over his Muslim neighbour as the other Muslim neighbour next door. There can not be a better example to illustrate Islam's stand vis-à-vis the treatment to the non -Muslims, than the story narrated by Abu Uzair (RA), one of the companion of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), before embracing Islam. "I was one of the prisoners-of-war and was handed over as captive to one of the Ansars (residents of Madina).

Ever since Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) instructed his companions to look well after the captives, the situation used to be that my Ansar host used to eat only dates while providing me a stomach full meal." No wonder, the entire Christian population of a border town, preferred to live as Zimmis under the rule of Hazrat Umar (RA) ,the second Caliph of Islam instead of becoming sovereign subjects of a Christian king in 640 CE.

Copyright © 2007 Islam Vision
:::| powered by dimakh consultants |:::