What are the consequences for non-Muslims living in a Muslim state if they refuse to pay the Jizya? According to Sahih Muslim:

If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them.

What does the Hadith mean by fight them? Does it involve blood, just seizure of property or enslavement of the women and children of the family? Please elaborate on all three (if applicable).

4 Answers 4


What does the Hadith mean by fight them? Does it involve blood, just seizure of property or enslavement of the women and children of the family? Please elaborate on all three (if applicable)

This is what it means...

Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Qur'an 9:29)

So, the motto was to collect Jizya from them in order to make them feel subdued (If a person is subdued, they are not as happy as usual or they are unusually quiet - Cambridge Dictionary). If they refused to pay it, then fighting until the rule was followed/acted upon.

Does it involve blood?


just seizure of property

I don't think so. because the verse clearly says 'willing submission' meaning they voluntarily agree to give the money, not forcefully taking it from them.


Firstly the reason for non-payment will be considered, for example a Dhimmi is excused from paying Jizyah if he is unable to pay it because of poverty. The below only applies on refusal to pay without any valid reason:

According to the majority of the mahabs: If a Dhimmi refuses to pay Jizyah then his treaty with the Muslims is broken and he reverts to being a Harbi. A Harbi can be killed, enslaved or ransomed at the discretion of the Muslims.

According to the Malikis, in addition to the above, when an adult male breaks his treaty of Dhimma, then the treaty is also automatically revoked from his women and minor children. Hence any women and minor children of the said person will be enslaved as spoils of war. The majority however do not void the protection from his women and children.

According the Hanafis the treaty of a Dhimmi refusing Jizyah will not be broken rather Jizyah will be taken forcefully from them. Note that the Hanafis differentiate between the initial refusal to accept Jizyah (at the time of the conquest) and refusal after initial acceptance.

The reason for all the above is that Islam commands waging war against the disbelievers until they agree to pay Jizyah. And war entails things like killing, enslavement, ransom, seizure of property and family as spoils of war etc.

قاتلوا ... حتى يعطوا الجزية عن يد وهم صاغرون

Fight ... until they pay jizyah with their own hands while they are subdued.

Quran 9:29

فأمرنا نبينا رسول ربنا صلى الله عليه وسلم أن نقاتلكم حتى تعبدوا الله وحده أو تؤدوا الجزية

Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizyah (i.e. tribute)


War was only stopped with the person because of his treaty in which he agreed to pay Jizyah and to be subservient to Islamic laws. If he now refuses to pay it he breaks the treaty and hence the war resumes, his life and property loses sanctity and he is treated like a prisoner of war.

Ref: Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah 7/138, 24/157 and Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuhu 8/5885

  • The part of the hadith you quoted is from a speech given to the Persians. I don't think its right to take it out of the context and generalise it because the prophetic command being referred to could be specific to the Persian Magians. Context is important.
    – Hisham
    Jul 2, 2023 at 22:08
  • Scholars use it in general. And the meaning is general as evident from several other ahadith and the Quran and Ijma'. What you think is right or not does not carry any weight in how I answer.
    – UmH
    Jul 3, 2023 at 3:50

Selamun aleykum and hello🙂,

The hadith is a war situation. When you are in a war, you are not just standing in the battlefield. You fight until your opponent gives up.

Riyad as-Salihin 1606

It has been narrated that Hisham bin Hakim bin Hizam (May Allah be pleased with them) happened to pass by some (non-Arab) farmers of Syria who had been made to stand in the sun, and olive oil was poured on their heads. He said:

"What is the matter?" He was told that they had been detained for the non-payment of Jizyah. (Another narration says that they were being tortured for not having paid Al-Kharaj). Thereupon Hisham said: "I bear testimony to the fact that I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, 'Allah will torment those who torment people in the world."' Then he proceeded towards their Amir and reported this Hadith to him. The Amir then issued orders for their release.


Jizya was a punishment given by Allah to Jews and Christian of the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) after clarifying the truth to the last degree. The punishment that was given to the idol worshippers was death. The option given to them was due to the fact that they believed in one God. The Hadith that you referenced gives the term of this punishment.

This punishment can only be given when a prophet of Allah is in this world. Since no prophet is to come yet, jizya can not taken from any non-muslim. So there is no question of killing, seizure of property etc.

  • This sounds rather harsh. Can you give reference to the source(s) where this can be verified? Feb 6, 2014 at 17:36
  • "This punishment can only be given when a prophet of Allah is in this world" - where did you find this?
    – aasheq
    May 1, 2015 at 22:06

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