Muslims are given equal rights in the non-muslim world such as in the west. They are free to practice their religion, faith, can serve in military, have freedom of speech and can even be head of the state (by Law). Is the same true in Islam also for a minority group? How does Islam treat minority?


3 Answers 3


In response to the part about whether non-Muslims get the same rights as Muslims in Muslim states:

Non-muslims living in an Islamic state should have (almost) all rights Muslims have. Everything a Muslim is entitled to do is entitled to non-Muslims as well, except for specific rules:

  • Non-Muslims may not lead the state.
  • A non-Muslim male may not marry a Muslim female.
  • They may not sell forbidden goods (Haram, eg. wine) to Muslims.
  • They are required to pay Jizyah (a kind of tax). (Although under normal conditions 50%-75% of them are relieved from it.)
  • They are not required to submit to military duty as long as Muslims are capable of defending the state, and thus non-Muslims do not join the Islamic army. It's the duty of the Muslim army to defend non-Muslims in an Islamic state. If the Muslim army is incapable of this, non-Muslim help is asked for, either in the form of a mutual-defense treaty (in case the non-Muslims form a distinct group, such as a whole city), or as army members, in which case they are entitled to get a salary in return for their military service (even if Muslims don't get paid).

(This may not be a comprehensive list.)

It's noteworthy that Christians and Jews have the right to be judged according to either their religious rules or to Islamic rules.

As for how Islam treats minorities, I would like to refer you to the Medina Charter or the Constitution of Medina. (It's the same document, but different translations).

  • 2
    goo answer, need one addition. Non Muslim need to pay Jazya (a type of tax) for the protection offered by Muslim state.
    – muslim1
    Nov 13, 2012 at 17:17
  • @TheCrocodileHunter Thank you. However, I was talking about what they may not do. Incorporating Jizyah could open a long discussion, because of the rules governing it, who has to pay and who hasn't, when they are relieved from it, etc. I'm not sure a quick reference here would do much good without further explanation.
    – Hosam Aly
    Nov 13, 2012 at 17:31
  • @crocodile hunter: Yes, its true non-muslims have to pay Jizya. The non-muslims who are not part of army in Muslim state and only those whose annual income is above certain point depending on the economic conditions of society. Nov 13, 2012 at 18:17
  • well they are required by Islam law. How to enforce it is a separate question.
    – muslim1
    Nov 13, 2012 at 18:40
  • 1
    Crocodile hunter is correct. As per the Quran, Jazya must be paid by non-believers if they choose to live in a muslim state. Whether the government chooses to enforce it, is irrespective when discussing Allah's will.
    – Hanif
    Nov 13, 2012 at 21:58

Islam clearly states that a true believer should do Husn-e-sulook i.e. a respectful behaviour with others.

There are several verses.

For the poor and needy

"They (the true believers) give food, out of love for Allah, to the poor, the > orphan and the slave, saying: We feed you only for Allah's pleasure - we > desire from you neither reward nor thanks." (76:8-9)

"Have you seen him who goes against religion? That is the one who is rough to > the orphan and does not urge the feeding of the needy." (107:1-3)


Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.(4:36)


  • 2
    This is kind of a general answer to the question. I think the questioner asked about specifics relating to non-Muslims in a Muslim state.
    – ashes999
    Nov 13, 2012 at 17:14

Couple of observations: - It's contested if Muslims have equal rights in the West to practice their faith. Their faith for instance is a complete way of life where Western courts do not recognise their marital law, penal codes, financial transactions etc It thus means when there are problems, there is no recourse to law. In other aspects of social life, it's noticed that public azaans are generally not permitted and the recent debates about burqas/hijabs and associated bans fuel the controversy.

  • Non-Muslims in Islam are permitted full religious freedoms. The Ottomans were famous for the millet system where religious minorities could live in their communities, practice their faith, and even had political leaders/judges who administered their laws.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .