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This hadith:

It has been reported from Sulaiman b. Buraida through his father that when the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of the Muhajireen and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajireen. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muslims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the JizyaIf 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. When you lay siege to a fort and the besieged appeal to you for protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, do not accord to them the guarantee of Allah and His Prophet, but accord to them your own guarantee and the guarantee of your companions for it is a lesser sin that the security given by you or your companions be disregarded than that the security granted in the name of Allah and His Prophet be violated. When you besiege a fort and the besieged want you to let them out in accordance with Allah's Command, do not let them come out in accordance with His Command, but do so at your (own) command, for you do not know whether or not you will be able to carry out Allah's behest with regard to them. [ Darussalam reference: sahih muslim 1731a ]

narrates a speech of the prophet directed to his army/detachment commander, where the commander is instructed to Prescribe an Ultimatum of

  • Convert to Islam

  • Pay the Jizya tax

  • Fight

specifically in the situation of:

When you meet the enemies who are polytheists,

My question is, can this Ultimatum be applied to polytheists only in self defense/retaliation or can it be Applied offensively as well (when polytheists have thus far done no wrong to the muslims )? I.e does simply being polytheistic make one eligible to be subject to this ultimatum?

Jazakallah

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  • See my answer to your question. Jazakallah Khair!
    – Ren
    Jul 18 at 20:58
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It is applied offensively regarding polytheists and the jurists agreed on this:

"The jurists agreed, with respect to the people who are to be fought, that they are all the polytheists (mushrikin), because of the words of the Exalted, “And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is all for Allah,” except what is narrated from Malik, who said it is not permitted to commence hostilities against the Ethiopians, nor against the Turks, because of the report from the Prophet, “Leave the Ethiopians in peace as long as they leave you alone.” Malik was questioned about the authenticity of this tradition. He did not acknowledge it, but said: People continue to avoid attacking them.’”

Bidayat al-Mujtahid: The Distinguished Jurist's Primer p. 455

Also note, that the hadith you quoted is abrogated:

I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.

Sahih Muslim 22

This is also evident with the Prophet's command to expel all the polytheists from Arabia. Also note, not all madhabs allow polytheists to retain the dhimmi status. The Hanafis don't allow Arab polytheists to pay jizya while the Shafi'is and Hanbalis don't allow polytheists in general.

3
  • Are you the one who downvoted my answer, brother?
    – Ren
    Jul 19 at 12:00
  • @Ren, No I didn't.
    – Affan
    Jul 19 at 12:17
  • In 8:39 which ibn rushd quoted it says “fight them until persecution is no more” this appears to justify retaliatory/defensive jihaad rather than offensive jihaad. And as for the hadith, it is used in ibn kathir’s tafsir to explain 9:5 which is contextually aimed at the meccan polytheists, who were not innocent. So i dont see how any of your two quotes justify offensive jihaad. And as for expelling non muslims from arabia, perhaps offensive jihaad is restricted only to that, and not other lands?
    – Hisham
    Aug 18 at 13:15
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In The Name Of Allah. I bear witness there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (Sallallahu'alaihiwassalam) is his servant and true messenger.

I do not think that the Hadith says that Muslims should become offensive when it comes to Jizya tax. The Hadith you quoted itself says that it is talking about "enemies" of Muslims during war:-

Sahih Muslim 1731a says,

Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of the Muhajireen and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajireen. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muslims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). 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. When you lay siege to a fort and the besieged appeal to you for protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, do not accord to them the guarantee of Allah and His Prophet, but accord to them your own guarantee and the guarantee of your companions for it is a lesser sin that the security given by you or your companions be disregarded than that the security granted in the name of Allah and His Prophet be violated. When you besiege a fort and the besieged want you to let them out in accordance with Allah's Command, do not let them come out in accordance with His Command, but do so at your (own) command, for you do not know whether or not you will be able to carry out Allah's behest with regard to them.

The jizya tax was imposed on the people of the book to humble them because they broke the treaty with Muslims. However, this tax was based on mutual understanding and conditions that were agreed by both Muslims and Non-Muslims. Moreover, Non-Muslims were given benefits for paying the Jizya tax by the Muslim governments.

Imam Malik's Muwatta, Book 17, Hadith 46 says,

Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz wrote to his governors telling them to relieve any people who payed the jizya from paying the jizya if they became muslims. Malik said, "The sunna is that there is no jizya due from women or children of people of the Book, and that jizya is only taken from men who have reached puberty. The people of dhimma and the magians do not have to pay any zakat on their palms or their vines or their crops or their livestock. This is because zakat is imposed on the muslims to purify them and to be given back to their poor, whereas jizya is imposed on the people of the Book to humble them. As long as they are in the country they have agreed to live in, they do not have to pay anything on their property except the jizya. If, however, they trade in muslim countries, coming and going in them, a tenth is taken from what they invest in such trade. This is because jizya is only imposed on them on conditions, which they have agreed on, namely that they will remain in their own countries, and that war will be waged for them on any enemy of theirs, and that if they then leave that land to go anywhere else to do business they will haveto pay a tenth. Whoever among them does business with the people of Egypt, and then goes to Syria, and then does business with the people of Syria and then goes to Iraq and does business with them and then goes on to Madina, or Yemen, or other similar places, has to pay a tenth. People of the Book and magians do not have to pay any zakat on any of their property, livestock, produce or crops. The sunna still continues like that. They remain in the deen they were in, and they continue to do what they used to do. If in any one year they frequently come and go in muslim countries then they have to pay a tenth every time they do so, since that is outside what they have agreed upon, and not one of the conditions stipulated for them. This is what I have seen the people of knowledge of our city doing."

Jizya was compulsory on Non-Muslims but jizya was imposed on Non-Muslims with mutual consent and conditions on which both the parties agreed on and this is what Islamic traditions have suggested. The traditions also suggest that Non-Muslims were also provided additional benefits for the taxations collected by the Muslim governments and they (Non-Muslims) were also defended and protected by Muslims during the times of war.

Hence it becomes pretty obvious that Jizya tax was not "offensive" in any way rather it was defensive in nature to protect Non-Muslims and run the Muslim governments.

Allah Knows Best!

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  • Thx for the answer, but I have another Question regarding the hadith’s classification of Polytheists as enemies. You seem to have interpreted it to have meant that the Ultimatum prescribed in the Hadith is defensive because the polytheists have already attacked the muslims/declared war on the muslims, hence they are enemies. is this so?
    – dia bu
    Jul 19 at 0:43

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