Many non-Muslims mistakenly perceive the Dhimmi status as negative, what few realize is that Judaism had its own Dhimmi status long before Islam. We hope to dispel the myths and promote the similarities between both statuses.
What is a Ger Toshav
In biblical times a Gentile who observed the seven Noachide laws in while living in the land of Israel was regarded as a resident stranger (Ger Toshav in Hebrew).
The 7 Noachide laws are:
- Prohibition of Idolatry
- Prohibition of Murder
- Prohibition of Theft
- Prohibition of Sexual immorality
- Prohibition of Blasphemy
- Prohibition of eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive
- Establishment of courts of law
A Ger Toshav that swears in front of 3 chachamim (learned men) that he wont stray from these laws is believed to be righteous. By taking this oath he acquires an elevated status that entitles him to legal protections and special charity/financial aid from the community.
A gentile that has forgone idolatry but has not sworn so in front of 3 chachamim is considered an informal Ger Toshav. He is not entitled to financial aid, but he still acquires an elevated status. He is not subject to the same restrictions that pertain to an idolater.
What is a Dhimmi
The term ‘Dhimmi’ in Arabic means ‘Protected Person’, this state only exists in a nation under Islamic rule. Dhimmi traditionally is extended to Ahl adh-Dhimma (Jews and Christians) and is derived from the word ‘Dhimma’, which means ‘Obligation to Protect’. Islam considers both Muslims and Dhimmis living under the Khilafah as citizens of the Islamic State and thus secures and protects their beliefs, honour, property and life.
Because the Dhimmi does not subscribe to the religious ideology of the state; they are not called upon to defend it at a time of war. But as the protection of the Islamic army extends to them, they are obligated to make a financial contribution the ‘Jizya’ (compensation) tax (which relieves them of paying the Muslim Zakaat tax).
Surely, by giving the Jizya, their wealth becomes as valuable as ours and their blood like ours.
Surely, whoever oppresses a person under covenant (Mu’ahid) or imposes upon him more than he can afford and humiliates him or takes anything from him without his consent I will challenge him on the Day of Judgement.
– Abu Dawud
|As an equal||