The legal status of monotheistic non-Muslims and Zoroastrians under Islamic rule which they, collectively or individually, expressly accept.
Dhimma is based on verse 9:29 of the Qurʾan and finds precedent in the conquest of Mecca. Caliph Umar's pact with non-Muslims, granting them life and property protection, constitutes the detailed provisions of the institution. Under this status, minorities enjoyed exemption from military service, freedom of religion, freedom to practice their religious duties, and the right to renovate, although not to erect, houses of worship.
In return, a poll tax (jizya) was levied; in addition, dhimmis were prohibited from criticizing the Qurʾan, expressing disrespect to the Prophet or to Islam, conducting missionary activity, or having sexual relations with or marrying Muslim women. They were not allowed to make their crosses, wine, and pork conspicuous, or to conduct their funerals in public. Riding horses was prohibited, as was erecting houses taller than those of the Muslims. Dhimmis were required to wear clothes that made them recognizable and were barred from holding certain public positions.
Modernity has posed for Muslims problems of equality, freedom of religion, and human rights, which seem to originate in an ever-increasing contact with the West, free communication, and multiculturalism. Historically speaking, dhimma was conceived during the Islamic conquest but diminished when foreign powers gained the upper hand, especially during the reign of the later Ottoman period and the rise of nationalism. Since the late second half of the twentieth century, the "clash of civilizations," and the increase of Muslims in foreign countries, it has become a symbol for the relationship between Islam and the rest of the world.
The institution of the dhimma remains controversial, and there is an extensive debate over whether to abolish it altogether, amend it, or maintain it. The more traditional thinkers reject any thought of changing the institution. Their views range from denying the principle of equality to religions other than Islam, through blocking certain positions of influence in the state to non-Muslims, to reiterating their rights and Islam's traditional liberal attitude according to the sunna, especially by comparison to European historical record. Some even go as far as to offer "Islamic citizenship" to non-Muslims. Others claim that the distinction between Muslim and non-Muslim is one of political administration, not of human rights, according dhimma to all religionists. The debate over dhimma includes political issues: Some of the minorities are accused of having abused it internally, and the West has been accused of having created and exacerbated the entire problem of "minorities."
Ameer, Ali. "Islamism versus the Secularist Weltanschauung." Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs Abingdon 21 (2001): 171–174.
Doi, Abd al-Rahman I. Non-Muslims under Shariah (Islamic Law). Brentwood, MD: International Graphics, 1979.
Kotb, Sayed. Social Justice in Islam, translated by John B. Hardie. New York: Octagon, 1970.
Maududi, Abul Aʾla. Rights of Non-Muslims in Islamic State. Lahore: Islamic Publications, 1961.
Mayer, E. Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999.
Na'im, Abdulahi Ahmed, an-. "Religious Freedom in Egypt: Under the Shadow of the Islamic Dhimma System." In Religious Liberty and Human Rights in Nations and in Religions, edited by Leonard Swidler. Philadelphia: Ecumenical Press, Temple University, 1986.
Nielsen, H. S. "Contemporary Discussions on Religious Minorities in Islam." Brigham Young University Law Review, no. 2 (2002): 353–369.
Noor, Farish A. "Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights and International Law." Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 20 (2000): 376–379.
Rahmat Allah, Malihah. The Treatment of the Dhimmis in Ummayyad and Abbassid Periods. Baghdad: Baghdad University, 1963.
Tabamdeh, Sultanhussein. A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, translated by F. J. Goulding. Guildford: F. J. Goulding, 1970.
Tibi, B. "Religious Minorities under Islamic Law and the Limits of Cultural Relativism." Human Rights Quarterly 9, no. 1 (1987): 1–18.
Tritton, Arthur S. The Caliphs and Their non-Muslim Subjects: A Critical Study of the Covenant of Umar. London: Frank Cass, 1970.
"Dhimma." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dhimma
"Dhimma." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved May 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dhimma
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.
This practice was continued and elaborated by the Ottoman ‘millet’ system.
"Dhimma." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dhimma
"Dhimma." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved May 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dhimma