Welfare of non-Muslim citizens
Political Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

How does an Islamic State guard the welfare of its non-Muslim citizens?


An Islamic government should give the same importance to the welfare of all its citizens whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Non-Muslim citizens of a Muslim country are called Mu‘āhads that is, they become citizens of an Islamic State on account of a treaty with it. All dealings with them should be according to the terms of the peace treaty concluded with them. Muslims must abide by these terms in all circumstances and should never violate them in the slightest way. Such violations according to Islam are totally forbidden and, in fact, amount to a grave transgression. The Qur’ān says:

Keep [your] covenants; because indeed on the Day of Judgement you will be held accountable for them. (17:34)

The Prophet (sws) is reported to have said:

Beware! I myself shall invoke the justice  of  the  Almighty on the Day of Judgement against the person who oppresses and persecutes a Mu‘āhad or reduces his rights, or burdens him [with responsibilities] he cannot bear, or takes something from him against his will." (Abū Da`wūd: Kitābu’l Jihād)

Following are some basic rights of non-Muslim citizens:

--- Their life, wealth and honour should be protected by the state such that no one whosoever is able to lay hands on them.

--- The needy and poor among them should be provided wih the basic necessities of life.

--- Their personal matters and religious rituals should be exempted from the law of the state and no interference should be made in their faith and religion.

--- Their places of worship should not be tampered with.

--- They should be allowed to present their religion to others in a non-seditious manner.

In short, they should be given all the rights which are sanctioned by the norms of justice and fairness for people in a civilized society, and in this regard all dealings should be done in a befitting manner -- because Allah likes people who adopt this attitude.

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