Chapter Four

Discrimination Between a Muslim and a Non–Muslim

In this short life, love is the most significant element. It is the most important thing to God. Christianity in its essence reveals to us God’s love as well as the thoughts of His heart; a heart which is aflame with love for mankind. For this reason, Christ came to our earth.

However, we must take note that love has varying degrees, levels, and phases. The most excellent degree and the highest level of love is the life of unconditional giving and sacrifice which we observe in Christianity from Christ Himself, who gave Himself for our sake. He also called upon us to give ourselves for the sake of others. The Gospel says:

"By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (I John 3: 16).

This is the highest degree—the highest expression of love. The lowest degree of love is nondiscrimination, justice and equality among people. This is the simplest fact of love. Its primary principle is to respect the other person in his capacity as a person, not to persecute or humiliate him, and not to harm him. If any one of these occurs, then love is non-existent and the person who commits such wickedness walks in darkness and does not know God, the only living God. God, in essence, is love. The Gospel indicates with finality:

"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love" (I John 4:8).

When we discussed human rights in chapter one, we said that Islam and Muhammad do not have even one drop of love for others. Anyone who denies his faith, whether he is an old man or a weak woman, is subject to death, even a person such as Um Marawan, whom Muhammad ordered to re-embrace Islam or be killed. If the non-Muslim is an atheist, he will be offered two options—Islam or death. If he is a Jew or a Christian, he will be presented with three options—Islam, death, or paying the head tax and humiliation We will talk more about the ill treatment of non-Muslims In the previous pages, we have seen how women were persecuted, humiliated and inhumanely treated. We will also discuss the poor treatment of slaves. Frankly, Islam is devoid of the simplest facet of love.


Non-Muslims in Islamic Society 

Muslim propagandists use an attractive motto which says that Islam is the religion of justice and equality. It is the religion of freedom and women’s dignity, they say, but this cannot be proved by mere talk and a loud voice, especially among Occidentalists who do not know the reality of Islam. It is also true that even most Arabs don’t know the truth about Islam. However, a case is proved by presenting facts and empirical evidence.

When we discussed the issue of women and removed the beautiful (but deceptive) veil of Social Equality, we revealed the ugly face of Islam. Muslim propagandists claim that Islam is the religion of equality and justice! Where do you get that idea? Show us! How could that be if Islam says that Christians whose lands are invaded by Muslims and conquered by force are not allowed to build new churches or even to renovate the destroyed ones? This was what Islam said, and this was the verdict of Umar Ibn al-Khattab who was known as the Just Caliph, as he was called by Muslims.

Tell us where equality is if a non-Muslim’s testimony is not acceptable or even allowed in court against Muslims or even against other non-Muslims, as the most famous Muslim scholars indicate? And of course, non-Muslims do not have the right to assume leading jobs in the state.

Tell us where the justice and equality is in Islam when a Muslim’s life is spared even if he kills a Christian intentionally while a Muslim may only be required to die if he assassinates another Muslim. The reason, as Muhammad said is that "only Muslims’ blood is regarded equal." Thus, no Muslim should be killed for murdering a non-Muslim. If Muhammad says–according to all scholars–that "only Muslims’ blood is equal" (have the same value), we have the right to ask, "Where, then, is equality?" Muhammad says to us, "I meant the equality between a Muslim and another Muslim and not between a Muslim and a non-Muslim."

On the other hand, we will see that if a non-Muslim merely curses a Muslim, he must either be sentenced to death or be converted to Islam! However, if a Muslim murders a non-Muslim, he will only pay a fine.

Abu Al-Ala Al-Mawdudi’s View: Discrimination is Necessary!  

In his book, "Rights of Non-Muslims in Islamic States" which has been translated into many languages, this great scholar asserts that we should distinguish between the rights of non-Muslims and the rights of Muslims. On pp. 2-3, Abu Ala al-Mawdudi says:

"An Islamic state ... is by its very nature bound to distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims, and, in an honest and upright manner, not only publicly declares this state of affairs but also precisely states what rights will be conferred upon its non-Muslim citizens and which of them will not be enjoyed by them."

 Now let us analyze the rights which are not supposed to be conferred on non-Muslims We will witness the worst practices of racial discrimination and religious segregation.

A Muslim Must Not Be Sentenced To Death For Murdering A Non Believer  

Muhammad himself gives justification for this. He says only Muslims’ have blood that is alike; thus a Muslim should not be put to death for murdering a non-Muslim but must pay a blood feud to the family of the murdered man. As expected, the great Muslim legists and scholars such as Ibn Timiyya, Ibn Hazm, Al-Shafii, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Al-Jalalan, Al-Bukhari and Muslim agree on this important point.


Ibn Timiyya  

Ibn Timiyya emphasizes forcefully in Volume 14,

"Nothing in the law of Muhammad states that the blood of the disbeliever is equal to the blood of the Muslim because faith is necessary for equality. The people of the Covenant (Jews or Christians) do not believe in Muhammad and Islam, thus their blood and the Muslim’s blood cannot be equal. These are distinctive texts which indicate that a Muslim is not to be put to death for (murdering) one of the people of the covenant or an unbeliever, but a free Muslim must be killed for a free Muslim, regardless of the race" (Vol. 14, p. 85).

He reiterates the same statement (Vol. 20, p. 282) that a Muslim must not be killed for one of the people of the covenant; that is, a Christian or a Jew


The Imam al-Shafii 

In section one of "Ahkam al-Qur’an" ("The Ordinances of the Qur’an", page 275), he says: "A Muslim is not to be killed for an unbeliever". Then he says (page 284),

"If a believer murders an unbeliever, he has to pay blood feud to the Jew or Christian which is one-third of the blood feud of the believer, though Malik says it must be one half."

Ibn Timiyya inclines towards Malik’s opinion and indicates (Vol. 20, p. 385) that:

"The blood feud should be one half because this is what was transmitted by tradition about the prophet Muhammad and as the Sunnis said also." 

Whether the blood feud is one third or one half is not important. What really matters is that a Muslim is not to be put to death for a non-Muslim. Despite the disagreement among the Muslim scholars about the actual amount of the blood feud to be paid, the important thing is that the blood feud of the unbeliever is less than the blood feud of the believer, and that a Muslim is not to be put to death for a non-Muslim.

Of course, if a Muslim murders another Muslim, the murderer must be sentenced to death because he assassinated another Muslim. According to al-Shafii, in this case the victim’s relatives have the option either to accept a blood feud or to kill the criminal. However, if the murdered is non-Muslim, his relatives have no choice but to accept the blood feud ("The Ordinances of the Qur’an", Sect. I, pp. 180, 279).


Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya 

In his book, "Zad-al-Maad" (Sec. III, p.124), he says:

"Muslim blood is alike (has the same value). A Muslim is not to be put to death for killing an unbeliever."

"Sahih" of Al-Bukhari and" Sahih of Muslim" 

These are two authorized books acknowledged by all Islam scholars pertaining to Muhammad’s sayings. We read in Part 9 of al-Bukhari’s book (p. 16,) "A Muslim is not to be sentenced to death for an unbeliever." He stresses that this is also the opinion of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

In "Sahih of Muslim" interpreted by Nawawi (Part 4, p. 244), we read,

"A Muslim is not to be sentenced to death for one of the people of the covenant nor for a free man or a slave."

The Jalalan 

In their famous commentary, in the context of their interpretation of Sura the Women, the Jalalan clearly and distinctly states the following (p. 178),

"On the topic of punishment, whether or not a man embraces the same religion will be considered. Thus a Muslim is not to be sentenced to death, even if he is a slave and the victim was a free man—not a Muslim.

It is obvious from these words that there is discrimination between a slave and a freeman. What matters to us is that if a Muslim slave murdered a non-Muslim freeman, he is not to be sentenced to death because he is a Muslim and the murdered man is a non-Muslim.

These are the scholars who have quoted the words of Muhammad himself in this regard: Ibn Timiyya, Shafii, al-Jalalan, Ibn-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Sahih of Muslim and Sahih of al-Bukhari. They are more acquainted with his sayings and | traditions than anyone else.


Ibn Hazm

In part Twelve of Vol. 8 (page 39), he asserts and demonstrates by practical and empirical examples the same opinion we have already observed. He indicates,

"If one of the people of the covenant murdered another one of the people of the covenant, and then the murderer was converted to Islam, he would not be subject to punishment based on the prophet Muhammad’s saying, "A Muslim is not to be sentenced to death for an unbeliever." But if the injured was converted to Islam, and died as a Muslim, the murderer must be sentenced to death because believers’ blood is alike. If a Muslim injures a non-Muslim intentionally, he is not to be punished because the injured is a non-Muslim, based on the Qur’anic verse. But if the injured confessed Islam and then died, the Muslim must be punished."

It is obvious here that Ibn Hazm relies on Muhammad’s sayings and does not present his own personal opinion. He explains how a murderer can spare himself punishment, even if he is not a Muslim. He offers him an easy way to escape by embracing Islam after he murders his non-Muslim friend ! In other words, Islam tells a murderer frankly, "Confess: ‘There is no God, but God and Muhammad is the apostle of God’ and you spare yourself the sentence of death because you became a Muslim, and in this case you will only pay a fine.’’

Places Of Worship Are Not Allowed To Be Built Or To Be Renovated Or To Be Rebuilt If They Are Destroyed  

Can the reader believe this unjust verdict? This is practiced in countries which were originally Christian such as Syria and Egypt. These countries had been invaded and occupied by Muslims and tom by war. Because of the attitude of Islam against the Christian places of worship, we discover obvious persecution and inequality.


Umar Ibn al-Khattab 

Muslims claim that Umar was the most just Caliph. The title, "just", is his famous attribute. He was the second Caliph and the father of Hafasa, Muhammad’s wife. He was also one of the greatest companions of Muhammad who was responsible for enacting legislation because he received it directly from Muhammad. Muhammad himself used to say, "Take as examples those who come after me—Abu Bakr and Umar" (Ibn Timiyya Vol. 28, p. 651 as well as other sources).

Now what did Umar Ibn al-Khattab say? Ibn Hazm, Ibn Timiyya and all the Chroniclers assert that when Umar signed the peace treaty with the Christians of Syria, he dictated some conditions to be carried out by the Muslim governors throughout the conquered Christian countries. One of these conditions was that Christians were prohibited from building a monastery or a church, and from rebuilding those that were destroyed even the cell of a monk (Ibn Hazm, Vol. 4, part 7, p.346).

This same words (uttered by Umar) are quoted also by Ibn Timiyya (Vol. 28, p.652).

In his above-mentioned book, Abu al-ala al-Mawdudi, the contemporary scholar, says (page 28),

"In lands owned by Muslims, the non-Muslims are not entitled to build new places of worship."

 That refers to the countries which Muslims possessed by war. Christians are not permitted to build new churches in them. It happened that a ruined church was actually renovated, but what was the punishment? Ahmad Ibn Timiyya, the Sheikh of Islam and the Mufti of Muslims in his time, was asked about this matter (Vol. 28, p. 648).

"Question: A Christian priest lives in a house next to a site on which there is a ruined church without a roof. The priest bought the site and renovated it and made the church part of the building in which he gathered people (to pray). Is he allowed to do so?

"Answer: He does not have the right to do so even if there were the ruins of an old church because Muslims had conquered these places by force and possessed the churches, and it is permissible for them to destroy them according to Muslim scholars. Therefore, all those who helped him must be punished, and the Christian priest’s blood must be shed and his properties must be confiscated according to some legists because he violated the terms imposed on them by Muslims. "

Ibn Timiyya’s words are very clear. He says that it is not permissible to renovate a ruined church. Notice also Ibn Timiyya’s statement that all the scholars agree on the permissibility of Muslims destroying churches in countries which they conquer by war. Pertaining to the death sentence inflicted upon anyone who builds a church, this verdict is voiced by Umar Ibn al-Khattab after he imposed his terms on the Christians. Umar told them,

"Anyone who violates such terms will be unprotected. And it will be permissible for the Muslims to treat them as rebels or dissenters namely, it is permissible to kill them" (Ibn Timiyya Vol. 28:652).

Concerning demolishing the churches or confiscating them, Abu Ala al-Mawdudi in his above-mentioned book (p. 11), indicates,

"Muslims have the right to confiscate places of worship in such towns as have been taken by storm."

Another Important question reveals strange historical and eccentric events which took place in Cairo, Egypt. In the same volume of Ibn Timiyya (Vol. 28, p. 632), we find the answer to the following question

"Question: If Christians claim that the churches which had been closed by the rulers were unjustly closed and they have the right to re-open them, and if they made their request to the rulers, should the rulers approve their case? Re-opening those churches may incur a change in the hearts of Muslims in all the earth because Christians will rejoice and will be pleased to go to churches. This will cause annoyance to the righteous

Muslims and others so that they invoke God against whoever allowed that and assisted it.

Answer: Ibn Timiyya, the Mufti of the Muslims responded to this question at the beginning of page 634. He said,

"Praise be to God: The allegation of Christians that Muslims were unjust to them by closing their churches is contrary to the consensus of Muslims because Muslim Scholars who belong to the four schools of Abu Hanifa, Malik Al-Shafii and Ahmaad as well as others of the Imam, such as Sufyan al-Thawri, al-Uzai, al-Laith Ibn sad and others, and before them some of the companions (of the prophet) and their successors, have consented that the Muslim Imam, even if he destroyed every church in the conquered land by war (such as Egypt, Iraq, and Syria) that would not be regarded as injustice done by him, but rather he must be obeyed in that. If Christians refuse to accept the verdict of the governor, they would be violating the covenant, and their blood and their properties become lawful (to the Muslims).

"It is well known that Umar Ibn al-Khattab made it a condition that Christians are not to build a church even in a land that was conquered through a peace treaty. If they had a church and the Muslims erected a city, the Muslims have the right to confiscate the church. Even if there were churches on the lands of Cairo before it was built, the Muslims would have the right to seize them after the erection of the city, because the city which is inhabited by Muslims who own mosques in it should be free of tokens of ungodliness, churches or anything similar.

"Because of the same principle, the prophet said: ‘Expel the Jews and Christians from the Arab peninsula.’ So no Jews were left in Khaybar. The prophet (until then) had agreed to keep them there after he invaded Khaybar and conquered it. Later, he gave his order to expel the Jews and Christians from all the Arab peninsula. That happened after the Muslims began to inhabit it. Thus, some rulers such as Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz and Harun al-Rashid and others used to demolish the Christian churches to support God’s cause. May (God’s) support and victory be upon them ! "

We have quoted the text of Ibn Timiyya word for word, as we usually do. Do these words need any comment? The matter is very clear and the reader can re-read these words. Sheikh al-Islam here clearly states all the historical facts, and the consensus of all the scholars, and the companions (Muhammad’s friends) who call for the abolishment of the churches and prohibition of building a new church. Only during a weakened Islam when the rulers did not apply the Islamic law were some churches were built, but in case of a strong ruler, such as Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz and Harun al-Rashid and others, God’s order was carried out and churches were demolished!

Whenever Christians refused to obey the order, their blood and properties became lawful to Muslims. What an insult and injustice! Yet in spite of that they talk boastfully about justice and equality! Even during the time of the Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattab, the Muslims confiscated the largest church in Damascus and converted it into a mosque which is now called the "Amawi Mosque" (Ibn Kathir, Part 7, p. 21).

The Inadmissibility of the Testimony of the People of the Covenant  

This simply means that a non-Muslim (whether they are Jews or Christians) is not allowed to give his testimony in any matter in a court. Basically, their testimony is not acceptable because they are not Muslims. Is it possible that an entire society does not accept the testimony of its citizens because they are not Muslims? How then, can court cases be justly conducted, and where is equality?

My dear reader, this is Islamic law which does not comprehend the meaning of equality. Equality in Islam is delusion and deception. Islam is nothing but the religion of inequality.

The Sayings of Muslim Scholars and Legists 

All Muslim scholars agree on this matter. I have chosen to show you the greatest and the most famous from among them, such as al-Bukhari, al-Shafi'i, Ibn Hazm, Ibn Timiyya and Malik Ibn Ons.


Malik Ibn Ons 

In Vol. 5, Section 13, p. 156, we read the following plain statement,

"Non-Muslims’ testimony is not permissible at all, even against each other! Of course, their testimony is not allowable against Muslims but Muslim testimony against them is acceptable."

Concerning non-Muslim women he says also,

"The testimony of the women of the people of the covenant is not permissible even in birth! But the testimony of the women of Muslims is acceptable provided two women testify. One woman’s testimony is not acceptable" (p. 157).

The statement is very clear. Christian or Jewish testimonies are not acceptable, even against each other. Their women’s testimony is not acceptable even in matters of birth!


The Imam Al-Shafi'i 

In his famous book, "The Ordinances of the Qur’an" ("Ahkam Al-Qur’an", Part 2, p.142), Al-Shafi'i says,

"The testimony of the people of the covenant is not permissible . The witness must be one who belongs to our religion and he must be a freeman not a slave. Testimony is acceptable only from our freeman who belongs to our religion."

This is an unquestionable statement—The witness must be a Muslim, a freeman not a slave.


The Bukhari 

In Part 3, p.237 of the Sahih, the Bukhari indicates,

"Polytheists are not to be asked for a testimony or anything else. The testimony of the people of other religions against each other is not allowable, based on the Qur’anic saying: ‘We caused enmity among them,’ and because the prophet Muhammad said: ‘Do not believe the people of the Book."’ 

That is, a Christian cannot testify against another Christian, according to al-Bukhari, one of the most famous scholars of Islam. He quotes a verse from the Qur’an which says that God has caused enmity to prevail among Christians, thus their testimony is not acceptable against each other—as if there is no hostility, homicide, war and destruction among Muslims! Then the Bukhari cites Muhammad’s saying: "Do not believe the people of the book." The non-Muslim’s testimony is not acceptable.


Ibn Hazm 

In Vol. 6, Part 9, pp. 405-408, Ibn Hazm remarks,

"The testimony of a Christian or a Jew is not permissible unless a Muslim man dies in a foreign land void of Muslims! Apart from this, the testimony of a Jew or a Christian is not acceptable against another Muslim or even against a Jew or a Christian like him."

In order to authenticate his statement Ibn Hazm quotes the most famous among the companions of Muhammad, such as Ibn Abbas and Abu Musa, as well as some of Muhammad’s wives.


Ibn Timiyya 

In Vol. 14, p. 87, Ibn Timiyya indicates plainly and decisively: "The testimony of the people of the covenant is not admissible."

I believe the texts quoted from the works of these prestigious Muslim authorities are sufficient to clarify this point. Otherwise, tell us, my dear Muslim friend, who are more famous than al-Bukhari, Malik, Ibn Timiyya? If you want to know the opinion of the Imam Abu Hanifa, he also declared that the testimony of a non-Muslim is not allowed against a Muslim. He agrees with all other scholars in this matter, but he adds that the testimony of a non-Muslim against another non-Muslim like him may be admissible because all of them are ungodly men. The rest of the scholars (without exception) disagree with him in this matter.

The Prohibition Against Employing non-Muslims 

There exists a prohibition against employing non-Muslims in certain jobs, such as management positions. All scholars and legists of Islamic law agree on this view.


Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, (the "Just" Caliph) 

In Vol. 28, pp. 643, 644 Ibn Timiyya narrates the following significant events:

"Khalid Ibn Al-Walid wrote to Umar Ibn Al-Khattab saying: ‘In Syria there is a Christian secretary who is in full charge of accounting the taxes.’ Umar wrote to him: ‘Do not use him.’ Khalid answered: ‘He is indispensable and if we do not put him in charge of it, the treasury will be lost.’ Umar responded again: ‘Do not use him."’

 It was quoted in Sahih Al-Bukhari that Muhammad said,

"‘I will not ask the assistance of a polytheist.’

"One day, Abu Musa Al-Ashari came to Umar while he was in the mosque to lay before him the income of Iraq. Umar was pleased with the outcome and said: ‘Summon your secretary to read it for me.’ Abu Musa told him: ‘He would not enter the mosque because he is a Christian.’ Umar attempted to scourge Abu Musa with a whip. Had it touched him, it would have hurt him and Umar said: ‘Do not honor them after God has humiliated them. Do not believe them after God has disbelieved them"’ (Ibn Timiyya, Vol. 28).

Based on Ibn Timiyya’s volumes, it is well known that Umar Ibn al-Khattab used to command the Muslims and their governors saying, "Humiliate the Christians." This is the second Caliph who succeeded Abu Bakr. He refused to let Khalid appoint a Christian to take care of the taxes in spite of Khalid’s evaluation that no one knew better than he. When he also discovered that Abu Musa had employed a Christian to oversee the accounts of Iraq, he scourged him with a whip. Then Ibn Timiyya adds in the same volume (p. 646),

"Some who were less qualified than the Christians were appointed; that would be more useful to Muslims for their religion and earthly welfare. A little of what is lawful will be abundantly blessed, and abundance of what is unlawful will be wasted."

Ibn Timiyya meant here that regardless of how little the qualification of a Muslim, God will bless it because employing a Muslim is lawful; and no matter how great the qualification of a Christian, employing him is an unlawful matter which God has forbidden.

Of course, it is not allowed that any Christian be appointed to a position of leadership All scholars agree on that. Ibn Hazm says, "No one but a mature, sane Muslim should assume the office of judge" (Vol. 6, part 9, p.363). Umar Ibn al-Khattab said; "No one of them should hold a position in which he can have power over a Muslim."


Contemporary Scholars—The Azhar Scholars of Egypt 

It is sufficient to quote the Azhar Scholars of Egypt and the Mawdudi of Pakistan. Dr. Abdul Moumin says,

"All Muslims Jurists agree that a judge should be a Muslim and it is forbidden for a non-Muslim to be a judge according to the Qur’anic verse, ‘There is no authority of the infidels over the Muslims.’ Judgment is considered authority and judgment requires that the judge be a mature and wise Muslim. In addition, a non-Muslim should be humiliated as an infidel, whereas the position of judge requires respect, and he is ineligible even to be a witness."

This article is from the "Journal of the Administration of Governmental Judicial

Cases" (1979 July-September) concerning the general rules prohibiting non-Muslims from being judges in court according to Qur’anic verses and Islamic teachings. This article was written by Dr. Badr El Deen Abdel Moumin, teacher at the international university of Al-Azhar. The Journal is published by the Egyptian Government. This Islamic law is not applied now in Egypt, but it is an Islamic law according to the Qur’an and Muhammad’s teaching.


The Mawdudi 

In his previous book, "Rights of Non Muslims in Islamic State", the Mawdudi says, "They cannot become members of the Council and they do not have the right to participate in electing members to these positions" (Arabic version, p.31).

Also, in his book, "Islam and Encountering the Challenges", the Mawdudi also says,

"Non-Muslim sects must not be made equal to Muslims in political rights; even the right of election is prohibited for non- Muslims" (p. 268).

On the same page, the Mawdudi asserts that non-Muslims do not have the right to propagate their religion in Muslim lands.

It is apparent to everyone, therefore, that the position of a judge is prohibited for a non-Muslim or a woman because Muhammad said plainly,

"May God curse the people who appoint a woman to govern them" (Bukhari, Volume 6, p. 10, and Volume 9, p. 70).

What a significant saying of Muhammad! This is a tradition upon which scholars rely. It is even known to the ordinary man. This is why some Kuwaiti and Saudi newspapers warned the people of Pakistan against electing Mrs. Buto to be Prime Minister of Pakistan. Pakistani officials said that there is nothing in their constitution which prohibits it.

The People of the Covenant are Subject to the Qur’an 

In Vol. 6, part 9, p. 425, Ibn Hazm reiterates these auspicious words,

"The Jew and the Christian and the Magian are to be judged by the laws of the people of Islam in everything, whether they like it or not, whether they come to us or not. It is unlawful to refer them to the law of their faith. There is a verse in the Qur’an which says to Muhammad, ‘If they come to you, pass arbitrary judgment among them or turn away from them.’ Another verse was inspired which abrogated this verse. It says, ‘Pass your judgment on them according to what God revealed to you.’ This is what Ibn Abbas has said."

In his book, "The Islamic State" (p. 105), Taqiy al-Din al-Nabahani of Jerusalem attests to Ibn Hazms’s statement:

"The Islamic state was carrying out the laws of Islam in the Countries which were subject to its authority. It used to implement the ordinances, and apply the punishments as well as the business deals and to administer the people’s matters according to Islamic principles. Scholars of the foundation of jurisprudence believed that the one who was addressed by legal ordinances must comprehend the message, whether he is a Muslim or non-Muslim—all who embrace Islam and those who do not yield to its ordinances."

The important thing here is that Muslims attacked Christian lands and occupied them, then they imposed Islamic law on Christian inhabitants! !


The Remainder of Umar’s Terms 

We have already mentioned that Umar Ibn Al-Khattab made it mandatory that Christians not build a new church or renovate any of the ruined churches. Now let us complete the study of the restrictions which Umar imposed on Christians as they are recorded in the same reference (Ibn Timiyya, Vol. 28, and Ibn Hazm, Vol. 4). Umar says,

"Christians should not hinder any Muslim from staying in their churches for three days during which they offer them food and serve the Muslims. They ought to give them their seats if the Muslims wish to sit down. Christians should not resemble Muslims in anything, such as their dress, tiaras, turbans or shoes or parting of the hair. They should not ride a donkey with a saddle. They must shave their foreheads. They should not display any of their (religious) books on the streets of the Muslims. They should not bury their dead next to Muslims and must not read loudly in their churches. They should not mourn loudly over their dead. They should not buy slaves who fall under the portion of Muslims Not one of them should assume any position by which he has any authority over a Muslim. If they infringe any of these terms, they lose the right of protection and it is admissible for the Muslims to treat them as people of rebellion and quarrel; that is, it is permissible to kill them. Head tax must be imposed on them, free men as well as the slaves, male or female, poor and rich and on the monks" (cited from Ibn Hazm).

Ibn Timiyya asserts that these are the conditions which Umar Ibn al-Khattab actually made. He completely agrees with Ibn Hazm because this is the history of Islam. When Umar made a peace treaty with the Christians of Syria, he offered them these terms in a clear document. Sufyan al-Thawri who is one of the ancient Muslim scholars and chroniclers acknowledged by all Muslims, attests to this. Ibn Timiyya adds in the same volume (page 654):

"These terms are constantly renewed and imposed on the Christians by any one of the Muslim rulers who, God may be exalted, has bestowed on him success, as Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz did during his reign, who strictly followed the path of Umar Ibn al-Khattab. Harun Al-Rashid, Jafar al-Mutawakkil and others renewed them and ordered the demolishing of the churches which ought to be demolished, like the churches of the entire Egyptian lands."

Ibn Timiyya recorded the above after he praised the rulers who carried out these terms which Umar Ibn al-Khattab, father of Hafasa, wife of Muhammad and the second Caliph who succeeded Aby Bakr a imposed on Christians. Ibn Timiyya declares to us (Vol. 28, p.654):

"These terms are mentioned by the chief scholars who belong to the acknowledged schools. They alluded to the fact that the Imam ought to oblige the people of the book to subjugate them to these terms [because Muhammad said many times, ‘Follow Abu Bakr and Omar!’]."

Ibn Timiyya also indicated that Umar Ibn al-Khattab said about the people of the covenant, "Humiliate them," because the Qur’an said distinctly that they should pay the head tax with humiliation (9:29).

1. These unjust humiliating terms imposed on Christians are acknowledged not only by Ibn Timiyya and Ibn Hazm but also by the chief scholars (who belong to the four schools which are followed by the majority of the Muslims) among them Sufyan al-Thawri, who is one of the great companions and chroniclers. These terms were not only carried out during the era of Umar Ibn al-Khattab but were implemented by many Arab Muslim rulers during their occupation of the lands of Christian people.

2. After Umar Ibn Al-Khattab presented these terms to the inhabitants of Syria and Damascus, he told them plainly:

"If any Christian violates any of these terms, it will be permissible to kill him."

Imagine the extent of the relentlessness and injustice of this verdict. This means that if a Christian dressed like a Muslim, it would be permissible to kill him. If he refused to host the Muslims in the church for three days, or if he did not move from his seat to let the Muslim sit in his place, he could be killed. Also, if Christians pray loudly in the churches or mourn loudly over their dead, or if one of them renovated a ruined church he would be killed. What a just man, Umar Ibn Khattab! As all Muslims say about him, "The Just Caliph!"

A Christian Is Condemned To Death If He Curses A Muslim 

Who can believe this matter? No one, unless he reads it clearly in Ibn Hazm’s book (Vol. 8, part 11, p. 274). He said:

"It is mandatory to kill anyone of the people of the Covenant who curses a Muslim, whether he is a Jew or a Christian because God says, ‘Pay the tribute readily, being brought low [humiliated]’" (9:29).

"That is humiliation. If anyone violates this principle by cursing a Muslim, he must be killed or taken into captivity. His properties become lawful for Muslims nor does it matter whether the person who did it was a man or a woman. If any one of them cursed a Muslim, he would have no choice but either to embrace Islam or be killed" (p. 274).

 Ibn Hazm (page 275) added, "Of course, if a Muslim curses another Muslim like him, he would only be whipped."

Ibn Timiyya states that in general, any Christian who curses a Muslim must be killed immediately (Vol. 28:668).

It is easy for the reader to imagine all the situations in which a Christian who is humiliated in his own land might get angry, react impulsively, and curse a Muslim. However, if he does, there is nothing left for him but to accept Islam or to be killed, as Ibn Hazm indicated! What a merciful religion! A religion of equality and love and understanding—and justice!

Before we conclude this discussion, we would like to mention briefly three specific things out of dozens of other issues. What we have already discussed is sufficient for anyone who is interested in knowing the facts about equality and justice as they are practiced by Muhammad and Islam. It is enough to remove this veil, yet there are three more things:

1. If a Christian father executed or arranged a marriage for his Muslim daughter (even with her approval) that marriage is not permissible and is void because the rather is a Christian and she is a Muslim - even if the daughter approved of it (Malik Ibn Anas, Vol. 2, part 4, p. 176). That is, the father cannot be the legal guardian of his Muslim daughter even if she herself wants it! A Muslim who is a stranger to her will become her legal guardian!

2. Muhammad said, "Do not meet Jews or Christians with greetings. If you ever meet them in the street, force them to the narrowest part of it" (refer to Sahih of Muslim, "Interpretation of Nawawi", Vol. 5, p. 7; also Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya: Zad al-Ma’ad, Part 2, pp. 424, 425). This is a well-known statement of Muhammad.

3. Last, we would like to state here a remark made by one of the contemporary Muslim scholars, Dr. Ahmad ’Umar Hashim, in which he reveals the real face of Islam. He says,

"Islam does not prohibit [Muslims] from conducting business with non-Muslims, but Islam prohibits hearty friendships because hearty friendship should only be between a Muslim and his brother Muslim" (Al-Liwa al-lslami, issue no. 153 - Al Azhar).

What a sad statement! Yet, this is not foreign to Islam and, of course, Al Azhar knows exactly what Islam does and does not prohibit.

You may have a Muslim friend who tells you that Muhammad said of the people of the Book, "They enjoy the privileges we enjoy and they are subject to the duties to which we are subject." What does this statement mean? How does it agree with what we have already had which reveals clearly that there is a striking discrimination between the Muslim and the non-Muslim? Besides, we have seen that the people of the Book are subject to ill-treatment and contempt.

The answer is very simple. Muhammad spelled out this statement about the people of the Book provided that they became Muslims like them. In this case, they would be treated as Muslims without any discrimination and they would be subject to the same privileges and duties as other Muslims because they have become Muslims. If they do not embrace Islam, they will be subject to the head tax and all the terms which ’Umar Ibn al-Khattab mentioned in his document. It is relevant here, my friend, to know the situation concerning to which the above statement refers because many Muslims wrongly believe that it means equality between Muslims and non-Muslims.


They Have the Rights and Duties We Have  

If we open the "Biography of the Prophet" ("Al-Road Al Anf", Ibn Hisham and Al-Sohaly, part 4, p. 216), we read that Muhammad sent a letter to some of the Byzantines who accepted Islam saying,

"From Muhammad, the Apostle of God: I received what you have sent and I became aware of your acceptance of Islam and your fight against the infidels. You have to practice praying, pay the alms and give one-fifth of the bounty to God and to His apostle. Any one of the Jews or Christians who accepts Islam will enjoy the same rights we enjoy and will be subject to the same duties to which we are subject. But anyone who holds fast to his faith must pay the head tax."

What is important to us in this quotation is not Muhammad’s request that they send him one fifth of the bounty which was captured during their raids, but rather his plain statement that anyone who embraces Islam will have the same rights and will be subject to the same duties imposed on the Muslims. Those who hold fast to their own religion must pay the head tax (the tribute). This is what is recorded in Ibn Hisham’s biography which has become the most authoritative source about Muhammad’s life.

If we examine the "Chronicle of al-Tabari" (Part 2, pp. 145-196), we see the same principle. Muhammad himself says,

"Whoever prays our prayer is a Muslim, and will enjoy the same rights as Muslims and be subject to the same duties. But those who reject (Islam) must pay the head tax."

In Part One, we discussed the wars which Muslims waged in order to spread Islam and indicated that ’Amru Ibn al-’As, when he invaded Egypt, said to Maquqas who was the ruler at that time,

"If you accept Islam you will become our brothers, enjoying the same rights as we do and subject to the same duties to which we are subject" ("al-Khulafa al-Rashidun" by Dr. Abu Zayd Shalabi, p. 145).