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Jizya (Arabic: جِزْيَة jizyah / ǧizyah [d͡ʒɪzjæ]) is a per capita yearly taxation historically levied in the form of financial charge on dhimmis, that is, permanent non-Muslim subjects of a state governed by Islamic law. The Quran and hadiths mention jizya without specifying its rate or amount, and the application of jizya varied in the course of Islamic history. However, scholars largely agree that early Muslim rulers adapted existing systems of taxation and tribute that were established under previous rulers of the conquered lands, such as those of the Byzantine and Sasanian empires.
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Historically, the jizya tax has been understood in Islam as a fee for protection provided by the Muslim ruler to non-Muslims, for the exemption from military service for non-Muslims, and as material proof of the non-Muslims' allegiance to the Muslim state and its laws. Muslim jurists required adult, free, sane males among the dhimma community to pay the jizya, while exempting women, children, elders, handicapped, the ill, the insane, monks, hermits, slaves, and musta'mins—non-Muslim foreigners who only temporarily reside in Muslim lands. Dhimmis who chose to join military service were also exempted from payment, as were those who could not afford to pay. According to Islamic law, elders, handicapped etc, must be given pensions, and they must not go into begging.
Together with kharāj, a term that was sometimes used interchangeably with jizya, taxes levied on non-Muslim subjects were among the main sources of revenues collected by some Islamic polities, such as the Ottoman Empire and Indian Muslim Sultanates. Jizya rate was usually a fixed annual amount depending on the financial capability of the payer. Sources comparing taxes levied on Muslims and jizya differ as to their relative burden depending on time, place, specific taxes under consideration, and other factors.
The term appears in the Quran referring to a tax or tribute from People of the Book, specifically Jews and Christians. Followers of other religions like Zoroastrians and Hindus too were later integrated into the category of dhimmis and required to pay jizya. In the Indian Subcontinent the practice stopped by the 18th century with Muslim rulers losing their kingdoms to the British East India Company. It almost vanished during the 20th century with the disappearance of Islamic states and the spread of religious tolerance. The tax is no longer imposed by nation states in the Islamic world, although there are reported cases of organizations such as the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS attempting to revive the practice.
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