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Chapter 15: Islam A Challenge to Religion      

An allegation is often made to the effect that discrimination is made by an Islamic State between Muslims and non-Muslims living within its domain by requiring the latter to pay a special tax, called Jizya. This is utterly wrong and based on a grave misunderstanding of the correct position. When the first Islamic State was established by Muhammad (P), some smaller non-Muslim states were, as a result of their rebellious attitude, subjugated, but, instead of occupying their territory, they were granted full autonomy and were assured of complete protection against outside aggression. As a token of their allegiance to the Islamic State, and in return for the military protection afforded to them, they paid a nominal tribute called Jizya. This word occurs in the Quran only once (in 9: 29) and, according to Lane's Lexicon, means a compensation for the protection afforded." There, are cases on record in history in which the Islamic State returned the amount of Jizya when it was unable to afford protection to the non-Muslim state concerned. Islam endeavoured to promote mutual understanding and co-operation between Muslims and non-Muslims. -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez