Jizya or jizyah (Arabic: جِزْيَة; [d͡ʒizjah]) is a per capita yearly taxation historically levied in the form of financial charge on permanent non-Muslim subjects (dhimmi) of a state governed by Islamic law.[1][2][3] Muslim jurists required adult, free, sane males among the dhimma community to pay the jizya,[4] while exempting women, children, elders, handicapped, the ill, the insane, monks, hermits, slaves,[5][6][7][8][9] and musta'mins—non-Muslim foreigners who only temporarily reside in Muslim lands.[5][10] Dhimmis who chose to join military service were also exempted from payment,[1][6][11][12][13] as were those who could not afford to pay.[6][14][15] According to Islamic law, elders, handicapped etc. must be given pensions, and they must not go into begging.

The Quran and hadiths mention jizya without specifying its rate or amount.[16] 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.[10][17][18][19][20]

The application of jizya varied in the course of Islamic history. Together with kharāj, a term that was sometimes used interchangeably with jizya,[21][22][23] 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.[24] Jizya rate was usually a fixed annual amount depending on the financial capability of the payer.[25] 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.[1][26][27]

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, for the permission to practice a non-Muslim faith with some communal autonomy in a Muslim state, and as material proof of the non-Muslims' submission to the Muslim state and its laws.[28][29][30] Jizya has also been understood by some as a badge or state of humiliation of the non-Muslims in a Muslim state for not converting to Islam,[31][32] a substantial source of revenue for at least some times and places (such as the Umayyad era),[33] while others argue that if it were meant to be a punishment for the dhimmis' unbelief then monks and the clergy wouldn't have been exempted.[34]

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 was eradicated by the 18th century. It almost vanished during the 20th century with disappearance of Islamic states and spread of religious tolerance.[35] The tax is no longer imposed by nation states in the Islamic world,[36][37] although there are reported cases of organizations such as the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS attempting to revive the practice.[35][38][39]

Some modern Islamic scholars have argued that jizya should be paid by non-Muslim subjects of an Islamic state, offering different rationales.[40][41] For example, Sayyid Qutb saw it as punishment for "polytheism", while Abdul Rahman Doi viewed it as a counterpart of the zakat tax paid by Muslims.[40] According to Khaled Abou El Fadl, moderate Muslims reject the dhimma system, which encompasses jizya, as inappropriate for the age of nation-states and democracies.[37]