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Use Of Religious Scriptures To Create Muslim Laws And Policies

992 words - 4 pages

Setting up political and economic policies is the most important task for newly developed civilizations. The creation of an entire religion, and ultimately a whole new society, as in the case of Islam, requires thorough planning and management of new guidelines to shape that society. Muslim policy was shaped not by democratic decision-making or dictatorship, but by interpretations of Holy Scripture, such as the Quran and the Hadiths. In the “Fiscal Rescript of Umar II”, it is clear that most economic and political policy imposed on newly conquered lands was shaped on the interpretations of word of Allah himself.

Upon Muhammad’s death in 632 AD, until the Battle of Talas in 751 AD, the ...view middle of the document...

If one chose to convert to Islam, the tax was waived.

Therefore, submission to Allah’s will was the deciding factor in how taxes were imposed. By paying the tax, the dhimmi were treated as everyday citizens. “Whether Christian or Jew or Magian, of those who are now subject to the jizya…shall enjoy all the privileges of the Muslims and shall be subject to all duties laid upon them.” (p. 3) The dhimmi were protected by the jizya, and were able to remain whatever faith they chose. The payers of the jizya were broken into three categories, each allowed to pay in different ways: “the cultivator, who pays his jizya from its produce; the artisan, who produces his jizya from his earnings; and the merchant, who lays out his money and pays his jizya from that.” (p. 6)

The dhimmi’s property, however, was now under state control. “But as for his land and his dwelling, they are the booty which God has given to the Muslims collectively; and had these persons accepted al-Islam thereon before God should give the conquest to the Muslims, it would remain their property.” (p. 3) This shows that Allah’s will, above all else, becomes the foundation for Islamic fiscal law. The state assumed ownership of all land, and the umma (community of Muslim believers) was given rights to use it. Umar’s rescript maintained “that cultivated lands (mazari) should be restored to the function to which they were assigned; for they were assigned as sources of provisions for the Muslims collectively” (p. 7).

The policy on emigration was a very open one. “As for emigration, we open it up to whosoever may emigrate of the bedouin…to the abode of emigration and to do battle with our foe. Whoso does this shall have an equal share with the muhagurun in that which God has given them as booty.” (p. 3) If one immigrated to Muslim regions and accepted the Islamic faith, Allah would “establish...

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