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All Jews had to pay half their income to Muslims? - Sharia

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There is a myth that Jews (Dhimmi) living in Islamic lands had to pay 50 percent of their income in taxes (Jizya) to Muslims. This is another attempt by non-Muslim historians to re-write history and demonize the golden past between Jews and Muslims.


In this study, we will define, quote, and compare the burden of tax ratio for Muslims and non-Muslims in Islamic and non-Islamic lands.


Understanding Jizya (Dhimmi [non-Muslim] tax)


According to the commentaries by Yusif Ali [1281], the root meaning of Jizya is compensation. The derived meaning, which became the technical meaning, was a poll-tax levied from those who did not accept Islam, but were willing to live under the protection of Islam [Protection against surrounding Christian Crusaders and Pagans] and were thus tacitly willing to submit to its ideals being enforced in the Muslim State.


Did All Jews have to pay Jizyha ?


According to Islamic law as quoted by Malik's Muwatta Book 17, Number 17.24.46:

"The sunna is that there is no jizya due from women or children of people of the Book, and that jizya is only taken from men who have reached puberty.”


In other words, men of military age, were excused from joining the army in exchange for paying jizyha. According to Abu Hanifa, there are also exceptions for the poor, slaves, monks and hermits.


How much tax did the Jews have to pay ?


Islamic Law states that “if” Jews trade in Muslim countries, coming and going in them, a tenth is taken from what they invest in such trade. This is because jizya is only imposed on them on conditions, which they have agreed on. {Muwatta Book 17, Number 17.24.46}. Live stock was accepted as payment Book 17, Number 17.24.45) . Therefore, the true Islamic tax rate for non-military joining Jews was 10%, not the mythical amount of 50%.


Did Muslims or Jews pay more in tax ?


Both Jews and Muslims were required to pay tax in Islamic countries. The Muslim tax was called “Zakat”, which was much more broad.


Jews did not have to pay any zakat on any of their property, livestock, produce or crops while Muslims –did-. Zakat also varied depending on the Muslim's situation, depending on the size of property, number of live stock, amount of savings, on average, the Muslim paid more taxes than the non-Muslim.


Besides an average of Muslims paying more taxes, Muslims also had to pay with their lives, they had to join the army and defend the country, whereas non-Muslims in the country were not required to enlist, again displaying the price for the Muslims was higher than for the non-Muslims.


Both Muslims and non-Muslims alike faced force if the tax was not paid:


Collecting Zakat (Muslim tax) Book 17, Number 17.18.31: "Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq said, "If they withhold even a hobbling cord I will fight them over it."


Tax amounts in Islamic compared to non-Islamic countries:


In Islamic countries, military aged capable Jewish men are required to pay 10% tax, how much tax do non-Muslims and Muslims alike have to pay in non-Islamic countries? Here is a international comparison of tax burden ratio chart;




Tax Burden Ratio percent























Note: Tax Burden Ratio: Ratio of tax burden in national income. Source: Annual Report on National Accounts Economic Research Institute, Economic Planning Agency (Apr. 10, 2000)


What is the burden of tax ratio in Israel ?


In Israel, not only is it mandatory for both men and WOMEN, to join in the army, but men and women in Israel have to face one of the world’s highest tax rates;


Workers in Israel earning NIS 10,001 a month ($30,000 a year) are subject to a marginal tax rate of 55 percent,

As the Bank of Israel's annual report for 1999 noted, Israel's marginal tax rate is higher than that of all but two OECD countries (Belgium and Denmark)


According to the Bank of Israel report, Israel has one of the highest tax-to-GDP ratios in the western world. This ratio stood at 40.1 percent in 1998, the bank said, compared to an average of 37.7 percent among the OECD countries in 1996 (the last year for which figures were available).


How much tax do Muslims pay in the Zionist country?


As documented, Jews did not pay 50 percent of their income in taxes, also cited, Muslims **do** have to pay Over 50 Percent in taxes for living in Israel. When Palestine (Israel) was forcefully taken from Muslims and driven into a Zionist country, Muslims were ordered to pay one of the highest tax rates in the world or face arrest and imprisonment in a torturous Israeli jail.


In conclusion, the accusation that Jews were forced into paying 50% of their income is a myth, the sultans in Islamic countries followed strict Islamic law to stay in power, which dictated that willing and able Jewish men only had to pay 10% on their trade income. Our study also documents how the Islamic taxation system was one of the best in history when compared to non-Islamic countries, namely Israel. vent frustration on having to pay over 50 percent of one’s income for taxes in Israel. We also conclude that this myth may be an attempt by Jews to vent frustration on having to pay over 50 percent of one’s income for taxes in Israel.


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