Islam / Dhimmi /
Other spelling: djizya
The tolerated groups were in theory Christians and Jews, but in pracice, other groups could received the status as tolerated non-Muslims (see dhimmi). The Harranians of northern Mesopotamia came to be defined as "Sabians", a Koranic term used for a third group of Ahl al-Kitab, but never identified.
The jizya tax was understood as a special tax paid to the Muslim ruler for his protection. Its exact level could vary from region to region, as well as over time. At first, the jizya was set to 1 dinar (equalling 12 dirhams), which later on was changed into the minimum payment. The tax on the rich was set at 4 dinars (48 dirhams).
Those refusing to pay jizya could be punished with imprisonment.
The jizya tax was a very important part of the state revenues through much of Muslim history. By the fact that non-Muslims in many cases could avoid the tax by converting into Islam, both helped promote the growth of Islam, but also caused rulers to try to hinder the conversion into Islam. There are examples of converts having to continue paying jizya.
Jizya was paid by men only, and only with sufficient funds. Many were exempted, like blind, crippled, mentally retarded and the old.
Some Christian groups, during the early times of Islam, were exempted from paying jizya: the Banu Tabligh and Christians of Najran (today Saudi Arabia).
At a later stage, another tax for non-Mulims was introduced, called kharaj. This was taxation of yield from land.
For the preparation of Contents, no contemporary examples of jizya are found. Still, oil-rich countries have different taxation systems for nationals (who are Muslims) and expats (where there is a large percentage of non-Muslims). But this cannot be equated to jizya, since the dhimmis paying jizya were considered nationals, and the expats are considered foreigners.