If there was a caliphate established in America would Jews be required to pay the jizya, according to Halacha, since the caliphate would be the government of the land

Background: Jizya is a per capita yearly tax historically levied by Islamic states on certain non-Muslim subjects—dhimmis—permanently residing in Muslim lands under Islamic law.

Dhimmis who chose to join military service were exempted from payment.

Historically, the Jizya tax has been rationalized in Islam as a fee for protection provided by the Muslim ruler to 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. Jizya has also been rationalized by some as a symbol of the humiliation of the non-Muslims in a Muslim state for not converting to Islam,

The jizya tax was historically imposed on Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians in the Arabian peninsula, the Levant, Iraq, North Africa, Caucasus and Spain, and on Hindus in South Asia into the 19th century, but almost vanished during the 20th century. The tax is no longer imposed by nation states in the Islamic world, although there are reported cases of organizations such as the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS attempting to revive the practice. (Source: Wikipedia)

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    – mbloch
    May 4, 2016 at 16:04
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    @mevaqesh, the question would be a great deal more answerable if it included, explicitly, whatever details about jizya are likely to be pertinent, rather than making would-be answerers read a long WP article. Also, Kedem, the question would be more compelling if you'd include information about why you think jizya compliancemight or might not be required according to Halacha.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 4, 2016 at 16:24
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    @mevaqesh, There are many, many people in the world who may read this question some day and who may either be interested in answers or even able to answer based on their general interest in and knowledge of the relevant areas of Halacha, completely independent of whether they know what a jizya is. I, for one, am interested in Halachot regarding interactions with government, but I had never heard of jizya.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 4, 2016 at 16:31
  • @kedem I have taken the liberty of adding a summary of the jizya. If you dont like it, just edit it.
    – mevaqesh
    May 4, 2016 at 16:34
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    Why on earth are you asking about a caliphate being established in America instead of the historical instances of jizya? Hopefully, no caliphate will be established in America, rendering this hypothetical, but jizya certainly existed in many places, so the question was historically of practical interest.
    – msh210
    May 4, 2016 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


The law of the land must be obeyed in general unless it significantly violates other mitzvot requirements or the law is tyrannical.

E.g. Romans forbid circumcision, still obligated to circumcize.

E.g. Czar drafts an army to throw at the Turks. Permissible to avoid.

If the jizya is in the form it was in in the time of Omar, where all Muslims had to serve in the military and dhimmis pay this tax instead, that would be a reasonable and fair government function and become halachically incumbent.

If the jizya is to subjugate Jews, it is not halachically binding, but not forbidden. One would be obligated not to implicate other Jews.

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    Could be improved with sources. What is wrong with a government imposing a special tax on inhabitants who it believes practice the wrong religion? Would it make sense to equally tax those who deny the true faith, and true believers? All this from their perspective of course.
    – mevaqesh
    May 4, 2016 at 16:22
  • @mevaqesh it's not exactly a tax for being the wrong religion per se, though in practice that's what it is. Rather, it's supposed to be more like a tax on legal non-citizens, of which, only dhimmis are. Think of it sort of like a 'noahide' tax when there is a sanhedrin in Jerusalem. May 4, 2016 at 16:32
  • @ShamanSTK I cited a couple of explanations for the jizya above. It is not obviously clear to me that any of them are unjust. That would depend on the definition of this injustice, which would in turn depend on the vital citation of a source for it.
    – mevaqesh
    May 4, 2016 at 16:35
  • @mevaqesh it's also unclear that it's something that is specifically targeting Jews for their Judaism as is contemplated in the halakhic literature. May 4, 2016 at 16:47
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    This answer would be much improved if it included evidence of its claims.
    – msh210
    May 4, 2016 at 17:38

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