Islamic Rule in India: When Hindus, Sikhs were forced to pay Jizya Tax to remain alive or follow their religion

when Hindus, Sikhs were forced to pay Jizya Tax to remain alive
Image Credit: SanskritiMagazine

When the Mughal rulers invaded India, they brought with them the barbaric rules of terror and injustice. While many rulers ruled peacefully, many destroyed India, looted its wealth and converted people forcefully to Islam. Jizya tax was one such tax imposed on the Non-Muslims that resided under the Mughal rulers.

The rulers used different means to torture the Non-Muslim communities. The people were told to accept Islam on their own will so as to save themselves from the atrocities. One such example of the barbaric time in the Mughal reign was the imposition of tax on Non-Muslims.

This was called the Jizya tax and was introduced by Mughal ruler Qutb-ud-din-Aibak. It was imposed on the Hindus and Sikhs by the Muslim rulers. The main concept of the tax was the money that the Non-Muslims needed to pay to the Mughal rulers for their protection.

The term appears in the Quran referring to a tax or tribute from People of the Book, specifically Jews and Christians. There were two different taxes which were paid by Muslims and Non-Muslims during the reign of Mughal rulers in India.

The obligatory tax paid by the Muslim Men of financial means, and the Jizya tax paid by the Non-Muslim Men. The rate of taxation and methods of collection varied greatly from province to province and was influenced by local pre-Islamic customs.

The tax was fixed by understanding the payment level of the people. Jizya has been considered as a fee for protection provided by Mughal rulers to Non-Muslims.

The tax was also considered as the permission to practice a Non-Muslim faith and as a material proof of the non-Muslims’ submission to the Muslim state and its laws.

The tax was based on the religious divisions. The Hindus and Sikhs were heavily charged through the Jizya tax but the Muslims were given some kind of relaxation for paying the obligatory taxes.

Jizya was a badge or state of humiliation of the Non-Muslims in a Muslim state for the people practicing other religions than Islam.

Jizya was abolished by the Mughal ruler Akbar in the 16th century but was re-introduced by Aurangzeb in the 17th century. The tax was finally abolished by Jahandar Shah (successor of Bahadur Shah I) in 1712.

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