Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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The Arabic term dhimma means “treaty” or “obligation.” The Qurʾān uses the word in its denunciation of idolaters who do not fulfil their obligations to the believers (Q 9:8, 10). In prophetic tradition (ḥadīth) and in Islamic legal literature the term dhimma is used for the obligation of Muslims in general and of Muslim rulers in particular to grant protection to non-Muslims living under their rule. The religious communities granted this protection were designated “protected people” (ahl al-dhimma, or dhimmīs). In most periods of Islamic history, dhimmīs were allowed to continue …

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Friedmann, Yohanan, “Dhimma”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 31 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_26005>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: 9789004225459, 2012, 2012-3

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