IBN QAYYIM AL-JAWZIYYAH

(al-Salafi Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abd Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ibn Ayyub ibn Sa‘d ibn Hariz al-Zar‘i al-Dimashqi), fourteenth-century encyclopedia author. He was known as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah since his father was the curator of the Jawziyyah School in Damascus. He was a Hanbalite. Though he received his training from teachers, the greatest master, who left an indelible impression on him, was Shaykh al- al-Imam Taqi al-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, who remained with Ibn Qayyim for nearly forty years from his return from Egypt in 1311 until his death. During this long companionship Ibn Qayyim benefited so much from Ibn Taymiyyah’s learning that their names became associated.

Ibn Qayyim produced a comprehensive two-volume encyclopedia (Ahkam Ahl al-Dhimmah) of law pertaining to the AHL AL-DHIMMAH (people of the covenant). The author stressed important facts relevant to the COVENANT OF ‘UMAR, on which he commented exhaustively, quoting as reference the Quranic texts, the traditions, proverbs, and historical traditions.

One of the most important characteristics of this encyclopedia is that the author linked and admonition in the style of the mutakallimin (polemicists) as perfected by the Salafi school, whose basic foundations were laid down by Ibn Taymiyyah.

Though the book is divided into chapters, its contents may be reduced to six topics: (1) sale conditions of churches and hermitages; (2) evils in the deeds of the Dhimmis disavowed by Islam; (3) the Dhimmis’ gear, which distinguishes them from the Muslims, whether in riding (beasts), or in clothing, or in any other respect; (4) dealings between the Muslims and the Dhimmis in mutual trade transactions and so forth; (5) hospitality of the Dhimmis toward the Muslims; and (6) the penalty legally imposed on Dhimmis for harming Muslims and the Dhimmis’ adherence to the protection contract granted by as long as they pay the JIZYAH ( tax).

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah stresses the question of the jizyah in the first part, and the similarities and dissimilarities between the jizyah and the kharaj (land tax). In the same section he also deals with the various kinds of taxes and other matters. He further discusses the status of the Dhimmis in the state administration; he believes that the Dhimmis should be banned from directing the state policies, and he warns that they should not be entrusted with properties. He then deals with the financial relations between the Dhimmis and the Muslims.

He discusses the regulations binding the Dhimmis in their own financial affairs, the regulations relevant to their waqfs (religious property) and the waqfs upon them by the Muslims, the laws of inheritance applying to the Dhimmis among themselves, and whether transmission by inheritance between Muslims and Dhimmis is legal.

Ibn Qayyim also considers the status of the Dhimmis’ marriages and their dowries, the maintenance they receive from their relatives, the conditions binding their sacrifices, the conditions of hiring them or of hiring a to work for them, the decorum that should be adopted when meeting them, the treatment of their sick, participation in their funerals, and how to condole them on these occasions. Indeed, when discussing their children, he does not fail to stipulate the conditions binding these children in this world as in the world to come.

It can thus be concluded that Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah considered ‘Umar’s Covenant as law that should be enforced, and that it was not optional. This covenant is a legal act, so that whoever breaks any part of it violates his own status as Dhimmi.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • The Encyclopedia of Islam. Leiden, 1913-1942. New edition, Leiden, 1940ff.
  • Gaudefroy-Demombynes, M. Institutions. London, 1919.
  • Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. Ahkam Ahl al-Dhimmah, 2 vols., ed. Subhi al-Salih. Damascus, 1961.
  • . Hidayat al-Hayarah fi Ajwibat al-Yahud wa-al-Nasara. Cairo, 1978.
  • . Miftah Dar al-Sa‘adah wa Manshur Wilayat al-‘Ilm wa-al- Iradah, ed. Mahmud Hasan Rabi‘, 3rd ed. Alexandria, 1979.

SUBHI Y. LABIB