Do Muslim and Non-Muslim Citizens Have Equal Legal Rights?

Name of Questioner: Aaron

Date: 29-12-2019 09:59:57 PM

Consultant: Ask About Islam Editorial Staff


I'm aware that there are rules for Hindus or Christians or Jews living inside of Muslim societies laid out in the Quran. Are there similar legal frameworks laid out for Muslims living in Christian or Hindu societies?

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for your question.

Answering your question, Dr. Jasser Auda, Professor and Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College South Africa, the Executive Director of the Maqasid Institute, states:

I am not sure what rules you refer to regarding the treatment of non-Muslims in Muslim societies that are 'laid out in the Quran'. But I would like to say that many of these 'rules' are subject to specific historical contexts and political circumstances of the early time of the message of Islam.

The general and universal rule that over-rides all others is that: 'They have equal rights to Muslims and they have equal responsibilities.'

Out of fairness and justice, this is also the same rule that defines Muslims relations with non-Muslims in a society of non-Muslim majority. I was recently in India, by the way, and I really appreciated the civil rights that Muslims have under the current system. I know that there are some cases of discrimination, but the general direction to give Muslims the same civil rights as everybody else in the country pleased me.

We hope this answers your question.

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