What are the rights and responsibilities of Christians within the Islamic State?

This question was sent from Fredrick Yousef to the Media Office of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Lebanon. The answer is below.

In the name of Allah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem

Mr Fredrick Yousef, we thank you for directing your question towards us.

Here follows the answer to your question:

The Islamic system obligates in terms of the subjects whose affairs are obligatory to be taken care of, that it provides complete caretaking to everyone who permanently resides in Daar ul-Islaam, submits to the systems of the state and holds the citizenship of the state. The caretaking of the affairs is based upon the following fundamental bases:

– Everyone who carries the citizenship of the state enjoys the rights and is bound by the Shari’ah obligations.

– It is not allowed for the state to distinguish between the individuals from amongst the subjects in terms of ruling, judiciary and caretaking of general affairs etc.. Indeed it is obligatory for the state to look at all of its subjects from a the same single viewpoint regardless of their race, religion or colour etc..

– The State implements the Islamic Shari’ah upon all of those who carry the Islamic citizenship whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims in the following manner:

a) All of the Islamic rules are applied upon the Muslims without exception.

b) Non-Muslims and what they believe and worship are left as they are within the general system.

c) The rule of the apostate is applied upon those who have apostatized from Islaam if they are apostates. However if they are the children of apostates and were born as non-Muslims then they are treated and dealt with in the same way as non-Muslims in accordance to their situation that they are upon, whether they are Mushrikeen or from the people of the book.

d) Non-Muslims are treated in regards to the matters of foodstuffs and clothing in accordance to the religions within that which the Shari’ah rules have permitted.

e) Marriage and divorce between non-Muslims proceed according

to their religious practise whilst that which occurs between them and Muslims is dealt with according to the rules of Islaam.

f) The states implements the rest of the Shari’ah rules and all remaining Islamic Shari’ah matters in regards to the Mu’aamalaat (transactions), punishments, testimonies, ruling and economic systems amongst others upon everyone. The implementation of these matters is the same in regards to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Similarly they are implemented upon those who have covenants (Mu’aahid) and those who have been granted security (Musta’min) in addition to all those who are under the authority of Islaam just as they are implemented upon the subjects of the state. This applies to all except for the ambassadors, messengers and those who are similar to them as they hold diplomatic immunity.

– It is a condition that the ruler be Muslim and the rulers within the framework of the State are: The Mu’aawin Tafweed (delegated assistant(s)), the Wulaat (Provincial Governors), ‘Umaal (governors) and all those that take their ruling. It is also a condition for the Mu’aawin Tanfeedh (executive assistant) to be Muslim even if he is not from amongst the rulers because he is from amongst the Bitaanah (close associates) to the Khalifah. It is also a condition for the Judge to be Muslim because he makes judgment by that which Allah has revealed. However the followers of other religions from amongst the non-Muslim subjects have specific courts by which matters of marriage and divorce are dealt with in accordance to their own legislations. Therefore the judges in these courts are from amongst the followers of the religions in each court.

– Everyone who carries the citizenship and is capable and qualified, Muslim or non-Muslim, can be appointed as a Mudeer (manager/head of department) in any area of peoples interests or any administrative department in addition to having the right to be employed within them.

– Accounting the rulers by the Muslims is a right from amongst their rights and it is a collective obligation that must be performed by them. Non-Muslims have the right to raise complaints in relation to the oppression of the ruler against them or if he does not implement the Islamic rules correctly upon them.

– Jihaad is an obligation upon the Muslims and training is compulsory upon them. It is obligatory for every Muslim male who reaches 15 years of age to train as a soldier in order to be prepared for Jihaad and conscription into the army is Fard Kifaayah (A collective duty of sufficiency). It is permitted for non-Muslim subjects of the state to fight the enemy alongside the Muslims but they are not compelled to do so. It is a condition that their fighting takes place under the banner of the Muslims and that they do not have their own specific banner or separate leadership. And if the fighting is against Muslims like the Buhgaat (those rebelling against the authority) then in this case it is not permitted for there to be amongst the ranks of the army any non-Muslims.

– The people who represent the opinion of the Muslims to be raised to the Khalifah are the Majlis Al-Ummah. It is permitted for non-Muslims to be present in the Majlis Al-Ummah to raise complaints in regards to the oppression of the ruler or his miss-application of Islaam upon them. So everyone who holds the citizenship, is past the age of puberty and sane, has the right to be a member in the Majlis Al-Ummah and the Majlis of the Wilaayah (Provincial council). This is for the Muslim and non-Muslim however the membership of the non-Muslim is restricted to raising complaints against the oppression of the ruler or his miss-application of the rules of Islaam upon them.

– It is obligatory to completely guarantee the satisfaction of the basic needs of all the individuals of the state, individual by individual. And to guarantee the ability of every individual to satisfy his needs above the basic needs to the highest possible level in addition to the state guaranteeing to find work for everyone of its citizens, Muslim or non-Muslim. It also guarantees spending upon the one who does not possess money, work or those upon whom it is obligatory to spend upon him. It will also take responsibility for the elderly and those who are disabled regardless of their religion or school of thought. The state active works to circulate the wealth amongst the subjects and to prevent it from being circulated amongst a specific group alone. The state also provides education to every individual in accordance to the level required for the person to engage in the realities of life in two levels of education: Primary and Secondary. It is obligatory to provide these to everyone without charge. It also opens the area of higher education up to all free of charge in accordance to the best of its capabilities in addition to providing all health and medical services to everyone without exception or charge.

Ahmad Al-Qasas

Spokesman of Hizb ut-Tahrir Lebanon