Citizenship of an Islamic State

Citizenship of an Islamic State

Islamic Law

An Islamic State is an ideological state. Keeping in view its specific ideology, its citizens can be classified into two categories:

1) Those who become its citizens after accepting its ideological basis.

2) Those who assume its citizenship as a consequence of a treaty.

The First Category

The Qur'an has specified three conditions for persons eligible for this category:

1) They should profess faith in the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad (sws) and give up every belief and deed against Islam.

2) As testimony of their faith, they should offer prayers according to the way prescribed by the Prophet (sws).

3) For the functioning of the state system, they should pay zakat to the public treasury (baytu'l mal).

The Qur'an says:

If they repent [from all un-Islamic beliefs and deeds], establish regular prayers, and pay zakat, they are your brethren in religion. (9:11)

Whoever fulfils these three conditions, will be considered a Muslim in the eyes of the law and will be granted this type of citizenship in an Islamic State. As far as his rights and duties in a state are concerned, there will be no difference between him and those who are the founders of the state. The Qur'an has used the word fa ikhwanukum fi'l din (they are your brothers in religion) to convey this meaning. From the word al-din, Islam is implied and by the words fa ikhwanukum, those who professed faith in the Prophet (sws) in the early stages and those who laid the foundations of the Islamic state in Madinah have been addressed and told that people who fulfil these conditions are equal to them and will have the same political and collective rights.

The Prophet (sws) has explained this Qur'anic directive in the following words:

I have been ordained to wage war* with these people until they testify to the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad, establish regular prayers and pay zakat. If they accept these conditions, their lives and wealth shall be given protection except if they are deprived from this protection on the grounds of some offence they may commit. As far as their inner account is concerned, it rests with Allah. (Muslim: Kitabu'l Iman)

A similar statement is attributed to the Caliph Abu Bakr, while he was launching an attack against those who were desisting to pay zakat:

The Prophet waged war on three conditions: on testifying to the oneness of Allah, on the establishment of regular prayers and on the payment of zakat and the Almighty has said: `Therefore, if they repent, establish regular prayers and pay zakat, spare their lives'. By God! I shall neither ask for more nor less. (Ahkamu'l Qur'an, Jassas, Vol 3, Pg 82)

The Second Category

The Qur'an has alluded to this type of citizenship in the words `with whom you have concluded a treaty' (8:56). The Jews of Madinah are implied here. This treaty was concluded with them by the Prophet (sws) when he became the ruler of Madinah after migration. Historians refer to it as theMithaq-i-Madinah. Later on, similar treaties were concluded by the Muslims with other nations as well. Such treaties, of course, can be concluded upon different conditions depending upon the circumstances. In the Mithaq-i-Madinah, it was clearly stated that after accepting Muhammad (sws) as the ruler ofMadinah, the Jews and the Muslims would be one nation. Their rights will be the same as the rights of the Muslim citizens of Madinah:

The Jews, according to this treaty stand accepted as one nation with the Muslims. As far as their religion is concerned, the Jews will remain on theirs' and the Muslims and their allies on theirs'. (al-sirah al-nabawiyyah, Ibn Hisham, Vol 2, Pg 107)

All non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic State belong to this category.

(Adapted from Ghamidi's "Mizan")

Articles by this author




The Hagar-Zam Zam Narrative

Introduction to the Qur’an

Overcoming Despair and Dejection


The Better Human

Poise and Balance

When the Tough get Going!

Surah Bani Isra’il (3/3)

Surah Bani Isra’il (2/3)

The Importance of the Word “Self”

Prayers can Move Mountains!

Animal Rights

Qualities of a Good Teacher

Let us Live for Others!

The Art of Positive Thinking

Virtues of Silence

The Person in the Mirror

Some Requests to Young Adults

Some Requests to Wives

Humanity burnt at the Stake*

A Summary of some Exegetical Views on Verses 16-19 of Surah Qiyamah (2/2)

A Summary of some Exegetical Views on Verses 16-19 of Surah Qiyamah (1/2)

Some Remedies for Jealousy

Four Steps to Selflessness

The Five Essentials of Constructive Criticism

An Introduction to Ghamidi’s Mizan

How to overcome Selfishness

Your Question Answered

Explanation of Some Qur’anic Words

Anger Management

Some Suggestions for Married Couples

God’s Domain

Let us Light up our Prayers!

Successful Parents

The “Successful Spouse” Test

Let us Value what We have

Dear Husbands … If I may say!

The “Blind Drill”

Life goes on all the same!

Prayers can Move Mountains!

Two types of “Junk Food”

Reforming Our Conduct

Supplications from the Hadith

Supplications from the Qur’an

A Small Act of Kindness

Respecting the Privacy of our Mature Children

Explanation of Some Jarh Terms

Selections from Hadith

Your Questions Answered

Two Tough Trials

Benefiting from Criticism

Your Questions Answered

The Cause of Truth

Your Questions Answered

Selections from Hadith

Restraining our Wounded Pride

Selections from Hadith

The Power of One

Preparing for the Inevitable!

Selections from Hadith

Let us Refuse to Lose!

The Sound of Silence

Selections from Hadith

Let us Enjoy every Moment of our Lives

Lets be Just, Come what May!

Selections from Hadith

Beware of the three C’s: Cynicism, Criticism and Complaint

Never Give Up!

Do We have a Spiritual Part of the Day?

Tears of Old Parents … for their Children

Life goes on all the same!

The Decorum of Criticizing Others

Tears that would not stop!

Selections from Hadith

Hobbies we must have!

Death in Innocence

“Thank you” Culture

Visit to an Old Home

We Owe it to Our Society

Experiencing God

Discovering our Inner Talent

The Battle for Honesty Continues!

Saintly Sinners

Secret to Inner Peace

Your Questions Answered

Small Acts of Kindness

Illness can be a Boon!

Philosophy of Animal Sacrifice on ‘Id

Tears of Gratitude!

Lookout to Leap for Others!


Turning Foes into Friends

Let us then Live for Others!


A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (1/4)

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (2/4)

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (3/4)

A Re-Evaluation of Early Developments in Qur’anic Orthography (4/4)

Abdus Sattar Ghauri (The Father Figure of Al-Mawrid!)

Brief Profile

Special Issue

Charity: Points to Ponder

Your Question Answered

“Dignity in Hard Labour Lies!”


Never Lose Hope!

The Trials of Life

Anger Management

Handling Mature Children

Let us Promise…

An Introduction to Ghāmidī’s Mīzān

Visit to a Graveyard

Are We Ready to Die?

A Shame to Humanity[1]!

A Critical Evaluation of Variations found in the ‘Uthmānic Copies (Part 4/4)

A Critical Evaluation of Variations found in the ‘Uthmānic Copies (Part 3/4)

A Critical Evaluation of Variations found in the ‘Uthmānic Copies (Part 2/4)

A Critical Evaluation of Variations found in the ‘Uthmānic Copies (Part 1/4)

The Key to Successful Marriage

Taming the Tongue

Sexual Intimacy between Husband and Wife

Pretension and Pomposity

The Cause of Truth

Narrative on the Changes made in the Qur’ān by al-Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf

Sūrah Mā’idah (64-89)


A Man of Steel

Critical Evaluation of Ustuwānah al-Mushaf Narratives


Fasting in Extreme Conditions

How to overcome Selfishness

Nothing but the Truth, Please!

Narratives on the Collection of the Qur’ān by ‘Alī(rta) (part 1/3)

Narratives on the Collection of the Qur’ān by ‘Alī(rta) (part 2/3)

Narratives on the Collection of the Qur’ān by ‘Alī(rta) (part 3/3)

A Tribute to Brig (retd.) Noor Ahmed Husain (Quaid e Azam’s Last Military ADC)


Appendix C: A Brief Biographical Sketch of Hamīd al-Dīn al-Farāhī (1863-1930) [1]

Appendix B:  A Brief Summary of the Views of Traditional and Radical Western Scholars

Appendix A:  A Summary of the View of Traditional Muslim Scholars

A Critical Evaluation of Farahī’s View on the Collection of the Qur’ān

A Citizen of Paradise (Written on the Martyrdom of Dr Habib ur Rahman)



Your Questions Answered

Reason and Revelation

Your Questions Answered