An Islamic government should give the same
importance to the welfare of all its citizens whether Muslim or non-Muslim.
Non-Muslim citizens of a Muslim country are called Mu‘āhads that is, they
become citizens of an Islamic State on account of a treaty with it. All
dealings with them should be according to the terms of the peace treaty
concluded with them. Muslims must abide by these terms in all circumstances
and should never violate them in the slightest way. Such violations according
to Islam are totally forbidden and, in fact, amount to a grave transgression.
The Qur’ān says:
Keep [your] covenants; because indeed on the Day of
Judgement you will be held accountable for them. (17:34)
The Prophet (sws) is reported to have said:
Beware! I myself shall invoke the justice of the
Almighty on the Day of Judgement against the person who oppresses and
persecutes a Mu‘āhad or reduces his rights, or burdens him [with
responsibilities] he cannot bear, or takes something from him against his
will." (Abū Da`wūd: Kitābu’l Jihād)
Following are some basic rights of non-Muslim citizens:
--- Their life, wealth and honour should be protected by
the state such that no one whosoever is able to lay hands on them.
--- The needy and poor among them should be provided wih
the basic necessities of life.
--- Their personal matters and religious rituals should
be exempted from the law of the state and no interference should be made in
their faith and religion.
--- Their places of worship should not be tampered with.
--- They should be allowed to present their religion to
others in a non-seditious manner.
In short, they should be given all the rights which are
sanctioned by the norms of justice and fairness for people in a civilized
society, and in this regard all dealings should be done in a befitting manner
-- because Allah likes people who adopt this attitude.