Tolerance is one of the key features of Islamic teachings. As Islam protects the rights of its followers the same way it grants equal rights to the non-Muslims living in an Islamic state. Moreover, Islam does not impose any extra duties on the non-Muslims and allows them to practice their religion. According to Shariah, the non-Muslims are known as Zimmis and the state is responsible for securing their rights concerning life; prestige and property.
Freedom is the basic right of every person in the world. Islam allows the non-Muslims to carry out their religious practices without forcing them to fulfill the duties that are obligatory for the Muslims. For example the non-Muslims are not forced to participate in Jihad. The basic rights of the non-Muslims are protected through the Shariah laws.
Here, it should also be kept in mind that Islam doesn’t allow any form of defamation of Islamic ideology, Quranic teachings, Holy Prophet (PBUH) and sacred personalities (all prophets- peace be upon them all and their families/ companions) on account of freedom of speech/ expression. It respects all and demands from Non-Muslims under its care to respect their sanctity.
Secured Life and Property
Islamic state is bound to protect the life and property of the non-Muslims. The best practical example comes from Madinah Munawwara where the Jews were protected concerning their rights of life and property. Non-Muslims have the right to share the community with the Muslims. Muslims and non-Muslims are allowed to build relationship that is based on good will and shared benefits. It is the duty of the Muslims to respect the life and property of the non-Muslims and they should protect the minorities with all the possible efforts. Harassing non-Muslim in any way is strictly disallowed as the Muslim rulers are under the huge responsibility of safeguarding their honor and prestige.
Freedom of Religious Practices
The non-Muslims living in an Islamic state are given complete freedom to practice their religious obligations. Muslims do not have any right to disturb or force the non-Muslims in any way whatsoever. Islam does not allow the Muslims to force any non-Muslim to become a Muslim. Islam does not allow the Muslims to criticize the religion of the non-Muslims. Islam respects the humanity and it also respects other religions. This is the beauty of Islam. It shows the level of tolerance towards every individual.
Provision of Justice to Non-Muslims
Islam promotes the rights of non-Muslims so much so that it clearly warns it followers not deprive them of their due right of “Justice” even if it goes against a believer. It means that Justice should be provided to them at all cost no matter the guilty one is a Muslim or not. If they are mistreated in any way in an Islamic society, the Muslim ruler will also be liable for that.
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, curtails their rights, burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.”
Non-Muslims are Not Forced to Participate in Military Services
The defense of the Islamic state is the basic responsibility of all the Muslims. No doubt that Islam gives various rights to the non-Muslims, but it does not force the non-Muslims to participate in the defense of an Islamic state despite being the part of its community. This is why Islam is said to be the most lenient religion towards the minorities. If a non-Muslim himself wants to participate in the military services, he is always welcomed and appreciated.
Jizya – Tax from Non-Muslims
Muslims have to pay Zakat which is one of the most important factors towards the welfare of the needy and poor Muslims. As Zakat is purely an Islamic obligation, the non-Muslims are not forced to pay Zakat. However, the non-Muslims, under the care of an Islamic government have to pay Jizya which is a type of tax to show their allegiance towards their state and to be peacefully secured in return with regards to their lives and property
Protection of the Place of Worship of Non-Muslims
It is the responsibility of the Islamic state to protect the place of worship of the non-Muslims. Allah Almighty has taught the Muslims through the Noble Quran to respect the places of worship of the other religions. Muslims are not allowed to even say something to criticize the worship of the non-Muslims. There is so much wisdom hidden in this command of Almighty Allah that saves both Muslims and Non-Muslims from committing and indulging in any act that may be considered blasphemous by any of the two.
To sum up all, it is the tolerance and the love for humanity which makes Islam quite a realistic religion. Islam talks about the welfare of the whole community regardless of the attachment of religion. Islam respects the emotions, feelings and fundamental rights of each and every person in its dominion. Indeed, this logical and beautiful religion is the biggest supporter and promoter of entire humanity and its welfare.