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Non-Muslim under protection of Muslim law. A covenant of protection was made with conquered “Peoples of the Book,” which included Jews, Christians, Sabaeans, and sometimes Zoroastrians and Hindus. Adult male dhimmis were required to pay a tax on their income and sometimes on their land. Restrictions and regulations in dress, occupation, and residence were often applied. In return, Islam offered dhimmis security of life and property, defense against enemies, communal self-government, and freedom of religious practice. In the modern period, dhimmi status has declined in importance as a result of the formation of nation-states and Western or quasi-Western legal codes.

See also Ahl al-Kitab

Subjects: Islam — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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