Restrictions on Non-Muslims in the 11th Century


The second Clause, which is only recommended, also consists of six points: (a) changing their outward attire by the wearing of a distinctive sign (ghiyar), and a special belt (zunnar); (b) prohibiting the construction of buildings higher than those of the Muslims. They should be only of equal height, or lower; (c) prohibiting them from causing offence to Muslims by the ringing of their bells (nakus), the reading of their books, and their pretensions concerning Uzayr and the Messiah; (d) prohibiting them from drinking wine in public, or displaying either crosses or pigs; (e) the obligation for them to conduct their funerals in secret, without overtly crying or lamenting; (f) prohibiting them from riding horses, be they thoroughbreds or crossbreeds, though leaving them the use of mules and donkeys. These six prescriptions are not necessarily to be included in the vasselage agreement, unless they were expressly stipulated, in which case they are strictly obligatory. Despite their having been stipulated, any offence does not result in the nullification of the pact, but the infidels are forcibly obliged to respect them and are punished for having violated them. They are not punishable if nothing was expressly stated in this respect (pp. 305-6). When allies and their tributaries unite in order to combat the Muslims, they immediately fall into the category of enemies and each of these combatants can be put to death. For those who did not take up arms, it must be decided whether or not they gave their approbation to the hostilities.

Mawardi (d. 1058) [Excerpt]


Source: Bat Ye'or, The Dhimmi. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985.