Dhimmis' Servitudes in Seville

(ca. 1100)


A Muslim must not act as masseur to a Jew or Christian; he must not clear their rubbish nor clean their latrines. In fact, the Jew and the Christian are more suited for such work, which are degrading tasks. A Muslim must not act as a guide or stableman for an animal owned by a Jew or Christian; he must not act as their donkey-driver or hold the stirrups for them. If it be noticed that a Muslim contravenes these prohibitions, he shall be rebuked (p. 108).

A Jew must not slaughter an animal for a Muslim. The Jews may be authorized to open their own special butcher shops (p. 110).

It is forbidden to sell a coat that once belonged to a leper, to a Jew or Christian, unless the buyer is informed of its origin; likewise if this garment once belonged to a debauched person (p. 112).

No tax-officer or policeman, Jew or Christian may be allowed to wear the dress of an aristocrat, nor of a jurist, nor of a wealthy individual; on the contrary they must be detested and avoided. It is forbidden to accost them with the greeting "Peace upon you!" (as-salam alayka!). In effect, "Satan has gained the mastery over them, and caused them to forget God's Remembrance. Those are Satan's party; why, Satan's party, surely they are the losers!" (Koran 58:20) A distinctive sign must be imposed upon them in order that they may be recognized and this will be for them a form of disgrace (p. 114).

The sound of bells must be prohibited in Muslim territories and reserved only for the lands of the infidels (p. 123).

It is forbidden to sell to Jews and Christians scientific books unless they treat of their particular law. They have in fact translated scientific books and attributed them to their coreligionists and to their bishops, whereas they are really the work of Muslims! It would be preferable not to let Jewish or Christian physicians be able to heal Muslims. Since they are incapable of noble sentiments toward Muslims, let them treat their fellow infidels; knowing their feelings, how is it possible to entrust the lives of Muslims to them? (p. 128).

lbn Abdun, in L. Levi-Provencal


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