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Osama’s Tax Incentives to Americans — Not Telling Us the Whole Truth

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In his latest video message, Osama bin Laden tried to coax Americans into accepting Islam, and even offered them a heavy tax incentive. He said, "There are no taxes in Islam, but rather there is a limited Zakat [alms] totaling 2.5 percent". This huge tax-cut would be very tempting for the well-off and big corporations in America. However, he is not telling us whole truth about the taxation system of ideal Islamic states, such as the now-defunct Islamic caliphate, which Osama wants to reinstate on the global scale.

A true Islamic state will have two kinds of citizens: the believers (Muslims) and the dhimmis. Dhimmis, according to Islam, consist of the four kinds of monotheists that existed in Arabia at time of Muhammad ― namely the Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians (Magians) and the Sabians. The idolaters (also heathens, atheists etc.) must accept Islam or be killed as commanded in the Quran: "kill the idolaters, wherever ye find them" [Quran 9:5]. But the Umayyad caliphs (661–750 CE) allowed the idolaters to live under the category of dhimmis in violation of the Quran. Umayyads were rightly condemned as "Godless" by the pious orthodox and the wider Muslim community for their numerous actions that violated the Quran or defied Allah.

Bin Laden tells us that Zakat is the only tax in Islam. But he does not tell us that it applies only to Muslim citizens. He does not tell us about other taxes being imposed on dhimmi citizens, who must pay at least two other kinds of taxes in ideal Islamic states, namely the jiziyah (poll-tax) and kharaj (land-tax). There is also a third kind of divinely sanctioned income for an Islamic state, called khams.

Khams is the spoils of war, also extracted from the non-Muslims. It was the major component of income of the only truly ideal Islamic state, founded in Medina by the Prophet Muhammad during his 10-year tenure (622–632). Muslims, under Muhammad's leadership, only engaged in conquest, raids and plunder to make a living, which was thought to be the ideal means of earning a livelihood by devout early Muslims. They never engaged in agriculture or trades. This mode of living was sanctioned by the Prophet himself according to the tradition described by Abu Umama al-Bahili: "I saw some agricultural equipments (sic) and I heard the Prophet saying: 'There is no house in which these equipment enters except that Allah will cause humiliation to enter it.'" [Sahih Bukhari 3.39.514]. Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan, the translator of al-Zubaidi's collection of Sahih Bukhari hadiths, comments on this hadith that the profession of cultivation is often of oppressive humiliation especially under the feudal system. By indulging in this work, one may neglect the obligatory Jihad in Allah's cause [Al-Zubaidi, AZAL (1994) Compilation of Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari, p505]. The best example of acquiring khams revenue was Muhammad's capture of the assets, weapons and abodes of the Jews, after attacking and banishing them from Medina by deportation (Qainuqa and Nadir tribes) and mass-slaughter (Quraiza tribe). In the latter case, 600-800 adult males were executed, while the women and children were enslaved and included in the khams. This also received sanction from Allah: "(of the defeated Jews) Some ye slew, and ye made captive some. And He caused you to inherit their land and their houses and their wealth, and land ye have not trodden. Allah is ever Able to do all things" [Quran 33:26-27].

A prominent instance of extracting kharaj tax from dhimmis comes from Prophet's conquest of the rich and prosperous Jewish outpost of Khyabar, 70 miles north of Medina, in 628 CE. Still commanding a small community of Muslim fighters based in Medina, it was impossible for Muhammad to take over the administration of Khaybar at this point of time. Hence, after plundering the movable assets and enslaving the women of Khaybar, the rest of the Jews were allowed to stay in the possession of their lands on the condition of paying half of the produce as tribute (kharaj tax). The Khaybar incident, "struck terror to the hearts of the men of Fadak" and "They sent to him an offer of peace on condition that they should keep half of their produce," which was accepted by Muhammad [Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad (trs. Guillaume), p510-515]. But, the Jews were allowed to be in the possession of the conquered land only until Muslims became strong and numerous enough to take it into their own possession; and during the rule of caliph Omar (634–644 CE), the Jews were expelled. In other instances, the Prophet had fixed the tax at 10% of the produce for some tribes who had submitted to him [Muir W, The Life of Mahomet, Delhi, p433]. The tax extracted from the produce of the land, ranging between 10% and 50%, thus became known as kharaj or land-tax. Drawing from these examples of the Prophet, the second caliph Omar formulated the kharaj taxation, which was resolutely implemented in pre-colonial Islamic states.

Extraction of jiziyah (poll-tax) from dhimmi citizens was clearly commanded in the Quran: "Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture (Christian & Jews) as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low" [Quran 9:29]. On his last and largest expedition to border of powerful Byzantine Empire in 630 CE, Muhammad camped at Tabuk and sent out emissaries to the heads of nearby principalities demanding that they accept Islam or pay jiziyah. A letter addressed to the prince of Ayala read: "…I will not fight against you until I have written this unto you. Believe or else pay the tribute (Jiziyah)…. But if ye displease them (the emissaries), I will accept nothing from you until I have fought against you and taken captive your little ones and slain the elder; for I am the apostle of God in truth. " [Muir, p442, notes]. Upon this the chiefs of Ayala, Jabra and Adhruh principalities came to the prophet and paid jiziyah [Ibn Ishaq, p607].

Modern apologists for Islam have often sought to describe jiziyah as 'protection tax'. But protection from whom — Muslims themselves? It is actually meant for allowing the unyielding dhimmis to live in Islamic states under sufferance and humiliation for rejecting "the Religion of Truth". It was an expression of their subjugated and lowly status to Muslims. Payment of jiziyah must accompany the intended humiliation ― i.e., " pay the tribute readily, being brought low" ― of the dhimmi as prescribed by famous Islamic scholars. Imam al-Ghazzali, the greatest Sufi master and considered the second-greatest Muslim next to Prophet Muhammad, prescribes the following protocol for payment of jiziyah by dhimmis: "…the Jews, Christians and the Majians must pay the jiziyah… On offering up the jiziyah, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits (the dhimmi) on the protuberant bone beneath his ear" [Bostom AG (2005), Legacy of Jihad, p199]. Ibn Warraq quotes famous Islamic commentator al-Zamakhshari's (1075–1144CE) interpretation of Quran 9:29 as follows:  "The Jizyah shall be taken from them with belittlement and humiliation. He (Dhimmi) shall come in person, walking not riding. When he pays, he shall stand, while the tax-collector sits. The collector shall seize him by the scruff of the neck, shake him and say: 'Pay the Jizyah!' and when he pays it, he shall be slapped on the nape of his neck " [Ibn Warraq (1995), Why I am Not a Muslim, p228-229].

Muslims contribute only the meager Zakat, which is fixed at 2.5% of excess produce of the year, to the treasury of ideal Islamic states. This concept of charity was borrowed by Muhammad from the existing tradition of the Jews of Medina. The Zakat fund was to be used only for religious purposes, such as building mosques, propagation of Islam, paying the voluntary Jihadists etc. ― not for funding secular activities. Payment of the meager Zakat is also voluntary and there is no report of its systematic collection during Muhammad's tenure in the  Medina caliphate. Only Muslims were allowed to be paid from the state fund, coming mainly from taxes extracted from dhimmi subjects, and from the khams, plundered from non-Muslims. Egyptian documents, dating between 80-100 years of the Islamic calendar, show that no Muslim but only  non-Muslims paid taxes to the state [Triton AS (1970), Caliphs and Their Non-Muslim Subjects, p198]. Similarly, Prof Habibullah writes of the first 100 years of Islamic rule after the founding of Muslim Sultanate in India in 1206 that "the Muslim was merely a tax receiver and took little direct part in the production and increase of the country's agricultural wealth" [Habibullah, ABM (1976), The Foundation of Muslims Rule in India, p316].

Such a protocol was in force during early period of Islam when there were large numbers of dhimmis and conquerable non-Muslim territories to contribute enough for sustenance of the state. However, the major income for the Islamic caliphate, coming in the form of spoils of war (khams), started drying up after French general Charles Martel defeated and repulsed the conquering and plundering Muslim army in the Battle of Tours in central France in 732 CE. After this defeat, Muslim rulers had to wait for centuries to make major inroads into the non-Islamic territories for capturing khams. Furthermore, Muslim the population expanded as time passed as a result of conversion and fast reproduction. Conversion also led to progressive thinning of the dhimmi population, which gradually reduced earnings from the kharaj and jiziyah taxes. This made it increasingly impossible for the burgeoning Islamic caliphate to sustain its affairs, which forced the rulers to impose extra un-Islamic taxes on Muslim citizens, too. In 764 CE, Abbasid caliph al-Mansur imposed taxes in excess of the Zakat on Muslims, giving it an Islamic color by placing the duty of its collection on the religious authority, which caused much displeasure among Muslims, in general, and among the ulema (scholars), in particular. The new extra-Islamic tax on Muslims, called ' Maks' (singular, Makus), became standard practice in later centuries. This un-Islamic imposition cause great dissatisfaction among Muslims, particularly among the clerical class and reformist Islamic political activists, over the subsequent centuries leading up to modern times ― Osama bin Laden being one of them. Pakistan's government reinstituted Zakat collection as state policy in the 1970s. The Almoravid rulers in Spain went back to Zakat-alone-from-the-Muslims policy in 1090 CE, and the allegedly enlightened Sultan Saladin, a jealous Sunni and founder of the Ayyubid dynasty of Syria and Egypt, also did the same. But the unsustainable policy of Saladin was soon discarded after his death by his more enlightened and pragmatic son, who even increased the rate of Maks, naturally earning much displeasure of Muslims [Pipes, D (2001), In the Path of God, p53].

This summarizes the ideal (divine) taxation system of Islamic states. Those in America, who might be tempted by bin Laden's benevolent tax incentive proposal, must also take into account of what would befall those citizens who would not accept Islam in an ideal Islamic States of America. They must also ponder upon how the meager and voluntary Zakat tax would maintain the affairs of the state and services to the citizens. Last but not least, they must remember that Islam's divine system of taxation was a failure quite early in Islam and had to be violated by the Abbasid caliphs in the 760s.

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About Muhammad Hussain

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    I’m assuming you know how to use a rifle or some other type of firearm if you need to. If you don’t want to run, you’ll have to fight. That will require two things. A firearm and a good supply of ammo; the loyalty and friendship of the villagers around you.

    It may not all be as simple as a grand götterdammerung (sp?) ending as may be indicated in the Mayan calendar….

  • moonraven

    RUN, sorry about the typos.

    Someday I will find an Internet cafe that has LIGHTS in it.

  • moonraven


    I do not RN from conflict or confrontation.


    Much less from fascist fuckheads.

    You should have figured that out by now.

  • Nancy

    Nobody has been very nice to them, except the far eastern cultures such as China, where the multiplicity of religions – the nature of which seldom insisted on exclusivity anyway – pretty much ensured that on the whole, the Chinese didn’t care what sort of worship the Jews followed, as long as they obeyed the local laws & paid their taxes. I find it ironic in the extreme that it’s the two religions that claim moral superiority that have always treated others worse than dirt, not to mention frequently cannibalizing their own from time to time.

  • MAOZ

    #15: “When compared to what Christians did to Jews, Moslems treated Jews decently.

    Depends somewhat on where/when you’re talking about. A little over 300 years ago, the Muslim rulership in Yemen imposed on the Jews of Yemen a form of internal exile. It was enforced under conditions so severe that, within the space of about one year, three-fourths of all the Jews in Yemen died. Three-fourths. In one year. Even Hitler y”sh would’ve envied a “record” like that.
    In some locations, e.g. San’a, only one Jew in ten survived the Gerush Mauza’.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Sorry, Almagir. I should have said the author of comment #1 on this article….

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “Ruvy, detention camps for who? Are you trying to claim there are nazi detention camps holding jews scattered around the US?

    If you’d postulated they were run by the CIA or NSA as detention camps for anti-Bush people, I might believe you, things being the way they are these days.”

    I’ll let my Jewish friend, the author of this article, look it up for himself. To my knowledge, Jews are not being held in detention camps – yet.

    As for opponents of the régime, yes these camps will be used to hold them. You’re still posting, so obviously, you haven’t been disappeared yet. But, unless my sources are altogether wrong, that’s a definite possibility….

    And Marthe, Mexico may not be far enough for you to run if these bastards really pull the mailed fist out of the velvet glove they are wearing now.

    Heh! You may have to come here!

  • moonraven

    And what about those neonazis recently arrested–not in Idaho, but in ISRAEL?

  • Nancy

    Ruvy, detention camps for who? Are you trying to claim there are nazi detention camps holding jews scattered around the US? That’s even larger bollocks (as STM says) than believing that 9/11 was an inside job. Where are they? Why hasn’t the MSM cottoned on & made hay out of it, or the JDL, who are not slow to go on the offensive about anything they find offensive.

    If you’d postulated they were run by the CIA or NSA as detention camps for anti-Bush people, I might believe you, things being the way they are these days.

  • moonraven

    Pure drivel.

    Blogcritics has really been scraping the bottom of the barrel lately.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “Thank god I was lucky enough to be born in the USA!”

    What a fool you are. I’d warn you of what is coming your way under the Stars and Stripes – but you would dismiss what I have to say. You’re no different than all the Polish Jews who laughed at Ze’ev Jabotinsky when he begged them to leave Europe for Eretz Yisrael in 1933-34. The vast majority of them are nothing but bone dust under the feet of the Europeans who happily killed them off.

    There are over 100 detention camps in the United States guarded by men in black uniforms and helmets. They weren’t built for Mexican illegals; they weren’t built to hold Moslems. If it interests you, look it up.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    This is a good read – and provides clear reason why I’ll die before allowing some damned Arab to take over my home – whether he is backed by the Jerusalem traitor, Olmert and his goons, the Europeans piss ants who will invade to try to impose an Arab state, or Americans who will be sent here to do the same. I may die shooting a gun, but I will take some of my enemy with me.

    Note that all the people who get screwed in the article are Jews – so much for Moslem “hospitality.”

    When compared to what Christians did to Jews, Moslems treated Jews decently. And that is the point. Christians always were rapacious genocidal bastards, and under that thin patina of “civilization” they wear so artfully now, they still are.

    Moslems are content to treat Jews like dogs.

  • Alamgir Hussain

    “To the extent that anything OBL says is actually newsworthy, the news is that he seems to have been converted to Marxism”

    There are not so many idiots around to think that OBL has converted to Marxism. He is evidently clear, however, where his support lies particularly among Western people. That’s a tactical move indeed — but nobody is under any illusion that the Marxists (Lefts, socialists etc — except probably themselves) will have their head first chopped by OBL before anyone else.

  • I find this article laughable and the fact that commenters are taking it seriously even more laughable.

    To the extent that anything OBL says is actually newsworthy, the news is that he seems to have been converted to Marxism [if one takes the words in the video literally], and that this seems to have offended some of his Islamist listeners.

    I guess that’s kind of funny, too. No one else reading this article seems to have their sense of humor switched on.

  • Alessandro

    They say Islam and Arabs write in poetic prose – this article is no different. Good stuff.

    That said, would Americans really be enticed by a tax incentive to join such a repulsive group? Seems extraordinary to me.

  • Clavos


    Gotta go wit’ da soifuh dewd on Steyn.

    He (Steyn, not SS), does soar into the hyperbolesphere regularly, but he aims pretty well much of the time. (Come to think of it, that does fit SS as well.)

    Which reminds me, Stan; were you covering the McCann case in Portugal?

  • STM

    Lol. The Daily Mail … that great journal of record.

    Mark Steyn, though … he at least writes nicely and can be entertaining. And a lot – not all, though RJ – is pretty close to the mark.

  • Dr Dreadful

    RJ, I love how in a single comment you link to both the London Daily Mail and Mark Steyn – two sources which between them have about as much credibility as a nun in a nudist colony.

  • REMF

    “So, the leftist Europeans…”

    Yeah, those leftist Europeans are far worse than the chickenhawk Americans.

  • REMF

    “But in truth, this is how our enemy thinks, and this is what these lunatics believe. We ignore them at our own peril.”

    Yes, agreed. The best way to deal with them is to enlist and volunteer to face them in combat, putting our words into action.

  • RJ

    Europe, by the way, is screwed.

    Read this.

    “Workers” from Africa and Asia is nothing more than code for Muslims who will come to Europe, live off the welfare state, and refuse to assimilate.

    Christian Europeans are not reproducing. Their current rate is barely over one child per couple. Meanwhile, Muslim immigrants to Europe have three or four (or more) children per couple. And like their parents, these children do not intend to assimilate, and do not feel any loyalty to their country of birth (or the EU, for that matter). Their allegiance is to Islam.

    A dying Christian population, coupled with an growing Muslim population and expanded Muslim immigration, means that in a couple of generations, Europe will no longer be a Christian (or even secular) continent.

    (Please read this book if you think I’m exaggerating.)

    So, the leftist Europeans who mock and belittle the USA for being “too religious” today, because of our fervent and outspoken Christians, will likely be the cowering and subservient dhimmis of tomorrow, when much of Europe falls under sharia law somewhere around 2050.

    Of course, if you live in Europe and publicly oppose and speak out against this trend, you are likely to wind up in prison for a “hate crime” due to modern Europe’s distaste for freedom of speech whereas it pertains to politically-incorrect commentary.

    In light of all this, a few million illegal Mexicans crossing the border in Arizona seems almost quaint… :-/

  • RJ

    Great post.

    To some, this will be viewed as merely a recitation of old battles and historical declarations, or some cherry-picked verses from the Koran.

    But in truth, this is how our enemy thinks, and this is what these lunatics believe. We ignore them at our own peril.

  • Alamgir Hussain

    “Sheds more light on what we are being forced to deal with.”

    ‘Knowledge is power’ said that Enlightenment-age liberals of the West. Knowledge must be processed objectively and thoughtfully too, to make a sense of what it means for now and further ahead.

  • moonraven


    Please be advised that one of the reasons I do consulting work every year for universities in the Gulf is because salaries and benefits are not taxed there.

    Welcome to The World Outside The Bronx.

  • Mooja

    Alamgir Hussain, Thanks for the article. Sheds more light on what we are being forced to deal with.

    Religion can be a very dangerous weapon when wielded by fanatics.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Well, I wouldn’t expect much truth from an Osama Bin Laden video tape. From blaming the US for his jihad (which is really more self serving than anything else – he started this to unseat the Saudi Royal Family), to the glorification of suicide murder, OBL is hardly a source of truth in the media.

    But one other point should be made here. Even with all of the taxes that exist in westernized countries, and even if we added in the additional taxes that might exist in the US should Democrats win in 2008, we are still WAYYYYY better off than if we lived in any one of the tyrannical, closed societies that make up the middle east (except for Israel) – dhimmi or muslim.

    Thank god I was lucky enough to be born in the USA!