Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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The Arabic term dhimma in Muslim law and tradition describes the legal status of certain categories of non-Muslims in Muslim society. Dhimma may be translated as “protection” or “covenant of protection,” indicating the contractual character of the status, whereby the Muslim community granted protection and hospitality to non-Muslims in exchange for their acknowledgment of Muslim sovereignty and dominance. The assignee of dhimma (known as a dhimmī) was excluded from military service and was subject to other limitations. In exchange for communal recognition and autonomy, dhimmīs

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Fred Astren, “Dhimma  ”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0006670>
First published online: 2010

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