Date: 23 Jul 2000
"May Mazda be pleased"
Hi Tina and others:
I can add a few comments.
When Muslims dominated a country, they would have made a contract with the people of the book ( Ahlal Ketaab ), i.e. Zoroastrains, Christians and the Jews.
These people were called "Dhimmis" by Muslims. The ones who had contract with Islamic rulers.
Among the terms of contract would have been that those people are free to practice their religion ( of course with other restrictions in this matter ) provided such and such , as well as paying an EXTRA tax for being permitted to leave in "Daral Islam" or the land of Islam and being protected by Islamic rule. So the "Jyziah" was imposed on the "Dhimmis" because they were not participating in the protection of land of Islam ( actually they were not allowed to carry weapons for obvious reasons, as being second class citizens and always under close watch for not causing trouble and such ) and were protected by the Muslims. It was an extra tax, on top of land tax and so, as far as I remeber.
In one of Mary Boyce's books the way Jyziah was collected by the Islamic administration is written from a reference, and obviously shows the humiliation part of this practice, during which the payer would have to show his total obediense and second clas citizenship to the masters.
The irony is that at the time of war and in cases the Muslim army was not victorious and were defeated by the other side, and the land of Islam was invaded by the enemy the Dhimmis who were not carrying weapon and were not prepared to defend were the first and easiest to be slaugthered.
An actual case happned when the Afgha army at the time of Safavids ( a few centuries ago )invaded Kerman (a centural city in Iran ). The Zoroastrains were leaving outside the walls of the city, obviously because they were separated from the Muslims. When the Afghans reached to the areas around Kerman, it was the poor defenseless Zoroastrains who were slaughtered, some of them could escape and were let inside the city and formed a small community within the walls of the city in area known to "Gabr Mahalleh " by the Muslims.
I have never heard that Jyziah was an equivalent for the tax Muslim paid for Haj and such. This is what I have read for the reason and not what you are mentioning.
There were millions of Zoroastrain in Iran the birth and growth land of this religion at the time of Muslim Arab invasion and now there a few tens of thousands remaining. The reason for this downfall has not yet been fully and academically researched and documented, a matter which should be done by the researchers of history for the knowledge and benefit of coming generations of humanity.
Ushta (happiness ) to all Bahman Noruziaan