Dhimma  
(1,790 words)

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

Cite this page
Fred Astren, “Dhimma  ”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 24 September 2017
First published online: 2010



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