Let Me Rephrase That!

The Verse of the Tax

Let Me Rephrase That!After the Verse of the Sword, the Verse of the Tax impacts the most revelations, although the Verse of the Sword remains the master abrogator, and by a substantial margin.

In the Verse of the Tax, Allah commands that the People of the Book – Christians, Jews and an obscure sect whom Allah remembers as the Sabians – pay the jizya, a yearly poll-tax (a tax on people as opposed to property).

9:29 Fight those among the People of the Book who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day, do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden and do not profess the true religion, till they pay the poll-tax out of hand and submissively.

This concession to a modicum of mercy, if you paid for it, is not available to infidels i.e. those who do not worship the One God e.g. Indians (India).

God's Messenger first tried to impose the jizya after the Battle of Badr. The Jews ridiculed his proposal saying that Allah could not be so poor as to require their money. The jizya became a fact of life for the People of the Book after the conquest of the Jewish settlement of Khaibar (Appendix Khaibar).

The Verse of the Tax abrogates some of the revealed truths modified or invalidated by the Verse of the Sword (revelations 5:13, 6:70, 8:61, 42:15) and are not repeated here.

The first revelation, in numerical order, abrogated by the Verse of the Tax is another of those revealed truths where Allah admits He needs time to come up with a more permanent solution to a perceived problem; and that He will get back to you.

2:109 Many of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) wish, out of envy, to turn you back into unbelievers after the Truth has become manifest to them. But pardon and overlook, until Allah makes known His Will. Surely Allah has the power over all things.

Verse 2:109 was abrogated, along with revelations 3:111 and 3:186 (the part about Christian and Jews), once Allah came up with His targeted people tax as part of His solution to difficulties posed by the People of the Book doing a little proselytizing of their own.

3:111 They will only cause you a little harm; and if they fight you, they will turn their backs on you (run away), and will have no support.

3:186 You shall be tried in your possessions and yourselves, and shall hear from those who received the Book before you (the Jews and Christians) and from the idolaters, a lot of abuse; but if you forebear and guard against evil, that indeed is a mark of great determination.

Probably the most significant and the most lamented (by the people targeted by Allah's people tax) invalidated revealed truth, is verse 29:46 where Allah displays a rare tolerance of other faiths who worship a variation of His Eminence. You guessed it, it a revealed truth from the more accommodating Meccan period. Pity!

29:46 Do not dispute with the people of the Book save in the fairest way; except for those of them who are evildoers. And say: “We believe in what has been sent down to us and what has been sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and to Him we are submissive.”