Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah (Arabic: جزية ǧizyah ; Ottoman Turkish: cizye; both derived from Pahlavi and possibly from Aramaic gaziyat) is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria. The tax is and was to be levied on able-bodied adult males of military age and affording power (but with specific exemptions). From the point of view of the Muslim rulers, jizya was a material proof of the non-Muslims' acceptance of subjection to the state and its laws, "just as for the inhabitants it was a concrete continuation of the taxes paid to earlier regimes." In return, non-Muslim citizens were permitted to practice their faith, to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy, to be entitled to the Muslim state's protection from outside aggression, and to be exempted from military service and the zakat taxes obligatory upon Muslim citizens.
The word jizya is derived from the root word that refers to “part”, hence taken from a part of the wealth of the non-Muslim citizens. In fact, the use of the word jizya was not even necessary. Al-Tabari wrote that some members of the Christian community asked the companion “Umar bin al-Khatab if they could refer to the jizya as sadaqah which literally means “charity”, which he approved of.