There are four main categories of non-Muslims in Islam. These are:
The Mu’ahad is a citizen of a foreign state with which the Islamic State has a treaty. The citizens of this state (mu’ahidun) can enter the Islamic State without a passport or visa if this is reciprocated to the citizens of the Islamic State.
The Must’aman is a citizen of a foreign state with which the Islamic State has no treaty. However, their citizens are allowed to enter the Islamic State for trade or education and they are given full protection by the Islamic State.
When discussing the rights and responsibilities of the dhimmi in this article these for the most part apply equally to both the Mu’ahid and the Must’amin. The exceptions are in the specific terms of the treaties and visa applications adopted by the Khaleefah.
Dhimmis are those citizens of the Islamic State that hold beliefs and values different from the ideology of the state i.e. Islam. The word dhimmi is derived from the Arabic word dhimmah, which means pledge or covenant (‘ahd).
The state makes a pledge to treat the dhimmi in accordance with the specific terms of the peace treaty made with them (if applicable) and not to interfere in their beliefs and worships. In all other areas they are viewed and treated in the same way as Muslims unless belief in Islam is a condition for the action.
There are many traditions of the Prophet which encourage good treatment of the dhimmi, mu'ahad and musta'man and not abusing them or treating them as second-class citizens.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “He who harms a person under covenant, or charged him more than he can, I will argue against him on the Day of Judgement.”
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “He who hurts a dhimmi hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys Allah.”
The classical scholars of Islam also detailed the rights of the Muslims towards the dhimmi. The famous Maliki jurist, Shaha al-Deen al-Qarafi states:
The covenant of protection imposes upon us certain obligations toward the ahl al-dhimmah. They are our neighbours, under our shelter and protection upon the guarantee of Allah, His Messenger (peace be upon him), and the religion of Islam. Whoever violates these obligations against any one of them by so much as an abusive word, by slandering his reputation, or by doing him some injury or assisting in it, has breached the guarantee of Allah, His Messenger (peace be upon him), and the religion of Islam.
The Harbi is a citizen of a nation at war with the Islamic State. He is not allowed to enter into the Islamic State and if he does his protection is not guaranteed.