Dhimmi Paganism Kafir

A rayah or reaya (from Arabic: رعاياra`aya, a plural of رعيّة ra`iya "citizens[1], subjects[1], nationals[2], flock", also spelled raya, raja, raiah, re'aya; Ottoman Turkish رعايا IPA: [ɾeˈʔaːjeː]; Modern Turkish râya [ɾaːˈja] or reaya; related to the Arabic word alraaei الراعي which means "shepherd, herdsman, patron"[3]) was a member of the tax-paying lower class of Ottoman society, in contrast to the askeri (upper class) and kul (slaves). The rayah made up over 90% of the general population and the millet communities. In the Muslim world, rayah is literally subject of a government or sovereign. The rayah (literally 'members of the flock') included Christians, Muslims, and Jews who were 'shorn' (i.e. taxed) to support the state and the associated 'professional Ottoman' class.[4]

However, both in contemporaneous and in modern usage, it refers to non-Muslim subjects in particular, also called zimmi.[5][6][7]

In the early Ottoman Empire, rayah were not eligible for military service, but from the late 16th century, Muslim rayah became eligible, to the distress of some of the ruling class.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Google Translate". translate.google.ca. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  2. ^ "Google Translate". translate.google.ca. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  3. ^ "Google Translate". translate.google.ca. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  4. ^ Sugar, p. 33
  5. ^ Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48, "Rayah \Ra"yah\ (r[=a]"y[.a] or r[aum]"y[.a]), n. [Ar. ra'iyah a herd, a subject, fr. ra'a to pasture, guard.] A person not a Mohammedan (i. e. Muslim), who pays the capitation tax. (Turkey) (1913 Webster)"
  6. ^ Dictionary.com definition
  7. ^ "Rayahs,"--all who pay the capitation tax, called the "Haraç." "This tax was levied on the whole male unbelieving population," except children under ten, old men, Christian and Jewish priests. --Finlay, Greece under Ottoman and Venetian Domination, 2856, p. 26.
  8. ^ Greene, p. 41, quoting Halil Inalcık