One of my friends has said that during the starting time of Islam, the concept of “jazia” was very strange. When we look at the concept of “jazia” it is strange that a nation say Muslim attacks on another nation and put three choices in front of them that accept Islam give jazia and stay under Islamic government OR fight all of these three choices are just like a don is giving to other one. Is Islam so much ordinary one that it doesn’t allows ppl to leave on their own? A weak nation has no choice other than these three choices. I hope that u will forgive the mistakes of tenses.
There is a basic element missing in your understanding regarding this matter. Jizya (i.e. Divine Tax) is one of the ways God punished a people for rejecting His Truth when it came to them in the clearest light. This Truth was brought by the prophets and messengers of God to give joyous tidings, to warn and for some of them to punish. There is not much difference between brimstone raining from the sky to destroy a people and prophets of God using their military might to punish disbelievers. This is simply the way of God. Keep in mind these types of punishments are only by God’s will and only given to certain generations that had prophets or messengers come to them. Hence, no one, not even a Muslim country can impose these punishments upon other nations because the sanction of God was not given to them. The same goes for the jizya, which related to the People of the Book and their stubbornness in accepting Islam even though it was brought to them without a shadow of doubt that it is the Truth. Because of their rejection they were to be punished with a penalty to humble them for their intransigent attitudes. So any objection to such a punishment would be much like an objection to the punishments of God that brings floods to drown people, deliver a plague and destroying entire nations. It is the Wisdom of God that such penalties are meted out to the appropriate people; the same goes for the jizya, it serves a purpose and has its function.
Unfortunately your friend is mistaken in his assumption because firstly, no Muslim nation has the right of serving God’s punishment without divine decree. The pagan rejecters of Truth, after having been given all the chances to accept it, will be punished without having a choice of paying the jizya. The People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians), on the other hand, were penalized by having to pay the jizya, which could have been financial or in forms of services to the state, especially militarily. Any subjects of an Islamic state are to be given freedom of religion.
I hope I have clarified the issue.
God knows best.