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DAR AL-ISLAM. An essential part of the doctrine of jihad is the division of the world into the “territoryofIslam” (dar al-Islam) and the “territory of war” (dar al-harb). The Shafi’is have added a third category, the “territory of truce [or treaty] (ddr al-sulh or ddr al-`ahd), for enemy territory with whose inhabitants a Muslim government has concluded a truce imposing a tribute on them. The decisive factor for ascertaining whether a region belongs to the dar al-Islam is Muslim sovereignty and the application of the shari`ah. If these do not exist in a region occupied by unbelievers, it is to be considered dar harb. According to the Hanafis, however, there are further conditions. Dar al-Islam becomes dar al-harb after conquest by unbelievers, if the laws of the unbelievers are enforced, if the conquered territory is adjacent to dar al-harb, and if the lives and goods of Muslims and dhimmis (non-Muslim protected peoples) are not safe. This means that according to the Hanafi rules, an Islamic region that has been conquered by unbelievers can remain dar Isldm as long as the conquerors appoint an Islamic qadi (judge) to administer Islamic law and as long as Muslims and dhimmis are as secure as they were under Muslim rule.

During the colonial period, debates about the status of a colonized country took place inIndia. The Indian Sunni Muslims were chiefly Hanafis, and Hanafi theory leaves more room for interpretation than do the other madhhabs (schools of law). Before the 1857 Mutiny, the situation inIndiawas somewhat complicated, as there was still a Mughal emperor; however, his rule was only nominal, and actual power was in the hands of the British. In 1803, a fatwa had been given by a famous Hanafi `slim to the effect that the northern part ofIndiabetweenDelhiandCalcutta, which was firmly in the hands of the British, was dar harb (An English translation of the fatwa appears in M. Mujeeb’s The Indian Muslims, London, 1967, pp. 390-391). Moreover, the Tariqa-yi Muhammadi and the Fara’idi Movement, two religiously motivated groups active during the first half of the nineteenth century, held the same view. This changed during the second half of the nineteenth century. Because the British regarded the Mutiny as the exclusive work of the Muslims, who allegedly wanted to expel the British and restore Muslim rule, they favored the Hindus in the army and in government employment. The Muslim upper and middle classes wanted to safeguard their opportunities for employment by showing that they could be loyal subjects of the British colonial government.

Crucial in this respect was an irenic reinterpretation of the jihad doctrine, and in its wake the question of whetherIndiawas dar Islam or dar harb. Interestingly, there appeared to be no linkage between the latter question and the question of whether jihad against the British was obligatory. Around 1870 two fatwds were published, both stating that jihad against the British was unlawful; however, one proceeded from the assumption that India was dar harb and the other from the assumption that it was dar Isldm (W. W. Hunter, The Indian Musalmans, Lahore, 1974, pp. 102-103, 186187).

InAlgeria, by contrast, there was no disagreement about the status of the region: according to Maliki law, there was no doubt that after the French occupation it had become dar al-harb. If any discussion occurred, it revolved around hijrah, the obligation to emigrate from occupied territory to dar al-Islam.

[See also Dar al-Harb; Dar al-Sulk; Jihad.]


Khadduri, Majid. War and Peace in the Law of Islam.Baltimore, 1955

Kruger, Hilmar. Fetwa and Siyar: Zur internationalrechtlichen Gutachtenpraxis der osmanischen Seyh ul-Islam vom 17. bis 19. Jahrhundert unter besonderer Beriicksichtigung des “Behcet ul-Fetava.”Wiesbaden, 1978.

Kruse, Hans. Islamische Volkerrechtslehre. 2d ed.Bochum, 1979. Peters, Rudolph. “Dar al-Harb, Dar al-Islam and der Kolonialismus.” In XIX. Deutscher Orientalistentag vom 28. September bis 4.

Oktober 1975 in Freiburg im Breisgau, edited by Wolfgang Voigt, pp. 579-587. Wiesbaden, 1977.

Peters, Rudolph. Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of jihad in Modern History. The Hague, 1979.


Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/dar-al-islam/

  • writerPosted On: November 6, 2012
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