Islamic military jurisprudence


Islamic military jurisprudence

Islamic military jurisprudence consists of the basic laws governing the conduct of the military aspects of jihad (also known as "lesser jihad"). These laws govern actions pertaining to diplomacy and warfare, in accordance with the traditional Islamic code. Military rulings in Islam are derived from interpretations of the Qur'an and the traditions of Muhammad, and vary slightly amongst the different schools of thought. [Aboul-Enein and Zuhur, p. 1-2]

Islamic military jurisprudence refer to what has been accepted in Fiqh by "ulema" (Islamic scholars) as the correct Islamic manner which expected to be obeyed by Muslims, but it may differ with what has been done in Muslim history.

Development of rulings

The first military rulings were formulated during the first century after Muhammad established an Islamic state in Medina. These rulings evolved in accordance with the interpretations of the Quran (the Muslim holy scriptures) and Hadith (the recorded traditions of Muhammad). The key themes in these rulings were the justness of war, and the injunction to jihad. The rulings do not cover feuds and armed conflicts in general. Aboul-Enein and Zuhur (2004), p. 3-4]

Jihad (Arabic for "struggle") was given a military dimension after the oppressive practices of the Meccan Quraish against Muslims. It was interpreted as the struggle in God's cause to be conducted by the Muslim community. Injunctions relating to jihad have been characterized as individual as well as collective duties of the Muslim community. Hence, the nature of attack is important in the interpretation — if the Muslim community as a whole is attacked jihad becomes incumbent on all Muslims. Jihad is differentiated further in respect to the requirements within Muslim-governed lands (Dar al-Islam) and non-Muslim lands (Dar al-Harb).

Military jurisprudence, over time, has been affected by other factors as well. Hamidullah lists the practices of early caliphs (revered as righteous), consensus amongst Muslim jurists ("ijma") and norms established by treaties, pacts and conventions as sources for Islamic military law.Ali, Shaheen Sardar; Rehman, Javaid. (Winter, 2005) "The Concept of Jihad in Islamic International Law." "Journal of Conflict & Security Law". 10 (3) pp. 321-43.]

According to Shaheen Sardar Ali and Javaid Rehman, the Islamic military laws are in line with rules of modern international law, although not entirely synonymous. Ali and Rehman also reject the notion that Islamic laws fall short of modern standards and argue that Islamic legal principles can be applied to modern law to build a better order. They point to the dual commitment of Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member states (representing most of the Muslim world) to Islamic law and the United Nations Charter, as evidence of compatibility of both legal systems.

Ethics of warfare

The basic principle in fighting in the Quran is that other communities should be treated as one's own. Fighting is justified for legitimate self-defense, to aid other Muslims and after a violation in the terms of a treaty, but should be stopped if these circumstances cease to exist. Patricia Crone, Encyclopedia of the Qur'an, War article, p.456. Brill Publishers] [ Micheline R. Ishay, "The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era", University of California Press, p.45 ] Sohail H. Hashmi, David Miller, "Boundaries and Justice: diverse ethical perspectives", Princeton University Press, p.197 ] [Douglas M. Johnston, "Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik", Oxford University Press, p.48 ] Although the language can be considered militant, the principle of forgiveness is reiterated in between the assertions of the right to self-defence.

During his life, Muhammad gave various injunctions to his forces and adopted practices toward the conduct of war. The most important of these were summarized by Muhammad's companion, Abu Bakr, in the form of ten rules for the Muslim army: [Aboul-Enein and Zuhur, p. 22]

These injunctions were honored by the second Caliph, Umar, during whose reign (634–644) important Muslim conquests took place. [Nadvi(2000), pg. 519] These principles were also honoured during the Crusades, as exemplified by sultans such as Saladin and al-Kamil. For example, after al-Kamil defeated the Franks during the Crusades, Oliverus Scholasticus praised the Islamic laws of war, commenting on how al-Kamil supplied the defeated Frankish army with food:
*Dāmād, Sayyid Mustafa Muhaqqiq et al. (2003). "Islamic views on Human Rights". Tehran: Center for Cultural-International Studies.
*Crone, Patricia (2004). "God’s Rule: Government and Islam". New York: Columbia University Press.
*Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Mizan (2001). " [http://www.studying-islam.org/articletext.aspx?id=771 The Islamic Law of Jihad] ", Dar ul-Ishraq. OCLC|52901690
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*cite encyclopedia | editor= M. Mukarram Ahmed, Muzaffar Husain Syed | encyclopedia=Encyclopaedia of Islam | publisher=Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. | year=2005 | id=ISBN 8126123397

External links

* [http://mac.abc.se/~onesr/ez/isl/0-sbm/Wanton.Destruction.html Islamic Texts on the rules of war]
* [http://www.livingislam.org/maa/dcmm_e.html Defending The Transgressed By Censuring The Reckless Against The Killing Of Civilians]
* [http://islamqa.com/index.php?ref=13241&ln=eng Islam Q&A: Treatment of prisoners-of-war in Islam]
* [http://islamtoday.net/english/showme.cfm?cat_id=30&sub_cat_id=491 Islamtoday.net: Islamic Law and Prisoners of War]
* [http://www.understanding-islam.com/related/sscategory.asp?scatid=94 Directives of Islam Regarding Jihad]
* [http://www.hweb.org.uk/content/view/18/2/ The Rules of War According to Islam] - hWeb.org.uk


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