Sommario del sito


Extract from:
Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited on Behalf of the Royal Netherlands Academy by H.A.R. Gibb e J. H. Kramers, E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1974


Transliteration was modified for the reasons explained in
Ignazio Guidi e David Santillana - Prefazione al Mukhtasar di Khalīl ibn Ishāq


p. 89

JIHĀD (A.), holy war. The spread of Islām by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general. It narrowly escaped being a sixth rukn, or fundamental duty, and is indeed still so regarded by the descendants of the Khārijīs. This position was reached gradually but quickly. In the Meccan Sūras of the Qur’ān patience under attack is taught; no other attitude was possible. But at Madīna the right to repel attack appears, and gradually it became a prescribed duty to fight against and subdue the hostile Meccans. Whether Muhammad himself recognized that his position implied steady and unprovoked war against the unbelieving world until it was subdued to Islām may be in doubt. Traditions are explicit on the point; but the Qur'ānic passages speak always of the unbelievers who are to be subdued as dangerous or faithless. Still, the story of his writing to the powers around him shows that such a universal position was implicit in his mind, and it certainly developed immediately after his death, when the Muslim armies advanced out of Arabia. It is now a fard `ala 'l-kifāya, a duty in general on all male, free, adult Muslims, sane in mind and body and having means enough to reach the Muslim army, yet not a duty necessarily incumbent on every individual but sufficiently performed when done by a certain number. So it must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islām. It must be controlled or headed by a Muslim sovereign or Imām. As the Imām of the Shi`is is now invisible, they cannot have a jihād until he reappears. Further, the requirement will be met if such a sovereign makes an expedition once a year, or, even, in the later view, if be makes annual preparation for one. The people against whom the jihād is directed must first be invited to embrace Islām. On refusal they have another choice. They may submit to Muslim rule, become dhimmīs [q.v.] and pay jizya and kharāj [q.v.] or fight. In the first case, their lives, families and property are assured to them, but they have a definitely inferior status, with no technical citizenship and a standing only as protected wards. If they fight, they and their families may be enslaved and all their property seized as booty, four-fifths of which goes to the conquering army. If they embrace Islām, and it is open to them to do so even when the armies are face to face, they become part of the Muslim community with all its rights and duties. Apostates must be put to death. But if a Muslim country is invaded by unbelievers, the Imām may issue a general summons calling all Muslims there to arms, and as the danger grows so may the width of the summons until the whole Muslim world is involved. A Muslim who dies fighting in the Path of Allāh (fī sabīl Allāh) is a martyr (shadīd) and is assured of Paradise and of peculiar privileges there. Such a death was, in the early generations, regarded as the peculiar crown of a pious life. It is still, on occasions, a strong incitement, but when Islām ceased to conquer it lost its supreme value. Even yet, however, any war between Muslims and non-Muslims must be a jihād with its incitements and rewards. Of course, such modern movements as the so-called Mu`tazilī in India and the Young Turk in Turkey reject this and endeavour to explain away its basis; but the Muslim masses still follow the unanimous voice of the canon lawyers. Islām must be completely made over before the doctrine of jihād can be eliminated. See also the art. DĀR AL-HARB, DĀR AL-ISLĀM and DĀR AL-SULH. The latter seems to be a mediating position which failed.

p. 68

DĀR AL-HARB. In Muslim constitutional law the world is divided into dār al-harb and dār al-Islām. "Abode of Islām" is that which is already under Muslim rule; "Abode of War" is that which is not, but which, actually or potentially, is a seat of war for Muslims until by conquest it is turned into “Abode of Islām". For an anomalous and disputed exception", see DĀR AL-SULH. Thus to turn dār al-harb into dār al-Islām is the object of jihād [q.v.], and, theoretically, the Muslim state is in a constant state of warfare with the non-Muslim world. But practically that is now impossible. The rulers of Islām are not in a position to keep up a constant warfare contra mundum. To meet this situation the early, and logical position has had to yield. Land once Abode of Islām does not become Abode of War, except on three conditions: (i.) that the legal decisions of unbelievers are regarded and those of Islām are not; (ii.) that the country immediately adjoins an Abode of War, no Muslim country coming between; (iii.) that there is no longer protection for Muslims and their non-Muslim dhimmīs [see DHIMMA]. Of these, the first is the most important, and some have even held that so long as a single legal decision (hukm) of Islām is observed and maintained, a country cannot become dār al-harb. The Dictionary of Technical Terms (p. 466), having a regard for the situation in India, sums up: "This country is an abode of Islām and of Muslims although it belongs to the accursed ones and the authority externally belongs to these Satans". Practically, of course, no rebellion under such circumstances would be legal unless it has a good prospect of success and were led by a Muslim sovereign. These conditions being fulfilled, unbelieving control of an Abode of Islām is an illegal absurdity. When a Muslim country does become a dār al-harb, it is the duty of all Muslims to withdraw from it, and a wife who refuses to accompany her husband in this, is ipso facto divorced.

p. 69

DĀR AL-ISLĀM. An "abode of Islām" is a country where the ordinances of Islām are established and which is under the rule of a Muslim sovereign. Its inhabitants are Muslims and also non-Muslims who have submitted to Muslim control and who, under certain restrictions and without the possibility of full citizenship, are guaranteed their lives and property by the Muslim state [see DHIMMA]. They must belong to a People of Scripture (ahl al-kitāb) and may not be idolaters.

p. 69

DĀR AL-SULH. Besides dār al-harb and dār al-Islām [q.v.], some schools of canon law recognize the existence of a third division, dār al-sulh, or al `ahd, which is not under Muslim rule, yet is in tributary relationship to Islām - sulhan, "by agreement”, being generally used in canon law as the opposite of  `anwatan "by force”. The two historical examples of such a status, and the origin, apparently, of the whole conception, are Najrān and Nubia. With the Christian population of Najrān Muhammad himself entered on treaty relationships, guaranteeing their safety and laying on them a certain tribute, regarded by some afterwards as kharāj and by others as jizya [q.v.] (cf. on the whole story Balādhurī, Futūh, ed. de Goeje p. 63 sq.; Sprenger, Leben Mohammads, iii. 502 sq.). In the course of events, and because of their position within Arabia, this protection for the people of Najrān amounted to very little. The case of Nubia was somewhat different. By their skill with the bow the Nubians were able to hold off the Muslim attack and to maintain their independence for centuries. In consequence, `Abd Allāh b. Sa`d entered into treaty (`ahd) with them, not requiring the head-tax (jizya) but only a certain tribute in slaves. Others, however, evidently disliking the implication that there could be any territory in a status of neither Islām nor war, and therefore outside of Muslim conquest, maintained that this was not really a sulh or `ahd but only a truce (hudna) and an arrangement for an exchange of commodities (Balādhurī, Futūh, ed. de Goeje, p. 236 sq.; Weil, Gesch. d. Chalifen, i. 16 sq.; Lane-Poole [following Maqrīzī], Hist. of Egypt, p. 21 sq.; Torrey [transl. from Ibn `Abd al-Hakam], in Yale Bibl. and Sem. Studies, p. 307 sq.). This conception in some vague form was probably also the basis on which treaty relations with Christian states were accepted as possible; the presents sent by such states would then be regarded as kharāj. The constitutional situation on the matter is thus formally laid down by Māwardī. All territories, into the control of which, in different degrees of directness, Muslims come, fall into three divisions: (i.) those taken by force of arms; (ii.) those taken without fighting after the flight of their previous owners; (iii.) those taken by treaty (sulh). The last divides again into two, according as the title to the soil is (a) vested in the Muslim people as a waqf, or (b) remains with the original owners. In the first case the original owners can remain in actual possession, becoming dhimmīs [q.v.], and paying kharāj and jizya and the land becoming dār al-Islām [q.v.]. In the second case, (b), the terms of the treaty are that the owners retain their lands and pay a kharāj from their produce; that this kharāj is regarded as a jizya which falls away when they embrace Islām; that their country is neither dār al-Islām nor dār al-harb [q.v.] but dār al-sulh (otherwise called dār al-`ahd); and that their lands are absolutely their own to sell or pledge. When these pass to a Muslim, kharāj can no longer be collected. This condition of the owners holds so long as they observe the requirements of the treaty, and the jizya cannot be collected from them as they are not in a dār al-Islām. Abū Hanīfa, however, held that by the treaty their country had become a dār al-Islām and they were dhimmīs and should pay the jizya. As to what was the situation, if they broke the treaty after entering into it, there was dispute between the schools. Al-Shāfi`ī held that if their territory was then conquered, it came into the category (i. above) of territory taken by force; and if it was not conquered, it became a dār al-harb. Abū Hanīfa, however, held that if there was a Muslim in their territory, or if a Muslim country came between their territory and a dār al-harb, then their territory was a dār al-Islām and they were rebel, (bughāt). If neither of these conditions held, then it was a dār al-harb. But others maintained that it was a dār al-harb in both cases (Māwardī, Ahkām al-sultānīva, ed. Cairo 1208, p. 131 sq.). But that this situation was anomalous and ambiguous, appears plainly. Māwardī himself, when reckoning the lands of Islām (bilād al-Islām), includes among them this dār al-sulh (ibid., p. 150 and 164), and Balādhurī, when dealing with the rules of kharāj, makes no mention of this distinction.


Italian Translation



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