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in category Fiqh (Jurisprudence)

How do the classical Hanafi scholars define dar al-Islam and dar al-harb (lands of Islam and non-Islam)?

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Islamic researcher, graduated from Al-Azhar University, Islamic Studies in English.
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In a Nutshell: According to the general position of the Hanafi madhab, the main factor for determining whether a land is called dar al-Islam or dar al-kufr isthe dominance or absence of the laws of Islam in that land. Thus, dar al-Islam is any land where Islamic law is dominant and dar al-kufr is any land where kufr law is dominant. However, Abu Hanifah puts two additional factors, namely, contiguity to dar al-harb and the termination of safety and security granted to Muslims.

Introduction

Islam refers to a communal way of living, a discursive tradition intimately tied to power where Muslims are expected to socially and territorially embody Islam (in dar al-Islam) acknowledging, submitting and serving Allah.

Islam thus comprises an environment derived from revelation, adapting to and reflecting the needs of the times, where every individual chooses their way of life and freely lives by it.

In this answer, we will examine the views of the Hanafi madhab in the division of the world into dar al-Islam and dar al-harb.

Evidences

Qur'an

1. وَالَّذِينَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيمَانَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ

And [also for] those who were settled in al-Madinah and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them… (Qur'an 59: 9)

2. إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنفُسِهِمْ قَالُوا فِيمَ كُنتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ قَالُوا أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا فِيهَا

Indeed, those whom the angels take [in death] while wronging themselves - [the angels] will say, "In what [condition] were you?" They will say, "We were oppressed in the land." The angels will say, "Was not the earth of Allah spacious [enough] for you to emigrate therein?" (Qur'an 4:97)

3. يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا جَاءَكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ مُهَاجِرَاتٍ فَامْتَحِنُوهُنَّ ۖ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَانِهِنَّ ۖ فَإِنْ عَلِمْتُمُوهُنَّ مُؤْمِنَاتٍ فَلَا تَرْجِعُوهُنَّ إِلَى الْكُفَّارِ ۖ لَا هُنَّ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحِلُّونَ لَهُنَّ

O you who have believed, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them. Allah is most knowing as to their faith. And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful [wives] for them, nor are they lawful [husbands] for them. (Qur'an 60:10)

4. ...سَأُرِيكُمْ دَارَ الْفَاسِقِينَ

I will show you the home of the defiantly disobedient. (Qur'an 7:145)

Sunnah

1. Ibn Buraidah narrated that his father said:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا أَمَّرَ رَجُلاً عَلَى سَرِيَّةٍ أَوْصَاهُ فِي خَاصَّةِ نَفْسِهِ بِتَقْوَى اللَّهِ وَمَنْ مَعَهُ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ خَيْرًا فَقَالَ ‏ "‏ اغْزُوا بِاسْمِ اللَّهِ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ .. ثمّ ادعهم إلى الإسلامِ، فإنْ أجابوك، فاقبلْ منهم، وكُفَّ عنهم، ثمّ ادعهم إلى التّحوّل مِن دارهم إلى دار المهاجرين...

Whenever he appointed a man to lead a military detachment, the Messenger of Allah (saw) would advise him especially to fear Allah and treat the Muslims with him well. He (saw) said: 'Fight in the Name of Allah and in the cause of Allah…Then invite them to leave their land and move to the land of the emigrants (i.e. land of Islam). (Musnad Abu Hanifah, 566; Ibn Majah, 24:2967)

In another version narrated by Muhamad ibn al-Hasan he said:

وادعوهم إلى التحول إلى دار الإسلام

Then invite them to move to dar al-Islam (abode of Islam)

2. The Prophet (saw) said:

لا يقبل الله عزّ وجلّ من مُشرك بعدمَا أسْلَمَ عَمَلاً، أوْ يُفارق المشاركين إلى المُسْلِمِينَ

Allah does not accept any deed from an idolater after he becomes a Muslim, until he departs from the idolaters and joins the Muslims. (Nasa'i 23:1)

3. The Prophet (saw) described Sham as:

عُقْرُ دَارِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الشَّامُ

The center for the believers is Ash-Sham. (Nasa'i 28:1)

Sahabah

1. Ibn Abbas (ra) said:

كان مِن الأنصار مهاجرون؛ لأنّ المدينةَ كانت دارَ شرك، فجاءوا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ليلةَ العقبة

There were emigrants among the Ansar because Madinah was dar shirk. They came to the Messenger (saw) during the night of Aqabah. (Nasa'i)

2. The letter of Khalid bin Walid mentions:

…ما أقام بدار الهجرة ودار الإسلام؛ فإنْ خرجوا إلى غير دار الهجرة ودار الإسلام؛ فليس على المسلمين النّفقةُ على عيالهم

...as long as he lives in the Dar al-Hijrah and Dar al-Islam. If they leave the dar of the Muhajirs, the Dar al-Islam, then the Muslims are not obliged to maintain his family." (Abu Ubaid, al-Amwaal, p. 98; Abu Yusuf, al-Kharaaj, pp. 155-156)

Juristic Views

Imam Sarakhsi gives us the basic criterion for differentiating between dar al-Islam:

دار الإسلام اسم للموضع الذي يكون تحت يد المسلمين وعلامة ذلك أن يأمن فيه المسلمون.

Dar al-Islam is the land under Muslim control. The criterion is that Muslim in such lands should be secured. (Sharh al-Siar al-Kabir, Vol. 4, p. 1253)

Thus, the basic criterion for distinguishing between dar al-harb and dar al-Islam is the establishment of the Muslim rules in this land.

This is the general opinion of the scholars of the Hanafi madhab including Abu Yusuf and Muhammed al-Shaybani.

Based on this definition of dar al-Islam, we can deduce a complementary condition which is the Muslims living in that dar should enjoy safety and security as Sarakhsi noted.

However, Abu Hanifah, the school's founder, while demonstrating when dar al-Islam transfers to dar al-kufr, mentioned three conditions for differentiating between dar al-Islam and dar al-kufr.

Al-Kisani mentioned these three conditions:

لَا خِلَافَ بَيْنَ أَصْحَابِنَا فِي أَنَّ دَارَ الْكُفْرِ تَصِيرُ دَارَ إسْلَامٍ بِظُهُورِ أَحْكَامِ الْإِسْلَامِ فِيهَا وَاخْتَلَفُوا فِي دَارِ الْإِسْلَامِ، إنَّهَا بِمَاذَا تَصِيرُ دَارَ الْكُفْرِ؟ قَالَ أَبُو حَنِيفَةَ: إنَّهَا لَا تَصِيرُ دَارَ الْكُفْرِ إلَّا بِثَلَاثِ شَرَائِطَ، أَحَدُهَا: ظُهُورُ أَحْكَامِ الْكُفْرِ فِيهَا وَالثَّانِي: أَنْ تَكُونَ مُتَاخِمَةً لِدَارِ الْكُفْرِ وَالثَّالِثُ: أَنْ لَا يَبْقَى فِيهَا مُسْلِمٌ وَلَا ذِمِّيٌّ آمِنًا بِالْأَمَانِ الْأَوَّلِ، وَهُوَ أَمَانُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ. وَقَالَ أَبُو يُوسُفَ وَمُحَمَّدٌ - رَحِمَهُمَا اللَّهُ: إنَّهَا تَصِيرُ دَارَ الْكُفْرِ بِظُهُورِ أَحْكَامِ الْكُفْرِ فِيهَا.

There is no disagreement among the scholars of the Hanafi Madhab that Dar al-Kufr becomes Dar al-Islam, when the rules of Islam becomes dominant. They only dispute on how Dar al-Islam transfers to become dar al-kufr. Abu Hanifah said, 'dar al-Islam becomes dar al-kufr in three (situations); when the law and order becomes kufr, when the state has a border with a Kufr (state) and there is no longer any security for the Muslim or the dhimmi (citizens). Abu Yusuf and Muhammad, however, argued dar al-Islam transfers to become dar al-kufr only when the law and order becomes kufr. (Bada' us-Sanaai', Vol. 7, p. 130)

The early Hanafi jurist al-Jassas explains Abu Hanifah's position:

ولا تصير دار حرب عند أبي حنيفة حتى يجتمع فيها ثلاثة أشياء: أن تكون متاخمة لأرض الحرب، لا يكون بينها وبين دار الحرب شيء من دار الإسلام. والثاني: أن يجري حكم أهل الكفر فيها. والثالث: أن لا يبقى فيها مسلم ولا ذمي آمنًا. فإذا اجتمع فيها هذه الخلال الثلاث: صارت أرض حرب، ومتى قصر عن شيء منها: لم تكن دار حرب.

According to Abu Hanifah it does not become dar al-harb until three things come together therein:

- it being contiguous with dar al-Harb and nothing of dar al-Islam exists between it and dar al-harb;

- second, the rule of the people of disbelief is enforced therein; and

- third, that no Muslim or dhimmi remains secure there [based on the amnesty granted by Muslim powers].

When these three things come together therein, it becomes dar al-harb, and when any one condition falls short it will not be dar al-harb.

Then defending Abu Yusuf and Muhamad's position against Abu Hanifah's, he says:

ولا معنى لاعتبار بقاء ذمي أو مسلم آمنًا على نفسه؛ لأن المسلم قد يأمن في دار الحرب، ولا يسلبه ذلك حكم دار الحرب، ولا يوجب أن يكون من دار الإسلام.

…and there is no sense to giving consideration to a dhimmi or Muslim remaining secure over his life because a Muslim may be secure in dar al-harb and that will not stop it from being dar al-harb and will not necessitate it being dar al-Islam.

Then arguing against Abu Hanifah's position, he says:

وأما وجه قول أبي حنيفة في اعتباره ما وصفنا من الخلال الثلاث: فهو أنها إذا لم تكن متاخمة لأرض الحرب، وحواليها دار الإسلام، فلا حكم لتلك الغلبة، لأنها بعدُ في منعة المسلمين، فهو بمنزلة سرية من أهل الحرب، لو التجؤوا إلى حصن من حصون المسلمين، وأحاط به جيش المسلمين، فلا يوجب حصولهم في الحصن، أن يصير الحصن من دار الحرب مع إحاطة جيوش الإسلام، فكذلك المدينة العظيمة إذا ارتد أهلها، أو غلب عليها أهلها، وحواليها مدن الإسلام، فمعلوم أنَّ منعة الإسلام باقية هناك، لإحاطتهم بها. واعتبر أيضًا: أن لا يكون هناك مسلم أو ذمي آمنًا على نفسه، لأن كونه آمنًا على نفسه، يبقي الموضع في حكم دار الإسلام على ما كان عليه، وذلك يمنع من انتقاله إلى حكم دار الحرب.

As for the reasoning of Abu Hanifah's view in giving consideration to the three things that we described, it is that when it is not contiguous with dar al-Harb and there is dar al-Islam surrounding it, the dominance has no ruling because it still comes under the force of the Muslims so is like an army of people from dar al-Harb resorting to a Muslim fort with the Muslim armies surrounding them – their acquisition of the fort would not convert the fort into dar al-Harb while the Muslim armies surround them. Similar is a city the residents of which apostatise or its residents overpower it while there are Islamic cities surrounding it – it is obvious that the force of Islam remains there because they surround them. He also considered the enforcement of laws because the place which an army has acquired from the plots of dar al-Islam, even if contiguous with dar al-Harb, will not become dar al-Harb because they are unable to enforce their rule. Similar is the Muslim army when it enters dar al-Harb – the plot they acquire will not become dar al-Islam for as long as they are not able to enforce their rules. He also considered that there not remain a Muslim or dhimmi secure over his life because being secure over his life makes the place remain in the ruling of dar al-Islam as it was, and that would prevent it from changing into the ruling of dar al-Harb.

Al-Jassas then concludes:

والذي أظن أنَّ أبا حنيفة إنما قال ذلك على حسب الحال التي كانت في زمانه من جهاد المسلمين أهل الشرك، فامتنع عنده أن تكون دار حرب في وسط دار المسلمين، يرتد أهلها فيبقون ممتنعين دون إحاطة الجيوش بهم من جهة السلطان، ومطوعة الرعية. فأما لو شاهد ما قد حدث في هذا الزمان، من تقاعد الناس عن الجهاد، وتخاذلهم، وفساد من يتولى أمورهم، وعداوته للإسلام وأهله، واستهانته بأمر الجهاد، وما يجب فيه، لقال في مثل بلد القرمطي بمثل قول أبي يوسف ومحمد، بل في كثير من البلدان التي هذه سبيلها، مما نكره ذكره في هذا الموضع.

"I believe that Abu Hanifah only said this based on the conditions that existed in his time when Muslims fought idolaters. It was not possible according to him that a dar al-Harb could exist in the middle of the abode of Muslims, where the inhabitants apostatise and despite the armies of the sultan surrounding them remain strong and have loyal subjects. Had he seen what has happened in this time, where people are negligent of Jihad and betray one another and those in leadership are engaged in corruption and show enmity to Islam and its adherents and belittle the command of Jihad and its due, he would say the same thing as Abu Yusuf and Muhammad about a town like al-Qirmiti, and in fact many towns like it which we dislike to mention here. (Sharh Mukhtasar al-Tahawi, 7:215-8).

Analysis

Al-Kasani explains the difference in opinion between Abu Hanifa and his two disciples. While the two disciples hold that with the appearance of infidel laws the territory becomes dar al-kufr and with the appearance of Islamic law it becomes dar al-Islam, Abu Hanifa adds two other conditions for a territory to become dar al-kufr. In addition to the condition mentioned by Abu Yusuf and al-Shaybani, it is required that no Muslim or dhimmi is safe there and that the territory in question is near dar al-kufr.

Abu Hanifa's differential treatment is justified by the fact that dar al-Islam does not turn into dar al-kufr by doubt, because he gives priority to Islam quoting a Hadith: 'Islam must have superiority and not inferiority'. The two additional conditions are both required to eliminate doubt. (Al-Kasani, Bada us-Sanaai, Vol. 7, p. 131)

Conclusion

According to the general position of the Hanafi madhab, there is a main factor for deciding whether a land could be called dar al-Islam or dar al-kufr, namely, the dominance or absence of the laws of Islam in that land. Thus, dar al-Islam is any land where Islamic law is dominant and dar al-kufr is any land where kufr law is dominant.

However, Abu Hanifah, puts two additional factors, namely, contiguity to dar al-harb and the termination of safety and security granted to Muslims. Thus according to him, a territory is only dar al-harb if it is adjacent to dar al-harb, and there is no dar al-Islam in between these two territories. There is no Muslim or dhimmi, who is safe there. If it meets these conditions it becomes dar al-harb, and otherwise, it is dar al-Islam.

References

Abu Ubaid, al-Amwaal
Al-Jassas, Sharh Mukhtasar al-Tahawi
Al-Kasani, Bada us-Sanaai
Abu Yusuf, al-Kharaaj
​​​​​​​Ibn Abideen, Radd al-Muhtar
​​​​​​​Musnad Abu Hanifah


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