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Dagestan - Dar al-Salam -- fatwa by Shaykh Ali al-Qaradaghi

Dagestani Mufti Ahmad Hj Abdulaev addressing participants of the National Theological Conference "Dagestan - territory of peace"

Fatwa on the applicability of the term dar as-silm wal-islam ("the territory of peace and Islam") for Dagestan and similar territories.

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate!

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds! Blessings and greetings to the Messenger who is sent as mercy for the worlds, his family and all his companions.

Having considered the authoritative arguments from Quran, the Sunnah, the unanimous opinion of the jurists, reasoning by analogy and also faqih’s assertions, we arrived at the following conclusion:

1. Terms dar al-Islam (territory of Islam), dar al-harb (territory of war) and dar al-`ahd (territory of the agreement) are among the terms of fiqh: they are not mentioned in Scripture nor in the reliable Sunnah. In the book "Explanation for the people", published by Al-Azhar University, it is stated: "The separation of the countries into the territory of unbelief and territory of Islam is the result of ijtihad, reflecting the circumstances and situations of imams-mujtahids’ era. There is nothing about it in Qur'an and Sunnah.” This means that there was no single opinion about those terms between fuqaha. Most of them were satisfied with the terms: territory of war and territory of the peace. Some of them added to it the term: territory of agreement, meaning the area, in which people signed a contract with the Muslims or with some of them, as the Messenger, peace be upon him, said "their desire to protect their loved ones." Accordingly, all the countries which have embassies or which have diplomatic relations are part of the territory of the agreement.

According to the definition of Jurists the territory of Islam is an area which is openly governed by the laws of Islam. (see: -Badaiu as-Sana'i', 7/130, Ibn Abidin, 3/253, Al-Mudawwana, 2/22, Ad-Dasuki, 2/184; Hashiya al-Bujairami, 14/220, Al-Insaf, 4/121). Moreover, some jurists, particularly, the followers of Imam al-Shafi'i, believed that the territory of Islam is not transformed into a territory of war, even if disbelievers captured the area and established their own laws (Nihayat al-Muhtaj, 8/82; Asna al-Matalib, 4/204).

2. From the arguments and expressions of fuqaha it follows that the difference between the territory of Islam and the territory of war - in essence is the difference between safety and fear. If Muslims can practice their religious rituals and enjoy their religious freedom, such territory is the territory of Islam. If they do not have this opportunity, because of living in fear and agony, such territory is not considered a territory of peace and Islam. It was well mentioned by jurists of previous centuries, including Abu Hanifa and others (Badaiu as-Sana'i', 7/130, Hashiya Ibn Abidin, 3/253). The same opinion is expressed by Sheikh Muhammad Abu Zahra (may Allah have mercy on him) in his book "The Theory of War in Islam", in which he supports the view of Abu Hanifah and his companions among jurists. His opinion is based on the fact that the root of it is the safety of Muslims: if he, as a Muslim, is safe, then it is the territory of Islam, and if not, it is a territory of war. "It is closer to the meaning of Islam, and in conformity with the essence of Islamic idea of wars, according to which war may be waged only for protection" Prominent Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (may Allah protect him) fundamentally examined this issue in his book "Fiqh of Jihad." In it, he came to the same conclusion, namely, that these terms refer to the fiqh, and not to the sacred texts, and that the territory of Islam is the area where Muslims are safe and have religious freedom. In an interview with "Islam Online" website, he noted that the country where Muslims are the majority, is, (in his opinion), the territory of Islam, and therefore, there should be functioning the Islamic laws and its leaders must seek ways to implement Sharia. This opinion is shared by most modern scholars, including Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi (may Allah have mercy on him) and prominent Sheikh Abdallah bin Baya (may Allah protect him).

3. Considering the above mentioned views, our fatwa states the following: Republic of Dagestan, where the Muslims majority live in security, have religious freedom and perform the rituals of Islam, is not a territory of war, and according to Sharia it is an area of peace and Islam. The same ruling applies to the other republics and regions, where Muslims majority live in security and have religious freedom. Therefore, in those areas it is not allowed to declare war against the Muslims and mu`ahids (i.e., those who have concluded peace agreement with Muslims), because there is no Sharia basis allowing it. The responsibilities of Muslims are: right upbringing, the call to Islam, jihad by using words, wisdom, beautiful preaching and good dialogue - for the sake of implementing the Laws of God in their full entirety. Allah said:

أدْعُ إِلَى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِه وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ (النحل 125)

"Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright." (sura An-Nahl 16-125).

Allah Allmighty is Best Aware, and we ask help from Him.

Written and confirmed by the man who is in need of Allah, Sheikh Dr. Ali Muhyi ad-Din al-Qaradaghi, General Secretary of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

This fatwa was accepted by all ulema, preachers and imams who were present at the conference in Dagestan (4 Muharram 1434's/ November 17, 2012), and the delegation of IUMS which was also present there: Sheikh Abd al-Rahman ben Abdullah Al Mahmud, a member of the Board of Trustees, Treasurer; Rashid Omar Alawi, executive director of IUMS; Dr. Louay Yusef, coordinator of IUMS activities in Russia.

Ruling on the applicability of the term dar as-silm wal -Islam  ("the territory of the peace and Islam") to Dagestan and similar territories is an integral part of the Dagestani Act on the issues of jihad, the concept of "dar al-harb" (territory of war) and killing of imams in Dagestan, adopted on 17 November 2012, in Makhachkala at the National theological conference "Dagestan - the territory of peace."

27 November 2012


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