“War And Peace In The Law Of Islam”

Straight From The Jerusalem Cloakroom #208, Nov. 2, 2007

Excerpts from “War And Peace In The Law Of Islam”, by the late Prof. Majid Khadduri (Johns Hopkins University).


1. While western democracies consider Peace a permanent and a sublime strategic goal, Islamic law defines peace as a tactic and as the short intervals which are not war.

2. 1,300 years (since the 7th century) of inter-Arab, inter-Muslim and Muslim-Non-Muslim conflicts, wars, terrorism and violation of commitments are lucidly explained by “War And Peace In The Law Of Islam”, authored by the leading global authority on Islamic war & peace making, the late Prof. Majid Khadduri (Johns Hopkins University):

    “The Jihad, reflecting the normal war relations between Arabs and non-Muslims…was a product of a warlike people…Islam could not abolish the warlike character of the Arabs who were constantly at war with each other…institutionalizing war as part of the Muslim legal system…transforming war into a holy war, ceaselessly declared against those who failed to become Muslims…The short intervals which are not war, are peace (pp. 53-4).”

    “The importance of the Jihad lay in shifting the focus of attention of the tribes from their intertribal warfare to the outside world…The world…was sharply divided in Muslim law into the abode of Islam and the abode of war… The abode of Islam was always, in theory, at war with the abode of war (p. 62, p. 52).”

    “Throughout the history of Islam, fighting between Muslim rulers and contending [Muslim domestic] parties was as continuous as between Islam and external enemies…This state of affairs accentuated the struggle for power and created instability and anarchy in the world of Islam (p. 69).”

    “The Jihad may be stated as a doctrine of a permanent state of war, not a continuous fighting…The concept of Jihad underwent certain changes. These changes did not imply abandonment of the Jihad duty, it only meant the entry of the obligation into a period of suspension – it assumed a dormant status, from which the [leader] may revive it at any time he deems necessary…No [permanent] compromise is permitted with those who fail to believe in God. They have either to accept Islam or fight (pp. 64-75).”

    “If a catastrophe had befallen the Muslims, [they] might come to terms with the enemy… on the grounds of force majeur, provided that the Muslims should resume the Jihad after the expiration of the treaty…Defeated Muslims always maintained that their battle with the enemy would be resumed, however long they had to wait for the second round (pp. 154-6).”

    “The Prophet Muhammad has set the classic example by concluding a [628 A.D.] treaty with the Makkans, known as the Hudaybiya Treaty…as a model for subsequent treaties…A peace treaty with the enemy is a valid instrument if it serves Muslim interests…The Prophet and his successors, however, always reserved their right to repudiate any treaty or arrangement which they considered as harmful to Islam…The Hudaybiya Treaty established the precedent that Muslim authorities might come to terms with [the enemy], provided it was only for a temporary period…A temporary peace with the enemy is not inconsistent with Islam’s interests (pp. 203-12).”

    “Treaties must be of temporary duration, for in Muslim legal theory the normal relations between Muslim and non-Muslim territories are not peaceful, but warlike…If the [leader] entered a treaty which he was incapable of fulfilling, the treaty was regarded as void (batil). He was permitted to declare its termination…(pp. 220-1).”

3. A WAKE UP CALL BEFORE ANNAPOLIS: The Two State Solution defies Prof. Majid Khadduri’s teachings. It constitutes a phase in the permanent Jihad to eliminate the Jewish State, the outpost of western democracies, the Abode of War. Ignoring Prof. Khadduri’s teachings rewards terrorists and rogue regimes, radicalizes Arab expectations/demands, exacerbates Arab terrorism, fuels an all out war, further destabilizes the Mideast and damages the pursuit of long-term peace, thus undermining vital US national security interests.
the 208th issue of Straight From The Jerusalem Cloakroom, which features

Previous issues of the Jerusalem Cloakroom are posted at The Ettinger Report:

Shabbat Shalom, and may we heed a lesson of this week’s portion of the Torah (“Chayeh Sarah”):

    A burial site does not sign off legacy, but perpetuates spiritual and physical legacy/roots; attachment to the Past determines one’s Future,
November 3, 2007 | 4 Comments »

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