Divisions of the world in Islam

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The Arabic singular form dar (دار), translated literally, may mean "house", "abode", "structure", "place", "land", or "country". In Islamic jurisprudence it often refers to a part of the world.


  • According to Muslim cannon Law the world is divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam) and Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war). A country is Dar-ul-Islam when it is ruled by Muslims. A country is Dar-ul-Harb when Muslims only reside in it but are not rulers of it. ... The moment the land become subject to the authority of a non-Muslims power, it ceases to be the land of the Muslims. Instead of being Dar-ul-Islam it becomes Dar-ul-Harb. (294)
    • BR Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • It might also be mentioned that Hijrat is not the only way of escape to Muslims who find themselves in a Dar-ul-Harb. There is another injunction of Muslim Cannon Law called Jihad (crusade) by which it becomes “incumbent on a Muslim ruler to extend the rules of Islam until the whole world shall have been brought under its sway. The world, being divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam), Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war), all countries come under one category or the other. Technically, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler, who is capable of doing so, to transform Dar-ul-Harb into Dar-ul-Islam. ... Not only can they proclaim Jihad but they can call the aid of a foreign Muslim power to make Jihad success, or if the foreign Muslim power intends to proclaim a Jihad, help that power in making its endeavor a success. (295-296)
    • BR Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • A Kafir (non-believer in Islam) is not worthy of respect. He is a low born and without status. That is why a country ruled by the kafir (non-muslim) is a ‘Dar ul harb’ (i.e. the land of war) to a Muslim, which must be conquered, by any means for the Muslims and turned into ‘Dar ul Islam’ (i.e., land of Muslims alone). (p. 301)
    • BR Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • All land belongs to the Muslims, because it belongs to their God.
    • Muhammad Iqbal, Quoted in Elst, Koenraad (1992). Negationism in India: Concealing the record of Islam.
  • Islam views the world as though it were bipolarized in two opposing camps—Darul-Salam (Islam) facing Darul-Harb—the first one is submissive to the Lord in co-operating with God's purpose to establish peace, order, and such other pre-conditions of human development, but the second one, on the other hand, is engaged in perpetuating defiance of the same Lord. Such a state of affairs which engages any one in rebellion against God's will is termed as “Fitna”—which word literally means test or trial. The term “Fitna” refers us to misconduct on the part of a man who establishes his own norms and expects obedience from others, thereby usurping God's authority—who alone is sovereign. In Sura Infa'al Chapter 8, Verse 39, it is said “And fight on until there remains no more tumult or oppression and they remain submissive only to God.” To the same effect are the words used in Sura Taubah Chapter 9, Verse 29, “Fight those who believe not in the Lord, nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by the Lord and His Apostle nor acknowledge the religion of truth (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” Many Western scholars have pointed their accusing fingers at some of the above verses in the Quran to be able to contend that the world of Islam is in a state of perpetual struggle against the non-Muslims. As to them it is a sufficient answer to make, if one were to point out, that the defiance of God's authority by one who is His slave exposes that slave to the risk of being held guilty of treason and such a one, in the perspective of Islamic law, is indeed treated as a sort of cancerous growth on that organism of humanity, which has been created “Kanafsin Wahidatin” that is, like one, single, indivisible self. It thus becomes necessary to remove the cancerous malformation even if it be by surgical means (if it would not respond to other treatment), in order to save the rest of Humanity…. Islam, in my understanding, does not subscribe to the concept of the territorial state and it would be recalled that even [Sir Muhammad] Iqbal in his lectures on “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” went so far as to suggest that, Muslim states, to begin with, he treated as territorial states and that too only as an interim measure since these states are later to be incorporated into a commonwealth of Muslim states. Each one of these states must first acquire strength and stability before it is able to prepare the ground on which a unified state of Islam can appear on the historical scene.
    • Allah Buksh K. Brohi, former advocate-general of Pakistan in the Preface of Brigadier S.K. Malik. The Quranic Concept of War quoted from Bostom, A. G. (2015). Sharia versus freedom: The legacy of Islamic totalitarianism.
  • It is a great mistake that the country can only be either a Dar-ul-Islam or a Dar-ul-Harb in the primary signification of the words, and that there is no intermediate position. A true Dar-ul-Islam is a country which under no circumstances can be termed a Dar-ul-Harb and vice versa. There are, however, certain countries which, with reference to certain circumstances, can be termed Dar-ul-Islam, and with reference to others Dar-ul-Harb. Such a country is India at the present moment... If you have power, jihad is incumbent upon you. If you do not have power, it is unlawful.
    • Syed Ahmed Khan, quoted in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)

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