Flowers for the
may Allah preserve and protect him
Some modernist camps have recently
rejected the so-called ancient Islamic paradigm of a bipolarized world
which consists solely of Dar ul Islam and Dar ul Harb.
While some argue that the west is actually at war with Islam, some err
in believing that the existence of millions of Muslims in the western
lands nullifies the labeling of the west as Dar ul Harb. The
modernist camps say it is time for Muslims to move on and put aside that
ancient worldview because it prevents Muslims from feeling sympathy for
the kuffar and has instead fostered vilification for "the other". In
short, they no longer want to recognize the divide between Dar ul
Islam and Dar ul Kufr.
This topic is so important to address that it warrants a clear
examination of fine details even with such limited space available. For
if it were to go unabated, then we would be of those who sit back in the
sidelines and, by virtue of being passive, propagate profound
This article was written in response to the modernist argument described
above. Disagreement exists for the following reasons which will be
expounded upon through the article:
First, the term Dar ul Harb is used incorrectly to
conjure up an imagine that Dar ul Harb must be a land where
cannons and tanks are exploding left and right. However, according to
the jurists, Dar ul Harb is the land of the disbelievers that
does not rule by the Shari'ah of Allah, or does not submit itself to the
authority of the Muslims through payment of the Jizyah.
The terms used to express Dar al Kufr in the Qur'an and the
Sunnah are many: Dar al Fasiqeen, Ard al 'Adu, Dar
al Hijrah wal Sunnah, Dar ash Shirk, etc. The works of the
jurists also reflect this variation in wording. For in their classical
works, the land of the disblievers is referred to as Dar ul Harb,
Ard al Harb, Dar al Kufr and Ard al Kufr -
all of these are used to express one thing (Ahkaam At-Ta'zir, Shaykh
Bakr Abu Zaid).
These terms all indicate that the world is bipolar, divided between
Dar ul Islam and Dar ul Kufr. Hence, whether the west is
at war with Islam or not, the west remains to be Dar ul Kufr.
For this reason, I will use the term Dar ul Kufr in reference
to the west, so as not to confuse individuals with the context in which
the modernists choose to use the term Dar ul Harb.
Second, because modernists believe that a bipolarized world is
merely an expired interpretation, they state that there should no longer
be a distinction between Dar ul Islam and Dar ul Harb
(Kufr) when it comes to western lands. This carries a serious
implication that reaches far beyond this discussion. For example,
without these two abodes, there would be no hijrah.
Third, by doing away with Dar ul Islam and Dar ul
Kufr, modernists claim that it is then binding upon Muslims to
sympathize with disbelievers without any distinction, and to act upon
that sympathy in the disbelievers' struggle against their oppressors.
Are Dar ul Islam &
Dar ul Kufr From an Ancient Interpretation?
It is erroneous to claim that the division of the world into Dar ul
Islam and Dar ul Kufr (Harb) is merely a product
of an ancient Islamic paradigm. Regardless of substituted terms used for
the words "Dar ul Kufr" in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, Allah (azza
wajal) tells us time and again that life is a constant struggle
between truth and falsehood, between belief and disbelief, thus making
our world a bipolar one.
Proof from the Qur'an:
Allah (azza wajal) says:
"I shall show you the Dar (abode) of Al-Fasiqun" (7:145)
Allah (azza wajal) stated:
"..and we have certainly sent to every nation a messenger
(proclaiming): Worship Allah and avoid the Taghoot (i.e. the false
deities and ways). So from them there were those who were guided and a
group from them who deserved misguidance so travel in the earth and see
what was the end result of the criminal wrongdoers." (16:36)
Based on this, the world is in fact divided into two camps: the camp of
belief and the camp of disbelief.
Proof from the Sunnah:
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) stated: "Migration (hijrah)
will not stop until repentance stops and the repentance will not stop
until the sun rises from the west." (Muslim)
In fact, all of the hadith that address the obligation and virtue of
hijrah for the sake of Allah all point to the movement from the land of
the disbelievers to the land of believers. And, from this hadith, we are
told that hijrah (which by default requires the bipolarization of
worlds) will happen until the end of time.
Proof from the Sahabah:
It was reported in the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah about his Hijrah in lines
of poetry: "When I came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)
I would say while on the road, 'Oh night! Despite its darkness and
difficulties that cause one to suffer- it has saved me from the daratul
kufr (the dar al kufr).'" (Bukhari#4393)
Proof from the Statements of the Scholars:
Ibn al Qayyim (r) mentions clearly in his book "Ahkaam Ahl
Adh-Dhimmah" that the world is divided into two camps; either
Dar ul Islam or Dar ul Harb.
What then is Dar ul Islam?
Having established the reality of a bipolarized world, how then do we
define Dar ul Islam?
As-Sarkhasi (one of the classical Hanafi jurists) said: "And a Dar
becomes a Dar for the Muslims, by implementing the laws of
Islam in it." (as-Siyar al-Kabeer, 5/2197)
Ibn al Qayyim (r) stated: "The majority of the scholars in the past have
stated: The land which is occupied by Muslims and is ruled by Islam is
Dar ul Islam, but so long as the laws of Islam are not
implemented, it is not Dar ul Islam, even if it is close to it
(lasaqaha) for here is Ta`if, it is close to Makkah, but it
didn't become Dar ul Islam when Makkah was opened." (Ahkam
Ahl Adh-Dhimmah 1/366)
The majority of the notable scholars who specialized in this matter
declare the same. From them are Ibn Qudamah al Maqdisi al Hanbali in "Al
Mughni Ma' ash Sharh al Kabir" where he mentions the same
definition by Imam ash-Shafi', and Al Qadi Abu Ya'la' al Hanbali in "Al
Mu'tamad fi Usool ad Deen", and many others.
Common Errors in Defining Dar ul Islam
1. Looking at the religion of the people as a basis
Some Muslims say: "How can we say that countries with a large Muslim
population are Dar ul Kufr when in 10 years the Muslims will
outnumber the Christians?"
This notion is incorrect because as we see in the 7th year after the
Hijrah when Khaybar was conquered, the vast majority of its inhabitants
were Jews. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) sent one
of the Ansar to be the Amir of Khaybar. Hence, even though the majority
of its inhabitants were Jews, it was not considered Dar ul Kufr.
From this, the opposite is deduced. Even if the Muslims were the
majority of a country's population, but the laws over them were man made
laws, it would not qualify as Dar ul Islam.
2. Muslims are allowed to practice rituals of Islam as a basis
This is also wrong. If we recall from the Seerah during the early years
of the revelation, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)
would call to Islam and publicly pray in Makkah. His companions would
read the Qur'an and call to Islam in the streets. Despite all of that,
Makkah was still considered Dar ul Kufr.
With this point, the opposite follows. If the disbelievers live in the
lands of the Muslims, pay the jizyah, and openly perform some of their
rites of worship, it does not make the land of Muslims the land of
3. Muslims are safe and free as a basis
Let us look at Abyssinia. We know that many of the companions migrated
there before migrating to Madinah. Even if the companions were granted
freedom and safety, Abyssinia was never considered to be Dar ul Islam.
Later on, the companions were also granted safety in Makkah through the
Treaty of Hudaibiyyah. Despite that, Makkah was also not considered to
be Dar ul Islam until its actual physical conquest.
Hence, the fact that there are millions of Muslims inhabiting western
lands, feeling safe and free, does not make those lands Dar ul Islam.
Their mere presence cannot wash away the title of Dar ul Kufr off those
lands, just as all of the water in the oceans cannot remove the impurity
from the swine.
Negating the Existence of a Bipolarized World
Here, we arrive to address the desire to "put aside" the two camps of
Dar ul Islam and Dar ul Kufr.
We acknowledge that Dar ul Islam is non-existent today due to
the gross presence of secular man made laws in the Muslim lands. But,
negating the fact that there are two opposing worlds is antithetical to
the goal of establishing Dar ul Islam. Because, by negating the
concept of Dar ul Islam and Dar ul Kufr, one then
automatically wipes out any choice between the two.
Meaning, if the world is not bipolarized into two camps, it must be
dominated by only one. Today, that domination belongs to Dar ul Kufr.
This negation implies that we lay passively besieged under Dar ul Kufr,
choosing to surrender the Shari'ah of Allah to the Shari'ah of Shaytan
as a permanent state of affairs. After all, what is the need for Dar
ul Islam, if we claim that we should "set aside the world view"
that Dar ul Islam should ever exist to vilify Kufr?
This cannot be from the truth because it contradicts the purpose of
creation. One of the basic principles of Islam is that Islam should
prevail, not be prevailed over, as Allah (azza wajal) says:
"He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the
religion of truth (Islam), that He may make it (Islam) superior over all
religions. And All-Sufficient is Allah as a Witness." (48:28)
We must remember that in the beginning of the revelation, Dar ul Islam
was non-existent. However, the prophet and his companions sought to
establish Dar ul Islam in opposition to Kufr. They migrated,
established Dar ul Islam, and liberated the world with Allah's
message of Tawheed. They did not say "Let's do away with anything that
leads to vilifying kufr." Instead, they brought the message of Allah
(azza wajal) into the physical realm and established it to fight against
This physical realm was a re-emergence of the same bipolar world the
previous Prophets sought to establish, carrying the same message of
tawheed. It was a world where human beings had a choice to make hijrah
from disbelief to belief, from falsehood to truth.
It is a grave mistake to brush off the efforts of the jurists and to
further categorize "their" division of the world as archaic. Knowing the
rulings of residing in either Dar ul Islam or Dar ul Kufr has a
tremendous impact upon the Muslim with respect to his observance of
Islam. Therefore, the issue of negating the existence of a bipolarized
world is not to be taken lightly.
Is it blameworthy to be Apathetic?
Having explained all that, we now come to the third point of
deliberation, the apathy of Muslims towards the oppression upon
From an emotional standpoint, yes, we identify with the disbelievers who
are oppressed by other disbelievers, be it in the Americas, Asia or
Africa. This does not mean however, that we champion their causes and
their various movements. This can only take place as a consequnce of our
own triumph over the domination of disbelief.
The Example of Ibrahim (alayhi salam)
Allah (azza wajal) says:
d there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those
with him, when they said to their people, 'Verily, we are free from you
and whatever you worship besides Allah. We have rejected you, and there
has started between us and you, hostility and hatred forever, - until
you believe in Allah Alone…'"
From the example of Prophet Ibrahim (alayhi salam) , separation and
enmity is clear between believers and disbelievers. Here the ayah says
"until you believe in Allah alone" there will be hostility and
denunciation between the two. Notice that Allah (azza wajal) mentioned
both hostility and hatred because the two together imply not only an
aversion to Kufr and Shirk, but a physical enmity that leads to
separation and change.
This does not mean Muslims should go around harming their neighbors!
What it does mean is- so long as the laws of Allah dictate that there
should be the distinction between believers and disbelievers, then there
has to be a clearly stated enmity. Therefore, it is wrong for the
modernists to speak ill of Muslims for being even the least bit
apathetic towards disbelievers.
Because they, the kuffar, are agents of disbelief who, either worked
against Islam, or made a pageantry of Allah's prohibitions (by engaging
in sodomy, prostitution, sorcery, and what not) even if they were under
the guns of Columbian Drug Lords, we are discouraged from feeling sorrow
over their demise. However, in order to gain a complete picture of these
statements one must also read further and not take these words out of
context. From a Shari'ah standpoint, we cannot say that Allah (azza
wajal) has made it obligatory upon us to feel miserable at their demise.
In fact, the opposite is true as shown in the examples below.
Allah (azza wajal) clearly states:
o be not sorrowful over the people who are the Fasiqun (rebellious
and disobedient to Allah)." 5:26)
One of the incidences in the Prophet's life that illustrate this is when
he made dua'a against the Quraysh who killed 70 reciters from the
companions. Happiness would have naturally followed (muqtada' al haal)
upon the answering of his supplication.
We also see that on the day of Ashura' in the month of Muharram, we are
in fact encouraged to thank Allah (azza wajal) for destroying Fir'awn
and his followers.
From the reports of the scholars, it is reported that when the tyrant
Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi (who killed Said bin Jubayr) died, one of
the Tabi'oon prostrated to Allah (azza wajal) in the marketplace out of
thankfulness. This is despite the fact that the scholars of his time
differed with the opinion as to whether he (Hajjaj) was outside the fold
of Islam or not.
To say these feelings of elation upon the misfortune of the agents of
disbelief are wrong is to also cast doubt upon Allah's words, and assign
malevolence to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and his
The People of Dhimmah
The question then becomes, what about
those who do not harm the Muslims?
Imam al Qaraafi, in his book "Al Farooq" (Vol. 3), says: "Know that
Allah has forbidden love for the people of Dhimmah (disbelievers who do
not fight against you and do not pay jizyah) by his words: 'O
you who believe! Take not for Auliya' (protectors or helpers or friends)
disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest
proof against yourselves?'"(4:144)
He then mentions another ayah where Allah (azza wajal) says:
"Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with
those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not
drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with
How do we understand two seemingly different messages? According to Imam
al Qaraafi, kindness towards them and having sympathy for them are two
different matters. Kindness to the people of dhimmah is to be sought,
while loving and allying with them is forbidden.
The distinction lies in the fact that the contract of dhimmah obligates
Muslims to honor certain rights for them because they are our neighbors
under the protection of Allah, his Messenger and the deen of Islam.
Thus, it is obligatory upon us to treat them good.
However, this does not necessitate from us feelings of sympathy
("inherent concern in our psyche for the welfare of the kuffar"),
feelings of love in our hearts for them, or to be attached to them and
their disbelief in Allah. It in fact necessitates apathy, which refers
to a lack of concern or emotion for matters that others find moving.
This feeling of apathy is not from hypocrisy. This is from what Allah (azza
wajal) says in the example of Ibrahim (alayhi salam) , as well as Allah
(azza wajal) stating:
"Then how can I sorrow for the disbelieving people's
When our interactions reach a point where Muslims are positioned to
physically or symbolically glorify Kufr, this act of sympathy becomes
forbidden. For instance, clearing the way for them in the gatherings
when they come to us, standing for them, or calling them with names of
grandeur, all of this has been made forbidden because it is a
manifestation of raising the signs of Kufr, a belittlement of the signs
of Allah and his deen, and a humiliation of its people (the Muslims).
Sadly, this has been mistakenly interpreted as a "chosen-people"
syndrome. Nonetheless, we must remember that as Muslims we are
diminutive symbols of Islam, and to be placed in an inferior position
than "the other" is to belittle Islam. This is from upholding Allah's
oneness above shirk and disbelief.
As for what has been commanded of goodness towards those who do not seek
to harm us, without loving them inwardly (such as having mercy towards
their weak, feeding their hungry, overlooking their harms as neighbors,
advising them in all of their affairs), all of this is done out of
kindness, not out of out of sympathy or love for them, or considering
them to be mighty.
We are reminded of what is in them. They are in the midst of severe
disobedience to Allah (azza wajal) in their shirk, so we treat them in
the above manner in compliance with the commandments of Allah. Allah
(azza wajal) says about them:
"Should they gain the upper hand over you, they would behave to
you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against
you with evil, and they desire that you should disbelieve."
Closing the Door Behind Us
In conclusion, the issues thrown left and right in doing away with a
bipolarized world are those that require elucidation. It is baseless to
place upon the Muslims the obligation to feel sympathetic towards those
who lie against Allah (azza wajal) and His messenger (sallallahu alayhi
It is erroneous to call Muslims hypocritical for not feeling sympathetic
towards disbelievers as we mistakenly interpret some
commonly-thrown-around words "Our Prophet was a mercy to all of mankind"
simply because he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said a dead Jew was a
human being, too. We can site a few examples that would illustrate the
opposite. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) , who was a mercy to
the worlds, is also the same one who proclaimed to the Quraysh while at
the Ka'abah, "Verily I have come to you slaughter." (Muslim) That
is beside the point.
Allah (azza wajal) said:
"Blessed is He who sent the criterion upon his slave in order to be a
warner to the creation." (25:1)
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was a mercy to humanity
because, by virtue of bringing Allah's message to mankind, he
established the Dar ul Islam that vilified disbelief (Kufr). It was not
because he had flowers for everybody.
It is quite harsh to denigrate Muslims because we limit our tears for
our Muslim brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. The Prophet
(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said the Ummah is one. How can we not cry
a billion times more for our fathers whose hands are tied behind their
backs while our daughters are being raped, in comparison to those who
lie against Allah and His Messenger?
Allah (azza wajal) says:
"Shall We then treat the (submitting) Muslims like the Mujrimun
(criminals, polytheists and disbelievers, etc.)? What is the matter with
you? How do you judge?" (68:35-36)
While we agree that justice must prevail, we must realize that it is
only through the establishment of Dar ul Islam anywhere in the world,
that justice can ever possibly prevail. To live under Dar ul Kufr and be
satisfied with "monotheistic principles" is not enough. Our final goal
must be the establishment of the Shari'ah of Allah over all the lands,
as the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and his companions sought
to do, will we ever eradicate oppression placed upon all people.
Though Muslims today are in a position of weakness and humiliation,
because we have turned away from our religion, and are unable to take
back our stolen lands and implement the Shari'ah of Allah in any part of
the world, this does not mean that this will always be the case until
the end of the world.
The best action we can do for "the other" is not to join the Green
Party, or create our own Green Party. Rather it is to establish Dar ul
Islam wherever it may be in the world, so we open the doors of Hijrah
for "the other", and liberate them from their falsehood.
Without the slightest doubt, Allah (azza wajal) sent our beloved Prophet
(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to all of mankind and jinn to call them to
the worship of Allah alone and to the rejection of all false deities.
Allah (azza wajal) says:
"O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those
of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything
amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe
in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final
From this, we ask Allah to guide us and grant us His mercy on the final