Contemporary Islamic Legal Discourse on the Notion of Territoriality

  • Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq Professor of Islamic Law and Shariah/Director General, Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Tahira Ifraq Lecturer, Department of Shari‘ah (Islamic Law & Jurisprudence), Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Keywords: dār al-Islām, dār al-ḥarb, dār al-‘ahd, dār al-shahādah, territories, boundaries, hijrah, West


This study focuses on the evolution of various dimensions of the concept of dār and territoriality among Muslim jurists, theologians, and social scientists. It begins with the introduction of the research that explains the concept and nature of Islamic legal discourse. The framework of the enquiry about the territorial boundaries is also included in this introductory section. The following section describes emergence of Islamic state and society. It also discusses effects of this development on the socio-political and religious landscape of pre-Islamic Arabia. The debate related to dār al-Islām, dār al-ḥarb, and other related concepts is included in the next part of the study, which not only discusses lexical and terminological constructions of the concepts but also highlights the historical circumstances in which these notions were evolved. The study in the next part examines the approaches of some Western scholars to the classical debate of dār. Then the article deals with the issue of legitimacy or otherwise of the Muslims’ residence in the non-Muslim territories. This section starts with opinions of classical jurists and culminates with the opinions of the contemporary scholars. In sum, the article discusses the legal status of territorial borders and the related issues with reference to varied schools of Islamic law.

How to Cite
Zia-ul-Haq, M., & Ifraq, T. (2020). Contemporary Islamic Legal Discourse on the Notion of Territoriality. ISLAMIC STUDIES, 59(2), 171-202. Retrieved from