Islam and Warfare: Context and Compatibility with International Law, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Islam and Warfare

Context and Compatibility with International Law, 1st Edition

By Onder Bakircioglu


212 pages

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The question of how Islamic law regulates the notions of just recourse to and just conduct in war has long been the topic of heated controversy, and is often subject to oversimplification in scholarship and journalism. This book traces the rationale for aggression within the Islamic tradition, and assesses the meaning and evolution of the contentious concept of jihad. The book reveals that there has never been a unified position on what Islamic warfare tangibly entails, due to the complexity of relevant sources and discordant historical dynamics that have shaped the contours of jihad.

Onder Bakircioglu advocates a dynamic reading of Islamic law and military tradition; one which prioritises the demands of contemporary international relations and considers the meaning and application of jihad as contingent on the socio-political forces of each historical epoch.

This book will be of great interest to scholars and students of international law, Islamic law, war and security studies, and the law of armed conflict.


"With admirable scholarly mastery, Onder Bakircioglu, explores the nature of jihad in Islamic thought about war and peace, demonstrating conclusively that there is no authoritative doctrine available to resolve interpretative controversies so central to current debates about Islamic extremism. An indispensable study for legal specialist, and indeed, for anyone concerned with a deep understanding of the bearing of Islam on the regulation of warfare."

Professor Richard Falk (Professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University)

"This is a scholarly, rigorous, thoroughly documented and intellectually honest account of the ambiguity and complexity of the Islamic doctrine of jihad. By persuasively demonstrating that war and peace are always outcomes of human agency, this book is an eloquent call to moral choice and political action, beyond stale polemics of absolute text or abstract doctrine."

Professor Abdullahi A. An-Na’im (the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law)

"Bakircioglu’s Islam and Warfare is a laudable contribution to a complex subject and students of the Islamic tradition of war and of just war theory in general will find it a useful research tool."

Ahmed Al-Dawoody, Al-Azhar University, Cairo

Table of Contents

1. Main Sources of Islamic Law 2. Islamic Tradition on Warfare 3. Shades of Jihad: Moderate and Radical Interpretations 4. Jihad in the United Nations Era 5. Conclusion

About the Author

Onder Bakircioglu is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Leicester.

About the Series

Routledge Research in the Law of Armed Conflict

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Comparative
LAW / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
RELIGION / Islam / General
RELIGION / Islam / Law
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Islamic Studies