One of the most influential teachers during my time in Malaysia, studying at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, was Dr Maszlee bin Malik. He taught us what I thought was going to be the driest of topics, but turned out to be one of the most imperative for me to

understand as a Muslim living in America. The topic was Politics in Islam. Dr Maszlee, interestingly enough, would often have to cancel classes throughout our few semesters with him, because he had the more pressing matter of counseling some young men in prison who were bent on joining ISIS. He was quite “literally” fighting terrorism! Diffusing potential threats, young ticking time bombs, who may have left a very destructive imprint on the world.leo.

Here are some of the amazing lessons we learned in Dr Maszlee’s class about what the scholars have said about Dar ul Islam vs Dar al Harb/Dar al Kufr. (As a precursor, here is a video I made about “6 Ways Islam forbids Terrorism“, also taken from the lessons learned in Ustadh Maszlee’s class).


 The world was once a more chaotic place. Before the United Nations was created and treaties were common between countries, it was a dog eat dog world, every nation for herself. Everyone was out for everyone else’s land and power. If you weren’t building an army to protect yourself, it was likely you would be invaded, your women raped, your children captured.

In this time of war and constant turmoil in much of the world, scholars who were in these more chaotic regions, came up with the following divisions of the world: Dar ul Islam [Land of Islam] versus Dar ul Harb [Land of War (also referred to as Dar al Kufr Land of Disbelief)]. You were either a Muslim country with a Muslim government (Dar ul Islam), or you were a non-Muslim country and thus a potential threat and enemy (Dar ul Harb).

These simple divisions made by our scholars were perhaps understandable for the time, circumstance and place in which they came about. It was a chaotic dangerous time where fear lurked at every border. It was understood by scholars and laymen alike that a Muslim should ONLY live in Dar ul Islam because Dar ul Harb would be inevitably dangerous and Muslims would be persecuted there. It became impermissible even, according to some scholars, for a Muslim to move to Dar al Harb, as it would either be harmful for them or it would be seen as them colluding with the enemy.


With the passage of time, however, countries evolved, nations evolved, governments evolved, and the circumstances evolved. A basic legal maxim in Islamic law is “لا ينكر تغير الأحكام بتغير الزمان” Do not reject the changing of rulings by the changing of times.  Now that much of the world is not at war with one another, that there is not a constant threat in most of the world of being invaded by your neighboring country, these divisions should – and actually have been – revisited by many scholars. According to those who have revisited these divisions, namely Shaykh Yusuf al Qardawi, Dar ul Islam remains Dar ul Islam – a Muslim country with a Muslim governance, but Dar ul Harb/Kufr is a title that can only be given to a country which is openly hostile towards Muslims and persecutes Muslims for their faith, disallowing them from practicing their religion.

A new division was created called “Dar ul Aman” meaning “Land of Safety”. So long as a non Muslim government allows mosques to be created, allows Muslims to pray and practice their faith, then that land would be considered Dar ul Aman – a land of safety. Similar to how Ethiopia (Abysinnia) was a safe place for Muslims to reside during the era of Prophet Muhammad (S), even though it was a Christian kingdom ruled by Christian law. It was a land of safety for the Muslims, and Prophet Muhammad (S) encouraged the Muslims to reside there.

Today, it is evident that a majority of the countries of the world fall under the category of Dar ul Aman – because much of the world has peaceful relations with Muslims, allowing them to migrate to their countries, reside there, and practice their faith within it. In Dar ul Aman, all residents, both Muslim and non Muslim within those countries become a “Mu’ahid” which literally translates to “people of a treaty”. Because when they are at peace with Muslims, then Muslims are at peace with them – it is a treaty of peace. According to Rasulullah (S) himself, a Mu’ahid has very important rights from all Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (S) said “Whoever kills a mu’ahid, he will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.” [Bukhari] The scholars defined “mu’ahid” as a non-Muslim whose country has a treaty of peace (even if temporary) with a Muslim country, or a non-Muslim from a country at war with Muslims  who is given protection during his stay in the Muslim country. His life, property, and family is protected – his blood is not to be spilled. The one who kills the mu’ahid, his abode is the Hellfire.

That means that all residents of any country that is peaceful and accepting of Muslims are under a contract of peace and safety. Even if there is hostility and pushback, as long as the Muslims are able to freely practice their faith, then the contract remains. 


Oftentimes, the main source of confusion comes from a few Quranic verses that some have interpreted to mean we cannot take non-Muslims as “friends”, that we must hate them and disassociate with them, and be in perpetual conflict with them.

Among those verses are the following: “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as awliyaa” (Surah Maidah:51), and “O you who have believed, take not those who have taken your religion in ridicule and amusement among the ones who were given the Scripture before you nor the disbelievers as awliyaa.” (Surah Maidah: 57). While some translations pin “awliyaa” as “friend”, many scholars including Shaykh Yusuf al-Qardawi say awliyaa carries a much stronger meaning, moreso of a protector, a guardian. Hence these verses are not meant to forbid a friendship with non-Muslims, nor to encourage hatred to non Muslims, but rather to not take them as allies or protectors politically IF they are amongst those who are persecuting Muslims.

In another verse, Allah says “O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as awliyaa, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah , your Lord” (Surah Al-Mumtahanah: 1). This verse specifies further that it is not all non Muslims who are not to be taken as allies, but rather the “enemies” amongst the non-Muslims who drove out the Prophet (S) and the Muslims through persecution and torture. This verse was revealed in response to one of the companions of the Prophet (S) in Madinah who, fearing for the safety of his family in Makkah, sent a secret letter to warn the Quraish of Makkah of an impending Muslim attack. Allah is rebuking this man for taking the Quraish as political allies against the Muslims since the Quraish were at that time persecuting Muslims.

So it is clear that a political alliance should not be forged with non Muslim countries whose governments are persecuting Muslims. As for upholding peace, creating a treaty, and acting kind towards those non-Muslims who are neither at war with nor hostile to Muslims, that is encouraged, as Allah says in the Quran: “Allah does not forbid you, with regard to those who do not fight you on account of your religion nor drive you out of your homes, to treat them with goodness (birr) and to be just to them; truly, Allah loves those who are just.” (Surah Al-Mumtahanah: 1) . The word “birr” or goodness, which is used in this verse, encompasses all types of generosity and kindness. It’s the same word used to explain how a Muslim should treat his parents.

This means that the default between Muslims and non-Muslims as well as Muslim and non-Muslim governments is PEACE so long as long as there is no persecution, torture, or war between the two governments. And once these two countries are decidedly at peace with one another, the citizens are considered mu’ahid in the Shariah, meaning their money, property and life is sacred to Muslims. Anyone who harms a mu’ahid, then as Rasulullah (S) mentioned, they will not even smell paradise – their abode is the hellfire.

These lessons have been imperative in my understanding of Islam and its relationships with the world, and I am grateful to my teachers who have enlightened me with these truths. Without these understandings of our deen, one could easily be swayed and fall into the trap of those with a political agenda or perverted understanding of the religion. May Allah allow us to see the truth as truth and the falsehood as falsehood. Ameen.

Safiya Ravat graduated with a degree in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh and Usul al Fiqh) from the International Islamic University of Malaysia, as well as a Journalism degree from the University of Houston. She and her husband live in Dallas, TX where they are working under the Bayyinah Foundation. Full bio here. Follow them for more videos and posts on Facebook at Mahad and Safiya.



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The scholars’ 2 OPINIONS:

-The junub (sexually impure person after intercourse) is told explicitly in the Quran (Nisa: 43) not to stay in the masjid. And the junub, by analogy, is similar to the menstruating women because they both have an impurity that requires ghusl.
– Rasulullah (S) said to tell all women (menstruating and not) to come to the Eid prayer, but he said “let the menstruating women avoid the prayer place.”
-Rasulullah (S) in said, “The mosque is not permitted for menstruating women or anyone who is in a state of janabah (sexual impurity).”

(minority opinion held by Ibn Hazm, Al-Muzani a scholar of the Shafi’I madhab, Dawud Ad Dhaahiri, and modern day scholars such as Shaykh Yusuf al Qardawi and others)

-The hadeeth mentioned above (“The mosque is not permitted for menstruating women or anyone who is in a state of janabah (sexual impurity).”) was classed as da’eef (weak) by Shaykh al-Albaani as well as other scholars, so it is not permissible to make a ruling of fiqh based on a weak hadth.
– The ayah talking about the junub cannot be applied to the menstruating women because they are not analogous.
When Aisha is on her period during Hajj, Rasulullah (S) told her “do everything but don’t do tawaf of the kabah” which indicates she could stay at the Kabah and do worship, dua, etc.
-A slave woman who was freed set up a tent and lived in the masjid. And Umm Mihjaan (the caretaker of the masjid) would regularly take care of the masjid, and was not told to avoid it during menses.
-Therefore, these scholars are of the opinion that if it were really impermissible for a woman to not stay in the masjid, there would be an authentic direct hadith or ayah about it, as women around the messenger regularly had their period. The evidences brought by the majority are not strong enough to make it haram upon her to stay in the masjid.


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Did you know that the wives of the Prophet (S) traveled together WITHOUT a Mahram from Madinah to Makkah to make Hajj?

In short – there are two opinions on the matter. 1) No, she has to have a Mahram. 2) Yes, she can, as long as her safety can be ensured, and that she uses safe public transportation where others are around.


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Rasulullah (S) said “Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal will be (rewarded) as if he had fasted the entire year.” [Muslim]


2 Opinions of the scholars:

1) NO, FINISH RAMADAN FASTS FIRST: Some scholars, amongst them the Hanbalis, say that one must finish the obligatory fasts of Ramadan first before you do any other voluntary fast, as obligations are more important than voluntary fasts and because the Hadith says “Whoever FASTS Ramadan and follows it up with 6 of shawal…” indicating one must finish all 29/30 of Ramadan first and foremost. Some of this group say, if one cannot do all of Ramadan make up fasts in Shawal, then they can complete their 6 Shawal in the next month (Dhul Qa’dah).

The other opinion of scholars (amongst them the Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki madhhab) is that the obligation of finishing off Ramadan is an obligation that is given an extended amount of time to fulfill. So since it is given a wide time of 11 months to finish the Ramadan fasts, it should NOT be limited to finishing them off in the very next month (shawal). Shawal is a limited amount of time, and Ramadan is given a long time, and therefore it would be permissible to fast 6 shawal first as long as the Ramadan fasts are accomplished throughout the next 11 months. This is from the mercy of Allah in giving us a long time to make up all the Ramadan fasts.

The precedence that we have in the seerah, is that of Aisha (R) who said that she regularly made up her Ramadan fasts in the month of Shaban, which is the month right before Ramadan. But it is also known that she did many voluntary fasts throughout the year. Scholars conclude that she thererfore saw it acceptable to do voluntary fasts, EVEN though the Ramadan make up fasts had not been completed yet.

It is also very difficult for women to make up Ramadan fasts (maybe 7-8 days) & finish shawal (another 6 days) within one month – because obviously her menses will come (maybe 7-8 days). That almost requires her to fast another WHOLE month minus her period just to accomplish Shawal. And that is definitely a great difficulty.

**Majority of scholars say you cannot combine Shawal and Ramadan make up fasts with one intention. They should be separate intentions and separate days.

NOTE: Know yourself! If you find it difficult to make up your fasts, PRIORITIZE Ramadan fasts over Shawal fasts, because an obligation is like a debt!

May Allah allow us all to fast the 6 of Shawal to get the reward of an entire year! Ameen


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RECITING QURAN – there are 2 opinions:
1) She CANNOT read/recite the Quran.
Most scholars prohibit women from touching the Quran based on the hadith “The menstruating woman and the one who is in a state of sexual impurity (janaabah) should not recite anything of the Qur’aan.”

2) She CAN read/recite the Quran.
This is the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah, ibn Qayyim, Imam Malik, Bukhari, and one opinion of Imam Ash Shafii as well as many other scholars. Their argument is that the hadith mentioned above is Daeef (weak). In fact, the hadith is considered weak by almost all scholars of Hadith and therefore cannot be used in order to make a fiqh ruling. So women may recite or read the Quran, either from memory or from the Quran mushaf (book) itself.


Scholars of fiqh agree that someone who is not purified CANNOT touch the Quran because Allah says in the Quran “None shall touch it except the purified” (Waqiah: 79). This includes the junub (sexually impure), the menstruating woman, as well as someone without wudhu.

So how can she read the Quran?
1) Use a barrier (glove, towel, pen) so that her hand doesn’t directly touch the Quran
2) Read it off of a tablet or phone as these are not considered the Quran, but rather devices that have the Quran in them.
3)Read a book which has Tafseer/translation in it – as that is not considered the Quran mushaf (book) either. Even if it contains the Arabic, if half is tafseer/translation, it is permissible for an impure person to hold.


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Q:If you fast all day, and your period starts a few minutes before Maghrib, do you have to make that day up?
A: Yes.

Q: If I didn’t make up all my fasts before next Ramadan, what do I do?
A: If you had no excuse, you have to pay the penalty, Fidya as well as make them up later. (Fidya: feeding a poor person a full day’s meal per day that you missed).

Q: Do pregnant and breastfeeding women have to fast?
A: They are exempt if they fear for themselves or the baby. However, if they feel well enough, they can fast, after consulting a doctor.

Q: How do pregnant/nursing moms make up those fasting days if they have years of make ups?
A: There are multiple opinions of scholars:
1- make them all up over the years (majority opinion)
2- pay the fidya only (opinion of Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar (R))
3- pay the fidya AND make them up over the years

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