Question: Explain the meanings and difference between the concepts thrown around by ISIS propagandists: Darul Tawheed, Darul Aman, Darul Ahad, Darul Kufr and Darul Harb. What laws pertain to Muslims living in each state?
The terms Dar-ul-Islam, Dar-ul-Kufr etc. have not been defined in any Qur’anic verse (aayah) or hadith of Rasulullah (Prophet PBUH). There isn’t a single Aayah or Hadith saying expressedly that the definition of Dar-ul-Islam is . . . and the definition of Dar-ul-Kufr is . . . These terms were derived by the Islamic jurists (fuqahaa) in the light of certain Aayaat and Ahaadith to tackle with the situations in their historical and political context. That being the case, there is some difference of opinion among the fuqahaa with regards to these terms.
Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA) defined Dar-ul-Islam as a ‘country in which Muslims enjoy security while non-Muslims live in fear’. Dar-ul-Kufr is the very opposite. It is a country in which non-Muslims enjoy security and Muslims live in fear.
Considering current political trends in the world, we could conclude that according to Imaam Abu Haneefah (RA), Dar-ul-Islam is a country that has a Muslim majority and which is run by Muslims even though they do not implement Islam or Shariah law. However, most fuqahaa disagree with Imaam Abu Hanifah’s definition.
Imaam Abu Hanifah’s most prominent students, Imaam Abu Yusuf (RA) and Imaam Muhammad (RA) define Dar-ul-Islam as a country in which Sharia law is implemented.
Darul-Kufr is a country in which laws of the ‘kuffaar’ are implemented instead of the Shariah law, as viewed by the ISIS propagandists.
According to the interpretation of many Islamic jurists, Dar-ul-Harb is the same as Dar-ul-Kufr. However, because Dar-ul-Kufr is most often at war with Dar-ul-Islam, it is also called Dar-ul-Harb. (Harb means war.)
The earlier Islamic jurists (fuqahaa) only spoke of these two types of countries. However, because these definitions are not expressedly mentioned in Qu’aan and Hadith, latter-day fuqahaa added a third type of country based on circumstances that were not prevalent in the time of the earlier fuqahaa.
Although latter-day fuqaha do not mean that they lived in the past hundred or two hundred centuries. Among the earliest fuqahaa who discussed the concept of a third kind of Dar (Dar-ul-Aman i.e. abode of Peace) is Imaam Sarakhsi, a fourth generation hanafi scholar of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). Hence, he is latter-day in contrast to the early masters of fiqh like Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA) etc. This, the third type of country or state in Islamic theological view is Dar-ul-Aman.
Dar-ul-Aman is a non-Muslim country where the government allows Muslims to practice their religion without any fear. The concept of Dar-ul-Aman is based on the condition of Habshah (Abyssinia) and the Sahaabah (Prophet’s companions) who lived there during the time of first hijrah from Makka to Habsha.
In Dar-ul-Aman, the freedom Muslims enjoy in practising their religion is at governmental level. Hence, the status of Dar-ul-Aman will not be affected if the non-Muslim actors from other Faith’s or non-Muslim members of the public attack or persecute Muslims for practising their religion (provided such atrocities are not sanctioned by the government).
Having said that, it follows that most countries in the world presently could be classified as Dar-ul-Aman. Our country, too, is the largest democratic nation state and a secular country based on the Constitution which ensures completely freedom to profess, practice and preach a religious tradition. It has no state religion or official faith creed, but it guarantees religious freedom for everybody including Muslims and, irrefutably, Muslims in india practise Islam freely. Hence, going by this Islamic postulate, india is a Dar-ul-Aman in the purely theological view of the point.