Offensive Jihad and Defensive Jihad

In the Name of Allāh,

the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.

Resolution No. 207 (3/22) Offensive Jihad and Defensive Jihad

The Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, holding its 22nd session in Kuwait City, State of Kuwait, on 2–5 Jumādā al-Ākhirah 1436h (22–25 March 2015),

Having examined the research papers submitted to the Academy concerning

Offensive Jihad and Defensive Jihad,

Having listened to the in-depth discussions on the subject,

Having recalled the fundamental concepts and mission of jihad and that the relations between the Ummah and other nations are based primary delib- erate on peace and tolerance,

Having recalled that fighting, according to Islam, has its origins in aggres- sion rather than the indifference of faith,

Having considered the new changes in the circumstances of Dawah and developments of communication methods between human societies in the re- mote parts of the world,


First: Jihād, in the general sense, signifies any legitimate effort that aims to uphold the word of Allāh the Almighty; communicate the message of Islam through all material and moral means in hand; and spread of justice, security and mercy in human societies.

Second: Jihād is of two types:

  1. Offensive Jihad: which aims to protect freedom of spreading the call for Islam; removing any barriers it may encounter; and defending those who are under oppression and tyranny, subject to specific rules and conditions that Islamic jurists have indicated for the achievement of interest and aversion of harm.

Allāh the Almighty said, «And fight them on until there is no more tu- mult or oppression and there prevail justice and faith in Allāh,» (Al- Baqarah, 193), and He The Almighty also said, «And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allāh and those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?

– Men, women and children whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors.”» (Al-Nisāʾ, 75)

The ultimate objective of “Offensive Jihad” is the communication of the message of Islam without compulsion, because Allāh the Almighty, said, «Let there be no compulsion in religion.» (Al-Baqarah, 256); «… the Apostle’s duty is only to preach the clear(message).» (Al-Nūr, 54); and «…thy duty is but to convey (the message).» (Al-Shūrā, 48) In this type of Jihad, and under contemporary circumstances, preachers should make use of international conventions and treaties which have made the world a territory of ʿahd (covenant) in which countries allow mobility and grant freedom of missionary work through various modern devices of communication; in different languages; and among different societies.

In this context, the Academy reaffirms the Shariah fundamentals in which it has already issued resolutions and recommendations, including preparation of necessary equipment and empowerment of armies in the Muslim world in order to be able to defend the lands and interests of the Ummah.

  1. Defensive Jihād: which refers to the type of jihād dictated by the Shariah- based duty of defense when an attack is launched against religion, the Ummah, the country, the society or the individual. The Shariah ruling justifying this type of jihad ceases to be valid as soon as the aggressive at- tack is over and the enemy moves outside the land. In this respect, Allāh the Almighty said, «Fight in the cause of Allāh those who fight you, but do not transgress limits, for Allāh loveth not transgressors.» (Al-Baqarah, 190)


  1. Implementing the proposal of establishing an Islamic Court of justice supported by armed forces from different Muslim countries to assume the responsibility of resolving conflicts between these
  2. Reaffirming the need for operationalizing Academy resolution no. 68 (6/7) issued at its the 7th Session, comprising a recommendation on the preparation of a draft for “Declaration of International Rights in Islam,” and the Academy resolution no. 128 (2/14), including a recom- mendation about the preparation of an “Islamic Code of International Humanitarian ”
  3. Constituting a committee of scholars and specialists to prepare educa- tional programs that elucidates facts about Islam in the area of interna-

tional relations during war and peace, accommodate new developments in the subject and preserve fundamental principles and values.

Indeed, Allāh is All-Knowing.

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