International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

War and Islamic Humanitarian Law: Appraising Warfare and Distinction as a Principle in Hostilities
Abdulrashid Lawan Haruna, Dr. Laminu Bukar, Babagana Karumi

War is a complex phenomenon which was used as a tool for carrying out international relations before the advent of Islam in Arabia. The misconception that Islam promotes war and sets no limit in means and methods of warfare is illusive. Islam met warfare and has made it legitimate (though to be prosecuted within its legal principles). The only legitimate war Islam permits is the war that is solely waged for the sake of Allah. During conduct of hostilities, Islam has put in place certain norms to guide the warfare and has made principle of distinction as one of the fundamental rules. The principle requires belligerents to always distinguish between combatants and civilians and between civilian objects and military objectives, and shall accordingly direct their military operations only against military objectives. Further, Islam insists that civilians must enjoy immunity against direct attack as long as they do not participate in the hostilities. This fact depicts that thousand years back, Islam regulates conduct of its military in warfare. Thus the paper examines legitimacy of war in Islam and the conduct of warfare within the context of the principle of distinction.

Full Text: PDF