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The Rights of Enemies at War in Islam Report (Assessment)


The paper covers the issue of rights in the context of war in Islam. The concept of war in Islam is reviewed. The Western and Islamic approaches to human rights are presented. The peculiarities of international humanitarian law treatment by Islam is given. Finally, the problem of human rights in Islam and those of Islam enemies is analysed.


Islam seems to be more than a religion. It is a complex system which covers all aspects of life. It is the whole philosophy with principles and methodologies which support people in everyday challenges (Ali-Gomaa, 2014). The principles are generally accepted and followed by the Islam followers. In recent decades, Islam is often associated with war, violence, and terrorism. Consequently, its treatment of war, enemies and their rights are the concerns of the world community.

The Concept of War in Islam

In fact, the concept of war in Islam is guided by strict rules. Islam war is considered “one of the noblest forms of war fares and was legislated for defending human rights, preventing injustice and oppression and preserving human rights” (Ali-Gomaa, 2014, para.2). Initially, it resulted in some Islamic principles such as discipline, nobility, freedom and justice for all people, and priorities to public issues over personal interests (Ali-Gomaa, 2014). However, the current situation does not look so positive. The behavior of some Muslims cause panic and fear in the world (Londras, 2011).

Their military activity is justified by sacred goals. The reasons of Islam people going to war are sound. They include defending for one’s life or responding to aggression; responding to aggression and assaulting of one Muslim group on another Muslim group; fighting those who fight against Muslims and want their money; and protecting homeland or Muslims anywhere in the world (Ali-Gomaa, 2014). However, the activity of Muslim military unions goes far beyond these goals. On the way to secure freedom of Muslims, the rights of other people and even nations are violated.

Human Rights: Western and Islamic Approaches

When it comes to the issue of human rights, they appear to be a major concern of the Western world. Western approach takes rights for granted. A Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations Organization defends the rights and proclaims freedoms of every person (Maundudi, n.d.). However, despite the UN resolutions, the violation of human rights has been observed all over the world in different times (Maundudi, n.d.).

Their regulations and resolutions look useless when it comes to genocide for example. Maundudi (n.d.) states that “No action has even been taken against any country guilty of this most serious and revolting crime.” According to Islam, the rights are the gift of God. Thus, no one in the world can change or remove those rights. It is one of the reasons why people in Islam are ready to fight any attempts to encroach on their rights (Maundudi, n.d.).

Islam, War, and International Humanitarian Law

International humanitarian law supports the peaceful resolution of disputes. War is considered “a political action which is undertaken when other measures have failed” (Okon, 2014, p.103). Thus, it is unreasonable as long as there is an opportunity of negotiation. Law in war is aimed at balancing the necessity of military invasion with preserving humanity. International humanitarian law differentiates various types of war crimes such as crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, genocide, and violations of the laws and customs regulating the conduct of war (Mayer, 2013).

Islamic interpretation of humanitarian law which is considered an important component of Islamic legal system does not make differences between types of war (Okon, 2014). The concept of sacred war Jihad is applied in various concepts. Okon mentions that one of the principles of Islamic laws of war is that “belligerents should display mercy, clemency and compassion in fighting the enemy” (2014, p.106). Moreover, Islamic law of war presupposes voluntary confession before the execution and the safety of civilians.

Human Rights and War of Islam

The global popularity of human rights was treated as the proof of cosmopolitan progress. It was especially popular in Europe and granted some benefits for local religious and ethnic minorities. However, the influence of cosmopolitanism on human rights might have been overestimated (Edmunds, 2013). The general approach to human rights is stated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. However, Islam has its interpretation. Thus, the rights of citizens of an Islamic State include the security of life and property, the protection of honor, the sanctity and security of private life, the security of personal freedom, the right to protest against tyranny, freedom of expression, association, religious sentiments, etc. (Maundudi, n.d.).

Nevertheless, within the war of Islam the rights of those who are treated as enemies are inevitably violated. Islam war like any other interferes with the right to life, which if the primary right of an individual. War neglects the right to the safety of life. It is particularly true about the issue of terrorism as a component of war in Islam since no one can [predict a location of the next strike.


Generally speaking, any type of war is a violation of human rights. Even if people fight for the rights of their nation or land, they inevitably interfere the rights of their enemies. In the conditions of war in Islam the issue of human values is crucial since the aim of this war is the protection of Muslims rights.


Ali-Gomaa, M. (2013). War in Islam: Ethics and rules. Islamic Information portal. Retrieved from http://islam.ru/en/content/story/war-islam-ethics-rules

Edmunds, J. (2013). Human rights, Islam and the failure of cosmopolitanism. Ethnicities, 1-18.

Londras, F. (2011). Detention in the ‘War of Terror’: Cab human rights fight back? Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Maundudi, S.A.A. (n.d.). . al-Tawhid Islamic Journal, 4(3).

Mayer, A.E. (2013). Islam and human rights: Tradition and politics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Okon, E.E. (2014). Islam, war and international humanitarian law. European Scientific Journal, 10(14), 100-113.

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"The Rights of Enemies at War in Islam." IvyPanda, 10 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-rights-of-enemies-at-war-in-islam/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Rights of Enemies at War in Islam." September 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-rights-of-enemies-at-war-in-islam/.


IvyPanda. "The Rights of Enemies at War in Islam." September 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-rights-of-enemies-at-war-in-islam/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "The Rights of Enemies at War in Islam." September 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-rights-of-enemies-at-war-in-islam/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Rights of Enemies at War in Islam'. 10 September.

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