Wikipedia has a decent overview over early conquests of the Islamic empire. The expansion seems to have been one of the most rapid in history. I'm not aware of any Muslim scholar who opposed the expansionism that was pursued by the caliphate, neither that of the Rashidun, the Umayyads, or later caliphs.

However, as far as I can tell, the dominant trend on islam.se seems to be to claim or suggest that warfare in general is a purely defensive construct in Islam, see e.g. here or here or here. If that is correct, then the ulama likely opposed Islamic expansionism on doctrinal grounds, and no scholars would have condemned them as kuffar for doing so.

Question: if any, which ulama opposed Islamic expansionism, what were their arguments for doing so, and what was the reception of their ideas in among the other ulama?

  • This might be too broad: "the Rashidun, the Umayyads, or later caliphs" covers a lot of time and a lot of individual conquests over a lot of political situations. You might be better off finding particular conquests (or particular caliphs) that don't appear to fall under the umbrella of "defense" and asking about them instead.
    – goldPseudo
    May 16, 2017 at 18:23
  • @goldPseudo I can do that, I think that'll limit the options of answering the question though. It would also limit the use of the question, kinda like restricting "did any scholars declare smoking marijuana haram" to "did any scholars in afghanistan in the 10th century declare hashish haram". I can work it over the coming days if no one got anything on this version of the question.
    – G. Bach
    May 16, 2017 at 18:31
  • It'll probably be useful to define expansionism and defensive war, and whether preemptive defense is included. Was war against Byzantine and Persian empires defensive or offensive? Would they have left the Islamic state alone and settled on amicable terms?
    – UmH
    May 16, 2017 at 18:45
  • @Uma I'm surprised I would have to define it if no one saying jihad is purely defensive had to define it so far, but why not.
    – G. Bach
    May 16, 2017 at 18:46
  • 2
    Those who speak about defensive wars are trying to show a rather utopial view of Islam. I'd assume that none of the scholars of that time would oppose any of the so called faths because of the justness of the cause. Which is one of the reasons or conditions that allows calling for jihad. Some like Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak and al-A'raj are even known for their participation in jihad. Even if i don't think that anybody was fighting with the intention of expansionism.
    – Medi1Saif
    May 16, 2017 at 20:38


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