Regarding the Hadith :

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: "I have been commanded to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning will be done by Allah."
[ Bukhari ]

Ibn Taymiyyah commented on this Hadith

The meaning of this hadith is to fight those who are waging war whom God has called us to fight, and it does not mean to fight those who have made peace agreements with whom Allah has commanded us to fulfill the agreements. And the Prophet, before the revelation of Surat al-Tawba would uphold agreements with whoever made agreements with him from the kuffar without imposing jizya. So when Allah revealed Surat al-Tawba and commanded the Prophet to renege the indefinite agreements, he could no longer make agreements as he used to do. Rather he was obligated to fight jihad against everyone , as Allah says in the verse 9:5
[ Majmu Fatawa ]

So it appears to me Ibn taymiyya interprets the hadith to refer to Self defense, but he interprets 9:5 (which is pretty much saying the same thing as the hadith) to command jihad against everyone Thats very contradictory

Just to make sure I ask you guys i am not mis interpreting ibn taymiyya’s view on the hadith right?

  • 2
    You are misinterpreting. Ibn Taymiyyah doesn't say "self-defense." He says fighting is allowed against the disbelievers "those who are waging war" (meaning: fighting age, in the army, etc.) except when there is a peace treaty. That is simple enough to understand. Surah Tawbah does not change that except it commanded the Prophet not to make more indefinite treaties.
    – The Z
    Dec 17, 2021 at 17:05
  • @TheZ But if people are waging war and you fight them then that’s self defens
    – Hisham
    Dec 17, 2021 at 17:09
  • "Those who are waging war" is not meant to describe someone's action, but a description of what type of people they are i.e. not women and children, but men capable of waging war.
    – The Z
    Dec 17, 2021 at 17:29
  • @TheZ why didnt ibn taymiyya say what he meant then lol
    – Hisham
    Dec 17, 2021 at 19:08
  • 1
    He did. You have a bad translation
    – The Z
    Dec 17, 2021 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


You are asking about this statement that Ibn Taymiyya made regarding the hadith:

مراده قتال المحاربين الذين أذن الله في قتالهم لم يرد قتال المعاهدين الذين أمر الله بوفاء عهدهم

It means fighting the Muharibeen who are those Allah has permitted us to fight, and it does not mean fighting the Mu‘aahideen regarding whom Allah has commanded us to fulfill their treaties

Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa 19/20

Reading this statement it is quite clear that the author has used the word محاربين as a synonym of Harbi and an antonym of Mu‘aahid. It has nothing to do with whether the war is in self defense or aggression, but rather he is contrasting those who have a treaty (like jizya) with those who do not.

Ibn Taymiyya, like other scholars, considered it permissible to both initiate war and to fight in self defense. For example he writes:

أنه لما نزلت براءة أمر أن يبتدئ جميع الكفار بالقتال وثنيهم وكتابيهم سواء كفوا عنه أو لم يكفوا وإن ينبذ إليهم تلك العهود المطلقة التي كانت بينه وبينهم

Until Surah at-Tawbah was revealed and he (the Prophet ﷺ) was commanded to initiate fighting with all the disbelievers: the idolaters and the people of the book, regardless of whether or not they restrained themselves from fighting him. And to cancel the absolute covenants that existed between him and them.

Saarim al-Maslool

فإذا وجب علينا جهاد الكفار بالسيف ابتداء ودفعا، فلأن يجب علينا بيان الإسلام وإعلامه ابتداء ودفعا لمن يطعن فيه

Just like it is obligatory on us to do Jihad against the disbelievers with the sword, initiating and defending, it is also obligatory on us to verbally preach Islam initially and to defend against those who criticize it

Jawaab al-Saheeh li man baddala Deen al-maseeh

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