Once Muslim, always Muslim?

Can someone tell me the source of the statement that once land is owned by Muslims it should always belong to Muslims? (usually stated by internet cranks)

Is it from the Koran or from some disgruntled Moor on his way out of Spain?

That’s an extreme interpretation (one favored both by some radical Islamists and by some opponents of Islam who are out to make Islam look as scary as possible) of the shari`a concept of “dar al-Islam”, the “abode of Islam” or “Muslim territory”. It’s not in the Qur’an itself.

Basically, the idea (which is not supported by all Muslim jurists) is that regions are either “dar al-Islam” or “dar al-harb”, the “abode of strife”. That can be interpreted to mean either that areas not ruled by Islamic law are at variance with God’s will and therefore intrinsically in conflict, or that areas not ruled by Islamic law must be conquered and subjected to Islamic rule, or both.

Some schools of jurisprudence recognize a third type of region, the “dar al-sulh”, “abode of peace” or “abode of truce”, where Islamic law does not dominate but Muslims are not oppressed, so it’s not violating God’s will. Others maintain that “dar al-Islam” itself encompasses any place where Muslims are free to practice their religion, whether or not the region is actually governed by Islamic law.

Wiki on Dar al-Islam

Realistically speaking, the concept of “dar al-Islam” isn’t much of a force for geopolitical change. Some radical Islamists talk about it as a motive for “reconquering”, say, Spain, and some anti-Islamist extremists talk up that viewpoint as a reason to oppose, say, Muslim immigration into Europe. But none of these people are making any official decisions about international boundaries.

Well, the idea is that Islam is the natural religion. So a baby is born a Muslim by this thinking. Adam was a Muslim.

A person who renounces Islam (or any other religion) is an apostate. Apostasy from Islam is punishable by death.

Please read the OP, not just the title.

To respond to Kimstu, what’s the actual scriptural basis for this concept? The Wikipedia article notes only one citation for the term in the Qur’an, as a name for Paradise.

In Jordan, it’s a capital crime to sell land to a Jew. I’ve heard of similar laws and practices in other parts of the Middle East.

Eh, Jordan?

Cite? I can’t recall that being the case (being a capital crime).

Can Arabs Buy Land in Israel?, Alexander Safian, Middle East Quarterly, December 1997

It looks like it is no longer a capital offense in Jordan, as of 1995. It still is in the P.A.

That’s more than I can tell you. I was going on this article in JSTOR (Dar al-Islam: The Evolution of Muslim Territoriality and Its Implications for Conflict Resolution in the Middle East, Manoucher Parvin and Maurie Sommer, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Feb., 1980), pp. 1-21) for the claim that the basis of the doctrine is in later shari`a law rather than in the Qur’an itself.

Other sites I found seem to agree with this view, but I haven’t found any that states a specific place where the doctrine was first articulated.

It was first articulated by Abu Hanifa ( 699-767, founder of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence ), writing a little under a century after Muhammed’s death. In essence it was a triumphalist post hoc rationalization of the Arab conquest, written in a period when it seemed reasonably likely to Muslim observers that the Caliphate might eventually sweep the world before them.

As noted the concept has undergone some refining since then, with more defensive and less imperial overtones becoming the norm in the modern period. But as also noted, extremists still cling to the classical notion of a permanent state of war, punctuated by temporary truces.

But no, it is Quranic per se.

“Is Qur’anic”, Tamerlane, or “is not Qur’anic”?

Well, there we are, change over a decade ago, it was Israelis, not Jews as such. Nasty law, but not the same thing as Jews as such.

NOT. Sorry :).

It’s not Qur’anic.