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Concerning the Peace Treaty

Al-ʿAllāmah ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz

A clarification from the Shaykh concerning his stance on the Peace Treaty with the Jews, and an elucidation of the position of the Muslims towards those who disbelieve in the Religion of Allāh.

The fact that a peace treaty with the kāfirs – be they Jews or other than them – if it is called in order to attain benefit or because of need, then this does not mean affection or love for them, nor friendship and allegiance with them.

Al-ʿAllāmah ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz

Editor’s Introduction

The main purpose for presenting this particular fatwá(legal ruling) of Shaykh Ibn Bāz -hafiẓahullāh – is to show precisely what was said by him concerning this issue, and the principles upon which the fatwá́ was based – remembering: that if the ijtihād of the Shaykh is correct, then he is rewarded two-fold from Allāh, and if he has erred, then he has a single reward – as he ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam said: ‘‘When a judge judges and strives and is correct, then he has two rewards. If he judges and strives and errs, then he has a single reward.’’ [2]

The Text of the Questions and Answers

[Q.l]: Some people have understood from your answer to the question about the peace with the Jews – and it was the first question in the discussion – that a peace treaty or truce with the Jews, who have seized land and committed oppression, is unrestrictedly permissible; and that it means we may have love and affection for the Jews. It also means that we may not include anything which will cause hatred for them, or dissociation from them, in the educational curriculum in the Islamic lands, nor in sources of information – claiming that peace with them means this, and that after the peace treaty they are no longer enemies whom we believe to be our enemies, and because the world today lives in a state of harmony between nations and of peaceful co-existence – therefore it is not allowed to spread religious hatred between the nations. So we hope that you will clarify this matter.

[A.1]: The reply is: that a peace treaty with the Jews, or with other kāfirs (unbelievers), does not mean having love for them, nor taking them as friends and allies. Rather it means only peace between the two sides and that each of them will not harm the other, and other things such as buying and selling and exchanging ambassadors; and other dealings which do not mean love for the kāfirs or taking them as friends and allies And the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) established a peace treaty with the people of Makkah; and that did not mean that they loved them or took them as friends and allies, rather the enmity and hatred remained between them until Allāh made easy the conquest of Makkah in the year of conquest – and the people entered Allāh’s religion in crowds. Likewise the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) established a peace treaty with the Jews of al-Madīnah when he emigrated to al-Madīnah – and it was not restricted by any time limit. So this did not necessitate love of them, nor affection for them. Rather, he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) used to have dealings with them, speaking to them, calling them to Allāh and encouraging them to enter Islām.  Furthermore, when he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) died, his armour was held in pledge by a Jew for some food which he bought for his family. Then when the tribe of an-Nadheer acted treacherously he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) banished them from al-Madīnah. And when Quraydhah broke their treaty; supporting the Unbelievers of Makkah on the Day of al-Aḥzāb in fighting against the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) – then the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) fought them, killing the combatants from them and taking their women and children captive – after Sa’d Ibn Muʿādh – raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu – was appointed judge in their matter and gave that judgement. The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) informed that his judgement had indeed agreed with the judgement of Allāh from above the seven heavens. Likewise was the case with the Muslims from the Companions and those who came after them, it occurred many times that peace treaties were established between them and the kāfirs- Christians and others – but that never meant that they had affection, love or friendship with them, as He – the Most Perfect – says:

‘‘Indeed, you will find the strongest amongst people in enmity to the Believers to be the Jews and the polytheists.’’
[Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:82]

He – the Most Perfect — says:

‘‘Indeed, there is for you an excellent example in Ibrāhīm, and those with him; when they said to their people: Verily we are free from you and what you worship besides Allāh. We have rejected you, and there has started between us and yourselves enmity and hatred forever – unless you truly have īmān (faith) in Allāh and worship Him alone.’’
[Sūrah al-Mumtaḥinah 60:4]

And He – the Most Perfect — says:

‘‘O you who Believe! Do not take the Jews and Christians as intimate friends and protectors, they are but intimate friends and protectors to each other. And whosoever turns to them for this, is surely one of them. Indeed, Allāh does not guide a people who are wrong-doers.’’
[Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:51]

And He – the Mighty and Majestic – says:

‘‘You will not find any people who believe in Allāh and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allāh and His Messenger, even though they be their fathers, their sons, their brothers or their relatives.’’
[Sūrah al-Mujaadilah 58:22]

And the āyahs with this meaning are many.

The fact that a peace treaty with the kāfirs – be they Jews or other than them – if it is called in order to attain benefit or because of need, then this does not mean affection or love for them, nor friendship and allegiance with them. Thus, when (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) conquered Khaybar, he established a peace treaty with the Jews of Khaybar on the basis that they would take care of the palm trees and crops belonging to the Muslims and half the produce would then be for them and the other half for the Muslims. So they continued upon that in Khaybar and he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) did not lay down any time limit, rather he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: ‘‘We will leave you upon that for as long as we wish,’’ and in another narration: ‘‘We will leave you upon it for as long as Allāh leaves you upon it.’’ So they continued upon this until ʿUmar – raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu – banished them. And it is related that ʿAbdullāh Ibn Rawāḥah – raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu – that when he estimated the amount due to them for one year, they said: You have estimated unjustly. So he – raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu- said: ‘‘By Allāh! My hatred for you and my love for the Muslims does not lead me to treat you unjustly. So if you wish you may take the share that I have estimated for you, and if you wish then we will take that share.’’ [3]

So all of this shows that peace treaties and truces do not necessitate love, friendship and affection for the enemies of Allāh – as is thought by some of those who have little knowledge of the pure Sharīʿah rulings. Therefore, it will be clear to the questioner and others, that peace with the Jews – or other disbelievers – does not mean that we change educational curricula, nor any other dealings relating to loving and friendship and allegiance – and it is Allāh who grants success.

[Q.2]: Does an unrestricted peace treaty with the enemy mean that we concede to them Palestine – the land of the Muslims which they have seized. And that it has now become a permanent land, by right, for the Jews due to the agreement made by the United Nations – which represent the nations of the earth. Then the United Nations will seek to punish any nation which tries to restore this land, or fight the Jews who are in it.

[A.2]: The peace between the leader of the Muslims in Palestine and the Jews does not mean that the Jews will permanently own the lands which they now possess. Rather, it only means that they would be in possession of it for a period of time until either the truce comes to an end, or until the Muslims become strong enough to force them out of the Muslim lands – in the case of an unrestricted peace.  Likewise, it is obligatory, when we have the ability, to fight the Jews until they enter into Islām or give the jizyah(a tax levied from those who are permitted to live under the protection of a Muslim state) in servility. [4]

The same applies to the Christians and the Magians, as Allāh – the Most Perfect – says in Sūrah al-Tawbah [9:29]: ‘‘Fight against those who do not believe in Allāh and the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allāh and His Messenger, nor acknowledge Islām, the religion of truth, from amongst the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians), until they pay the jizyah with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.’’

It is also established in the Ṣaḥīḥ of al-Bukhārī that he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) took the jizyah from the Magians. Therefore, they have the same ruling as the Ahlul-Kitāb (the People of the Book) with regards only to the jizyah – if they do not accept Islām.  However, as for the allowance of their food and their women, then that is particular only to Ahlul- Kitāb, as is stated in the text of the Book of Allāh – the Most Perfect – in Sūrah al-Māʾidah [5:55]. And al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Kathīr (d.771H) – raḥimahullāh – states what we have said relating to the peace treaty in tafsīr(explanation) of the saying of Allāh – the Most High – in Sūrah-al-Anfāl [8:61]: ‘‘But if they incline to peace, then you also incline to it, and put your trust in Allāh. Indeed, He is the all-Hearer, the all-Knower.’’

[Q.3]: Is it permissible to build upon the peace treaty with the Jewish enemy by allowing them what is termed normalization of relations; and allowing them to take economic benefit from the Islamic lands and other spheres which will give them great benefit and increase their strength and establish them further upon the Islamic lands which they have misappropriated; and the Muslims can open their markets for them to sell their goods, and that they must open economic foundations – such as banks and businesses in which the Jews have a share along with the Muslims, and that they must likewise share the water sources such as the Nile and the Euphrates – even though they do not flow through Palestine?

[A.3]: The peace between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Jews does not necessitate what the questioner mentioned with regards to the rest of the countries. Rather, each country sees what is beneficial So if it sees that it is beneficial for the Muslims in its land to have peace with the Jews and to exchange ambassadors and to engage in trade and other dealings which are considered lawful by the pure Sharīʿah of Allāh, then this is alright. However, if it sees that the benefit for it and its people lies in cutting-off from the Jews, then it should act as the Sharīʿah requires and benefit necessitates Likewise, with regard to all the rest of the kāfir lands – their ruling being the same as the Jews in this matter. So what is obligatory upon everyone who is in charge of the affairs of the Muslims -whether he is a king, and Ameer or a President of a Republic: – is that he takes care of what is beneficial to his people and allows what will be beneficial to them, from those matters which Allāh has not forbidden in His pure Sharīʿah, and that he prevents other than that with any kāfir state, acting upon the saying of Allāh – the Mighty and Majestic:

‘‘Indeed, Allāh does command you to render back the trusts to those to whom they are due.’’
[Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:58]

‘‘So if they incline to peace, then you too incline to peace.’’
[Sūrah al-Anfāl 8:61]

And following also the example of the (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) in the peace treaties he made with the people of Makkah, and the Jews in al-Madīnah and in Khaybar. And he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said in an authentic ḥadīth: ‘‘Each one of you is a responsible guardian and each one of you will be asked about those he is responsible for. So the ruler over the people is a responsible guardian and will be questioned concerning those he is responsible for; and the man is the responsible guardian over the people of his house and will be questioned about those he is responsible for, and the woman is the responsible guardian in the house of her husband and will be questioned about those she is responsible for; and the slave is a responsible guardian over the wealth of his owner and will be questioned about his responsibility. Indeed, each of you is a responsible guardian and will be questioned about what he is responsible for.’’ [5]And Allāh – the Mighty and Majestic – says in His Noble Book:

‘‘O you who Believe! Do not betray Allāh and His Messenger, nor knowingly betray those things that have been entrusted to you.’’
[Sūrah al-Anfāl 8:27]

So all of this is with regards to when one is unable to fight the disbelievers, or unable to make them give the jizyah, if they are from Ahlul-Kitāb. However, when one does have the power to fight Jihād against them, then what is required is to call them to enter into Islām, or be expelled (from the land), or to pay the jizyah – if they are from its people. In this case, it is not permissible to seek peace with them, nor to abandon fighting and the jizyah. Rather, seeking peace is allowed when there is a need or necessity; when you are unable to fight them or enforce the jizyah upon them – if they are from its people, as Allāh – the Most Perfect, the Most High – says in the āyahthat has already preceded: ‘‘Fight against those who do not believe in Allāh and the Last day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allāh and His Messenger, nor acknowledge Islām, the religion of truth, from amongst the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians), until they pay the jizyah with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.’’ [Sūrah al-Tawbah 9:29]

‘‘And fight them on until there is no more fitnah and the Religion is made purely for Allāh.’’
[Sūrah-al-Anfāl 8:39]

And the action of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) with the People of Makkah on the day of Hudaybiyyah; and on the day of the Conquest; and also with the Jews when he came to al-Madīnah shows what we have said.  We ask Allāh to guide the Muslims and to grant them every good; and that He puts their affairs in a good state, granting them knowledge and understanding of the Religion. And that He places the best of them in charge of them, correcting their leaders and helping them to fight Jihād against the enemies of Allāh in the way that is pleasing to Him. Indeed He is the One to grant that, and the One has full power over it. And may Allāh’s praises and blessings be upon our Prophet Muḥammad and upon his Family, Companions and followers.


[1] The Following questions and answers are taken from al-Tawḥīd magazine (vol. 23; no. 10), which were a further clarification by the Shaykh – hafiẓahullāh – about the original set of questions concerning the Peace Treaty with the Jews, which first occurred in al-Muslimūnmagazine (21st Rajab 1415H).
[2] Related by al-Bukhārī (13/318) and Muslim (no. 1716).
[3] Compare this with the saying of Ḥasan al-Banná́ – as occurs in al-Ṭarīq ilal-Jamaa’atil-Umm (p. l32) – that he said at a party gathering: ‘The movement of al-Ikhwān is not directed against any ʿaqīdah (beliefs) from the differing ʿaqīdahs, nor any religion from the various religions, nor any of the differing groups and parties. Al-Ikhwānul-Muslimoon do not hate the foreigners (i.e. the non-Arabs) who settle in the al-ʿArabīc and Islamic lands, and they do not hold any evil towards them – even the Jews who live in the land. Rather, there is nothing between us and them except good relations.’’
[4] However, it occurs in Ḥadīth al-Jarīd al-Rāyat al-Qaṭariyyah (no. 4696), that Yūsuf al-Qarḍawī – one of the leaders of the present-day modernist movement – said: ‘‘Indeed we do not fight the Jews due to ʿaqīdah, but rather because of land!’’
[5] Related by al-Bukhārī (13/100) and Muslim (no.1829).

Published: May 31, 2007
Edited: February 18, 2023


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