Classification of states by Muslim jurists and scholars and its relevance to the present day reality
Classical jurists had divided the world into DÉr al IslÉm (the abode of peace) and DÉr al ×arb (the abode of war). The former refers to territories in which Muslims are free and secure while the latter is the opposite of DÉr al IslÉm, and refers primarily to non-Muslim territories hostile to Muslims and dangerous to their freedom and security. It can be said that such a division of states by jurists was practical in the circumstances of their time. Given the geopolitical reality they faced in the early phase of Islam from the surrounding mighty empires, their overall concept of the world could not have been much different from this bipolarity. According to Tariq Ramadan (1999: 123-124), such a division was necessary for at least two reasons. One, by marking out the Islamic territories, the scholars were able to point out the essential conditions making a nation Islamic and the rulings determining the political and strategic relations with other nations or empire. Two, it allowed them to establish a clear distinction, as regards legal issues, between the situation of Muslims living inside the Islamic world and those living abroad or those who travelled often such as traders (and who thus required specific ruling).