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Islamic International Law

Historical Foundations and Al-Shaybani’s Siyar

Khaled R. Bashir

In this work, Khaled Ramadan Bashir presents and discusses the precise nature of Mohammad Al-Shaybnai’s contribution to Siyar (Islamic International Law). He compares his work to other great contributions on international law made by renowned scholars including Augustine, Gratian, Aquinas, Vitoria and Grotius. Bashir affirms the view that Al-Shaybnai made a major contribution to the field of International law, which was unparalleled until Grotius wrote The Law of War and Peace. To date, Al-Shaybnai’s Siyar is still a cornerstone of the Islamic perspective of international law.
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Chapter 2: Reading historical sources

Khaled R. Bashir


This chapter discusses the nature of international relations at the time when Al-Shaybani was writing. This is considered in order to envisage the writing of Al-Shaybani in light of the then existing state of international regulations. To achieve this, the author explores the state of international law in other civilizations surrounding Al-Shaybani’s at the time. Subsequently, this chapter exposes the sources of Al-Shaybani’s writings through examining the sources of Islamic international law. The author investigates whether Al-Shaybani drew on the work of others or developed his through his own initiative. A central theme of this chapter is also identifying Al-Shaybani’s methodology and his style of reasoning. Therefore, schools of jurisprudence that could have influenced Al-Shaybani’s writing are considered. The discussion then focuses on characteristics of Al-Shaybani’s approach. For example, the often-misunderstood notions of dar-al-harb and dar-al-Islam are discussed in great depth here.

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