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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 3: The law of war

Khaled R. Bashir


This chapter examines Al-Shaybani’s writings in Al-Siyar Al-Kab_r on the topic of the regulation of war. Al-Shaybani covered topics such as civil (internal) wars, alliances, neutrality, the principle of non-intervention and issues related to the participation of foreign fighters in civil wars. However, this chapter focuses on the major aspects of war in the international sphere. It discusses some of the most important issues Al-Shaybani addressed in his book, which are central to war affairs. This chapter is divided into two key parts: jus ad bellum and jus in bello. At the start, this chapter gives a brief historical account of the customs and laws regulating war before and around the time of Al-Shaybani. This chapter will be the first authentic and detailed text on the law of war as discussed by Al-Shaybani in his grand book to be made available to the reader in English.

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