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Guidelines for Islamic Foreign Policy
Political Issues
Dr. Shehzad Saleem


The issue of the relationship of a Muslim country with other countries of the world, especially non-Muslim ones is indeed a sensitive one. An era in which many anticipate the famous Huntington hypothesis of ‘Clash of Civilizations’ to materialize, this question has assumed even more importance. Belligerence among Muslims minorities in non-Muslim countries needs intellectual discussion on its roots.

What exactly then are the directives that Islam gives regarding international relations? Following are some of the important guidelines Islam gives to the makers of foreign policy of a Muslim country:

1. No aggression should be launched against a non-Muslim country to forcibly make it accept Islam or to annex it.1

2. All contracts with various countries must be honoured in all circumstances – unless of course the other country breaks or revises them.

3. War can only be declared on another country, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, if that country is guilty of oppression and tyranny and diplomatic talks fail. Here again war does not become obligatory; it merely becomes permissible.2

4. Friendly ties should be initiated with all countries of the world whatever their religion.

5. The enmity of any country should not stop a Muslim country from being fair and just towards that country.







1. For details, see: Renaissance, June2002 (Special issue on Jihad), Daru’l- Ishraq, Lahore.

2. Ibid.

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