Scholar Explores Quranic Perspective on the Right to Self-Defense

11:08 - April 15, 2024
News ID: 3487945
IQNA – An Islamic scholar points to some Quranic verses that stress the right to self-defense as well as the fight against aggressors.


Speaking to IQNA, Hojat-ol-Islam Gholamreza Peyvandi, Head of Fiqh group at Research Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought, said that Jihad and defense are two significant concepts frequently discussed in religious teachings.

The term ‘Jihad’ appears numerous times in the Quran, signifying a struggle against one’s nafs as well as confrontation with external adversaries, he added.

“The Holy Quran, in certain verses, permits Muslims to engage in combat and defend themselves, particularly those who have been victimized by war and oppression,” he said, adding that God Almighty, in several verses, has granted all Muslims, especially those whose homes, cities, and lives have been attacked, the right to defend themselves.

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He said that this is evident in verses 39 and 40 of Surah Hajj: “Those who are fought against are permitted [to fight] because they have been wronged, and Allah is indeed able to help them (39) —those who were expelled from their homes unjustly, only because they said, ‘Allah is our Lord.’ Had not Allah repulsed the people from one another, ruin would have befallen the monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques in which Allah’s Name is much invoked. Allah will surely help those who help Him. Indeed Allah is all-strong, all-mighty.”

In another verse of the Holy Quran, God Almighty grants Muslims the right to fight against tyrants, oppressors, and those who attack their land and people, he said, noting that this is stated in Surah Baqarah, verse 190: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.” This verse emphasizes the importance of not overstepping divine boundaries while fighting against those who fight you, he added.

He also pointed to verse 194 of Surah Baqarah which reads: “So should anyone aggress against you, assail him in the manner he assailed you, and be wary of Allah, and know that Allah is with the Godwary.” This suggests that while defending oneself, one should also fight back, Peyvandi said.

In Islam, several forms of Jihad have been proposed, he said, adding that generally, Jihad is sometimes to eliminate ‘fitna’ (sedition), as stated in verse 193 of Surah Al-Baqarah: “Fight them until persecution is no more, and religion becomes [exclusively] for Allah. Then if they desist, there shall be no reprisal except against the wrongdoers.”

Furthermore, verses 73 and 75 of Surah An-Nisa ask, “Why should you not fight in the way of Allah and the oppressed men, women, and children, who say, ‘Our Lord, bring us out of this town whose people are oppressors, and appoint for us a guardian from Yourself, and appoint for us a helper from Yourself’?” This verse discusses another form of Jihad, where one fights against oppressors on behalf of the oppressed, he added.