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Title: On the origins and strategic dynamics of pre-legal Jihad 610-680 C.E
Author: Kader, Mehdi Kurgan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 3383
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the strategic dynamics of Jihad across the first 70 years of Islam, surveying how the military instrument dynamically served policy in a means-end relationship; and was the product of both the systemic strategic environment, and the bargaining dynamics of domestic politics. Two distinct concepts of Jihad are distinguished; the first is the theological and perpetual contest or absolute Jihad, that seeks to impose the jurisdiction of God’s sovereignty without challenge; and secondly, Jihad in reality, that is, war in reality subject to the vicissitudes of the strategic setting and environment. Mapping the evolution of Jihad reveals that the initial warfighting practices of the Prophet Muhammad served revolutionary policies that would be transformed by the policies of successive Caliphates (al-Khulafa al-Rashidun) yet remain the idiom of military action in Islam. Specifically, Jihad served the functions of homeland security, defensive expansionism, and most prominently, an emancipatory interventionist Da’wa Policy. In its final evolution, during the first caliphate of the Umayyad Dynasty, Jihad served an imperial agenda designed to regain strategic and regional hegemony. The strategic dynamics of Jihad across the first seventy-years of Islam was infused by the cult of the offensive as early Muslim political leadership competed with regional actors for superior offense-dominance and the strategic initiative, under conditions of anarchy and self-help. The research concludes that the proposition of ‘Jihad as a continuation of politik by other means’ accurately reflects the politico-strategic behaviour of Muslim political administrations during the first century of Islam. Absolute Jihad consistently provided the permissive essence for policies of limited warfare that sought to implement Jihad as the idiom of military action, although objectives were set according to the geopolitical and strategic realities of the operational and strategic environment and setting and not upon theological imperatives or absolute war.
Supervisor: Rainsborough, Michael Lawrence Rowan Smith Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available