What should the Muslim’s stance on the war between Russia and Ukraine be like?

The Details of the Question

1. What should the Muslim's stance on, attitude and approach to the war between Russia and Ukraine be like?
- What should be the Muslim’s stance on and attitude to the war between Russia and Ukraine, which has been on the agenda recently, so as not to be a supporter of oppression? What should a believer’s approach to this war be like?
- Small children and babies, who are religiously considered innocent, are also harmed and even killed in this war. Can you explain the issue?
2.  If non-Muslim countries are at war with each other, how should Muslims in those countries act as soldiers or citizens?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Answer 1:

When two non-Muslim parties fight, a Muslim should view that war as follows:

- If one of the parties is from the People of the Book in terms of state policy and the majority of the people, and the other is polytheists, the Muslims should support the People of the Book. An example of it was shown by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh); As it is indicated in the Chapter of ar-Rum, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) favored Byzantium, the People of the Book, in the war between the Persian and Byzantine Empires.

- If both parties are equal in terms of belief, a Muslim’ attitude and a believer’s stance should be to be a supporter of the victimized and the oppressed party.

- Lastly, if there are Muslims and innocent people who are likely to be affected by that war, we should pray that they are affected the least, should send humanitarian aid to them as much as we can, and try to be inclined to the party that will prevent them from being harmed.

However, we should be careful not to tolerate the cruelty committed by the party to which we are inclined, if any, by taking into account the drawbacks such as tolerating oppression and being a supporter of oppression.

Answer 2:

A soldier of a Muslim country or a Muslim in that country does and should do whatever is necessary provided that they comply with the war laws of Islam. If he dies, he becomes a martyr; if he survives, he becomes a war veteran.

If non-Muslim countries are at war against each other, the Muslims there should take sides in accordance with the rules we have given above and act in accordance with the following three situations:

1. Muslim Soldiers

It is not permissible for the Muslim soldiers to fight if the army to which they belong is the army that has waged an unjust war, violated borders and invaded neighbors' land. A Muslim must not join the army that feeds on killing and gains benefits from the war; if it is necessary, he can suffer the consequences.

As a matter of fact, Muhammad Ali CLAY, the Muslim boxer, did so in the Vietnam War; he refused to join the American army and suffered the consequences. If a Muslim in Russia is exposed to imminent and certain death when he does so, the state of obligation is in question; he joins the army, but he tries to keep away from the fighting areas so as not to cause the innocents to be killed.

If the war of that oppressing army is against an Islamic country, the haram will be stronger and bigger.

If a Muslim soldier is killed in such a war, he will be resurrected according to his intention.

2. A Muslim whose country is attacked

Even if Muslims are in minority status in a non-Muslim country, they are obliged to join their country's soldiers and fight against aggression because they are in a situation of legitimate defense.

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

“If a person dies while trying to save his property (in the fight against an unjust attacker), he is a martyr; if he dies while trying to save his life, he is a martyr; if he dies while trying to save his honor and his family, he is a martyr.” (Tirmidhi, Diyat, 21; Musnad, 2/221)

3. A Muslim living in a country that is not in a war

If there is a treaty or contract between the two warring parties and the Muslims, if the country under the treaty is exposed to an attack, an oppression and if it asks help from the Muslims, it is the duty of the Muslims to help them and fight off the oppression.

An example of it is as follows: The Prophet (pbuh) signed a defense agreement with the people of Madinah, including the Jews; he defended them against Quraysh due to that agreement.

It is never permissible to help the oppressor if one is not obliged or if there is no necessity; if he does so, he becomes the oppressor himself and becomes a partner in the oppression of the oppressors.

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