International Committee of the Red Cross

Islamic Law and International Humanitarian Law

Legal factsheet 04 September 2018

Islamic law is the bedrock of Islam and one of the three major legal systems in the world today. Owing to its unique characteristics, some parties to armed conflict continue to refer to Islamic law as a primary source of rules governing their conduct during armed conflict. The similarities in the principles underpinning international humanitarian law (IHL) and Islamic laws of war suggest that these two legal traditions have the same objectives. Promoting the universality of these principles, which transcend legal traditions, cultures and civilizations, is essential for ensuring compliance with IHL.