It is an Arabic phrase. It is pronounced “dar al harb.” Memorize it, because it explains why the Nigerian in the window seat is trying to blow you, and the nearly 300 other people with you on your international flight, to pieces as you descend into a major American city.
Dar al-Harb means “the world of war.” It is in contrast to دار الإسلام , dar al-Islam, the world of Islam. Dar al-Islam exists when Islam is in control of an area, and the kafirs (unbelievers—you and me) are under the control of the Muslims, subjugated into the position of being dhimmis, paying the jizya, feeling themselves “subdued,” as Yusuf Ali kindly put it in this important verse, one of the last “revealed” to Muhammad:
9:29 Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
The more accurate rendering of the term would be “disgraced” or “humiliated,” the same term Allah uses of Satan himself when he is cast down. In any case, the Nigerian with the underwear bomb on his leg views the world in this way. He is a soldier of dar al-Islam. You belong to dar al-Harb. The world of war, the West, the great Satan. Your life is forfeit because he believes a state of jihad exists, and in a state of jihad, the property, and life, of the kafir is forfeit to the soldier of Islam.
On Christmas day we came within a single malfunctioning detonator from adding 12/25 to 9/11. My next flight, and yours, will now be even more uncomfortable, more difficult. I will have to carry less and less with me when I travel, relying more upon the churches I speak at to make up for the new security restrictions. And every single person who gets up and heads to the bathroom for any length of time at all will find himself or herself the object of suspicion and scrutiny. Thank you, Al-Qaeda. Every one of us will be wondering, as we descend, if the Lord will grant us mercy in a safe landing, not just in the normal way, but in restraining the madness of evil men.
Now, you will hear from the “moderate” Muslims that these men just misunderstand Islam. I know moderate Muslims who today are cringing in disgust at what took place on Flight 253. I wish them well in their attempts to debate with their fellow religionists. I hope they can make progress in promoting the idea that there is also dar al-Dawa, the world of invitation or, as we would put it, evangelism, where first one invites to Islam before a state of war exists. I hope they can argue effectively that there is no Muslim Caliph today who can legally declare a state of jihad to exist. But I truly fear that the sources upon which they rely—the Qur’an and the Hadith—are far too unclear, far too muddled, to allow for a clear victory for their views. One thing is for certain, the world tells us that they are losing that battle in the trenches, and someday, soon, that detonator is going to work, reminding us once again that Islam, as it is being promoted openly in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and numerous North African nations, is a militant religio-political system, with the emphasis upon the political.
Lord willing I will comment on the contrast between Islam’s use of politics and militarism as a means of expansion with the biblical view of how Christ is building His kingdom in the hearts and minds of His people on the Dividing Line tomorrow at 11am MST.