On April 19, the IIIT lectures series for CIS countries, organized by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and the Institute for the Integration of Knowledge (IKI), continued with the lecture «Islam, Pacifism and Militarism: The Quranic Perspective of War and Peace» by Dr. Mykhailo Yakubovych, a researcher at the University of Freiburg (Germany).

In his lecture, Dr. Mykhailo Yakubovych raised the following questions:
• What does the Qur'an say about war and peace. Can the concept of jihad be considered a «holy war»?
• Are militarism and pacifism «artificial» constructs or «real» Qur'anic values?
• The political Qur’an and apolitical Qur’an: how has modern Muslim exegesis become a hostage of ideological trends?

Dr. Yakubovych showed the examples of the concepts of «war» (harb) in the Qur’an in Arabic and in Ukrainian translation. According to the lecturer, three basic Qur'anic concepts, such as harb – war, jihad – struggle, kittal – military participation, are semantically related, but in the primary sense jihad is a self-goal, and rather an ethical than military and political term.

Unlike other issues of the Qur'an interpretation, the issue of peace and war has become a hostage of political regimes in the Muslim world and beyond it. Today’s Russian aggression against Ukraine, in particular, and the threat of further escalation in Europe and the rest of the world, is forcing many Muslim communities to reconsider their positions of «non-participation» in public sphere. Accordingly, Muslims need to rethink the issues of war and peace.

At the end of the lecture, Dr. Yakubovych recommended the book «Peace and the Limits of War: Transcending Classical Conception of Jihad» by Louay M. Safi, published by the International Institute of Islamic Thought in English and Russian and currently being prepared to be published in Ukrainian.

Almost 30 participants from different countries, such as Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Estonia, attended this online event. 

The next lecture will be announced soon on the IIIT lectures series for CIS countries and the Institute of Knowledge Integration Facebook pages.