Islamic Law and Refugees: Concept and Application

26 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2012

See all articles by Brian J. Baker

Brian J. Baker

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 17, 2012


This paper will look at the relationship between refugees and the Islamic faith. In particular, it will address the question of how, both formally and informally, Islamic law deals with refugee populations. First, this paper will look at the predominant norms on refugees in the international community as a whole, including both the definition and international legal framework for refugees. This will be compared with the Islamic approach to refugees, with an emphasis on Islamic notions of charity and asylum. Next, we will utilize three real-world examples of Islamic societies and their handling of refugees to examine how these concepts of Islamic refugee law we have identified are being applied today. These case studies will be from various geographical locations in order to more fully understand how practices vary due to local intricacies. The paper will examine situations in Egypt, Iran, and Albania. These case studies will also allow us to see how Islamic conceptions of refugees and asylum are working on a cross-cultural level. In conclusion, this paper will argue that despite the requirements that Islamic law imposes on states, the case studies indicate that there is a severe disconnect between what the Shari’a requires and what Islamic states actually do.

Suggested Citation

Baker, Brian J., Islamic Law and Refugees: Concept and Application (September 17, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Brian J. Baker (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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