‘The kafir’s blood is halal for you’

The Doctrine of Jihad in Dabiq and Rumiyah


  • Christopher J. van der Krogt Massey University




Islamic State, ISIS, Dabiq, Rumiyah, jihād, Salafī-Jihādī


The Islamic State movement (IS, formerly ISIS) is widely denounced by both Muslims and non-Muslims as ‘un-Islamic’, for, among other deeds, attacking fellow Muslims, inciting international terrorism, and taking female captives as sex slaves—all in the name of jihad. IS’s propaganda magazines Dabiq (15 issues) and Rumiyah (13 issues), published between July 2014 and September 2017, sought to justify and explain the movement’s ideology and actions, presenting its credentials as an almost uniquely authentic expression of current Sunni Islam. Drawing on these magazines, this article constructs a systematic overview of IS’s jihad doctrine, showing its indebtedness to both traditional sources, the Qur'an, sunna and fiqh, and to more recent Salafi Jihadi thought. IS aims to revive the genuine Islam of the Prophet and the first generations of Muslims, rejecting the modernist view of military jihad as purely defensive. While clearly Islamic and heavily indebted to traditional sources, IS’s jihad doctrine is anachronistic, apocalyptic, selective and sectarian.

Author Biography

Christopher J. van der Krogt, Massey University

Christopher van der Krogt is an Honorary Research Associate at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. He has taught courses on Islam and published a number of journal articles and book chapters on Islamic topics, including jihād in medieval and modern contexts.


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How to Cite

van der Krogt, C. J. (2021). ‘The kafir’s blood is halal for you’: The Doctrine of Jihad in Dabiq and Rumiyah. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 33(3), 311–336. https://doi.org/10.1558/jasr.42945