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The organising principle of international relations (IR) in Islam is distinguished by two approaches. Firstly, the conflict-oriented traditionalist view that divides the world into dār al-Islām and dār al-ḥarb that incorporates qitāl or fight into its theory of foreign relations between states, the rule of law and secunty of Muslims; and also daʿwah as a core responsibility of the Islamic state. Secondly, the pacifist or non traditional view of the realist one world or dar al ʿahd where Muslim countries enter into covenants and have diplomatic ties with non-Muslim countries, build military power with restricted conditions for its use; and facilitate daʿwah through peaceful and cooperative relations. This paper will argue that the two approaches in relation to the organising principle of IR in Islam i.e. the division of dār al-Islām and dār al-ḥarb, and dār al- ʿahd have commonalities with the neo-realist and neo-liberal approaches of conventional IR theory and can also acquire sophistication from constructivism and other alternative approaches. It will also argue that with a more nuanced interpretation of IR theory in Islam, the behaviour of states and non-state Muslim actors will be better accounted for as a descriptive and normative exercise.