In hadith nr. 390 of the work by shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghaffar Hasan “The Way of the Prophet” we read: On the authority of Anas b. Malik (r.) that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: ‘Go forth [in jihad against the enemy] with the Name of Allah, by [the capability and support of] Allah and [remain steadfast] upon the way of the Messenger of Allah. Do not kill the frail, old man, the small child or the woman. Do not steal from the war booty. Gather your gains and behave with righteousness and excellence, for truly, Allah loves those who show excellence.’ Abu Dawud (Mishkat, Chapter on Fighting during jihad, hadith nr. 3956)
In the commentary it is said: Islam has explained the fundamental etiquette of war, that one should only fight enemy combatants. One must not target innocent children, women or decrepit, elderly people.
Other etiquettes of war from this hadith:
- jihad (only) in the name of Allah
- rely on Allah’s help and assistance
- folllow the sunna of the Prophet s.a.w.s.
- don’t steal from the booty / spoils of war
- gather the gains
- behave with righteousness (islah) and excellence (ihsan)