Are the distinctions between dār al-Islam and dār al-ḥarb applicable today?
Classical Muslim jurisprudence divides the world into dār al-Islam (Islamic territories) and dār al-ḥarb (territory of war). The former refers to regions where Muslim resided and ruled, whereas the latter refers to regions that did not accept Islam and did not have any peace treaties with Islamic territories. The subjects of each of these territories were governed under their respective jurisdictions.
However, this distinction does not have any relevance in today’s world given the emergence of new boundaries and nation states. These boundaries are not determined based on an individual’s affiliation to a particular religion. For example, being a Muslim does not guarantee an individual with the right to reside in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran. In the light of formation of nations and regional boundaries, each one of us should abide the law of the land where one has chosen to reside.