How was violence justified in early Islam? What role did violent actions play in the formation and maintenance of the Muslim political order? How did Muslim thinkers view the origins and acceptability of violence? These questions are addressed by an international range of eminent authors through both general accounts of types of violence and detailed case studies of violent acts drawn from the early Islamic sources. Violence is understood, widely, to include jiha?d, state repressions and rebellions, and also more personally directed violence against victims (women, animals, children, slaves) and criminals. By understanding the early development of Muslim thinking around violence, our comprehension of subsequent trends in Islamic thought, during the medieval period and up to the modern day, become clearer.