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Women’s Obligation and Right to Participate in Armed Jihad; Jihad is Both a Collective and Individual Duty Chapter 11—Political Rights: Right To Participate in Jihad
[The jihad section is presented in entirety, not excerpted, pages 152-156. What is important to note—a point I documented copiously in The Legacy of Jihad, and well-illustrated in the following extracts—is that Qutb’s views on the jihad are in full accord not only with classical Muslim jurists, but the assessments of his esteemed contemporary peers at Al Azhar University, including former Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (from 1958-1963), Mahmud Shaltut, quoted in this section, just before Qutb. Within two years of Qutb’s political execution (in 1966) for attempting to overthrow the Nasser regime, The Fourth Academy of Islamic Research, in September, 1968—representing the entire global Muslim umma’s pre-eminent Muslim theologians and scholars—produced a massive 935 pp. tome reiterating doctrines on jihad (and Islamic Jew-hatred) indistinguishable from Qutb’s. For a brilliant summary of this seminal conference see the David Littman/ Yehoshafat Harkabi pamphlet Arab Theologians on Jews and Israel. My own The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism has even more extensive reproductions of the Antisemitic materials from this Conference.]
Jihad was made a duty upon the Muslims in the year 2 AH. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Fighting is decreed for you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you, and love a thing although it is bad for you. Allah knows, but you do not.” [2:216] Jihad comes next in importance after religious obligations. Ibn Mas’ood narrated, ‘I asked the Prophet ‘Which deed is loved most by Allah?’ ‘He (s) replied, ‘To offer prayers at their earliest stated times.’ I said ‘What is next?’ The Prophet (s) said, “To be good and dutiful to one’s parents.’ I asked ‘What is next?’ The Prophet (s) said ‘To participate in Jihad for Allah’s cause.”’ And the reward of Jihad is great indeed.
There are seven conditions for Jihad: Islam as religion, adulthood, good understanding, freedom, manhood, freedom from disabilities and availability of the cost. ‘Aisha, the mother of the believers, narrated: “I asked the Prophet if the women were to participate in Jihad and He replied, For you is a jihad without fighting: Hajj and Umra (Pilgrimage and lesser Pilgrimage)” Jihad is a collective duty: When a group of Muslims are fulfilling the duty of Jihad, it ceases to be an individual obligation upon every Muslim. This is a judgment upon which all scholars have agreed.”
Ibn Qudaamah says: “Jihad is a duty upon the Muslims. If one group is already fighting the enemy and protecting the land, this duty ceases to be an individual duty. If not, Jihad remains an obligation upon every Muslim since Allah says: “The believers who stay at home – apart from those that suffer from a grave impediment- are not equal to those who fight for the cause of Allah with their wealth and their persons. Allah has given those that fight with their wealth and their persons a higher rank than those who stay at home. He has promised all a good reward.” [4:95]
The Prophet used to participate in Jihad with his companions as well as by sending armies. “Jihad is also an individual duty: When the enemy invades a Muslim country, all the inhabitants of this country should go out and fight the enemy. In this situation, it is unlawful for anyone to refrain from fighting. Allah says: “O you who believe ! Fight the infidels who dwell around you. “ [9:123] Commenting upon this, Sheikh Mohammed Shaltoot [Shaltut] said: “When the infidels invade a Muslim land, every Muslim should go out in order to fight and repel them. In this situation, the woman is allowed to go out without her husband’s permission, the child without his father’s permission, and the slave without his master’s permission.”
Allah says: “Whether slightly or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah, with your wealth and your persons. “ [9:41] In such situations, where human life and property are endangered, Islam motivates men and women to work together for the restoration of peace and harmony.”
Sayyed Qutb wrote: “Allah has not made jihad a duty upon women. At the same time, He has not forbidden them from participating in jihad when the need arises. Women participated in Jihad and fought in several battles at the time of the Prophet. However, such Incidents are rare and exceptional since Allah has not prescribed jihad for women as He did for men.”
Jihad has not been made a duty upon women because it is they who give birth to the soldiers who fight in Jihad. A woman is more physically and psychologically prepared for that. She possesses a natural disposition that helps her prepare her sons to fight their way through life as well as in jihad. By doing so, she renders a better service. The divine wisdom has decreed that women should devote themselves to their important and vital duties for the survival of the nation. They are first of all mothers and guardians of their houses. These are permanent duties which do not cease when their husbands go out for jihad. Their children will always need the protection and care of their mothers, and the homes will always need their guardians. This important fact was pointed out by an Ansari woman Asma bint Yazeed when she said to the Prophet: “As you go out to fight in jihad, we, the women, will spin your clothes, bring up your children and guard your wealth.”
Allah has created men with a predisposition to fight and carry weapons, and created women with a predisposition that enables them to carry out different but equally important duties. However although jihad is not prescribed for women, they can still volunteer in the fields of their specialization. Women can also participate in fighting when jihad becomes an individual duty. The female companions did so whenever they were in danger or witnessed the heat of the battle. Some of them fought with swords in the battle of Uhud when the Muslims were surprised by their enemy and the Prophet was surrounded by only a small number of soldiers. When the female companions saw that the life of the Prophet was in danger, and that Islam and all the Muslims were threatened, they rushed forward to protect the Prophet. Omm ‘Umaarah Nusaibah bint Ka’b pulled out her sword to protect the Prophet, stood against the infidels and fought vigorously. Ibn Hisham said: “Umm ‘Umaarah Nusaibah hint Ka’b fought in the battle of Uhud.”
Continuous traditions have reached us relating women’s participation in jihad throughout Islamic history. They took it upon themselves to transport the injured, nurse the sick, distribute water to the soldiers, and other different services. Such services were vital and very necessary. Had Muslim women not provided them, the armies Would have been obliged to designate some of their much needed soldiers to fulfill them. Fortunately, Muslim women have always been there to render these services when required. The Mothers of the believers (the wives of the Prophet accompanied him in his military expeditions with other female companions. Anas narrated, “On the day of Uhud, I saw ‘Aisha hint Abi Bakr and Umm Sulaim, hurrying with their water skins. Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people.” Commenting on this narration, Imam An-Nawawi [an important classical jurist noted for his commentaries on the hadith] says: “The women would accompany their husbands in the military expeditions and distribute water and treat the injured during the battles” The following narration also confirms that women participated in jihad. Imam An-Nawawi said: “During the military expeditions, several tasks were delegated to women, such as distributing water, nursing the injured … etc. Every woman would nurse her husband or her mahram. When treating the wounds of other people, they would limit physical contact to the strict minimum and to the absolutely necessary. “ They were all true believers, who possessed sound knowledge of their religion and respected the limits set by Allah”.
Ar-Rabee’ bint Mu’az narrated: We used to take part in holy battles with the Prophet (s) by providing the people with water and other services, as well as bringing the killed and the wounded back to Madina. These narrations depict the nature of tasks which were assigned to women in the battlefields. ‘Umm ‘Atiyyah, an Ansari woman said: “I took part with the Messenger of Allah in seven battles. I would stay behind in the camp of men, cook their food, treat the wounded and nurse the sick. From the above mentioned narrations it is clear that although jihad is not prescribed for women, when necessary they are allowed to assist in certain areas of specialisation.”
Najda bin ‘Aamir wrote to Ibn ‘Abbaas inquiring of him about five things. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: If I had not the fear of committing sin by concealing knowledge I would not have written to him. Najda wrote to him saying (after praising the Almighty and invoking blessings on the Holy Prophet): Tell me whether the Messenger of Allah took women to participate with him in Jihad; (if he did), whether he allotted for them a regular share in the booty; whether he killed the children of the enemy; and how long would an orphan be entitled to consideration as such, and for whom the Khums (fifth part of the booty) had been allocated. Ibn Abbaas wrote to him: You have written asking me whether the Messenger of Allah took women with him to participate in Jihad. He did take them to the battle and sometimes they fought with him. They would treat the wounded and were given a reward from the booty, but he did not assign a regular share for them. And the Messenger of Allah did not kill the children of the enemy. Also you have written to me asking me when the orphanhood of an orphan comes to an end. By my life, if a man has become bearded but is still incapable of getting his due from others as well as meeting his obligation towards them, he is yet an orphan to be treated as such, but when he can look after his interests like adults, he is no longer an orphan. And you have written to me inquiring about Khums. (In this connection) we (the kinsmen of the Messenger of Allah) used to say: It is for us, but those people (i.e. Banu Umayya) have denied it to us.” Commenting on this narration, Al-Imam An-Nawawi says: “Ibn Abbaas was reluctant to correspond with Najda, as he was a Khariji (an extremist sect who held distorted views). However, he feared that by not giving him the knowledge he asked for, he would be committing a sin and so resigned himself to answering his questions.
Social Interaction Between the Sexes is Forbidden; “The People who Appoint Women as Rulers will Never be Successful” Chapter 11—Political Rights: Women & Positions of Authority
To be in a position of authority in Islam means to assume religious as well as civil responsibilities. This applies to the Caliph of the state, the Emir of the province, the Commander of the Army … etc. On the basis of the principle of “division of duties and responsibilities,” such positions of authority can only be assumed by men. Allah Almighty has created men and women with different physical and psychological predispositions to prepare them for their different, yet equally important roles in society. If a woman were to assume a position of authority, she would be required to travel constantly in order to fulfill her duties. Her job would also involve long hours of free mixing and social interaction with the opposite sex, which is forbidden in Islam. Moreover, women’s biological constitution is different from that of men. Women are fragile, emotional and sometimes unable to handle difficult and strenuous situations. Men are less emotional and show more perseverance. Indeed Islam would have never denied this right to women were It not for the general benefit of the nation. The divine wisdom has decreed that a woman’s natural and primary career is her home with her children and that men should provide for their families. Both responsibilities require full attention and complete devotion. Hence, for a woman to be in a position of authority would mean neglect and inattention to her family. The Prophet was very clear on this subject when he said: “The people who appoint women as rulers will never be successful.”
Nevertheless, women can occupy less strenuous executive positions which do not conflict with their natural and primary roles as mothers and wives. Umar , the second Righteous Caliph appointed Ash-Shaffaa’ bint Abdullah Al- Adawiyya to the management of the Sooq. (market) “Umar would listen to her advice. He took care of her and sometimes would delegate to her some affairs of the Sooq. This has been narrated by her two grandsons, Abu Bakr and Uthmaan, the sons of Ibn Abi. Huthmah. ‘‘Umar may have delegated such responsibilities to her because she mastered writing, possessed vast knowledge and was a vtrtuous woman.” Hence Islam has dignified and honoured women by providing and defining for them the rights and responsibilities in all aspects of the political sphere of their nation.
Women Have No Right to Abstain from Sex with their Husbands PART THREE: Chapter Fourteen: Obligations of Women in Islam
SECOND OBLIGATION: The wife should satisfy her husband’s desire for sexual intercourse. In other words, the wife is required to fulfill her sexual duties towards her husband. She has no right to abstain except for a reasonable cause or legal prohibition. Indeed, the tradition of the Prophet has confirmed and emphasised this important duty through various narrations. Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, “If a woman spends the night deserting her husband’s bed, then the angels send their curses on her till morning.” Abu Huraira also narrated that the Prophet said, “If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning.” For these reasons and many more, the Prophet has said, “A woman should not fast (optional fasts) except with her husband’s permission if he is at home,” lest it would prevent her from fulfilling her duties towards him if he wished to have sexual intercourse. The divine injunction has emphasised this duty, since fulfilling one’s sexual desires is the primary objective of marriage and is one of the most important duties of Muslim women towards their husbands.
A Woman Should Not Let Anyone Into the House Unless Approved by Her Husband PART THREE: Chapter Fourteen: Obligations of Women in Islam
THIRD: The wife should not allow anyone to enter the house without her husband’s permission. The house belongs to the husband, who is at the same time the maintainer and the protector of his family. The wife should show respect for her husband’s feelings by not admitting to her house anyone he does not wish her to receive. The Prophet has been reported as saying: “You have your rights upon your wives and they have their rights upon you. Your right is that they shall not allow anyone you dislike to step onto your furnishings or allow any you dislike to enter your home, and their right is that you should treat them well in the matter of food and clothing.” “Furnishings” in the above narration refers to all kinds of furniture such as carpets, chairs, mats, cushions … etc. It certainly does not refer to the bed or any prohibited intimacy, since the wife is not allowed to offer the opportunity for anyone to do that regardless of her husband’s opinion, whether he is present or absent and whether he likes it or dislikes it. Indeed, the meaning refers to the entertaining and reception of ordinary visitors. Imam An-Nawawi says, “You must not allow in your house anyone whose visit your husband dislikes, whether this person is a man, a woman or one of the wife’s mahrams; indeed the prohibition includes them all. “The scholars have said that the wife must not permit anyone (man, woman or mahram) to enter her house unless she knew or thought that her husband would not mind their visit.
Female Genital Mutilation is Allowed Chapter Fifteen—Obligations of the Mother in Islam
[also see earlier discussion of IICWC website pronouncement; Page 221]:
Circumcision for women is allowed but is not ordered because the aforementioned hadith is weak. When the Prophet prescribed circumcision for the Muslim nation he specifically referred to Muslim men. There is no proven or authentic evidence that the Prophet ever ordered a woman to be circumcised – and Allah knows best.
Man-Made Laws “Enslave Women”; “Islam is the only solution and the only escape” Conclusion
Under the section “the political rights of women”, I have proved, with legal evidences and logical argumentation, that women have the right to participate in Jihaad and have pointed out that its abrogation is unjustified. Indeed Islam has allowed women an even greater right: the right to give sanctuary. This privilege is an extreme act of honour, giving her a status equal to that of men. Man made legislation such as the “so called” International Law of the Modern West has never given men, not to mention women, this right.
Despite my efforts to find out more about the duties of women through various readings, observation and personal experience in da’wah, I found that their rights largely exceed their duties. This is a spectacular fact which invites Muslim scholars and Muslim women in particular to ponder over the divine wisdom behind such a clemency. This reality is also a retort to those feminist authors who claim to be the liberators of women. Their call to freedom, addressed to Muslim women is but an invitation to liberate women from a religion that has dignified, honoured and cherished them, and is actually an invitation to return to Pre-Islamic oppression, despotism and tyranny of male legislators. I have also realised that man made laws have in fact enslaved women, submitting them to the cupidity and caprice of human beings, and that Islam is the only solution and the only escape.
The rights of Muslim women are granted by Allah and they cannot be altered or replaced. Women have gained these rights without a feminist rebellion or a suffragette movement, without flaunting or abusing their femininity as the Romans and the Greek did previously and as the women in the west continue to do today.
Women were and still are abused, humiliated and treated with contempt. The modern “liberated” woman in addition to performing her natural roles of motherhood and house management is expected to go out to earn her living, and often that of her family as well. Thus she is expected to be the man and the woman at the same time! Unfortunately some Muslim women are advocating the right to enjoy this miserable situation and to be equal with these “liberated” women, when they should be extremely proud and grateful to Islam, the only religion that affirms their humanity, dignity and equality with men.
Saleha Mahmood Abedin is intimately associated with Muslim educational, cultural, and charitable organizations that represent dangerous simulacra of their Western counterparts, and are designed to promulgate liberty-crushing Sharia supremacism, not free, objective inquiry, genuine respect for cultural differences, or even unfettered charity for the needy, regardless of creed.
The extent of Dr. Abedin’s influence on her daughter Huma Abedin’s views and efforts—the latter still a close aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—should long ago have been investigated, clarified, and discussed in the public domain. Where is the mainstream media? Where are our political leaders, other than the wrongfully maligned Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, and Representatives Gohmert, Franks, Westmoreland, and Rooney? The overall silence—punctuated by ignorant and vicious attacks on those few bravely seeking answers, represents a grotesque and dangerous dereliction of duty.
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