Assalamu and welcome.
What is the woman’s place in jihad? Well, I hope I have so far cleared up some misconceptions about how one performs jihad in the first place. “Violent” jihad is not the only type of jihad.
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet (pbuh) said: Use your property, your persons any your tongues in striving against the polytheists. (Dawud:14: 2498)
Yes, there is fighting, but notice there are two other ways to strive against the polytheists as well. Those methods should not be disregarded. And lets not forget about jihad al-nafs and jihad al-shaytaan.
For women, jihad most often does not involve fighting at all.
Narrated ‘Aisha: (That she said), “O Allah’s Apostle! We consider Jihad as the best deed. Should we not fight in Allah’s cause?” He said, “The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj-mabrur (i.e. Hajj which is done according to the Prophet’s tradition and is accepted by Allah). (Bukhari 4:52:43)
The jihad for women does fall more under al-nafs and al-shaytaan.
Striving to please Allah does not have to always involve fighting people. But when it does come to fighting, there is still a place for the women as well.
Narrated Anas: On the day (of the battle) of Uhad when (some) people retreated and left the Prophet, I saw ‘Aisha bint Abu Bakr and Um Sulaim, with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible hurrying with their water skins (in another narration it is said, “carrying the water skins on their backs”). 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. (Bukhari 4:52:131)
Narrated Ar-Rubayyi ‘bint Mu’auwidh: We were in the company of the Prophet providing the wounded with water and treating them and bringing the killed to Medina (from the battlefield) . (Bukhari 4:52:133)
The woman’s role is very vital when it come to jihad involving fighting. It’s just as vital as her role in the non-violent jihad and insha Allah will get her just as much reward. But there do come times when the women are not just allowed to fight, they are required to fight.
Al-Kaasaani al-Hanafi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “But at times of general mobilization, such as when the enemy is seeking to invade a Muslim land, then it becomes an individual obligation (fard ‘ayn) on every single Muslim who is able to fight, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor). strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the Cause of Allâh. This is better for you, if you but knew.” (9:41 – Dr. Mohsin)
And there are even stories of women fighting in battle.
Umm Sulaym bint Milhaan, who was fighting that day with a cloth tied around her stomach, said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think about these people who ran away from you and let you down? You should not forgive them if Allaah gives you power over them.” (In al-Maghaazi it is narrated that she said: “O Messenger of Allaah, should we not kill these who ran away (from the battlefield) as we killed the mushrikeen?”) He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O Umm Sulaym, the forgiveness of Allaah is immense.” (from Islam q&a. I do not know where the original text is from but I find this site to be a reputable site and so am quite confident in the validity of this story.)
Um Umara Nasiba Bint Kaab Al Ansaria fought in Uhud and also fought with the army that killed Musailimah, the liar. She was wounded in thirteen places that day and her hand was cut off. (from Islamweb.net. Once again, original source is not quoted. This site is more in the habit of not sharing daleel (evidence) but is trustworthy nonetheless.)
In conclusion of this patchwork of women in jihad I’d like to reflect. I like knowing that I have something to strive for and that there is a way set forth for me to strive for it. Whether it’s studying Islam, doing dawah, sending money and resources to those in battle, tending wounded soldiers, or physically fighting, the end goal is to make religion only for Allah. It’s such a wonderful thing to strive for. As I improve myself as a Muslim I’m sure the strength of my dawah will improve as well. I will continue to fight with my tongue as long as I am able. Next up insha Allah will be some introspection and a look at some more jihad al-nafs in my life. When next I post on jihad I’ll insha Allah be looking at the word’s usage in the Qur’an.