1

This question relates to fighting in the cause of Allah, mentioned in the Qur'an:

So let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. And he who fights in the cause of Allah and is killed or achieves victory - We will bestow upon him a great reward. And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, "Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?" -- Qur'an 4:75

I'm interested in how a woman would put this into practice, and how literal the word "fight" is intended.

Question: How does a woman go about fighting in the cause of Allah?

It's hard to Google this question, as what "jihad" means in the common vernacular seems different to the ordinary jihad of Muslim women.

  • Jihad doesn't necessary mean fighting, you can participate by feeding the army, nursing or buying arms and equipment. Women are not asked to fight, but are welcome as a compamy or nurses etc. – Medi1Saif May 18 '17 at 16:15
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These verses 4:74-75 are referring to the literal meaning of fighting, as they go on to explain potential rewards: get killed or be victorious. However, this type of Jihad (fighting) is not prescribed for women. In Sahih Ibn Khuzaima:

عن عائشة أم المؤمنين قالت: قلت يا رسول الله هل على النساء من جهاد؟ قال: عليهن جهاد لا قتال فيه الحج والعمرة

— NOTE: My own translation, so treat with care:

Narrated 'Aisha: I said: "O Messenger of Allah, is Jihad prescribed for women?" The Prophet ﷺ said: "They are prescribed jihad without fighting: Hajj and 'Umra."

Sahih Ibn Khuzaima 3074

Another hadith with a similar meaning is in Sahih Al-Bukhari:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أُمِّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، نَرَى الْجِهَادَ أَفْضَلَ الْعَمَلِ، أَفَلاَ نُجَاهِدُ قَالَ:‏ لاَ، لَكِنَّ أَفْضَلَ الْجِهَادِ حَجٌّ مَبْرُورٌ

Narrated 'Aisha: (the mother of the faithful believers) I said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! We consider Jihad as the best deed." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur. "

Sahih Al-Bukhari 25/9

This is not to say that women during the time of the Prophet ﷺ did not participate in wars. Umm Sulaym bint Milham fought. Umm 'Attiyah Al-Ansariyyah and several women from Banu Makhzum participated as nurses, but this is not the norm, unless in self defense of course.

In addition to hajj and 'umra, women can particpate in the fighting for the sake of Allah by donating money. But most importantly, women can reach the same level by doing four tasks as was mentioned in a hadith that is hasan because of other hadiths (Arabic: حسن لغيره) as per Al-Arna'ut and sahih according to Al-Albani:

عن عبد الرحمن بن عوف قال: قال رسول الله ﷺ: إذا صلت المرأة خمسها وصامت شهرها وحفظت فرجها وأطاعت زوجها قيل لها ادخلي الجنة من أي أبواب الجنة شئت

— NOTE: My own translation, so treat with care:

Narrated 'Abdul-Rahman ibn 'Awf: If a woman prays her five [daily prayers], fasts her month [Ramadaan], guards her chastity, and obeys her husband, she will be told to enter Paradise by whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish.

Musnad Ahmad 1595 or 1664

As a clarification on what makes hajj a form of jihad, Al-Hussain ibn 'Ali narrated that the Prophet ﷺ was asked about a man who told the Prophet ﷺ he was weak and afraid to fight. The Prophet ﷺ told him: "Come to a jihad without a thorn in it [not as tough]: Hajj" (Arabic: هلم إلى جهاد لا شوكة فيه ـ الحج). Al-Munawi said that jihad is bearing pain physically and financially, and sacrificing one's life. Hajj is bearing pain physically and financially, to a lesser degree [without the risk of losing one's life]. This is how Al-Munawi compared hajj to jihad.

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