Are women allowed to take part in war or jihad? Because women took part in the war of Battle of Yarmouk.

Khawla bint al-Azwar, was an Arab female warrior during the life of Muhammad.

She fought side by side with her brother Dhirrar in many battles,[citation needed] including the decisive Battle of Yarmouk in 636 against the Byzantine empire.On the 4th day of the battle she led a group of women against the Byzantine army and defeated its chief commander and later was wounded during her fight with a Greek soldier.

2 Answers 2


When necessary, women are required to fight, for example in wars of self defense. As they are included in those addressed by the verses on this type of war:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا لقيتم الذين كفروا زحفا فلا تولوهم الأدبار

O you who have believed, when you meet those who disbelieve advancing [for battle], do not turn to them your backs [in flight].

Quran 8:15

فإن هجم العدو على بلد وجب على جميع الناس الدفع تخرج المرأة بغير إذن زوجها

If however, the enemy attack a land it becomes obligatory upon all the people to defend it. For doing so the woman goes out without the permission of her husband.

Al-Hidayah fi Sharh Bidayat al-Mubtadi

However self defense is not the only type of fighting prescribed in Islam. Rather it is also prescribed to lead offensive expeditions, which are a communal obligation and can be a personal obligation when the caliph gives a general call to arms.

In this case women are not required to take part, because they come under the concession of physical weakness:

ليس على الضعفاء ولا على المرضى ولا على الذين لا يجدون ما ينفقون حرج إذا نصحوا لله ورسوله

There is not upon the weak or upon the ill or upon those who do not find anything to spend any discomfort when they are sincere to Allah and His Messenger.

Quran 9:91

واتفقوا أن لا جهاد فرضا على امرأة

The jurists are in agreement that Jihad is not obligatory on a woman

Maratib al-Ijma'

However it is known that some of the female companions of the Prophet ﷺ did voluntarily take part in such expeditions. Usually as medics and assistants, however when necessary they also fought:

أن أم سليم اتخذت يوم حنين خنجرا، فكان معها، فرآها أبو طلحة، فقال: يا رسول الله، هذه أم سليم معها خنجر، فقال لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ما هذا الخنجر؟ قالت: اتخذته إن: دنا مني أحد من المشركين، بقرت به بطنه، فجعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يضحك

On the day of (the battle of) Hunain, Umm Sulaim kept a dagger with her. Abu Talhah saw her and said: "O Messenger of Allah, Umm Sulaim has a dagger with her."

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to her: "What is this dagger (for)?"

She said: "I am keeping it so that if any of the idolaters come near me, I will rip his belly open with it."

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) smiled.

Sahih Muslim

فكتب إليه ابن عباس: كتبت تسألني هل كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يغزو بالنساء؟ وقد كان يغزو بهن، فيداوين الجرحى

Ibn Abbas wrote to him (Najdah) saying: "You wrote and asked me whether the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) took women on campaigns with him. He did take them with him, so that they might treat the wounded ... "

Sahih Muslim

أن أسماء بنت يزيد بن السكن بنت عم معاذ بن جبل قتلت يوم اليرموك تسعة من الروم بعمود فسطاطها

Asma bint Yazid - the cousin of Mu'adh ibn Jabal - killed on the day of Yarmouk nine Romans with the pole of a tent.

Mu'jam al-Kabir

ناس من أمتي عرضوا علي غزاة في سبيل الله، يركبون ثبج هذا البحر، ملوكا على الأسرة ... قلت: ادع الله أن يجعلني منهم، فدعا ... فركبت البحر زمان معاوية

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: 'Some people of my followers were displayed before me as warriors fighting for Allah's Cause and sailing over this sea like kings on thrones,'

Um Haram said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Invoke Allah that He may make me one of them.'

He invoked (Allah) for her ...

Um Haram sailed over the sea at the time of Muawiya


أم عمارة نسيبة بنت كعب. سمعت رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - يقول يوم أحد: ما التفت يمينا ولا شمالا إلا وأنا أراها تقاتل دوني

Umm Ammarah, I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say regarding her on the day of the Battle of Uhad: I did not look right or left except that I saw her fighting

Taabqat al-Kubra

  • Thanks for the answer, it is amazing.
    – user43864
    Mar 31, 2021 at 12:07

Jihad literally means "struggle" or "resisting". Within an Islamic perspective, it is "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah). [Copied from the tag title on this site]

Women are encouraged to participate in jihad (Bukhari 1861):

Narrated Aisha (mother of the faithful believers): I said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Shouldn't we participate in Holy battles and Jihad along with you?" He replied, "The best and the most superior Jihad (for women) is Hajj which is accepted by Allah." `Aisha added: Ever since I heard that from Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) I have determined not to miss Hajj.

Jihad in our times does, in almost all cases, does not mean to fight with weapons against an enemy. Which of the recent or wars was jihad? Which of the ongoing wars is jihad?

Today, other efforts are needed to do the will of God, and both women and men are called to do this effort.

Women were not fighting in the war Allah's Messenger ﷺ had to fight. The passage above indicates that Muhammad ﷺ rejected the request of Aisha to participate in the battle. The fact that Khawla bint al-Azwar participated in a war under a Muslim emperor does not mean that this is covered by Islam.

A rejection of aggressive war is not anchored in Shari'ah. This would not have been possible as the law was developed under the rule of emperors who diligently (and quite successfully) waged war. I said «under» because the Shari'ah law, although it is meant to be a ruling only based on the rules of God and the example of His Messenger ﷺ, it was the law of the state and under protection of the emperor. There was no supranational instance lower than God himself that could condemn or inhibit the action of the state.

Nevertheless, waging war (aggression) is against the will of God:


O you who believe! When you journey in the way of God, investigate, and do not say to him who offers you peace, “You are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of this world. With God are abundant riches. You yourselves were like this before, and God bestowed favor on you; so investigate. God is well aware of what you do.


And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors.

Defense is not against the Will of God:


Permission is given to those who are fought against, and God is Able to give them victory. Those who were unjustly evicted from their homes, merely for saying, “Our Lord is God.” Were it not that God repels people by means of others: monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques—where the name of God is mentioned much—would have been demolished. God supports whoever supports Him. God is Strong and Mighty.

In reality, once war is waged, the decision whether a war is aggressive or defensive is often unclear. The war Khawla bint al-Azwar faught was not the first fight between the Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire but a counter-offensive to a counter-offensive in a war that had initially been waged by the Caliphate. It was declared jihad but it wasn't.

Al-Baqarah 2:190

God does not love the aggressors.

Gospel of Matthew, 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Both sides should have known.

  • 2
    Brother can you make answer clear. It is hard to understand Mar 30, 2021 at 18:47
  • 2
    Hope the new edit helps.
    – Jeschu
    Mar 30, 2021 at 19:36
  • 1
    As to fighting jihad, see islam.stackexchange.com/questions/39828/…. Agressive war - even against non-muslims - is haram.
    – Jeschu
    Mar 30, 2021 at 19:48
  • 1
    @Jeschu While that might be your personal interpretation, offensive war is permitted in Islamic law.
    – UmH
    Mar 30, 2021 at 20:05
  • 1
    @Jeschu okk thanks Mar 30, 2021 at 21:09

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