Previously on this blog I have covered some of the fatwas that were issued on matters of zakat via the Islamic State's radio program of Idha'at al-Bayan. Here I compile an archive of the fatwas relating to women and their role in jihad (as well as a few fatwas on women's migration and pledging allegiance). There has been a controversy in the wider literature about how the Islamic State discourse characterises the role of women in jihad especially as regards combat matters. Hopefully this archive should provide further illumination on the matter.
Fatwa no. 395:
Question: How do women pledge allegiance to the Amir al-Mu'mineen? And are women obliged to a particular pledge of allegiance?
Answer: al-Maziri (may God have mercy on him) said: 'It suffices in the pledge of allegiance to the Imam that it should occur from the Ahl al-Hall wa al-Aqd, and not everyone is obliged to be in his presence and place his hand in his hand. But rather it suffices to comply with obedience to him and being subject to him, in that one should not contravene him or rebel against him. And al-Nawawi (may God have mercy on him) says: 'It is not necessary for everyone to come to the Imam and place his hand and pledge allegiance to him, but rather he is obliged to be subject to him, and not show contravention or rebellion.' Therefore: the pledge of allegiance of women to the Imam directly or through someone representing him is permitted without obligation or compulsion, so long as the woman admits the legitimacy of the Caliph and the obligation of obeying him in what is right. This is because of what has been narrated from the Mother of the Believers A'isha who said: 'No, by God, the hand of the Messenger of God (SAWS) did not touch the hand of a woman at all, but rather he took their allegiance pledge in word.' And God knows best.
Fatwa no. 396
Question: God Almighty says: 'Oh you who have believed, if some female believers come to you as migrants, test them.' So if the woman is tested and it becomes clear that she has not migrated in the path of God, is she return to her land?
Answer: The meaning of the verse is testing the faith or lack of it, not merely asking about the soundness and righteousness of intention. The evidence for this is that God Almighty said in the same verse: 'God is more knowing of their faith, so if you know them to be believers, do not return them to the disbelievers.' That is also clarified and confirmed by what has come in the reason for revelation. Ibn Zaid said: 'When the woman from the idolaters got angry with her spouse and there was between him and her words of quarrel, she would say: 'By God, I should certainly migrate to Muhammad and his companions.' So God (Almighty and Exalted is He) said: 'If some female believers come to you as migrants, test them.' If the anger brings her, return her, and if Islam brings her, do not return her.' Thus it has come in the books of tafsir. As for the Muslim woman, she is not to be returned under any circumstances. And God knows best.
Fatwa no. 397
Question: What is the jihad of women?
Answer: al-Bukhari gave a chapter title in his Sahih collection called 'Jihad of the Woman,' then he mentioned under it the hadith of A'isha (may God be pleased with her) that she sought the permission of the Prophet (SAWS) in waging jihad so he said: 'Your jihad is the Hajj.' And he said once: 'How excellent is the jihad of the Hajj!' And it has been established on her authority also that she said: "Oh Messenger of God, we consider jihad to be the best deed, so are we not to wage jihad?' He said: But the best jihad is Hajj Mabrur." Also the woman may wage jihad with her wealth if she has wealth, and that is by her spending from her wealth in the path of God Almighty for the jihad and the mujahideen. And from that is what happened when the Prophet (SAWS) in the Tabuk expedition urged for jihad, and desired it, and ordered for charity in it, such that the women brought their gold and jewellery to the Messenger of God (SAWS). As for jihad in the meaning of 'fighting and clashing,' it is not obligatory on her but it is permitted when there is need for her and when there is no risk of becoming a captive and sabi, and the assessment of that goes back to the Imam. But if the enemy come and surprise the people and they cannot repel them without the participation of the women, then it is obligatory on the women. This is so and God knows best.
Fatwa no. 409
Question: Is it permitted for the woman to participate in the expeditions?
Answer: The principle regarding the women is that she is not of the people of jihad, and the law has not addressed her in fighting, and the jurists prohibited bringing the woman into the field of the fighting, especially as it has been feared that she would fall into captivity or become a sabi. But rather the Sunna has indicated the permissibility of the woman's participation in bringing water, and in providing medical treatment for the mujahideen when there is need for that with appropriate modesty. And this is the contrary of the principle, and the need is assessed by its extent in the same way that it is permitted for the man to provide treatment to the women when there is need. For on the authority of A'isha (may God be pleased with her): that the women sought the permission of the Prophet (SAWS) in jihad so he said: 'But jihad is not fighting, but rather consists of Hajj and 'Umra.' So the matter depends on need, and on their security from falling into the status of sabi and captive, and the assessment of that goes back to the Imam. But if the enemy assault the abode of the Muslims in the depth of their abode, then in this case the jihad is obligatory on every person capable of bearing arms, whether young or old, male or female, and likewise the one who is not able to bear arms and is capable of another thing from what aids the repulsion of the enemy and warding off their attack, then that person must so what that person is capable of. This is so and God knows best.
Fatwa no. 412
Question: The woman travelled from the abode of kufr to the Islamic State with her husband and she did not intend migration, so what is the ruling on her migration?
Answer: Migration is an act of worship like the rest of the acts of worship and is only correct in intention, and the Prophet (God's peace and blessings be upon him and his family), when he mentioned the place of intention among deeds, used migration as an example of it, on account of its high status and honour as comes in the two Sahih collections that he said: 'Deeds are with intentions and every man has what he has intended, so the one whose migration is to God and His Messenger, his migration is to God and His Messenger, and the one whose migration is for material benefit he obtains or a woman he marries, his migration is to that to which he migrated.' So this sister must renew her intention and fear God Almighty so as not to lose the remuneration and reward of migration, and God knows best.
Fatwa no. 418
Question: The women in my family want to go out to jihad and when we say to them your going out is not permitted, they ask for the evidence, so what is the evidence for forbidding the going out of the woman to jihad?
Answer: Jihad is not obligatory on the woman, but it is permitted in her right in terms of the principle, and it has been established that a number of women of the companions went out for jihad, among them those who participated in the fighting, and among them those who contributed to providing water for the mujahideen, and treatment of the wounded, and the like. And we praise God Almighty that He ensured we are alive for a time in which the women hope to go out to jihad, but we say that the Caliph- may God make him mighty- has commissioned in the matter of jihad men who do not sleep over injustice. We ask God Almighty to grant conquest at their hands. So the woman is not obliged to jihad so long as the enemy do not assault her in which case she should repel their aggression. Also she may participate in the jihad with her wealth, jewellery, prayers, call, and incitement of her husband and her relatives and raising the mujahid youth, and other means. And the mujahid Sheikh Yusuf bin Saleh al-Abiri (may God accept him) wrote a valuable message on this subject entitled 'The role of women in jihad against the enemies.' We advise review of it. And in God is the guarantee of success.