The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:
“Anybody amongst you who notices a ‘munkar’ ( a violation of Allah’s command), should correct it with his own hands, and if he is unable to do so, he should prohibit the same with his tongue; if he is unable even to do this, he should at least consider it as bad in his heart; this is the lowest degree of faith.” [Muslim].
It follows from the hadith that correcting a violation of Allah’s Command by hand is the best way. Now let us ask ourselves: What is the greatest violation of Allah’s Command? The answer is simple according to the Qur’ân: Disbelief in Allâh and/or Associating others with Allâh. And what is the best method of putting a check on this violation by hand? The answer, again, is clear: Jihâd fi sabeelillah (fighting in the path of Allâh). Numerous verses of the Qur’ân and many traditions from the Prophet (peace be upon him) make this point clear beyond any doubt.
Thus, it follows that women and men are supporters of one another in the important obligation of Jihâd in accordance with the spirit of the Qur’ân and Prophetic traditions.
And when Jihâd is Fard ‘Ayn (an individual obligation like praying and fasting – where one person’s engaging in it does not lift the responsibility from all others), as it is at the present time due to the domination of the enemy on several Muslim lands, the obligation to participate in Jihâd is upon both Muslim men and women. Nowhere have scholars stated that only men are required to engage in Jihâd and that women are not required to participate. In fact, books of fiqh have clearly included women and have also mentioned the regulations, for instance, that when Jihâd is Fard ‘Ayn, a woman does not need her husband’s, father’s, or waliy’s (guardian’s) permission to engage in the works of Jihâd, just like she does not need her husband’s or father’s permission to offer her daily prayers or fast in Ramadan or pay Zakah (Note that travelling to a distant location for Jihâd may have additional regulations found in books of fiqh).
The question here is not whether women’s participation in Jihâd these days is an obligation or not, but rather, how can Muslim women participate in this noble cause and prevent themselves from falling into the sin of abandoning Jihâd.
There are many ways a Muslim woman can participate in Jihâd, both by accompanying the Mujahideen to the battlefield, and by staying behind:
Sisters’ Role Off the Battlefield
This is perhaps the most important role women can play in Jihâd – raise their children to be brave and loving, courageous and sensitive, and fearing none other than Allâh. Raise them as such not only in spirit, but also in terms of physical ability and training. And raise not only sons as such, but daughters as well. The key is to start instilling these values in them while they are babies. Don’t wait until they are seven to start, for it may be too late by then! Some practical tips that most sisters can implement without difficulty are as follows:
1. Tell children bedtime stories of Shuhadaa and Mujahideen. You will find many such stories from the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Sahabah, and throughout Islâmic history, including contemporary times.
2. Emphasize, while disciplining young children, that they are not to hit a Muslim, but rather forgive, and are only to get their anger out on the enemies of Allâh who fight against Muslims. Teach them the meaning of “Ashiddaa’u ‘alal kuffari ruhamaa’u baynahum” (Strong against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves). Make a makeshift enemy (could be a punching bag for instance) if you have to, and encourage children (especially boys) to use it and build their strength as well as learn to control and direct their anger.
3. Eliminate your television completely if you can (it mostly teaches shamelessness, anarchy, and random violence) and keep a check on the company your child is in. In addition to the largely damaging content of TV in general, another of its negatives is the laziness and passiveness that it breeds, and the mental and physical loss that it contributes to. Compare this to the healthy aspects of engaging children in play and sports that benefit them in terms of discipline and physical strength.
4. If you cannot eliminate the television completely, then at least use it only to show children videos that will instill in them the love of Allâh, the love of Islâm, the love of the Mujahideen, and the love of Jihâd fi sabeelillah. Many Islâmic videos as well as military training videos are available from various sources.
5. Only if you have acted upon items 3 and 4 above, it is a good idea to start your children young in terms of introducing them (through safe toys) to target-shooting. Make it very clear who their target should be and who their target should NOT be. This can be done through toy guns and toy military sets, as well as by engaging in sports that develop good hand-eye coordination, such as darts and archery. If you can spare the time to spend with your children and play military games with them in a fun way, and get them interested in these (as opposed to other largely useless, but very popular games and sports), then that will insha’Allah be counted as Jihâd in itself (as preparation for Jihâd is a part of Jihâd). You can practice in front of them in your own home using their toys. Children learn by imitating what adults do. Insha’Allah you will find them interested and imitating your actions and they will become disciplined experts before you know it. Of course, if you own a real weapon, then please keep it totally out of young children’s reach and don’t use it in front of them either.
6. Some sports and activities that will be an asset in Jihâd training for your children (and yourselves), in addition to being enjoyable, healthy, and fun:
Martial arts training
Target-shooting (with different kinds of toy weapons)
Orienteering (learning to navigate your way in the woods)
Exercise (running, jogging, push-ups, etc.) to build stamina
Driving (a range of different vehicles)
Camping / Survival Training (an excellent and enjoyable method of training!)
7. Get your young children interested in Jihâd by getting military books (preferably with pictures) and other similar books, CDs, videos, and by visiting web sites such as the www.qoqaz.net along with your children, and utilizing other internet resources. Show them the pictures of Mujahideen and encourage them to become like these people at the least. These activities can be done with children even as young as a couple years or even younger. Don’t underestimate the lasting effect of what those little ears and eyes take in during the first few years of life! No child is ever too young to be started off on Jihâd training in one form or another, the minimum being simple encouraging words and verses from the Qur’ân that the young child will never forget Insha-Allâh.
8. Video games and computer games are not to be preferred over actual physical training and practical experience for the same reason that television is recommended against. However, if one’s child has to have video games for whatever reason, then military video games and war strategy games that are not violent and graphic (if any exist!) would be preferred over other largely useless but popular video games. Start working on your children while they are very young, and set their priorities straight. Then Insha-Allâh you and they will not be faced with internal battles once they start getting older and more involved in the ‘dunya’. Perhaps they will not even want to have video games and the likes thereof, which is the best case. And Allâh knows best.
9. A mother knows very well the aptitude of her children. In accordance with this, she can encourage her children in the relevant aspects of Jihâd. Note that participation in Jihâd can be in various ways. For instance, a nuclear physicist can help strengthen the national defense system of Muslims, an expert of communications can assist in his role, a computer expert can dedicate his or her skills to the service of the Mujahideen, a news-reporter can help further the cause of Jihâd by bringing authentic news to the world, and a doctor or nurse can help the Mujahideen in the medical aspect. Children need to be made clear what their goal is, as well as what it is not, by taking on any given profession – that their goal is to serve Allâh in the highest way possible (through Jihâd) and not to accumulate wealth and physical comforts for their own sake. It should be emphasized here that, no matter what profession is chosen, even if it be with the intention of Jihâd, still, basic military training is a must. In fact, military training is a right of the children upon their parents.
What’s your jihad?