Twin British Girls Fly To Syria To ‘Join ISIS Fight': The Ruling On Jihad (Fighting) Or an-Nafeer (Joining The Fights For The Cause Of Allah) For Women
07 July 2014
British twin sisters are suspected to have travelled
to Syria via Istanbul to join their brother in
fighting with the groups of Mujahidun (the Holy
Warriors) led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(ISIS), according to media reports on Sunday.
"The girls flew from Manchester International Airport
to Istanbul. Since their departure the girls have been
in contact with their family," a spokesman for Greater
Manchester Police said, according to the Daily Mail.
Manchester Police confirmed they have a line of
contact with them; however the sisters refuse to come
back in spite of their parents' pleas. The family, of
Somali origin, is believed to have moved to Britain 10
It is unknown how the two girls, 16, financed their
trip to Syria. Officials speculate that Mujahidun (the
Holy Warriors) in Syria could have attracted the girls
over through the Internet and paid for their travel
Sources speaking to the British press said it was
unlikely the women would be recruited to wage Jihad,
and becoming wives of fighters was the most likely
British security experts estimate up to 500 Britons
have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for the
Islamic state, or the Islamic Caliphate, as named by
its reclusive ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The Ruling On Jihad (Fighting) Or an-Nafeer (Joining
The Fights For The Cause Of Allah) For Women
This Is An import matter about which I am confused. What is the ruling on
jihad for women?
Praise be to Allaah.
Jihad is not obligatory for women. Ibn Qudaamah (may
Allaah have mercy on him) said:
In order for jihad to be obligatory there are seven
conditions: being Muslim, being an adult, being of
sound mind, being free, being male, being physically
sound and being able to afford it financially. With
regard to being Muslim, adult and of sound mind, these
are essential conditions for all Islamic duties,
because a kaafir is not to be trusted in jihad, an
insane person cannot go for jihad and a child is
physically weak. Ibn ‘Umar said: "I presented myself
to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) on the day of Uhud when I was
fourteen years old, and he did not let me join the
fighting." Agreed upon. … With regard to being male,
this is stipulated because of the report narrated from
‘Aa'ishah who said: "O Messenger of Allaah, do women
have to engage in jihad? He said: "Jihad in which
there is no fighting: Hajj and ‘Umrah." And because
women are not able to fight because they are
From al-Mughni, 9/163.
The hadeeth of ‘Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with
her) was narrated by Ahmad (25361) and Ibn Maajah
(2901); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh
Sunan Ibn Maajah.
Can a woman go out to help the mujaahideen
and treat the wounded?
Al-Sarkhasi said in Sharh al-Siyar al-Kabeer (1/184):
Chapter on women fighting alongside men and being
present in war: He said: we do not like women to fight
alongside men in war because a woman does not have the
right physical make-up for fighting, as the Messenger
of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
indicated when he said: "This one was not a fighter"
(said when he saw the body of a woman slain on the
battlefield). And when a woman fights, the ‘awrah of
the Muslims may become exposed and the mushrikeen will
rejoice at that, and that may be a cause of the
mushrikeen increasing their hopes of defeating the
Muslims, and they may think that the Muslims are weak
because they had to bring the women to fight, so they
will say, ‘They need the help of women to fight us."
So this should be avoided. For this reason it is not
recommended for women to participate directly in the
fighting. But if the Muslims have no choice and are
forced to do that, because repelling the kuffaar when
necessary by whatever means the Muslims have at their
disposal, is permissible, rather it is obligatory. The
story of Hunayn is quoted as evidence for that.
At the end of this story it says: 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." He (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "O Umm Sulaym,
the forgiveness of Allaah is immense." She repeated
that three times, and each time the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: "The mercy of Allaah is immense." 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: "The
forgiveness of Allaah is immense." What greater need
can there be for women to fight than this incident
when the men fled and abandoned the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
This clearly shows that there is nothing wrong with women
fighting when that is essential, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) did not prevent this woman from fighting on that occasion.
But it is not narrated that he gave the women permission to fight on other
occasions. There is nothing wrong with old women being present at times of war
to tend the wounded, bring water and cook food for the soldiers if they need
that, because of the hadeeth of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qarat al-Azdi who said: The
womenfolk of Khaalid ibn al-Waleed and the womenfolk of the Sahaabah had their
sleeves rolled up, bringing water to the mujaahideen and reciting encouraging
poetry, when he was fighting the Byzantines. What is meant here is old women,
because young women are not allowed to go out for fear of fitnah, and old women
can take care of the needs in such situations. And it was narrated that Umm
Mutaa', who was present at Khaybar with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), said: I saw Aslam (one of the Arab tribes)
when they complained to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) about the difficulties they were facing, so he recommended that
they engage in jihad and they responded. I saw that Aslam were the first ones to
reach the fortress and the sun did not set on that day until Allaah had enabled
us to conquer it.
This clearly shows that she went out with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he did not forbid her to do so. From this
we know that there is nothing wrong with an old woman going out to help the
mujaahideen by doing tasks that are appropriate for them. And Allaah is the
Source of strength. End quote.
It says in Khishshaaf al-Qinaa' (3/26): Women are not allowed (to engage in
jihad) because they are a source of temptation, as well as not being qualified
to fight, because of their natural tendency to be weak and cowardly, and because
there is no guarantee that the enemy will not capture them and regard it as
permissible to do to them that which Allaah has forbidden. Some of the scholars
said: except the wife of the ruler or commander, who may be present to attend to
his needs, because of the actions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), or an old women in cases of need only, such as
giving water to the troops and treating the wounded, because al-Rubayyi' bint
Mu'awwidh said: "We used to go out to fight with the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), bringing water and serving them, bringing back
the wounded and the slain to Madeenah." Narrated by al-Bukhaari. And a similar
report was narrated from Anas by Muslim. That is because men may be distracted
from these tasks by fighting, so this is a help to the Muslims and supporting
them in their fight.
All of this has to do with jihad in cases where the enemy has not invaded the
Muslim land, in which case jihad becomes obligatory on every able-bodied person,
man or woman, and a woman may then go out without her husband's permission. 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)"
It was said that this was revealed concerning general mobilization.
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"It was not becoming of the people of Al-Madinah and the bedouins of the
neighbourhood to remain behind Allaah's Messenger (Muhammad r when fighting in
Allaah's Cause) and (it was not becoming of them) to prefer their own lives to
From Badaa'i' al-Sanaa'i', 7/98
It says something similar in al-Sharh al-Sagheer, one of the Maaliki books
(2/274): that if the enemy attacks a Muslim land, then jihad becomes an
individual obligation for every man and woman.
Jihad is not obligatory for women in principle, except in cases of necessity,
such as if the kuffaar attack a Muslim land, in which case jihad becomes
obligatory for women, according to their abilities. If a woman is not able to
fight then she is not obliged to do so, because Allaah says (interpretation of
"Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope"
And Allaah knows best.