Jihad Activities of Khadijah,  Asma’ binti Abu Bakar, and Sumayyah

In the history of the Prophet, several heroic jihads were accomplished by Khadijah binti Khuwailid and Asma binti Abu Bakar during the Meccan period. In the Meccan period, the non-combat jihad is executed when Islam is a minority and struggles to face the enemy of the Quraysh clan who wished to eliminate Islam from their land.  

Khadijah, during her accompanying lifetime with the Prophet Muhammad, performed incredible jihad in many ways. Khadijah fought beside the Prophet with her intelligence, honour, love, wealth, and heart. Khadijah is the first person who acknowledged the prophethood of Muhammad and believed in him with all his religious experiences. She was the one who assured the Prophet about his prophethood experience even when the Prophet doubted himself. Khadijah was also the main financial supporter of the early Islamic struggles which were full of pressure, insults, slander, and even an assassination attempt on the Prophet.

When Islam was experienced economic and social boycotts for almost six years, Khadijah voluntarily donated her wealth to the Prophet’s companions. At home, Khadijah was depicted as an oasis that gives a cooling soul for her husband and a mother full of love to her children.  Early Islamic history is indebted to the jihad of Khadijah as she dedicated her body, soul, and wealth to Islam. Consequently, the Prophet Muhammad was in deep sadness for the loss of his beloved wife, Khadijah, and she was remembered for the rest of his life. 

A captivating yet risk Jihad was shown by Asma’ binti Abu Bakar. When the Prophet and her father, Abu Bakar, migrated to Medina, she took a risk by walking back and forth to the cave of Thur where the Prophet and her father had rest before arriving in Medina to provide food, inform the situation of Mecca and ensure the security. In her visit, she used her belt by tearing it into two parts; one for her cloth and the other used as a food binder in her vehicle. The story of the braveness of Asma is recorded in Islamic history as she received the nickname of Dzatun Nitaqayn (a woman who has two belts).  

A woman’s jihad in the Meccan period was also exposed by Sumayyah a mother of Ammar bin Yasir. She has a strong faith that she was willing to die being tortured cruelly by her master, Abu Jahal because she believed in Islam. Several heroic jihads shown by the sahabiyat in the Meccan period, as explained above, are examples of non-qital jihad (non-combat jihad) for women to defend Islam which at that time continued to be suppressed.


Jihad Qital ( a combat jihad)

Principally, Islam does not prescribe women to participate in an armed conflict. The reason is that if the woman participates in the battle, can cause social instability. The family and the children will be neglected. However, the Prophet Muhammad was never forbid women yet gave appreciation for the women who have dedicated themselves by joining the battlefield. The prophet said that they are a martyr.  

The participation of the sahabiyat in the battlefield was divided into two roles; in the front line and supporters. Several of the sahabiyyat who participated in the front line of the battle were Nusaibah binti Ka’ab or Ummu Imarah Al-Anshariyyah. During the Uhud war, she was bravely showed her ability in using swords and arrows to protect the Prophet from enemy hostility. She received 12 wounds in her body following this battle. During this battle, she begged the Prophet to pray for her if she died to meet the Prophet in heaven. The Prophet granted her wish. Fortunately, she survived this battle and continue joining the Prophet in several other battles. 

Other sahabiyat who fight in the front line in the battlefield was Shafiyah binti Abdul Muthalib,  Ummu Sulaim, ar-Rabi’ binti Al Mu’awwidz, Ummu Haram, Ummu Sulaith, Rufaidah al-Anshariyyah, Laila Al-Ghifariyah, Khaulah binti Azur, Juwairiyah binti Abu Sufyan, Ghazalah al-Haruriyah, and many others. 

Aisyah binti Abu Bakar, the Prophet’s wife, was also lead the battle in the battle of Jamal.  Ibn Sa’ad in the book of Ath Thabaqat al-Kubra compiled 15 sahabiyat that became a martyr (syahidah) in the battle of Khaibar.  Generally, Sahabiyat roles during the battle were supportive and domestic: serving food and helping the wounded soldiers. When necessary and the condition urged them to fight in the front line, they were ready to do so, just like what Ummu Imarah did.  

These heroic stories of the sahabiyat are astonishing. However, an important aspect should be emphasized that these stories should not be regarded as a legitimation for today’s Indonesian women who become a combatant against the legal government with their terrorist activities and suicide-bombing. The social context between the Prophet’s time and in Indonesia is very different. To rebel against the legitimate ruling government (bughat), suicide bombing (putting oneself in destruction (ihlak an-nafs) both are haram (proscribe), and not categorized as jihad nor an istisyhad (seeking a martyrdom).

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