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WOMEN AND THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE ISLAMIC STATE

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    WOMEN AND THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE ISLAMIC STATE

    WOMEN AND THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE ISLAMIC STATE

    The understanding of the foreign policy is given to us by Allah (swt) in Surah Saba':

    "And we have not sent you [O Muhammad (saw)] except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most of men know not" [TMQ Saba: 28]

    Thus the foreign policy of the Islamic state is to spread the message of Islam. Allah (swt) obliged the Prophet (saw) to convey the message of Islam to the whole of mankind. He (saw) exerted great effort in inviting nations and tribes to live by Islam, so that Islam would spread to the whole of the world and be the reference point in every sphere of life. From the moment he (saw) arrived in Madinah he concentrated on building an Islamic society, where the rules and laws stemmed from Islam only and so that the message of the haq (truth) was conveyed.

    Nothing was allowed to come in the way of the call to spread Islam. An example of this is when Muhammad (saw) signed a treaty with the Jews of Madinah so that they would not stand as an obstacle to him (saw) spreading the Deen of Allah (swt) in the Hijaz. Similarly he signed the Treaty of Hudaibiyah with the Quraish so that he could expand the Islamic state in the Arabian Peninsula. The letters of the Prophet (saw) that were sent to other nations outside the Peninsula inviting them to Islam are also an indication of how the message of Islam was not confined to any region.

    Subsequently the Khulafaa of Islam continued this duty and adhered to the call of Allah (swt) as mentioned in the above ayah. It was with this foreign policy in mind, that when the Prophet (saw) left the life of this world - upon him be peace and blessings - that Abu Bakr (ra) continued in conveying the Deen of Allah (swt) and engaging in J ihad. Abu Bakr (ra) sent the army of Usama (ra) that had been commissioned by the Prophet (saw) to continue the Jihad in Bilad ash-Sham. Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) followed on from Abu Bakr (ra) in this foreign policy. Famous battles such as the battle of Yarmouk and Qadisiyyah were fought under the Khilafah of Umar (ra). Up until the last days of the Khilafah , the spreading of Islam to the entire world remained the foreign policy of the Islamic State and this never changed no matter who was ruling the state. Indeed, the obligation of propagating Islam to the world is a command from Allah (swt) and we must abide by His (swt) command. The State therefore always organised its relationship with other states on the basis of spreading Islam alone and no other basis. This constituted a fixed basis for conducting the foreign policy of the State.

    The Prophet (saw) wasted no time in fulfilling this noble duty of spreading Islam and ensuring that it was and remained the only way of life until the Day of Judgement, such that it prevailed over all other ways of life, systems, beliefs and ideologies.

    The method ordained by the Shariah for the foreign policy is Jihad, and this never changes or fluctuates, irrespective of a change in ruler or change of the age in which we are living. Allah (swt) made the propagation of Islam to the entire world an obligation on all Muslims, male or female, and the Islamic texts stipulated the Shariah method to achieve this.

    It is a duty on both men and women to ensure that they are living by Islam. Thus Muslim women have played an active role in the foreign policy of the Islamic state. They did this in four ways: Firstly, women physically fought in battles when it was required of them and when the Shariah stipulated this to be the case. Secondly, women had ancillary roles in Jihad such as nursing the wounded and providing the fighters with supplies. Thirdly, women prepared and nurtured their sons to become Mujahideen. Finally, women gave Da'wa to non-Muslims to invite them to Islam.

    It was famous Sahabiyat, such as Nusaybah bint Ka'ab (Umm Umarah) and Sumayyah bint Khattab who bravely fought in battles against the Kuffar. Nusaybah (ra) fought courageously in the battle of Uhud. She brought a sword, a bow and quiver of arrows as well as her water skin and bandages. During this battle when the Muslims were on the defensive she positioned herself near the Holy Prophet (saw) and she began shooting arrows until they were all used up. She was also part of the group who surrounded the Prophet (saw) to protect him (saw) from the Kuffar who were targeting him. Nusaybah (ra) was also present at Khaybar, Hunayn and the battle of Yamamah. The battle of Yamamah was fought under the Khilafah of Abu Bakr (ra). Nusaybah (ra) approached Abu Bakr (ra) to seek permission to join the expedition with Khalid bin Waleed (ra) against Musaylamah, the liar. Abu Bakr (ra) replied, "We know your worth in war so go out, in the name of Allah". In this battle she received eleven wounds and also her hand was severed.

    Other women also participated in battle. In the battle of Siffin, Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, led the women in repulsing the attacking Byzantines when the Muslims broke rank. During the conquest of Iraq a woman, 'Azda bint al-Harith devised a plan to make the enemy think that reinforcements had arrived. All the women made banners out of their scarves, and under her leadership marched chanting poems for the victory of Islam. On seeing this group reach the battlefield, the enemy thought they were reinforcements and retreated.

    In the battle of Yarmouk, Asma bint Yazid killed nine Romans with the heavy nail of her tent. Hind also participated in this battle. Umm Haram fought alongside Abu Dharr, Abu Darda and 'Ubadah ibn Samit in the battle fought for the conquest of Cyprus. This fulfilled her desire that she expressed to the Prophet (saw) in a famous incident. One day after the farewell pilgrimage the Prophet (saw) was resting in Umm Haram's house. He awoke smiling and said "I have seen in a dream that some people of my Ummah are on board of the sea ready to fight." Umm Haram (ra) said, "O Rasulallah pray that I should also be one of them." He (saw) prayed and then fell asleep. He again awoke smiling and repeated the dream and informed her that she would be among them.

    These women, who held on firmly to the Shahada were just as enthusiastic as the Muslim men to fight in the way of Allah (swt) to make His (swt) word the highest. They were determined to see the enemy defeated and ensure that the message of Islam reached far and wide. Although some women fought physically in the battle, others played a role in treating the wounded and providing the Muslims with water and military supplies. This also aided the Jihad and made it efficient in achieving the objective of the foreign policy.

    Al-Bukhari and Ahmed ibn Hanbal reported that ar-Rubayyi' bint Mu'awwidh said, "We used to participate in the battles of the Prophet of Allah. We gave water to the fighters, served them and returned the dead and wounded to Madina." The Tabbaqat of Ibn Saad has the biography of Umm Sinan al-Aslamiyah. She said, "When the Prophet (saw) wanted to go out to Khaybar I came to him and said, Messenger of Allah, let me go out with you to bring the water and treat the sick and wounded. I will look after the saddlebags. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, 'Go out in the blessing of Allah. You have women companions who have spoken to me, and I have given them permission both among your people and others. If you like, then go out with your people, or if you like go with us' I said, 'with you' He (saw) said, 'Then be with Umm Salama my wife'."

    In al-Bukhari, in the Book of Expeditions, there is a chapter on the Jihad of women. In it he relates from Anas that when the people were routed from the Prophet (saw) on the day of Uhud, "I saw Aishah and Umm Sulaim with their dresses rolled up, I saw their anklets. They were carrying water skins on their backs. Then they returned and filled them up. Then they came and emptied them into the mouths of the people." We also see the example of Ku'aybah bint Daud al-Aslamiyah in which she treated the sick and wounded. In the Battle of Khandaq Sa'ad ibn Mu'adh was brought to her to be cared for and she treated his wound until he died. She was also present at Khaybar where she was allotted a man's portion of booty along with Umm Dahhak bin Masood.

    From this we can see the role women played in spreading the message of Islam. There are countless examples of women who were involved in wars fought against the Kuffar and spreading the word of Allah (swt).

    Muslim women must remember that they are a part of the Ummah that has been ordered to carry the Haq (truth) and make Allah (swt) the legislator in every matter. This should motivate us to explore every action that we can do to facilitate this objective.

    The beautiful example of Safiyyah (ra) (the aunt of Muhammad (saw) and the sister of Hamzah) underlines the Sahabiyat's understanding of the Islamic foreign policy and their love for Islam. Safiyyah (ra) took part in the battle of Uhud, when the Muslims were defeated and some of them began to flee from the battle, she would smite their faces and encourage them to go back and fight. In the battle of Khandaq, the Prophet (saw) had collected all the women in a fortress and had deputed Hassan bin Thabit (ra) to look after them. The Jews, who were always on the look out for such opportunities for doing mischief, surrounded the place and sent one of them to find out if there were any men with the ladies. Safiyyah (ra) happened to see the Jews approaching the fort. She said to Hassan, "There is a Jew coming to spy on us. You go out and kill him." Hassan (ra) was a weak person so Safiyyah (ra) got hold of a tent peg and went outside the fortress and gave the Jew a blow on the head and killed the Jew on the spot. She came back to Hassan, "the man is dead. I have not removed the clothes and arms from the body for reasons of modesty. Now you go and remove everything from his body. Also bring his head after severing it from the body". Hassan was too weak hearted to do this too. She herself went again and brought his head and threw it over the wall amidst the Jews who were besieging the fortress. When they saw this, they thought that were men present in the fortress. (Narrated by At-Tabari Ta'rikh al-rusul wa'l-muluk)

    Another major way in which Muslim women contributed to spreading the Deen was through preparing and nurturing their sons, husbands and fathers to go out and give the call to Islam and fight Jihad.

    During the Khilafah of Umar (ra), Khansah bint Amr came to fight to spread Islam to Iraq in the battle of Qadisiyyah. In this battle she also brought her four sons. Before engaging in the battle, she motivated her sons with this address: "My dear sons! You have accepted Islam and undertaken migration of your own free will. You have brought your old mother and put her in front of Persia. By Allah, you are from one father and from one mother who never played foul with loyalty to your father. To fight with Kuffar is a great virtue for high reward. Allah (swt) has said "O you who believe, persevere in patience and keep your coordination" so get ready to fight for Islam from early morning and fight to the last". After hearing this, her four sons advanced into the heat of the battle and fought diligently until they were martyred one by one. Not only did Khansah bring her sons to motivate them with Islamic concepts but when she heard that they all died as shuhadaa instead of feeling sorrow and remorse, she thanked Allah (swt).

    As mothers, women have a vital responsibility in developing and nurturing the sons of the Ummah to make them realise the urgency of fulfilling the foreign policy. They must concentrate on giving them the correct concepts about this issue. Just as mothers provide their sons with food and clothes to wear they must develop their mentality so that they understand this important duty of inviting nations to Islam and fighting Jihad for the dominance of Islam. Anything other than Islam is unacceptable is the mentality that should be instilled in the minds of their children and the rest of their family, so that they are fully motivated and enthusiastic to give their lives for the sake of Allah (swt). It is therefore imperative that women realise this responsibility and ensure that they are moulding their sons in this way. Similarly it is the mothers duty to ensure that she instils an Islamic mentality in her daughters as well so that they do not prevent or discourage their husbands, brothers, sons and fathers from engaging in jihad, but rather motivate them to fight.

    From the example of Khansah (ra) we can se how this had an effect on the Jihad and spreading the message of Islam. She willingly gave up her four sons for the domination of Allah's (swt) Deen. She was even happy to hear that they had died Shaheed. We should learn from the examples of the Sahabiyat and from the examples of the pious women given above. These examples should make us realise that we have a great deal missing in our lives, by not living up to what Allah (swt) commanded of us. We must make sure that we are fulfilling every obligation however small it is. The duty of spreading the deen of Islam is an imperative duty and one which the Prophet (saw) spent every effort in. His (saw) life bears testimony to how seriously he (saw) took this responsibility.

    Without the Khilafah we cannot invite other nations to Islam and spread its message the way in which it was conveyed by the Prophet (saw). We therefore cannot adequately fulfil this responsibility given to us by Allah (swt). This is an issue of vital importance and cannot be delayed, just as we cannot and do not delay our other obligations. We must actively work so that we can fulfil our role in taking Islam to the entire world and removing the whole of mankind from the shackles of oppression by man-made ideologies.

    Do we really want to die without fulfilling the purpose that Allah (swt) assigned us in this life knowing that our fathers, husbands, sons and brothers were not engaged in this duty of spreading the deen that He (swt) ordered us to spread? Can we be proud that we were the Muslim women who encouraged and nurtured the male members of our family to remain steadfast in battle for victory of Islam or martyrdom?

    O Allah! Make us from amongst those who are working sincerely for the return of the Khilafah. O Allah! Let us be from amongst those who will resume the Islamic way of life and carry the Da'wa to the rest of mankind. O Allah! May you accept our sincere efforts and give the Muslims victory the Kuffar. Ameen.

    "It is He who has sent the Messenger with the Deen of truth and guidance so that it may be dominant over all other deens even though the Mushrikeen may detest it". (TMQ At-Tauba: 33)

    Source: Umm Ammar , http://www.khilafah.com

    #2
    jazak allah khair, islam did give women a dignified stand, unfortunately it is the culture we have adapted to that makes us women appear as if we are supposed to hide under rocks

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