chapter  2
12 Pages

Women fighting in jihad?

ByDAVID COOK

The following account appears in the chapter on the subject of jihad in al-Bukhari’s authoritative collection of the Prophet Muhammad’s traditions:

The Messenger of God would enter into the house of Umm Haram daughter of Milhan, and she would feed him (Umm Haram was married to ‘Ubada b. al-Samit.). So the Messenger of God went into her, and she fed him and began to pick the lice off his head. The Messenger of God fell asleep and then woke up, laughing. She said: Why are you laughing? He said: People from my community [Muslims] were shown to me fighting in the path of God, sailing in the midst of the sea like kings on thrones. She said: O Messenger of God, pray to God that I might be one of them! And so the Messenger of God prayed for her . . . and she sailed the seas during the time of Mu’awiya b. Abi Sufyan [661-80], and fell from her mount when she disembarked and perished.1