September 7, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 779

Al-Qa'ida Women's Magazine: Women Must Participate in Jihad

September 7, 2004
Special Dispatch No. 779

The new online magazine Al-Khansaa [1] is published by Al Qa'ida's Arabian Peninsula Women's Information Bureau. The first issue features articles calling on women to participate in Jihad, along with an article criticizing women in Saudi television. The following are excerpts from the articles: [2]

Editorial: 'Our Goal Is Paradise'

An editorial in the magazine stated: "… We love Allah and His Messenger. We march in a single path, the path of Jihad for the sake of Allah, and our goal is Shahada [martyrdom] for the sake of Allah, and our goal is [to gain] the pleasure of Allah and His Paradise.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with our men, supporting them, helping them, and backing them up. We educate their sons and we prepare ourselves. May Allah know of the honesty of our intentions and of our good deeds, and [may He] choose us and make us Shahids for His sake, as we charge forward and do not retreat and as Allah is pleased with us.

"We will stand covered by our veils and wrapped in our robes, weapons in hand, our children in our laps, with the Koran and the Sunna of the Prophet of Allah directing and guiding us. The blood of our husbands and the body parts of our children are the sacrifice by means of which we draw closer to Allah, so that through us, Allah will cause the Shahada for His sake to succeed.

"The wind of Paradise is already blowing, and [we are sworn] to Allah. We must not miss it. We are walking, with Allah's help, in the path … of Ayat [Al-Akhras] and Reem [Al-Riyashi]." [3]

'Just as Our Righteous Female Jihad Warrior Ancestors Confronted Obstacles in this Path [of Jihad], so the Female Jihad Warriors of this Time Does Likewise'

An article titled "Obstacles in the Path of the Jihad Warrior Woman" by a contributor calling herself " Umm Badr " included indoctrination and guidelines for women: "… My noble sisters… The woman in the family is a mother, wife, sister, and daughter. In society she is an educator, propagator and preacher of Islam, and a female Jihad warrior. Just as she defends her family from any possible aggression, she defends society from destructive thoughts and from ideological and moral deterioration, and she is the soldier who bears his pack and weapon on his back in preparation for the military offensive…

"Just as our righteous female Jihad warrior ancestors confronted obstacles in this path [of Jihad ], so the female Jihad warriors of this time does likewise; [may] Allah make them fruitful and make their way successful."

Umm Badr: 'The Jihad Warrior Woman Must be in Top Condition, not Overindulge in Eating and Drinking'

"Let me shed light on these obstacles, in hopes of finding ways of overcoming them, lest they constitute an obstacle to the woman's Jihad. With Allah's help, I will begin by presenting all these obstacles:…

" Meager knowledge of Jihad:Many among our women are negligent in this matter… The first source for obtaining knowledge is the Koran, and female Jihad warriors must persevere in reading it aloud, must be strict about learning it by rote, and must draw the foundations of the correct belief … from this leading source.

"Similarly, a woman must study the Sunna and learn by rote the reliable traditions [ Hadiths ] and their interpretations, and read the books of the faith, Shari'a, Koran commentary, and the chronicles of the Prophet Muhammad…

" Weak belief and connection to this world: We see the Muslim woman crying in sadness over her sisters in Iraq, over women prisoners in Palestine, over bereaved mothers in Chechnya, and over orphans in Afghanistan, and in the rest of the Islamic lands. We hear her threaten the enemies and plan to help [Muslim women]. Then, in time of emergency, she turns back; she clings to her work and her status, and it is difficult for her to leave them…

" Negligent preparations: "1) Emotional preparation – The female Jihad warrior feels fear and anxiety about Jihad for the sake of Allah by means of property, words, and the sword… 2) Military preparation – This is the main problem, not only for our women, but also for our men. It is worthy for a woman, even if she is not a female Jihad warrior, to at least know how to use a weapon in order to defend her honor, because this is one of the five obligations in the event that she encounters a robber, a desecrator, or a criminal – and particularly in our time in which there are many such instances.

"All the moreso when the enemy at the gate, with his equipment, his ammunition, his army and his navy, his criminals, and his whores, has desecrated the honor of Muslim women everywhere. How will we ensure that he will not harm our honor? He thought [harming] our sisters and spilling their blood was permitted; how can we let [the enemy] protect our women? He stole money and plundered land; how will we appoint him guardian of our property and our treasures?

"The female Jihad warrior must be familiar with various types of weapons and ammunition, and with how to disassemble, clean, reassemble, use, and shoot a weapon. With Allah's help, we will assist her in this matter in upcoming issues [of our magazine].

"3) Physical preparation – It is important that the female Jihad warrior be in top physical condition, not overindulge in eating and drinking, and frequently carry out the elective fasts [i.e. fasts other than during Ramadan]. She must do exercises, and this is covered in a different chapter of our issue.

"After the female Jihad warrior has reached this [level of] fitness, she must maintain it in order not to lose it, must refrain from remaining awake at night and from poor nutrition, physical fatigue, and the other factors that will cause her to lose what she has achieved.

" Insufficient Awareness: Among certain sisters, it is possible to encounter a defective understanding of Jihad, according to which only men are responsible for waging Jihad, or Jihad means only bearing arms and direct conflict [with the enemy].

"This perception is counter to the truth, as the Muslim woman is a female Jihad warrior always and everywhere. She is a female Jihad warrior who wages Jihad by means of funding Jihad ; she wages Jihad by means of waiting for her Jihad warrior husband, and when she educates her children to that which Allah loves.

"She wages Jihad when she bears arms to defend her family… She wages Jihad when she shows patience and fortitude with her husband who is waging Jihad for the sake of Allah. She wages Jihad when she supports Jihad and when she calls for Jihad in word, deed, belief, and prayer.

"It is true that originally the commandment of Jihad was incumbent upon men and not women. The woman's Jihad is pilgrimage to Mecca, and pilgrimage to Mecca not during the Hajj. But when Jihad becomes a personal obligation, then the woman is summoned like a man, and need ask permission neither from her husband nor from her guardian, because she is obligated and none need to ask permission in order to carry out a commandment that everyone must carry out…"

No to Women on TV

Another article, "The Feminine View," criticized women as television presenters and correspondents: "The striptease campaign still continues, and the so-called Saudi regime's Channel Two is still presenting women, [as it has] since it was founded. We have seen no vehement stand by our clerics…

"The women of the Arabian Peninsula appear on the television screens on the news programs [as broadcasters]. Moreover, even the correspondents are sometimes female. Women on news [programs] has today become a requirement, while in the past there was no need for it whatsoever."

[1] Al-Khansaa,August 2004. Al-Khansaa bint Omar, a poetess of the pre-Islamic period who converted to Islam during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, is considered the "mother of the Shahids (martyrs)." When her four sons died in the battle of Al-Qadissiyya, she did not mourn but thanked Allah for honoring her with their death.

[2] The website is presently not online, but MEMRI has a copy of the magazine.

[3] Ayat Al-Akhras carried out the March 29, 2002 suicide bombing in a Jerusalem supermarket. Reem Al-Riyashi carried out the January 14, 2004 suicide bombing at the Erez crossing in Gaza.

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