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Women working in the security services

Can women take part in jihaad along with men? What about women working in the women’s sections of the security services?

Praise be to Allaah.

Jihaad by the sword and with other weapons is not obligatory on women. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, do women have to do any kind of jihaad?’ he said, ‘Yes, jihaad in which there is no fighting – Hajj and ‘Umrah.’” – Narrated by Imaam Ahmad, 24794). Because men are responsible for defending women. Hence it is not permissible to draft them into the army like men, because of the bad consequences that result from that. The state of affairs in countries which have allowed that clearly demonstrate the harmful effects to which this leads. But if the army needs nurses to tend the soldiers’ wounds and there are women who can do this well, then their services may be used, so long as due attention is paid to the guidelines of sharee’ah, and proper Islamic etiquette is observed.

  Similarly, it is not permissible for women to work in the police and other security organizations if this work has to do with men. If, however, it has to do with women, such as a women’s division in the police force to deal with women, or supervision of women prisoners in jails, or inspecting women in airports, and so on, then this is permissible and may indeed be necessary. They should be employed in such cases so that women will not be forced to mix with men and uncover themselves in front of them.

Wilaayat al-Mar’ah fi’l-Fiqh al-Islamiyyah, p. 688
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