Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian who serves as the dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Qatar, issued his ruling in response to last week’s bombing in Afula, which was carried out by 19-year-old Hiba Daraghmeh, a female student from Tubas in the northern West Bank.
“Women’s participation in the martyrdom [suicide] operations carried out in Palestine given the status of the land as an occupied territory, in addition to a lot of sacrilegious acts perpetrated by the Jews against the sanctuaries is one of the most praised acts of worship,” Qaradawi said.
“Also, the act is a form of martyrdom for the cause of Allah, and it entitles them, inshallah, to the same reward earned by their male counterparts who also die in the cause of Allah.” He said Muslim jurists have unanimously agreed that when the enemy attacks part of the Muslim territories, jihad becomes the duty of every individual.
“This obligation reaches the extent that a woman should go out for jihad even without the permission of her husband, and the son without the consent of his parents,” he added.
According to his fatwa, the organizers of the suicide attacks “could benefit from some believing [in] women, as they may do what is impossible for men to do.” He said Muslim women are allowed to violate Islamic teachings by traveling unaccompanied by a close male relative and without having to cover their heads for the sake of carrying out an attack.
“Concerning the issue of the hijab [veil], a woman can put on a hat or anything else to cover her hair,” Qaradawi ruled. “When necessary, she may even take off her hijab in order to carry out the operation, for she is going to die in the cause of Allah and not to show off her beauty or uncover her hair.”
“I don’t see any problem in her taking off the hijab in this case. I think the committed Muslim women in Palestine have the right to participate and have their own role in jihad and to attain martyrdom.”