The presence of the women in allegiance
Society/Politics < Article <

Understand the significance of women taking part in pledging allegiance during the era of the holy Prophet (P) and the innocent Imams (P) involves the pledging allegiance as one of the most critical political affairs in Islam. Indeed these oaths of allegiances for Muslims are affirmations, and they will never fail to follow him. In every allegiance of the people to the holy Prophet (P) to follow him and following the words of the immaculate Imam Ali (P), they were aware of the fact that, after their allegiance, they were not entitled to secede or oppose the leader. To confirm this fact, Imam Ali (P) says, ”the people are not obligated before pledging their allegiance, but after taking the oath of allegiance and expressing their loyalty to the leader, they are not entitled to break their allegiance. The holy Prophet (P) says in this respect, ”three groups are the objects of the wrath of God, to whom God will never speak. One of them are those who take the oath of allegiance to their leader only for obtaining the worldly interests, they are steadfast in their allegiance as long as their interests are indicated, otherwise they will break their allegiance and stop their support”. These vows and loyalty were so significant that God has stated the reward of those who fulfill their allegiance, a great reward.

‘ ان الذين … ’

        "Those who take an oath of allegiance to thee are indeed taking allegiance to God. The hand of God overpowers their hands. Therefore, whoever breaks the allegiance, has broken it to his own loss and whoever fulfils it, God will soon grant him a great reward”.

        The first allegiance pledged in the time of the holy Prophet (P) is of the women's allegiance of the first Aghabeh. This happened when Muslims were under great pressure from the idol worshippers. The pressure had reached its climax during this time to an extent that the holy Prophet (P) whose patience and tolerance was stronger than mountains prayed and complained to his God as follows,

‘ اللهم اليك اشكوا … ’

        “O my God, I present my complaint to the threshold for my weakness in power and inability in policy and my weakness among the people, O God thou art All- Merciful, the Lord of the weak and my Lord, O my Lord, whom dost Thou recommend me in this difficult state.

        It was during this time when several people came to the holy Prophet (P) from Yathreb (Medina) and after familiarizing themselves with Islam took part in an oath of allegiance to him which was called the women's allegiance  ( بيعت النساء ) this was due to the fact that among them there was a woman named Afra, the daughter of Obaid Thaa Ben Labah. Her co-partnership at a time when woman was deprived of her basic individual and social rights was extraordinary and was considered very significant. These groups returned to Medina after the allegiance and began widespread propagation. The following year seventy three of these Muslims came to Mecca from Medina and proclaimed their readiness to obey the orders of the holy Prophet (P) and renewed their allegiance known” as the second A' ghabeh. According to some historical texts in this second oath of allegiance several women participated also whose names follow: ”Nasibah the daughter of Harith Ansari and her sister, Nassibah the daughter of Kaa'h from the tribe of Bani Khazraj, Umme Manie and Asmaa' the daughter of Amrove Ben Oday”. These women together with other allegiance takers came secretly to Mecca to the holy Propget (P) on the night of the 13th of Zilhadjeh, (ذي الحجه) and made an oath of allegiance to him. They promised to defend him exactly in the same way that they defended their family and children. This oath of allegiance happened under very critical conditions because the pagans atheists immediately rushed towards the Muslims who had come from of Medina in order to capture and torment them as soon as they became aware of the event. However, the Muslims were informed of their intention and quickly escaped from Mecca.

        The oath of allegiance to the holy Prophet (P) was reoccurred once again during the peace of Hodaibiah. When Mecca was still the pagan's base they occasionally inflicted were attacks the Muslims, the holy Prophet (P) set out for pilgrimage to Mecca accompanied by a large group of Muslims. Midway in the journey since they had not brought any weapons with them, the Quraish intended to attack their caravan. While understate the urgency of this critical situation, the Muslims gathered under a tree and took an oath of allegiance to the holy Prophet (P) pledging to fully obey him and never disobey his orders. Due to the significance of this allegiance, verses have also been sent down wherein God reveals Divine pleasure towards these allegiance takers.  

‘ لقد رضي ا … ’

        “Verily God was pleased with the believers when they took the oath of allegiance to you under the tree”.

        Salmat Ben Akvaa' states in this respect, ”the situation was so critical that we can name this allegiance, as the Muslim's allegiance to death, that is, they declared to defend the holy Prophet (P) at the price of their own lives and stated their full obedience to his orders. According to a tradition in the interpretation of Ali Ebne Ebrahim, the Muslim’s in their Rezvan allegiance promised to fully and purely obey the Prophet (P) and not to oppose or disobey him in any matter, whatsoever. A few women participated in this particular allegiance too. These three names have been mentioned in the historical sources; Rabi' Bente Ma'uz, Umme Hissam Ansarieh and Nesbieh Bente Harith.

        Shaikh Mufid describes the women's allegiance to the holy Prophet (P) in the peace of Hodaibieh as follows”. Imam Ali (P) undertook the handling of the affairs in this allegiance. He spread a piece of cloth, the women touched it as a sign of allegiance and then the holy Prophet (P) touched the same cloth and the allegiance took place in this way. Another allegiance took place in the era of the  holy Prophet (P) during the conquest of Mecca. Following the capture of the pagans' base in Mecca the people came to the holy Prophet (P) in throngs and took allegiance to him. There was no difference between men and women in taking the oath of allegiance. Women like men took the oath of allegiance to the Prophet (P). The presence of women in this allegiance was so widespread that a verse was sent down in this respect. According to this verse the faithful women took allegiance to the Prophet (P) that they do not associate anything with God, observe moral virtues, do not commit adultery, do not kill their children and do not ascribe their illegal children to their husbands, and accept the prophet's orders in proper affairs, do not disobey him and be obedient to his orders. In fact the comment of allegiance of women to the Prophet (P) was two things:

1)    Proclaim their obedience to the Islamic laws.

2)    According the prophet's leadership of the Islamic government. Concerning

        The content of the women's allegiance to the Prophet (P) Imam Al- Javad (P) says, ”the content of the allegiance was the professions of faith to God's unity and the prophet-hood of Muhammad (P).

        The procedures for the oath of allegiance was as follows: the  holy Prophet (P) ordered container to be filled with water, dipped his blessed hand into and took it out, then the women dipped their hands in the same vessel as a token of their faith to God's unity and testimonial to his prophet-hood. Thus, they took the oath of allegiance to him. It should be noted that the procedure of the Prophet's allegiance to women clearly reveals the fact that if the religion of Islam emphasizes the presence of women in social arenas, their support of the religion and the religious leader on the one hand, it also emphasizes the observance of necessary hands and boundaries between men and women in the society on the other hand. Imam Bagher (P) too, emphasizes the observance of the bonds of God when he says, ”women take the oath of allegiance distinctly from behind their coverings”.

        Another historical and important allegiance was that of the Muslims to Imam Ali (P) on the feast of Ghadir. On this day the Muslims declared that they would accept Imam Ali's leadership just like the Prophet's leadership and they pledged allegiance to Imam Ali (P) as the leader of the Islamic community. According to Imam Sadegh (P) women also participated in this great allegiance. After the departure of the holy Prophet (P) also, once again history witnessed the women's participation in pledging the allegiance to Imam Ali's (P) caliphate. He describes the people's rush to take the oath of allegiance to him as follows,

        “The happiness of the people over their allegiance to me reached a point where children rejoiced and aged people came to me with knees shaking and patients approached with difficulty in order to pledge allegiance to me, and so did the young girls”.

        It is appropriate to remember some words stated by Imam Khomeini (R.H.) towards the end of this chapter. A leader who strived from the onset of the Islamic Revolution to revive the presence of the women in giving allegiance or in modern words their co-partnership in political decision-making in the same manner as in the beginning of Islam with the same Muhammad an procedure. He said, ”woman must participation in the fundamental fate of the country”.

        According to the innocent Imams (P) at the advent of the twelfth Imam (P) also, women will actively participate in pledging allegiance to him.

          It has been quoted from Imam Bagher (P) that, ”by God three hundred and some persons including fifty women will join Imam Mahdi (P) at the time of his advent and begin their uprising from Mecca. These three hundred and some people will take the oath of allegiance to Imam Mahdi (P) in Masjid Ul Haram between the rukn and Magham.

Authors: Zahra Ayatollahi
Content Type: Article
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