Women Choose Sides

Jihad in the KoranThe wives of non-Muslim men were not prisoners in their husband’s household like those of the believers. They accompanied their husbands to war; any fighting was also about them—mainly about them in the Arab civil war, as it would turn out—therefore they exposed themselves to many of the same risks. They urged their husbands on from the sidelines, all the while shouting insults at the enemy. 

Not the shy retiring type, at the battle of Uhud, which was one of the few battles the Meccans won, many of them stripped to the waist, giving their husbands a clear indication of what and for whom they were fighting. Many of these women must have left their husbands when their partner joined a religion that considers them no more than chattel to be bartered over between believing men, for God to send a revelation that the husbands whose wives deserted them should be compensated.

60:11 If any of your wives desert you to the unbelievers, and you decide to penalize them, then give those [husbands] whose wives have gone away the like of what they have spent (the dowry), and fear Allah in whom you believe.

Why would such women become believers, which of course some did? God rightly questioned their loyalty and motives and demanded that their faith be tested. In the same revelation, Allah established that a believing female could never be married to an unbeliever.

60:10 O believers, if believing women come to you as Emigrants, then test them; Allah knows better their faith. If you find them to be believers, do not send them back to the unbelievers. They are neither lawful to the unbelieving men, nor are those men lawful to them. Give them what they [the unbelieving husbands] had paid in dowry; and you are not at fault if you marry them, provided you pay them their dowries. Do not hold fast to unbelieving women; demand what you have spent and let them demand what they have spent. That is Allah’s Judgement. He judges between you, and Allah is All-Knowing and Wise.