Religious Text, Mosque Customs and Public Behavior

The Hadith, or ways of the Prophet Muhammad, were collected upon his death from those who were close to him in life. Known as the Companions, these people played a key role in filling in the sayings and practices of Muhammad and his behaviors, recording them for future generations. Many of the Hadith collected from the female companions detailed the Prophet’s ways concerning proper public behaviors. Topics such as how to act while attending prayers at the mosque and what women should do in sites of warfare laid out various standards for female behavior. These hadith, transmitted by the female Companions, illustrate the close relationships with women that Muhammad enjoyed during his life as well.

Source: Muhammad, Shaykh, Hisham Kabbani, and Leleh Bakhtiar. Encyclopedia of Muhammad’s Women Companions and the Traditions They Related. Kazi Publications, 1998.

On the Returning of Women From Prescribed Prayer
When God’s Messenger gave the salutations, he stayed for awhile. People thought that this meant that the women should leave sooner than the men.

Woman’s Jihad
She said to the Prophet that Muslims consider jihad as the best deed. The Prophet said, ‘The best jihad for women is the prescribed pilgrimage.’

Struggle in God’s Way for Women
She asked the Prophet to permit her to participate in the struggle in God’s Way. He said, “Your struggle is to perform the prescribed pilgrimage.”

Women Participants [in warfare]
They were in the company of the Prophet providing the wounded with water and treating them and taking the martyred to Madinah [from the battlefield].
She took part with God’s Messenger in seven battles. She would stay behind in the camp of the men, cook their food, treat the wounded and nurse the sick.

How much beauty can a woman display?
Asma bint Abu Bakr, wearing think clothes, arrived where God’s Messenger was. God’s Messenger turned away from her and said, ‘O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she display parts of her body except this and this,’ and he pointed to her face and hands.

Menstruating Woman Should Not Go to the Mosque
God’s Messenger entered the courtyard of the mosque and exclaimed with a loud voice, ‘The mosque is lawful neither for a sexually defiled male nor a menstruating woman.”