Military training for women

Q388 :There is provision in certain educational institutions in my home country to join a military training course which lasts a month. This is available for both boys and girls in secondary schools. Completing the course adds 20 marks to the aggregate examination marks of the student. This helps in securing admission to a good college. The training is conducted only by men officers and girls are allowed to have their head covering, although this is not required of them. Is it permissible for a girl to join such a course of military training in order to ensure good university education?


A388 : This is a case to which a general Islamic rule applies. The rule says that everything is permissible unless it involves something which makes it forbidden. This means that something may be forbidden not because Islam does not approve of it in principle, but because of some other factors or circumstances which are added to it so as to make it unacceptable from the Islamic point of view. With regard to your question, we can say that for Muslim girls to undertake military training is permissible. However, if the setup or organization involves violating some Islamic teachings or principles, then the ruling of permissibility changes as a result of that. If those Muslim girls were trained by women instructors in an enclosed setup, that is perfectly acceptable. On the other hand, if they are trained by men in a situation where they are allowed to dress in a way which does not violate Islamic rules and at the same time helps them pursue their training, and if there is no possibility of an instructor being in private seclusion with a woman he trains, the verdict again says that such a training is permissible. However, a Muslim woman who wants to undertake it should make her intentions clear that she wants to have such military training in order to help in the defense of the Muslim community, or her family or herself. She should not follow this only to secure admission to a proper college. This is a small reward for her labors. She should seek Allah's pleasure and a good reward from Him by armaking her effort dedicated to a noble purpose.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )