The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL)’s latest issue of Dabiq does not disregard its female readers, publishing a piece with advice for widows of jihadists. Various female jihadists write the article for the section “To Our Sisters.” The author of this issue provides the article with a more tame voice than previous issues.
An unknown jihadi bride tells her “sisters” the column aims at “the noble widows of the blessed shuhadā’ in the mighty lands of Khilāfah pertaining to the rulings of ‘iddah, especially those of ihdād (mourning their husbands).”
If a woman successfully mourns her husband, that success “is from Allah alone.”
In Islam, the woman must observe the death of her spouse for four months and ten days if they consummated the marriage. If consummated, the period ends at the end of pregnancy if the wife is with child. Koran lecturers believe the time period shows if the widow carries a baby. A divorced woman must wait three months.
The wife must also “stop adorning herself with jewelry, perfume, decorative clothing, and anything else meant to beautify oneself.” This includes dyed clothing, but black is allowed “because it is not an adornment and it is the clothing of grief.”
The author reminds her “sisters” they must observe ‘iddah in the house she shared with her husband. She may leave if she feels threatened or the house might be demolished. She may, however, attend to her daily activities, but must return to the house before sundown.
These women cannot accept a proposal during ‘iddah, and the religion forbids men from even suggesting a marriage proposal to a widowed woman during this time.
The writer ends the article addressing many mistakes “sisters” commit during ‘iddah. The majority of the women leave their houses too much, but she urges them, especially the pregnant ones, to trust in Allah and “know that the reward is granted according to the trial’s difficulty.” Weddings provide another obstacle for the women, but the jihadi bride says it is okay to attend them if the widow remembers to mourn her husband with the proper garments.
“So how can a mourning widow go to a party in which joy and happiness are manifested to the utmost, even if she herself does not wear any adornment?!” she asks.
She also reminds the readers to not promise marriage to another man.
Compared to previous articles, this piece lacks the traditional Islamic State emphasis on terror and killing, instead focusing on the mourning of those already dead.
In previous articles, Islamic State bride Umm Summayyah defended the rape of thousands of Yazidi girls and women while saying Michelle Obama is only worth $40 on the slave market.
“I swear by Allah, O you who feign to be knowledgeable and shout with falsehood in every gathering, surely the slave markets will be established against the will of the politically ‘correct’!” she wrote. “And who knows, maybe Michelle Obama’s price won’t even exceed a third of a dīnār, and a third of a dīnār is too much for her!”
One dinar is $139.
“Saby (taking slaves through war) is a great prophetic Sunnah containing many divine wisdoms and religious benefits, regardless of whether or not people are aware of this,” the woman allegedly wrote. “The Sīrah is a witness to our Prophet’s raiding of the kuffār. He would kill their men and enslave their children and women. The raids of the beloved Prophet convey this to us. Ask the tribes of Banī al-Mustaliq, Banī Quraydhah, and Hawāzin about this.”
Observers have expressed surprise that many women flock to the Islamic State, which treats them as second-class citizens. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College in London discovered the feeling of “sisterhood” was just as much of a draw as finding a jihadist groom.
The relationship between these women is almost as important as those with their men. On social media accounts, these women appear to shower each other with love and affection. The women use Umm, which means “mother” in Arabic, in their Twitter handles.
With a constant presence on social media and their propaganda, the Islamic State will continue to draw women.