Why was a daughter born?

Islam and Women

Why was a daughter born?

Umm Milad Attariyyah

In the Age of Ignorance, when the signs of child birth would become apparent in a woman, her husband would hide from his people until the child was born. When he would come to know that a boy was born, he would become happy and come before his people. However, if he would receive news of a girl being born, he would become sad and would hide from the people for many days out of shame. All the while he would be contemplating what he would do with the girl; would he endure “disgrace” by keeping her, or bury her alive, like the tribes of Muar, Khuzāah and Tamīm would do.[1]

Manifesting sadness upon the birth of a daughter is the way of disbelievers. In this day and age, this misfortune has appeared among the Muslims too. They show sadness on the birth of a daughter; their faces display no signs of happiness. They respond rudely to those who congratulate them and feel shame in distributing sweets in happiness of their daughter’s birth. They oppress women if they give birth to only daughters and even divorce them.

There was a woman from Karachi who got married, and she gave birth to a girl 11 months later. Due to this, she was beaten and eventually thrown out of the house. Similarly, there was another girl form Lahore who was married, and her mother-in-law demanded that she give birth to a boy. She was forced to have an ultrasound scan during her pregnancy, which identified the baby as a girl. Following this, the poor woman was subjected to oppression as though she had a choice in determining the child’s gender.

To the extent that when the girl was born, she was also treated cruelly. A bowl of ice was placed on the three-day-old girl, so that she dies somehow. When nothing else worked, the mother-in-law, who is a woman herself, compelled her son to divorce his wife. This is despite the fact that there are many virtues of having a daughter and raising her.

The beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said:

When a daughter is born to a person, Allah Almighty sends angels, who say, “O people of the household! May peace descend upon you.” Then they cover the girl with their wings, and wiping their hands over her head, they say, “A weak being has come forth from another weak being. The one who looks after her will be aided until the Day of Judgement.”[2]

Sayyidunā Abdullah b. Abbās رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهُمَا narrates that the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, Whosoever has a daughter and does not bury her alive, does not consider her lowly, and does not prefer his sons over her, Allah Almighty will admit him into Paradise.”[3]

A daughter is a blessing of Allah Almighty. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم had great love for his daughter and referred to Sayyidah Fāimah رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا as the coolness of his eyes. The Mother of the Believers, Sayyidatunā Āˈishah al-iddiqah رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا states, “When Fāimah رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا would visit the beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, he would stand for her, hold her hand and kiss it, and seat her in his place.”[4]

If only we would develop the desire to act in accordance to the biography of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. If a daughter is valued, she can be very loving. If parents treat their daughter well, and mother-in-law and father-in-law show their daughter-in-law love and respect as though she is their own daughter, then not only will the home become a centre of peace, the daughter-in-law will teach her children to love and honour them also. However, if the matter is opposite to this, and the daughter-in-law is instead mistreated and wronged, the mother-in-law should think to herself that not only is the life of another person’s daughter being ruined, the lives of those associated with her are also being destroyed, and her very own family is being wrecked as well.

There are many women who cannot tolerate their son sharing his love after marriage. Seeing their son’s increased attention towards the daughter-in-law, they begin to envy her. They start to turn the son against the daughter-in-law by whispering things to him. Over time, he develops a hatred for his wife, leading him to subject her to mental and physical abuse, and it eventually ends in divorce. Similarly, when the sister-in-law sees her brother’s love being shared, she begins to sow seeds of discord, forgetting she will also become someone’s daughter-in-law someday; if this was to happen to her, how would she feel?

We are adherents of Islam, and Islam teaches us to be peaceful, to respect fellow humans, and honour Muslims. Let alone humans, it even prohibits us from wronging animals. If only we would gain the passion to practically adopt Islam, become successful in avoiding all of these matters and in living our lives in full accordance with Islamic law.

اٰمِیْنْ بِجَاہِ خاتَمِ النَّبِیّٖن صلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہ ِوَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ

[1] Tafsīr al-Khāzin, Surah Al-Naal, under Verse 59, vol. 3, pp. 127, 128 summarized

[2] Al-Mujam Al-aghīr, vol. 1, p. 30

[3] Sunan Abū Dāwūd, vol. 4, p. 435, Hadith 5146

[4] Sunan Abū Dāwūd, vol. 4, p. 454, Hadith 5217




Security Code