May 31, 2011

Beautiful Reminder: Raising Daughters in Islam

Although widely spread, it's a false notion that a Muslim mother's value is in bearing and raising boys. This notion is not from Islam, but is rooted in pre-Islamic cultural practices where female children were seen as a disgrace and buried alive. In fact, Allah, the Most High, condemns such ignorant practices in the Qur'an.

Allah says in Surah An-Nahl, verses 58-59: "And when one of them is given the news of (the birth of) a female (daughter), his face becomes dark while he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the bad news he has received. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her (alive) in the ground? Certainly, evil is their decision!"

For Muslim parents, raising daughters is a way to Paradise.

The Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu 'ayahi wa sallam, said: "Whoever has three daughters whom he provides shelter for, supports and marries off, Paradise becomes absolutely binding for him." It was said, 'What if they are two (daughters)?' The Prophet said, "Even if it's two." (Ahmad, Bukhari)

In Muslim and Tirmidhee, it's reported that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever supports (i.e. raises) two girls until they reach adolescence (and get married), he will come on the Day of Judgment (like this) - him and I," and he interlaced his fingers.

The Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, was also reported to have said: "Whoever has a female (daughter) and doesn't bury her alive nor scorn her nor give preference to his male child over her, Allah will admit him to Paradise." (Abu Dawood)

In the book, Raising Children in Light of the Qur'an and Sunnah, the story is told of an Arab man who went by the kunya Abu Hamzah Ad-Dubbee. The man married and hoped his wife would give birth to a boy. When she delivered a girl, the man deserted her tent out of anger and went to live in another place. One day he passed by her tent and overheard his wife playing with their daughter, saying:

"Why doesn't Abu Hamzah come to us? He stays in the house next door to us, angry that we don't deliver sons for him. By Allah, this is not in our hands. Rather, we only accept what is given to us. We, much like the earth, are farmland, we simply produce what they plant in us."

When Abu Hamzah heard this, he was overcome with compassion, entered the home, and kissed the heads of his wife and daughter.

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