DAUGHTERS IN ISLAM
The fruit of raising daughters righteously is reward in this life before reward in the Hereafter; this is proved by the fact that Allah rewarded the righteous man who raised his two daughters virtuously. A daughter is a great bounty and an honour granted by Allah. Girls are a source of reward and sons are a blessing; rewards are in one’s favour (on the Day of Judgment) whereas one will be held accountable for blessings.”
Allah Almighty says (what means): “To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what He wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males. Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent.” Quran Shuraa 42:49, 50 Allah is the One, based on His ultimate wisdom, who grants whomever He wills sons and daughters; He grants sons only to whomever He wills, and grants daughters only to whomever He wills, and if He so wills, He makes whomever He wills infertile.
We notice in the above ayath that the mention of daughters preceded that of sons, and the scholars commented on this saying: “This is to hearten daughters and encourage kindness towards them, because many fathers feel burdened by receiving a daughter. The common practice of the people during the pre-Islamic era was to hate receiving daughters, to the extent that they would bury them alive; therefore, it is as if Allah is saying to people: `This inferior child in your estimation takes precedence in My scale.’ He also mentions daughters first to indicate their weakness, and that they are therefore more deserving of care and attention.”
Such honouring of daughters is the complete opposite of how people were accustomed to dealing with females in the pre-Islamic era, when they would degrade women and consider them a part of their wealth, and if news of a baby girl would come to any of them, it would be as if he was hit by a thunderstorm; Allah says (what means): which means: “And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide.” Quran Surah Mujadilah 58:59
During the era of Ignorance
It is said that some enemies of Qays ibn ‘Aasim At-Tameemi, who was a pre-Islamic Arab, attacked his premises and captured his daughter. Later, one of these enemies married her. After some time, the clan of Qays and that of his enemies reconciled, so they gave this daughter of his the freedom to go back to her father or remain with her husband, and she preferred to stay with her husband. At that point, Qays took a pledge upon himself to bury alive any new daughter that he would receive, and the Arabs imitated him after that. It was, therefore, this man who introduced this evil practice, and thus he will shoulder his own sin as well as the sin of all those who did it thereafter.
One of the companions who had killed his daughter in the era that preceded Islam narrated his story: “We would worship idols in the pre-Islamic era and kill our daughters. I had a daughter, who, when she was old enough to comprehend and talk, would rejoice whenever she saw me and would immediately respond. One day, I called her and told her to follow me, so she did, until we reached a well that belonged to my tribe. I then took her by her hand and threw her in the well, and the last thing I heard her cry was: ‘O father! O father!'” (Ad-Daarimi)
During the era that preceded Islam, there were two methods that people used to kill their daughters:
- At the time of the delivery of the child, a man would order his wife to give birth next to a hole dug in the ground; if the newborn was a male, she would return home with him, otherwise, she would throw her into the pit and bury her alive.
- When the daughter reached six years of age, the man would tell his wife to adorn and perfume her, then he would take her to a well in the desert and tell her to look down into the well; when she would do this, he would push her into it from behind.
There were some men among these people who would forbid such acts, such as Sa’sa’ah ibn Naajiyah At-Tameemi, who would go to those attempting to kill their daughter offering money to ransom their lives.
There are people nowadays who share these same pre-Islamic beliefs; if they are granted only girls, which is of course something decreed only by Allah, they become angry, discontent and grieved.
After the advent of Islam
With the advent of Islam, the darkness of that era vanished and Allah enjoined kindness, love and compassion towards girls. Taking good care of girls was encouraged, as was giving them special attention in the process of their upbringing. In fact, Islam has designated a special reward for raising them that is not granted for raising sons. Anas(R) reported that the Prophetﷺ said: “He who raises two daughters until their puberty will be with me in Paradise like this”, and he symbolized the proximity by showing two of his fingers with a slight gap between them.” Sahih Muslim
Aa’ishah(R) related: “A woman by the name of Jameelah came to me with her two daughters. She asked me for charity but found nothing with me except a date, which I gave her. She divided it between her two daughters and ate nothing herself; then, she got up and left. After this, the Messenger of Allahﷺ came, so I narrated this story to him; he said: “He who is involved (in the responsibility) of (nurturing) daughters and is generous to them, will have them as a fortification for himself against the Hellfire.” Sahih Al Bukhari and Muslim In another narration of this incident, `Aa’ishah(R) related: “A poor woman came to me with her two daughters. I gave her three dates; she gave each of them a date and was about to eat the third one when one of her daughters asked her for it, so she divided it between her two daughters and ate nothing herself, and I liked what she did. After this, the Messenger of Allah came, so I told him what she did, and he said: ‘Allah obligated Paradise for her due to this date, and (also) freed her from Hell.'” Sahih Muslim
Pay close attention to wording of the following narration: the Prophetﷺsaid: “He who is tested by (the guardianship) of daughters….” Why did he use the word: “…tested…”? He said it because raising them is a responsibility and a test from Allah to see how His slave would act: Will he be kind to them? Will he raise them correctly?
The nature of this responsibility was further clarified in other narrations, such as: “If he patiently feeds them and endows them with clothing …” (sunan Ibn Maajah)., and: “…Provides for them and marries them off…” (At-Tabaraani)., and: “…Properly raises them and fears Allah in the manner in which he deals with them.” (At-Tirmithi)
This is what is required when dealing with daughters: kindness, which results in Paradise, as the Prophetﷺ said: “Whoever Allah has given two daughters and is kind towards them, will have them as a reason for him to be admitted into Paradise.” And: “Whoever Allah has given three daughters and he perseveres through raising them, will have them as a shield for him from the Hellfire on the Day of Resurrection.”
A daughter is a great bounty and an honour granted by Allah, Imaam Al-Hasan said: “Girls are a source of reward and sons are a blessing; rewards are in one’s favour (on the Day of Judgement) whereas one will be held accountable for blessings.”
Thus, it is incorrect to believe that one has been humiliated by being granted a girl; rather it is an honour, a bounty and a gate towards Paradise. Daughters are a great responsibility to rear, and this is why the reward for raising them correctly is greater than that for a son.
Once, one of the leaders of the believers was receiving people when a small daughter of his entered the room, so he kissed her; a Bedouin was also in attendance and saw this, so he mentioned daughters in a very evil manner. A wise man who was also present witnessed all of this and therefore said: “O leader of the believers! Do not listen to him. I swear by Allah, that it is they (i.e., girls) who stay up to care for the sick in the family, who show mercy towards the elders, and who stand next to men during hardships.”
A man was granted a baby girl, so he became angry and isolated himself from his wife for a long time, and after few months, he overheard his wife reciting the ayath (which means): “…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you…” Quran Surah Baqrah 2:216
How many girls have been far more merciful and beneficial to their parents than their brothers? How many times has a son been a source of grief for his parents, to the point that they wished he was never born?
Why do we raise this topic now? It is due to the vicious attacks on the Muslims under the pretext of defending ‘women’s rights’ which is in reality an evil attempt to play on the emotions of women so that they will become rebellious towards their fathers and husbands, and to encourage them to leave their homes and demand their ‘freedom’. This is a gate towards evil and immorality which gradually attracts women and then traps them in prohibitions. One cause of girls falling into this is people neglecting their daughters and undermining their rights, which makes them easily fall into the traps of the hypocritical writers and columnists, male and female, who wish to see corruption prevail.
It is enough of an honour for girls that the Prophets may Allah exalt their mention, had daughters and that most of the children of our beloved Prophetﷺ were daughters, namely: Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulsoom and Fatimah (May allah hbe pleased with them). 
The fruit of raising daughters righteously is reward in this life before reward in the Hereafter; this is proved by the fact that Allah rewarded the righteous man who raised his two daughters virtuously, the result being Him facilitating the marriage of one of them to the honourable Prophet Musa.
More teachings on daughters
The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would express his love for his daughters by, for example, making statements like “(My daughter) Faatimah is a part of me, so whoever angers her angers me.”Sahih Al-Bukhaari and Sahih Muslim
‘Aa’ishah(R) recounted that Faatimah(R) once came walking in a manner identical to that of the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; When she arrived, heﷺ stood up and exclaimed: “Welcome, my daughter!” Then, he seated her to his side and whispered into her ear, and what he had said caused her to cry; then, he then whispered to her again, and she laughed. ‘Aa’isha(R) later asked her: “What made you weep and then laugh?” She replied: “I will never expose a secret that the Prophet entrusted me with.” After the death of the Prophetﷺ ‘Aa’isha asked her the same questions again, so she answered: “First, he informed me that his death was near, so I cried. After that, he told me that I will be the leader of the ladies of Paradise, so I laughed.” Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
‘Aa’ishah(R) said: “I have not seen anyone closer in physical appearance and character to the Prophetﷺ than his daughter Faatima … Whenever she would enter into his presence, he would stand up and seat her in his place, and whenever he would enter into her presence, she would stand up, kiss him, and seat him in her place.”
This is how he cared for his daughters. Zaynab(R) who was another daughter of the Prophet sent for him due to her child being close to death, but the Prophetﷺ sent the messenger back to her, telling him to tell her: “Whatever Allah takes away or gives, belongs to Him, and everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world); and she should therefore be patient and anticipate Allah’s reward.” She sent for him again, pleading with him for the sake of Allah to come. Therefore, the Messenger of Allahﷺ went, accompanied by Sa`d bin `Ubaadah, Mu`aath bin Jabal, Ubayy bin Ka`b, Zayd bin Zaabit and others. The child was lifted up to the Messenger of Allah while breathing heavily, in the last moments before his death. Upon seeing this, the eyes of the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam streamed with tears as a result of compassion that Allah had placed in his heart. Due to this, Allah caused the boy to be cured, as Imaam Ibn Hajar stated.
The Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would carry Umaamah(R) during prayer whilst standing, and place her on the ground before prostrating. Sahih Al-Bukhari
Once, Faatimah(R) complained to him about suffering due to strenuous housework, and that it was causing her hands to roughen and develop marks; heﷺ therefore taught her to mention Allah before going to bed by uttering ‘Subhaan-Allah’ (i.e., glory be to Allah) and ‘Al-Hamdulillaah’ (i.e., all praise be to Allah) thirty-three times each, and thirty-four times ‘Allahu Akbar’ (i.e., Allah is the Greatest); he told her that this would be better for her than the assistance of a servant.
Also, when the family of Abu Jahl requested ‘Ali to marry their daughter, he refused and said: “Never will the daughter of the messenger of Allah and the daughter of the enemy of Allah be under (the guardianship of) one man. Faatimah is a part of me, and whoever saddens her has harmed me.” He later stood up and explained to the people that he was not making unlawful what Allah made lawful, nor was he forbidding polygamy, but rather, he did what he did due to Faatimah being the daughter of a messenger, which is a special case, since no one is permitted to harm the Messenger.
Faatimah was courageous and proud of Islam. In the incident when her father was praying in front of the Ka’bah and the disbelievers placed the guts of a camel on his head whilst he was prostrating and then laughed and mocked him, it was she who came, by herself, and screamed at the disbelievers and then removed the guts. (Muslim)
This is how the life of the Prophet was regarding dealing with his daughters, so let us make it a guideline by which we live.
Some people are truly hardhearted, to the point that they do not express any emotions toward their children. It is a disaster when a daughter is raised in such an emotional vacuum, because it is easy for any evil person to then affect her with his deceptive words and entice her into his trap, and this is how the calamity of fornication occurs. This is why we need to pay close attention to the issue of daughters and grant them their due consideration, especially when we live in an era where everything evil is available and within reach.
It is indeed a great responsibility to satiate the emotions of our daughters with the love they need from the hearts of their merciful fathers, lest evil men do this instead to achieve their vile objectives.
We must also give the same level of attention to our sons in this regard, because the problems we hear regarding our young men are due to the negligence of their parents. What is our role? It is, as Allah says (what means): “O you who have believed! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.” Quran Surah Tahreem 66: 6 We must soften their hearts with a warm smile whenever we see them, and speak to them with merciful words.
If we do not pay attention to this issue, a day will come when our communities will be just like the immoral and dissolute ones.
A British survey of two thousand fathers found that: “Forty-percent (40%) of fathers feel lonely and depressed. They miss their sons, but miss their daughters a lot more.”
Some contemporary people who write in newspapers and magazines state that our daughters do not need guardians. They oppose to the Law of Allah in general, and specifically the ruling that prohibits intermixing between men and women; they demand that women leave their homes and ‘prove their ability’. Why do these hypocrites wish to eradicate our honour? This mandates even more care and attention towards our daughters; we must raise them upon obedience to Allah and His messengerﷺ and upon adherence to the Hijab; we must not wait till they reach the age of puberty to instruct them wear it, because it might then be too late for them to accept it.
Some parents allow their daughters to wear dresses that are revealing and which leave them naked, or almost naked, and this is a far cry from correct cultivation. It is not a reflection of love or mercy to our daughters to allow them to have their own mobile phone, or to have a satellite receiver in their rooms. It is not a sign of love or mercy to allow them to go to places where immorality is spread, or to parties, or salons where they pluck their eyebrows, adorn themselves and then go out like that.