[By Maulana Najeeb Qasmi]
Almighty Allah says:
“To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or both male and female and He leaves whoever He wills barren” [Al-Shura: 49-50].
In case of infertility, in spite of all efforts, they get neither sons nor daughters. Actually this depends only on the Almighty Allah’s will and His great wisdom. He gives everyone what is more suitable for him/her. Sons and daughters are among blessings and mercies of the Almighty Allah. We need both in order to fulfil the needs of the society. Men and women are helpful for each other, both would be incomplete, if they remain separated from each other. The Almighty Allah created this world and set everything so wisely and in such a beautiful way that everything has got due importance and became the sign of His great wisdom. In the same way the Almighty Allah has created both men and women, having equal importance and concerned rights. He made them inseparable from each other in order to carry on the system of this world. Both have been given distinguished features and respective responsibilities. Both need each other in order to fulfil worldly needs and to create an ideal society.
There are many evils and wrong practices which had into our so called modern society. Among such malpractices is the mindset of people who looks down the female child. They rejoice if they are blessed with a son, organize functions and do all possible things in order to demonstrate their happiness. On the contrary, if they have been given female child they do not feel happy, in lieu of that they are filled with inward grief and sadness. It is not only that but also sometimes father and all other members of the family put blame on the mother of the infant and she is verbally tortured without any wrong and she is vulnerable to their oppressions.
In fact, such mindsets of people are very dangerous and harmful for moral and ethical values of our society. A female child is a mercy of the Almighty Allah and deserves all respects and affections as a male child does.
Whosoever is blessed with it should be thankful to his Lord and happily accept His wise decision. It is inhuman to disregard a female child and it shows moral bankruptcy to have such behaviours. Despite all progress and development we are going back to the ignorant age with this malpractice. The holy Qur’an describes such unjust behaviours of ignorant age and strongly condemns them. Almighty Allah says:
“And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonour or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision”. [Al-Nahl: 58-59].
In this verse, the Almighty Allah has expressed evil practices of the ignorant age and asked us not to repeat them. So now it is our moral and religious duty to be happy on the birth of female child in the same way as we do it on the birth of a male child, it is also our duty to treat all children equally.
There are a number of traditions in which the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has expressed the virtue of upbringing daughters, some of them are as follows:
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever has three daughters, or three sisters, or two daughters, or two sisters and he keeps good company with them ((treats them well, gives their rights fixed as per laws of Islamic Shari’ah) and fears Allah regarding them, then Paradise is for him”. [Tirmidhi, chapter: regarding expenditure on daughters)].
The same Hadith is also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu), but with a little addition, that is one of the companions of Prophet asked: if anyone has only one daughter, will he be deprived of this virtue? The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied: If he brings her up in the same manner, he will also deserve the paradise. [Ithaf Al-Sadat Al-Muttaqin].
It is narrated by Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) that the person who brings up daughters patiently, they will be a shield for him from the Hell Fire.[Tirmidhi]
It is narrated on the authority of Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: Whoever has two or three daughters and he brings them up well (Treats them well and when they become mature enough he gets them married), he would be accompanied by me in the Paradise just like these two fingers. [Tirmidhi, chapter: regarding expenditure on daughters].
It is narrated by Aisha (radhiyallahu anhu) that once a woman came to her accompanied with her two daughters, she asked her for something, Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) says that there was nothing at home other than one date, so she gave that to the woman. The woman distributed it equally making it into two pieces so that each can get one. She did not take anything from that, then she returned. After a while, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) came, Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) narrated the story to him, then the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: the one who has two daughters and treats them well, they would be a shield for him from the Hell Fire. [Tirmidhi].
Note: After reading the above mentioned traditions regarding the person who has daughters and he brings them well, gives them proper education and gets them married after they reach the age of maturity, we can conclude the following three merits which he will deserve for his action:
Salvation from the Hell Fire.
Entry into the Paradise.
Company of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in the Paradise.
It is obvious that love is the matter of heart, it is quite possible that one be more attracted to one of his children, but it should not be shown by action. Love is a hidden fact and it comes from within, it may be more or less. If anyone finds himself uncontrolled and increases his love for any of his children, he is not liable to answer for that, but if he shows it through his behavior in such a way that may hurt his other children, then it is prohibited.
It is the duty of parents to treat all of them equally.
If parents or either of them presents any gift to his children, it should be done on equal basis. Equality is not related to gifts alone, but it also includes everything that they provide for them whether it is related to any edible item, clothing, money or any other thing.
We should very clearly understand that both girls and boys have equal rights, there is no difference at all. One should not be mistaken and confused by the rulings of ‘Wirathah‘ (Islamic laws pertaining to descent and distribution) i.e. share of two daughters is equal to one son’s share. Here we should understand very clearly the fact that this share would be given to daughters after the death of father or parents, as far as he is alive daughters have equal rights as sons have. However the difference in the share of daughters after the death of parents is not going to lessen the value of girls, rather it boosts their rights. (The reason is that by that time generally she gets married and gets new right as a wife, in addition to that she also deserves a considerable share in the property left by her parents). However, the above mentioned instructions are for general situations, in particular cases exceptional treatment can be made and parents have open choice. For instance, any of the children fall ill, now parents have full right to spend extra money for his or her treatment. Similar is the case with education expenditure and any other needs. At the time of need, parents are allowed to make difference and they are not answerable for that.As mentioned above, daughters have their shares in the property of their parents even after getting married.
Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) care for His Daughters:
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had four daughters and they were Fatima (radhiyallahu anha), Zainab (radhiyallahu anha), Ruqaiyyah (radhiyallahu anha) and Umme Kulthum (radhiyallahu anha). The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to love them much. Three of them passed away while the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was still alive. Only Fatimah (radhiyallahu anha), the beloved daughter of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) died six months after the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) death. All the daughters of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) were buried in ‘Jannat Al-Baqi’ the famous graveyard in Madinah Munawwarah. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to love Fatimah (radhiyallahu anha) a lot. Whenever he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) went on journey, the last person whom he used to meet, it was none other than Fatima (radhiyallahu anha) and when he came back from the journey, it was again Fatimah whom he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to meet first. In fact the behavior of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) shows enormous love and care for daughters.