Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
assalamu alaikum, respected brother in islam,
Regarding recents posts about the status of women... I am a practising muslimah striving to seek the mercy and blessing of Alah subhanau wa ta'ala. He has bestowed blessing upon blessing upon me and has always helped me when I have been in dire need. However....from time to time I become disheartened when I read Hadith pertaining to women, their role, and their position in the afterlife.
I am fully aware of all verses in Al Quran which clarify that there is reward for every believing male and every believing female, and that Allah will not suffer the works of any believer to be lost, and that not the least injustice will be done to them. So then, how can hellfire be the destiny of most women, because they are ungrateful to their husbands? If this is so, then by contrast, most men, however sinful will be in
So women are told at the outset that there is little chance of them going to paradise. In contrast, incentives for men to strive for paradise are frequently given in the Quran and hadith. There are many lucid descriptions fo the sexual delights awaiting them there. I accept that many men need enticing with such descriptions in order to keep them on the straight path. However, are women not in need of some kind of incentive also? I'm not talking of descriptions of gorgeous men here, (though many women would be enticed by this!)But surely women would be helped by descriptions of paradise suited to their feminine nature, romantic love, one gorgeous heavenly husband etc. The muslim woman is bluntly told that in paradise she will be with her earthly husband and all his heavenly wives - not so bad if her husband was lovely, but where is the incentive in this if he was ill tempered and stingy?
Despite the many blessings Islam has conferred upon women, men seem to have it all. On earth, a wife who panders to their every whim, and in heaven many beautiful wives to replace her, because she will be in hell anyway.
Dear brother is Islam, please can you clarify for me, why incentives are frequently given to men to strive for paradise, but hadith for women seem like deterrents? Why bother striving for paradise if you are going to go to hell anyway?
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More women in hell fire
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your Question: .....So then, how can hellfire be the destiny of most women, because they are ungrateful to their husbands? If this is so, then by contrast, most men, however sinful will be in
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 35:
35 For muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise; for them has Allah prepared Forgiveness and a Great Reward.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 72:
72 Allah hath promised to believers, men and women, Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah: that is the supreme felicity.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 48 Surah Al-Fath verse 5:
5 That He may admit the men and women who believe to Gardens beneath which rivers flow to dwell therein for aye and remove their ills from them; and that is in the Sight of Allah the Highest Achievement
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 57 Surah Hadid verses 11-12:
11 Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful Loan? For (Allah) will increase it manifold to his credit and he will have (besides) a liberal reward.
12 One Day shalt thou see the believing men and the believing women how their Light runs forward before them and by their right hands: (their greeting will be): "Good News for you this Day! Gardens beneath which flow rivers! To dwell therein for aye! This is indeed the Highest Achievement!"
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verses 72-73:
72 We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains: but they refused to undertake it being afraid thereof: but man undertook it he was indeed unjust and foolish.
73 (With the result) that Allah has to punish the hypocrites men and women, and the unbelievers men and women, and Allah turns in Mercy to the believers men and women: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 195:
195 And their Lord hath accepted of them and answered them: "Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you be he male or female: ye are members one of another; those who have left their homes or been driven out therefrom or suffered harm in My Cause or fought or been slain verily I will blot out from them their iniquities and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath; a reward from the presence of Allah and from His presence is the best of rewards."
Respected Sister in Islam, rest assured that the All-Wise All-Just Lord does not Judge His creation according to their gender, or color, or race, or nationality, or anything else over which one did not possess any control....but the principle of Justice of the Lord Most Just is based on the beliefs and deeds of each individual, absolutely regardless of their gender or color, etc.! Whosoever's weight of good deeds is heavier in the Supreme Scales of Allah Subhanah will be shown His Forgiveness and Mercy; and whosoever's weight of evil is heavier will deserve the Lord's Wrath and Anger.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 103 Surah Al-Qariah verses 6-11:
6 Then he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) heavy
7 Will be in a life of good pleasure and satisfaction.
8 But he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) light
9 Will have his home in a (bottomless) pit.
10 And what will explain to thee what this is?
11 (It is) a Fire Blazing fiercely!
Now to answer your specific question regarding the quoted hadith, whereby the Messenger of Allah (saws) warned that he (saws) was shown Hell Fire and he (saws) saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.28 Narrated by Ibn Abbas
The Prophet (saws) said: "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful." It was asked, "Do they disbelieve in Allah?" (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He (saws) replied, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, 'I have never received any good from you!"
Although most people have taken this authentic quotation of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and used it against the womenfolk, the truth is that most of them have not truly understood the wisdom behind the wise counsel of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and the depth and reality of the wisdom behind the statement.
One can only imagine the importance the Prophet (saws) and Islam lays on the development of peace, tranquility, and harmony in a marriage in Islam. The above statements of the Messenger of Allah (saws) were said when he was addressing the womenfolk, and he (saws) guided them how detestable is their act of constantly complaining and being ungrateful to their husbands in the Sight of Allah, and how this constant complaining and nagging effects the very core of the relationship between a husband and his wife in marriage!
There are several ahadeeths of the Messenger of Allah (saws) whereby he warned the men, when his audience were men, regarding the severity and importance of being merciful, kind, charitable, and forgiving towards their wives, and keeping good harmonious relations with their wives in marriage.
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 278 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah
The Prophet (saws) said: 'The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behaviour; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.'
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3252 Narrated by Aisha ; Abdullah ibn Abbas
Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family."
Sahih Muslim Hadith 3465 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As
Allah's Messenger (saws) said: 'The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman.'
Sahih Muslim Hadith 3469 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah
Allah's Messenger (saws) said: 'a believing man should not hate a believing woman (his wife); if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3358 Narrated by AbuBakr as-Siddiq
The Prophet (saws) said, "One who
treats badly those under his authority will not enter
The wisdom behind the statement of the Messenger of Allah (saws) warning the believing woman was not to belittle or demean the role of women, but rather a warning and a guidance to make sure they fulfill their part in developing peace, harmony and tranquility in their marriage; and Allah is our witness sister, nothing is more hurtful to men than to hear these words from their wives after a lifetime of sacrifices that ''I have never received any good from you!"
Respected sister in Islam, I tell you as a man myself, nothing on this planet earth crushes and crumbles the heart of the man to pieces than to hear this one statement from the one whom he has cherished and loved a lifetime!
Rest assured my beloved sister, that the men who harm, abuse, oppress, tyrannize, and are unjust to anyone, leave alone their wives, will have to pay retribution in full to the victims of their tyranny in the Majestic Presence of the Lord Most Majestic on that Inevitable Day of Justice...and Allah is our witness sister, not a single soul will be wronged in that Majestic and Tumultuous gathering!
Sahih Muslim Hadith 6251 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah
Allah's Messenger (saws) asked: 'Do you know who is a 'muflis' (an absolute and abject pauper)?' They (the Companions of the Prophet (saws)) said: 'A 'muflis' amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth.' He (the Prophet (saws)) said: 'The 'muflis' (or absolute pauper) of my Ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakat but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others, unlawfully consumed the wealth of others, shed the blood of others, and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire!'
Although most people who do not fully and truly understand
the wisdom behind the statement of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and have taken
the words 'I was shown the Hell-fire and that the
majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful' literally,
assume that the Hell Fire mentioned in the above hadith refers to the complete
expanse and all the inhabitants of the Hell-Fire! The Truth is that just as
When the Messenger of Allah (saws) relates in truth that the inhabitants of the Hell-Fire he was shown had a majority of women as its inhabitants, it is very probable that he (saws) was warning about only a particular section and level of Hell where those who were constantly ungrateful were held. There are many authentic narrations whereby the Messenger of Allah (saws) was shown and talks about particular sections and levels of the Hell Fire and its inhabitants.....
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.468 Narrated by Samura bin Jundab (part)
The Prophet (saws) said: ..... I had seen (a
dream) last night that two men (Angels) came to me, caught hold of my hands,
and took me to the
The man went to pick it up and by the time he returned to him, the crushed head had returned to its normal state and the man came back and struck him again (and so on). I said, 'Who is this?' They told me to proceed on; so we proceeded on and passed by a hole like an oven; with a narrow top and wide bottom, and the fire was kindling underneath that hole. Whenever the fire-flame went up, the people were lifted up to such an extent that they were about to get out of it, and whenever the fire got quieter, the people went down into it, and there were naked men and women in it. I said, 'Who is this?' They told me to proceed on. So we proceeded on till we reached a river of blood and a man was in it, and another man was standing at its bank with stones in front of him, facing the man standing in the river. Whenever the man in the river wanted to come out, the other one threw a stone in his mouth and caused him to retreat to his original position; and so whenever he wanted to come out the other would throw a stone in his mouth, and he would retreat to his original position. I asked, 'What is this?' They told me to proceed on and we did so till we reached a well-flourished green garden having a huge tree and near its root was sitting an old man with some children. (I saw) another man near the tree with fire in front of him and he was kindling it up. Then they (i.e. my two companions) made me climb up the tree and made me enter a house, better than which I have ever seen. In it were some old men and young men, women and children.
Then they took me out of this house and made me climb up the tree and made me enter another house that was better and superior (to the first) containing old and young people. I said to them (i.e. my two companions), 'You have made me ramble all the night. Tell me all about that I have seen.' They said, 'Yes. As for the one whose cheek you saw being torn away, he was a liar and he used to tell lies, and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So, he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection.
The one whose head you saw being crushed is the one whom Allah had given the knowledge of Qur'an (i.e. knowing it by heart) but he used to sleep at night (i.e. he did not recite it then) and did not use to act upon it (i.e. upon its orders etc.) by day; and so this punishment will go on till the Day of Resurrection. And those you saw in the hole (like oven) were adulterers (those men and women who commit illegal sexual intercourse). And those you saw in the river of blood were those dealing in Riba (usury). And the old man who was sitting at the base of the tree was Abraham and the little children around him were the offspring of the people. And the one who was kindling the fire was Malik, the gatekeeper of the Hell-fire. And the first house in which you have gone was the house of the common believers, and the second house was of the martyrs. I am Jibrael and this is Michael. Raise your head.' I raised my head and saw a thing like a cloud over me. They said, 'That is your place.' I said, 'Let me enter my place.' They said, 'You still have some life which you have not yet completed, and when you complete (that remaining portion of your life) you will then enter your place.' "
In light of the above absolutely clear guidance of the Quran and Sunnah, it is absolutely evident that the Lord Most High does not base His Justice, His Rewards, and His Sentences of Punishments based on one's gender or race or color, etc.; but every soul shall reap the results of only what one had sown in their test period of one life on this earth; and Allah is our witness sister, no one will be wronged in the least in that Majestic and Supreme Presence of their Lord Most High.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 36 Surah Yaseen verses 53-54:
53 It will be no more than a Single Blast when lo! They will all be brought up before Us!
54 Then on that Day not a soul will be wronged in the least, and ye shall but be repaid (in full) the meeds of your past deeds.
Your Question: Dear brother is Islam, please can you clarify for me, why incentives are frequently given to men to strive for paradise, but hadith for women seem like deterrents?
The fortunate people, men or women, who will be rewarded Paradise by Allah Subhanah, will get an abundance of things from their Lord: eternal life of pleasure, gardens, wealth, properties, palaces, servants, canals of milk and honey, natural springs, abundance of food and fruits, and loving spouses, children, family, etc. And above all, they will get the Pleasure and Good Will of their Lord and Creator!
has promised the fortunate dwellers of
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 50 Surah Qaaf verse 35:
There they (the men and women of
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqan verses 15-16:
Ask them, "Is this (the Fire) better, or the
regards the rewards that the successful people of
Allah Subhanah, Who Created everything in existence, also created its nature. And since man was created polygamous by nature, one of the rewards which The All Knowing and All Wise Lord has promised the fortunate men of Paradise is the companionship of many chaste, beautiful, and obedient wives in that Eternal Abode of the Hereafter.
The nature granted by Allah to women is not the same that was granted to men. Unlike men, a woman is not polygamous by nature. The things that a woman desires most from her husband is that he love her, cherish her, honor her, respect her, and treat her like a queen. And every woman also has the desire to be the most beautiful of all!
of all the heavenly wives of the righteous men of
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 32 Surah Sajdah verse 17:
No living being knows what comfort of the eyes has been kept hidden from them, as a recompense for their (righteous) deeds!
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.467 Narrated by Abu Huraira
Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Allah, The High and Exalted He is, said, 'I have prepared for My pious slaves (men and women) things which have never been seen by an eye, or heard by an ear, or imagined by a human being.'
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 36 Surah Ya Seen verses 55-58:
Verily the People of the Gardens shall that Day enjoy in everything that they do; they and their wives will be in groves of (cool) shade, reclining on Thrones (of dignity). They shall have all kinds of tasteful fruits, and they shall have there, whatever they may desire. They will have been greeted with 'Peace', a Word (of salutation) from a Lord, Most Merciful.
Allah Say sin the Holy Quran Chapter 40 Surah Ghafir verses 7-9:
7 Those (Angels) who sustain the Throne (of Allah) and those around it sing Glory and Praise to their Lord; believe in Him; and implore forgiveness for those who believe: "O Our Lord! Thy reach is over all things in Mercy and Knowledge. Forgive then those who turn in repentance and follow Thy Path: and preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire!
8 "And grant O our Lord! That they enter the Gardens of Eternity which Thou hast promised to them and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their posterity! For Thou art (He) the Exalted in Might Full of Wisdom.
Without an iota of a doubt, the married couple amongst the
believers who lived their lives on this earth in the obedience and awe of Allah
Subhanah and both were fortunate enough to enter Paradise, the Lord Most High,
Most Merciful will re-unite the pious couple in
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 78 Surah Nabaa verses 31-37:
31 Verily for the righteous (men and women) there (in
32 Gardens enclosed and Grape-vines;
33 Companions of Equal Age;
34 And a Cup full (to the Brim).
35 No Vanity shall they hear therein nor Untruth
36 Recompense from thy Lord a Gift (amply) sufficient
37 (From) the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all between (Allah), The Most Gracious:
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 76 Surah Dahr verses 11-22:
11 But Allah will deliver them (the Righteous, men and women) from the evil of that Day and will shed over them a light of Beauty and a (blissful) Joy.
12 And because they were patient and constant He will reward them with a Garden and (garments of) silk.
13 Reclining in the (Garden) on raised thrones (of Dignity) they will see there neither the sun's (excessive heat) nor (the moon's) excessive cold.
14 And the shades of the (Garden) will come low over them and the bunches (of fruit) there will hang low in humility.
15 And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and goblets of crystal
16 Crystal-clear made of silver: they will determine the measure thereof (according to their wishes).
17 And they will be given to drink there of a Cup (of Wine) mixed with Zanjabil
18 A fountain there called Salsabil.
19 And round about them will (serve) youths of perpetual (freshness): if thou seest them thou wouldst think them scattered Pearls.
20 And when thou lookest it is there thou wilt see a Bliss and a Realm Magnificent.
21 Upon them will be green Garments of fine silk and heavy brocade and they will be adorned with Bracelets of silver; and their Lord will give to them to drink of a Wine Pure and Holy.
22 Verily this is a Reward for you and your Endeavor is accepted and recognized.
has promised the fortunate dwellers of
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 119:
Allah will say: "This is a Day on which the Truthful will profit from their Truth: theirs are Gardens with rivers flowing beneath their eternal home: Allah well-pleased with them and they with Allah: that is the Great Salvation (the fulfillment of all desires).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 98 Surah Al-Bayyinah verse 8:
Their reward is with Allah: Gardens of Eternity Beneath which rivers flow; They will dwell therein for ever; Allah well pleased with them and they with Him: all this for such as fear their Lord and Cherisher.
Every single good, bliss, joy, happiness, pleasure, and honor one can only imagine through their wildest imaginations and much much more will be made available in an instant by the Lord Most Gracious, Most Benevolent to the fortunate dwellers in the Realms of Paradise!
Your Question: Dear brother is Islam, please can you clarify for me, why incentives are frequently given to men to strive for paradise, but hadith for women seem like deterrents?
Respected sister, the truth is that the Quran and the
Sunnah relate an extremely healthy balance between the hope of
If truth be told sister, most deterrents are generic and applicable to both men and women, whist others are specific to a gender. If one counts (or were able to count) the deterrents made available in the Quran and the Sunnah by gender, we assure you that the count would be similar.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 36:
It does not behove a believing man and a believing woman that when Allah and His Messenger have given their decision in a matter, they should exercise an option in that matter of theirs. For whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, has indeed strayed into manifest error.
Respected sister, although it simply does not behove nor befit the character of a believer who has professed belief in Allah and the Last Day to complain or challenge or claim even an iota of bias or injustice in any of the determinations of Allah and His Messenger (saws).....and The Lord Most Just Most Majestic is our witness there is none.....only for arguments sake, and to re-assure the hearts of our sisters in faith that there is none.....(and I humbly and sincerely seek the forgiveness of the Lord Most Gracious from even saying this!).....if one amongst the two genders has a right to complain or claim bias, it would have to be the male gender!!!
Shocked? Please don't be! Please allow us to explain....
If one merely looks at the duties and obligations that the Lord Most Just, Most Supreme has laid on the shoulders of the men (as compared to the women) who wish to attain success in the Hereafter....one would notice a stark disparity:
And the criteria for a woman to attain not only salvation,
but ultimate success in the Hereafter, whereby she may enter
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3254 Narrated by Anas ibn Malik
Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "When a
woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her
chastity and obeys her husband, she
may enter by any of the gates of
If one who is devoid of the wisdom of the Quran and the Sunnah were to merely look at the duties and responsibilities of the women compared to the men, one would have to admit that the test does indeed seem easier for the womenfolk!
Worshiping Allah Subhanah Alone and guarding one's chastity being the same, one amongst the men could ask 'how difficult can it be for one to be devoutly obedient to only one person'....especially if the promised reward is entrance into Paradise through any of its gates!!!
But if one truly trusts the Absolute Knowledge, the Perfect Wisdom, and the level of Justice of the Lord Who Created, one would have to believe and admit that because of the inherent nature bestowed on the womenfolk, this condition of 'being devoutly obedient to one's husband' must and does indeed balance all the other obligations which are laid by the Lord All-Knowing All-Just on the shoulders of the men!
If a believing man were told that he can enter any gate of Paradise he wishes if he fulfils the three conditions: worships Allah, guards his chastity, and devoutly obeys his wife.....because of his inherent nature, any day of the week, he would accept these three conditions instead of the additional and extra duties which are laid upon him!!! No Jihaad, no working day and night to earn one's livelihood lawfully, no obligation to pray five prayers every day in congregation in the mosques, etc....but instead to devoutly obey one who fully pays for my food, my shelter, and my upkeep until I die.....piece of cake!!!!
But the truth is sister, as difficult as it may be for a man to imagine it.....because of the inherent nature bestowed on the women, this being 'devoutly obedient to one's husband' must be so overbearing and so overwhelming for a woman, that in the Scales of Justice of the Lord, this one deed of the women balances all the other obligations which are laid exclusively upon the men in Islam! And Allah Alone Knows Best.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,