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Inequality: Role and Reward of Women in Islam?



Reply Date

Nov 22, 2016


Assalamulaikum wa rahmatullah, I have some questions that are causing me a lot of distress to the point that I fear kufr for myself. I hope that you as a Muslim and someone knowledgeable about Islam would help in understanding these issues. After completing almost 5 semesters of BAIS at IOU, I am getting confused on some issues especially the issue relating to the role of women in Islam. Does Allah love men more? Are men superior to women in Islam? 1. What does Islam say about gender equality, I mean, does Allah love males more than females or He loves them equally? Also does Islam teach that men are inherently better and superior to women just because they are men? Is a women considered unintelligent and stupid (as is stated in one hadeeth that women are deficient in intellect and religion)? All my life I saw women being suppressed and treated harshly by their husbands and in-laws (this is the case especially where I live... India) but then I read the hadeeth about women being more in hell and less in heaven because they were ungrateful to their husbands. Will Allah not punish men for what harm they inflict on their women? Or will only women be punished for something they say even without meaning it? Men get hoors. Are there any rewards in Jannah just for women? 2. Also, if Allah rewards all of His slaves equally then why does He not mention anything for the females when He promises hoors to men? And could you please explain the hadith wherein the prophet said that any women who harms her husband is cursed by hoor and says, “may Allah fight you! he is only with you for some days and soon he will leave you and come to us”. I am sorry to say but I feel humiliated because of this hadeeth. What if the husband harms the wife? Who will stand up for her? Maybe no one.



Inequality: Role and Reward of Women in Islam?

Wa Alaykam Assalam Dear Sister,

Thank you for contacting us with your questions.

I will try to address each one of your concerns and questions separately, insha’Allah.

Gender Equality And Mistreatment of Women

In Islam, males and females are absolutely equal in the eyes of Allah i.e. no gender is inherently better or superior than the other. Allah does not love and reward one believing Muslim more than the other for their good deeds, just on the basis of their gender. He chooses a human being’s gender Himself, so how can He prefer and love that creation of His more, on the basis of what He has preordained Himself?

Secondly, each gender has their unique traits and qualities, due to which they have been assigned gender-specific societal and communal roles and responsibilities in the life of this world. Women have been prohibited from taking on leadership roles, and this burden has instead been placed on men. This is the reason why all the Prophets of Allah were men.

Women have been taxed, instead, with physical travails and burdens, such as menses, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and menopause, due to which they periodically experience mood swings and other emotional trials. As a result, they have not been burdened with responsibilities such as financially supporting their children and other relatives. This burden has been placed upon men.

That being said, men who mistreat women because of the authority they have over them, will indeed be punished for their injustices and oppression. Many politically and economically strong men in this world do seem to get away with treating women unjustly. However, Allah will not let anyone who committed injustice in this world without repenting and recompensing for their wrongs, get away with it on the Day of Judgment. They will be taken to account with full justice.

As for the hadith that mentions that there will be more women than men in Hell, there is a logical explanation for this. In any era in time, women outnumber men. This is the law of nature, and this is also the reason why men have been allowed to marry up to four women, so that all women can have a husband to support them. Furthermore, there are several ahadith, in which Allah has mentioned how men will also be punished in Hell.

So, sister, please do not think that Allah loves men more, or that He punishes them less than women. It is just that He creates more females than males, and has appointed the men as the official caretakers of women. In fact, men will have to answer more severely for their sins to Allah, than women, because of their leadership roles.

Rewards in Paradise

One of the most oft-received questions from sisters, is that if men have been promised multiple wives and hoors in Paradise, why have the rewards of women not been specifically mentioned as well?

Again, this might appear to seem as if women have been dealt a lesser hand, even in Paradise. But, that is not so, because Allah is not in the least bit unjust.

It is just that men get aroused and motivated more to do good deeds, by the graphic descriptions of the beautiful women that await them in Jannah as rewards, whereas women do not need such motivation. Men are polygamous by nature, and more attracted sexually to the physical female form, than women are. Women have not been created with such intense desires, although they do have their share.

In Paradise, every soul — man or woman — will have whatever they desire. That is the basic reward. There will be no feelings of jealousy or rancor in Paradise. Men desire multiple sexual partners who are virginal and submissive, and whom no other man can touch, so they will be rewarded with that.

Had you also been born a male, sister, you would have desired the same. So accept this as the decree of Allah.

I hope this helps address your concerns.

Salam and please remain in touch.

About Sadaf Farooqi

Sadaf Farooqi is an author, blogger and freelance writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. To date, Sadaf has authored over 300 original articles, most of which can be accessed on her blog, "Sadaf's Space" ( She has recently started self-publishing her past articles as non-fiction Islamic books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle (

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