- Baby boys ARE NOT more blessed than baby girls. Simply speaking, sister, this preference is based upon greed. The desire for (perceived) personal benefits. The lust for what a person believes will be better for their own worldly life.
- But one’s provision, including wealth and power, is preordained by Allah. Many families’ daughters end up wielding more power and wealth than their sons. But the ignorant cannot see this.
- Through the birth of Maryam, the mother of Isa (Jesus), Allah has stated clearly, that a male can never do what a female can. She has strengths and abilities that a man does not. Her role is, therefore, not the same in society, as a man’s. That is why she has been absolved from doing the work levied upon Allah’s Prophets.
Are Baby Boys more Blessed than Baby Girls?
I am glad you have brought up this perturbing issue, sister. It is a sad and reprehensible truth. This prevalent cultural preference of sons over daughters still exists in many countries. Baby boys are considered more desirable than baby girls. Since this belief often transcends regions as well as religions, it is prudent to find out its basis.
For example, even some Hindus and Christians in Pakistan and India, and many Buddhists in China, prefer baby boys. Astoundingly, even many religious Muslims harbor this mindset!
The preference for male progeny over female, even prevailed in pre-Islamic Arabia. Allah mentions it in the Quran:
“And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.” [16:58]
The prudent question is, as you asked, why? Why do people still desire male babies over female? Not just for themselves, but also for others. That is, they advise others to also desire sons over daughters.
A matter of perception: greed for worldly benefits
Simply speaking, sister, this preference is based upon greed. The desire for (perceived) personal benefits. The lust for what a person believes will be better for their own worldly life.
Purely and simply: it is plain greed.
Throughout history, political, economic, and social power, influence, authority and prestige have been associated with certain attributes. Most families desired to have the upper hand in society by acquiring these attributes. It is about the human ego: ascending towards higher society, being ‘better’ than others, and winning the favor people.
Societies implementing man-made laws did not afford benefits to females. So the birth of a son implied possibilities of availing them. Some examples of these benefits include:
– Continuation of one’s lineage (i.e. carrying on the family name). Bloodline was a major concern for most monarchies.
– Being an inheritor to the family fortune and assets (daughters could not legally inherit)
– Occupation of positions reserved for society’s ‘nobles’ and ‘elites’ (such as the military/army, clergy, and judiciary).
– Access to lucrative professions, such as trade and science.
– Kingship i.e. having access to the throne. Historically, all leadership positions in society could only be occupied by males.
– Protection and defense. A son could use weaponry to better defend the family honor, territory, and the kingdom.
– Lower social vulnerability: unlike daughters, sons could not get pregnant by rape. A family’s social ‘honor’ and virtue was linked to their female members’ chastity.
These dated ideas even exist today!
Sister, is it not obvious, that some of these dated ideas exist even today? The obsession with power, authority, social prestige, and acquisition of wealth? That is why these cultural beliefs are still being passed on. Despite the world having changed so much!
I will reiterate that the above ethos existed due to man-made legal and social systems. Historically, many societies were wrought with injustice and oppression. This was because all the laws and social norms were not of a Divine source. They were dictated and set by Allah’s creation.
Injustice was, therefore, widely prevalent, with power wielded by and afforded to only some people.
Females, slaves, the disabled, impoverished, children, elderly, and ethnic minorities had few to no rights. The powerful ones trampled upon the weak to maintain their power.
Continuation of a Prophetic legacy
In the Quran, Allah mentions how some Prophets and pious people prayed for a son. However, their reason for this supplication was purely to continue their legacy of serving Allah’s cause. Since they knew that Allah appointed only males as Prophets (and imams). The mother of Maryam bint `Imran and Prophet Zakaria, both, also prayed for a baby boy.
Yet, Maryam’s mother gave birth to a daughter. What Allah said about the female gender, with reference to this daughter, is amazing:
“And the male is not like the female... ” [Quran 3:36]
This makes one thing very clear. Allah has stated clearly, that a male can never do what a female can. She has strengths and abilities that a man does not. Her role is, therefore, not the same in society, as a man’s. That is why she has been absolved from doing the work levied upon Allah’s Prophets.
The status of a daughter in Islam, therefore, is very high.
Birth of girls, as mentioned in the Quran
At this point, sister, I want to exhort a very important fact.
The birth of a girl is a glad tiding, according to Allah’s words in the Quran. He says:
“And when one of them is given good tidings of that which he attributes to the Most Merciful in comparison, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.” [43:17]
Allah has mentioned expressing sorrow at the birth of a girl, as an action displayed by disbelievers. He has condemned this action.
We should all be wary and ask ourselves: which category of mankind do we fall into?
The one with the Prophets, who were pleased with the birth of daughters?
Or the one with the disbelievers and transgressors throughout history, who abhorred daughters?
Who still, in this modern day, try to kill off female fetuses and newborns?
It is based on the ignorance of Islam
In the end, I would like to mention one thing, sister.
In Pakistan, many people strongly believe that having a son implies more wealth and power for the parents. The repugnant dowry system also fuels this mindset. Most of the country’s people are impoverished and less educated in Islam.
Hence, the basis for this preference is greed and ignorance. Because one’s provision, including wealth and power, is preordained by Allah. Many families’ daughters end up wielding more power and wealth than their sons. But the ignorant cannot see this.
Many human beings, however,have a natural preference when it comes to the gender of their child.
As long as these preferences are not based upon ignorance and greed, and do not lead to injustice, they are not blameworthy. These could be caused by personal circumstances. E.g. a man who spent his childhood with just male siblings, might desire to have a daughter.
If a woman was raised without a father, she might desire a son. A couple that already has several children of one gender, naturally want a child of the other gender. And so on.
Parents should be very careful about what they say regarding baby genders before their children. This is because verbally endorsing biased gender preferences inflicts long-term psychological damage.
Nothing feels worse to a child, than being unwanted, or regarded as inferior to their siblings by their parents.
And Allah knows best.
I hope that this answers your question.
Salam. Please stay in touch.
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