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Allah Favors Men Over Women: I Feel Depressed

30 January, 2024
Q I have been suffering from depression, and it hurts because it has to do with Islam. At times, it seems that justice is defined very differently. Reward and punishment seem to be associated with gender not the deed itself. Men seem to get more rewards than women do for the same deeds.

Quran and hadith mention that there is an exclusive reward or more reward for men. They get more of their desires in Paradise (namely women), but Allah does not promise more of anything to women. This hurts me.

For example, in the hadith here it mentions that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "There are six things with Allah for the martyr. He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head - and its gems are better than the world and what is in it - he is married to seventy two wives along Al-Huril-'Ayn of Paradise, and he may intercede for seventy of his close relatives."

So, a martyr man, will get all of this, but a martyr woman will not get all of this? She will only get 5 of these things, and therefore, she will be given 72 less rewards than a man as there is no mention that she will get 72 more things than a man, therefore for the exact same deed a woman is rewarded less. This makes Paradise less appealing to women.

However, when it comes to punishment, I see the complete opposite. It seems that women are punished more severely than men, especially if she is a married woman.

For example, in here, Allah's Messenger said: "There are three those that prayer would not rise up beyond their ears: The runaway slave until he returns, a woman who spends a night while her husband is angry with her, and a people's Imam whom they dislike."

It only mentions that a woman who makes her husband upset her prayer will not be accepted. If a wife who makes her husband angry deserves for her prayer not to be accepted, then why does not a husband who upsets his wife deserve the same punishment? Why does the hadith not say spouses to make each other angry, rather it only mentions the woman?

I am really depressed, I feel that men are favored over women in everything and their good deeds have more value.


In this counseling answer:

You may want to read and learn about the ways in which Islam has elevated the status of women, and how Allah does bless and protect women.

You may want to explore your rights as a Muslim woman as well as a wife.

The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) held women in the highest of esteem and he was best to his wives.

In regards to feeling depressed, Insha’Allah once you understand how loved you are by Allah, your sadness will dissipate.

As Salamu Alaikum sister,

Thank you for writing to us with your concerns about rewards and punishments from Allah in the context of women and men. I am sorry to hear this has been causing you to feel depressed sister.

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However, perhaps we can look at this from a different angle. I am not an Islamic scholar, but I will do my best insha’Allah to help clarify some of your concerns.

Making a Case for Inequity

You eloquently and precisely discussed your concerns about the rewards and punishments from Allah in terms of gender. It is apparent that you did do a lot of research and reading about this subject. 

At first glance, one may think that Allah swt has favored men. But what comes to mind to help us move forward and think of things in a more balanced way is what we do know about Allah that He is just and merciful.

Rewards and Punishments from Allah-are they Gender Based?

There are a few things that I need to point out. First, Allah is just in His rewards as well as in punishments. Allah has created us, both women and men, thus He knows our different natures, weaknesses, strengths, and abilities. On a personal level, Allah knows us so well, He is closer to us than our “jugular vein”.  In the Qur’an it states:

“Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom’s weight; while if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward.” (Qur’an 4:40).

“For men is a share of what they have earned, and for women is a share of what they have earned…” (Qur’an 4:32).

As we can see from these points, Allah does not differentiate between men and women but does look at what one has earned as a means for His blessings or punishments.

Also, one must take into account the fact that men and women may have different ideas of what a reward is. For instance, perhaps a man may feel that a reward of many homes in Paradise will make him happy. Insha’Allah if this man is granted Jannah, Allah may give him many homes in Jannah.

If a woman feels that gaining knowledge, a large home, or a beautiful garden will make her happy, Allah may grant her that as well as a reward. Allah is just, Allah makes Jannah a wonderful place for both women and men, one that is conducive to each of their happiness as a reward.

Allah is Just

Sister, the rewards are not so much based on men vs. women in general but are based on the nature of men and women and what makes each one different. This is further divided into personal wishes and desires. 

Not all men desire the same thing to make them happy, and not all women have the same dreams and wishes. Allah sees all and Allah takes everything into account when giving out rewards and punishments and Allah is Just.

“And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. ” (Qur’an 21:47).

Marriage, Men, and Accountability

Sister, you also spoke about that Allah favors men over women in regards to marriage. You provided proofs that women appeared to be more harshly punished and received less rewards than husbands.

In looking closer, we can see there are punishments and restrictions on men as well which can only be categorized for men (specifically in this case husbands).

For instance, having more than one wife is permissible but there are conditions and rules that go with this responsibility. These conditions are very strict and if not followed can constitute a major sin (and punishment). Thus, it is advisable to marry only one if a man fears he cannot be just and equitable with all of his wives.

“Marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one.” (Noble Quran 4:3)

Men must also treat their wives with tenderness, love, mercy, justice, and kindness. Dealing unjustly with a wife is serious (such as abuse). Allah punishes those who abuse, oppress, or treat their wives unjustly.

“The prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, tells us Allah has said, “Before the creation of the universe, I forbid that I would oppress and I hate when anyone oppresses.” The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) further stated:

“The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character. And the best of you are those who are best to their women.” (At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani).

A husband’s responsibility to his wife is great in Islam, and Allah swt sees all. Dealing unjustly with a wife is serious. Abuse, mistreatment, and oppression in general are greatly hated by Allah.

This goes for husbands who mistreat their wives. Husbands are to guard their wives honor, privacy, as well as any weaknesses. Husbands who disclose such are considered ’wicked” upon the day of Judgement.

“Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that you may receive admonition.” (Surah An-Nahl: 90) and “There is no person to whom Allah has given responsibility and dies neglecting that responsibility, but Allah will deny him Paradise.” [Muslim]

The Scales of Justice Are Balanced

Sister, while it may seem that Allah deals with women more harshly, He does not. Allah’s justice is perfect. When we as humans look at certain verses, hadith, and other Islamic rulings, we may not see the whole picture.

We may see women are treated in a stricter way in one area, but not see how men are treated in strict ways in other areas that women are not. It all balances out as Allah is most just, merciful, and loving.

“If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” (an-Nisa, 4:124)


Sister, I kindly suggest that insha’Allah you try to focus your Islamic studies in a more diversified way. You may want to read and learn about the ways in which Islam has elevated the status of women, and how Allah does bless and protect women.

You may want to explore your rights as a Muslim woman as well as a wife. Make duaa to Allah that He guides you in your learning so that you are able to understand the intricate nature of what is being learned.

The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) held women in the highest of esteem and he was best to his wives. If we examine his life and his wives, we know that Allah has highly favored these women. Allah is most merciful and kind.

In regards to feeling depressed, Insha’Allah once you understand how loved you are by Allah, your sadness will dissipate. If it does not, please seek out mental health counseling. May Allah bless and reward you for seeking clarification in your Islamic journey. We wish you the best.

“God recognizes and rewards the good works of every human being, male or female.” (Quran 3:195).



Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.