The Virtues of Muslim Women According to Prophetic Hadith

Much has been said and written about the status of women in Islam. Islam brought honor and dignity to women at a time when, in many societies, they were subjects of scorn and contempt, humiliated and harshly treated.

Apart from elevating the status of women in society and defining their rights, numerous texts of the Quran and the Sunnah bring to light the privilege of just being a woman—be it a mother, wife, widow, daughter, sister, or even an aunt.

Women in General

Al-Miqdām bin Maʿdī Karib (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ stood (to deliver a sermon) to the Companions, and he glorified Allah and exalted him, then he said,

“Verily, Allah enjoins you to be good to your women, verily, Allah enjoins you to be good to your women, for they are your mothers, and your daughters, and your maternal aunts. It was the case (amongst the previous people) that a man from people of the Book would marry a woman (so destitute, that) she would not possess (an object even as petty as) a thread, but (the bond between them was so strong that) not one would forsake the other until they died of old age.”[1]

Abū Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“O Allah, (bear witness that) I have issued a warning concerning (failing to fulfill or violating) the rights of the two weak ones: orphans and women.”[2]

Women as Mothers

Allah says in the Qurʾān:

[لقمان:14] {وَوَصَّيْنَا الإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِير}

“And We have enjoined upon man goodness towards his parents: his mother bore him [by bearing strain upon strain, increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years, [hence, O man,] be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.” [31:14]

And He says,

[الأحقاف:15] {وَوَصَّيْنَا الإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلاَثُونَ شَهْرًا}

“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth; and her bearing him and weaning him took thirty months.” [46:15]

After enjoining kindness to both parents, the Quran gives particular mention to the hardship, pain, and strain exclusively endured by the mother in bearing the child, giving birth and then weaning him during the period of his utter dependency—thereby specifically emphasizing kindness, good treatment and obedience to her. Her esteemed position in the view of the Creator therefore, in comparison to the father, makes her deserving of the greater share of filial piety and ample obedience from her children.[3]

This aspect is further substantiated by the following aḥādīth.

Al-Miqdām bin Mʿadī Karib (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, that the Messenger ﷺ of Allah said thrice,

“Allah enjoins you to strive to please your mother,” (then the fourth time he ﷺ said), “Allah enjoins you to strive to please your father, and then (your other relatives, prioritizing by) the closest (in kinship) and then the closest.”[4]

In another incident, a man came to the Prophet ﷺ and said,

‘O Messenger of Allah! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship?’ The Prophet ﷺ said: “Your mother.” The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said, “Then your mother.” The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet ﷺ said, “Then your mother.” The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet ﷺ said (in the fourth time), “Then your father.”[5]

These aḥādīth indicate that the mother deserves three times what the father deserves in kindness and obedience from the children because she alone has to bear the difficulty and distress that come with pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, while contributing her part in the upbringing of the child along with the father.[6]

Mu’ādh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“(I swear) by Him in whose Hand my soul is, the miscarried fetus will drag his mother by his umbilical cord to Paradise, if she (was patient and) sought reward (for her loss).”[7]

In another narration, the Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said,

“A woman who dies with a child is a martyr.”[8] i.e., during pregnancy, or at childbirth, or in the post-partum period.

Abū Saʿīd al-Khuḍrī (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said addressing the women in a sermon specifically for them,

“There is not a woman amongst you that sends forth (observing patience and seeking reward for her loss) three of her children, except that they will be a shield for her from Hell-fire.” On that a woman asked, ‘and (if only) two (die)?’ He ﷺ replied, “and (even) two (will shield her from Hell-fire)”.[9]

The importance of serving one’s mother is more than Jihad, as stated in hadith. A man came to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and said:

‘O Messenger of Allah! I want to go out and fight (in Jihad) and I have come to ask your advice.’ He ﷺ said: “Do you have a mother?” He said: ‘Yes.’ Then Prophet ﷺ said: “Then keep close to her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.”[10] 

Women as Wives

Numerous texts of the Quran and Sunnah enjoin kind treatment of wives.

Allah ordained men to be good company to their wives.[11] He said,

[النساء:19] {وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ }

“And consort with your wives in a goodly manner,” [4:19] i.e., by being fair and just in actions, and pleasant in speech.[12]

The Prophet ﷺ emphatically enjoined upon Muslims the rights of women when he delivered his famous khuṭbah in ʿArafāt during the farewell Pilgrimage. He ﷺ said:

“Fear Allah regarding women, for verily, you have married them with the trust of Allah,”[13] i.e., “Allah has entrusted you with them, so it is necessary to safeguard and protect His trust, by being mindful and observant of their rights, and fulfilling their worldly and religious needs.”[14]

The Prophet ﷺ emphasized kindness to women by making a bequest to his Ummah regarding them. He ﷺ said,

“(Take my advice with regard to women), act kindly towards (your) women,”[15] by being gentle with them and appeasing them and keeping good company with them.[16]

Abū Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“The most complete of the believers in faith are those with the best character, and the best of you are the best (in behavior and treatment) to their women.”[17]

Ibn ʿAbbās (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.”[18]

Spending on one’s wife in greater in reward than spending in other modes of charity. Abū Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“A dinar you spent in Allah’s path, and a dinar you spent to free a slave, and a dinar you gave in charity to a needy person, and a dinar you spent on your wife (and family), the greatest of these in reward is that which you spent on your wife.”[19]

In another narration, ʿAmr bin al-ʾAḥwaṣ (may Allah be pleased with him) reports the Prophet ﷺ as saying,

“Indeed, their right upon you is that you give them for their clothing and food more than what you owe them.”[20]

Women as Widows

Ṣafwān bin Sulaym (may Allah be pleased with him) reports, that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“The (reward of the) one who strives to fulfill the needs of the widows and destitute is like (that of) a Mujāhid (who fights) in Allah’s path, or like (the reward of) a person who prays all night and fasts all day.”[21]

Women as Daughters

Allah states in the Quran,

[الشورى:49] {يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاء إِنَاثًا}

“He bestows the gift of female offspring on whomever He wills,”[42:49]

Wāthilah bin al-Asqaʿ (may Allah be pleased with him) says,

“Auspicious/blessed is a woman who gives birth to girls before boys.”[22]

ʿUbaid Allah al-Saʿdī says according to what was reported to him,

“Verily, Allah loves the men that have many daughters; Lūt had daughters, and Shuʿayb had daughters, and the Prophet ﷺ had daughters.”[23]

Umm al-Muʿminīn ʿĀʾishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that a woman came to her with two (of her) daughters, asking (for charity). All ʿĀʾishah had to give her was one date, so she gave it to her, and the woman divided it between both her daughters, and ate nothing herself, and then got up and left. When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came, and ʿĀʾishah narrated to him the incident, and he ﷺ said,

“He who is involved (in the responsibility) of (bringing up) daughters, and is gracious towards them, they will be a barrier for him from Hell-fire,”[24]

and in another narration,

“Verily, Allah has ordained Paradise for her because of this act, or He has rescued her from Hell-Fire.”[25]

ʿAbd Allah bin ʿAbbās (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“Whoever has a female child, and he does not bury her alive, or demean her, or give preference to his (male) children over her, Allah will grant him entry into Paradise.”[26]

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“Whoever sustains two girls and expends upon them until (they reach) the age of puberty, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection like this,” and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ joined his fingers (illustrating the closeness between him and that person).[27]

ʿUqbah bin ʿĀmir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say,

“Whoever has three daughters, and is patient towards them, and feeds them, gives them to drink, and clothes them from his wealth; they will be a shield for him from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.”[28]

Muḥammad bin Sulaymān says,

“Sons are like blessings and daughters are like good deeds, and Allah brings to account for His blessings and rewards (abundantly) for good deeds.”[29]

ʿUqbah bin ʿĀmir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“Do not dislike daughters; they are charming (solacious) and precious.”[30]

Women as Sisters:

Abū Saʿīd al-Khuḍrī (may Allah be pleased with him) reports, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“There is nothing for him who has three daughters, or three sisters, and he treats them well, except Paradise.”[31]

ʿAwf bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“Whoever has three daughters, or three sisters, or two daughters, or two sisters, (and) he feared Allah regarding them (by fulfilling their rights), and treated them well, until they separate (from him by getting married) or they pass away, they will be a barrier for him from Hell-fire.”[32]

‘Treats them well’ in the above texts implies, “fulfilling their needs, without reproach or recounting to them what he gave, and without complaining or showing weariness of having to look after them, and without burdening them with chores out of their capacity.”[33]

Notes

  1. روى الطبراني في المعجم الكبير (648) عن المقدام بن معدي كرب، أن رسول الله ﷺ قام في الناس، فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ثم قال: “إن الله يوصيكم بالنساء خيرا، إن الله يوصيكم بالنساء خيرا، فإنهن أمهاتكم وبناتكم وخالاتكم، إن الرجل من أهل الكتاب يتزوج المرأة وما تعلُق يداها الخيط، فما يرغب واحد منهما عن صاحبه [حتى يموتا هرمًا]”.
    وانظر: فيض القدير (2/319).
  2. روى ابن ماجه (3678) عن أبي هريرة، قال: قال رسول الله ﷺ: اللهم إني أُحرِّج حق الضعيفين: اليتيم، والمرأة.
  3. انظر: روح المعاني (11/85) و(13/175)، والتحرير والتنوير (21/158)، وفتح القدير (5/22).
  4. روى ابن ماجه في سننه (3661)، عن المقدام بن معدي كرب، أن رسول الله ﷺ قال: “إن الله يوصيكم بأمهاتكم”- ثلاثا – “إن الله يوصيكم بآبائكم، إن الله يوصيكم بالأقرب فالأقرب”.
  5. روى البخاري في صحيحه (5971) عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: جاء رجل إلى رسول الله ﷺ فقال: يا رسول الله، من أحق الناس بحسن صحابتي؟ قال: “أمك”، قال: ثم من؟ قال: “ثم أمك”، قال: ثم من؟ قال: “ثم أمك”، قال: ثم من؟ قال: “ثم أبوك”.
  6. قال ابن حجر في فتح الباري (10/ 402): “قال بن بطال مقتضاه أن يكون للأم ثلاثة أمثال ما للأب من البر قال وكان ذلك لصعوبة الحمل ثم الوضع ثم الرضاع فهذه تنفرد بها الأم وتشقى بها ثم تشارك الأب في التربية وقد وقعت الإشارة إلى ذلك في قوله تعالى ووصينا الإنسان بوالديه حملته أمه وهنا على وهن وفصاله في عامين فسوى بينهما في الوصاية وخص الأم بالأمور الثلاثة قال القرطبي المراد أن الأم تستحق على الولد الحظ الأوفر من البر وتقدم في ذلك على حق الأب عند المزاحمة وقال عياض وذهب الجمهور إلى أن الأم تفضل في البر على الأب”.
  7. روى ابن ماجه في سننه (1609)، عن معاذ بن جبل عن النبي ﷺ، قال: “والذي نفسي بيده، إن السقط ليجر أمه بسرره إلى الجنة، إذا احتسبته”.
  8. روى أبو داود في سننه (3111) قوله ﷺ: “والمرأة تموت بجمع شهيد”.
  9. روى البخاري في صحيحه (101) عن أبي سعيد الخدري، قالت النساء للنبيﷺ: غلبنا عليك الرجال، فاجعل لنا يوما من نفسك، فوعدهن يوما لقيهن فيه، فوعظهن وأمرهن، فكان فيما قال لهن: “ما منكن امرأة تقدم ثلاثة من ولدها، إلا كان لها حجابا من النار”، فقالت امرأة: واثنتين؟ فقال: “واثنتين”.
  10. روى النسائي في سننه (3104)، عن معاوية بن جاهمة السلمي، أن جاهمة جاء إلى النبي ﷺ، فقال: يا رسول الله، أردت أن أغزو وقد جئت أستشيرك، فقال: “هل لك من أم؟” قال: نعم، قال: “فالزمها، فإن الجنة تحت رجليها”.
  11. قال في المحرر الوجيز (2/ 33): “فأمر الله تعالى الرجال بحسن صحبة النساء”.
  12. قال البيضاوي في «أنوار التنزيل» (2/ 66): “بالإِنصاف في الفعل والإِجمال في القول”.
  13. روى مسلم في صحيحه (1218)، من حديث جابر بن عبد الله رضي الله عنه في المناسك، قوله ﷺ: “فاتقوا الله في النساء؛ فإنكم أخذتموهن بأمانة الله”.
  14. قال القرطبي في المفهم (10/82): “أي : بأن الله ائتمنكم عليهن، فيجب حفظ الأمانة وصيانتها بمراعاة حقوقها، والقيام بمصالحها الدينية والدنيوية”.
  15. روى البخاري في «صحيحه» (3331) عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله ﷺ: «استوصوا بالنساء».
  16. قال المناوي في «التيسير» (1/ 151): «أي: أقبلوا وصيتي فيهن وارفقوا بهن وأحسنوا عشرتهن».وقال القاضي عياض في «إكمال المعلم» (4/ 680): «فيه الحض على الرفق بهن ومداراتهن».
  17. روى الترمذي في «سننه» (1162)، عن أبي هريرة قال: قال رسول الله ﷺ: «أكمل المؤمنين إيمانا أحسنهم خلقا، وخيركم خيركم لنسائهم».
  18. روى ابن ماجه في «سننه» (1977)، عن ابن عباس، عن النبي ﷺ قال: «خيركم خيركم لأهله، وأنا خيركم لأهلي».
  19. روى مسلم في «صحيحه» (995)، عن أبي هريرة، قال: قال رسول اللهﷺ: «دينار أنفقته في سبيل الله، ودينار أنفقته في رقبة، ودينار تصدقت به على مسكين، ودينار أنفقته على أهلك، أعظمها أجرا الذي أنفقته على أهلك»
  20. روى الترمذي في سننه (1167) عن عمرو بن الأحوص، أن رسول الله ﷺ قال: “ألا وحقهن عليكم أن تحسنوا إليهن في كسوتهن وطعامهن”.
  21. روى البخاري في صحيحه (6006)، عن صفوان بن سليم، يرفعه إلى النبيﷺ، قال: “الساعي على الأرملة والمسكين كالمجاهد في سبيل الله، أو: كالذي يصوم النهار ويقوم الليل”.
  22. قال ابن عطية في المحرر الوجيز (5/39): “قال واثلة بن الأسقع: من يمن المرأة تبكيرها بالأنثى قبل الذكر؛ لأن الله تعالى بدأ بالإناث”.
  23. روى ابن أبي الدنيا بسنده في “العيال” (1/241)، رقم (95): عن عبيد الله السعدي، قال فيما بلغه: “إنَّ الله يحبُّ الرَّجل المِبنات، وكان لوط ذا بنات، وكان شعيب ذا بنات، وكان النَّبيّ ﷺ ذا بنات”.
  24. روى مسلم في صحيحه (2629) بسنده أن عائشة زوج النبي ﷺ، قالت: جاءتني امرأة، ومعها ابنتان لها، فسألتني فلم تجد عندي شيئا غير تمرة واحدة، فأعطيتها إياها، فأخذتها فقسمتها بين ابنتيها، ولم تأكل منها شيئا، ثم قامت فخرجت وابنتاها، فدخل علي النبي ﷺ فحدثته حديثها، فقال النبي ﷺ: “من ابتلي من البنات بشيء، فأحسن إليهن: كن له سترا من النار”.
  25. روى مسلم (2630) من حديث عائشة، قالت: فذكرتُ الذي صنعت لرسول اللَّه ﷺ، فقال:‏ “‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَوْجَبَ لَهَا بِهَا الْجَنَّةَ أَوْ أَعْتَقَهَا بِهَا مِنَ النَّارِ‏”‏.‏
  26. روى أبو داود في سننه (5146) عن ابنِ عباس، قال: قال رسولُ الله ﷺ: “من كانَت له أُنثى، فلم يَئِدْها, ولم يُهِنْها, ولم يُؤثِرْ ولدَه عليها” -قال: يعني الذكورَ-، “أدخلَه اللهُ الجنةَ”.
  27. روى مسلم في صحيحه (267) عن أنس رضي الله عنه، عن النبي ﷺ قال‏:‏ “من عال جاريتين حتى تبلغا جاء يوم القيامة أنا وهو كهاتين”،‏ وضم أصابعه‏.
  28. روى ابن ماجه في سننه (3669)، عن عقبة بن عامر يقول: سمعت رسول الله ﷺ يقول: «من كان له ثلاث بنات، فصبر عليهن وأطعمهن وسقاهن وكساهن من جدته: كن له حجابا يوم القيامة من النار”.
  29. ذكر ابن مفلح في الآداب الشرعية (1/454): “قال محمد بن سليمان: البنون نعم، والبنات حسنات، والله عز وجل يحاسب على النعم ويجازي على الحسنات”.
  30. روى الإمام أحمد في مسنده (17373)، عن عقبة بن عامر، قال: قال رسول اللهﷺ: “لا تكرهوا البنات، فإنهن المؤنسات الغاليات”.
  31. روى الترمذي في سننه (1912)، عن أبي سعيد الخدري، أن رسول الله ﷺ قال: “لا يكون لأحدكم ثلاث بنات أو ثلاث أخوات فيحسن إليهن إلا دخل الجنة”.
  32. روى الإمام أحمد في مسنده (23991) عن عوف بن مالك قال: قال رسول اللهﷺ: “من كن له ثلاث بنات أو ثلاث أخوات، أو بنتان أو أختان، اتقى الله فيهن، وأحسن إليهن حتى يبن أو يمتن، كن له حجابا من النار”.
  33. قال في فيض القدير(5/362) : “(فيحسن إليهن)، أي: يعولهن، ومع ذلك يحسن إليهن في الإقامة عليهن، بأن لا يمن عليهن، ولا يظهر لهن الضجر والملل، ولا يحملهن ما لا يطقنه”.
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Sana

Subahanallah. I’ve always known of course that women are honored in Islam, but to see these hadith and realize the true extent is quite something. This was very needed, especially because the propaganda from those who hate Islam, and accuse Islam of mistreatment of women, has seeped into our minds, even though we know it’s not true. JAK for compiling this. Really struck a chord.

A S

Really useful to know these references, especially in today’s world

ام ساره

سبحان الله so many hadith and Quranic verses that show just how valued and respected women are in Islam. مشاءالله compiled and written very well. Will definitely إن شاءالله be sharing this article with others.

Ahmed H.

Keep up the great work.

Caliph

In somalia we say if you hide the truth and seal the mouth it will come out from your kidneys. No matter what they say the truth will come thats what ALLAH promises.

Amdi

Totally agree! Many thanks for shedding light on this topic!

Amdi

Many thanks! Very informative!

Zahid

This is also a modernist/Feminist article too. It talks about women’s right, how women should be treated and the responsibilities of men. Where are the duties of women? Especially in a marriage? Now a days women basically have a gigantic list of “rights” with almost zero “responsibilities”. This is what ruins modern muslim marriage and households. “Man has to do this and that, woman don’t have to do this and that” – modern muslim feminist in nutshell. Women don’t have to cook, women don’t have to clean, she can go out without the permission of husband whenever she wants. If this is how modern gender roles should be, fine. Give a at least three good reason why as a young man I should marry? I can give you ten reason not to marry. You work hard eight hours to feed a queen. You are responsible for her finance, security and overall wellbeing (with zero return in the invest). List goes on…
Honestly, although it’s sad, I think at this point modern hookup culture seems more balanced and fair than this “modern” muslim culture.
Conclusion: Single life is better. Change my mind.
(Note: I don’t disagree one bit with the article. I believe in the rights of women according to Quran and sunnah. I am just tired to the one sided apologetic talk to be appealing to the western society.)

Khalid Atel

That is not whats happening here. Daniel is the farthest from being a modernist or watering down Islam. Daniel has also written an article about the education of women and he does not appease to the western society one bit. Your reply seems a bit emotional, I would suggest you look up ayahs of the Quran and hadiths about the matter of marriage. Don’t be so quick to decide to not get married, do some research first.

Razvi

Yo buddy the article is about “virtues of women” so of course there’s going to be fardh and fiqh of how should we treat women.. if the article was about “Responsibilities of women” then there will be mentioning of that.. and also muslimskeptic has always uploaded videos regarding the responsibilities of women so they’ve not shy away from preaching that aspect too so it just really doesn’t make any sense to call this article “mOrDeRnIsT”

Affan

How is this a feminist/modernist article lol? Fair treatment of women which Islam grants (as evident from the article) does not mean that they will be equally treated so I beg to differ. It’s best to stay silent and not just rant random inane comments,

HAZAI'IN

If you ask me, I think Muslimahs already see wearing hijab or covered clothes as a massive burden and responsibility to the point that they expect queen like treatment in response

akh

“Honestly, although it’s sad, I think at this point modern hookup culture seems more balanced and fair than this “modern” muslim culture.”

Ittaqullah. Check yourself before uttering such kufri statements.

You’re obviouly new here. The feminist cancer often gets addressed on this site. The fact that you think treating women well is somehow feministic is indicative that you yourself have been infected by corrupt western thought.

Besides the problem of too many feminists within Muslim ranks we also suffer from too many incels/MGTOW types – socially awkward men who direct their frustrations, and lack of success in life, squarely at women.

Ps. complaining is an effeminate trait. You’re best advised to keep that in check as well.

Khalid Atel

The current condition of the muslim ummah can be frustrating. Just start with yourself, try to be better yourself first. And whenever you look down on someone think of your own shortcomings regarding following Islam and ask yourself why you couldn’t have been better, then with the same perspective advise the people that are indulging in sins without feeling or acting superior in your approach.

Muslimacrosstheocean

Assalamalaikum warahmathullah wabarakat

I really appreciate the topics you choose to awaken the ummah with, which is most needed and may Allah bless your efforts

But I would like to advise, in rectifying the ummah we want Allah’s pleasure and be saved from His anger.

So my advise is to not use Muslim/kafir females in your videos, cover them in videos and images you share. Relieve the people from adding to their sins through you.

May Allah increase your life and work with more barakah and may Allah guide us to His pleasure.