Aren’t the Children, Boys and Girls, Supposed to Be Treated Equally?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Throughout my life, I’ve seen parents, grandparents, and other adults in my life treat the boys better than the girls. They give them better food, let them lounge when the girls do chores, and other similar things. I tried talking about it but was easily dismissed as making a big deal about nothing.

I realized recently that watching this every day has made me bitter, and I can’t take it anymore. I’m lashing out, and other girls feel the same. I tried to quell my bitterness, but it isn’t working. Isn’t preferential treatment between children based on gender looked down upon in Islam?


Thank you for your question.


The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Treat your children fairly, treat your children fairly.” [Nasa’i]

It was narrated from Nu’man that his father brought him to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to bear witness to a present that he gave to him. He said: “Have you given all your children a present like that which you have given to him?” He said: ‘No.’ He said: ‘I will not bear witness to anything. Will it not please you if they were all to treat you with equal respect?’ He said: ‘Of course.’ He said: ‘Then no (I will not do it).’” [Nasa’i]

Share the Reward

What you are feeling is correct. You should lead the way in teaching your family and others around you that we must act according to the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in everything that we do. Both genders should be treated equally; Islam came to undo these age-old ignorant traditions. And don’t stop there. Encourage them to pray, avoid the haram, understand what the Quran says, wear hijab, divide inheritance properly, etc…

Remind the people around you how the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) treated his children. And by Allah’s grace, this will be your reward: A man came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! I have been left without a mount. So give me a mount. He replied: ‘I have no mount to give, but go to so and so; he may perhaps give you a mount. He then went to him, and he gave him a mount. He came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)  and informed him about it. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘If anyone guides someone to a good (deed), he will get the reward like the reward of the one who does it.’” [Abu Dawud]

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May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.