Is Having a Daughter Considered a Burden in Islam?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Are girls considered a burden and trial in Islam? There is a hadith that people often cite to suggest that girls are considered a blessing in Islam, which is about the reward for raising daughters/sisters, and how daughters will be a shield from the hell fire. But isn’t this hadith affirming the idea that girls are indeed a burden and hence those who are tested with raising them get a “special” reward?

I also read a translation of this hadith: “Whoever is tested with raising three daughters and treats them with kindness, they will be a shield for him.” I understand that Islam forbids female infanticide, but despite that, does it still consider girls, relative to men, a test and validate the feeling that they are a burden?


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for being concerned that Allah created one gender as a burden. Indeed, He did not; rather, both genders are a blessing, and they need each other to thrive in a healthy society.


The hadith you mention is here in full: ‘A’isha said: “A woman came to me with two daughters. She was asking (for food), but I did not have anything with me except a date. So I gave it to her, and she divided it between her two daughters without eating any of it herself. Then she got up to leave, and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) entered, and I informed him about her. So the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Whoever is tested with something from these daughters (and he/she passes the test), they will be a screen for them from the Fire.” [Tirmidhi]

Tested with Good

Ibn Uthaymeen mentions, “‘Whoever is tested’ does not mean being tested by evil, rather it means ‘whoever is destined‘ as Allah Most High mentioned (s. in the Quran) ‘Every soul will taste death. And We test you (O humanity) with good and evil as a trial, then to Us you will (all) be returned.’ [Quran, 21:35]. This means that whoever is destined to have two daughters and treats them well, they will be a shield for him from the Fire on the Day of Judgment, meaning that Allah will screen him from the Hellfire due to his good treatment of his daughters. This is because daughters are weak and cannot earn, and the man is the one who earns. Allah Most High said (s. in the Quran): ‘Men are the caretakers of women, as men have been provisioned by Allah over women and tasked with supporting them financially.’ [Quran, 4:34]” [Ibn Uthaymeen, Sharh Riyad al-Saliheen]

This scholar mentions that the meaning of one being “tested with something from these daughters” can be due to the extra provisions that they require (…)” [Abdul Haqq Dehlawi, Lama‘at al-Tanqih fi sharh Miskhat al Masabih]


In conclusion, daughters are not a burden, but rather, their care is different, as many parents can attest to. This does mean they are superior or inferior to sons. Both genders hold high value, and I pray that society can wake up to see that.

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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.