The Challenge of Raising Daughters and the Great Rewards

ZamZam Academy Content
The great Andalucían exegete Imam Qurtubi comments that there is an indication in this hadith that daughters are a test [for their parents] but acting with patience and excellence toward them is a source of protection from Hellfire

A’isha (may Allah be please with her) relates, “A poor woman came to me along with her two daughters. I gave her three dates. She gave a date to each of them and then was raising the third to her mouth to eat it, when her daughters expressed a desire for it. She divided this one between them too. This action of the woman impressed me so much that I mentioned what she did to Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). He said: Verily Allah, Most Mighty Most Majestic, has assured Paradise for her because of this act, or (he said) He has freed her from Hellfire through this act” (Sahih Muslim).

In a variant narration also recorded by Muslim, Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever is made to undergo any challenges because of his daughter but treats them excellently they will be a veil between him and Hellfire.”

The great Andalucían exegete Imam Qurtubi comments that there is an indication in this hadith that daughters are a test [for their parents] but acting with patience and excellence toward them is a source of protection from Hellfire (Qurtubi, Al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-qur’an, 10:118, under verse 59 of Surat al-Nahl).

No doubts all children, sons and daughters, are a challenge. However, there are still social stigmas associated with having daughters until this day in some communities. More pertinently though, there may be a greater challenge with bringing up girls in general due to the higher levels of emotional change girls, especially in teenage years, go through and a higher feelings of protectiveness by parents.

If you have had any challenges or experiences please share it in the comments, especially practical solutions.

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  • As salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

    Just a question, as I only have one daughter who is merely a toddler, so experiences are quite limited still. What would be the age to encourage, start to enforce the hijab? I was thinking 7, like the age for Salah. I don’t want to start off too early and too strict but I don’t want to be too lenient that she won’t want to wear it and get away with it. Some parents say as early as 3 but I’m not too sure about that…

    As a mother I often think back to my childhood and teenage experiences with my parents and unfortunately most of them weren’t that good. I want to be the best mother I can be for my daughter inshaAllah ta’aala without making the mistakes my parents made and at the same time hoping/praying my daughter does not make the same mistakes I made when I was young and even now. Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to deal with her as she grows older and begins to understand more. When to be strict, when enforce, when to be easy going, etc, etc, are all big worries for me right now!

    • asalam walekum sumaiya sister, i am not married yet but i do knw the responsibility of raising girl child and protecting her from bad vision and bad deeds, my advice to u is dont force her n dont be too strict just tell her the importance of wearing a hijab just by showing some cartoons that encourage muslims kids to follow hijab. Now a days children are keenly interested what their age group follows, mujhe asra ke box jaisa box chahiye, mujhe aishah(may allah please with her) jaise dress karedna chaahte hun, like wise. Whwn they come to knw that hijab is followed all over by her age group she definetly start to wear hijab for her good.You being her mother giver virtues of wearing hijab and how allah be pleased with her. Remember sumaiya sister she have to be gud daughter first to be a good mother, dont get confused by the thought how will i handle her n dont confuse her, dua kijiye allah taala se aapko aapke shohar ko aur aapke bethi ko allah khush naseebi se nawaziye ga allahahfiz.If @ all i was rude then i am sorry u can mail me if any to my mail address Allahhafiz

    • Assalamu alaykum ww

      Dear Sister Sumaiya

      I myself also have girls at toddler age but I also have younger sisters and have seen some of the practices employed by my friends with their girls, (friends with varying opinions on when and how to enforce sharia requirements on their children and all of whom do it their own way!).

      Personally I believe children learn best from imitating, and they watch the actions of their role models to shape their own behaviour. As a mother, you are the child’s first and Inshallah main role model – girls love their mothers and you will find she copies many things that you do and you may not even realise. My own experience in this occurred when my 14 month old daughter started copying me and prostrating in sujood, especially while I am praying.

      The above sisters comment on watching the actions of their peers is also very important. My younger sister insisted on wearing the scarf from watching her older siblings, and our young cousins at her age went to their parents and demanded to wear it upon seeing my younger sister. This had a knock on effect so throughout life your duty would be to ensure your daughter is exposed to good environments and as much as you can, remains in good company. This is especially true during her teenage years.

      One factor that has really helped some of my friends is enrolling their daughters (and sons) into Islamic pre-schools. This is your decision to make, as you may find the idea too restrictive or may not have access to one. The friends that have undertaken this option, their daughters come home wanting to wear the hijab, and they insist on wearing it on other occasions too. One of these girls is 4 years old and has been wearing hijab since she was 3. Other friends whose daughters insist on wearing hijab chose to send their daughters to state schools for nursery and then enrolled them in Islamic girls school from the ages of 5, 7 and 9 respectively. The main thing to remember is a good environment is essential, and the home can be that place if you make it. Children need someone to look up to, and as the mother you are the number one option as they grow up.

      To keep their trust and love in our actions, we have to be the best role models throughout their upbringing, in all matters, especially in being just, fair, and reasonable (from sibling rivalry to being kind to them in giving them their due attention – no point losing your temper when they try to grab your attention and you don’t want to stop because you’re too busy cooking!)But I digress. We dont want to lose this affection of theirs in us, as it invariably and easily can when and if they find another role model – be it at school or in the media.

      Explanation is the second important aspect. Once they copy and are old enough to understand, talk to them about the sahabiya and their brave actions. Grow love in their heart for Muslim role models, and explain the reason behind why we wear the hijab and its importance.

      Finally, I leave you with an overall piece of advice. Seek Knowledge. For women, and especially for mothers, knowledge will make us better people (helping us to avoid wrong behaviour and actions), inform us to educate our children, and enable us to be the leaders of a great ummah Inshallah. Above all, supplicate to Allah to guide us all in bringing up our children as it is a great responsibility and an immense task. May Allah reward you highly for worrying about this issue and being concerned in the right manner to employ in your daughters upbringing.


      Umme A’isha

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