The Challenge of Raising Daughters and the Great Rewards
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.