By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
17 October 2015
With the help of the Ahadith, let us examine whether there will be more women in Hell than Men.
The Sayings of the Prophet contain both facts and his opinion. As far as opinion is concerned, he made it clear that he was human and prone to error. Let us therefore classify each hadith as fact or opinion
Fact or Opinion?
It was narrated from ‘Imran Ibn Husayn that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I looked into Paradise and I saw that the majority of its people were the poor. And I looked into Hell and I saw that the majority of its people are women.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3241; Muslim, 2737)
What the Prophet saw must be classified as fact. The question however is how did he see anyone in hell or heaven before the Day of Judgment? We will presume that the Prophet was shown what it would be like after the Day of Judgment.
Fact 1: Women Form The Majority In Hell.
Let us now explore the reasons as to why this is so. With regard to the reason for this, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about it and he explained the reason.
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I was shown Hell and I have never seen anything more terrifying than it. And I saw that the majority of its people are women.” They said, “Why, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Because of their ingratitude (Kufr).” It was said, “Are they ungrateful to Allah?” He said, “They are ungrateful to their companions (husbands) and ungrateful for good treatment. If you are kind to one of them for a lifetime then she sees one (undesirable) thing in you, she will say, ‘I have never had anything good from you.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1052)
Reason 1: Because they are ungrateful to their husbands. (Opinion and not fact)
Reason 1 is clearly the Prophet’s opinion. If it was fact, there would have been a corresponding verse in the Quran which we do not find.
It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went out to the Musalla (prayer place) on the day of Eid al-Adha or Eid al-Fitr. He passed by the women and said, ‘O women! Give charity, for I have seen that you form the majority of the people of Hell.’ They asked, ‘Why is that, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religious commitment than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.’ The women asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is deficient in our intelligence and religious commitment?’ He said, ‘Is not the testimony of two women equal to the testimony of one man?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Is it not true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is the deficiency in her religious commitment.’”
(Narrated by al-Bukhari, 304)
Reason 2: They are deficient in intelligence because the testimony of two equals the testimony of one man
Reason 2 must be dismissed as a poor opinion which is not in accordance with the Quran because the Quran merely allows two women to give a single testimony jointly. They are not required to give two testimonies separately. This is also a concession and not a legal requirement. If we take this Hadith to be correct then it means that the Prophet (pbuh) did not understand the verse correctly. This is preposterous and therefore we must dismiss it as a concocted Hadith. Please see my article on the subject:
Is A Woman’s Testimony Worth Half That of A Man?
Reason 3: Deficient in religion because the women can neither pray nor fast during menses
If at all Reason 3 is a deficiency, it is on the part of the Creator (Nauzobillah) and not on the part of the women. Reason 3 should be dismissed as utter nonsense and most probably as a fabricated Hadith and a blatant lie.
Once some people discussed whether there would be more men in Paradise or more women. It was upon this that Saaiduna Abu Hurairah Radiallahu Anhu reported that Abul Qasim (the Prophet of Allah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: …every person entering heaven would have two (worldly) wives and the marrow of their shanks would glimmer beneath the flesh and there would be none without a wife in Paradise. (Sahih Muslim)
Hafiz Bin Hajar (RA) says, ‘Saaiduna Abu Huraira Radiallahu Anhu used this Hadith as a proof to maintain that there would be more women in Paradise than men.’ (Fath ul Bari p.400 v.6)
There is now an apparent contradiction in the two Ahadith which have been reconciled in the following ways:
1. The women could be more in Hell and less in Paradise at the beginning. Thereafter, when they were purified of their sins or when intercession on their behalf is accepted, they would enter Paradise and they would outnumber the men there too. (Fathul Bari p.401 v.6)
But then why aren’t men also getting purified and entering heaven? This is a nonsensical explanation.
2. The Hadith could refer to the moment when the Prophet of Allah Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam had physically seen Paradise and Hell. They do not mention that it will always remain like that. (Faidhul Bari p.244 v.4)
Even then, how from a small minority in Heaven, the women now number twice the number of men?
It is possible that it is a fact that there will be more women in hell than men. For this, there is a simple explanation without running down the women for their gender as disobedient, ungrateful, deficient in intelligence and deficient in religion! The Hadith and the explanations blaspheme Allah, the Quran and the Prophet (SAW)
Explanation in Statistics:
Considering the entire world, there are 107 males born for every 100 females. By age 15 the number becomes 105:100 because of a relatively higher mortality of male children. Since the children go to heaven and the male child mortality rate is higher by 47% as compared with females, (overall mortality rate =5.7%), you simply have 147 male children for every 100 female children in Heaven.
As far as adults go it is mostly men who get killed in war. There are two sides in a war. Those on the side of justice and those on the side of oppression. So roughly 50% of those who get killed in war end up in heaven and the other 50% in hell. Without war, the same men, if they had died a natural death, not more than 10% may have made it to heaven. War therefore skews the proportion of males going to heaven significantly.
Every person born must either go to heaven or hell. Since more males are born than females, all things being equal, we should expect more men in both heaven as well as hell. The factors discussed however, skews these numbers whereby the number of males going to hell gets significantly reduced either because of higher infant mortality or war.
Is God Just By Favouring The Male Gender?
The statistical explanation must also be dismissed because then the question arises “is God unjust by favouring one gender”.
God has given women motherhood which is not without rewards offsetting every other gender related disadvantage. “ …in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning..” (31:14)
“…(reverence) the wombs (That bore you)…” (4:1)
A mother also plays a key role in the upbringing of her children and if the children turn out to be Saliheen or virtuous, then the rewards are immense.
The Ahadith on this subject therefore appear to be extremely weak on both fact and opinion and must be dismissed as unreliable hearsay.
It is clear that the men would like to have the best of both the worlds and have concocted the Ahadith accordingly. First they must have women who obey them and are grateful to them. This is achieved by telling them that the majority in hell will comprise women only because they are ungrateful to their husbands and disobedient. They must also be kept in their place by telling them that they are deficient in both intelligence and religion. Subjugating them in this life is not enough. The must also have two worldly women as their wives in Heaven when there isn’t even half a woman for each man! The religion of Islam has been distorted by the men to subjugate their women and serve their interests. The Ahadith are anything but divine. These are mostly a collection of fanciful lies told by men and passed on for two centuries before this collection was compiled. The entire corpus is unreliable and must be either discarded or treated as Apocrypha.
The damage that the Ahadith do is multi fold. Since the Ahadith are full of contradictions and sometimes utter nonsense, a Muslim learns early that he should not expect his religion to either be logical or make sense. The environment is created for domination by the Sheikh ul Hadiths! A religion of reason has been reduced to a cult of nonsensical mumbo jumbo. The Ahadith are used as Furqan or criterion to abrogate verses of the Quran – the ultimate blasphemy!
Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com.
Dear Zumamusa, Rizwan Sb has made a
very good observation. Try to understand what he is saying.
While I am blaming those
who have transmitted the ahadith of concocting the ahadith, you are blaming
Allah and the Prophet. What you are saying is:
1.Allah showed the
Prophet an unrepresentative sample of people in hell. In this sample the women
were in the majority.
2. Based on what the
Prophet saw he said to the people: “ I looked into Hell and I saw that the
majority of its people are women.” al-Bukhari, 3241; Muslim, 2737.
The Prophet only said what he saw so we cannot blame him.
3. With regard to the
reason for this, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was
asked about it and he explained the reason. “They are ungrateful to
their companions (husbands) and ungrateful for good treatment” (Narrated
by al-Bukhari, 1052). When the Prophet is giving out reasons, he obviously
believes that the women will form majority in hell. So clearly he has been
misled by what Allah showed him.
On another occasion the Prophet
addressed the women directly and said to them:
‘O women! Give charity, for I
have seen that you form the majority of the people of Hell.’ They asked, ‘Why
is that, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘You curse frequently and are
ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in
intelligence and religious commitment than you. A cautious sensible man could
be led astray by some of you.’ The women asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is
deficient in our intelligence and religious commitment?’ He said, ‘Is not the
testimony of two women equal to the testimony of one man?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He
said, ‘This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Is it not true that a woman
can neither pray nor fast during her menses?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said,
‘This is the deficiency in her religious commitment.’”
what you are saying Zumamusa is that
those who have transmitted the ahadith are not to blame and they have not told
any lies but:
Allah has shown an unrepresentative sample in which women were in the majority
which caused the Prophet to be misled into believing that there will be more
women in hell than men
The Prophet jumped to conclusions based on what he saw and then justified to
the men and women why women will be in the majority in hell by giving three
reasons. a) They are ungrateful to their husbands b) They are deficient in
intelligence c) they are deficient in religion
according to you the ahadith are not the lies of the people who narrated these
but the mistake of Allah and his Prophet. That according to me is blasphemy.
However, since these are mistakes, we can reject the conclusion that women will
form the majority in hell.
about women being deficient in religion and intelligence? Why did God make them
deficient in religion and intelligence? So
that he could throw them into hell? That is another blasphemy and you are
accusing the Prophet of blaspheming Allah!
seem to be bent on blaspheming Allah and His Messenger.
for me, I think that these are the lies and concoctions of the people who
narrated/transmitted these nonsensical “ahadith”. They are not even distortions
but outright lies. The Prophet never said what is attributed to him in the
cited ahadith. He and Allah are free from all blame. The people to blame are
those who told these lies and those who defend and believe these lies. The
criterion (Al-Furqan) for judging what is right and wrong is the Quran and by
the Quran these ahadith are proved to be false.
I agree with what Dr
Haque says. He has however completely misunderstood the meaning of what I said:
"The Ahadith are used as Furqan or
criterion to abrogate verses of the Quran – the ultimate blasphemy!"
He should re read
what I said very carefully. Let me elaborate for his sake. What I have
said is those who use the ahadith to abrogate verses of the Quran blaspheme the
I am however amazed at the misunderstanding since it should be clear to everyone that I am rubbishing all
ahadith. How can then anyone jump to the conclusion that I am privileging the
ahadith over the Quran.
Ahadith might not be treated as a book of lie despite it might seem more women than men at a glance.
For instance, if you were given a chance as Muhammad that Allah would cause you to enter into dream to see what would be in the Paradise, would you act the same as Muhammad to comment what you had seen in the Paradise or to lie about it? As there were trillions of dead in the hell, Allah could only show a portion of them to you instead of all of them since the number of the dead was too huge. Those that were facing might not be distributed equally. Instead, the part of the dead that was facing you would be overcrowded with criminals. Would you tell the truth that you had seen many criminals in the hell or told a lie that not all were criminals? As you would comment what you would have seen in the hell for what you had seen, it would mislead many that all the non-Muslims that are not criminals would be in Paradise. Can we comment that you are a liar simply because you comment what you have seen? Certainly not! Likewise, we could not condemn Muhammad to tell lies when he commented what he had seen or heard.