Hi, I am really interested in Islam and in being a muslim, however, I do have some questions if this is ok. Hello, I am really interest in Islam and there is so much peace in it. But There are few things confusing me. Why are men favoured with rewads?. For example, I am reading on Islamic websites that God favours men over women in paradise and he will reward them more, because he grants them a reward that is not granted to women which is having many beautiful spouses, but women only have one spouse and there is one an exlusive reward for men but no exclusive rewards to women. From this my understanding it that all rewards granted to women are granted to men, but not all rewards granted to men are given to women, or at least they are not rewarded as much as men for their worship. So for example, if a man and a woman both have 10000 deeds, lets say each gets the same number and quality of palace, garden, rivers, so in all of that they are equal, but the man will be given many wives (for example 10) and the women is given only one husband, so even though both have the same level of piety, the man got given more rewards than the woman by 9. Does the woman get compensate with more of another form or reward? Otherwise, who can it be justice that even though both have the same number of good deeds the man got more?
Thank you for reaching out to us.
The first point to address is whether or not men are favoured over women. If we look at the words of the Qur’an, Allah the Almighty states that men and women will both be rewarded for their righteous actions and they will not be oppressed or treated unfairly.
In chapter four verse 124 He the Almighty states:
“And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while being a believer – those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged, [even as much as] the speck on a date seed.”
In chapter 16 verse 97 He states:
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while they are a believer – We will surely cause them to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.”
When we reflect over these verses we see that Allah the Almighty has explicitly mentioned women being rewarded as well as men without any sort of differentiation in reward between the two.
We also see in the first verse that the objective is to reward the worshipper in a fair manner ensuring they are not treated unjustly. Hence, whatever reward is delivered, that will, by Allah’s infinite knowledge, be a manifestation of pure justice as He is the one who is Just. It is possible that as observers from a distance, we may perceive the delivery of reward to be unjust based on our own subjectivities, whereas in reality objectively speaking, the delivery was just.
As an example, two siblings, a boy and girl were promised a reward by their parents if they achieve a particular expectation. However, both desired two separate rewards. The boy would like a games console whilst the girl a specific laptop. Upon achieving the desired expectation, if the parents gave both the boy and girl a games console, then even though they were treated equally, the delivery of reward might not be fair as the wish of one was fulfilled and not the other. Whereas if both were given the items they wished, the objective of rewarding fairly and fulfilling the wish of the children will be achieved, even if the games console was valued higher than the laptop. The price or quantity of item is not what is taken into consideration, rather it is achieving satisfaction.
Finally, from verse two we understand that a person is rewarded according to what they used to do. Hence, if one person made a greater sacrifice, the reward for them will be greater in comparison to the one whose sacrifice was not as much. Take two individuals, one wealthy living a comfortable life and the other poor, barely being able to meet their day to day needs. Both make a donation of £10. Even though the act is the same the sacrifice made by each of them is quite different. It does not seem fair to say that both should be rewarded exactly the same.
These two examples highlight that even if we were to accept that two people are rewarded differently for carrying out the same action, that does not necessarily have to be judged as being unfair. Rather, a variety of factors will dictate whether the delivery of reward was just or not and Allah the Almighty being ultimately Just and infinitely Aware, will have knowledge of this.
Are men and women even treated differently for the same action? The scenario posed in the question discusses a man and woman both carrying out 10,000 worth of deeds. Both get gardens, rivers and palaces, but then the man gets an additional bonus of multiple wives. This is not necessarily the case. It could be possible that the men receive less of the others rewards or that women receive something else in place of the multiple wives. We can not say for sure as these are matters pertaining to the after life and therefore our knowledge regarding it is limited to what scripture says and this particular point has not been discussed. Yes, we do know that both will be treated fairly as understood from the verse quoted previously and from the fact that Allah the Almighty is ultimately just.
As for men having an exclusive reward which women do not get, first we have to understand the objective of describing Paradise. The purpose is not to just inform what each person will get, as at the end of the day the the reward will be much greater than any person could have ever though of. Rather, the purpose is to present those things which will encourage people to do good and stay away from evil. This exclusive reward which men have may just be due to men having a desire for certain things more than women do. Hence, they are promised things that motivate them to do good. Women may not necessarily be motivated by that same thing. Hence, to promise women multiple beautiful spouses might not have the same effect. Rather, they are then promised those things which their hearts desire. Take for example things like adornments and bangles etc. This may not be something which really entices men as much as it does women. Hence, even though it is not necessarily exclusive to women it is something which women may desire more than men.
Ultimately, the objective of Paradise is to treat worshippers fairly and ensure that they are content. Allah the Almighty says in chapter 41:31 regarding the inhabitants of paradise:
“And you will have therein whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you request [or wish]”.
In conclusion there is nothing to state that a man and woman who do exactly the same acts will be rewarded in a manner that favours one over the other. Rather, they will both be rewarded in a fair and just manner whereby they are both completely satisfied and content. We put our faith in Allah the Almighty being the All-knower, All-Merciful and Just.
We hope that this provides some clarification.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel