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During the era that preceded Islam, there were two methods that people used to kill their daughters:

  • At the time of the delivery of the child, a man would order his wife to give birth next to a hole dug in the ground; if the newborn was a male, she would return home with him, otherwise, she would throw her into the pit and bury her alive.
  • When the daughter reached six years of age, the man would tell his wife to adorn and perfume her, then he would take her to a well in the desert and tell her to look down into the well; when she would do this, he would push her into it from behind.

There were some men among these people who would forbid such acts, such as Sa’sa’ah ibn Naajiyah At-Tameemi, who would go to those attempting to kill their daughter offering money to ransom their lives.

There are people nowadays who share these same pre-Islamic beliefs; if they are granted only girls, which is of course something decreed only by Allah, they become angry, discontent and grieved.

After the advent of Islam

With the advent of Islam, the darkness of that era vanished and Allah enjoined kindness, love and compassion towards girls. Taking good care of girls was encouraged, as was giving them special attention in the process of their upbringing. In fact, Islam has designated a special reward for raising them that is not granted for raising sons. Anas(R) reported that the Prophet said: "He who raises two daughters until their puberty will be with me in Paradise like this", and he symbolized the proximity by showing two of his fingers with a slight gap between them." Sahih Muslim

Aa’ishah(R) related: "A woman by the name of Jameelah came to me with her two daughters. She asked me for charity but found nothing with me except a date, which I gave her. She divided it between her two daughters and ate nothing herself; then, she got up and left. After this, the Messenger of Allah came, so I narrated this story to him; he said: “He who is involved (in the responsibility) of (nurturing) daughters and is generous to them, will have them as a fortification for himself against the Hellfire.” Sahih Al Bukhari and Muslim In another narration of this incident, `Aa’ishah(R) related: "A poor woman came to me with her two daughters. I gave her three dates; she gave each of them a date and was about to eat the third one when one of her daughters asked her for it, so she divided it between her two daughters and ate nothing herself, and I liked what she did. After this, the Messenger of Allah came, so I told him what she did, and he said: 'Allah obligated Paradise for her due to this date, and (also) freed her from Hell.'" Sahih Muslim

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