Is having daughters an absolute evil? [Archives:2008/1183/Community]

August 21 2008

By: Assma Al-Saqqaf
Humans love to have children, as it is a natural desire within every creature. However, one question is why do so many prefer to have sons rather than daughters? This desire exists within many human beings in general, but particularly in the Arab world.

This preference for boys was understandable in the past due to the differing circumstances then. Life then was more difficult than today as people had to exert much physical effort in order to gain their livelihood. Thus, parents naturally preferred having more male offspring because they are stronger physically and able to bear tough labor.

We also can't deny that previously, people lived in a world full of wars and conflicts, when males were most desired whereas females were unsafe and considered a source of worry for their family and possibly their tribe.

However, nowadays, in such a modern society, why does this concept of male superiority still dominate our minds? For example, why does the parent with nine sons feel so happy at having a 10th male child while the one with two daughters curses such bad luck and destiny at having a third female child?

Today, everyone knows that women are no source of trouble for their families. They can be educated and work as well as a man. Additionally, they can be responsible for themselves and even their family.

Life, in most of its various fields, doesn't require abilities that only men are competent in, but also women.

The Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) said that the one who raises even one daughter well will attain paradise. In another context, he said paradise is the reward for the one who delights a female. He knew absolutely that people need to change their view and position toward women.

We've recently heard about a new technique to choose the sex of a baby. By using such a technique, I suppose our society will be full of males, with females perhaps becoming in danger of extinction.

Maybe only then will their value and significance be realized, but who knows?