‘Never mind. In sha Allah next time you will be blessed with a baby boy’.
That is one of the comments I had to hear when I gave birth to my second daughter. I come from a culture where growing up I saw how much importance was given to baby boys. Sweets were handed out when a baby boy was born, and not always when a girl arrived. I then watched how the men in a lot of families sat around doing nothing while the women did all the housework, cooking, cleaning and it was considered an insult to ask the men to do any of the ‘women’s’ jobs, even if the woman herself was also holding a full time job. A man can’t help – it would be beneath him to do the menial tasks a woman should be doing.
I have even heard women say to those struggling to conceive ‘If only Allah (swt) would grant you a baby girl at least’. As if a baby girl is inferior and second best.
Although things do seem to be changing, there still seems to be a lot of this mentality around.
Why are baby boys preferred?
One of the reasons I can personally think of is that boys are seen to be the ones that will continue the family name and the ones that will be able to protect and support the family. My husbands friends have been questioning him about the fact he doesn’t have a son to carry on the family name as he is the only child and with him the name will be gone if he has no son to carry it on. His response was ‘I am content with whatever Allah wills’. But what business is it of anyones to even comment and try to cause issues?
Girls are a blessing and people within the community really need to remember this.
Blessings of Baby Girls
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Prophet (pbuh) said,
“Whoever supports two girls till they attain maturity, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection (close to each other) like this –The Messenger of Allah joined his fingers to illustrate closeness.” (Muslim)
Prophet (PBUH), told: “Whoever is tested with daughters and treats them well, they will be for him a shield against the Fire of Hell.” (Bukhari Muslim)
Simply having a child on the way is a blessing from Allah and we should be grateful for that, whether it is a boy or girl. A daughter is also a gift and not a burden.
“For Allah only is the kingship of the heavens and the earth; He creates whatever He wills; He may bestow daughters to whomever He wills, and sons to whomever He wills. Or may mix them, the sons and daughters; and may make barren whomever He wills; indeed He is All Knowing, Able.”[Surah al-Shoora, Verses 49-50]
Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing to say you can’t have a preference. Say for example you do have daughters and would like a son so they have a brother…or vice versa. However the problem arises where people clearly turn round and say they don’t want a girl. I remember hospitals stopping telling people the sex of the baby at the routine scans because people were aborting the child when they heard it was a girl.
Although things have improved, I feel like we still have a long way to go. This is clearly shown by the comments I get and still do that I don’t have son.