It’s very disheartening to see that there are families where the birth of a girl child is looked upon no less than a bad omen
Living in the present times where it seems that gender stereotypes and discrimination are slowly fading away but the truth is that there are still few dark practises prevalent in our society that not only make us question our progress as individuals but also force us to question our beliefs and ideologies that lead us to such unacceptable behaviour.
Parenthood is one of the best experiences that a person undergoes in her/his life. Just the mere feeling of becoming a parent in coming future is blissful and fills a person with immense joy, especially for the would-be mother which motivates her to remain firm during her difficult moments of pregnancy and also during the most painful moments of childbirth.
Just a mere thought of holding her baby in her hands for whom she had been waiting for nine long months is beyond explanation. The best of words in the world would probably fall short to describe that excitement.
Sadly some of us become monsters by depriving some parents of this joy they have been blessed with. Our expectations seem to hold greater weight than any other thing in the whole world. Baby boy becomes a source of joy, happiness, a sign of good omen and a baby girl completely the opposite.
She’s looked at as a burden handed over to the family or as someone who’d bring nothing but misery. It’s very disheartening to even mention that there are families even today where the birth of a girl child is looked upon no less than a bad omen and the sight of women and few men crying uncontrollably makes it even more unbearable.
The hospital thus becomes a mourning place where each person comes to offer his/her solace to the family. Ironically, the mother who delivers the child is the happiest. Her happiness is overweighed by others’ expectations where others play a dominant role in deciding whether she should celebrate or mourn but little do they realize how much pain could their behaviour cause to a mother.
It is more disheartening for a woman who has delivered her first child. She can’t express her joy openly or rather her joy is snatched away from her by the shooting arrows carrying painful comments that are targeted towards her.
Therefore, her happiness is repressed within her but she doesn’t cease her efforts to make her baby girl smile. She makes all kinds of efforts to bring a smile on that baby’s face and if it is reciprocated, her joy is limitless and she forgets all the cruelty around her.
However, the way her baby girl is received may be the most difficult phase for her to experience. Also, such moments get even more challenging for those parents who bring a third or fourth daughter to this world, especially for the mother.
Everyone around her makes her feel that she is in need of consolation, plus the term ‘congratulations’ seems forbidden at that time. Such an attitude needs to be changed. The birth of a daughter needs to be equally cherished by everyone around her, in a similar way a baby boy would have been.
Probably we too are feeding this practise either directly or indirectly. We often see such things happening around, yet tend to ignore it most of the times or remain silent which in a way is accepting it.
Daughters are indeed a blessing from God Almighty just like sons, so should be welcomed the same way a baby boy would. So how many of us are ready to embrace this blessing! Let’s not forget that our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) too had four daughters, who are an inspiration to each one of us in different ways.
I’d like to mention the following two hadiths which throw light on the rank of daughters in Islam:
Narrated Aisha (RA):
A lady along with her two daughters came to me asking (for some alms). But she found nothing with me except one date which I gave to her and she divided it between her two daughters. She did not eat anything herself and left. Prophet (ﷺ) came and I informed him about this story.
He said, “Whoever is put to trial by these daughters and he treats them generously (with benevolence) then these daughters will act as a shield for him from hell fire,” (Hadith No. 24, Vol. 8); [Sahih al-Bukhari 1418 ,In-book : Book 24, Hadith 22, USC-MSA web,(English) : Vol. 2, Book 24, Hadith 499 (deprecated), Sahih Bukhari].
Jabir ibn 'Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Anyone who has three daughters and provides for them, clothes them and shows mercy to them will definitely enter the Garden.”
A man from the people said, “And two daughters, Messenger of Allah?” He said, "And two." [Grade: Hasan (Al-Albani) حـسـن (الألباني) حكم :,Reference: Al-Adab,Al-Mufrad 78,In-book reference: Book 4, Hadith 3, English translation: Book 4, Hadith 78]
Author is pursuing MA English, Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru