Why do people look down upon women who cannot conceive children?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Dear Shaykh I want to ask why do people look down upon women who cannot conceive kids, didn’t the prophets wife Aisha RA also not have kids and other wives of the prophet SAW? 


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Allah alone decrees which woman will have children and He also decrees whether the children will be males or females. Allah also decrees a woman not being able to conceive. See the following verse;

Allah Ta`ala says:

{يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ إِنَاثًا وَيَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ الذُّكُورَ (49) أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَانًا وَإِنَاثًا وَيَجْعَلُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ عَقِيمًا إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ قَدِيرٌ} [الشورى: 49، 50]


He confers females (offspring) to whomsoever He wills, confers males to whoever he wills or He grants then male and female (offspring to those parents whom He wills). Allah also makes whomsoever He wills barren (so that they don’t have any children). Indeed, He is the All Knowing (knows who deserves what), All Powerful (He does as He pleases).

It is clear from the above verse that having children is beyond human control. If a person looks down upon a woman who is unable to conceive, that is due the person’s short sightedness.

How can one look down upon someone for something that is beyond ones control. If that was the case, then there are many issues in a person’s life that are beyond ones control.  Then every person should be looked down upon including a woman who has children.

Would it be correct to look down upon a person for the colour of her skin? Would it be correct to look down upon a person for her height? Would it be correct to look down upon a person for her natural features?

What is then the difference between such person and a person who is unable to conceive. In fact, a woman who is unable to conceive can pride herself to be like Ayesha (radiyallahu anha) who did not have children.

A woman who can’t conceive children may pride herself to be included in the following hadith;

المعجم الكبير للطبراني (12/ 197)

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «مَنْ مَاتَ لَهُ فَرَطَانِ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَدْخَلَهُ اللهُ الْجَنَّةَ» ، قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ: وَمَنْ مَاتْ لَهُ فَرَطٌ؟ قَالَ: «وَمَنْ مَاتَ لَهُ فَرَطٌ يَا مُوَفَّقَةُ» ، قَالَتْ: فَمَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ فَرَطٌ؟ قَالَ: «فَأَنَا فَرَطُ أُمَّتِي لَمْ يُصَابُوا بِمِثْلِي»


Ibn Abbās (Radiyallāhu anhu) reported that Nabī (Sallāllāhualaīhiwasalam) said:

Whosoever from my Ummah has two children that pass away before the parents then, Allāh Tā`la will enter the parents into paradise because of the two children. So Aisha (Radiyallāhu Anha) enquired:

What about the person, who has one child that passes away before them, Nabī Sallāllāhu alahi wasallam replied:  the same will be awarded to those who have one child that passed away before them. Aisha (Radiyallāhu Anha) further asked: what about them who no children passed away before them? Nabī (Sallāllāhu alahiwasalam) replied: then I will be the one to go ahead of them and prepare for them.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hafizurrahman Fatehmahomed

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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