Are there more women in Hell than men
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Saaiduna Ibn Abbas Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” or are they ungrateful to Allah? He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favours and the good done to them. If you have always been good to one of them (your wives) and then she sees something in you, she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.” (Sahih Bukhari p.9 v.1)
The wordings of this hadith tell us that there will be more women in Hell than men. However it should be understood that the hadith does not say that they will go to hell for being women, it actually points out that these women because of their ungratefulness are more likely to be in Hell. The hadith in fact is pointing out a shortcoming or a wrong of theirs.
However, in another hadith we can derive that there will be in fact more women in Paradise than men.
Once some people discussed whether there would be more men in Paradise or more women. It was upon this that Saaiduna Abu Hurairah Radiallahu Anhu reported that Abul Qasim (the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam) said: The (members) of the first group to get into Paradise would have their faces as bright as full moon during the night, and the next to this group would have their faces as bright as the shining stars in the sky, and every person would have two (worldly) wives and the marrow of their shanks would glimmer beneath the flesh and there would be none without a wife in Paradise. (Sahih Muslim)
Hafiz Bin Hajar (RA) says, ‘Saaiduna Abu Huraira Radiallahu Anhu used this hadith as a proof to maintain that there would be more women in Paradise than men.’ (Fathul Bari p.400 v.6)
There is now an apparent contradiction in the two ahadiths which have been reconciled in the follwing ways:
1. The women could be more in Hell and less in Paradise at the beginning. Thereafter, when they were purified of their sins or when intercession on their behalf is accepted, they would enter Paradise and they would outnumber the men there too. (Fathul Bari p.401 v.6)
2. The hadith could refer to the moment when the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam had physically seen Paradise and Hell. They do not mention that it will always remain like that. (Faidhul Bari p.244 v.4)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham