There is a popular misconception about women in Muslim society according to some hadiths that there will be more women in hell than man. These hadiths are,
Narrated by Abdullah bin Abbas:
Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “I saw the (Hell) Fire, and I have never before, seen such a horrible sight as that, and I saw that the majority of its dwellers were women.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is the reason for that?” He replied, “Because of their ungratefulness.” It was said. “Do they disbelieve in Allah (are they ungrateful to Allah)?” He replied, “They are not thankful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors done to them. Even if you do good to one of them all your life, when she seems some harshness from you, she will say, “I have never seen any good from you.” – Sahih al-Bukhari Book 62 Hadith 125
Another one is,
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.” – Sahih al-Bukhari Book 6 Hadith 301
But according to Islamic scholars, they have a few reservations about these hadiths
1. These Hadiths Are Not Authentic
Many Islamic clerics consider both of the hadiths weak as they are not making sense in the context of the speech. In the first one, Holy Prophet (PBUH) is talking about the responsibilities of a wife more than a woman in general. Second, why would Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) talk about this issue on Eid? This is why many Islamic scholars never quote these hadiths.
2. If We Consider Them Authentic, The Interpretation Of These Hadiths Is Wrong
Many of the scholars who consider the above-mentioned hadiths authentic, interpret them in a very different way. The Islamic scholars present Imam Muslim’s quote in this reference. Imam Muslim (RA) reports from Ibn Sireen (RA):
“Men and women disputed as to which of them would form the majority in Paradise. According to another report, either they were competing, or they were discussing, whether there would be more men or women in Paradise. They consulted Abu Hurayrah (RA), who said that women would form the majority, on the basis of the words of the Prophet (PBUH). These hadiths clearly indicate that there will be more women than men in Paradise. Some others thought that there would be more men, because of the Hadith, “I saw that they [women] formed the majority of the people of Hell”. The response to this is the fact that women will form the majority of the inhabitants of Hell does not necessarily mean that they will be a minority in Paradise, as Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalaani said. [Fath al-Baari 6/325]
3. Allah Treats Both Genders Equally
To all those misogynist men and feminist women, keep in mind that Allah states in the Quran,
Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do. – Surah Nahl verse 97
And verily Allah knows the best!