There are some verses of the Qur'an which are written as if the reader is male, which makes me wonder:

Question: Was the Qur'an intended to be read by men?

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but for example, men are referred to using "you":

Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers. -- Qur'an 2:223

And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah - then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful. -- Qur'an 4:129

O you who have believed, indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies to you, so beware of them. But if you pardon and overlook and forgive - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. -- Qur'an 64:14

But what about women believers (who ordinarily don't have wives)?

Women are instead referred to as if they're not the reader:

... So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. ... -- Qur'an 4:34

And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision ... -- Qur'an 24:31

Prohibited to you [for marriage] are your mothers, your daughters, ... -- Qur'an 4:23

2 Answers 2


The Quran wasn't distributed as a book to be read. Verses were revealed on the fly, to address issues as they arose. The Prophet proclaimed the verses on the pulpit, and in sermons and recited them aloud while leading congregational prayers, which were attended by both men and women.

Narrated Ibn Abbas: (My mother) Umu-l-Fadl heard me reciting "Wal Mursalati Urfan" (77) and said, "O my son, By Allah, your recitation made me remember that it was the last Sura I heard from Allah's Messenger (ﷺ). He recited it in the Maghrib prayer. "

[Bukhari 10/157]

So no, the Quran's audience was not just men.

The Quran primarily addresses the Prophet, since it is the speech of God to His Messenger. When it addresses the people, both men and women are included, for example 2:21, 2:110, and 4:59 etc. are addressed to both men and women among the believers. There are also some verses where women are directly and exclusively addressed (33:30-34).

There is a hadith narrated in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal that some women came to the Prophet and complained that the Quran didn't mention them explicitly, on which the following verse was revealed:

Quran 33:35 Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.

  • The woman whom complained was Muhamnad's pbuh wife I guess Umm Salamah and the hadith is also present in more reliable sources than Musnad Ahmad.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Mar 19, 2017 at 7:35

No, it was intended to be read by both genders, what you see is because of two reasons:

  1. Qur'an is addressed to Prophet Muhammad. Even in many verses it says : قل as in say...as God is commanding Prophet Muhammad to something, or he's simply speaking to him and his life.
  2. There many many verses in Qur'an that are about men & women, believing men and women, disbelieving men and women. But all use the masculine form because that's how Arabic and most languages are

Having that said a great number of verses are just stories (of prophets), not concerning any person or gender. Or just things about God and his creation or about the hereafter...

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