From IslamWeb, I came to know that women were not made out of a man's rib. But the hadith talks about the general case, writing "the Hadeeth does not mean that the woman, in general, is created from her husband’s rib" referring to the hadith:

Treat women nicely, for a women [sic] is created from a rib... -- Sahih al-Bukhari 3331 (sunnah.com); also Sahih Muslim 1468 a (sunnah.com)

However, Zakir Naik in a YouTube video didn't say that it applied only for Eve (the 1st woman), but his conclusion was rather for general woman.

Hence, my question: was the hadith only for Eve and not for women in general?

  • I'm not sure why there is a second question here (regarding 2nd marriage). It's an otherwise well-motivated question. Jun 2, 2017 at 6:21
  • 1
    Thanks Rebecca. You always edited my question in a very nice way. Now it reflects more than my thought. Jun 2, 2017 at 6:24
  • I am asking the 2nd question as if woman is made out of rib of her mate ( note that that singular) then her mate is predetermined and fixed. Then the hadith becomes false if she do 2nd marriage. Jun 2, 2017 at 6:34
  • What do you mean by 2nd marriage could you elaborate?
    – Medi1Saif
    Jun 2, 2017 at 6:53
  • Okay I am editing my question. I will post it as a separate question after seeing the answer of this question. Jun 2, 2017 at 7:05

2 Answers 2


The question in the fatwa you quoted are not referring to a hadith. Having said that:

  • The hadiths you quoted are authentic, but they do not explicitly state that Eve was created from Adam's rib.
  • There are scholarly explanations of the hadith that pose one of the options being only Eve created from Adam's rib, and these explanations are attributed to some of the companions.
  • There are no indications from verses or explanations that this extends the concept of women being created from men's ribs (husbands, or otherwise) beyond Eve in any form.
  • There is another scholarly explanation that the word "rib" was used as a simile, rather than its literal meaning.

Original quote is not a hadith

There is someone confusion related to the link you posted related to the question on IslamWeb Fatwa 261376. The quote in the question on IslamWeb is about:

فالمرأة خلقت من ضلع الرجل وليس من قدمه لكي تركل ولكن ايضا ليس من رأسه لكي تقوده لكنها خلقت من تحت ذراعيه لكي تحصل على الحماية وبالقرب من قلبه لتحصل على حبه

— NOTE: My own translation, so treat with care:

For a woman is created from the rib of a man, not from his foot to be kicked, and not from his head to lead him. But she was created from under his arms to have [his] protection, and from close to his heart to have his love.

This is not a hadith attributed to the Prophet ﷺ. It is merely some quote one finds on Facebook and online forums, but has no connection to Islam.

Authentic hadiths do not explicitly mention Eve or Adam

Both hadiths that you mentioned (Sahih al-Bukhari 3331 and Sahih Muslim 1468a) say "for woman is created from a rib" without specifying a woman and without specifying a man. No hadiths that I know of have explicit mentions of the names.

Some scholarly opinions relate the hadith to Eve

The reason some scholars said the hadith refers to Eve being created out of Adam's rib is an addition to this hadith as documented by Muhammad ibn Is'haq (Arabic: محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار) that said "from the left rub before he entered Paradise, and was backfilled with flesh" (Arabic: الضلع اليسرى من قبل أن يدخل الجنة وجعل مكانه لحم). In Fat'h Al-Bari (Arabic: فتح الباري شرح صحيح البخاري) by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Arabic: أحمد بن علي بن حجر العسقلاني) exaplined in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari 3331:

قوله « خلقت من ضلع » ... قيل فيه إشارة إلى أن حواء خلقت من ضلع آدم الأيسر وقيل من ضلعه القصير

— NOTE: My own translation, so treat with care:

His saying "created from a rib" ... it was said that it is in reference to Hawwa' (Eve) being created from Adam's left rib, and it was said from his short rib.

The same thing was mentioned in Sahih Muslim bi sharh al-Nawawi (Arabic: شرح النووي على مسلم) by Al-Nawawi (Arabic: يحيي بن شرف أبو زكريا النووي).

The companions and the following two generations that said this hadith refers to Eve being created out of Adam's rib, without extending this to all women, are Abdullah ibn Abbas, Abdullah ibn Mas'ood, Abdullah ibn Amr, Mujahid, Ataa', and al-Dahhak (see Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti in al-Dorr al-Manthoor in tafsir al-Baqara and tafsir al-Nisaa'). As for companions or anyone from the following two generations, I have no knowledge of any.

Some scholarly opinions say the rib is a figure of speech

One of the possible explanations is that the word rib was used as a literary device. In the commentary by al-Qari (Arabic: علي بن سلطان محمد القاري in his book Mirqat al-Mafateeh (Arabic: مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح), he said:

فإنهن خلقن من ضلع ... واحد الأضلاع وهو عظم معوج استعير للمعوج صورة أو معنى أي خلقن خلقا فيه اعوجاج فكأنهن خلقن من أصل معوج وقيل ذلك لأن أمهن أول النساء وهي حواء خلقت من أعوج ضلع من أضلاع آدم عليه الصلاة والسلام وهو الضلع الأعلى

— NOTE: My own translation, so treat with care:

"They were created from a rib" ... singular of ribs, which are bent bones, was used as a simile or imagery to mean they [women] were created warped. It was said that this is because their mother — the first woman, Eve — was created from the most bent rib of Adam's ribs, peace and blessings be upon him, which is the upper rib.

The reason al-Qari opted for one of the potential explanations being a simile (when the rule is to take words of a verse for their literal meaning, unless otherwise indicated) is another hadith by the Prophet ﷺ in Sahih al-Bukhari 5184 and Sahih Muslim 715 where the Prophet ﷺ uses a literary device (simile) in his description of women:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي مَالِكٌ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ:‏ الْمَرْأَةُ كَالضِّلَعِ، إِنْ أَقَمْتَهَا كَسَرْتَهَا، وَإِنِ اسْتَمْتَعْتَ بِهَا اسْتَمْتَعْتَ بِهَا وَفِيهَا عِوَجٌ

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The woman is like a rib; if you try to straighten her, she will break. So if you want to get benefit from her, do so while she still has some crookedness."

Sahih al-Bukhari » Wedlock, Marriage » Hadith 5184


There is no verse or hadith or scholarly opinion that extends the concept of having every woman being created from the rib of a man (her husband, or otherwise). There are two scholarly opinions:

  • The stronger scholarly opinion is based on what the companions expressed as their understanding of the hadiths, and that the hadiths referred only to Eve.
  • The other scholarly opinion is that the hadiths referred to neither Eve nor any other woman, and that the word rib is used as a linguistic device.
  • Your answer was quite elaborate and satisfier. It will be helpful for me if you summarie your answer and add a conclusion as I was unable to find one. Thank you. Jun 3, 2017 at 3:33
  • @SantanuDebnath — I re-edited the answer for clarity. If you have further questions or clarifications, please comment.
    – III-AK-III
    Jun 3, 2017 at 3:45
  • 1st point of your answer says that it was not meant for Eve. But in the 2nd point you admitted that scholars' point of view is that it was meant for Eve. 3rd point of your says it was not meant for woman in general. So what is meaning of the hadith. Please answer whether it was for only Eve or woman in general( which was exactly my question) Jun 3, 2017 at 3:54
  • 1
    @SantanuDebnath — I added a brief summary as a conclusion. First point is to say there is no evidence from verses that it referred to Eve (only scholarly opinions as per the point that follows).
    – III-AK-III
    Jun 3, 2017 at 4:04
  • Now it is clear to me. But let me share my understanding with you so that you can check whether it match with yours. Some say it was meant for Eve only and some say neither for Eve nor for general woman but rather a simile. So surely it was not meant for woman in general. Correct me if I am wrong and thanks again for your answer. Jun 3, 2017 at 4:15

This is a false and illogical belief

There are narrations from Ahlul Bayt that refute this belief that she was created from his rib.

Zorara, one of the greatest companions of Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s) reports that one day Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s) was asked that many people claim that Eve was created from Adam's rib, so is this true? The Imam replied,

"Glory is to Allah! He is much above than such statements! What, didn't Allah have the power to create a spouse for Adam from anything other than his rib?"

Source: Man La Yahtharahol Faqeeh, by Al-Sadouq, vol. 3, pg. 379

Note: This is from a Shia view

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