I have read in a Sahih Hadith in Sahih Bukhari that that a nation will female ruler will not succeed, is there any context to this?

"Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler’ [al Bukhari].

  • 1
    Please quote the hadith you are referring to, to avoid misunderstandings.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 19:21
  • 1
    – user14974
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 23:56
  • البخاري Al Bulhari 4425
    – user14974
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 23:57

4 Answers 4


Whenever the Rasool (saw) comments on a matter and then describes it with something, the description gives us the Islamic hukm on it. For example, When the Rasool (saw) said;

"The Imam (ruler) is a shield, from behind whom people fight and are protected" (Muslim)

The fact that the Rasool (saw) referred to the ruler as a shield is indication of the importance of the presence of the Caliph. And since the protection of Muslim life is obligatory, the Caliph is obligatory as well.

The same with the hadith that prohibits women to rule. The Rasool (saw) factually said that to indicate that it is a visceral act that can only be allowed by a non-Islamic system, which is why all the Khulafaa' were always men. It should be noted, that any position of administration is allowed for women, only ruling positions are disallowed. So a woman can be A Qaadhi but she cannot be a Qaadhi Mazhaallim because it is considered a ruling position.


The hadith is:

Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of Abi Bakra that he said: Allah has given me the privilege of a word which I heard from the Messenger of Allah during the days of Al-Jamal (the camel), when I was about to join the people of Al-Jamal and fight with them: When the Messenger of Allah heard that the people of Persia had appointed the daughter of Chosroes (Kisra), he said:

“People who appoint (Wallaow) a woman as their leader will never succeed.”

Taqi-ud-Deen An Nabahni said, in The Ruling System In Islam, about this hadith ( my emphasis added ):

If the Messenger of Allah  foretold the failure to those who assign the running of their affairs to a woman this indicates a prohibition. This is because it came in the form of reproach to those who give authority over themselves to a woman by negating their success thus indicative of definite prohibition. So the prohibition of appointing a woman to a position of authority came linked with a connotation (Qareenah) that indicates that the prohibition is decisive. Therefore, appointing a woman as a ruler is forbidden (Haram). Appointing a woman to a position of authority in this case means appointing her as Khaleefah and any other post connected with ruling. This is because this Hadith is related to the issue of ruling not specific to the appointment of Chosroes’s daughter as queen. The Hadith is not also general to cover everything but related only to matters regarding ruling and authority, so it does not apply to other than ruling positions.

So, to give it a context that it is linked to some defect in women like the answer above does is wrong; the context is ruling and authority and not linked to any other matter.


The hadith is sahih.. Women are generally more emotional than man so might not take correct step.. Hadith

حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي مَرْيَمَ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي زَيْدٌ ـ هُوَ ابْنُ أَسْلَمَ ـ عَنْ عِيَاضِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، قَالَ خَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي أَضْحًى ـ أَوْ فِطْرٍ ـ إِلَى الْمُصَلَّى، فَمَرَّ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ فَقَالَ ‏‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ النِّسَاءِ تَصَدَّقْنَ، فَإِنِّي أُرِيتُكُنَّ أَكْثَرَ أَهْلِ النَّارِ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقُلْنَ وَبِمَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏"‏ تُكْثِرْنَ اللَّعْنَ، وَتَكْفُرْنَ الْعَشِيرَ، مَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْ نَاقِصَاتِ عَقْلٍ وَدِينٍ أَذْهَبَ لِلُبِّ الرَّجُلِ الْحَازِمِ مِنْ إِحْدَاكُنَّ ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْنَ وَمَا نُقْصَانُ دِينِنَا وَعَقْلِنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏"‏ أَلَيْسَ شَهَادَةُ الْمَرْأَةِ مِثْلَ نِصْفِ شَهَادَةِ الرَّجُلِ ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْنَ بَلَى‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَذَلِكَ مِنْ نُقْصَانِ عَقْلِهَا، أَلَيْسَ إِذَا حَاضَتْ لَمْ تُصَلِّ وَلَمْ تَصُمْ ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْنَ بَلَى‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَذَلِكَ مِنْ نُقْصَانِ دِينِهَا ‏"‏‏.‏"

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:

Once Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) of `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 Messenger (ﷺ) ?" 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 Messenger (ﷺ)! 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 304 In-book : Book 6, Hadith 9 USC-MSA web (English) : Vol. 1, Book 6, Hadith 301  (deprecated) Sahih Bukhari Leader also have to interact with many people e.g.poor,goverment offcials and many other post so a women would have difficulty talking to these man and there is an risk of desire.

  • Women are generally emotional yes. But you are suggesting women can't persevere in what they do regardless of their physical and mental limitations? There are many women who did perserve. Perhaps there's nuances to the ahadiths than what u are implying. Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 11:09

As for the historical context related to the statement of the prophet () it is clearly stated in some of the versions of this hadith:

When Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was informed that the Persians had crowned the daughter of Khosrau as their ruler, he said, "Such people as ruled by a lady will never be successful."
(See for example Sahih al-Bukhari, Jami' at-Tirmidhi and Sunan an-Nasa-i)

So it is about the enthronement of the daughter of Khosrau or Kisra كِسْرَى (in Arabic) after her fathers death.
One could discuss whether this statement can be taken in general or just for this occasion, what one could safely say is that it was a prophecy as the persian empire was defeated later. But the consensus of all scholars is that a woman can't be khalifah.
As for other key or leading positions there are certain differences among scholars depending on the position and the existence of evidences supporting the leadership of women.
Further one must be aware that leadership can have different forms the qur'an actually show us the leadership of the queen of Sheba, which a majority of scholars would reject as an evidence, because they say that former shari'a is not our shari'a while others say it is if it was not abrogated by ours. Others may say one should avoid following non-Muslims etc.. In fact in case of shura -which was somewhat presented in the story of the queen of Sheba- the leadership is shared between those people who are counseling and not necessarily a 100% one person leadership.

Mainly most reasons why scholars would consider a woman not being able to lead a community are among those of the scholars who reject the idea of a woman being a prophet () (See for example: Why were there no female Prophets?)

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