1:50 Ratio

I’m sure most Muslims have hear about the signs of the end of days. Ranging from the spread of vice and war, the opulance of sex, to the emergence of the saviour.

And among these signs are also the paucity of man, leading to women outnumbering their counterpart.

From Anas ibn Malik (RA):

لأحدثنكم حديثا لا يحدثكم أحد بعدي سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من أشراط الساعة أن يقل العلم ويظهر الجهل ويظهر الزنا وتكثر النساء ويقل الرجال حتى يكون لخمسين امرأة القيم الواحد

“I will narrate a hadith which no one shall narrate after me. I heard Allah’s Apostle ﷺ said: “From among the portents of the Hour: General ignorance (in religious affairs), illegal sexual intercourse (zina) will prevail, the increase of the number of women and the decrease of men so much so that for every fifty women there will be one man to look after them.”

– al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, et al.

While the ratio of men to women is roughly the same at birth, the lifespan of a woman is generally longer. Some say the ratio will be fulfilled through major wars, as more men are killed and the ratio will be adjusted.

Now, evolution may also also support this, as a recent report states that

This rapid evolution of the Y chromosome has led to a dramatic loss of genes on the Y chromosome at a rate that, if maintained, eventually could lead to the Y chromosome’s complete disappearance.

Of course, it also mentioned that it may take a few million years for all the Y chromosomes to disappear in its entirety.

Others might disagree; the 1:50 ratio may not necessarily be indicative of the physical number of females to male, but perhaps the ratio of responsible males to the number of females. The word قيم means a custodian, a guardian, who watches over for the woman and guards and protects her. Someone responsible for her.

Or, simply, the number is just a metaphor. Another hadith narrated by Abu Musa stated that the ratio is 1:40 (read here), simply meant to imply the great disparity betwen the number of males and females.


Further reading:

Fath al-Baarii


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