Are the rewards of Paradise for men only?

The Quran contains a number of verses which speak about the rewards which the believers will receive in
Paradise. However, when gender is used in such verses, only the male gender is used. This may indicate that only men will be granted such rewards in Paradise and not women.
This feature of the Quranic narration has prompted some among the critics and sceptics of the Quran to claim that the Quran favours men over women.

1- The same critics who claim that in the Quran only men reap the rewards of Paradise, they never mention other verses that speak of the gruesome punishments awaiting the disbelievers in Hell. They never comment on the fact that when gender is used in such verses, once again, only men are mentioned as the receivers of such punishments! The following are some examples:

The one who seeks the fleeting life, We will hasten therein for him what We please, and to whom We please. Then We assign him to Hell wherein he will roast, disgraced and rejected.

The one who comes to his Lord guilty as a criminal will incur Hell, wherein he will neither die nor live.

Considering that there is not one Quranic verse where the female gender is used in connection to the punishments of Hell, still, we do not hear any among those critics saying that women have been favoured by God and that, unlike men, women have been spared the punishments of Hell?
2- The truth of the matter is that the use of the male gender in any such verses, be it about Paradise or Hell, is only by way of representation of the whole of humanity.

The use of the male gender by way of representation is not only found in verses about Paradise and Hell, but is found in numerous verses which contain various commands and instructions that apply to both men and women. The following is one example:

In such houses that God has permitted to be erected and in which His name is mentioned, He is glorified mornings and evenings by men who are not distracted by trade or sale from the remembrance of God and from observing the Salat and giving the Zakat. They fear a Day when the hearts and sights will be overturned.

The above Quranic words contain instructions not to let any trade or sale distract from remembering God. However, God spoke in this verse about
"men" and not women. Does that mean that women are allowed to be distracted by trade or sale from remembering God without incurring blame? In addition, does the use of the word "men" mean that only men should be "observing the Salat and giving the Zakat", or that only men should fear "a Day when the hearts and sights will be overturned"?
The use of the male gender in verses such as 24:36-37, just like the verses about Paradise, is by way of representation only and they speak of all mankind.
Other examples of verses that address only men, but once again are by way of representing all mankind are:

Whomever God wishes to guide, He renders his chest receptive to Submission, and whomever He wishes to send astray, He renders his chest tight and constricted as if he is ascending into the sky. God thus places affliction on those who do not believe.

The last sentence
"God thus places affliction on those who do not believe." confirms that even though the masculine word "his" is used, yet the message of the verse applies to all mankind, male and female.

He who strives, he strives but for his own good. God is not in need of anyone in all the worlds. 29:6

Once again, the advice to strive for what is good is directed to all mankind and not just to men. Many other verses employ the male gender yet they all address all mankind.


To conclude, it becomes apparent that all verses which use the masculine gender with regards to the rewards in Paradise are representative of all mankind and not just men.

Finally, the following Quranic verse seals this matter and answers all who claim that men are promised in the Quran preferential treatment by God in Paradise:

And whoever does good deeds, male or female, and is a believer, they will enter
Paradise, and they will not be wronged even by so much as a naqeer. 4:124

A "naqeer" is a tiny speck on the stone of a date.
Two important facts can be derived from the above words:

The words "male or female" tell us that both believing men and believing women who lived a righteous life will enter Paradise.

The words "they will not be wronged even by so much as a naqeer" tell us that neither men nor women will be wronged by even as little as a speck. Ultimately, men will not receive preferential treatment by God over women when it comes to the rewards in Paradise; both men and women will be rewarded equally.