Houri

In Islam, the hūr or hūrīyah (ArB|حورية‎) are described as "(splendid) Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an", Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003) Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) An-Naba (The Tiding)(78):33, note 16] companions of equal age (well-matched) Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqiah (That which mus come to pass)(56):38, note 15] ", "lovely eyed"cite quran|56|22|end=23|style=ref] , of "modest gaze" Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Sad (38):52] , "voluptuous",cite quran|78|33|style=ref] "pure beings" or "companions pure" of paradise, denoting humans and jinn who enter paradise after being recreated anew in the hereafter. Ibn Kathir,"Tafsir ibn Kathir (Qur'anic Commentary)",Surah (Chapter) Ar-Rahman Rahman (55), ayah (verse) 56, narrating Artat bin Al-Mundhir] There are graphical descriptions of physical pleasures in heaven. Islam also has a strong mystical tradition which places these heavenly delights in the context of the ecstatic awareness of God. ["Heaven", "The Columbia Encyclopedia" (2000)]

Description

The houri have variously been described as being "chaste females" [http://www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/quran/surah37.html Sura: 37:48] ] , "restraining their glances" [http://www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/quran/surah55.html Sura: 55:56] ] , "modest gaze" Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur'an,Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Sad (38):52] , "wide and beautiful/lovely eyes" [http://www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/quran/surah52.html Sura: 52:20] ] [http://www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/quran/surah56.html Sura: 56:22] ] , "untouched / with hymen unbroken by sexual intercourse" [http://www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/quran/surah55.html Sura: 55:72-74] ] , "like pearls" [ [http://www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/quran/surah56.html Sura: 56:23] ] , "virgins" [ [http://www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/quran/surah56.html Sura: 56:36] ] , "voluptuous/full-breasted" [http://www.al-sunnah.com/call_to_islam/quran/surah78.html Sura: 78:33] ] , "with large, round breasts which are not inclined to hang"Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2.] , "companions of equal age" Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur'an,Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqiah (That which must come to pass)(56):38, note 15] , "non-menstruating/urinating/defecating and childfree"Al Ghazzali, [http://www.nderf.org/islamic_views_death.htm Ihya Uloom Ed-Din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences) Vol. 4] ] , "60 cubits [27.5 meters] tall" [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/055.sbt.html Sahih Bukhari, vol.4, book 55, number 544] ] [http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=56&tid=51961 Ibn Kathir: The Reward of Those on the Right After] ] , "7 cubits [3.2 meters] in width", "transparent to the marrow of their bones" [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/054.sbt.html Sahih Bukhari: Vol:4 Book :54, Number: 476] ] , "eternally young"Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, hadith: 5638] , "hairless except the eye brows and the head", "pure", "beautiful", "white" [Al Ghazzali, Ihya Uloom Ed-Din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences) Vol. 4] , "splendid" Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur'an, Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003) Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) An-Naba (The Tiding)(78):33, note 16] and much more besides.

Etymology

Classical Arabic usage

According to classical Arabic usage in the time when the Qur'an was recited by Muhammad, Hur'in is made of two words Hur as well as In. The word 'Hur' is the plural of both Ahwar (Masculine) and Hawra (Feminine) which literally translates as "white-eyed", or persons distinguished by Hawar, signifying "intense whiteness of the eyeballs and lustrous black of the pupils." (ref: Qamus ), hence 'the purity' (ref: Tafsir al'Tabari, and Tafsir al-Razi in 3:52 ). And as for the phrase, "In it is the plural of both 'Ayan' (Masculine) and 'Ainao' (Feminine)", "Al-Raghib Al-Mufradat", Beirut, 1998,Kitab 'Ain,P.358] it was used to refer to the beautiful eyes of the wild-cow whose eyes are blond. In general, this word implies 'most beautiful eye' irrespective of the person's gender. Thus, the most appropriate English rendering of the compound word Hur'In will be: "Companions pure, most beautiful of eye." [Muhammad Asad, Message of the Quran in 56:22 [http://www.zawaj.com/articles/right_hands.html] ] and it is applicable to both male and female. Dr. Israr Ahmad Khan, Department of Quran & Sunnah Studies,"Quranic Description of The Paradise", IRKHS, International Islamic University of Malaysia [http://www.iiu.edu.my/deed/articles/paradise.html] ]

European usage

The word "houri" has entered into several European languages (French - 1654, English – 1737) with a meaning of a "voluptuous, beautiful, alluring woman" [ [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=houri Online Etymology Dictionary: Houri] ] [ [http://bartelby.com/61/59/H0295900.html The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.] ]

Corresponding Hebrew root

In Hebrew the corresponding adjective חיוור "hiwer" has the same root h-w-r, meaning "pale, whitish".

'Houri as Whore' misconception

The English word "whore" (German "Hure", Danish "hore", Swedish "hora", Dutch "hoer", Gothic "hors", Proto-Germanic "*hōrōn") stems from the Indo-European verb root "*kā-" "to love" (thus, the original meaning was "lover") and is not etymologically related to the Arab non-Indo-European word "houri" [ [http://blog.oup.com/2007/05/april_gleanings/ Oxford University Press Blog, Monthly Gleanings: April 2007] ] [ [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=whore Online Etymology Dictionary: Whore] ]

Mention

Qur'an

The houri are mentioned in several places in the Qur’an, although in plural no specific number is given to the amount of houries available. Likewise it does not appear from the Qur’an that only girls should be available; both sexes are mentioned. And they are made available to all Muslims, not just martyrs.

:"Thus shall it be. And We shall pair("zawajnahoom": pair them, marry them). Note "zawj" (lit., “a pair” or - according to the context - “one of a pair”) applies to either of the two sexes,a man to a woman and a woman to a man, as does the transitive verb "zawaja", “he paired” or “joined”, i.e., one person with another) Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Chapter (Surah) Ad-Dukhan (The Smoke)(44):54] them with companions pure, most beautiful of eye."" [Chapter (Surah) Ad-Dukhan (The Smoke)(44):54] " Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Ad-Dukhan (The Smoke)(44):54]

:"In these [gardens] will be mates of modest gaze ["qasirat at-tarf": Lit., “such as restrain their gaze”, i.e., are of modest bearing and have eyes only for their mates (Tafsir Razi).This phrase applies to both genders. Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Sad (38):52] ] , whom neither man nor invisible being will have touched ere then." " [Chapter (Surah) Ar-Rahman (The Most Beneficent(55):56] " Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Ar-Rahman (The Most Beneficent(55):56]

:" [There the blest will live with their] companions pure and modest, in pavilions [splendid] " [Chapter (Surah) Ar-Rahman (The Most Beneficent)(55):72] " Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Ar-Rahman (The Most Beneficent(55):72]

:"reclining on couches [of happiness] ranged in rows!” And [in that paradise] We shall mate them with companions pure, most beautiful of eye " [Chapter (Surah) At-Tur (The Mount)(52):20] " Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) At-Tur (The Mount)(52):20]

Here are verses that refer to one’s "spouse" renewal to a pure state :

:"And [with them will be their] spouses, raised high: for, behold, We shall have brought them into being in a life renewed, having resurrected them as virgins " [Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqi'a (The Event)(56):34-36] " Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqi'a (The Event)(56):34-36]

:And among His wonders is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind ["min anfusikum azwajan", Lit. “from among yourselves mates (spouses, one of the pair)”] so that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think! … And He it is who creates [all life] in the first instance, and then brings it forth anew: and most easy is this for Him, since His is the essence of all that is most sublime in the heavens and on earth, and He alone is almighty, truly wise. " [Chapter (Surah) Ar-Rum (The Romans)(30):21…27] Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Ar-Rum (The Romans)(30):21…27]

There are also verses regarding both genders explicitly:

:God has promised the believers, both men and women (Lit., "waalmuminoona" (male believers) "waalmuminatu" (female believers), gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual bliss: but God's goodly acceptance is the greatest [bliss of all] -for this, this is the triumph supreme! " [Chapter (Surah) At-Taubah (The Repentance) (9):72] " Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) At-Taubah (The Repentance) (9):72]

:As for anyone - be it man or woman [Lit., "min" (from) "thakarin" (male) "aw" (or) "ontha" (female)] [ [http://www.searchtruth.com/chapter_display_all.php?chapter=16&from_verse=1&to_verse=128&mac=&translation_setting=1&show_transliteration=1&show_yusufali=1 16:97] ] - who does righteous deeds, and is a believer withal - him shall We most certainly cause to live a good life, and most certainly shall We grant unto such as these their reward in accordance with the best that they ever did. " [Chapter (Surah) An-Nahl (The Bee) (16):97] " Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) An-Nahl (The Bee) (16):97]

A verse regarding "other" companionship:

:“And, O our Sustainer, bring them into the gardens of perpetual bliss which Thou hast promised them, together with the righteous from among their forebears, and their spouses, and their offspring - for, verily, Thou alone art almighty, truly wise " [Chapter (Surah) Ghafir (The Forgiver)(40):8] " Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Ghafir (The Forgiver)(40):8]

Hadith

The Islamic traditions (hadith) also mention the houries.

Al-Bukhari

Muhammad al-Bukhari (810 - 870) was a famous Sunni Islamic scholar most known for authoring the most authentic hadith collection named Sahih Bukhari

* " [E] veryone will have two wives ( [in a version of this hadithSahih Bukhari, "The book of the Beginning of Creation"(54), Hadith nr 4.468 (3026)] : "waa li kul-li wa ahidin minhoom zawjataani" = and to every single (everyone) among them "zawjataani". The expression "kulli wa hadin"-each one (everyone) includes both males and females. Note: the feminine ending -at(un) (feminine ta-marbuta, -ah in modern Arabic language) is also added to distinguish a person in an exemplary manner as in allamun = scholar, allamatun (-ah) = distinguished scholar [not "female scholar"] , or as in "rawin" = narrator, "rawiyatun"(-ah) = narrator(of poems) [not "female narrator"] . These forms ending in -at(un) (modern -ah), as they designate the individual, are treated as masculines.] Wolfdietrich Fischer, "A Grammar of Classical Arabic", Third Revised Edition, Translated from German by Jonathan Rodgers, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2002, Nr. 73(a)] [zawjatan: dual connotation (Classical Arabic Idiom - which can be used to refer to two different things calling them by the same name: two paired persons or things can be expressed by the dual of one of them (eg. "abawaani" [dual of "aba" (father)] = parents (father and mother, not "two fathers"; "qamarani" [dual of "qamar" (moon)] = sun and moon (not "two moons")Wolfdietrich Fischer, "A Grammar of Classical Arabic", Third Revised Edition, Translated from German by Jonathan Rodgers, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2002, Nr. 108(a)] ; usage in "Qur'an in Surah Al-Furqan(25):53" "bahrayn" [dual of "bahr" (sea)] = sea "salty and bitter" and river "sweet and thirst-allaying" (not "two seas"); sometimes the word with the female gender is chosen to make the dual form, such as in the expression "the two Marwas", referring to the two hills of "As-Safa" and "Al-Marwa" (not "two hills, each called Al-Marwa") in MeccaAbbas Hassan, "An-nahw al-wafi", I, 118–19] ;) ( (i.e. Husband - zawj and wife -zawjah can be referred as zawjatan in the dual form)] Dr. Muhammad Salim al-Awwa, Secretary General of the World Union of the Muslim Ulemas, "Female Circumcision Neither a Sunna, nor a Sign of Respect"(Al Alazhar, Cairo)", [http://www.npwj.org//?q=node/2027] [http://islamtoday.com/showme2.cfm?cat_id=34&sub_cat_id=826] ] from the houris, (who will be so beautiful, pure and transparent that) the marrow of the bones of their legs will be seen through the bones and the flesh." (Sahih Bukhari, Book 54 "The Beginning of Creation", Hadith 476) [http://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=54&translator=1&start=60&number=472] )

* "They will not urinate, relieve nature, spit, or have any nasal secretions. Their combs will be of gold, and their sweat will smell like musk. The aloes-wood will be used in their centers. Their wives will be houris. All of them will look alike and will resemble their father Adam (in statute), sixty cubits tall."'

Muslim

Imam Muslim (821 - 875) was a famous Sunni Islamic scholar most known for authoring the authentic hadith collection named Sahih Muslim

* Muhammad (Ibn Sirin) reported that some (persons) stated with a sense of pride and some discussed whether there would be more men in Paradise or more women. It was upon this that Abu Huraira reported that Abu'l Qasim said: The (members) of the first group to get into Paradise would have their faces as bright as full moon during the night, and the next to this group would have their faces as bright as the shining stars in the sky, and everyone will have two wives (or Husband - zawj and wife -zawjah can be referred as zawjatan in the dual form)] Wolfdietrich Fischer, "A Grammar of Classical Arabic", Third Revised Edition, Translated from German by Jonathan Rodgers, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2002, Nr. 73(a)] Wolfdietrich Fischer, "A Grammar of Classical Arabic", Third Revised Edition, Translated from German by Jonathan Rodgers, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2002, Nr. 108(a)] "(houris: inferred from Sahih Muslim, hadith 6795 through another chain of narration)" and the marrow of their shanks would glimmer beneath the flesh and there would be none without a wife in Paradise. (Sahih Muslim, Book 40 “Pertaining to Paradise, Its Description”, Hadith 6793) [http://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=40&translator=2&start=10&number=6787]

*Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported (the Prophet of Allah said): "I was shown Paradise and I saw the wife of Abu Talha (i. e. Umm Sulaim) and I heard the noise of steps before me and, lo, it was that of Bilal". Sahih Muslim, Book 31 'The Book Pertaining to the Merits of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (Kitab Al-Fadail Al-Sahabah)', Hadith 6012]

Al-Tirmidhi

Al-Tirmidhi (824 - 892) was a medieval collector of hadiths, some deemed controversial and unreliable Salahuddin Yusuf , "Riyadhus Salihin",commentary on Nawawi, Chapter 372, Dar-us-Salam Publications (1999), ISBN 159144053X ,ISBN 978-1591440536 ] .

*Al-Hasan Al-Basri says that an old woman came to the messenger of Allah and made a request, O’ Messenger of Allah make Dua that Allah grants me entrance into Jannah. The messenger of Allah replied, O’ Mother, an old woman cannot enter Jannah. That woman started crying and began to leave. The messenger of Allah said, Say to the woman that one will not enter in a state of old age, but Allah will make all the women of Jannah young virgins. Allah Ta’aala says, Lo! We have created them a (new) creation and made them virgins, lovers, equal in age. (Surah Waaqi’ah, 35-37). [Shamaa-il Tirmidhi, Chapter 035, Hadith Number 006 (230)]

* " [Muhammad] was heard say: "The smallest reward for the people of Heaven is an abode where there are eighty thousand servants and seventy two wives, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine and ruby, as wide as the distance from [Damascus] to San'a" [Al-Tirmidhi, "Sunan". Vol. IV: "The Features of Heaven as described by the Messenger of Allah". Chap. 21. Hadith: 2687, and also quoted by Ibn Kathir in his "Tafsir" (Qur'anic Commentary) of Surah Rahman (55), ayah (verse) 72.] .("This hadith has a weak chain of narrators") Salahuddin Yusuf , "Riyadhus Salihin",commentary on Nawawi, Chapter 372, Dar-us-Salam Publications (1999), ISBN 159144053X ,ISBN 978-1591440536 ]

* "A houri is a most beautiful young woman with a transparent body. The marrow of her bones is visible like the interior lines of pearls and rubies. She looks like red wine in a white glass. She is of white color, and free from the routine physical disabilities of an ordinary woman such as menstruation, menopause, urinal and offal discharge, child bearing and the related pollution. A houri is a girl of tender age, having large breasts which are round (pointed), and not inclined to dangle. Houris dwell in palaces of splendid surroundings." [Al-Tirmidhi, "Sunan". Vol. II]

Ibn Maja

Ibn Maja (824 - 887) was a medieval hadith collector, not all authentic. His collection is named the Sunan Ibn Maja.

* "Houris do not want wives to annoy their husbands, since the houris will also be the wives of the husbands in the afterlife. "Mu’adh bin Jobal (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘A woman does not annoy her husband but his spouse from amongst the maidens with wide eyes intensely white and deeply black will say: Do not annoy him, may Allah ruin you.” He is with you as a passing guest. Very soon, he will part with you and come to us." [ [http://www.muslimhope.com/IslamIndex.htm Sunan ibn Maja, Volume 3, Book 9, Num. 2014] ] [ [http://www.ghazali.org/works/marriage.htm , Book on the Etiquette of Marriage; Etiquette for the women] ]

Sahaba

The sahaba were the companions of Muhammad.

Abu Huraira

Abu Huraira mentions houri between a dispute of if there were more women or men going to paradise.Sahih Muslim, Book 40 “Pertaining to Paradise, Its Description]

Abu Ubayda

Abu Ubayda said that the recreated women of this life referring to

:"We have created [their Companions] of special creation, and made them virgin-pure [and undefiled after their old age in this life] (Qur’an, Surah Al-Waqia(56):35-36)

were mentioned in the previous verse:

:"And Hur (fair females) with wide lovely eyes. Like preserved pearls."(Qur'an, Surah Al-Waqia(56):22)

quoted by Ibn Kathir in his "Tafsir" (Qur'anic Commentary) of Surah Waqia (56), ayah (verse) 35-36 Ibn Kathir,"Tafsir ibn Kathir (Qur'anic Commentary)","The Reward of Those on the Right After", [Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqiah (That Which Must Come To Pass)(56):35-36] , Dar-us-Salam Publications,2000, ISBN 1591440203, ISBN 978-1591440208]

Damrah bin Habib

Artat bin Al-Mundhir said:

:"Damrah bin Habib was asked if the Jinns will enter Paradise and he said,"`Yes, and they will get married. The Jinns will have Jinn women and the humans will have female humans." ' "

quoted by Ibn Kathir in his "Tafsir" (Qur'anic Commentary) of Surah Rahman (55), ayah (verse) 56:

:"In these [gardens - paradise] will be mates of modest gaze, whom neither man nor invisible being [Jinn] will have touched them then [after they have been created again] ." Ibn Kathir,"Tafsir ibn Kathir (Qur'anic Commentary)","The Delight of Those Who have Taqwa (God-Consciousness) in Paradise", [Chapter (Surah) Ar-Rahman (The Most Gracious)(55):56] , Dar-us-Salam Publications,2000, ISBN 1591440203, ISBN 978-1591440208]

Tabi'een

The Tabi'een are generation of Muslims who were born after the death of Muhammad but who were contemporary of the Sahaba.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that the word houri implies the righteous women among mankind who are rewarded with paradise as related in the Tafsir of Tabari quoted by Muhammad Asad in his tafsir "Message of Quran" Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an", Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003) Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqia (That Which Must Come To Pass)(56):35-36, note 16] concerning the following ayah:

:"We have created [their Companions] of special creation, and made them virgin-pure [and undefiled after their old age in this life] (Qur’an, Surah Al-Waqia(56):35-36)

Ibn Sirin

Ibn Sirin mentions Abu Huraira using houri to solve a dispute of whether there are more women or men going to paradise.Sahih Muslim, Book 40 “Pertaining to Paradise, Its Description]

Qur'an commentators

Tabari

Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari mentions that all righteous women, however old and decayed they may have been on earth, will be resurrected as virginal maidens and will, like their male counterparts, remain eternally young in paradise. Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an", Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003) Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqia (That Which Must Come To Pass)(56):35-36]

Ibn Kathir

Ibn Kathir says that the houri "are delightful virgins of comparable age who never had sexual intercourse with anyone, whether from mankind or Jinns, before their husbands." [http://tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=55&tid=51713 The Delight of Those Who have Taqwa in Paradise] - Tafsir.com for Quran 55:56] by commenting,"in the other life, after they became old in this life, they were brought back while virgin, youthful, being delightfully passionate with their husbands, beautiful, kind and cheerful."" Ibn Kathir,"Tafsir ibn Kathir (Qur'anic Commentary)","The Reward of Those on the Right After", [Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqiah (That Which Must Come To Pass)(56):35-36] , Dar-us-Salam Publications,2000, ISBN 1591440203, ISBN 978-1591440208]

Qurtubi

Al-Qurtubi reconciled between the hadith of making the majority of the habitants of Hell and Paradise women by suggesting that the women that will form the majority in hell will be among the sinners that will stay there temporarily and will be brought out of Hell and enter Paradise. Thereafter the majority of the people of Paradise will be women. at-Tadhkirah, al-Qurtubî, p. 475]

Razi

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi comments that the companions of paradise mentioned in "Qur'an 44:54" include "“ [even] those toothless old women of yours whom God will resurrect as new beings”" Al-Hasan, quoted by Razi in his comments on 44: 54, Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an", Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003) Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqia (That Which Must Come To Pass)(56):22] and observes that inasmuch as a person’s eye reflects his soul more clearly than any other part of the human body in Qur'an 52: 20. Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an", Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003) Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqia (That Which Must Come To Pass)(56):22]

Round/swollen breasts

In relation to the mention of virgins in Quran, several translators like Hilali-Khan, [ [http://www.quranm.multicom.ba/translations/Hilali%20Khan.htm Noble Quran, translated by Hilali-Khan] ] Arberry, Palmer, Rodwell and Sale have translated cite quran|78|33|style=ref to refer to "swelling breasts". [ [http://www.quranbrowser.com/ Quran browser] ] [ [http://www.answering-christianity.com/cgi-bin/quran/quran_search1.cgi?search_text=78%3A33&munir_munshey=1&yusuf_ali=1&arberry=1&mohsin_khan=1&palmer=1&shakir=1&sale=1&sher_ali=1&pickthall=1&khalifa=1&rodwell=1&transliteration=1&arabic=1&all=1&B1=Search QuranSearch.com] ]

In addition, Ibn Kathir, in his tafsir, writes that verse cite quran|78|33|style=nosup in the Qur'an describes the physical attributes of the women. He says the following about the verse: "This means round breasts. They meant by this that the breasts of these girls will be fully rounded and not sagging, because they will be virgins, equal in age.'" [cite book |url=http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=78&tid=56825 |author=Ibn Kathir |title=Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Volume 10 Surat At-Tagabun to the end of the Qur'an |pages=333-334]

Alternative Interpretation

It should be noted that the original wording in Arabic is وَكَوَاعِبَ أَتْرَاباً (Transliteration: WakawaAAiba atraban) [ [http://www.searchtruth.com/chapter_display_all.php?chapter=78&from_verse=33&to_verse=33&mac=&translation_setting=1&show_transliteration=1 78:33] ]

Muhammad Asad has said regarding the above verse:

As regards my rendering of kawa’ib as "splendid companions", it is to be remembered that the term "ka'b" -from which the participle ka’ib is derived - has many meanings, and that one of these meanings is "prominence", "eminence" or "glory" (Lisan al-Arab); thus, the verb "ka'ba", when applied to a person, signifies "he made [another person] prominent", "glorious" or "splendid" (ibid.) Based on this tropical meaning of both the verb ka'ba and the noun ka'b, the participle ka'ib has often been used, in popular parlance, to denote "a girl whose breasts are becoming prominent" or "are budding" hence, many commentators see in it an allusion to some sort of youthful "female companions' who would entertain the (presumably male) inmates of paradise. Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqiah (That which mus come to pass)(56):38, note 15]
Then he continues:
...this interpretation of kawa’ib overlooks the purely derivative origin of the above popular usage - which is based on the tropical connotation of "prominence" inherent in the noun "ka'b" - and substitutes for this obvious tropism the literal meaning of something that is physically prominent: and this, in my opinion, is utterly unjustified. If we bear in mind that the Qur'anic descriptions of the blessings of paradise are always allegorical, we realize that in the above context the term kawa’ib can have no other meaning than "glorious [or "splendid"] beings". Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Qur'an",Publisher: The Book Foundation; Bilingual edition (December 2003), Language: English, ISBN 1904510000,Chapter (Surah) Al-Waqiah (That which mus come to pass)(56):38, note 15]

ex in paradise

Ibn Kathir mentions Muhammed saying that men in heaven would have sex with virgins . [http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=56&tid=51961 The Reward of Those on the Right After] - Ibn Kathir's commentary on Quranic surah 55, Al-Waqia] In another version of the hadith, Muhammad is reported to have said"In Paradise, the believer will be given such and such strength for women."

"72 Virgins"

The concept of 72 virgins in Islam refers to an aspect of paradise. In a collection by Imam at-Tirmidhi in his "Sunan" (Volume IV, Chapters on "The Features of Heaven as described by the Messenger of Allah", chapter 21: "About the Smallest Reward for the People of Heaven", hadith 2687) and also quoted by Ibn Kathir in his "Tafsir" (Qur'anic Commentary) of Surah cite quran|55|72|style=nosup, it is stated that:

"It was mentioned by Daraj Ibn Abi Hatim, that Abu al-Haytham 'Adullah Ibn Wahb narrated from Abu Sa'id al-Khudhri, who heard the Prophet Muhammad PBUH saying, 'The smallest reward for the people of Heaven is an abode where there are eighty thousand servants and seventy-two houri, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine and ruby, as wide as the distance from al-Jabiyyah to San'a. [ [http://www.livingislam.org/fiqhi/sp2-gfh_e.html#9 How Many Wives Will The Believers Have In Paradise?] - Questions answered by Islamic scholar Gibril Haddad]

Interpretations

Margaret Nydell states that mainstream Muslims regard this belief about 72 virgins in the same way that mainstream Christians regard the belief that after death they will be issued with wings and a harp, and walk on clouds. [cite book|title=Understanding Arabs: A Guide for Modern Times|author=Margaret Kleffner Nydell|pages=109|year=2006|publisher=Intercultural Press|id=ISBN 1931930252]

Another interpretation of the relevant passages of the Qur'an is "The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Qur'an" written by Christoph Luxenberg. In respect of this particular point, Luxenberg argues that the relevant passage actually translates to a portrayal of paradise as a lush garden with pooling water and trees with rare fruit, including "white raisins" (considered to be delicacies at the time that the Qur'an was written), not virgin maidens. [cite book|title=Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith|author=Vartan Gregorian|pages=19|year=2003|publisher=Brookings Institution Press|id=ISBN 081573283X] [cite news|author=Alexander Stille|title=Scholars Are Quietly Offering New Theories of the Koran|work=New York Times|date=2002-03-02|pages=A1]

Criticism

Regarding the above statement, Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf has said: "The narration, which claims that everyone would have seventy-two wives has a weak chain of narrators." Salahuddin Yusuf , "Riyadhus Salihin",commentary on Nawawi, Chapter 372, Dar-us-Salam Publications (1999), ISBN 159144053X ,ISBN 978-1591440536 ]

"White grapes"

In 2000, German philologist Christoph Luxenberg published a book arguing that the word huri actually signifies "white grapes". He based his interpretation on Christian descriptions of Paradise in the Aramaic language, in which the etymologically related word "huri" has a different meaning than in Arabic, the language of the Qur'an.

ee also

*Jannah

References

External links

* [http://www.iiu.edu.my/deed/articles/paradise.html "Quranic Description of The Paradise" by Dr. Israr Ahmad Khan, Dept. of Quran & Sunnah Studies, IRKHS, International Islamic University of Malaysia]
* [http://www.islamqa.com/index.php?ref=10053&ln=eng Response from IslamQA team to a Muslim asking about sex with virgins in heaven]
* [http://syrcom.cua.edu/Hugoye/Vol6No1/HV6N1PRPhenixHorn.html A review of a book by] Christoph Luxenberg who claims Aramaic origins for the Quran.
* [http://www.islamqa.com/index.php?ref=60188&ln=eng&txt=virgins Description of al-hoor al-‘iyn in the Qur’aan and Sunnah]
* [http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2682 Afterlife and the Quran]
* [http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2007/01/29/070129sh_shouts_martin A humorous look at the Seventy two virgins] - From The New Yorker
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2687797.stm British martyrs 'promised 72 virgins'] - BBC
* [http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Area=ia&ID=IA7401 '72 Black Eyed Virgins': A Muslim Debate on the Rewards of Martyrs] - Memri.org
*cite news|author=Joyce M Davis |date=2001-08-24|url=http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=996 |title='60 Minutes' quotations fabricated |publisher=Knight-Ridder Newspapers as reported by The Muslim News |accessdate=2007-04-27
* [http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3260578,00.html Cleric: Zarqawi's wedding with virgins has begun]
* [http://www.citizensoldier.org/72virgins.html Where do the 72 Virgins come from?]


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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • houri — houri …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • houri — [ uri ] n. f. • 1654; mot persan, de l ar. hour, adj. désignant les femmes qui ont le blanc et le noir des yeux très tranchés ♦ Beauté céleste que le Coran promet au musulman fidèle dans le paradis d Allah. houri n. f. Femme très belle promise… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • houri — nymph of Muslim paradise, 1737, from Fr. houri (1650s), from Pers. huri nymph in Paradise, from Arabic haura to be beautifully dark eyed, like a gazelle + i, Persian formative element denoting the singular …   Etymology dictionary

  • Houri — Hou ri, n.; pl. {Houris}. [Per. h[=u]r[=i], h[=u]r[=a], h[=u]r; akin to Ar. h[=u]r, pl. of ahwar beautiful eyed, black eyed.] A nymph of paradise; so called by the Mohammedans. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • *houri — ● houri nom féminin (persanḥuri, de l arabe ḥūr, pluriel deḥawrā, blancheur) Dans le Coran (III, 20), vierge du paradis, promise comme épouse aux croyants vertueux. Littéraire. Très belle femme …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • houri — [hoo′rē, hou′rē] n. pl. houris [Fr < Pers ḥūri < Ar ḥūrīyah, black eyed woman, ult. < ḥawira, to be dark eyed] 1. in Muslim belief, any of the beautiful nymphs of the Muslim Paradise 2. a seductively beautiful woman …   English World dictionary

  • Houri — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Houri (homonymie). Houris chevauchant des chameaux dans le paradis. Les houris (masc. arabe ‫حور‬, ḥūr, fé …   Wikipédia en Français

  • houri — /hoor ee, howeur ee, how euh ree/, n., pl. houris. one of the beautiful virgins provided in paradise for all faithful Muslims. [1730 40; < F < Pers huri < Ar hur pl. of HAURA gazelle eyed (woman)] * * * ▪ Islam also spelled  huri , Arabic… …   Universalium

  • houri — (hou ri) s. f. Nom de beautés célestes qui, selon l Alcoran, seront dans le paradis les épouses des musulmans fidèles. •   Ils [les Turcs] se voient dans le neuvième ciel entre les bras de leurs houris, VOLT. Babyl. 3.    Fig. Femme très… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • HOURI — n. f. Nom des créatures célestes qui, selon l’Alcoran, seront dans le paradis les compagnes des musulmans fidèles. Un sourire de houri …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)


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