Are houris, women of heaven or gardens?

The Details of the Question

- The following is stated in the Quran 55:70: “In them will be fair (Companions), good, beautiful” However, it is translated as follows in some translations: “In the gardens will be fair, good and beautiful things.” Are they female houris or only gardens?
- 55:74 is translated as follows: “Whom no man or Jinn before them has touched.” What is meant by touching?
- I have also heard that Houri means white and “ayn” means eye. Does “houri ayn” mean having white eyes?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Answer 1:

“Jannah” literally means vineyard, garden but it is the name of a known country in the Quran. There are only two countries / homelands in the land of the hereafter, which consists of Heaven (Paradise) and Hell. One is Paradise and the other is Hell.

There are dozens of verses and sound hadiths that explain the issue like that.

Therefore, the interpretation of the verse as “everything will be good and beautiful in the gardens...” is not correct.

In the verse, “In them will be fair (Companions), good, beautiful” (ar-Rahman, 55/70), fihinna = in them means “in heavens (jannahs)”.

Accordingly, there are houris/women in heavens who are worthy of the Supreme Creator’s compliment as “beautiful” in terms of both physique, moral courtesy and kindness. The word Khayratused for houris means “the elite, the best, the best women” and hisan means “beautiful ones”.

Scholars have ­tried to find the nouns that are not mentioned after the adjectives in the concise expressions of the Quran.

There are narrations that the Prophet (pbuh) explained it as khayratul-akhlaq = high ethics” andhisanul-wujuh = beautiful faces”. (cf. Tabari, Hazin, the interpretation of the verse in question)

Accordingly, the meaning of the verse is “There are women with high ethics and beautiful faces in those heavens.” (ar-Rahman, 55/70)

Answer 2:

“Whom no man or Jinn before them has touched.”

As in the two previously mentioned heavens prepared for muqarrabs, the women with gazelle eyes and moon faces are the virgin women who are pure and chaste. No one has touched them except their spouses/husbands, who are in heaven.

The word “touching” emphasized here means sexual intercourse, deflowering, touching (in the sense of sexual intercourse). (See Tabari, Razi, Mawardi, Baghawi, Ibnul-Jawzi, Baydawi, Qurtubi, Ibn Ashur, Maraghi, the interpretation of ar-Rahman 55/56,74)

Answer 3:

According to Ibn Ashur, the word “Hur” is an adjective that shows two qualities together. That is, if the white part of an eye is large and quite white, and the black part is very dark, that eye is called “Hur”. (see Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of verse 55/72)

According to some scholars, humans do not have such an eye. The attribute “Hurul-uyun” used for women is intended to liken them to gazelles. (see as-Sihah, 2/639; Mukhtarus-Sihah, 1/84; Lisanul-Arab, 4/219)

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