Is it true that men get 72 virgin women in paradise when they die? If so does it apply to a men that are married in this life as well?

The Details of the Question

I would like to know all the details about this Hadith. Their is so much information on it that seems false that I don't know what to believe. I would love a better understanding on this please. I'm an extremely loyal muslim wife or sacrifisings so much of my happiness to make my marriage work and all the different theories on this really effects on faith. Can you please Explain in great detail?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

ANSWER 1

In the Qur'an the number of Houris is not mentioned. In technical term, “houri” refers to each of the beautiful girls Allah promised to the ones who deserve to enter Heaven.

They are girls whose eyes are large and their eyes’ iris is extremely black and it is quite white around iris. The word “hur” in Arabic is the plural form of “havra”. It is used as “houri” by adding the relative suffix “i” to it.

The word “iyn” which is used in Quran to express “houris” is derived from the word “ayn (eye)” and it refers to women with large eyes.

We learn about Houris’ body structure, beauty, and moral values from Quran verses and hadiths.

As to the Righteous (they will be) in a position of Security among Gardens and Springs; dressed in fine silk and in rich brocade, they will face each other. Moreover, We shall join them to Companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes.” (ad-Dukhan, 51-54)

Verily for the Righteous there will be a fulfillment of (the heart's) desires; Gardens enclosed, and grapevines; companions of equal age (girls); and a cup full (to the brim).” (an-Naba, 78/31-34).

Therein will they recline (at ease): Therein can they call (at pleasure) for fruit in abundance, and (delicious) drink; and beside them will be chaste women restraining their glances, (companions) of equal age.” (as-Sad, 38/51-52).

We have created (their Companions) of special creation and made them virgin - pure (and undefiled), beloved (by nature), equal in age, for the Companions of the Right Hand.” (al-Wa’iah).

What is meant by the expression of “equal in age” in verses above can be both that all of these women are at the same age and they are at the same age with their husbands.

Here is this Allah’s kind gift to His righteous and blissful slaves who arranged their lives in accordance with Allah’s orders and prohibitions; put up with all kinds of troubles, sorrows and torment in order not to abandon their religion; did not give in to arrogant ones and rioted against cruelty and cruel ones.

In them will be fair (Companions), good, beautiful” (ar-Rahman, 55/70).

In them will be (Maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched” (ar-Rahman, 55/56).

And (there will be) Companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes like pearls well-guarded.” (al-Waq’iah, 56/22-23).
The most important trait of a woman is her modesty and purity. For this reason, Allah the Glorious, while declaring the boons of Heaven, firstly mentioned their modesty and purity before their purity.

It can be deduced from the second verse above that there will be righteous women for righteous men from jinns in the Heaven. These women will be wives for men of jinn, like righteous women of humankind will be for men of humankind. Neither these righteous women of jinn nor the righteous women of humankind will be touched by men.

The Prophet (pbuh) describes the inhabitants of Heaven as follows:

Every one of them will have two wives; the marrow of the bones of the wives' legs will be seen through the flesh out of excessive beauty. They (i.e. the people of Paradise) will neither have differences nor hatred amongst themselves; their hearts will be as if one heart and they will be glorifying Allah in the morning and in the evening.” (Bukhari, Bed’al-Halk, 59, Sifatu’l Jannah)

In addition, women who believed in Allah and became one of righteous slaves of Allah while in earthly life are superior to houris, because they have to struggle against devils and their own lower-selves. They became victorious in this struggle, gained Allah’s consent and deserved to enter Heaven.  However, houris are not in Heaven because of their own deeds. Allah created them for the inhabitants of Heaven amongst other boons of Heaven. The Prophet’s hadith below confirms this:

The women of this world will have superiority over the houris just as the outer lining of a garment has superiority over the inner lining."... "Because they performed salâh, fasted, and worshipped [Allah]. Allah will put light on their faces and silk on their bodies...” (narrated Tabarani; Mawdudi, Tafhimu’l Quran, VI. 81).

As there is no jealousy in Paradise, the women will not be disturbed and be jealous when houris are given to their husband in Paradise.

How will the poygamy be in Paradise? How should we understand the verses about this matter?

For example, in the commentary of the verse “ ... and they have therein companions pure (and holy)...” this sentence of the scholar Elmalılı : “ in the heavens, there are pure, clean spouses, that is, wives for men and husbands for women” ((Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur’ân Dili, Eser Bookstore, İstanbul, nd, I, 276.) has been misunderstood by some as if the women would be given many men (ghilman) just like many houris will be given to men.

However, what is meant here is that all men and women will be married and will have pure spouses. Because they are mentioned in the plural form as men and women, their spouses are also mentioned in the plural form. That is, each man and woman will have a pure spouse.

This expression is just like the words of a teacher told to the students: “I will hand out your report cards now” at the end of the year. It does not mean that a student will receive more than one report card. Conversely, it means each student will receive one report card. Since the students are plural, so the report cards are plural. The reason of this misunderstanding is just the lack of knowledge about the subject matter.

The mankind that was created to be tested on this earth, which is a member of the Milky Way Galaxy and the Solar System in the endless cosmotic space of the universe, is obliged to get to know the Creator of the universe and worship Him through faith.

The true believers who had faith and did good deeds in accordance with the purpose of creation  have been given the good news of entering Paradise in all heavenly books and have been encouraged to do good deeds in order to gain it.

For the man who is prone to and desires the perfection and the beauty at the utmost degree with a passionate feeling, the Quran elaborates the boons of Paradise; and beyond this, the contentment of Allah was promised.

Paradise contains all the blessings of both spiritual and emotional kind, and at the same time, all the bodily and material pleasures. Eating, drinking and marriage are among the highest boons of Paradise. According to the statements of the Quran and hadiths, a marriage bond established in this world, will continue in the other life on condition that both spouses deserve Paradise; and their relationship will last forever in Paradise. However, an unbeliever spouse who died denying Allah and other tenets of the religion, -like the spouses of the prophets Noah and Lot, and the Pharaoh, the husband of the believer Asiya- will be separated from his/her spouse and will suffer the eternal torments of Hell, in return for their denial.

The believing women that went to Paradise because of their faiths and good actions, will be given back to their husbands by Allah, after removing all the worldly flaws with His Compassion and Might. Those women of the earth will be more beautiful than houris, be an eternal life-time companion to their spouses and a sultan of houris. They will make use of the blessings of Paradise together with their beloved ones eternally, and without any feeling of jealousy and antagonism.

The believing men and women that die before marrying anyone in this world, will surely get married in Paradise and there will be no one remaining single. However, the ones who died in the infancy period are exempted from this rule. According to the meaning of this verse of the Quran: “Wildanun mukhalladun” (Endless living children), the kids of the believers that died before adolescence, will directly go to Paradise, but they will remain kids forever and thus they will give the pleasure of child caressing and loving to their parents.

However, as for the kids in the period of pre-adolescence that performed prayers and fasted the Ramadan, with the encouragement of their parents, Allah will create them like adults and will bestow onto them this difference as a reward of their good deeds. The children of the infidels will go to Paradise too, but they will be servants there. The insane ones, the ones that were unaware of the true religion because of living in the period of Interregnum (a period between two Prophets) will not be accounted for their sins; and thus, they will go to Paradise.

The word “ghilman” is mentioned only in one verse of the Quran. It is the surah at-Tur ,- the 52nd surah- the verse 24, “Round about them will serve, (devoted) to them, youths (handsome) as Pearls well-guarded.” In the dictionary, “ghulam” means “child, young boy, servant” (but ghilman is the plural of ghulam), which, at the same time, apparently means the youths that were created by Allah for serving the believers in Paradise. They serve food and drinks for the residents and they do this service happily.

As for houris, they are very beautiful women that were created specially for the believing men in Paradise and they are under the command of the women of Paradise. Many verses mention and describe them. Generally, they are described in several verses as “they have big eyes with pure white and darkish black, girls having white and silvery skins” ,” they are fond of their males, unaware of the others, untouched by others, pearly skinned, ruby cheeked, peer young girls” They are so beautifully created that, a hadith says “ Even if they wear seventy garments, their bone marrows are still visible”

Badiuzzaman expounds this fact as follows : “Yes, by saying, "The Houris wear seventy garments and the marrow of their leg-bones can be seen," the Hadith points out that however many senses, feeling, powers, and faculties man has which are enamoured of beauty, worship pleasure, are captivated by ornament, and yearn for loveliness, the Houris comprise every sort of adornment and exquisite loveliness, physical and spiritual and immaterial, which will please and satisfy all of them, and gratify and make happy each of them..

That is to say, since the Houris are of seventy of the varieties of the adornment of Paradise, and not of one sort, as they are clothed in garments which do not conceal one another, they display from their beings and selves and bodies, perhaps more than seventy of the different sorts of its beauty and loveliness. They demonstrate the truth indicated by the verse: “There is everything that their souls desire and eyes enjoy” (Words p.813) However, the women of the earth will be created more beautifully than them because of their good deeds on the earth and those women who had married more than once will have the chance to prefer the husbands that they would like.
 

ANSWER 2

According to the statements of the Quran and hadiths, the family life that is established in the world will continue forever if both spouses deserve to go to Paradise; their marital relations will go on endlessly. However, the spouses that did not believe and died as unbelievers will be separated from their spouses and they will suffer the punishment for their unbelief by staying in hell forever even if they are the wives of Hazrat Noah and Lot and the husband of Asiya, the Pharaoh.
 

ANSWER 3

If the woman does not want her husband, she can get marry with another man in paradise.

If one of the spouses wants the other but the other spouse does not want him/her (if there is a consciousness and demand like that), the one who likes will be given a similar spouse, and the other is left free; he/she will marry whomever she wants.

It should not be forgotten that a depressing situation is never in question in Paradise. Nobody will be more beautiful and beloved than one’s spouse no matter whom one marries. The sadness and longing in the world are not in question in Paradise. In other words, the longing and sadness remaining from the world will be eliminated there by reunion or there will be no traces from them; what is important is to enter Paradise. Therefore, it is necessary to compete in taqwa, that is, in obeying the commands and prohibitions of Allah, which is a prerequisite for entering Paradise.
 

QUESTION : Does a woman have to marry her husband in the world in Paradise? If she married only once in the world, will she have the right to choose another man?

ANSWER : We can give the following summarized information regarding the issue:

a. The principle is that each husband and wife continue their marriage in Paradise.

b. The women who died before getting married can marry the men they like.

c. According to the opinion of some scholars, if a woman married two or more men in the world, she will marry her first husband if her other marriage(s) took place as a result of the death of her husband not as a result of divorce; according to the opinion of other scholars, she will marry her last husband. However, she can also marry the one that she likes better. (cf. Alusi; ad-Duhan, the interpretation of the verse 44/54.)

d. If one of the spouses wants the other but the other spouse does not want him/her (if there is a consciousness and demand like that), the one who likes will be given a similar spouse, and the other is left free; he/she will marry whomever she wants.

- It should not be forgotten that a depressing situation is never in question in Paradise. Nobody will be more beautiful and beloved than one’s spouse no matter whom one marries. The sadness and longing in the world are not in question in Paradise. In other words, the longing and sadness remaining from the world will be eliminated there by reunion or there will be no traces from them; what is important is to enter Paradise. Therefore, it is necessary to compete in taqwa, that is, in obeying the commands and prohibitions of Allah, which is a prerequisite for entering Paradise.

ANSWER 4

The word ghilman is mentioned only once in the Quran. The following is stated in verse 24 of the chapter of at-Tur (chapter 52): "Round about them will serve, (devoted) to them, youths (handsome) as Pearls well-guarded." The word ghilman, which is the plural form of ghulam, lexically means "children, adolescents, servants". It is understood that they are young people of Paradise that Allah specially created for His believing servants and whose duty is to serve believers. They serve food and drinks to the people of Paradise and feel happy to do so.

After the ephemeral life ends, an eternal life will start. Allah's mercy, grace and grants will be manifest magnificently there. The center of this endless bliss and eternal bounties and beauties is Paradise. Paradise is a place where both believing men and women enjoy all kinds of bounties. That is, both men and women will make use of the bounties of Paradise; both will be given all kinds of bounties and grants.  

Paradise and the people of Paradise are described very nicely in the Quran. Believing women are mentioned together with believing men in most places. For instance, the following is stated in verse 72 of the chapter of at-Tawba:

"Allah hath promised to Believers men and women Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting stay but the greatest bliss in the Good Pleasure of Allah: that is the Supreme Felicity."
When the people and bounties of Paradise are mentioned in the Quran, the word "muttaqis" (people who fear from Allah) is used. This word is used for both men and women. They are not discriminated.  

The phrases and words mentioned in hadiths are also related to both men and women. All glad-tidings, favors, bounties and grants are the same for all of them. One of the hadiths regarding the issue is as follows:

"When the people of Paradise enter Paradise, an attendant calls out as follows: 'You will definitely live eternally in Paradise; you will never die. You will never get ill; you will always be healthy. You will be granted endless bounties and you will never be sad or sorrowful."1

The state of the people of Paradise is described as follows in another hadith:

"Even if a person is in the lowest level of Paradise, he will definitely be asked by angels acting upon the order of Allah, 'Wish whatever your heart wants.' He wishes a lot of things. Thereupon, he is asked, 'Have you wished all of what your heart wants?' When he answers, 'Yes', he is addressed as follows: You will definitely be given twice as much.'"2

In general, the bounties of Paradise are common for both believing men and women; however, regarding certain issues, one gender is superior to the other. Some of these superiorities belong to men and some belong to women. In the Quran, women of Paradise are described as "azwajun mutahharatun" (clean wives). This phrase includes the following meanings: Paradise is a place for women. Those women deserve high levels of Paradise. Their beauties increase in parallel with the levels of Paradise. Paradise becomes beautiful and adorned with them.3

That is, women of Paradise add to the beauty of Paradise and they serve as a living element that decorate Allah's eternal land. The following meanings are also deduced from the word "mutahharatun" (clean):  "Women of the world will be cleared of the evil and bad features like jealousy; their inner appearance will be as pure and clean as their outward appearance. They surpass houris in terms of beauty."

The Prophet describes women of Paradise as follows: "The marrow of their shanks would be visible through the flesh due to the beauty and pleasantness of their bodies. There would be no dissension amongst them and no enmity in their hearts."4
That is, women of Paradise are so beautiful that only their beauty will surpass the beauty of houris, only one nail of whose is so bright as to cover the sunlight if it was to be seen in the world. Is it possible for a woman to imagine something more beautiful than this?

You can think about the amount and level of bounties and grants of Allah since He will give both believing men and women twice as much as they wish through their hearts. After such bounties and grants, one cannot say, "Why does Allah give a man many houries but women of Paradise are not given such an opportunity?" Impossible is impossible in Paradise. Allah will give man all kinds of bounties and grants in accordance with the nature of man and He will not deprive anybody of anything.

The important thing is to attain the consent of Allah, to deserve the endless bliss, to leave this ephemeral world as a believer and to arrive at the door of Paradise.

1. Muslim, Jannah 22.
2. Muslim, Iman: 301.
3. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, İşaratü'l-İcaz, p. 175.
4. Muslim, Jannah: 14-17.

Mehmed Paksu, En Çok Sorulan Mes'eleler ve Çözümleri -2, 2. Baskı, Nesil yayınları, İstanbul, 2000, pp. 144-146.

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