Physical beauty of women of Paradise in the Quran
Fatwa No: 340423

  • Fatwa Date:30-11-2016 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 1, 1438
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Question

I was wondering, is the following true in regards to verses of Paradise being revealed in the Quran?
Hence, it is proved that the concept of “Maidens of Paradise” was also known in the pre-Islamic Arabia, especially among the Christians. The Quran, as is its style under normal circumstances, used the same words for the deliverance of its message, which were generally in vogue in the environment that it addressed. Since the idea of the Hereafter formed the cornerstone of the early Makkan preaching of the Quran, therefore, to effectively make its preaching get across to its addressees, it employed the same known word Hoor to describe the excellence of the reward for the righteous in the known Christian manner. This is further confirmed by the fact that it is only in the Makkan (and especially the chronologically early Makkan) Quranic passages in which the term Hoor Al-Ayn is used in sensual connotation. In the relevant Madeenan Quranic passages, i.e., 2:25; 3:15; 4:57, we only find perfected counterparts/spouses (i.e., for both the righteous men and women).
Does it mean that certain verses were adressing a certain people at the time?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The physical beauty of the women of Paradise was described in both the Makkan and the Madeenan verses of the Quran. An example of the Madeenan verses in this regard is (what means): {And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.} [Quran 2:25]

In a Makkan verse, Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {In them are good and beautiful women.} [Quran 55:70]

He also says (what means): {In them are women limiting (their) glances, untouched before them by man or jinni. So, which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? As if they were rubies and coral.} [Quran 55:56-58]

And He says (what means): {And with them will be women limiting (their) glances, with large, (beautiful) eyes, As if they were (delicate) eggs, well-protected.} [Quran 37:48-49]

Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, and others interpreted the verse {limiting their glances} to mean that, "They lower their gaze and refrain from looking at any men other than their husbands; they see their husbands as the most beautiful men in Paradise." Another interpretation from him is that, "They do not see other than their husbands; they do not expose their beauty to others, nor do they aspire to other than their husbands." At-Tabari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "Ibn Zayd said, 'They look only at their husbands, unlike the women of the worldly life.'"

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "The commentators agreed that the meaning of 'limiting their glances' is that they limit their glance to their husbands and so they do not aspire to other than them."

Moreover, if it is established that the Christians knew the description of the women of Paradise through the past divine books, there is nothing strange in the fact that the Quranic verses would conform to what has been revealed in the divine books revealed to past Prophets, as the Quran confirmed what was in them; Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And (recall, O People of the Scripture), when Allah took the covenant of the Prophets, (saying:) Whatever I give you of the Scripture and wisdom and then there comes to you a messenger confirming what is with you, you (must) believe in him and support him.} [Quran 3:81]

Allah, The Exalted, also says (what means): {And We have revealed to you (O Muhammad) the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it.} [Quran 5:48]

He says (what means): {O you who were given the Scripture, believe in what We have sent down (to Muhammad), confirming that which is with you, before We obliterate faces and turn them toward their backs or curse them as We cursed the sabbath-breakers. And ever is the decree of Allah accomplished.} [Quran 4:47]

It should be noted that the reference to the "purified spouses" in the verse is confined to "women" only and does not refer to men or pious people. Al-Aloosi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "The verse means that people of Paradise will be granted 'purified wives' who shall be free of filth and impurities such as menstruation, postpartum bleeding, all defects, ill manners, and whatever may cause their husbands to feel aversion toward them." [Tafseer Al-Aloosi, 3:58]

Allah knows best.

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