Posts Tagged ‘Sex’

Will There Be Hedonism in Paradise?

Hedonism is a philosophy that teaches that the supreme goal in life is the experience of physical pleasure. The hedonist devotes his life to experiencing various physical pleasures. One of the sins that God saves people from is idolatry. Idolatry exists in many forms. It is unreasonable to believe that those whom God has saved from idolatry will spend an entire eternity in Paradise practicing this sin. One can make carnal pleasures into a god. So, will people who live in Paradise indulge themselves in carnal pleasures? Will hedonists inhabit Paradise? I do not think so.

First of all, it is important to see that everything that God has created is good. So, God’s creation is not the problem. The Bible says:

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. (Genesis 1:31, NKJV)

For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving. (I Timothy 4:4, NKJV)

The Koran confirms the teachings of the Bible regarding the goodness of creation in these verses from the 32nd Surah.

Such is the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, the Mighty, the Merciful, who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay. (Koran 32:6,7, Pickthall)

So, the Paradise spoken of in the Bible and in the Koran is good since it is part of  God’s creation. Not only is it good, but we may enjoy it. St. Paul in his First Epistle to Timothy wrote:

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. (I Timothy 6:17, NKJV)

Food, recreational activities, and all sorts of things which are part of God’s creation are here for our enjoyment. Conjugal love between a man and his wife is also acceptable with God. The Bible does not condemn it. It says that it is honorable and undefiled.

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4, NKJV)

Even in Isaiah, it says that we will enjoy God’s creation.

They shall no means build, and others inhabit; and they shall no means plant, and others eat: for as the days of the Tree of Life shall be the days of My people, they shall long enjoy the fruits of their labours. My chosen shall not toil in vain, neither shall they beget children to be cursed; for they are a seed blessed of God, and their offspring with them. (Isaiah 65:22,23, LXX)

In Isaiah, it says that we will be at peace with all of God’s creatures.

And the wolf shall feed with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the young calf and bull and lion shall feed together; and a little child shall lead them. And the ox and bear shall feed together; and their young shall be together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And an infant shall put his hand on the holes of asps, and on the nest of young asps. And they shall not hurt, nor shall they at all be able to destroy any one on My holy mountain: for the whole world is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as much water covers the seas. (Isaiah 11:6-9, LXX)

The Koran, likewise, speaks of the bliss of the afterlife for the righteous. In the Second  Surah, it says:

Give the good news to those who believe and do good works, that they will have Gardens through which rivers flow: whenever they are given fruit to eat they will say, “This is what we were provided with before,” because they were given similar things. And there will be pure spouses for them, and they will abide there forever. (Koran 2:25, Wahiduddin Khan)

In the 52nd Surah, there is more detail about the bliss the immortal righteous will enjoy.

Truly, the God-fearing will dwell [on that Day] in gardens and in bliss, rejoicing in whatever their Lord has given them. Their Lord has saved them from the torment of the Fire, “Eat and drink with good cheer as a reward for your good deeds,” reclining on couches arranged in rows. And We shall wed them to fair maidens with large beautiful eyes. To those who have attained to faith We shall unite their offspring who have also followed them in faith, and We shall not let any of their good deeds go unrewarded; every human being is a pledge for whatever he has earned. We shall provide them in abundance with such fruit and meat as they desire. There, they shall pass from hand to hand a cup which does not lead to any idle talk or sin. They will be waited upon by immortal youths, like pearls hidden in their shells. They will converse with one another, putting questions to each other, “Before this, when we were among our families, we were full of fear of God’s displeasure — God has been gracious to us and has saved us from the torment of Hell’s intense heat — before this, we used to pray to Him. Surely, He is the Beneficent, the Merciful.” (Koran 52:17-28, Wahiduddin Khan)

Both Scriptures mention the enjoyment of carnal pleasures in the afterlife. However, one needs to temper all of these physical pleasures with spiritual ones. If we are destined to go somewhere, where we can indulge our carnal appetites, and our carnal appetites then become our new god, then God’s work of salvation has been done in vain. I do not think that God’s work of rescuing humans from sin is in vain.

Both, the Bible and the Koran, teach that one’s carnal desires can become one’s god. St. Paul said that a covetous person is an idolater.

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:5,6, NKJV)

St. Paul says that some people’s bellies are their god.

For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18,19, NKJV)

St. Peter says that whatever overcomes us, becomes our master.

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. (II Peter 2:19, NKJV)

So, if we are addicted to various carnal pleasures (sex, eating, etc.), then those carnal pleasures have become our masters. Jesus said that no one can serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24) Therefore, it is not possible for us to serve carnal pleasures and God.

St. Paul, in his Epistle to Titus, says that, prior to becoming Christians, St. Titus, other Christians, and he used to serve various lusts and pleasures.

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. (Titus 3:3,NKJV)

St. Paul gives this description of people who will live in the last days prior to Jesus’ Second Coming.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (II Timothy 3:1-5, NKJV)

Such people lived in the first century and St. Paul told St. Timothy to turn away from them. One of the characteristics of these people is that they are “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” Such people will end up in Gehenna unless they repent. It does not make much sense to think that people who love pleasure more than God will inhabit both abodes: Gehenna and Paradise. Those who love God more than pleasure will get Paradise. Those who love pleasure more than God will go inhabit Gehenna.

Even the Koran speaks about one’s carnal desires becoming one’s god.

Hast thou seen him who chooseth for his god his own lust? Wouldst thou then be guardian over him? (Koran 25:43, Pickthall)

Have you considered him who has taken his desire for his god? God has knowingly led him astray, and has sealed his hearing and his heart, and has placed a veil over his vision. Who will guide him after God? Will you not reflect? (Koran 45:23, ITANI)

Those who have adopted carnal pleasures as their god will be excluded from Paradise.

Verily whoso associates with God anything, God shall prohibit him entrance to Paradise, and his refuge shall be the Fire. (Koran 5:72, Arberry)

Both the Bible and the Koran teach that spiritual pleasures are better than carnal ones. In the Psalms, King David, who was one of God’s prophets, said:

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4, NKJV)

His greatest desire was a close relationship with God. Asaph wrote in one of the Psalms that God is his supreme desire.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. (Psalm 73:25, NKJV)

Both King David and Asaph exemplify the type of lives we should strive to live — lives that put God first. We should desire nearness to God.

The Koran, like the Bible, teaches that we should desire God more than the things of this world.

The satisfaction of worldly desires through women, and children, and heaped-up treasures of gold and silver, and pedigreed horses, and cattle and lands is attractive to people. All this is the provision of the worldly life; but the most excellent abode is with God. (Koran 3:14, Wahiduddin Khan)

But if you desire God and His Messenger and the Last Abode, surely God has prepared for those amongst you such as do good a mighty wage. (Koran 33:29, Arberry)

The Koran speaks of the spiritual blessings of enjoying God and His mercy in the afterlife in these verses.

The people whose faces have become white will enjoy the mercy of God with which they will live forever. (Koran 3:107, Sarwar)

Say: Shall I inform you of something better than that? For those who keep from evil, with their Lord, are Gardens underneath which rivers flow wherein they will abide, and pure companions, and contentment from Allah. Allah is Seer of His bondmen. (Koran 3:15, Pickthall)

God has promised the believing men and the believing women Gardens with rivers running below, to abide therein, and goodly dwellings in the Gardens of Eden. But Contentment from God is greater; that is the great triumph! (Koran 9:72, The Study Quran)

The Arabic words translated “contentment from Allah” and “contentment from God” in verses 3:15 and 9:72 of the Koran can be translated “pleasure of God.” Pleasure of God is greater than the carnal pleasures one will experience in Paradise.

Both the Koran and the Bible teach that there will be physical pleasures in the afterlife. Both also teach that the spiritual pleasures that come from knowing God will be superior to the physical ones. So, although we who attain to Paradise will get to enjoy food, various activities, and various other physical pleasures, we, like Asaph, will say, “There is none upon earth that I desire besides You.”


Faith and Disobedience

October 16, 2017 Leave a comment

It is interesting to read in the Koran similar teachings which one can find in the Bible, but expressed in a new way. I recently came across this verse in the Koran and I immediately remembered similar words in the Catholic Epistle of St. James.

Is he who is a believer like unto him who is an evil-liver? They are not alike. (Koran 32:18, Pickthall)

The Arabic word translated “an evil-liver” is translated as “defiantly disobedient” by Sahih International. Using that translation in this verse, it would read:

Is he who is a believer like unto him who is defiantly disobedient? They are not alike.

St. James said:

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26, NKJV)

Genuine faith is accompanied by good works. A true believer, therefore, is not one who practices evil. The Koran says that someone who defiantly disobeys God is not like some who believes in God. Anyone who defiantly disobeys God should not think that he will have any share in the good things God has promised those who inherit eternal life.

I went through the Koran to see how the word, “fāsiqun,” is used in other places in the Koran. Here are some things that I discovered about the defiantly disobedient. The defiantly disobedient reject God’s revelations, not just the Koran, but also the Bible.

Say, “Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel – it is [none but] he who has brought the Qur’an down upon your heart, [O Muhammad], by permission of Allah, confirming that which was before it and as guidance and good tidings for the believers.” Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael — then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers. And We have certainly revealed to you verses [which are] clear proofs, and no one would deny them except the defiantly disobedient. (Koran 2:97-99, Sahih International)

The word translated “verses” in the previous passage could be translated “revelations.” This passage is talking about the Koran. The defiantly disobedient reject the Koran. Muhammad received no new revelations (Koran 41:43) and was not an innovator among the messengers of God (Koran 46:9). Therefore, I have no problems accepting the Koran. I only have problems with interpretations of the Koran which contradict the teachings of the Bible. The Koran confirms the Bible. (Koran 5:48) It does not contradict it. It is not possible to truly accept the Koran without accepting the Bible. (Koran 4:136,150-152; 29:46)

The defiantly disobedient do not judge by what God has revealed in the Gospel.

And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient. (Koran 5:47, Sahih International)

So, someone who rejects the four Gospels in the Bible is “defiantly disobedient.” In the Sixth Surah, it teaches that those who reject God’s revelations in both the Bible and the Koran are “defiantly disobedient.”

We send not the messengers save as bearers of good news and warners. Whoso believeth and doeth right, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. But as for those who deny Our revelations, torment will afflict them for that they used to disobey. (Koran 6:48,49, Pickthall)

Sahih International translated Koran 6:49 as:

But those who deny Our verses – the punishment will touch them for their defiant disobedience. (Koran 6:49, Sahih International)

The word, “messengers,” is plural indicating that those messengers who brought us God’s revelations in the Bible are included, and not just Muhammad.

Hypocrites are among the defiantly disobedient.

The hypocrites, both men and women, proceed one from another. They enjoin the wrong, and they forbid the right, and they withhold their hands (from spending for the cause of Allah). They forget Allah, so He hath forgotten them. Lo! the hypocrites, they are the transgressors. (Koran 9:67, Pickthall)

The word translated “transgressors” in this verse is usually translated “defiantly disobedient” by Sahih International.

Those who falsely accuse honorable women of having committed fornication or adultery in public are defiantly disobedient.

And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony — they indeed are evil-doers — save those who afterward repent and make amends. (For such) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 24:4,5, Pickthall)

The Arabic word translated “evil-doers” in this passage is translated “defiantly disobedient” by Sahih International. Liars are “defiantly disobedient” (Koran 5:107,108; 9:95,96) The testimony of the defiantly disobedient must be verified.

O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful. (Koran 49:6, Sahih International)

The defiantly disobedient unwillingly give to charity and are lazy in prayer.

Say, “Spend willingly or unwillingly; never will it be accepted from you. Indeed, you have been a defiantly disobedient people.” And what prevents their expenditures from being accepted from them but that they have disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger and that they come not to prayer except while they are lazy and that they do not spend except while they are unwilling. So let not their wealth or their children impress you. Allah only intends to punish them through them in worldly life and that their souls should depart [at death] while they are disbelievers. (Koran 9:53-55, Sahih International)

The defiantly disobedient do not think about God as they go through their lives. They forget Him.

O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allah , so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient. (Koran 59:18,19, Sahih International)

The Koran teaches:

Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities — what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” (Koran 6:151, Sahih International)

Idolaters, people who mistreat their parents, people who kill their children (for example, by abortion), people who “approach immoralities” (fornication, adultery, and other sexual sins), and people who kill innocent people (for example, terrorists) are rejecting this revelation in the Koran and are, therefore, defiantly disobedient. (Notice that the doctrine of the Trinity is implied the words: “We will provide for you and them.”)

The final destination of the defiantly disobedient is Gehenna.

But as for those who defiantly disobeyed, their refuge is the Fire. Every time they wish to emerge from it, they will be returned to it while it is said to them, “Taste the punishment of the Fire which you used to deny.” And we will surely let them taste the nearer punishment short of the greater punishment that perhaps they will repent. (Koran 32:20,21, Sahih International)

And the Day those who disbelieved are exposed to the Fire [it will be said], “You exhausted your pleasures during your worldly life and enjoyed them, so this Day you will be awarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation because you were arrogant upon the earth without right and because you were defiantly disobedient.” (Koran 46:20, Sahih International)

So, those who profess faith should accept God’s revelations in the Bible and the Koran and obey those revelations. Faith without works is dead. The believer and the defiantly disobedient are not alike.


Was Muhammad a Pedophile?

June 30, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the often repeated attacks on Islam is the accusation that Muhammad had sexual relations with a nine year old girl. Many critics of the religion mistakenly think that this is in the Koran. Others cite sources outside of the Koran as authoritative proof that he actually did this. I want to look at this accusation rationally and provide some possible alternative explanations.

First of all, I need to clear up a misconception regarding this alleged incident. Nowhere in the Koran does it say how many wives Muhammad had. We know from Arabic grammar that he had at least three wives because Arabic nouns have singular, dual, and plural number. Respecting the nouns and most pronouns, the plural number indicates three or more. However, the Koran limits the number of wives that a man can have to four. (Koran 4:3) Muhammad claimed to follow the Koran. (Koran 6:50; 7:203; 10:15; 46:9) So, it is reasonable to assume that he had no more than four. The names of his wives are not mentioned in the Koran. The ages of his wives are not mentioned either. We do not know from reading the Koran if Muhammad had a wife named Khadijah who was fifteen years older than he. We do not know from the Koran that Muhammad married a six year old girl named Aisha and had sexual relations with her when she was nine.

So, where do these tales about the Islamic prophet’s wives come from? The answer is from the Sunnah. The Sunnah is a large collection of stories about Muhammad. Many contain alleged sayings of Muhammad. Those sayings and stories are called hadiths (in Arabic, ahadith).

Here are the hadiths that talk about Muhammad having sexual relations with a nine year old girl named Aisha.

Narrated Hisham’s father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married `Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old. (Sahih al-Bukhari 3896)

Narrated `Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5133)

Narrated `Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that `Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5134)

Narrated ‘Urwa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with `Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5158)

A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Apostle married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old. (Sahih Muslim 1422b)

Narrated ‘A’isha: ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle married her when she was six years old, and he (the Holy Prophet) took her to his house when she was nine, and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old (Sahih Muslim 1422d)

Narrated ‘Aishah: The Messenger of Allah married me when I was seven years old. The narrator Sulaiman said: or Six years. He had intercourse with me when I was nine years old. (Sunan Abi Dawud 2121) Grade: Sahih

It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah married her when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine. (Sunan an-Nasa’i 3255) Grade: Sahih

The hadiths are graded sahih (authentic), hasan (good), or daif (weak). All of the above hadiths were graded by the compilers as sahih (authentic).

Now, before someone jumps to a conclusion, it is good to know more about these hadiths and their compilers. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sahih al-Bukhari was born in 810 and died in 870. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sahih Muslim was born in 815 and died in 875. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sunan Abi Dawud was born in 817 and died in 889. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sunan An-Nasa’i was born in 829 and died in 915. Muhammad died in 632. The hadith compilers based the truthfulness of the hadiths on a chain of narrators. That chain of narrators is called an isnad. The isnad appears in the Arabic text of the hadith collections but not in the English translations of those collections. It basically says something like, “So-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so said or did…” Since so much time has passed and none of these hadith compilers were alive between 632 and 810, it is impossible for them to verify the truthfulness of the isnad. They would need a time machine. To this date, no man has ever possessed a time machine. Another thing to remember is that the hadith compilers were Persians. The first Muslims were Arabs. The Arabs and the Persians fought against each other. The Persians did not like the Arabs. So, people from an ethnic group that hated the Arabs were compiling hadiths for Arab Muslims to use in their religion.

Basically then, those hadith collections are nothing more than a large collection of hearsay compiled by people who were members of an ethnic group that hated Arabs. Why should anyone believe any of those hadiths? They are simply a bunch of fabricated stories which, for all that we can really know, may very well have no basis in fact at all.

Think of an ancestor of yours who died 200 years ago. Can you produce a nine volume encyclopedia containing factual accounts of what that ancestor said and did? Can you produce six or seven different nine volume encyclopedias containing such factual accounts about that ancestor? I know that I could not do that. Use your brain then. Those hadiths are hearsay. Would any Superior Court judge in the United States admit those hadiths as evidence in court? No, of course not.

Maybe a ninth century pedophile wanted to justify his pedophilia before various religious leaders and court judges. Maybe that ninth century pedophile invented this story about the Islamic prophet to do that. Maybe the Persians wanted to make fools of the Arabs and have them marrying nine year old girls. Maybe they invented this story about Muhammad and Aisha so that they could do that. Maybe there is some truth to the hadiths regarding this matter.  Maybe Muhammad pretended to do all of that with a nine year old girl, but never really did that. Maybe he did all of that in order to hide his virtues. There are many Christians Saints who have done things to hide their virtues. Muhammad could have been doing the same thing.

Anyway, the Koran teaches that women have a choice regarding whom they marry.

And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Koran 2:228, Pickthall)

A man has the right to choose his wife and women have similar rights to men. So, they have the right to choose their husbands. A woman cannot be inherited from a deceased relative against her will.

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. (Koran 4:19, Yusuf Ali)

A divorced woman can choose whom she marries. Her next marriage is formed by an agreement between her and her next husband in kindness.

And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness. This is an admonition for him among you who believeth in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous for you, and cleaner. Allah knoweth; ye know not. (Koran 4:232, Pickthall)

A man who owns a slave girl is forbidden to force her into prostitution.

Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 24:33, Pickthall)

Since a slave girl can decide to preserve her chastity, her master cannot automatically expect her to become his wife or provide him with sexual favors outside of wedlock. A man may marry his slave girl, but only then with her permission. If he wants to have sexual relations with her, HE MUST MARRY HER!

And whoso is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess. Allah knoweth best (concerning) your faith. Ye (proceed) one from another; so wed them by permission of their folk, and give unto them their portions in kindness, they being honest, not debauched nor of loose conduct. (Koran 4:25, Pickthall)

Concerning slavery, the Koran actually encourages masters to emancipate their slaves. (Koran 2:177; 24:33; 90:12,13) Slavery existed in the seventh century among the Muslims because they lived in a non-Islamic culture that denied women the same rights as those of men. The Muslims used that institution of slavery to protect unmarried women (divorced women and widows) from prostitution. If a woman lost her husband back then, she could not go get a job at a convenience store on the corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue. She was very dependent on men to help her or she would have to prostitute herself in order to survive. Remember that Arabia is a desert. People lived in the desert, not in a rainforest or subtropical environment with trees and vegetation.

As for this girl named Aisha if she really existed at all, she would have been too young to consent to marriage. She would have needed to have been older in order to make an informed decision. A young six year old girl is under the authority of her parents. She really would not have a choice if her father wanted her to marry a fifty year old man. Marriage is a choice granted to both men and women according to the Koran.

But then again, maybe that girl Aisha was nineteen and not nine when she had sexual relations with Muhammad. Maybe they both agreed to marry each other and then made love after the wedding. I really do not give much credence to that large collection of hearsay called the Sunnah anyway. So, I really do not care what those hadiths say.


Houris and Some False Hadiths

April 15, 2017 Leave a comment


There is a popular rumor that Muslim men believe that if they blow themselves up and kill a lot of Jews and Christians while doing so, they will receive 72 virgins in Paradise. There is much criticism among Christians about Muslims having such an overly sensual view of life in the hereafter. Some of these views are based on hadiths written down over 200 years after the death of the Islamic prophet. Some of these views are based on verses from the Koran. Actually, many of the views of Muslims regarding wives in the afterlife contradict the Koran. The hadiths upon which they base these beliefs are innovations and fabrications. They should not be trusted.

The Arabic word, hurun, appears four times in the Koran. It is usually translated “companions” or “houris.” Pickthall translated the word “fair ones.” From the context of the passages in which this word occurs, it appears that these “houris” will be spouses of those who are allowed to enter Paradise. Here are the four Koranic passages about houris.

Even so (it will be). And We shall wed them unto fair ones with wide, lovely eyes. (Koran 44:54, Pickthall)

Reclining on ranged couches. And We wed them unto fair ones with wide, lovely eyes. (Koran 52:20, Pickthall)

Wherein (are found) the good and beautiful –
Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny? –
Fair ones, close-guarded in pavilions –
Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny? –
Whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them –
Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?
Reclining on green cushions and fair carpets.
Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny? (Koran 55:70-77, Pickthall)

And (there are) fair ones with wide, lovely eyes, like unto hidden pearls, reward for what they used to do. (Koran 56:22-24, Pickthall)

Muslims have different explanations regarding these houris. Irshad Manji, a progressive Muslim, thinks that the houris are raisins. Here is a video showing an interview that she had on CNN.

 David Wood, a critic of Islam, produced a video ostracizing this interpretation of this Arabic word.

 A Koranist, on the other hand, produced a video which supports Irshad Manji’s interpretation.

There is a hadith that says that martyred Muslim men will receive 72 wives in Paradise. It is in Sunan ibn Majah.

It was narrated from Abu Umamah that the Messenger of Allah  said:
“There is no one whom Allah will admit to Paradise but Allah will marry him to seventy-two wives, two from houris and seventy from his inheritance from the people of Hell, all of whom will have desirable front passages and he will have a male member that never becomes flaccid (i.e., soft and limp).”  (Sunan ibn Majah , Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4337)

This hadith is graded daif. It is weak and Muslims are supposed to ignore the weak hadiths and not base interpretations of the Koran on them. (I think that all of the hadiths are hearsay. I do not trust any of them.)

According to the passage in Koran 55:70-77, the houris have never been touched by man or jinni. They are virgins. The number of the houris each Muslim will receive is really not given in the Koran.

There are two hadiths in Sahih al-Bukhari about houris.

Narrated Abu Huraira:  The Prophet said, “The first batch (of people) who will enter Paradise will be (glittering) like the full moon, and the batch next to them will be (glittering) like the most brilliant star in the sky. Their hearts will be as if the heart of a single man, for they will have neither enmity nor jealousy amongst themselves; everyone will have two wives 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 al-Bukhari 3254)

Narrated Abu Huraira:  Allah’s Messenger said, “The first group of people who will enter Paradise, will be glittering like the full moon and those who will follow them, will glitter like the most brilliant star in the sky. 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 stature), sixty cubits tall.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3327)

Both of these hadiths are rated sahih, that is, authentic, by the compiler. However, these hadiths teach things that are not found in either the Koran or the Bible. They are innovations and fabrications and not revelations from God. The houris described in these hadiths are not human. The Koran says:

Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you. Indeed, your Lord is a possessor of forgiveness and a possessor of painful penalty. (Koran 41:43, Sahih International)

Say: “I am not an innovation among the Messengers, and I know not what shall be done with me or with you. I only follow what is revealed to me; I am only a clear warner.” (Koran 46:9, Arberry)

And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. (Koran 5:48, Pickthall)

Since these verses contain teachings not found in any prior revelations (i.e., the Bible), they are not authentic. They should be ignored along with the hadiths that are graded daif.

There are Muslims who actually believe these hadiths.

 I do not think that men and women will live in separate homes. I believe that every man will have a woman to live with and every woman will have a man to live with. (Read Genesis 2:18 and I Corinthians 11:9.) I believe that Christ’s response to the Sadducees is not a prohibition against a man cohabiting with a woman in the afterlife. (See Luke 20:27-38 in a modern translation, like the New King James Version, for example.) Christ was either talking about levirate marriages (Deuteronomy 25:5,6) or some other system will replace marriage. (The only time a son can be given in marriage is in a levirate marriage. Read Genesis 38.)

I think that the houris in the Koran are resurrected human women who are virgins. Actually, when you think about it, all the resurrected righteous women will be resurrected with virgin bodies. So, a houri is simply a resurrected righteous woman.

There are two heresies regarding the afterlife: the Encratite heresy and the Cerinthean heresy. The Encratites over-spiritualized the afterlife. Many Christians tend to gravitate toward the Encratite heresy. The Cerintheans over-emphasized carnal pleasures in the afterlife. Many Muslims tend to gravitate toward the Cerinthean position.

Here is Nouman Ali Khan’s opinion about the afterlife.

God has given us all things to enjoy. (I Timothy 6:17) However, we should never be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” (II Timothy 3:4)

The Koran teaches that God is better than the life of this world.

Beautified for mankind is love of the joys (that come) from women and offspring; and stored-up heaps of gold and silver, and horses branded (with their mark), and cattle and land. That is comfort of the life of the world. Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode. (Koran 3:14, Pickthall)

Compare these words from the Psalms.

For what have I in heaven but Thee? and what have I desired upon the earth beside Thee? My heart and my flesh have failed: but God is the strength of my heart, and God is my portion for ever. (Psalm 72:25,26, LXX; Psalm 73:25,26, Hebrew)

The Koran teaches us to seek the life of the hereafter.

Whoso disbelieveth in Allah after his belief – save him who is forced thereto and whose heart is still content with the Faith – but whoso findeth ease in disbelief: On them is wrath from Allah. Theirs will be an awful doom. That is because they have chosen the life of the world rather than the Hereafter, and because Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk. (Koran 16:106,107, Pickthall)

No soul can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at a term appointed. Whoso desireth the reward of the world, We bestow on him thereof; and whoso desireth the reward of the Hereafter, We bestow on him thereof. We shall reward the thankful. (Koran 3:145, Pickthall)

And seek by means of what Allah has given you the future abode, and do not neglect your portion of this world, and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land, surely Allah does not love the mischief-makers. (Koran 28:77, Shakir)

Compare Christ’s words:

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21, NKJV)

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33, NKJV)

Although the resurrected righteous will be able to enjoy various pleasures in the afterlife (See Isaiah 65:21-23.), they will love God more than the carnal pleasures. God does not save people from idolatry so that they can spend forever lapsing back into idolatry. Those who love carnal pleasures more than God have made carnal pleasures their god. So, in the afterlife the righteous will enjoy God’s creation and various pleasures, but will not love pleasures more than God. People in the kingdom of God in the age to come will not practice such sins as fornication, adultery, and gluttony. God does not save people from sin so that they can lapse back into sin and indulge in it.

There needs to be a balanced view of the afterlife. I believe every man will  have a woman and every woman a man. No one will live alone in a big house playing a harp all day, nor will people become members of a perpetual choir. They will be involved in various activities, such as building houses and planting vineyards. They will pray and worship God, too.

The houris in the Koran are human women. They are not the non-human women described in the hadiths. As for sex, that is the first commandment in the Bible, right? (See Genesis 1:28.) Sex is not evil. People have perverted it and made the practice of sex evil. They have broken the rules which accompany sex. (Adultery and fornication are evil. Marital sex is not evil.) The Encratites taught that sex is intrinsically evil. People who view sex as intrinsically evil are adhering to the Encratite heresy.

Muslims and even Jews say that men and women will make love in the afterlife. Christians are afraid to say such things. Maybe they fear being labeled a Cerinthean. So, they pretend to be an Encratite. Of course, unbelievers usually already have their minds in the gutter. So, they think of the grossest, most vulgar things whenever someone mentions the possibility of love-making in the afterlife. There are plenty of videos on Youtube about men and women living together in the afterlife and even having children. These have been uploaded by Muslims and not Christians. Some Christians, however, are starting to dialogue about this subject on the internet. I have seen this sort of dialogue on Roman Catholic and Lutheran sites. Other Protestants have dialogued about this subject as well. (If you search hard enough, you will find forums on the internet where Christians are dialoguing about this subject.)

To conclude, the hadiths I cited in this blog post are false hadiths. Muhammad was not an innovator among the messengers of God, nor did he receive any new revelations from God that were different from the revelations received by previous messengers. (Koran 41:43; 46:9) Those hadiths contain innovations which were not taught in the Bible. Therefore, they are false. Woman was created for man (I Corinthians 11:9) and it is not good for man to be alone. (Genesis 2:18) It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that every man will live with a woman and every woman will live with a man in the age to come. In the afterlife, the righteous will enjoy various pleasures, but they will not love any pleasure more than God. Christians often lean toward the Encratite heresy when they talk about the afterlife. Muslims often lean toward the Cerinthean heresy when they talk about the afterlife. The correct view of the afterlife lies somewhere between these two heresies.