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Last Updated: 2006/09/19
Summary of question
In heaven if men can be with houris...then will they have to marry them first or not? Will women have only one husband? Or are there men-like houris for women??? Please explain!
question
In heaven if men can be with houris...then will they have to marry them first or not? Will women have only one husband? Or are there men-like houris for women??? Please explain!
Concise answer

One of the divine blessings, that are rewards for righteous deeds and belief in Allah, is Heaven and the bounties therein. There is no difference between men and women in regards to entering Heaven and one of the divine rewards in Heaven is the Hūr al-‘ayn which have been mentioned in the Quran and prophetic traditions. According to the words of most commentators of the Quran, there is no marriage in Heaven and the ‘marriage’ with Hūr al-‘ayn has been explained to mean a divine gift to his servants.

 

In general it can be said that what has been mentioned regarding woman having more than one spouse in Heaven from the verses of Quran and prophetic traditions is that a believing woman would not have such a request; even though she would be given it if she asked.

Detailed Answer

One of the blessings that Allah will give to his believing and pious servants is Heaven and the many eternal blessings therein. Of course, Allah being pleased with them is the biggest reward. The only thing that will cause one to enter Heaven is belief and righteous deeds performed in the world. The more that one believes and the more righteous deeds one performs the higher his station would be in Heaven; in this regard there is no difference between men and women; any human can reach such a station. Allah says: “Whoever, man or women, performs righteous deeds and has faith will enter Heaven and will be given unlimited sustenece.[1]

Heaven is not a place of duty because if there was there must be another Heaven and Hell resulting from the actions of men in Heaven. This would continue infinitely. But, Allah gives all of the bounties in Heaven as rewards for actions committed in this world and our faith. It is understood from all of the verses and prophetic traditions that those in Heaven will be given whatever they want.[2] An example of a heavenly bounty is the Hūr al-‘ayn which are given to believing men.

 

Hawar whose plural form is Hūrā’ means a woman whose white part of her eyes is very white and whose black part of her eyes is very black or a woman who has black eyes similar to a gazelle. ‘Ayn whose plural form is ‘aynā’ means large eyes. Apparently the Hūr al-‘ayn are existences different from the women of this world.[3] Allah states the following regarding them: “We will give Hūr al-‘ayn to them for marriage.”[4] According to the explanation of most commentators to the Quran, marriage in Heaven is not the same as marriage in this world. Therefore, in this verse it means a divine gift given to Allah’s servants in Heaven or getting close to the Hūr al-‘ayn.[5]

The fact that Hūr al-‘ayn do not have more than one spouse in Heaven can be understood from their characteristics given in the Quran and some prophetic traditions because Allah states: ”…no human has touched them before, and no jin.[6] The late Majlisī states in the tafsīr Qāsirāt al-Taraf regarding this verse: “This means that they are spouses who only look at their husbands and do not have any desire for anyone other than their husbands.”[7]

Are women from this world the same in this regard or not? It is possible to say that although the people in Heaven will have whatever they desire,[8] but they will not desire multiple spouses. Just like pure women in this world do not have a desire for anyone other than there husband, in Heaven, the place of purity, they will not desires multiple husbands as well.

A question regarding the marriage of two people in Heaven from Imām Sādiq (a), he responded by saying: “If the woman had a higher station and wanted to marry her husband from the world, she can choose him (but the man cannot choose her). In this case the man will become her husband, but if the station of the man is higher he can choose his wife (in this case the woman does not have the same right). Here, the woman will become one of the man’s wives.” The woman will become one of the man’s wives but the man will be the only spouse of the husband. This is stated in some other traditions as well.

Likewise, in a tradition, the Noble Prophet (s) said: “If a woman had two husbands in the world, she can choose which ever one she thought of as better in the hereafter.”[9] The prophet did not say that she can choose both of them; rather he said that she could choose the better of them.

In the end, it is appropriate to mention that there are male-servants in Heaven as well who serve the people of Heaven. There is no difference between being a man or woman in this regard.

The Quran states in this regard: “And youths will go around them as if they are imbedded pearls.[10]

The apparent meaning of this verse is that these handsome youths were created to serve the people of Heaven.



[1] Quran, 40:40

[2]  Quran, 41:31

[3] Tafsīr al-Mīzān (Farsi edition), v.18, p.228

[4] Quran, 44:54

[5]  Bihār al-Anwār, v.8, p.99; Tafsīr al-Mīzān (Farsi edition), v.18, p.228

[6]  Quran, 55:56

[7] Bihār al-Anwār, v.8, p.97

[8] Quran, 41:31

[9] Bihār al-Anwār, v.8, p.119

[10] Quran, 52:24

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