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Last Updated: 2009/11/24
Summary of question
Please explain the concept of Hurul ‘In and if they relate to women as well.
What is your opinion on whether the heavenly Hurs are a blessing allocated only to men, or are for women as well? Is there any consensus about this topic as a result of Quranic and hadithic proof?
Concise answer

One of the blessings that Allah (swt) grants to people who do good deeds and have faith in Him is paradise and the bliss and blessings therein. For entering into heaven there isn’t any difference between men or women; and one of the rewards that Allah (swt) gives to people in heaven is that of the Huris (Hurul ‘In) and this is something that has been mentioned in hadiths and the Quran.

According to the majority of Mufassireen (Commentators of the Quran), marriage doesn’t have the same meaning in heaven as it does here in this world. According to this tafsir, marriage to the Huris comes to mean being matched with them and receiving them as a gift from Allah (swt) (not that an actual marriage contract is executed between them and they become their spouses like how marriages take place in this world).

We should keep in mind that the terms Hur and ‘In refer to both the masculine and the feminine form of these heavenly people; therefore the concept of Huri is a general one that encompasses all the spouses and mates who are in paradise, both female spouses for the male believers, and male spouses for the female believers .[i] We should also note that in paradise people will be given Ghilman, (who are handsome boys who serve those in heaven) and this also isn’t something related to only one of the sexes.

[i] Naser Makarem Shirazi, Didare Yar (Ma’ad dar Kalame Vahy9), pp. 120-121.

Detailed Answer

One of the great blessings that Allah (swt) has prepared for his pious and believing servants, is heaven, and all the abundant and never-ending blessings that are contained therein. Of course the pleasure and contentedness of Allah (swt) towards them is the greatest reward. The only thing that grants entrance to paradise is faith and good deeds in this current world. However much the faith and good deeds are greater, that person’s status and position in paradise will likewise be higher; in this regard there are no differences between men and women and every human being can reach such a position. Allah (swt) has said, “Every human being, either from men or women, who does good deeds and also has faith will enter heaven and will be given freely from the bounties of heaven.[1]

Of course, expecting the future world to have the same rules and way of life of this world this is totally incorrect and baseless. Sometimes in the verses of the Quran and in Hadith we hear of such concepts like the pleasure of eating and drinking and having beautiful and young wives or being next to streams and lush trees, but these are only for us to be able to somewhat comprehend the realities of the next world and we have to understand that they are not just duplicates of this worlds pleasures.[2]

From the collection of Quranic verses and hadiths it is understood that whatever the people of heaven want will be given to them freely,[3] and one of these mentioned blessings are the Huris of paradise.

Numerous hadiths and Quranic verses refer to heavenly mates as “Hurul ‘In”[4].

The word Hur is the plural of Howra’ which means a women whose whiteness of the eye is exceedingly white and the blackness of her eyes is exceedingly black or it can be taken to mean a women who has very dark eyes like the eyes of a deer, and ‘In is the plural of the word Ainaa’, which means large eyed (in a good-looking sense).

The Quran has mentioned the Huris as the ‘Pearls of Paradise’[5] and it seems that they are a creation that is separate and distinct from the women of this world.[6] Allah (swt) says about them, “We will give them in marriage to the Hurul ‘In”.[7]

Many verses[8] are found that describe the heavenly companions: “Beautiful angels in the form of youthful men and women at the peak of beauty and vigor.”

According to the opinion of most commentators (mufassirs), marriage does not have the same worldly connotation when speaking about this subject. So here the real aim is the giving of a gift from Allah (swt) of these Huris and matching them with the believers.[9]

We should pay attention to the point that Hur and ’In apply to both the masculine and the feminine; thus covering both male and female heavenly mates; female ones for male believers and male ones for the female believers.[10]

Another interesting point is that for the purpose of serving those in heaven, there are Ghilmans who have been explained to be very beautiful heavenly servants ; it is said that when people see these Ghilman they think they are looking at a carved jewel[11] or a round natural pearl.[12] The verses that speak of them apparently say that they have been created for the sole purpose of serving those in heaven.

What can be concluded from all the above is that: All of the blessings of Allah (swt) in heaven are for all pious and faithful men and women living there, the Huris as beautiful companions and the Ghilman as handsome servants being no exception.

For further information, see: Heavenly Huris and marriage, Question 848.

[1] Ghafir:40.

[2] Husein Eskandari, Ayehaye Zendegi, vol. 5, pg. 302.

[3] Fussilat:31.

[4] Dukhan:54; Tur:22; Waqi’ah:22 and 23.

[5]و حور عین؛ کامثال اللؤلؤ المکنون” (And there will be maidens with large Black eyes [to be their wives], They are like pearls preserved In shells) Waqi’ah:23-24.

[6] Translation of Al-Mizan, vol. 18, pg. 228.

[7] Dokhan:54.

[8] Saffat:47; AlRahman:58, 70 and 72; Insan:19; Tur:24.

[9] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 8, pg. 99; Translation of Al-Mizan, vol. 18, pg. 228.

[10] Didare Yar (Ma’ad dar Kalame Vahy9), Ibid.

[11] یطوف علیهم ولدان، مخلدون اذا رأیتهم حسبتهم لولوءً منثوراً Insan:19.

[12] یطوف علیهم غلمان لهم کانهم لولوء مکنون Tur:24.

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