The Secret Beyond Matter

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Spouses of the People of Paradise

But as for those who have faith and do right actions, We will admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. In them, they will have spouses of perfect purity... (Surat an-Nisa', 57)

Paradise is a magnificent place of eternal life that Allah has prepared as a reward for His faithful servants. As we saw earlier, the Qur'an describes Paradise by telling of the houses people will live in, the food and drink they will enjoy, the clothes they will wear, and of all the beautiful things to be found there. In Paradise, just as in this world, life continues to be lived. Of course that life is far too wonderful to be compared to this life, but there are some general similarities. For this reason, when believers pass from this earthly life to the afterworld, they encounter no shock or strangeness and thus will adapt easily.

Their new eternal life in Paradise will be similar to the one they lived here. In other words, they will have the best food and drink, the finest clothing, splendid homes, and spouses. As the Qur'an says, they will enter Paradise together with the spouses that Allah has presented to them as a blessing, and they will be welcomed with a joyful celebration. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 70)

The Qur'an describes the women of Paradise as "spouses of perfect purity" (Surat an-Nisa', 57). In addition, all of this world's deficiencies, worries, and needs are completely absent in Paradise: "Indeed, We have produced them [i.e., the women of Paradise] in a [new] creation." (Surat al-Waqi'a, 35) This new creation will have all of the excellent things appropriate to Paradise.

When we consider a creation suitable for the perfections of Paradise, these general characteristics of women in Paradise come to mind: Their hair is always clean and shiny, their skin is smooth and clear, and delightful aromas come from their bodies. (Allah surely knows best.)

Another feature of the women given in marriage to believers in Paradise is that they are "of equal age" (Surah Sad: 52) who were created only for their husbands. They are mentioned in the Qur'an as having "eyes reserved for them alone." (Surat as-Saffat, 48)

 Another verse says in this regard:

In them are maidens with eyes for them alone, untouched before them by either man or jinn. (Surat ar-Rahman, 56)

The fact that they are mentioned "as if they were [delicate] eggs, well protected" (Surat as-Saffat, 49) or "dark-eyed maidens like hidden pearls" (Surat al-Waqi'a, 23) leads us to believe that they were created and preserved for their husbands alone. The word "hidden" indicates that they are as difficult to obtain as they are valuable to possess. Their being compared to an egg or a pearl may indicate that their skin is smooth and shiny. (Allah knows the truth.)

The desire that a man feels for a woman who belongs only to him, and who shows him interest and affection, gives the human spirit much pleasure. Of course, the source of this strong feeling must be created in the believer's spirit according to the norms of Paradise. The human spirit takes great delight in fine conversation, courtesy, and being complemented. So, in Paradise this desire can be obtained with women who "limit their glances to their own mates" (Surat ar-Rahman, 56). In Surat ar-Rahman, 70, Allah describes these women of Paradise as "sweet, lovely maidens."

 As "secluded in cool pavilions" in Surat ar-Rahman, 72 indicates, the wives of believers exist only for their husbands. Likewise, "untouched before them by either man or jinn" emphasizes their virginity. Surat al-Waqi'a, 36, which proclaims that "[We] made them purest virgins" strengthens this idea. Allah describes believers and their wives in Paradise, in shady nooks and reclining on their thrones, as people who "are busy enjoying themselves" (Surah Ya Sin, 55-56).

There, all believers have their own wives, who have been created wonderfully and with all of the qualities that a person could desire. The fact that they are "devoted, passionate, of like age" (Surat al-Waqi'a, 37) shows that the women are bound by a passion and affection based not on the ignorant worldly impulse to "make a profit and trust in the future," but only on Allah's consent.

By "sweet, lovely maidens" (Surat ar-Rahman, 70), Allah points out that the beauty of women's faces is another characteristic of Paradise. The shining inner beauty in their faces reflects the pureness of their spirit. This expression could mean that they have a face that is symmetrical, original, flawless, and smooth. This originality could be hidden in their eye color, nose structure, or in their eyebrows, jaw, and cheekbones. In short, it could be in every detail of their facial construction. The verse "We will marry them to maidens with large, [beautiful] eyes" (Surat at-Tur, 20) draws attention to one detail: their large eyes.

Indeed, engaged in conversation while sitting on thrones or opposite each other in the shades, the focus of attention will be a person's face. While speaking with someone, we look at his or her face. Engaged in good conversation with a beautiful-faced woman speaking of interesting things in a beautiful place where Allah is remembered will give a person indescribable pleasure.

Of course, the perfection of these women is not limited to their faces, for they are created from head to toe with a wonderful variety. Surat an-Naba', 33, mentioning the beauty of their bodies, says "nubile maidens of similar age." Another verse also draws attention to the fact that they are of the same age: "Beside them will be chaste women restraining their glances, (companions) of equal age" (Surah Sad, 52). Since age, as understood in the common worldly sense, is of no consequence in the eternal life, this verse shows that each of them will be of a suitable age for the other.

The Qur'an compares women to "rubies and coral" (Surat ar-Rahman, 58). These elegant and valuable stones, which are so pleasing to the eye, are used in the Qur'an to stress these women's striking beauty. We can imagine that comparing the women to rubies and coral is meant to describe their bright and pure complexion.

Due to these terse comparisons and essential descriptions, believers can understand how great a reward Allah has prepared for them. Thus, they pray even more to attain Allah's good pleasure and mercy, to be received into His Paradise, and exert great effort to attain it.

Allah has not revealed all of Paradise's blessings in the Qur'an, for they are beyond any human being's ability to imagine and conceive. In Paradise, Allah offers believers countless blessings that the eye has never seen and the ear has never heard.


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