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OCTOBER 2000

MONTHLY    *    Vol 14-10 No:166    *   OCTOBER 2000 / RAJJAB 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

Hoor has no Specific Gender
Quran uses 'We' for Allah

Hoor has no Specific Gender

Question: According to the Quran when a man enters paradise, he will get hoor, i.e. beautiful maidens. What will a woman have when she enters paradise?  

Answer:

1. Hoor mentioned in the Quran

The word hoor occurs in the Qur’an in no less than four different places:
  1. In Surah Dukhan chapter 44, verse 54
    “Moreover, We shall join them to companions With beautiful, big and lustrous eyes.” [Al-Quran 44:54]
  2. In Surah Al-Tur chapter 52 verse 20
    “...And We shall join them to companions, with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes.” [Al-Quran 52:20]
  3. In Surah Rahman chapter 55 verse 72
    “Companions restrained (as to their glances), in goodly pavilions.” [Al-Quran 55:72]
  4. In Surah Al-Waqiah chapter 56 verse 22
    “And (there will be) companions with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes.” [Al-Quran 56:22]

2. Hoor Translated as Beautiful Maidens

Many translators of the Quran have translated the word hoor as ‘beautiful maidens’ especially in the Urdu translations. If hoor means ‘beautiful maidens’ or girls, then they are meant only for the men. Hence, what will the women get if they enter Paradise?

3. Meaning of Hoor

The word hoor is actually the plural of ahwar (applicable to man) and of haura (applicable to woman) and signifies a person having eyes characterized by hauar a special quality bestowed upon a good soul, male or female in paradise and it denotes the intense whiteness of the white part of the spiritual eye.

The Quran describes in several other verses that in paradise you will have azwaj which mean a pair or spouse or companion which means you will have spouses or companions pure and holy (mutaharratun means pure, holy).

“But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruit there from, they say: “Why, this is what we were fed with before”, for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (forever)”. [Al-Quran 2:25]

“But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath - their eternal home; therein shall they have companions pure and holy: we shall admit them to shades, cool and ever deepening”. [Al-Quran 4:57]

Therefore the word hoor has no specific gender. Mohammad Asad has translated the word hoor as spouse and Abdullah Yusuf Ali as companion. Therefore according to some scholars a man in paradise will have a hoor that is a beautiful maiden with beautiful big and lustrous eyes and a woman in paradise will get a man with beautiful big and lustrous eyes.

4. Women will get something exceptional in Paradise

Many scholars say that in context, the word hoor used in the Quran refers only to ladies since gents are addressed. A reply that would be accepted by all types of people would rather be the answer given in the Hadith when a similar question was posed that if a man gets a hoor, a beautiful Maiden in Paradise, then what will the women get? The reply was that the women will get that which the heart has not desired for, the ear hasn’t heard off and the eye hasn’t seen, indicating that even the women will get something exceptional in Paradise.

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Quran uses 'We' for Allah

Question: Does Islam believe in several gods because the Quran uses the word ‘We’ when God speaks in the Quran?

Answer: Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion. It believes in and adheres to uncompromising monotheism. It believes that God is one, and unique in His attributes. In the Quran, God often refers to Himself using the word ‘We’. But this does not mean that Islam believes in the existence of more than one God.

Two types of plural

In several languages, there are two types of plurals, one is a plural of numbers to refer to something that occurs in a quantity of more than one. The other plural is a plural of respect.

  1. In the English language, the Queen of England refers to herself as ‘We’ instead of ‘I’. This is known as the ‘royal plural’.
  2. Rajiv Gandhi, the ex-Prime Minister of India used to say in Hindi Hum dekhna chahte hain. “We want to see.” Hum means ‘We’ which is again a royal plural in Hindi.
  3. Similarly in Arabic, when Allah refers to Himself in the Quran, He often uses Arabic word Nahnu meaning ‘We’. It does not indicate plural of number but plural of respect.

Tawheed or monotheism is one of the pillars of Islam. The existence and uniqueness of one and only one God is mentioned several times in the Quran. For instance in Surah Ikhlas, it says: “Say He is Allah the One and Only.” [Al-Quran 112: 1]

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