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Friday, May 6, 2011

Islam Question and Answer - Description of al-hoor al-‘iyn in the Quran and Sunnah

Description of al-hoor al-‘iyn in the Qur’aan and Sunnah
What is the description of al-hoor al-iyn as stated in the Qur'aan and Sunnah? If a wife is righteous in this world, what will her form or attributes be in Paradise if Allaah wills that she should enter Paradise?.


Praise be to Allaah.


Pleasing the most Merciful and entering Paradise are the
ultimate aim that believing men and women should wish for. If a person
departs this world having won the pleasure of Allaah, then he will have the
glad tidings of all that is good after that. When he enters Paradise he will
have delights and pleasures such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard and it
has not entered the mind of any man. He will have all that he wishes for in
the best ways. Everything that he asks for will be granted, and everything
that he longs for he will get. He will never find anything to upset or
disturb him, because he is in the care of the Most Merciful, as Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): 

“Therein you shall have (all) that your inner‑selves
desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask.

32. An entertainment from (Allaah), the Oft‑Forgiving,
Most Merciful”

[Fussilat 41:31-32] 

One of the best things that people long for in the Hereafter
is, for men, the women of Paradise, namely al-hoor al-‘iyn, and for women
there is an equivalent delight. By His great wisdom, Allaah has not
mentioned what the women will have as the equivalent of al-hoor al-‘iyn for
men, and that is due to modesty and shyness. How can He encourage them to
seek Paradise by mentioning something that they are too shy and modest to
mention or speak about themselves? So He has simply hinted at it, as in the
verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“Therein you shall have (all) that your inner‑selves

[Fussilat 41:31-32] 

The description of al-hoor al-‘iyn is mentioned in more than
one place in the Book of Allaah, such as the following: 

1 – Allaah says, describing the reward of the people of
Paradise (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And (there will
be) Hoor (fair females) with wide lovely eyes (as wives for Al-Muttaqoon –
the pious).

23. Like unto preserved pearls”

[al-Waaqi’ah 56:22, 23] 

al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him)said: 

“And (there will be)
Hoor (fair females) with wide lovely eyes”. Al-Hawra’ is a woman
in whose eyes are lined with kohl, beautiful and bright. Al-‘iyn refers to
beautiful and huge eyes. The beauty of eyes in the female is one of the
greatest signs of beauty. 

“Like unto preserved pearls” means, as if they are
pure, white, shining pearls, which are covered and protected from people’s
eyes, the wind and the sun. Their colour is one of the most beautiful of
colours and they have no fault or blemish of any kind. This is how al-hoor
al-‘iyn are: they have no faults of blemishes of any kind, rather they are
beautiful in all ways. 

Every time you gaze upon
her, you see nothing but that which gladdens the heart. End quote. 

Tafseer al-Sa’di, p. 991 

2 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“(In beauty) they are like rubies and coral”

[al-Rahmaan 55:58] 

al-Tabari (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said: 

Ibn Zayd said concerning the words “they are like rubies
and coral” it is as if they are rubies in their purity and like coral in
their whiteness. So their purity is that of rubies and their whiteness is
that of pearls. End quote. 

Tafseer al-Tabari, 27/152 

3 – Allaah says describing the women of Paradise, in Soorat
al-Waaqi’ah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, We have created them (maidens) of special

36. And made them virgins.

37. Loving (their husbands only), (and) of equal age”

[al-Waaqi’ah 56:35-37] 

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to the word “loving (‘uruban)”, Sa’eed ibn
Jubayr said, quoting from Ibn ‘Abbaas that it means: they are loving towards
their husbands. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that al-‘urub are
those who love their husbands and their husbands love them. 

With regard to the word “of equal age (atraaban)”,
al-Dahhaak said, quoting from Ibn ‘Abbaas, that it means: of the same age,
thirty-three years.   

Al-Saddi said: “atraaban” means that they are equal in
temperament and they do not resent or envy one another, i.e., they are not
like hostile co-wives. End quote. 

Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/294 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar

It was narrated that Mujaahid said concerning the verse “Loving
(their husbands only), (and) of equal age”: i.e., those who are dear to
their husbands. 

Fath al-Baari, 8/626 

4 – Allaah says, describing them (interpretation of the

“Therein (Gardens) will be Khairaatun‑Hisaan [fair (wives)
good and beautiful]”

[al-Rahmaan 55:70] 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: 

They are described as
being fair and beautiful. The word khayraat (fair and good) is derived from
the word khayyarah, which refers to the woman who combines all good
qualities, both outward and inward, and whose physical appearance and
attitude are perfect. So they are good in attitude and fair of face. 

Rawdat al-Muhibbeen, p. 243. 

5 – Allaah describes them as pure, as He says (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“and they shall have therein Azwaajun Mutahharatun
(purified mates or wives), and they will abide therein forever”

[al-Baqarah 2:25] 

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

Allaah describes them as pure: “and they shall have
therein Azwaajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives)”,
pure from menses, urine and the like (stools) and all off-putting features
that may exist in the women of this world. And their hearts are pure from
envy, annoyance of their husbands, meanness or wishing for husbands other
than them. 

Rawdat al-Muhibbeen, p. 243,

6 – Allaah describes them as refraining from looking at
anyone except their husbands (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Wherein both will be Qaasiraat‑ut‑Tarf [chaste females
(wives) restraining their glances, desiring none except their husbands]”

[al-Rahmaan 55:56] 

“Hoor (beautiful, fair females) guarded in pavilions”

[al-Rahmaan 55:72] 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: 

Allaah describes them as being “guarded in pavilions”,
i.e., they are prevented from making a display of themselves before anyone
except their husbands. They are guarded for their husbands and they do not
go out of their houses, and they restrain themselves for them and do not
desire anyone else. And Allaah describes them as “Qaasiraat‑ut‑Tarf
[chaste females (wives) restraining their glances”. This description is
more complete than the first, for one of them restrains her gaze and focuses
her love upon her husband, she is content with him and does not look beyond
him at anyone else. 

Rawdat al-Muhibbeen, p. 244 

This is a brief look at
what has been said about them in the Qur’aan. In the Sunnah there are
descriptions of their beauty and fairness which defy the imagination, such
as the following: 

1 – It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased
with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) said: “The first group will enter Paradise looking like the
moon on the night when it is full, and those who follow them will be like
the brightest shining star in the sky. Their hearts will be as one, and
there will be no hatred or jealousy among them. Each man will have two wives
from among al-hoor al-‘iyn, the marrow of whose calves can be seen from
beneath the bone and flesh.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 3014; Muslim,

Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The stunning beauty of
the hoori is such that the marrow of her calves can be seen from beneath her
clothes, and a man will be able to see his face in the liver of one of them,
like a mirror because of the fineness of her skin and the purity of her

Fath al-Baari, 8/570 

2 – It was narrated that Anas (may Allaah be pleased with
him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said: “If a woman from among the people of Paradise were to look
out over the earth, she would illuminate everything that is in between them,
and would fill everything that is in between them with fragrance. And the
scarf on her head is better than this world and everything in it.” 

If she were to show her face, it would shine between heaven
and earth; how beautiful is the light of her face and how beautiful the
scent that is filling the space between heaven and earth. As for her
garments, the scarf that she places on her head is better than the beauty of
this world and all that is in it of delights and pleasure and natural beauty
and splendid palaces and other kinds of luxuries. Glory be to their Creator,
how great He is, and congratulations to the one for whom she is and he is
for her. 


The situation of the believing woman in Paradise will be
better than the situation of the hoor al-‘iyn; she will be higher in status
and more beautiful. Several ahaadeeth and reports have been narrated
concerning that, but none of them can be proven to be sound. But if a
righteous woman from among the people of this world enters Paradise, then
she will do so as a reward for her righteous deeds and as a honour from
Allaah to her for her religious commitment and righteousness. As for the
hoori who is one of the delights of Paradise, she has only been created in
Paradise for the sake of someone else, and has been made the reward for the
believing man for his righteous deeds. There is a great difference between
one who enters Paradise as a reward for her righteous deeds and the one who
was created as a reward for one who did righteous deeds. The former is a
queen and a princess, and the latter, no matter how beautiful she is, is
undoubtedly lower in status than a queen, and she is subject to the command
of her believing master for whom Allaah created her as a reward.  

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was
asked: Does the description of the hoor al-‘iyn include the women of this

He replied: 

It seems to me that the
women of this world will be better than the hoor al-‘iyn, even in outward
appearance, and Allaah knows best. 

Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb. 

We ask Allaah the Almighty to give us the best of that which
He gives to His believing slaves. 


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