Question # 59: Allah says in Quran that all men in Jannah will be blessed and one of many blessings is award of Hoor(s)…what about women? …where will they go and what will they get? ….why Hoors only for men and why not something equivalent for women …any reference in Quran or Hadith? Sorry but I am not clear on this.
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: The Jannah and al-hoor al-‘iyn are matters of the unseen, which are beyond our knowledge and cannot be comprehended by reasoning and thinking, except what is known through Qur’an and the Sunnah. We know from the sahih Sunnah that the martyr (shaheed) will have seventy-two hoor ‘iyn and the least of the people of Paradise will have two wives, and some will have more than that. However, as an answer to your question, the following points are worth noting:
- Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is Just and there is no one more just than Him and that if He has promised the men of Jannah, al-hoor al-‘iyn, then surely He will give the believing women of Jannah something equally pleasing. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says: “If any do deeds of righteousness, be they male or female, and have faith, they will enter Jannah, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:124)
- The thing that pleases women may be different from that what pleases men. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), the creator of the heavens and earth and all that is between them, knows his creation better than anybody else. And everyone in Jannah will receive what he/she desires as Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says: “Therein you shall have (all) that your inner‑selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask…” (Soorah Fussilat, 41:31-32)
- In Jannah, the righteous woman will be married to her husband and she will be pleased with that. She will say to her husband: By Allah I do not think that there is anything in Paradise finer than you; praise be to Allah Who has made you for me and made me for you.
- Life in Jannah will be nothing like life in this world. The inhabitants of Jannah will eat and drink but there will be no filth or dirt; the bodies will not excrete wastes nor will grow old. Similarly, there will not be any jealousy / envy for one another. As Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says: “And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred…”
- In Jannah, the status of believing woman will be better than al-hoor al-‘iyn; she will be higher in status and more beautiful, because a righteous woman will enter Jannah as a reward for her righteous deeds and as an honor from Allah, while hoori has only been created as reward for the believing man.
Last but not least, we should all remember that we have no right to question Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)’s wisdom in whatever He does; instead we should be more focused on serving and worshiping Him, so that we are granted Jannah out of His Mercy.
Long Answer: First of all, Jannah and Jahannum (and al-hoor al-‘iyn, for that matter) and all what happens in them are matters of the Hereafter. These are a part of the realm of the Unseen of which we have very limited perception. Such matters are beyond our understanding and cannot be known by reasoning and thinking and we have really no knowledge of these things except what the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah tell us. All we do is to believe in such matters of the Unseen, while remembering that its realities are known only to Allah. [In fact,] one should not really get into the details or indulge in discussions of the matters of the unseen without knowledge, because there is really no benefit in that. Rather if such a question comes up, we should say Allah knows best. As Allah says: “And follow not (i.e., say not, or do not, or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allah)” (Soorah al-Isra’, 17:36)
And, from whatever limited knowledge we do have about Jannah that Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) have informed us, there are a few points that we, as believing men and women, should remember, when questions such as these pop up in our heads:
- Allah is Most-Just and the Most-Merciful
Remember that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem, the One who is Just and there is no one more just than Him. And He is the One who is Fair and there is no one who is more fair than Him. He will never ever let you down or be unfair to you. If He has promised the men of Jannah al-hoor al-‘iyn, then surely He will give the believing women of Jannah something equally pleasing. There is no way that He will favor the men over the women. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “If any do deeds of righteousness, be they male or female, and have faith, they will enter Jannah, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:124)
- Allah created men and women differently
Another thing to remember is that what pleases women may be different from what pleases men. And everybody knows that. So wouldn’t He, Who created us in the first place know that better than anybody else? Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “Shall He who has created (all things) not know? He is the Subtle, the Aware.” (Surah Mulk, 67:14)
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… as Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “Therein you shall have (all) that your inner‑selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask. An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Soorah Fussilat, 41:31-32)
The Muslim woman – who is not influenced by the claims of those who propagate permissiveness and knows that she is not like men in her make-up and nature, because Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has made her like that – does not object to the rulings of Allah or feel angry. Rather she accepts what Allah has decreed for her.
- In Jannah, the righteous woman will be married to her husband and she will be pleased in it
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) will marry the believing women to their husbands of the dunya, if they were righteous and make them pleased with that. That is what believing women would desire and wouldn’t want any one else to feel satisfied. The sound nature pf a believing woman tells her that she cannot live with more than one man at a time.
[In explaining the ayah 56 from Soorah Ar-Rahman,] Ibn Katheer said: “they (the women of Jannah) lower their gaze and avoid looking at men other than their husbands, so they do not think that there is anything in Paradise that is more handsome than their husbands. This was stated by Ibn ‘Abbaas, Qataadah, ‘Ata’ al-Khuraasaani and Ibn Zayd. And it was narrated that one of them will say to her husband: By Allah I do not think that there is anything in Paradise finer than you, or that there is anything in Paradise dearer to me than you; praise be to Allah Who has made you for me and made me for you.” (Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem)
- In Jannah, there will be no jealousy
Life in Jannah will be nothing like life in this world. It is a different world that has nothing in common with this world except names; the realities of things are completely different.
Pleasures and feelings that we experience here in this life will be experienced in a different and much better and purer way. We will eat and drink but there will be no filth or dirt. Our bodies will not excrete wastes nor will we grow old. And not only our physical bodies, but our psychology and nature will be different also. As Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury….” (Surah al-A’raaf:43)
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The first group to enter Paradise will look like the moon when it is full. They will not spit or blow their noses or defecate therein. Their vessels and combs will be of gold and silver, their incense burners will be of aloeswood and their sweat will be musk. Each of them will have two wives, the marrow of whose calves will be visible from beneath the flesh because of their beauty. There will be no dissent or enmity among them and their hearts will be as one, and they will glorify Allah morning and evening.” (Bukhari and Muslim) He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also said: “they will not envy one another.” (Bukhari)
So even if the men will have al-hoor al-‘iyn, women or the wives will not be jealous. Although it seems hard at this time, but it is just as hard to imagine eating and drinking without any excretion. Isn’t the One capable of making us the way we are in this world with all our jealousy and the other feelings, capable of making us without jealousy in the Hereafter.
- In Jannah, the status of believing woman will be better than al-hoor al-‘iyn
The situation of the believing woman in Jannah will be better than the situation of al-hoor al-‘iyn; she will be higher in status and more beautiful. Several ahadith 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 an honor from Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) 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 Allah created her as a reward.” (Tafseer al-Qurtubi; at-Tadhkirah fi Ahwaal al-Mawtaa wa Umoor al-Aakhirah) Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said regarding this matter: “It seems to me that the women of this world will be better than al-hoor al-‘iyn, even in outward appearance, and Allah knows best.” (Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb)
Last but not least, if one thinks about it, we have no right to question Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in whatever He does, how He does it and when He does it. We should not question Allah’s wisdom in making us in the nature we are now or in re-creating us in the nature we will have in the future. Hence, instead of worrying about what Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is going to grant us in Akhirah, we should be more focused on how to serve Him and worship Him better. We should try to improve our relationship with Him so that we may hope for His generous reward and forgiveness, so that out of His Mercy, He may enter us in Jannah.
In the end, one should not forget the hadith narrated by Sahl bin Sa’d (رضي الله عنه), who said: “I was in the company of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). He gave a description of Jannah and concluded with these words, “There will be bounties which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no human heart has ever perceived…” (Bukhari)
(The above reply is based on the answers provided by Dr. Farhat Hashmi and Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid on the topic and my limited addition, wherever required)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.