72 virgins?

Since there obviously aren’t 72 women for every man - let alone virgins - according to Islamic theology, exactly what are the 72 virgins you get in heaven? Are they automatons? Spirit robots?

My bank manager here is a practising Muslim, and he is always very keen to talk about his faith. He is devout, but takes a progressive interpretation of the faith. We actually spoke about this recently. He said that when Mohammed was trying to convert people to the idea of good life=heavenly reward he needed to inspire them with an idea of reward that they would understand, in that era in circumstances. So that is what the “72 virgins” represents.

Other Muslims will have different interpretations of it, literal and figurative.

The Perfect Master on the “72 virgins”:

  • Tamerlane

Oh and to answer your specific question - Are these real people ( i.e. folks that have lived and died on earth )? The answer, I think, would be no. Spirits, rather.

  • Tamerlane

Aren’t the virgins reserved for men who died defending the faith? In that case there may be more than enough former human women to go around.

That’s the common belief, but I think the actual passages cited on the matter make no such distinction. Every man who enters paradise is supposed to be so rewarded.

But I admit this is just the interpretations I’ve seen and there might be others.

  • Tamerlane

What if only one man in a million go to that paradise? The rest go to another place where they have to make do with goats and camels.

hmm…i’m a muslim too…well they’re not real people i know that but the whole concept is confusing since i’m still stumped over what women are supposed to get :confused:

>> what women are supposed to get

If they are virgins they get to share a guy with 71 other virgins. If not, then they get a guy all to themselves in whatever the other place is.

My thoughts exactly! Couldn’t I opt for 72 experienced women? Maybe even a few who could teach me a thing or two. I mean, it’s heaven, right? Replace the wine with weed, and convince me that it’s true, and I might convert.

why 72?

Yeah wouldn’t it be a sort of hell having to teach 72 completely inexperienced (and maybe frigid) women how to “give great head”?!

I’ll pass on the 72 male virgins too, should they be waiting for me in Heaven. Besides, there might be much sexier ex-mortals and dead celebrities to play with.

You don’t have to have sex with them.

Is there any discussion if these are female virgins or male virgins they get?

Because everyone knows that 71 virgins just aren’t enough! :smiley:

And I seem to vaguely recall that some more fundamental sects ofIslam teach that women aren’t allowed to go into Paradise at all. So no 72 guys for the ladies…

It’s not so much a band name, as it is a jam session.

This was done to death in something like 5 different threads in 3 different SDMB boards late last year, but the summary answer was:

According not only to the Qur’an but also (heavily) to the Hadith (the collection of “Sayings and Acts of the Prophet and his companions”), houris are specifically purpose-created heavenly beings, beautiful, radiant creatures who are “untouched by man or djinn” and virginal (i.e. demure) in deportment, but do have the knowledge as to how to properly serve and please you, the righteous, and will be eternally faithful exclusively to you. They are NOT the afterlife form of anyone who actually lived. As to the number 72, it’s not Qur’anic but it does appear in the Hadith; though it seems to have been arrived at arbitrarily. The modernist interpretation is that it is symbolic of an afterlife in which every need, including the emotional, is filled.

I’ve read something recently where a convincing argument was presented that it was probably a mistranslation. The writer argued that it was likely that instead of the famed “72 virgins”, the original intent had been…raisins. Yep. Specifically, a sort of blond-raisin that was considered a delicacy at the time of the drafting of the passage in question. They made a number of points about the word as rendered in modern times (“houris”, I believe) versus the time of the passage’s writing.

And to head off any questions, no, I don’t have a cite, but I’ll see if I can find one.

OK hands up:

Who wants to go to the 72 love-slaves heaven?

Who wants to go to the 72 raisins heaven?

Hmmm…

Depends. Is Viagra available?

Because unless you’re a porno stud, you’ll be too pooped to pop long before you reach #72:wink: