What blessings will women get in Paradise?


A lady from the UK wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, stating that the Holy Quran promises that the dwellers of Paradise will be given chaste maidens of modest gaze, which in simple terms means women. She said that, if these were women, then only men would get this reward. She asked, what the reward would be for the believing women in heaven. She also asked whether women were created only for men. Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 9 April 2022, provided the following answer to her question:

“The descriptions of the blessings of Paradise are all conveyed in the Holy Quran and the Prophetic traditions [ahadith] through figurative language, which draws comparisons to worldly objects only in order to facilitate our comprehension. Allah the Exalted states:

مَثَلُ الۡجَنَّةِ الَّتِيۡ وُعِدَ الۡمُتَّقُوۡنَ

“‘The similitude of the Heaven promised to the God-fearing is […].’ (Surah ar-Ra‘d, Ch. 13: V. 36)

“Allah the Exalted further states:

فَلَا تَعۡلَمُ نَفۡسٌ مَّاۤ اُخۡفِيَ لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ قُرَّةِ اَعۡيُنٍ ۚ جَزَآءًۢ بِمَا کَانُوۡا يَعۡمَلُوۡنَ

“‘And no soul knows what joy of the eyes is kept hidden for them, as a reward for their good works.’ (Surah as-Sajdah, Ch. 32: V. 18)

“Likewise, the Holy Prophetsa stated:

يَقُولُ اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى أَعْدَدْتُ لِعِبَادِي الصَّالِحِينَ مَا لَا عَيْنٌ رَأَتْ وَلَا أُذُنٌ سَمِعَتْ وَلَا خَطَرَ عَلَى قَلْبِ بَشَرٍ ذُخْرًامِنْ بَلْهِ مَا أُطْلِعْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ

“‘Allah the Exalted states, ‘I have prepared for My righteous servants, such things as no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and nobody has ever thought of. All that is reserved, besides which, all that you have seen, is nothing.’’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab at-tafsir)

“The Promised Messiahas stated the following in this regard:

“‘God has described the good things of Paradise in the guise of things that were cherished by the Arabs so that their hearts would be drawn towards it. In reality, those things are of a different nature and not things of this world. But it was compulsory to describe them in this way so that the hearts may be drawn towards them.’ (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya V, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 21, p. 424)

“Explaining the above-mentioned verse of Surah as-Sajdah [32:18], the Promised Messiahas stated:

“‘That is, no virtuous one knows what bliss is kept hidden from him, as a reward for that which he used to do. Thus, God has described all those bounties as hidden, the like of which is not to be found in this world. It is obvious that the bounties of this world are not hidden from us and we are familiar with milk, pomegranates and grapes etc. which we eat here. This shows that the bounties of the next life are something else and have nothing in common with the bounties of this life, except the name. He who conceives of the conditions of paradise in the terms of the conditions of this life has not the least understanding of the Holy Quran.’ (Islami Usul Ki Falasfi, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 10, pp. 397-398)

“Explaining the wisdom behind keeping these blessings hidden, the Promised Messiahas stated:

“‘Concealment, as an act of Allah, carries an inherent greatness. God’s act of concealing is like what is articulated in the following about Paradise:

فَلَا تَعۡلَمُ نَفۡسٌ مَّاۤ اُخۡفِيَ لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ قُرَّةِ اَعۡيُنٍ

“‘(‘And no soul knows what joy of the eyes is kept hidden for them.’)

“‘In fact, there is an honour in the act of concealing itself, akin to the presentation of food under a covering cloth. That too is a sign of respect.’ (Al-Badr, Issue 11, Vol. 1, 9 January 1903, p. 86)

“The concept of the hur in Paradise is a figurative one and is mentioned in the Holy Quran on four occasions. The first two references (in Surah ad-Dukhan and Surah at-Tur) promise that وَزَوَّجۡنٰہُمۡ بِحُوۡرٍ عِيۡنٍ, i.e., the dwellers of Paradise will be consorted with fair maidens with wide, black eyes. The remaining two references (in Surah ar-Rahman and Surah al-Waqi‘ah) describe the exquisite attributes of the hur – they will be in well-guarded pavilions like pearls and corals, i.e., they will be adorned with qualities of modesty and shyness, as well as goodness, purity, beauty, and excellence of character.

“The word ‘zawj’ means a mate or spouse. It is not correct to interpret this as referring only to a man or a husband, rather it means a righteous and pure companion or mate. In view of this, the meaning of these verses would be that ‘We will make pious women the companions of pure men and pious men the companions of pure women in Paradise.’

“Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra interprets the verse وَ لَہُمۡ فِيۡہَاۤ اَزۡوَاجٌ مُّطَہَّرَةٌ of Surah al-Baqarah, [i.e., ‘And they will have therein mates perfectly pure.’ (2:26)], as follows:

“‘وَ لَہُمۡ فِيۡہَاۤ اَزۡوَاجٌ مُّطَہَّرَةٌ: There is no room for contention when considering the term ‘pure companions’. In this context, it would imply that just as sustenance in Paradise will be mutually beneficial, all its inhabitants will also assist each other in their spiritual growth. Consequently, there will be an all-encompassing sense of peace and cooperation, both internally and externally.

“‘If the term is interpreted to mean ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ – recognising that ‘zawj, pl. azwaj’ can refer to both genders, a woman’s ‘zawj’ being her husband and a man’s ‘zawj’ his wife – then one possible interpretation would be that every denizen of Heaven will be paired with a virtuous partner. There should be no objection to this interpretation either; rather, it serves as motivation for individuals to consider not only their own virtue but also that of their spouse; a man should consider not only his own virtue but also that of his wife, and a woman should consider not only her own piety but also that of her husband. This is premised on the idea that if couples desire to live together in the afterlife, as they do in this worldly life, each should strive to elevate the other’s righteousness. This would prevent a situation where the husband is in Heaven and the wife in Hell, or vice versa. From this standpoint, it is a sublime teaching of spiritual purity, and instead of objecting to it, one should appreciate its virtues.

“‘Furthermore, another interpretation could be that each person will be granted a pure mate in Heaven. There should be no contention with this interpretation either. If the interpretation implies that every man will be given a pure wife and every woman a pure husband, what possible objection could there be? An objection could only arise if there were an insinuation towards an impure act. Given that the Holy Quran uses the term ‘pure’ [mutahharah], it is clear that only actions deemed pure by the standards of Paradise will occur in Paradise. Hence, there is no basis for any objections.’ (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 1, pp. 252-253)

“Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh has also interpreted the following verse of Surah ad-Dukhan:

وَ زَوَّجۡنٰہُمۡ بِحُوۡرٍ عِيۡنٍ

“He explained the verse to mean, that the spouses of the believers will be transformed into hur and bound together in the bond of matrimony. In the subsequent verse, it has been stated that their children will also be gathered with them in Paradise. The reason why wives are not mentioned in the second verse is that they have already been referred to in the first verse, i.e. ‘وَ زَوَّجۡنٰہُمۡ بِحُوۡرٍ عِيۡنٍ’.

“The Holy Prophetsa told an elderly woman that no elderly woman would enter Paradise. She began to cry and asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, where will I go then?’ He replied, ‘I did not say that you will not enter Paradise. Rather, no elderly woman will enter Paradise as an elderly person. You will enter Paradise as a young person.’ Thus, when an old woman will enter Paradise, she will be transformed into a young woman, and an ‘unattractive’ woman into an ‘attractive’ woman. Similarly, a woman who was disabled or disfigured in this world will have a healthy body and perfect features in Paradise. Hence, when it is said that ‘وَ زَوَّجۡنٰہُمۡ بِحُوۡرٍ عِيۡنٍ’, i.e., the companions of Paradise will be wed to ‘hur’, it does not mean elderly women, as they left them behind in the world. Rather, those women who enter Paradise will be hurin ‘inin, i.e., young, beautiful, and righteous, regardless of whether they were elderly or young in this world. In any case, the word ‘hur’ in this context refers to a spouse-like companion [zawj]. (Abridged from Friday Sermon, 19 February 1982; Khutbat-e-Nasir, Vol. 9, pp. 386-387)”

“Therefore, from the aforementioned references, it becomes evident that the term ‘hur’ refers to virtuous and pure mates who will be united in matrimonial bonds with believing men and women in paradise. These mates will be granted as a divine reward. What will be the nature of these mates? The perfect knowledge of this rests solely with Allah Almighty. Humans will gain this understanding only upon their arrival in paradise.

“This interpretation also provides an answer to your second question, ‘Are women only created for men?’ because, according to Islam, both men and women are created for each other. By comprehending this fact, a wise husband and wife can create a heaven for themselves in this life and also assist each other in their spiritual growth in the afterlife.”

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