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Reply to "Not a Sermon only a Thought"

Keith posted:

For example, we find the following passage in a Web-based version of Islam's holy book: "Verily, for the Muttaqun or righteous, there will be a success paradise; gardens and grapeyards; and young full-breasted mature maidens of equal age; and a full cup of wine" (An-Naba 78:31-34). However, most other English translations, both online and in print, replace "full-breasted maidens" with some tame construction such as "companions." Inquiring further, we find that the Arabic word at issue is WakawaAAiba, which appears nowhere else in the quran. The French, less prudish in these matters, usually render it as something like des belles aux seins arrondis, "beautiful ones with rounded centers," so I think it's pretty clear what your prophet, or at least his stenographers, had in mind.

It's true ksazma that nothing in the quran specifically states that the faithful are allotted 72 virgins apiece. For this elaboration we turn to the hadith, traditional sayings traced with varying degrees of credibility to Muhammad. Hadith number 2,562 in the collection known as the Sunan al-Tirmidhi says, "The least reward for the people of Heaven is 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome of pearls, aquamarine and ruby."


Now lets see what that passage really stated.

إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ مَفَازًا

[But,] verily for the God-conscious there is supreme fulfilment in store

حَدَائِقَ وَأَعْنَابًا

luxuriant gardens and vinyards

وَكَوَاعِبَ أَتْرَابًا

and splendid companions well matched (16)

وَكَأْسًا دِهَاقًا

and a cup [of happiness] overflowing

Note 16 (Quran Ref: 78:33 )

For the above rendering of atrab, see surah 56, note 15. As regards my rendering of kawa’ib as "splendid companions", it is to be remembered that the term ka'b -from which the participle ka’ib is derived - has many meanings, and that one of these meanings is "prominence", "eminence" or "glory" (Lisan al-Arab); thus, the verb ka'ba, when applied to a person, signifies "he made [another person] prominent", "glorious" or "splendid" (ibid.) Based on this tropical meaning of both the verb ka'ba and the noun ka'b, the participle ka'ib has often been used, in popular parlance, to denote "a girl whose breasts are becoming prominent" or "are budding" hence, many commentators see in it an allusion to some sort of youthful "female companions' who would entertain the (presumably male) inmates of paradise. But quite apart from the fact that all Qur'anic allegories of the joys of paradise invariably apply to men and women alike, this interpretation of kawa’ib overlooks the purely derivative origin of the above popular usage - which is based on the tropical connotation of "prominence" inherent in the noun ka'b - and substitutes for this obvious tropism the literal meaning of something that is physically prominent: and this, in my opinion, is utterly unjustified. If we bear in mind that the Qur'anic descriptions of the blessings of paradise are always allegorical, we realize that in the above context the term kawa’ib can have no other meaning than "glorious [or "splendid"] beings", without any definition of sex; and that, in combination with the term atrab, it denotes, "splendid companions well matched" - thus alluding to the relations of the blest with one another, and stressing the absolute mutual compatibility and equal dignity of all of them. See also note 13 on 56:34.(Quran Ref: 78:33 )

That Qur'anic passage has nothing to do with any maiden much less any full breasted maiden so try again.

Regarding the ahadiths, I take some and leave some because like the Bible, the ahadith is subject to human errors. If the ahadith agree with the Qur'an, I am cool with it, if it doesn't agree with the Qur'an, I don't care for it. And there is no way that any 72 virgins for any man is going to agree with the Qur'an.

About Muslims not being allowed alcohol. In fact the Qur'an prohibits intoxicants which could include alcohol, drugs, etc. The drink mentioned in heaven is pure and does not intoxicate like the alcohols we have here.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O ye who believe! intoxicants, and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper.