Houri? Or Grapes? ("non-menstruating/urinating/defecating and childfree")

I’m entertained by this description of “houri”


The houri are frequently mentioned in Muslim scriptures and commentaries as the source of much speculation and intrigue. They are variously described as “chaste females”,[11] “restraining their glances”,[12][13] having “modest gaze”,[14] “wide and beautiful/lovely eyes”,[15][16][17][18][19] “untouched / with hymen unbroken by sexual intercourse”,[20][21] “like pearls”,[22] “virgins”,[23] “voluptuous/full-breasted”,[24][25] “with large, round breasts which are not inclined to hang”[26] “companions of equal age”[27][28], “non-menstruating/urinating/defecating and childfree”[29][30], “60 cubits [27.5 meters] tall”[31][32][30], “7 cubits [3.2 meters] in width”[30], “transparent to the marrow of their bones”,[33][34] “eternally young,” [35] “hairless”,[36] “pure”,[37] “beautiful”,[38] “white”[39], “revirginating”,[40] and “splendid”,[41] among other descriptions.

and even more so by this possible (although unlikely) mistranslation of the word:

One scholar at the Notre Dame conference, who uses the pseudonym Christoph Luxenberg for safety, has raised eyebrows and hackles by suggesting that the “houri” promised to martyrs when they reach Heaven doesn’t actually mean “virgin” after all. He argues that instead it means “grapes,” and since conceptions of paradise involved bounteous fruit, that might make sense. But suicide bombers presumably would be in for a disappointment if they reached the pearly gates and were presented 72 grapes.

6 thoughts on “Houri? Or Grapes? ("non-menstruating/urinating/defecating and childfree")

  1. Here is the thing Nada….it is disturbing to non believers..the idea of Paradise…regardless of any description of Houris inside or outside of the Quranic text. It is a case of people getting tripped up on their bias instead of considering their weak understanding of Paradise and Hell instead.

    And actually, the number of Houris is significant. 72 martyrs died with Hussein at the historical battle (no myth there) of Kerbala.

    I think you are mixing up parables and descriptions as well. Purified spouses and their descriptions in the Quran have literally nothing to do with Houris regardless of who is doing the translation.


  2. Here are some examples of “purifications” in the actual Quran:

    [19.51] And mention Musa in the Book; surely he was one purified, and he was an apostle, a prophet.

    [37.40] Save the servants of Allah, the purified ones.
    [37.74] Except the servants of Allah, the purified ones.
    [37.128] But not the servants of Allah, the purified ones.
    [37.160] But not so the servants of Allah, the purified ones.
    [37.169] We would certainly have been the servants of Allah– the purified ones.

    [38.46] Surely We purified them by a pure quality, the keeping m mind of the (final) abode.
    [38.83] Except Thy servants from among them, the purified ones.

    Associating “purification” with base human functions such as excrement and whatnot…well…it is rather like Neitzsche who also related much about the process of defacation. Fact of the matter is…purification can be of many types but the Quran is mainly concerned with purification from the materialism of the world itself.

    Just thought you would like to know since you brought the article up.

  3. There is another interesting feature when you look at the numerical side of this idea. And the Quran is a numerical text, gematric in nature.

    The number and all numbers in the Quran are quite significant. If you use a Boolean search engine and type in 72, you will discover that the last sura in the Quran to be indexed by “72”…you will find that almost every sura up until the 72nd one has a 72nd verse. The last sura in that sequence is a very interesting way to end that search because one ends up reading the entire 72nd Sura which is all about another interesting group of created entities known as the “jinn”.

    After that, there are no other Suras in the last half of the Quran which have 72 verse/phrases.

    That Sura is called simply, The Jinn and speaks about the jinn who were allowed to hear a recitation of the entire Quran and are witnesses to the veracity of it.


  4. And there is still another translatonal tidbit. In one place, women are described as having eyes like “preserved/pickled eggs”.


    Kind of like real human ovaries eh?

    I had a genetics instructor in college…an old gal…and she used to say, “Old women lay old eggs.”

    Whereas men produce sperm every day on earth..they are not born with a certain number of preserved reproductive cells.

    My point to you is this…be careful not to trivialize what you do not understand. And be careful what you read because many people are involved in the trivialization of the Quranic text.

  5. Hi Meg,

    I’m not mixing up anything. I’m just quoting here.

    I don’t understand anything, just wonder at it. That’s my MO.

    Finally, all is trivial. When we realize that we will be in paradise.

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