MOTHER of the believers, Umm Salama had the same question about the equivalent of hoor al-‘ayn to women before you. She put her question to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he informed her that the woman’s pious husband is going to be her husband in Paradise.

Then she asked him what if a woman has been married to more than one husbands throughout her life in this world (life)? He answered her that she will get the best — regarding piety and manners — amongst them to be her husband.

As for the pious woman herself, whether a martyr or good worshipper, Allah will not make of her simply a hoor but she will be a mistress of all hoors. They will become maids to her.

This means that she will be the most beautiful of them all and the most beloved to her husband among them. I can read some questions already aroused in your mind!

Suppose a woman was not in love enough with her husband in this life and would not like to take him again! And… how come that a woman accepts to share her husband with all this number of hour is?

Actually, we have to realize that the dwellers of Paradise are not going to be ruled by the same nature of passion that used to rule them in this life. This is such as hatred and jealousy. They will have a totally different psychology from that they used to have in this life. It is the special psychological nature of the people of Paradise, which Allah has described in the Qur’an in Surah 43, Verse 7. This is when He said the meaning of: “And we shall remove from their hearts any rancor.

Even if the husband was not appreciated by his pious wife in this life, Allah is capable of changing his negative nature so as to please her in Paradise. In the same way he changes her into the most beautiful woman — while she was not so in this life — just to please him.

As for the rewards given to men martyrs alone, this is a common misunderstanding. A masculine pronoun does not only refer to men in the Arabic language. There is a linguistic rule that exists in both Arabic and English that a masculine pronoun in case of referential ambiguity — that is when the referred to person is not identified — refers to both men and women. The martyr here refers to both male and female and she martyrs. May Allah make us among them.

Defining Heaven
In fact, the term ‘Heaven’ – capitalized – has a shared meaning in Islam and all the other revealed religions. Primarily, it refers to that beautiful abode where, those who believe in One and Only God, humble themselves to worship Him, do the good and avoid the evil, are promised to go after the end of this worldly life. In this sense, it is the synonym of the “Gardens of Paradise”, which is the equivalent of the Arabic word: Jannah. Those blessed dwellers will live there in an everlasting life.

This term, in Christian theology, may also mean a name of God the Almighty. Again, in the sufi (mystic) tradition of both religions, this term means an ecstatic state of communion with God.

Thus, it is obvious that all the connotations of this word are spiritual and highly exalted, above the human level of worldly experience. It is a transcendental space that the believers, though never experienced, yet are able to conceive through the detailed description that God has supplied them with.

This is in order to arouse their desire and longing for it. It is difficult to quote the many verses in the Qur’an that describe Heaven, as these are so many!

It might be sufficient to know that every pleasure in that Heaven is unparalleled to that in the worldly life. It is as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), described to enclose:  “What no eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard and no human heart has ever perceived.” (Narrated in the book of compiled Ahadiths by Imam Muslim.)

Its food, houses, rivers, pleasures… everything is beyond imagination! And because the believer is always attached to the spiritual more than the sensual, even in Heaven, God has made the ultimate ecstasy for the believers there, is to look at His Holy Countenance. Such is a blessing, from which believers never get bored or even get accustomed to, despite familiarity.

Because this term — Heavens — refers to the place and condition of utmost happiness, it was borrowed or say, “hijacked”, by those whose philosophy of life is a mere hedonistic one. I think that their choice of this word in particular is evidence, in itself, of their awareness of the model image of happiness and bliss.

But the gap is quite wide, between the model image and this worldly application of pleasure, which is definitely associated with a pain or discomfort of some kind, or at least with the sense of temporality or boredom. For this reason, those hedonists rely on a “carp diem” style of life. This is a Latin expression, which means: “live day by day.” This would mean that you must exhaust your pleasure every day for fear that there may not be a second opportunity tomorrow!

If you need to know more about the description of Heaven, from the Islamic point of view, I recommend that you buy a DVD of the Qur’an and just search for the words “Heavens” and “Gardens of Paradise”. Here, you will know much about the rewards that await the believers there and more important, the requirement for a believer to attain them. Such requirements would look simple compared to the reward, and can — with the mercy of God — be reached if one can persevere in obeying Allah and practicing true Islam.