Details on the 72 virgins myth

As Muslims, most of us are well aware that the whole deal of a Muslim getting 72 virgins after an act of suicide is a vile propaganda and a myth. Today I stumbled upon this interesting article that goes about debunking this myth.

It is paramount that this lie is shattered, as I have heard it being stated as a fact in more discussions than I care to remember.

The bottom line is that suicide is strictly condemned against and punishable in Islam and those people who partake in it (as a form of terrorism) are usually in a very vulnerable emotional state. These people are then exploited and manipulated by others who use this act to pursue their agenda.


10 Responses to “Details on the 72 virgins myth”

  1. 1 Umair April 20, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    well, any sane muslim will know that suicide bombings are wrong and not according to islam. as for 72 virgins, i did not read that article but as far as i have seen, there is no mention of the 72 number in hadith or quran, so i dont believe in that. Also, God has made all life in pairs, seems strange to have so many wives for one guy

  2. 2 Sabah Hussain April 20, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    You are right on that and I feel its always better when you get a more detailed insight into such things. Do give the article a read; its not that long and is informative.

    However, your last point about pairs doesn’t quite cut it since there is a provision of 4 wives in Islam (though with a lot of parameters and constraints that most people fail to mention when quoting it).

  3. 3 christianliberal September 13, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Actually that “myth” might come from near-death experiences, and the spiritual realms that prophets often are in touch with.

    Take a look at my blog on this subject.

    I think if terrorists knew what was REALLY in store for scaring and killing people, if they knew how JUSTICE is served in the spiritual realms, you wouldn’t see this distortion of faith.

    Check it out:


    “The first thing I saw was my angry childhood. I saw myself torturing other children, stealing their bicycles or making them miserable at school. One of the most vivid scenes was of the time I picked on a child at grade school because he had a goiter that protruded from his neck. The other kids in the class picked on him too, but I was the worst. At the time I thought I was funny. But now, as I relived this incident, I found myself in his body, living with the pain that I was causing. This perspective continued through every negative incident in my childhood, a substantial number to be sure. From fifth to twelfth grade, I estimate I had at least six thousand fistfights. Now, as I reviewed my life in the bosom of the Being, I relived each of those altercations, but with one major difference: I was the receiver.”
    – Dannion Brinkley, Saved by the Light

  4. 4 Waleed December 30, 2009 at 4:27 am

    Hi Sabah, thank you for creating a blog entry on this topic. I would like to clarify some things:

    – Qur’an 56:36 explains the women awarded to men in Islamic heaven are “virgins”
    – Qur’an describes the attributes of these women in some detail (large eyes [37:48], voluptous [78:33] and so on)

    So Qur’an itself confirms that men will be awarded multiple voluptous virgins with large eyes in paradise. The number itself then is a minor issue. That number is 72 and mentioned in the hadith.

    Yes Islam prohibits suicide and there are no hadith or verses saying that suicide bombers will get 72 virgins, but rather the “righteous” will get these women as rewards.


  5. 5 Papinho May 1, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I read Nashid Abdul-Khalliq article, and it got me thinking, is this guy deliberately distorting and omitting the truth or is he genuinely oblivious of the Qur’anic scriptures? Maybe the hate and despise he has for Israel blurrs his vision when is he reads the Qur’an.
    The Qur’an does mention big breasted companions with lustrous eyes for Muslim men in Paradise, several hadiths go further by mentioning the number, and that they’re virgins
    Well I don’t know who’s got authority to decide which hadiths are authentic or inaccurate, if so why did known inaccurate hadiths remain amongst “authentic” ones for so song?
    Anyone can read the Qur’an and Hadiths, even non-Muslims do in their search for the truth, to try and understand how do people kill innocent civilians and kids in the name of God, what kind of God is that?
    The truth is conspicuous and legibly written in the Qur’an.

  6. 6 anonymous June 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    suicide is forbidden in islam but killing infidels just because they are infidels (non muslims) in war makes you a great martyr and you will get beautiful virgins in heaven. the number however is not specified.

    • 7 Juan May 25, 2014 at 12:42 am

      It’s funny that someone would leave their name as “anonymous” and then claim that it is OK to kill infidels. I’m sure that this person is not even a Muslim because Muslims do not use the word “infidel” — duh, got caught out there.

      • 8 Papinho May 25, 2014 at 11:37 am

        Muslim or not, he didn’t lie, that’s what the Qur’an says, but Muslims will deny it at all costs. The most common excuses are the wrong translation/classic Arabic/contextuazation BS!

        Why would your God say this if he really meant that, to trick you, to fool you?
        The minute your start defending things your God said or trying to justify them, because they’re somewhat disingenious and distasteful to others, then you should know you’ve been tricked and fooled.

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  8. 10 Loralie November 4, 2016 at 2:09 am

    I still find confusing and perplexing research regarding whether or not…
    The promise of 72 virgins is a myth or if it truly exists within the Quran?

    “72 Virgins and Boys” Ref: various sources

    True or False? Are Muslims motivated to terrorism because the Quran tells them, fighting non-believers is a duty of every Muslim and the only way to be certain of going to heaven.
    I ref a quote of unknown origin: “The only way to be certain of going to heaven and enjoy untold sensual pleasures is to die fighting in the cause of Allah.”

    The following answers from multiple sources and opinions:
    “If they can make it to heaven, one of the rewards all Muslims are promised is 72 virgins.” Note: The number of virgins is not specified in Quran. Rather, it comes from a quotation of Muhammad, recorded in one of the lesser known Hadith.

    Def: “Hadith” -is an Arabic word meaning traditions. After Muhammad’s death, several collections of his deeds and sayings were assembled. These collections are called Hadith and form the second most authoritative document is Islam, right after the Quran.

    [The following comes from a source with background education in “religious interpretation.” The writers “opinion” is based upon his interpretation of the Curan and the collective quotation’s of Muhammad; written after his death which make up the “Hadith” ]

    VIRGINS- “Houris” [Note: written at certain times with great sarcasm!]

    -“Mohammed knew that sex would sell very well among the group of his followers; who were motivated to fight battles by the promise of sex slaves and “booty.” He did so by constantly emphasizing to his followers that they would get untouched virgins in Paradise. Mohammed is clearly expressing his “high” opinion of the institution of marriage and his fairness to women. As, once the followers go to heaven they can conveniently ditch their wives; for the fresher and more pleasurable sexual encounters with ‘Houris’ (beautiful virgins). Hence, “the poor faithful wives who gave up their virginity for the pleasure of their husbands do not get anything.” But wait, Allah is all merciful! He gives the wives the rare honour of watching their husbands deflower those 72 Houris (virgins) and 28 young pre-pubescent boys!…

    ✴ The specific Hadith in which the number of virgins is specified is Hadith Al-Tirmidhi in the Book of Sunah (volume IV) chapters on The Features of Paradise as described by the Messenger of Allah (chapter 21), “About the Smallest Reward for the People of Paradise.” The same hadith is also quoted by Ibn Kathir in his Quranic commentary (Tafsir) of Surah Al-Rahman:

    “The Prophet Muhammad was heard saying: ‘The smallest reward for the people of paradise is an abode where there are 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine, and ruby, as wide as the distance from Al-Jabiyah [a Damascus suburb] to Sana’a [Yemen].”


    (QURAN 37:40-4 : “In the Gardens of Paradise, Facing one another on thrones, Round them will be passed a cup of pure wine; White, delicious to the drinkers, Neither they will have any kind of hurt, abdominal pain, headache, or sin, nor will they suffer intoxication from it. And with them will be chaste females, restraining their glances, with wide and beautiful eyes.”

    (QURAN 44:51-55): “Verily! The righteous will be in Paradise. Among Gardens and Springs; Dressed in fine silk and also in thick silk, facing each other, and We shall marry them to Houris with wide, lovely eyes.”

    (QURAN 52: 17-20): “Verily, for those who fear Allah there will be Gardens in Paradise, filled with Delight. Enjoying in that which their Lord has bestowed on them, and the fact that their Lord saved them from the torment of the blazing Fire. The Lord will say: ‘Eat and drink with happiness because of what you used to do’. They will recline with ease on thrones arranged in ranks. And We shall marry them to Houris with wide lovely eyes.”

    (QURAN 55:54-59): “Reclining upon the couches lined with silk brocade, and the fruits of the Gardens will be near at hand. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny? Wherein will be those houris, restraining their glances upon their husbands, whom no man or jinn has opened their hymens with sexual intercourse before. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny? In beauty they are like rubies and coral. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny?”

    (QURAN 55:70-77): “Therein gardens will be fair wives good and beautiful; Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny? Houris restrained in pavilions; Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny? Whom no man has opened their hymens with sexual intercourse before. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny? Reclining on green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny?”

    (QURAN 56:37-40): “…We created the houris and made them virgins, loving companions for those on the right hand….”

    (QURAN 78:31-34): “As for the righteous, they shall surely triumph. Theirs shall be gardens and vineyards, and high-bosomed virgins for companions: a truly overflowing cup.”

    There are two points need to be noted here. First, there is no mention anywhere in the Quran of the actual number of virgins available in paradise! Second, the dark-eyed damsels are available for all Muslims, not just martyrs. It is in the “Islamic Traditions” that we find the 72 virgins in heaven. It is specified: within a Hadith (Islamic Tradition) collected by Al-Tirmidhi (died 892 AD) in the Book of Sunan (volume IV, chapters on The Features of Paradise as described by the Messenger of Allah [Prophet Muhammad], chapter 21, About the Smallest Reward for the People of Paradise, (Hadith 2687). Furthmore, the same hadith is also quoted by Ibn Kathir (died 1373 CE) in his Quranic commentary (Tafsir) of Surah Al-Rahman (55), verse 72: “The Prophet Muhammad was heard saying: ‘The smallest reward for the people of paradise is an abode where there are 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine, and ruby, as wide as the distance from Al-Jabiyyah [a Damascus suburb] to Sana’a [Yemen]’.”

    An Hamas spokesman correctly uses the word martyr (shahid) and not suicide bomber, since those who blow themselves up almost daily in Israel and those who died on September 11 were dying in the noblest of all causes, Jihad, which is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Quran and in the Traditions as a divine institution, and enjoined for the purpose of advancing Islam. While suicide is forbidden, martyrdom is everywhere praised, welcomed, and urged: “By the Being in Whose Hand is my life, I love that I should be killed in the way of Allah; then I should be brought back to life and be killed again in His way…”; “The Prophet said, ‘Nobody who enters Paradise will ever like to return to this world even if he were offered everything, except the martyr who will desire to return to this world and be killed 10 times for the sake of the great honour that has been bestowed upon him’.” [Sahih Muslim, chapters 781, 782, The Merit of Jihad and the Merit of Martyrdom.]

    “Eternal Erection and Virginity”…
    Modern apologists of Islam try to downplay the evident materialism and sexual implications of such descriptions. Yet, the Encyclopaedia of Islam says, “even orthodox Muslim theologians such as al Ghazali (died 1111 AD) and Al-Ash’ari (died 935 AD) have admitted sensual pleasures into paradise”. The sensual pleasures are graphically elaborated by Al-Suyuti (died 1505 AD), Quranic commentator and polymath. He wrote: “Each time we sleep with a houri we find her virgin. Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal; the sensation that you feel each time you make love is utterly delicious and out of this world and were you to experience it in this world you would faint. Each chosen one [ie Muslim] will marry seventy [sic] houris, besides the women he married on earth, and all will have appetising vaginas.”


    Homosexuality was and is widely practised in Islamic countries. To please the homosexuals among his followers he promised them pre-pubescent boys in Paradise. So after committing plunder, loot, rape and murder in this life, the followers of Islam get “rewarded” by untouched virginal youths who are fresh like pearls.

    (QURAN 52:24): “And there will go round boy-servants of theirs, to serve them as if they were preserved pearls.”

    (QURAN 56:17): “They will be served by immortal boys.”

    (QURAN 76:19): “And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls.”

    Ref: A source with extensive knowledge of Arabic Poetry wrote:
    “It is common in Arabic poetry to glorify homosexuality” I.e. Take a look at their famous poet -Abu Nuwas:

    O the joy of sodomy!
    So now be sodomites, you Arabs.
    Turn not away from it–
    therein is wondrous pleasure.
    Take some coy lad with kiss-curls
    twisting on his temple
    and ride as he stands like some gazelle
    standing to her mate.
    A lad whom all can see girt with sword
    and belt not like your whore who has
    to go veiled.
    Make for smooth-faced boys and do your
    very best to mount them, for women are
    the mounts of the devils

    One of the reasons Nietzsche hated Christianity was that it “made something unclean out of sexuality”, whereas Islam, many would argue, was sex-positive. One cannot imagine any of the Church fathers writing ecstatically of heavenly sex as al-Suyuti did, with the possible exception of St Augustine before his conversion.

    In our Western world where many scientist purportedly believe in Evolution when in fact they do not inside; it is reported that when confronted with a question on this dichotomy of mind, their usual answer is: “I must believe in Evolution and reject Christianity for Christianity limits my sex life”.

    [Concluding – “Opinion”]
    “It seems then that this promise of sensual happiness and sexual bliss in paradise, not only is the motivator for the Islamic terrorists but it may even be a motivator for our secular evolutionists to join the rank of Islam.”

    I apologize for the length of this post and I feel there is some significant bias within the opinions provided. However, with that said, I find myself more unsure of what the truth really is? The reason why is Not based on any one person’s personal opinion. Regardless, of their professed education or experience. My issue is strictly based upon the passages “allegedly” taking straight out of the Curan!

    Unless, the quoted passages are false and truly don’t exist within the Curan. I’m not sure what to say about this religion with any positivity or understanding! Which, honestly would be very sad to me if true. I’ve never been a prejudiced person. I’ve always lived my life excepting everyone for “who they are.” Yet, I can’t wrap my brain around a religion that’s “possibly” based upon the execution of other faith’s and done so with their Gods approval! Nor, a religion that supports the insignificance of women. And, believes in a heaven that promises sexual gifts of paradise with “slaves!”

    Are the above passages from the Coran false?

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