Updated: Jul 9, 2021
Being an occasional series in which one of our experts answers a question from the genral public on a topic of current interest ...
In light of the RDC’s woefully inept and - to be frank - heavy handed treatment of Contrik-69 protocol breaches, I am seriously considering entering their HQ in Great Heaving in the guise of a suicide bomber. I already have dark glasses, a Palestinian-type scarf and a haversack. Before committing to this and any further expenditure prior to rendering Sir Rising Crimewave and his ilk a “thing of the past”, I would be grateful for clarification on a number of largely doctrinal matters, chiefly (a) precisely how many virgins will be waiting for me on the other side and will they be fit (b) is their room for specification pre-final showdown on matters such as hair colour, breast size and “tonsorial arrangement” below the plimsole line (if you get my drift) and finally (d) does it hurt when you explode into a gazillion pieces? Thanking you in advance (I probably won’t be able to do so afterwards)
Osram bin Lyte-Bulb
Address and photo supplied.
Our Theological Correspondent - Lettuce Praye - writes
The Quran itself says very little about the specifics of the afterlife, but it does note that believers will find huris, or maidens “of modest gaze, whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them.” Whether martyrs get a better deal, front row seats at popular shows or just extra mash remains open to question though they undoubtedly get a faster passage through checkout.
This is, however, by no means the end of the matter. Respected commentator Al-Jolson-Mammi said in a hadith that every man will have six dozen huris [roughly "hot totties"] in heaven. Ninth-century scholar Al-Towl-Hed made the unpopular suggestion that men will be reunited with their wives in the next world, but since this proved something of a disincentive in the following centuries [attacks on cinemas, cash-points and Western-style fast-food outlets during the Ottoman Empire were sometimes close to zero], the suggestion was quietly dropped in the Revised Better News edition of his commentary.
From the 9th through to the 12th centuries, scholars described paradise as a place of sensual delights - for men at least. They debated whether men remained married to their wives in heaven [most hoped not], whether they could have sex with the virgins [most hoped so] and - of more direct relevance to Mr bin Lyte-Bulb's inquiry - whether the heavenly virgins had "all the right bits". [Some argued there was no need for corporeal conjunction in the afterlife either because it was "all in the head" or because the whole concept was ludicrous - adherents to the latter view were extinct by the end of the 12th century.] There was even disagreement on the number of virgins assigned to each man. While Al-Towl-Hed said it was 72, Mulla Ali Fun'at-Thafayir, an 11th-century mystic, counted 70 virgins and two human wives [not unadulterated good news!]. Imam Al-Baysee'nyou was more generous, granting men 500 wives, 4,000 virgins, and 8,000 previously married women [the equivalent, in Christian terms, of "Hell"]. The meaning of the word hur is also open to interpretation, since it reads as “white raisins” when translated as a Syriac rather than as an Arabic word which might imply infidel women who have lingered too long, unmoisturised, on the sunbed. [The term is occasionally rendered in some translations as "prunes", though this may be a transliteration mistake, some authors giving instead "prudes" or "party-poopers".]
A further question arises: if male martyrs can expect, on the balance of probabilities, to find 72 virgin maidens in paradise when they die, what rewards can female suicide bombers expect? Answer? Restoration to their husbands - which may or may not explain the unacceptable gender bias in historic martyrdom recruitment policy. Mr bin Lyte-Bulb - you are not helping in this regard! Is your sister perhaps available?
As to Mr bin Lyte-Bulb's final question - how much will it hurt? - we can only report a distinct absence of data. Though an understandable consideration in the general scheme of things, we suggest you "suck it and see".