the most part just a husk, beauty and loveliness only appear beautiful to the eye, and so long as familiarity is not an obstacle, that is sufficient. Whereas in Paradise, which is beautiful, living, brilliant, and entirely the essence without the husk and the kernel without the shell, like the eye, all man’s senses and subtle faculties will want to receive their different pleasures and various delights from the houris, the gentle sex, and from the women of this world, who will be like houris and even more beautiful. That is to say, the Hadith indicates that from the beauty of their top garments to the marrow of their bones, each layer will be the means of pleasure to a sense and a subtle faculty. Yes, by saying, “The houris wear seventy garments and the marrow of their leg-bones can be seen,” the Hadith points out that however many senses, feeling, powers, and faculties man has which are enamoured of beauty, worship pleasure, are captivated by ornament, and yearn for loveliness, the houris comprise all of them – every sort of adornment and exquisite loveliness, physical and spiritual and immaterial, which will please and satisfy all of them, and gratify them and make them all happy.
That is to say, just as the houris are clothed in seventy of the varieties of the adornment of Paradise, and not one sort, none of which conceal the others; so they display beauty and loveliness perhaps seventy times greater than their own bodies and beings, all of different sorts and varieties. They demonstrate the truth indicated by the verse:
There will be there all that the souls could desire and all that the eyes could delight in.1
There is also a Hadith which states that since in Paradise there are no unnecessary, extraneous, waste-matters, the people of Paradise will not excrete waste after eating and drinking.2 Since in this lowly world, trees, the most ordinary of living beings, do not excrete despite taking in much nourishment, why should the people of Paradise, who are the highest class of life?
QUESTION: It says in Hadiths: “Some of the people of Paradise are given lands as extensive as the world, and thousands of palaces and hundreds of thousands of houris are bestowed on them.”3 What need has a single person of all these things, why should it be necessary? How can this be and what does it mean?
THE ANSWER: If man was only a lifeless being, or was only a vegetable creature consisting of a stomach, or consisted only of a limited, heavy, temporary, simple corporeality or animal body, he could not own
Bukhari, Bad’u’l-Khalq, 8; Muslim, Janna, 17-19; Tirmidhi, Janna, 7; Darimi, Riqaq, 104.
Bukhari, Janna, 17; Tafsir Sura al-Qiyama, 2.