Whether verses [55:56] and [56:35] refer to houris or women of this world

3-1-2018 | IslamWeb


Assalaamu alaykum. I was just wondering whether verse 55:56 talks about the houris or the female believers of this world, and the same with 56:35. Also, why does verse 55:56 say 'feehinna' instead of 'feehima'?


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

With regard to verse 55:56 [Surat Ar-Rahman], Shaykh Zakariyya Al-Ansaari said in Fath Ar-Rahmaan bikashfi ma Yaltabis fee Al-Quran (1/546):

The pronoun in the verse is plural (feehinna) although it is preceded by a dual noun (Jannataan; meaning two gardens) because it refers to the counted favors in the two gardens, or to the two gardens but it is used in the plural form because it includes the palaces and houses therein; or it refers to the palaces and houses that are indicated by the mention of the two gardens; or to the beds because of their nearness. In the last case, the preposition ‘in’ (fee) here would mean ‘on’ (‘ala) as in the verse (which means): {Or have they a stairway [into the heaven] in which they listen.} [Quran 52:38] In this verse, the preposition in (fee) is used to mean on/upon (‘ala).

There is a difference of opinion among the scholars about this verse, and whether it is about the houris or the believing women of this world.

Ibn ‘Aadil said in Al-Libab fee ‘Uloom Al-Kitaab (18/352):

Muqaatil said, ‘The verse says (what means): {Untouched before them by man or jinni} [Quran 55:74] because they were created in Paradise.’ So, according to his interpretation, they are from the houris of Paradise.

Ash-Sha‘bi said, ‘They are from the women of this world, but no one touched them since they were created. This is the view of Al-Kalbi, which means that no one had sexual intercourse with them in the the life where there were humans and jinn.’

As regards the women that are mentioned in the verse (which means): {Indeed, We have produced the women of Paradise in a [new] creation.} [Quran 56:35]; then what is meant by it are the women of this worldly life.

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his Tafseer (8/20) (Quran exegesis), ‘{Verily, We have created them...}; meaning, in the other life, after they had become old in this life, they were brought back as virgins, youthful, delightfully passionate with their husbands, beautiful, kind and cheerful.’

Allah knows best.