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Sunday, 23 September 2007

The 72 Virgins Myth

The Myth: Muhammad Promised 72 Female Virgins for Martyrs.

Source: wakeupfromyourslumber (The Truth Will Set You Free)
Original article taken from: ewadah.com, By Muhammad Ridzwan Rahmat

The Truth: Prophet Muhammad has never made any promise on any kinds of sexual gratifications in the after life, much less on the alleged 72 virgins.

It seems to be the staple ammunition for attacking Islam. Mention the atrocities and suicide bombings that are being committed by Muslims around the world and you get the same response – they are doing it for the “virgins in heaven”.

In various Internet forums and conventional media, Muhammad has been accused of luring foot soldiers, past and present, with promise of eternal copulation in the afterlife. In the process Islam has been tainted with a dubiously sexual tint. Islam seems to be the path where sex-hungry young men can end their lives into a promise of endless erotica.

The simple truth is, there is nothing in the Quran or Hadith that has ever promised this. Every Muslim knows it.

Muslims have never been cajoled into doing deeds for the religion in promise of posthumous sex.

As Muslims, we must never condone suicidal activities that take away the lives of innocents. They are against the teachings of the Prophet. The vilification on the alleged “virgins of paradise” must be dismissed at all costs.

So how did the issue of the 72 virgins even come about?

It all started on August 19th, 2001 in CBS studios, USA. This was just a month before the 9/11 attacks.

The American TV network was broadcasting a program called 60 Minutes. It was featuring a special report on the militant group Hamas and included the translation of an interview between an American journalist and the Hamas functionary Muhammad Abu Wardeh. In the interview, Abu Wardeh was describing how martyrs will be accompanied by the “hur’ain” in heaven.

At issue in this interview was the correct meaning of the Arabic word “hur’ain”. Translated to English, it means ‘angels’, with no gender connotations whatsoever. But the translators at CBS insisted that it means ‘virgins’. It carried on and broadcasted the translation as such.

Arabs all over the United States spotted the faulty translation and protested to the TV network.

Three experts of the Arabic languages, including Dr. Mather Hathout of the Islamic Centre of Southern California (now called Muslim Public Affairs Council) and Hafiz al-Mirazi Osman, the head Al-Jazeera’s Washington made official efforts to correct the translation.

But CBS still insisted that it means ‘virgins’. The faulty translation was never amended. From then on Islam became known as the sexually perverted religion that promises 72 “virgins” for those who gave up their lives for it.

The faulty translation took pace after the 9/11 attacks. Websites all over the world, especially those from the USA, began carrying distorted "translations" of verses from the Quran that interpret the word "hur'ain" as "virgins.

Muslims around the world were potrayed as devotess who were into the religion solely for the promise of sex.The damage was done and till today the faulty translation provides a sore point in the true understanding of Islam.

This myth is still rife today with various forms of distortions and connotations.

Recommended Reading:

Islamonline: U.S. Muslims Slash CBS over 'Fabricated' Translation

MPAC: MPAC Protests CBS's Use of Fake Arabic Accents


atiya said...

AOA. Thanks for the clarification! I recently heard this myth and it angered me to no end. :)

Anonymous said...

I was very angry when I heard this myth also.. we as muslims should figure out a way to spread the true meaning of Islam and how Islam doesn't condone terrorism or suicide bombings. It is a very peaceful religion and to the ones who convert to Islam to become a terrorist aren't true Muslims but convert to a new religion called "terrorism," NOT ISLAM.

ibn Yasin said...

Please note that "hur'ain" does not mean angels. It means maidens in Paradise.

saffa Islam said...

Thanks for the explanation. I really looking for an answer. May I re=post this (inshaAllah i'll include the source)
barakallahu feek

evitamamma said...

Hr'Ayn means "big eyed beings" there is no word on earth to correctly translate because these being d not exist on this planet amongst us, different from the angels. They are so to say extra terrestrial, and the only standout fefature mentioned to us are the big eyes.