ELEMENTS IN THE QUR'AN
And besides these two there are two [other] gardens,
dark green. In each of them are two fountains, flowing
abundantly. In each of them are fruits and palms and
pomegranates. In each are [maidens] good, beauteous,
Huris enclosed in pavilions, whom neither man
nor demon hath approached before them. [The Just] recline
on green pillows and beautiful carpets."
Again, in Surah LVI., Al Warqi'ah, 11 sqq., we find
a similar account of the delights reserved in Paradise
for the "Companions of the Right Hand," —
that is, the saved — on the Resurrection Day:— "These
are those who are brought nigh, in gardens of delight
... upon bejewelled couches, reclining upon them, facing
one another. Upon them wait immortal youths" (the
Ghilman), "with goblets and beakers and
a cup from a spring [of wine] .
They do not suffer headache from it, nor do they become
intoxicated. And with fruit of whatever kind they choose,
and birds' flesh of whatever sort they desire. And there
are large-eyed Huris like hidden pearls, a recompense
for what they used to do. They do not hear in it any
vain discourse, nor any charge of crime, only the word
‘Peace, Peace.’ And the Companions of the Right Hand
— what of the Companions of the Right Hand? In a thornless
Lotus tree and a flower-bedecked Acacia and widespread
shade and streaming water, and with
TRADITIONS OF ISLAM.
abundant fruit not cut off and not forbidden, and
in raised couches. Verily We have produced them"
(these damsels) "by a [peculiar] creation. Therefore
have We made them virgins, beloved, of an equal age
[with their spouses] for the Companions of the Right
We shall see that much of this description is derived
from Persian and Hindu ideas of Paradise, though most
of the more unpleasant details and conceptions are doubtless
the offspring of Muhammad's own sensual nature.
The idea of the Huris is derived from the ancient
Persian legends about the Pairakas, called by the modern
people of Iran Paris. These the Zoroastrians
describe as female spirits living in the air and closely
connected with the stars and light. So beautiful are
they that they captivate men's hearts. The word Hur,
by which these damsels of Paradise are spoken of in
the Qur'an, is generally supposed to be of Arabic derivation,
and to mean "black-eyed." This is quite possible.
But it is perhaps more probably a Persian word, derived
from the word which in Avestic is hvare, in Pahlavi
hur, and in modern Persian khur, originally
denoting "light," "brightness,"
"sunshine," and finally "the sun."
When the Arabs borrowed the conception of these bright
and "sunny" maidens from