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] 1. 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

1 Wine is shown to be meant from the context. Rivers of wine are spoken of in Surah XLVII., 16.

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 Hand 1."

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

1 Much more graphic pictures of Paradise and its pleasures are given in the Traditions. Vide the Sahih of Bukhari and the Mishkatu'l Masabih on the subject.