Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam alaykum,
I feel that women are not part of the Qur’anic narrative besides descriptions of “wide-eyed virgins” for male believers. What do women get in Paradise?
Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out clarity on this matter.
“Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” [Qur’an, 33:35]
Allah speaks to both men and women in the Qur’an. This very Qur’anic verse was revealed in response to Umm Salamah’s (may Allah be pleased with her) question to the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace): “Why are we women never mentioned in the Qur’an as men are?”
Be careful not to apply present-day biases to your reading of the Qur’an. This is why it is so important for you to study Qur’anic exegesis with a scholar who has an authentic chain to the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace).
“Circulated among them will be plates and vessels of gold. And therein is whatever the souls desire and [what] delights the eyes, and you will abide therein eternally.” [Qur’an, 43:71]
Paradisal delights are there for both women and men. In Paradise, you will receive whatever you wish, in whatever form you desire. Trust in the Mercy and Love of your Creator.
To answer your specific concern:
Although the Qur’an mentions hur al-ain for men, or “wide-eyed virgins,” this does not necessarily preclude the existence of handsome male companions for female believers. (Excerpt from What Will Be the Reward of Women in Paradise? by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari)
I encourage you and your female friends to read this brilliant article by Dr Fareeha Khan: Allah Has Heard the Arguing Woman.
I urge you, dear sister, to study your deen. Be part of the revival of female scholarship. Websites such as SeekersHub as well as Rabata are there for you to benefit from. Learn and master classical Arabic alongside studying Qur’an with trustworthy scholars. Our spiritual tradition is vast and deep, so do not shortchange yourself with the myopic lens of postmodernity.
Strive towards Allah, have a good opinion of Him, and pray that He places contentment in your heart.
(Anse Tamara Gray’s visit helped me a lot with this question.)
May Allah make easy your path to Jannahtul Firdaus, and may He reunite you with your loved ones in everlasting bliss.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.