Reader Alex has several questions about the supposed Islamic belief in men receiving 72 virgins in the afterlife:
- Where do these 72 virgins come from?
- Does anyone specify that these virgins are all female?
- Assuming they are, are they supposed to be the souls of women who died before having sex in their mortal life?
- Or is there some virgin factory in heaven producing females for the sole purpose of having sex with dead men?
- Doesn’t that make god a pimp?
- And since they believe that you don’t take your body with you to heaven does it really matter if these women have or haven’t had sex?
- If these are souls of females who died virgins, doesn’t that mean that a good portion of these virgins would be the souls of children? (Ick… just ick.)
- Also, the implication is that you get to have sex with all of these virgins as your reward, but without a body, what is the point?
- What afterlife story do Muslim women get to look forward to? (Clearly they don’t get to be with their male loved ones as they will be hanging out in front of the virgin factory.)
- Or do they get forced into being *wink, wink* “virgins” for some man other than their husbands or loved ones? (That’s a lot of coordination to make sure that a man doesn’t show up for his 72 virgins and say “Hey, that one there is my wife! I know that she’s not a virgin!” That would be awkward to try to come back from.)
Seriously, this would require a huge staff of people to coordinate this effort.
One big pimping coordination party.
For what it’s worth, scholar Margaret Nydell writes in Understanding Arabs: A Guide for Modern Times that even the myth is a myth:
The [72 Virgins] belief is to mainstream Muslims as the belief that we will one day be issued wings and a harp, and walk on clouds, is to mainstream Christians.
That said, feel free to share your answers to any of the questions (or the whole “72 virgins” concept in itself) in the comments.