They have been talking about virgins on the radio. In particular they are talking about the 72 virgins available to those who die as martyrs for Islam. This has always worried me because I can't help wondering what happens to the virgin once she has been taken by the martyr and - how to put this delicately? - is no longer as pure as Paradise would require. Is she then cast out as a sinner to where ever it is that sinners go? Also, are there 72 virgins for each martyr or do they have to share them out between them, and as the numbers of martyrs increase that may present a problem - surely one can only be a virgin the once? And what do they wear these virgins? Presumably the virgins would be well covered up as modesty on this earth requires so how could the martyr be sure he was going to fancy his when the veil comes off? The discussion on the radio inspired me to consult the Oracle (Google). This is what I have just learnt:
Modern apologists of Islam try to downplay the evident materialism and sexual implications of such descriptions, but, as the Encyclopaedia of Islam says, even orthodox Muslim theologians such as al Ghazali (died 1111 CE) and Al-Ash'ari (died 935 CE) have "admitted sensual pleasures into paradise". The sensual pleasures are graphically elaborated by Al-Suyuti (died 1505 ), Koranic commentator and polymath. He wrote: "Each time we sleep with a houri we find her virgin*. Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal; the sensation that you feel each time you make love is utterly delicious and out of this world and were you to experience it in this world you would faint. Each chosen one [ie Muslim] will marry seventy [sic]** houris, besides the women he married on earth, and all will have appetising vaginas."
*So that's how it's done! Excellent - virginity saved by a miracle...lots of times!!
**Definitely 72 virgins - I double checked that bit.
So now I am slightly (ONLY slightly mind) concerned for the martyrs. They have to cope with an eternal erection! Surely there must be moments in Paradise when a hard on would be both inappropriate not to mention down right embarrassing?
One more thing occurs to me. What is the incentive for the female martyr? Personally speaking I wouldn't want my reward in Paradise to be a series of encounters with 72 fumbling virgins but I guess it might be a bit tricky admitting lots of blokes with loads of sexual experience into Paradise - especially as they would be so tempting to all those virgins up there. What would the martyrs say if after all their sacrifice to get to Paradise in the first place the sexual studs had already deflowered the virgins?
This is all far too complicated for me. Thank god or whoever else it is one should thank that I don't have any after life to believe in.
I am going to label this post 'eternal erections' just to see how many google hits result from that.
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