Islam deserves criticism on account of the logical consequences of its dogma, namely, that the murder of fellow human beings is to be rewarded with sensual pleasure in a hedonistic 'Paradise'- a concept born in the fantasies of an Arab rebel some fourteen centuries ago. The religion of Mohammed is a dangerous system when the teachings and example of the 'prophet' are believed and followed.

Richard Dawkins

Paradise Lust

If hell is a concept that panders to the fears of the gullible, then Paradise, as articulated by Muhammad, was surely a scheme devised to con the susceptible minds of naïve, superstitious Bedouin Arab men. Muhammad had an imperialistic goal of spreading his new found religion to every corner of the earth. To achieve this, he required the support of those who would follow him. Using a dangled carrot before their eyes, he was able to cunningly spur them on to realising his dream. That carrot was Jannat or Paradise, an abode, available only to believers and of course only in the afterlife. Muhammad essentially needed only men to do his bidding. And this aptly explains why Paradise is designed solely with the carnal desires of men considered.

The many features of Paradise were surely alluring to the average desert stricken resident of the seventh century who lived a life in a very harsh environment, sorely lacking basic needs such as water, fruits, wealth, ability to support multiple wives and even shade from the overpowering sun.

The Qur'an and Hadith provide detailed descriptions of this wondrous place which is awaiting only those who believe in Muhammad's message. Depending on the amount put out by a believer, he will be rewarded accordingly for his efforts. For instance, those who die as martyrs fighting in the way of Allah during Jihad will attain the highest level and the full compliment of virgins, seventy two.

Muhammad was able to sell his message using sex as a commodity in exchange for motivating his followers to fight his battles. Should the jihadi survive they will get their portion of female sex slaves and booty from among the conquered. However should the jihadi be killed in battle, his reward for martyrdom is many more beautiful women (houris), all being perpetual virgins, never before touched, whose only purpose is to satisfy the believer. In addition, he also acquires a number of young boys, should that be his preference.

Women on the other hand, who according to Muhammad, comprise the majority of Hell, should they make it into Paradise are destined to spend eternity with just the one man, their earthly husband. Regardless of whether he abused her, loved her or shared her with other wives, she has no choice but to continue to be chaste, loyal and also an onlooker at his exploits, now among his heavenly harem.

Regarding this divine brothel, the Quran tells us that the beauties there will have voluptuous breasts:

Q78:31-34 As for the righteous, they shall surely triumph. Theirs shall be gardens and vineyards, and high-bosomed women for companions; a cup full to the brim.

They are obviously pure, shy, young, beautiful virgins who have never been touched before, but waiting patiently for the believer to enter Paradise and initiate them into the delights of bodily pleasure:

Q37:48 And besides them will be chaste women, restraining their glances, with big eyes of wonder and beauty. Pure (virgin) as they were hidden eggs of the ostrich

Q44:54 …and We will wed them with houris (dark-eyed virgins) pure, beautiful ones.

Q52:17-20 Reclining on thrones set in lines, and We will unite them to fair, large-eyed beautiful ones.

Q56:36-37 And made them virgin - pure and undefiled, loving, equals in age

Q55:56-58 In them will be bashful virgins neither man nor Jinn will have touched before... As though they were rubies and corals

The perpetual virgins of Paradise are severely restricted just as their counterparts are here on earth. They are confined to pavilions where they are closely guarded to ensure they do not stray and have their replaceable virginity lost to another believer:

Q55:72-77 Pure ones, close-guarded in pavilions, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched reclining on green cushions and rich carpets of beauty.

From the sayings of Muhammad we get further details regarding this Islamic Paradise, where markets exists for men to choose, free of charge, from amongst women and young boys on display. According to the hadith both men and women will be available in the market. However, only men will be doing the selection.

Al Hadith, Vol. 4, p. 172, No. 34 The Apostle of Allah said, "There is in Paradise a market wherein there will be no buying or selling, but will consist of men and women. When a man desires a beauty, he will have intercourse with them."

The pavilions allocated to believers are appropriately large so that the believer will have his privacy as he makes his rounds to enjoy with his share of beauties:

Sahih Bukhari 6:402: Allah's Apostle said, 'In Paradise there is a pavilion made of a single hollow pearl sixty miles wide, in each corner there are wives who will not see those in the other corners; and the believers will visit and enjoy them all.'"

Males entering Paradise will be transformed to appear as a thirty year old and would be bestowed with the sexual virility of 100 men in order to cope with the bounties Allah provides:

Tirmizi vol. 2 Every man who enters paradise shall be given seventy two houris (wide eyed virgins); no matter at what age he had died, when he is admitted into paradise, he will become a thirty-year-old, and shall not age any further. A man in paradise shall be given virility equal to that of one hundred men.

Tirmizi 2562 The Prophet said: “The least reward for the people of paradise is 80,000 servants and 72 wives”

Tirmizi 2536 The Prophet said: “The believer will be given tremendous strength in Paradise for sexual intercourse”. It was questioned: “O prophet of Allah! can he do that?” He said: “He will be given the strength of one hundred persons.”

The question that comes to mind is why would Allah provide only seventy two virgins when he so generously endows the males with the virility of one hundred men? The answer will be made clear later when discussing the boys supplied by Allah.

The age of women as they enter Paradise is not stated by Muhammad, however males will automatically be transformed to thirty years olds. This would suggest that a baby boy dying at a few weeks, months or even years, when entering paradise will ascertain not only a man’s body but be presented with seventy two virgins the likes of which he surely will not be prepared for.

As the first group of Muslim men enters paradise they will be wedded to their allotted virgins and will shapeshift to a 27 metre tall Adam look-a-like.

Sahih Bukhari 4:544: Allah's Apostle said, 'The first group of people who will enter Paradise? Their wives will be Houris. All of them will look alike and will resemble their father Adam (in stature), sixty cubits tall.'

According to Muhammad men will have a perpetual erection and his houri wives will have ‘pleasant vaginas’:

Ibn Majah, 5:4337 Allah’s Messenger said: “Allah will not admit anyone into Paradise but Allah, the Mighty and glorious will marry him with seventy two wives, Every one of them will have a pleasant vagina and he (the man) will have sexual organ that does not bend down during sexual intercourse.”

Muhammad said that: “Every man in heaven will go to seventy of the creatures of Allah (houris) and 2 of the women of mankind, these two women are superior to the creatures of Allah (houris) with their worshipping (good deeds) they had performed in this world." [Bayhaqi, al-Bas wa’n-Nushur; Tabari’s Tafsir; Abu Yala, Ibn Hajar, Fathu’l-Baari, Tabarani]

Houris do not want the earthly wives, at least those who make it to Paradise, and hence become part of the harem, to annoy the husband, as they apparently do here on earth. The houris are also spouses and would not want their husband antagonized by the nagging earthly wives:

Ibn-i-Majah 3:2014 Allah’s Messenger said, “A woman does not annoy her husband but his spouse from amongst the houris will say: Do not annoy him, may Allah ruin you. He is with you as a passing guest. Very soon, he will part with you and come to us.”

There will obviously be some form of resentfulness in Paradise between the houris and the earthly wives with the former able to direct Allah to ruin the latter if need be. Hence assuring that even in Paradise, women will be subjected by threats, keeping them in line with obedience and servitude to their husband.

As can be seen from this hadith, a woman going to heaven has no option but to spend the rest of eternity with her husband. A man who now, not only has his earthly wives, but is wedded to seventy two houris, with twenty eight serving boys around him and also the option of visiting the local, free market stocked with men and women ready for intercourse, has little time for his original wife, who apparently is now described, simply as, a passing guest.

Muhammad in the Qur’an and Hadiths describe very little reward for women in Paradise. It has subsequently been left up to scholars too eek out of scripture possible benefits they may accrue, which are not many, other than the fact that they will not be burning in Hell. A woman should not really be too keen on the fact that she will have to share her husband with many more partners. She has no choice in the matter should she not want to continue in the hereafter with an abusive or unloving man she disliked on earth. She basically has to continue playing the part of the chaste, devoted wife yet her heavenly husband treats her as a guest between his liaisons with seventy two other females. Her neglect would soon be apparent as she waits, as the doting wife, for a man who apparently has no marital duties, but to spend all his time having sex with heavenly beauties.

Essentially the woman in paradise has to be grateful for the general benefits of Paradise, such as, flowing rivers of water, wine and milk, an ageless body, plentiful foods and gold and silver jewellery. Surely if Muhammad had only thought to include chocolates, handbags and designer shoes in Paradise, women would not reason themselves as being so neglected.

Based on Qur'an and Hadiths we get the following vivid picture of the houri of paradise: Very fair females, with wide, intense black eyes (irises), untouched, young virgins who regain their virginity after each intercourse, possessing voluptuous full breasts (no sagging allowed in paradise), free from menstruating, urinating, defecating and childbirth, hairless and of course splendidly beautiful.

From the mouth of Muhammad himself we have the following succinct description:

The Prophet said: A houri is a most beautiful young woman with a transparent body. The marrow of her bones is visible like the interior lines of pearls and rubies. She looks like red wine in a white glass. She is of white color, and free from the routine physical disabilities of an ordinary woman such as menstruation, menopause, urinal and offal discharge, child bearing and the related pollution. A houri is a girl of tender age, having large breasts which are round (pointed), and not inclined to dangle. Houris dwell in palaces of splendid surroundings. [Al-Tirmizi, volume 2, pg 35-40]

Apparently dark females will not make too enticing an attraction for Paradise; neither would the mature woman or the non-virgin nor those with small breasts or blue eyes. Muhammad obviously had a picture of what attracted the Arab males of the time and in an era with no need for political correctness, expressed his apparent racist outlook, along with his ethnically biased make up of eternal Paradise. Afterall Quran 3:10 does state that those entering Paradise will be made white while those venturing down to Hell will be made black.

Homosexuality has always been a trait practiced among humans and animals, but constantly frowned upon in human societies as an act of immorality. To maintain the norms of the culture in which he lived and the religions from which he plagiarized, Muhammad made homosexual acts haram, prohibited, in the earthly life. However to ensure that everyone fighting in his cause had ample remuneration in the hereafter, he also promised pre-pubescent boys in Paradise. So after committing plunder, loot, rape and murder in this life, the followers of Islam get "rewarded" by untouched virginal youths who are fresh like pearls.

Q52:24 And round them shall go boys of theirs as if they were hidden pearls.

Q56:17-18 Round about them will go boys of perpetual freshness with cups, and jugs, and a glass of flowing wine.

Q76:19 And round about them will be boys of perpetual youth: if thou seest them, thou wouldst think them scattered pearls.

Many commentators defend such verses claiming that the boys spoken about are simply servants. However by using language that implies that the boys are young, fresh, virgin (hidden pearls) and beautiful (scattered pearls) leaves little room for interpretation by those who seek to justify the availability of boys in the hereafter for the male believer. Why had Muhammad not used older men or women, not mentioning their beauty or virginity or freshness, as servants? In addition, the hadith mentioned above which states males and females will be available in the market place for men to make their selection, confirms that these verses from the Qur’an can be understood as implying the existence of male homosexuality in Paradise.

Also previously it was noted that men will be bestowed with virility on hundred times that of the earthly equivalent. However they are only supplied with seventy two houris. One can only extrapolate that the balance of twenty eight extra strengths are intended for the youthful, perpetually fresh serving boys.

One of the foremost hardships with seventh century desert life was the lack of good, clean water. Any promises of an opulent afterlife must remedy this short-coming of the Arabian Peninsula. Fresh water would have been an item of luxury among the Arabs. Therefore pledging a world beyond, with abundant pure water in rivers flowing, fountains gushing and springs surging, was surely a promise sufficient to ensnare the credulous masses into following Muhammad’s every order.

Muhammad was fond of repeating himself in the Qur'an. The rewards of Paradise, as are the punishments of Hell, are dotted all over the Qur'an. He was probably under the impression that believers required constant reminders of the afterlife he concocted for them. Therefore taking a few examples from the Qur'an we understand that the believers on entering Paradise will be welcomed into gardens teeming with every array of fruits and rivers flowing with various delectable indulgences.

Q3:136 Their reward is gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and excellent is the reward for workers

Q3:198 They shall have gardens beneath which rivers flow; an entertainment from their Lord

Q15:45 The righteous will be amid gardens and fountains of clear flowing water

Q22:23 Allah will make those who believe enter gardens beneath which rivers flow;

Q55:50-51 In them will be two Springs flowing free

Q55:66-67 In them will be two Springs pouring forth water in continuous abundance

As Muhammad portrays the delights of Paradise he does sometimes interject with the horrors of Hell, providing potent comparisons to impress upon the susceptible minds of those willing to give credence to his tales.

Q13:35 A likeness of the garden which the righteous are promised; there now beneath it rivers, its food and shades are perpetual; but the requital of the unbelievers is the fire.

Q47:15 Therein are rivers of water that does not alter, and rivers of milk with a taste that does not change, and rivers of wine delicious to those who drink, and rivers of honey clarified and for them therein are all fruits. Can those be compared to such as shall dwell for ever in the Fire, and be given, to drink boiling water that cuts their bowels asunder?

The rewards of Paradise, like almost everything else in the Qur'an seems directed only to men. The following verses in describing the wonder of the believers’ now continuous supply of water, goes on to state that they will also acquire, as lovers, virgin girls, possessing beautiful, lustrous eyes. Muhammad knew that he needed only to convince the men, for they it was, who controlled the lives of the womenfolk and hence promises made, were directed primarily to their cravings.

Q44:51-54 As to the Righteous they will be among Gardens and Springs and We shall join them to fair women with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes

Q56:11-37 These will be those brought to Allah In Gardens of Bliss... water flowing constantly, and companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes... We made them virgin pure and undefiled, Lovers, equals in age.

Obviously the promises of beautiful, wide eyed, virgin girls are not intended for the female believer as she enters Paradise. The heavenly promises state that the believer will obtain water, fruits, jeweled pavilions and virgin girls and hence needs to be interpreted by scholars to determine where the rewards for women start and where they end.

Promises of bountiful commodities like water or fruits in a hereafter may have had a resounding effect on the minds of desert tribesmen. However such unprovable pledges, if made to inhabitants of rainforests or monsoon stricken lands, would surely not have been that impressive nor would they have been ample criteria worth risking their lives on Jihad in the way of Allah.

Nevertheless promise of wine may have been quite tempting. But how could a substance that Allah had made forbidden here on earth be promised in the hereafter? Simple, Muhammad declared that alcohol in Paradise would not have any intoxicating effects on the residents there. Wine was an extremely precious commodity in the dry deserts of Arabia and hence was acquired via trade caravans from Syria and Africa. In the Qur'an, Muhammad states that the wine in Paradise will not result in 'headaches' or 'madness'. These were obviously effects he thought were not conducive to his mission of spreading Islam through jihad, holy war. Hence in this world he forbade it, but promised unlimited supply in the next, knowing very well the esteemed appreciation which this substance commanded.

Some of the promises of Paradise wine are:

Q47:15 The Garden which the righteous are promised. In it are... rivers of wine delicious to those who drink

Q37:47 Wherein there is no headache nor are they made mad thereby

Q56:18-19 With goblets and ewers and a cup of pure drink; No after-ache will they receive therefrom, nor will they suffer intoxication

Q76:17 And they will be given to drink there of a cup of wine mixed with zanjabil

Q83:25 Their thirst will be slaked with Pure Wine sealed:

Therefore according to the Qur'an the wine of this world is detrimental and thus prohibited. But not so for the wine of the world to come which is a reward for good deeds here. One has to wonder why Allah did not make the alcohol of this world with the same properties as that of his nether world? Maybe the answer as usual with awkward questions is that he did so as a test for us mere mortals.

The image of Paradise that has so far developed, paints a flamboyant picture of men frolicking in delightful gardens and pavilions with beautiful fair maidens. However, Muhammad realized a key ingredient and one essential to a man’s heart, food, should be a vital component. How could one be expected to perform with over seventy virgins on an empty stomach? The deserts of Arabia did not provide the greatest selection of food and fruits; maybe some dates and dried pomegranates. Paradise therefore, had to promise foods that Arabs could only dream about and in quantities that would be worth them switching off your reasoning faculties.

The Qur’an elucidates on the inexhaustible supply and variety of foods available to the one who became a believer of Muhammad’s message.

Q13:35 The Gardens the righteous are promised; its food and shades are perpetual;

Q37:41-43 For them is a known sustenance, fruits in gardens of pleasure

Q43:71 There shall be sent round to them golden bowls and drinking-cups and therein shall be what their souls yearn after.

Q43:73 For you therein is abundance of fruit, from which ye shall have satisfaction.

Q47:15 ...In it are rivers of milk... rivers of honey pure and clear.... In it there are for them all kinds of fruits...

55:52 Wherein is every kind of fruit in pairs.

Q55:54 Reclining on beds, the inner coverings of which are of silk brocade; and the fruits of the two gardens shall be within reach.

Q55:68 In them will be fruits, and dates and pomegranates

Q44:55 There can they call for every kind of fruit in peace and security

Q56:20-22 And with fruits, any that they may select: And the flesh of fowls, any that they may desire. And Companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes

Q56:29 And banana-trees (with fruits), one above another

Q76:13-21And the shades of the Garden will come low over them, and the bunches of fruit will hang low in humility easy to reach.

In Islamic Paradise, all the activities seem to be similar to mundane earthly affairs, just better and grander sans the negative effects. One would therefore expect that after all the feasting taking place there would be the need to relieve oneself. Are there marble toilets, with gold fittings, cushioned green silk seats and diamonds for cleaning up after, as opposed to the three stones Muhammad recommends be used here on earth (Sahih Muslim 2:504)?

Apparently that is not the case for the believers in the hereafter. There will be no toilets. Thankfully the beneficent Allah has mercifully eradicated the need to relief oneself in that splendid abode, thereby eliminating the necessity for sewage systems and waste treatment plants in Paradise. Allah has however, implemented a much improved system in the stratosphere, one he could have done well to set up here on earth also; at least it would have eliminated many diseases and countless deaths. Nonetheless, from a hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim we are informed of the special system for ridding the body of waste.

SM 39:6798 I heard Allah's Apostle as saying that the inmates of Paradise would eat and drink but would neither spit, nor pass water, nor void excrement, nor suffer catarrh. It was said: Then, what would happen with food? Thereupon he said: They would belch and sweat (and it would be over with their food), and their sweat would be that of musk and they would glorify and praise Allah as easily as you breathe.

By sweating and belching, the believers in Paradise will easily relief themselves of the bodily waste they generate. This may not be to farfetched when one considers the amount of sweating that will occur from going from one houri to another or the high occurrence of belching that will be taking place from drinking from those rivers of wine.

Religions by and large stress the need for renunciation of material wealth and contentment with life's basics. Not so Islam. Believers are encouraged to usurp the wealth and properties of the unbelievers which Allah has made legal for them. The jizya extortion tax on those who do not accept Islam enhances the coffers of the Muslims. And the institution of slavery enabled Muslims to live in opulence at the expense and suffering of their captives. Allah legalised the sharing of booty captured from the unbelievers among the believers, twenty percent going to the messenger or Muslim ruler. Of course there are verses in the Qur'an appealing to humble, simple and charitable lifestyles. However the opposite can also quite easily be justified while being a good Muslim. Regardless of their earthly possessions Muhammad was keen on emphasizing the exorbitant way of life for believers in Paradise providing a virtual world with all the worldly trappings they could possibly dream of attaining.

The Qur’an informs the believers of the plush luxuries they will inherit as a result of being faithful to Muhammad’s message. They will live in lavish heavenly splendor rejoicing with their beautiful wives adorned with jewelry of gold and pearls, wearing silks and fine brocade and reclining comfortably on cushions and plush carpets.

Q22:23 Allah will make those who believe enter gardens adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments shall be of silk.

Q43:68-73 Enter the Garden, with your wives, in beauty and rejoicing. To them will be passed round, dishes and goblets of gold….

Q55:70-77 In them will be fair, good, beautiful companions never before touched, reclining on green cushions and rich carpets of beauty.

44:53-54 They attired in silk and silk embroidery, and We will wed them with Houris pure, beautiful ones

Q55:54-55 Reclining on beds, the inner coverings of which are of silk brocade; with them those of modest gaze, whom neither man nor jinn will have touched

Q56:16-36 They will be on thrones encrusted with gold and precious stones reclining on them. We have created their companions and made them virgin - pure and undefiled

Q76:13-21 Reclining in the garden on raised thrones, they will see there neither the sun's excessive heat nor the moon's excessive cold in the shades of the garden. Amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and goblets of crystal. Upon them shall be garments of fine green silk and thick silk interwoven with gold, and they shall be adorned with bracelets of silver

Again these promises are obviously made to men; for within the same breath of pledging the jewelled thrones, fancy dress and ornate jewellery, Muhammad also includes the assurance of beautiful young virgin girls.

Muhammad is also not sure whether the believers will get gold (22:23) or silver (76:21) bracelets. He either forgot the earlier promise when making up the second or as the apologist would say, there will be a variety available to the believers.

The believers of that hot Arabian Desert would surely have been in dire need of shade, especially during those long expeditions and resulting battles to conquer the unbelievers. Hence a promise of lasting shade from the intense equatorial sun would have been a potent catalyst for duping the thirsty, heat stroked Muslim warriors. The Qur'an elucidates as follows:

Q4:57 And (as for) those who believe ...We shall make them enter a dense shade.

Q13:35 The garden which the righteous are promised ... its food and shades are perpetual

Q36:56 They and their wives will be in groves of cool shade, reclining on Thrones of dignity

Q56:29-36 They will be among Lote-trees without thorns ...In shade long-extended ...And on Thrones of Dignity, raised high. We have created their Companions of special creation And made them virgins - pure and undefiled

Q77:41 As to the righteous (believers), they shall be amidst cool shades and springs.

The believers and their companions, the specially created houris, will be reclining on high thrones in extended shade no longer tormented by the intense rays of the sun. Again it is the male believer to whom these promises are addressed. It is not that the believer and her husband will be in shade; it is the believer and his wives, not necessarily his earthly wives but the specially created perpetual virgin wives that will be reclining on the diamond studded thrones, in Muhammad's shadiest of places.

Muhammad was obviously not aware of the vastly divergent climatic regions on earth where for many, the sun would be a luxury and the shade the norm. Had such promises been revealed to peoples subjected to long cold winters with very short days or lengthy rainy seasons, they surely would have fallen on rather deaf ears.

A hadith from Sahih Bukhari tells us of the extensive shade a rider will have as he traverses the lands of paradise. SB54:474 The Prophet said, "There is a tree in Paradise so huge that if a rider travels in its shade for one hundred years, he would not be able to cross it."

Apparently in Paradise, travel will still be via horses with the rider, who normally would roam the baking earthly deserts with no shade in sight, now being fortunate to have shade from a large tree, for a one hundred year journey. Shame though that Paradise does not afford the believers air conditioned cars or airplanes to provide added comfort and reduced travel times.

Had Muhammad lived in today's world we could very easily expect quite a different depiction of Paradise; one which would appeal to a generation now dependant on modern technologies. Most likely Muhammad’s twenty first century Qur'an would have imagery of the heavenly abode as follows:

Q115:1 As for those who believe We shall make them enter paradise, adorned with diamond studded designer watches and into Ferraris, Rolls Royces or Lamborghinis whichever is of their choosing for journey to their private jets.

Q115:2 No heat or cold shall hinder the believers in their climate controlled vehicles.

Q115:3 Until the place of delight is reached. Resplendent skyscrapers one hundred stories high set in botanic gardens.

Q115:4 With each floor bedecked with super high definition home cinema system, all shows on demand wirelessly connected to a Z-Box 480 ultimate four dimensional (4D) gaming system.

Q115:5 They will relish the abundant supply of water, wine, beer and milk available on tap whilst observing the torments of the rejecters of faith, burning in gas chambers, via wireless CCTV.

Q115:6 On every tier of their residence shall reside a wide eyed bashful virgin girl, never before touched, laying on micro spring, memory foam mattresses, dressed in silk embroided with gold ready to please the believer.

Q115:7 Around them shall be youthful boys, beautiful and pure like hidden pearls available to serve their every craving.

Q115:8 Refrigerators filled with fruit and microwaves with meats of every kind. shall be in easy reach of the reclining believers,

Q115:9 Relaxing to the music of their choice on unlimited gigabyte MP3 players, they will receive no adverse effects therefrom.

Q115:10 They are the righteous, supplied with credit cards, limits unlimited, the believers shall nay again be stressed with their wives' spending habits whilst laying with their houris.

Q115:11 And on LED tablets, surfing the paradise web, there shall they order men and women arrayed on Zamzon Marketplace at no charge, with free delivery.

Q115:12 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?


Paradise surely does appear to be the place to be at in the afterlife, at least for men. But how can one be assured of an entry pass? Muhammad tells us in the Qur’an and Hadiths of the qualifications required to gain admission.

One must believe and do good deeds.

Q4:57 And as for those who believe and do good deeds, We will make them enter gardens beneath which rivers flow…

Rejecting Islam, not believing in Allah and his messenger will result in an entry pass to Hell regardless of how many good deeds you have done:

Q4:168-9 Surely those who disbelieve, Allah will not forgive them nor guide them to a path. Except the path of hell, to abide in it forever, and this is easy to Allah.

SB 4:569 Then Allah will say to him: 'I have forbidden Paradise for the disbelievers.'

Those who live by the sword, performing Jihad in the name of Allah to spread Islam among the non-believers will gain easy access to Paradise:

SB 52:73 Allah's Apostle said, "Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords."

SB 52:210 Once Allah's Apostle during a holy battle, waited till the sun had declined and then he got up among the people and said, "O people! Do not wish to face the enemy in a battle and ask Allah to save you from calamities. But if you should face the enemy, then be patient and let it be known to you that Paradise is under the shades of swords." He then said, "O Allah, defeat the infidels and bestow victory upon us."

SAD 14:2514 The Prophet said: When your brethren were killed at the battle of Uhud, Allah put their spirits in green birds which go down to the rivers of Paradise, eat its fruit and nestle in lamps of gold in the shade of the Throne. Then when they experienced the sweetness of their food, drink and rest, they asked: Who will tell our brethren about us that we are alive in Paradise provided with provision, in order that they might not be disinterested in Jihad and recoil in war? Allah Most High said: I shall tell them about you; so Allah sent down the verse (Q3:169): "And think not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead; nay, they are alive and are provided sustenance from their Lord."

The hadith above has Muhammad telling the faithful that those killed in jihad are well taken care of in Paradise, and they wanted to inform those left behind of how good they now have it, to ensure interest in Jihad will not be lost and despising war will not result. So Allah comes to the rescue and sends down a verse to Muhammad who promptly transmits it to his susceptible followers. Now assured of their fellow warriors’ destiny, the faithful are ready to resume battle.

Even the hardened criminal will bask in the glory of paradise once he accepts Allah. SM 1:172 The Prophet observed: There is none who affirmed there is no God but Allah and died in this state and did not enter Paradise. I (Abu Dharr) asked: Even if he committed adultery and theft? He (the Prophet) replied: Yes even though he committed adultery and theft.

More than one Paradise exists with those dying as Martyrs in the way of Allah going to the very best one:

SB 5:318 Haritha was martyred in the battle of Badr. His mother came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! You know how dear Haritha is to me. If he is in Paradise, I shall remain patient, but if it is not so, then you shall see what I do?" Muhammad said, "May Allah be merciful to you! Have you lost your senses? Do you think there is only one Paradise? There are many Paradises and your son is in the most superior Paradise of Al-Firdaus."

Muhammad extols the virtue of martyrdom wishing he could be martyred again and again to encourage his adherents, not too keen on fighting, to do his battles, promising Paradise for those who give up their lives for his mission.

SB 1:35 The Prophet  said, "The person who participates in holy battles in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward or booty if he survives or will be admitted to Paradise if he is killed in the battle as a martyr. Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not leave behind any army unit going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah's cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then again martyred in His cause."

Essentially the criterion that must be met to gain admittance to Islamic Paradise is submission to the message and laws as revealed by Muhammad. A critical component being, fighting the battles of Jihad, holy war in the way of Allah to effect the conquest of the earth for Islam; a component that provides the most direct path to the ultimate Paradise. As women do not have this option for accessing Paradise their fallback option is pleasing their husbands. According to the hadith recorded by Tirmidhi, The Prophet said: If a woman dies while her husband was pleased with her, she will enter Paradise.

Muhammad's absurd promises of a Paradise filled with wine, women and water, devised to appeal to the lusty yearnings of desert tribesmen may sound ludicrous to a rational individual, a person not blinkered by blind faith or inclined to martyrdom pledges. However those falling prey to religious memes, proliferated down through generations, perceive that they can reap societal as well as personal rewards by perpetuating and spreading ideas which without infection would otherwise seem nonsensical.

Muhammad’s imagination did not allow for any awe inspiring concept of enlightenment in the hereafter. No unfolding bliss with some transcendental spiritual awakening for the soul. No special reunion with parents, children, friends, relatives. No stimulating knowledge that would reveal the secrets of the universe unknown to mere mortals. Not even equality for women. It is a picture merely concerned with appealing to the base instincts of men, longing for a supremely opulent version of earthly regal, lustful life.