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So; and We shall join them to fair women with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes.

Thus it is renders kadhālika, which can mean, “This is how it is” (Q, Ṭ),
and which is understood by some as an expression of wonder and
incomparability, as if to say that the like of this is beyond description (Aj).
Kadhālika can also be understood to mean “similarly” or “likewise” (Q, R, Ṭ,
Z). In this context it would then mean, “Just as we made them enter the Garden
and did to them what was mentioned previously, likewise We have honored them
by wedding them to wide-eyed maidens” (Q).
Wide-eyed maidens translates ḥūr ʿīn (see also 52:20; 56:22), which literally
means someone with eyes whose whites are extremely white and whose pupils
are extremely black (Āl, Q, R). Others say that it indicates “the appearance of
little white in the eye around the black,” which was considered the height of
beauty for the eye (Iṣ). It also conveys the notion of purity; thus Ḥasan al-Baṣrī
is reported to have said that ḥūr ʿīn means the righteous women among human
beings (Ṭ). In the commentary on 52:20, al-Rāzī observes that inasmuch as the
eye reflects the soul more clearly than any other part of the body, the use of
“eye” (ʿīn) in this phrase may be understood to mean “rich of soul.” A minority
say that wide-eyed maidens refers to the state of the women of this world in
Paradise (Āl, R). But most commentators agree that the wide-eyed maidens are
not the women of this world (Āl, R). According to various aḥādīth they are
maidens made from musk, camphor, and saffron (Āl). Another ḥadīth says, “The
creation of the wide-eyed maidens is from glorifications made by angels” (Āl).
Nonetheless, the pious women of this world are thought to be of a higher station
(Aj). For additional references to the maidens who await the righteous in
Paradise, see 38:52; 55:56; 78:33.


Nasr, Hossein (2015). Study Quran.

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