Islamic Scholar Irshad Manji has claimed that the notion of getting 72 virgins after attaining ‘Martyrdom’ is flawed. She claims that the belief that the Quran promises 72 virgins after death is not true. She says that ‘raisins’ have been misrepresented for ‘virgins.’ Speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Manji cleared the air on the popular myth.
“Nowhere in the Quran does it promise 72 virgins, 70 virgins, 48 virgins. What it promises, as far as heaven goes, is something lush.” Manji told Zakaria that the Arabic word used for virgin in the Quran had been mistranslated. The original word used in the Quran was for ‘raisin,’ not ‘virgin.’ Martyrs would get raisins after death.
Manji who made this claim during a CNN special titled, “Why They Hate Us,” cited the examples of many Islamic scholars who had done enough research & concluded that the word was ‘raisin.’ Many other radio hosts & TV personalities have claimed to have delved into the meaning of the word.
Rush Limbaugh, an American radio host referred to Manji’s comments saying that he had done a lot of research on the word before giving his opinion. “I found out that this is an on-going controversy within Islam, the definition of the word that has been translated as virgins by militant Islamists.”
The conservative radio host said that the debate remains unsettled, but there was one interpretation which means ‘raisins.’ Another radio host made a sarcastic comment. “They’ve got bad news for Jihadists,” he said, making a witty remark after repeatedly playing Zakaria & Manji’s comments. The idea about raisin being the ‘word’ is not something new.
The Guardian in 2002 noted that author Christoph Luxenburg’s book “The Syro-Aramaic reading of the Quran propounded that “many obscurities of the Koran disappear if we read certain words as being Syriac and not Arabic.” Luxenburg concluded that white raisins or crystal clarity were the real potential meanings.
This article may be bashed by fanatics. But, it’s always good to do some research before spreading the word. Relish the raisins!