An astonishment a day- 
drives your depression away...

A Muslim paradise.

Most religions take the notion of life after death for granted, it is also the place to be rewarded or punished according to ones actions on earth. The most precise descrioption of paradise can be found in writing of Muslim sages and Muslim Holy Books. Earlier Muslim sages wrote that in paradise, baked chickens the size of small camels fall at the feet of believers. Also readily available are fish liver, as well as cooked, salted camel meat. 

More precisly meals are presented by the medieval sage Al-Haythami. He calculated that in each castle in heaven, which any saved individual believer deserves, there are seventy tables, and on each table there are always seventy dishes. Altogether this amounts to 4 900 dishes for each meal. The Koran describes paradise as a garden surrounded by walls, full of trees and fountains. Some of the gardens have a fountain every 50 metres. In this garden there are many animals all living in harmony, and the tigers, just in case, don't have any claws. For the greater enjoyment of the beautiful trees, there are paths in their crowns, so that one can take walks along their flowering branches. However, the pleasures of paradise are not only limited to food and walks along trees - there are also girls, beautiful virgins. The Koran promises that the inhabitants of paradise are mainly occupied with deflowering the girls of paradise. With his vast amount of knowledge in this area - Al-Hyathami describes the situation in the following way : "Every castle in paradise is made of pearls, and consists of seventy dwellings, each of which contains seventy houses made of green emerald. In each house there are seventy bedrooms, and in each bedroom there are seventy mats and on each mat - a woman". Altogether this amounts to the unfathomable number of 24 010 000 houris. And as each believer has his own castle, this adds up to over 24 million virgins for each man. 

This can only seem attractive to the very young, or very unexperienced. To those of us with a bit more life experience, this is a paralyzing scenario. But it is exactly the young and inexperienced that are willing to go to paradise in the company of the non-believers that will be sent straight to hell.

Some people, that were in a position to do so, tried to become accustomed to what awaited them in paradise by organising harem. This was done in various ways, the French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres shows one version : 

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres; The Turkish Bath, (1863) (fragment)



(C) (selected from publications of 
 R. Antoszewski

Titirangi, Auckland, 
New Zeland

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April 2003