Lost in translation? Islamic scholar claims ‘promises of 72 virgins’ are actually ‘promises of raisins’

Virgins raisins
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Religious texts have been grossly misused and misinterpreted by evil minded people to carry out their evil agenda. It’s always the innocent people who become victim of their nefarious manipulations. Terrorist organizations have been luring Muslim youths for their nefarious agendas by saying that they will be rewarded with 72 virgins in heaven if they carry out terrorist attack against the infidels. Many people have fallen for this trap believing that they will get a better afterlife. They provide the backing of Quran to support their claims. But, now a growing number of Quran scholars and Islamic theologians have contested this claim.

Famous Canadian author and Quran scholar Irshad Manji in the CNN special show “Why They Hate Us” in 2016 said that the word “virgin” in the Quran means “raisin.” According to a Global Nation report, Irshad Manji said, “Nowhere in the Quran does it promise 72 virgins, 70 virgins, 48 virgins. … The Arabic word for ‘virgin’ has been mistranslated. The original [word] that was used in the Quran was the word for raisin, not virgin. In other words, that martyrs would get raisins in heaven, not virgins.”

On similar lines, Nicholas Kristof who is New York Times columnist said, “the Arabic language was born as a written language with the Koran, and there’s growing evidence that many of the words were Syriac or Aramaic.” He further added, “The Koran says martyrs going to heaven will get ‘hur,’ and the word was taken by early commentators to mean ‘virgins,’ hence those 72 consorts. But in Aramaic, ‘hur’ meant ‘white’ and was commonly used to mean ‘white grapes.”

According to Global Nation, a scholar who started such research also agreed with Nicholas Kristof. He said that grapes made more sense in the context because the Quran compares them to crystal and pearls and that paradise is described as aboundant with fruit especially white grapes.
Nicholas Kristof further said, “But Muslim fundamentalists regard the Koran—every word of it—as God’s own language, and they have violently attacked freethinking scholars as heretics. So Muslim intellectuals have been intimidated, and Islam has often been transmitted by narrow-minded extremists.” 

If this is true then it is really shocking. It means that so many people blew themselves for mere 72 raisins and few white grapes. Truth hurts being but deceived hurts even more. If the claims of scholars are right then the truth is that all those suicide bombers and other bombers who died in hope of getting 72 virgins in exchange of their lives, they are only going to get 72 raisins. This is actually really sad and shocking.

In order to stop the misuse of religious texts by misinterpreting, such research needs to be encouraged more and more. Religious texts needs to be properly studied and researched and should be re-written in the language understandable to the common public. Then they will stop relying on some self styled and self declared religion expert in order to interpret it for him/her and understand it.

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