Ar: haura, pl. hur

the virgins in Paradise to serve the faithful (men). They are described to be extremely beautiful.

About the Gardens of PARADISE it is said:

In them will be fair (Maidens), good, beautiful;-
... Maidens restrained (as to their glances), in (goodly) pavilions;-
... Whom no man or Jinn before them has touched;-
Sura 55:70,72,74

According to Ibn Kathir (died 1373 CE ) in his Koranic commentary (Tafsir) of Surah Al-Rahman (55), verse 72:

"The Prophet Muhammad was heard saying: ‘The smallest reward for the people of paradise is an abode where there are 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine, and ruby, as wide as the distance from Al-Jabiyyah [a Damascus suburb] to Sana'a [Yemen]’."

For a detailed treatment, see the section The Muhammadan Paradise with its Huris in Tisdall's The Original Sources of the Qur'an.

Some Muslims have recently argued that the Qur'an did not say explicitly that they are female, prefering instead to think of them as youths. A Muslim, on the other hand, stated on an internet discussion forum:

"How much more evidence is needed than that the adjectives and pronouns that refer to them are always feminine? And which Companion's exegesis, male or female, or which hadith of the Prophet Peace be upon him allows us to think otherwise? I am afraid that when one makes such evidence inconclusive, then they might make other evidence of the nature of the life of the hereafter inconclusive also, as the Mu`tazila did with otherworldly pleasures and punishments, the Bridge, the Pond etc." (Fouadd Haddad)
ad-Dukhan 44:54; at-Tur 52:20; ar-Rahman 55:72; al-Waqi`ah 56:22

Since the publication of Christoph Luxenberg's controversial book on a Syriac background of many Quranic texts, the scholars are debating whether those houris may actually be refreshing white grapes instead of virgins provided for sexual pleasures. For details see the articles linked on this page.

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