Authenticity of 72 Virgins Hadith
Whilst there are many references to be found in the Qur'an and other Islamic scriptures referring to the general concept of virgins in heaven, many people are under the misconception that there is only one weak reference to the specific number of 72 virgins. These narrations are in fact found in many hadith collections with varying levels of authenticity.
72 Virgins Hadith Narrations
Shaykh Gibril Haddad is a hadith expert (muhaddith), recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the Shari’ah. In 2009, he was listed amongst the inaugural "500 most influential Muslims in the world," and was referred to as "one of the clearest voices of traditional Islam in the West". The following borrows mainly from a 2005 fatwa issued by him.
Reported in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Sunan al-Tirmidhi
This is a “fair, sound, single-chained hadith (hasan sahih gharib).”
Reported in Ibn Majah, Ibn `Adi in the Kamil, and al-Bayhaqi in al-Ba`th wal-Nushur
Al-Suyuti marked its chain as “fair” (hasan) in al-Jami` al-Saghir (7989).
Reported in Sifat al-Janna, al-`Uqayli in the Du`afa’, and Musnad of Abu Bakr al-Bazzar
Reported in Sunan al-Kubra and Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal
“The servant in Paradise shall be married with seventy wives.” Someone said, “Messenger of Allah, can he bear it?” He said: “He will be given strength for a hundred.”From Zayd ibn Arqam, Allah be well-pleased with him, when an incredulous Jew or Christian asked the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, “Are you claiming that a man will eat and drink in Paradise??” He replied: “Yes, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, and each of them will be given the strength of a hundred men in his eating, drinking, coitus, and pleasure.”
Ibn Abi Shayba, Ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim declared it sahih (authentic).
Reported in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Reported by Abu al-Shaykh in al-`Azama and al-Bayhaqi in al-Ba`th wal-Nushur
Reported in Ma`rifat al-Sahaba and Tarikh Dimashq
Reported in al-Saghir and al-Awsat, Sifat al-Janna, and al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad
Abu Dya’ al-Maqdisi declared it sahih according to Ibn al-Qayyim in Hadi al-Arwah and Ibn Kathir in al-Fitan wal-Malahim. Khaldun al-Ahdab considered it sahih (authentic) in Zawa’id Tarikh Baghdad (section 100).
Ibn `Abbas narrated something similar. Abu Ya`la in his Musnad with a good chain of narrators (meanking the hadith is Hasan) as indicated by al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa’id.
Other Related Hadith
Shaykh Gibril Haddad quoted the above hadith to suggest that this is referring to all the wives a male Muslim martyr will have in heaven.
Fatwa’s on the Authenticity of the Hadith
Shaykh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid's Islam Q&A website quoted a hadith about the 72 virgins grading it as Hassan (good), it states:
“The martyr (shaheed) has seven blessings from Allaah: he is forgiven from the moment his blood is first shed; he will be shown his place in Paradise; he will be spared the trial of the grave; and he will be secure on the Day of the Greatest Terror (the Day of Judgement); there will be placed on his head a crown of dignity, one ruby of which is better than this world and all that is in it; he will be married to seventy-two of al-hoor al-‘iyn; and he will be permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives.”
According to another report, the martyr has six blessings from Allaah. According to other reports (the number is) six, or nine, or ten.(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who said it is a hasan hadeeth. Also narrated by Ibn Maajah in al-Sunan, by Ahmad, by ‘Abd al-Razzaaq in al-Musannaf, by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, and by Sa’eed ibn Mansoor in al-Sunan).
Shaykh Waleed al-Firyaan, Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 8511
Shaykh Gibril Haddad at SunniPath, an online Islamic Academy, mentions this hadith saying:
Shaykh Gibril Haddad, SunniPath.com, Question ID:4828
Mufti Ebrahim Desai's website AskImam mentioned many different sahih (authentic) and hasan (good) versions of the hadith, they said:
1. Sayyiduna Miqdaad ibn Ma?adikarib (Radhiallaahu Anhu) recorded by Imaam Tirmidhi in his Sunan (Hadith1663). Imam Tirmidhi has classified this Hadith as Sahih (authentic).
2. Sayyiduna Ubaadah ibn Thaabit (Radhiallaahu Anhu) recorded by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad (Hadith17117), Imaam Bazzaar in his Musnad and Imaam Tabrani in his al-Majmual Kabir. (Majma-uz-zawaaid vol.5 pg.293). Hafiz Munzhiri (ra) has classified the chain of narrators of Musnad Ahmad as Hasan (sound) . (al-Targheeb vol.2 pg.320). And Haafiz al-Haythami (ra) has mentioned that the narrators of Musnad Ahmad and Tabrani are all reliable.
and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best
Moulana Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon AbbassommarFACULTY OF SPECIALTY IN HADITH
Mufti Ebrahim Desai, Ask-Imam, Question No. 7007, October 29, 2002
This article has shown us at least 3 things
- That Islam teaches that the martyrs who die in Jihad get 72 wives (virgins)
- That two of them are “from the wide-eyed maidens of Paradise and seventy of them his inheritance from the People of Hellfire”
- That these hadith are considered authentic by many Muslim scholars
- Virgins - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Virgins
- Edited by Prof. John Esposito and Prof. Ibrahim Kalin - The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World (P. 94) - The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, 2009
- The Refutation of him who attributes direction to Allah - Kitaabun, accessed May 6, 2011
- Shaykh Gibril Haddad - How Many Wives Will The Believers Have In Paradise? - SunniPath, Question ID:4828, July 3, 2005