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abundantly. In each of them are fruits and palms and pomegranates. In them are (maidens) good, beauteous, Houries enclosed in pavilions, whom neither man nor demon hath approached before them. (The Just) recline on green pillows and beautiful carpets. Blessed be the name of thy Lord, possessed of glory and honour."

Again in Surah lvi., vv. 11[8] sqq., we are given a similar account of the future joys reserved for "the Companions1 of the Right Hand" on the day of the Resurrection, to which is added some description of the woes which "the

Joys of the

Companions2 of the Left Hand" shall suffer. Of the former class it is said: "These are those who are brought nigh, in gardens of delight . . . Upon bejewelled couches; reclining upon them, facing one another. Upon them wait immortal youths, with goblets and beakers and a cup from a spring3 (of wine). They do not suffer headache from it, nor do they become

‫أَصْحَابُ الْيَمِينِ or أَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ
that is, "the righteous."
‫أَصْحَابُ الشِّمَالِ or أَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ
that is, "the condemned."
3 The context shows that wine is meant. "Rivers of wine" are mentioned in Surah xlvii. 16[15]. Mystics endeavour to explain away the sensuality of these descriptions, as the commentator Muhiyyu'd Din, in loco, who says:
بأَكْوَابٍ وَأَبَارِبقَ ـ من خمور الارادة والمعرفة والمحبّة والعشق والذَّوق ومياة الحكم والعلوم الخ‫.

exhausted (intoxicated). And with fruit of whatever kind they choose, and bird's flesh of whatever sort they desire. And there are large-eyed Houries like hidden pearls: a recompense for what they used to do. They do not hear in it any vain discourse, nor any charge of crime: only the word Peace, Peace (or Salutation1). And the Companions of the Right Hand, what of the Companions of the Right Hand? In a thornless Lotus-tree,2 and a flower-bedecked Acacia, and widespread shade, and streaming water, and with abundant fruit not cut off and not forbidden, and in raised couches.3 Verily We4 have produced these damsels5 by a (peculiar) creation. Therefore We made them virgins, beloved, of equal age,6 for the Companions of the Right Hand."7 In vivid contrast with this scene of pleasure is the description of the tortures

1 Salam. In Arabic this practically never means "peace," but has become merely a word of greeting. It may be well to notice this fact in this and similar passages.
2 A lotus-tree is said to stand on the right hand of GOD'S throne in the seventh heaven. It is mentioned as
سِدْرَةُ المُنْتَهَى , "the impassable lotus-tree," in Surah liii., vv. 14 and 16, and it is said that no creature can pass it to approach the Throne. Muhammad saw Gabriel standing beneath it on the night of the Mi'raj.
3 Hoc vocabulum per metaphoram uxores etiam significat.
4 That is, GOD.
5 Lit. them (em.)
6 With their husbands.
7 Other passages of the same nature are to be found in Surahs xlvii., xiii., iv., lxxxiii., &c.

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