I admit ignorance of the finer points of Islamic belief and the Koran in particular. As you know, the N.T. contains a gospel that posits, apparently, that civilization has a telos; that is, the Book of Revelations supposedly claims that believers will be taken up to Heaven and evil non-believers will be destroyed. My question is, other than the notion that faithful martyrs will immediately be taken to Paradise and awarded 72 virgins (though Sam Harris points out that this may be a mistranslation for a type of grape or raisin), are there any suras addressing a telos comparable to that of John of Patmos's prediction of an end of days? Thanks for any help.

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My grasp of islam is hazy at best, but I seem to recall some quotes from the hadith which get into the whole "end of days" think.  I may be mistaken.

faithful martyrs will immediately be taken to Paradise and awarded 72 virgins (though Sam Harris points out that this may be a mistranslation for a type of grape or raisin)

Most men would consider 72 grapes to be a shabby substitute for 72 virgins, I believe!

Even if that isn't the case, how heavenly will heaven be on day 73, if the big draw revolves around the concept of virgins? That heaven shit is eternal! How could you even get a decent night's sleep in heaven, when you need to keep one eye open for an attack from a group of your 72 rape victims? Come to think of it, why the hell would any woman want to go to the Islamic version of heaven in the first place?!

Not to mention, why would a guy particularly want virgins?  A lot of guys would prefer a more experienced woman ... And perhaps just one, too. 

Or maybe the guy is gay?

Future, women wouldn't want to go to the Islamic version of heaven if they weren't promised a better lot than men; after all, on earth they enjoy 2nd class citizenship and have basically no rights. If a Muslim man commits an adultery he gets a slap on the wrist; if a woman does it, she is stoned or subjected separation of head from body. Hmm...why would anyone want to be a Muslim in the first place?

So is the Muslim heaven for men, the same as the Muslim hell for women?

So what's the Muslim hell for men?  Is it a heaven for women? 

I always scratch my head when I hear about another suicide bomber, and it's a female. I would love to know what she is expecting from the afterlife.

People have studied failed Islamic suicide bombers in prison.  As I remember, the women have different motivations from the men.  They have been traumatized, for example a rape victim who's now a social outcast - and they are trying to redeem themselves in the eyes of their society and Allah. 

The male suicide bombers aren't generally traumatized, just extreme believers.

Perhaps it really does relate to the appeal of heaven, the women have to be pushed into going to Islamic heaven by something extreme. 

Maybe it's what they do to try and persuade Allah to not make them a rape toy in the afterlife.

That's easy, don't be a virgin ;)

Which is it, grapes or raisins?  I'm not about to convert for a handful of raisins.

I think the hadith says that the ladies' virginity is renewable.  Do they never become experienced or, dare I say it, skilled?

There is the belief in Islam of the Mahdi, who will return (possibly with the prophet Jesus) to usher in peace and tranquility to the world. In the Shi'a sect, the Mahdi has already been born and is in the great occultation, where he ain't sayin' shit to anyone, or communicating with anyone, till he's good and ready. In the Sunni sect, the Mahdi has yet to be born, but will be commin' round the mountain when he comes.  Both Sunni's and Shi'as believe he is/will be a direct descendant of Moe.

This is probably, at best, a very rough sketch of the Islamic version of this whole belief in the return of a savior theme which seems to permeate Abrahamic religions. Now, as to whether this will accompany death, destruction, misery, lamentations, and ingrown toenails like the christers fantasize, I have no clue. 

I do know that Major-General Charles George Gordon of the British Empire, who was killed in Khartoum in the Sudan, was done in by an army led by a self-proclaimed Mahdi, named Muhammad Ahmad. 6 months after Gordon was killed, Ahmad died of typhus, so I guess being the Mahdi didn't work out all that well for him, anyway.




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