Where do the 72 Virgins come from?Muslims are motivated to terrorism because the Koran, the Bible of Islam, tells them that fighting non-believers is a duty of every Muslim and the only way to be certain of going to heaven is to die fighting in the cause of allah.If they can make it to heaven, one of the rewards all Muslims are promised is 72 virgins. The number of virgins is not specified in Koran, it comes from a quotation of Muhammad recorded in one of the lesser known Hadith. (“Hadith” is an Arabic word meaning traditions. After Muhammad’s death, several collections of his deeds and sayings were assembled. These collections are called Hadith and form the second most authoritative document is Islam, right after the Koran.)According to this page, the specific Hadith in which the number of virgins is specified is Hadith Al-Tirmidhi in the Book of Sunah (volume IV, chapters on The Features of Paradise as described by the Messenger of Allah, chapter 21, About the Smallest Reward for the People of Paradise. The same hadith is also quoted by Ibn Kathir in his Koranic commentary (Tafsir) of Surah Al-Rahman:
|Â Â Â Where do Islam’s 72 Virgins come from?
“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-Jabiyah [a Damascus suburb] to Sana’a [Yemen].”
So it isn’t the case that only martyrs get the virgins, but the only way to get the virgins is to get to heaven, and Koran is quite specific that the only way to be certain of getting to heaven is to die in Jihad.