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The New Arab

Azhar scholar: Single ladies get 'male companions' in heaven

Islamic traditions concerning the afterlife often appear to prioritise rewards awaiting men [AFP]

Date of publication: 1 December, 2016

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Single ladies who abide by Islamic laws will be rewarded with male companions in the afterlife, according to one former deputy imam of Sunni Islam's premier school of learning
Concerns over how to behave in a moral, and righteous way in everyday life to ensure eternal reward, and avoid punishment in the next life, orientate the behaviour and actions of believers of many religions the world over.

But sometimes a little extra clarification is needed to assuage doubts, especially for those worried that they could fall through cracks in the system.

This has been the approach of one former deputy imam from Egypt's al-Azhar.

Speaking this week, Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour has sought to re-assure unmarried women, sometimes referred to as spinsters, that providing they live their lives in accordance with the principles of Islam, they will be greeted by male companions in the afterlife.

In a video clip broadcast through al-Azhar, regarded by many as Sunni Islam’s most prestigious institution, Ashour states that unmarried women will be granted male companions in the afterlife providing that they live their lives without “deviating” from God’s “straight path.”

Popular traditions relating to Islamic conceptions of paradise are sometimes criticised for being male-centric, focused on the allure of virgins awaiting men granted access.

Ashour’s comments, at least, go some way to re-assuring all the single ladies that they will not be left out. 

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