Expect 72 ‘Dark-Eyed Maidens’
As part of its promotion of suicide terrorism, the Palestinian Authority (P A) has repeatedly taught its population the Islamic tradition that the Shahid (martyr) who dies for Allah will receive numerous heavenly rewards, including the seventy-two (or seventy, according to other sources) Dark-Eyed Maidens (or Virgins) of Paradise.
These teachings, which come in televised religious sermons as well as in a music video broadcast hundreds of times on PA TV during the last three years, show a Shahid arriving in Paradise, being greeted by the Maidens.
There is even evidence that Palestinian men have seen this goal of marrying the seventy maidens as reason to aspire death as a Shahid. In a TV broadcast, a Palestinian mother of a man named Abdallah who died in clashes with Israel, explains her personal acceptance of her son’s death as a Shahid because it was his wish to marry the Dark-Eyed Maidens of Paradise rather than an earthly woman.
One of the early sources for this Islamic tradition of the Seventy Maidens, according to the official PA daily, Al Hayat Al Jadida, is cited in a recent article on literary analysis of Muhammad’s language. A Hadith (prophetic tradition) describes the rewards of the “Prophets, the Righteous and the Shahids”:
He said [Muhammad said in the Hadith explaining the words of the Qur’an promising “comfortable dwellings in the Garden of Eden”]: [There is] a palace of pearls in the Garden of Eden and in it seventy courts of ruby. . . . And in each court [there are] seventy houses of green emerald stone. In every house, seventy beds. On every bed, seventy mattresses of every color and on every mattress a woman.
The style of the Prophet . . . in this Hadith . . . is intended to fill Muslims with desire for the Garden of Eden…to be worthy of it, because . . . only three dwell there: Prophets, Righteous and Shahids [martyrs, those who died for Allah].
1. Mother: My son aspired to Shahada in order to marry the Maidens of Paradise.
Mother of Abdallah on PA TV: He would always dream of Shahada, it was his first and last goal in life. . . . I told him: “Dear, we all want to be Shahids.” He said: “In this entire world I can’t think of anyone to marry…. I want to marry the Dark-Eyed [Virgins or Maidens of Paradise].” I said: “If these are his thoughts I wish for him Shahada.”
2. Music video depicting Shahid greeted by Maidens.
This music video, depicting a Shahid joining beautiful maidens in heaven, has been broadcast hundreds of times over the past three years on PA TV. The clip begins with scenes depicting a romance that is cut short when soldiers shoot a woman in the back. The woman goes immediately to heaven, where she joyously joins other young women all dressed in identical long white gowns— the “Maidens of Paradise.”
The maidens are dancing in water, a clear depiction of the Islamic tradition of the Afterlife, which the Qur’an repeatedly says has “flowing streams.” Later in the video, the man visits the woman’s grave and the soldiers shoot him in the back as well. At the moment he falls to the ground, he immediately goes up to heaven and joins the “Maidens.”
3. Promise of “Seventy-two Dark-Eyed Virgins” as taught on PA TV by PA religious leader Dr. Ismail al-Radouan:
When the Shahid meets his Maker, all his sins are forgiven from the first gush of blood. He is exempted from the torments of the grave [Judgment]; he sees his place in Paradise; he is shielded from the great shock and marries Seventy-two Dark-Eyed [the Virgins, or Maidens of Paradise]. He is an heavenly advocate for seventy members of his family; on his head is placed a crown of honor, one stone of which is worth more than all there is in this world.
As the Palestinian Media Watch has reported previously, the PA leaders and media have repeatedly encouraged young Palestinians to seek Shahada, Death for Allah, using a variety of persuasive tactics. In sermons, discussion, and music videos still broadcast on PA TV, young people are indoctrinated to pursue martyrdom for its “sweetness” and the rewards it brings. This latest example is another reinforcement of the repeated message: romantic and utopic portrayals of the heavenly rewards of martyrdom.
It should be stressed that this bulletin is not meant to be a critique of the Islamic religion or traditions, but merely an indication of how the PA uses the traditions to promote its war against Israel. It does so by reinforcing the lesson for Palestinian youths that death is not to be feared; rather, they should actively seek Shahada as a duty and for its many rewards.
The Palestinian Media Watch provides updates on the PA through analysis of Palestinian Arabic-language media.