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Heavenly Virgins (حورالعین)-bookcover

By: Ayoub I. Ayoub

Heavenly Virgins (حورالعین)

Pages: 90 Ratings: 5.0
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This is a short fictional story of a Muslim woman, Fatima, who extremely suffers from her husband and family on Earth due to cultural gender biases and then sadly dies young in an accident and goes to Heaven, being a devoted Muslim.

In Heaven, she meets her old friend and schoolmate Layla and they both refuse to play the role of the devoted wife once again, as in the case of Fatima, or indulge in being virgins at the service of others, as in the case of Layla.

Once settled, a debate follows with the angels, asking for more women's rights, including free access to all the levels in Heaven. After a dialogue with angels and a lot of devotion and meditation, they proceed to experience what was meant for men only, extending their aspiration all the way up from one level to the other, straight to the top!

The author is a Civil and Structural Engineer and a Doctor of Philosophy. He is the founder and ex-president of the Society of Energy Conservation and Sustainable Environment (2004–2016). He is also the head of an engineering chartered consultant office for Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency since 1980.

Latest Books Published:

  • Renewable Energy in Our Lives (Arabic)
  • Nuclear Energy After Fukushima (Arabic)
  • Climate Change Armageddon (Arabic)
  • Green Buildings (Arabic)
  • Wars of the Franks: Non-Crusades (Arabic      and translated into English)
  • Philosophy Manual: A South-South      Perspective, UNESCO,      2014, co-author, and on Scientific Committee (English)
  • Unveiling Nuclear Energy (Arabic)
  • Energy, Humans and the Environment (Arabic)
  • The Political and Economic Challenges      of Energy in the Middle East and North Africa, edited      by David      Ramin Jalilvand, Kirsten      Westphal © 2018 – Routledge (Co-author of Chapter 13), in      English.


  • 1992: The      Jordanian State’s Award for the Best Scientific Book Published in      Jordan, cordially presented personally by the late King Hussein Himself.
  • 2010: The      Green Apple Award, the Golden Prize Winner for the Built Environment in      the Middle East, June 2010.
  • 2011: Green      Hero Status, awarded at the British Parliament on November 2010 by the      Green Organization.
  • 2015: Arab      Cities Organization, the Environmental Advocate Prize, Qatar.
  • 2016: Best Scientific      Book Award from Philadelphia University, Jordan.
Customer Reviews
4 reviews
4 reviews
  • Stewart Plumb

    It is an unusual story of an experience in Heaven that restores pride and freedom to two women who sufferd on Earth of mal treatment in a Moslim society. The aspiration of both Fatima and Layla was to live together rather than be at the service of other men and after settling down they aspired for a better rank or hierarchy at the different levels of Heaven. They eventually succeed to upgrade to the levels of the elite and became closer and closer the residence of the Divine. You have to read this short story to get to its finale.

  • Abu Dayyeh A

    According to the Muslim faith, Muslims are rewarded in the afterlife with eternal life in Paradise in compensation for their faith, devotion and good deeds in the service of the community. The Qur’an provides vivid descriptions of Paradise, where rivers of milk, honey, and wine flow for the delectation of the faithful. Reference is also made to a host of heavenly virgins who attend to the pleasures of the virtuous. Yet, hardly anything is said about the rewards that await devout Muslim women. This novel is the first book that addresses the multiplicity of questions regarding the rewards of devout Muslim women, by imagining the experience of two women, childhood friends who meet up in the afterlife and explore the Paradise together. The first part of the novel describes Paradise in its boundlessness, and the process of entering it, with multitudes milling about trying to come to grips with their new abode. Fatima was confused and asked an angel for guidance, only to receive the answer that she was free to do whatever she pleases. Fatima was confused because she had never been allowed the freedom to choose anything, and she did not know what would please her, having had very little experience of pleasure in her life on earth. There was hardly anyone whom she remembered from her life on earth with whom she wished to be reunited, and the prospect of an eternity in solitude seemed hardly appealing.

    Eventually, she asked to be reunited with her childhood friend Layla who had had an equally miserable life on earth. The two women enjoyed the myriad pleasures which Paradise offered, but then Layla began to grow restless. Despite Fatima’s protests that such thoughts may be ungrateful and hence sinful, Layla engaged the angel in a discussion on whether ambition is sinful and whether contentment does not limit happiness which, in paradise, should be boundless. For the rest, both women were totally immersed in sincere worshipping, deep meditation, and persistent prayers. But Layla’s questions stirred a controversy in Paradise among the more intellectually-inclined of its dwellers, having opened the prospect of ambition and upward mobility. Tension continued between Fatima who was contented to be in Paradise and Layla who always aspired for more. In due course, thanks to their ardent devotion and prayers, the two women ascended the levels of Heaven, one by one, and they remarked that as they rose in Paradise, there were fewer and fewer women present. Layla’s probing mind questioned whether non-monotheistic great thinkers would be admitted to Paradise, and to which levels in it. Finally, the two women reached the level of the Prophets, where Layla started to question whether the founders of creeds that were based on philosophy and ethics rather than revelation were present. Fatima accepted this line of thought because she was convinced that it would vindicate her outlook to let herself be led by faith rather than logic. As before, Fatima was awed to be present amid the prophets, while Layla’s inquisitiveness produced many more questions; but at this level, Layla’s questions and her ambition began to frighten her to the point where she sometimes concealed them from Fatima. Beyond the level of the prophets there remained only one level: The Divine presence. Is it not sinful even to dream of being elevated to such sublimity, and for a woman at that? Even without discussing it, Fatima was aware of what Layla was thinking, and she sought to keep her mind blank to such thoughts, lest she is sinful by association. These are some of the questions tackled by the novel. Others will undoubtedly unfold to the readers, depending on their mindset and outlook. The story is very short but thought-provoking. What it lacks in length or style of writing, it makes up for in profundity. A highly recommended read.

  • Ahlam

    It is an unusual story of an experience in Heaven that restores pride, dignity, and freedom to two women who suffered on Earth of maltreatment in a Muslim society. The aspiration of both Fatima and Layla was to live together, being friends from young age, rather than be at the service of other men.
    After settling down in Heaven they aspired for a better rank or a higher hierarchy at the different levels of Heaven. They eventually succeed to upgrade their social status to the levels of the elite and became closer and closer to the residence of the Divine. You have to read this short story to get to its finale.

  • Eman Aamar

    What a wild, yet balanced imagination. This short story takes you to extraordinary levels, and incites you to share real life questions and situations beyond expectation. It is thrilling to read, genious, innovative and philosophical that satisfies all tastes.

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