The Concubine Heart
by Emily W
How can you deny Allah and you were without life and He gave you life? Again. He will cause you to die and again bring you to life, then you shall be brought back to Him.
All around Susan there were people. It was a great mass of bodies being pressed against one another. She looked around at the river of people that she was a part of. She saw the faces of several women. On her left were women as well as on on her right. She saw one woman in a business suit, another in a house dress. They represented a variety of backgrounds and professions.
Gradually the movement of the mass of women came to a halt and once this happened Susan was able to take a closer look at her surroundings. She, and all the women around her, were gathered in an elongated hallway. It had a white floor and ceiling and walls. Along the left wall there was a dark brown wood lattice. Through it she could see that there was a similar (although empty hallway) right next to them. On the opposite wall of that hallway there was another lattice revealing another hallway that also seemed to be full of women.
In front of them were brown wood doors that were closed. Some of the women at the very front of the group appeared to be trying to open them but apparently to no avail. Susan took another look at the women immediately around her. There was a girl that looked to be of college age with dark brown curly hair. There was a blonde woman in a police uniform. Susan herself was in a sweater and jeans. She worked part time at a grocery store while her husband had an entry level position at a bank. She wondered where was. As a matter of fact she was having trouble figuring out where she was.
Susan tried to look behind her to see where they had all come from but for some reason she could not manage to get a good look. She turned her head one way and then another but could not manage it. Frustrated she turned her attention to the doors in front of them. The women who were trying to open them were talking anxiously with each other. In fact, as crowded as the hall was it was almost deafening with the sound of the various women talking with each other. Each one trying to figure out what they were doing here.
Susan focused her thoughts on her memories. They felt a little like a blur. She remembered finishing her shift at the grocery store. She had walked out to her car and began the drive home. The light had turned green and she had driven forward and then….nothing. Nothing until this place.
The roaring chatter of the women began to lessen and very quickly the sounds of voices diminished until all was silent. Susan was not sure why at first but then she followed the gaze of several of the women and looked through the lattice. The women in the hallway two spaces over had also stopped speaking and were looking back. Actually, they were not looking back at the women in Susan’s space. They were looking at the sight unfolding in the previously empty hallway in between them.
A group of women, women in veils, was walking forward. Unlike the women in the hallways that flanked them this group was mostly silently except for a few whispers. This group was smaller too. Whereas The group in Susan’s hallway was a mass of what was at least a hundred, this new group was only about two dozen strong. They were dressed in a variety of outfits. There were a couple wearing the bright blue burka that Susan had seen in pictures from Afghanistan. There were several women who wore all black with a narrow slit for their eyes. There were a couple of other clothing styles.
This new group kept close to each other and only offered timid glances at the women on either side of them. What seemed like an eternity but was surely just a few seconds passed.
Then another veiled figure appeared. She wore a burqa only it was bright green. She did not come from the double doors in front of the veiled women, but from a side door next to them. She approached the small veiled group who despite mostly being covered nevertheless managed to look apprehensive.
“Peace be upon you! Well have you done! Enter here, to dwell therein.”
The double doors before the woman slowly creaked open with a sliver of bright golden light coming from the crack. Susan quickly looked to the double doors in front of her to see if they were opening. They made no movement, no light came from them. She looked back to the doors in the next hallway. They were about halfway open now. The bright golden light produced a glare Susan could not see past.
Perhaps because of the angle the veiled women were at they were not receiving such a harsh glare because they seemed able to see what was beyond the doors. Their voices picked up and they talked excitedly with each other and as the doors were finally opened all the way they moved forward. The veiled woman who had come out to greet them remained still as they passed by her. Once the last one was through the doorway the veiled woman turned to watch them walking away and gradually the doors came to a close.
There was a pause, pregnant with implication. The women in the two neighboring hallways waited with great anxiety.
The veiled woman stood there. Not a single part of her body was visible, she was like a green ghost…
“Please proceed forward. I promise that all will be explained to you in time.”
With those words the double doors in Susan’s hallway as well as the opposite hallway opened. The silence was broken as the women started talking quickly. Some of them were trying to make sense of the situation, others simply trying to make contact with their neighbor. The mass of women started moving forward. There did not appear to be any bright light from these doors. They simply opened to reveal what looked like a room of similar appearance to their hallway. Still the women pressed on.
As Susan passed the threshold of the doorway she saw that the room took a right turn and already the women at the front were heading that way. Susan kept up the pace and soon she was turning rightwards. She saw that they were in a larger room and the mass began to dissipate as women took advantage of the space that had opened up to get some elbow room. Susan saw that up ahead the room made another right turn and hurried up to see where it led.
She joined several women who were already standing there, staring at a dead end. There was a loud slamming sound. The doors! Susan turned around rushed back the way she came. About a third of the women had the same idea as they too were rushing in that direction and all must have felt the same sinking feeling as Susan when they found the double doors closed. Some women tried desperately to open them but they were firmly locked. Susan took a couple of weak steps backward, then found some wall space to lean back on. She did not know what was going on but her feelings had gone from confused to scared.
For about an hour things were sheer chaos in their room. About a hundred women were gathered together in different groups. There were about a dozen who were taking turns kicking and pounding at the door. Their efforts had slowed over the hour but they still worked at it. There were three different groups of women gathered in large groups, trying desperately to figure out the situation. Some occupied themselves with another activity. The lattice ran along the entire wall but there was some sort of curtain beyond it that prevented the women from seeing what was on the other side. Some of the women reached out with their fingers to try to grasp it and see if they could pull it up. Other woman sat or stood alone. Some where crying, others just staring blankly. There were various conversations going on between different pairs of women.
Susan watched one of the groups of women talking and thought about joining them. She had just decided to do so when a sound caught her attention and quickly that of the entire room. In the square within their room the curtains had been lifted. Inside it was the veiled woman covered completely in her green burqa, or perhaps a different woman covered in green, there was no way to know for sure.
Through the lattice Susan could see a door, judging from the position of it she discerned it to lay beyond the closed double doors.
A couple of brave women yelled out questions or threats against the veiled woman. She did not answer. She simply remained standing still until the entire room was quiet.
“You are here because you are dead.”
There were cries from some of the women in the group. Some were cries of disbelief, others of anguish.
“Because you erred in how you conducted your lives you are not able to enter Paradise.”
There was another round of loud responses. Some women were expressing their skepticism, some protesting. One woman loudly declared, “I’M A CHRISTIAN!”
“Christians can not enter Paradise.”
This provoked yet another round of loud objections but it soon died down.
“Since you did not follow the correct path while alive you are not eligible to enter the highest level of Paradise, but it is still possible for you to enter a lower level. That is why you currently are here. If you are willing you may step inside here to begin your path to Paradise.”
One indignant woman with short blond hair stepped forward.
“This is such bullshit! We are not dead, look around everyone. We are all very much alive.”
The green ghost did not answer. Instead the curtains on the outer walls were lifted. The sight caused a waves of gasps and the woman with short blonde hair simply collapsed to her knees in disbelief. Through the lattice of the outer wall the women saw an unreal sight.
Their room was up against a giant stone wall, one that must have been five hundred feet tall. The wall curved very gradually so as to create a gigantic circle, one so large that the women could not even see the opposite side of it. Along the base of this wall at regular intervals were small buildings with lattice walls such as their own. In the middle of this vast circle was a garden of a city. Towering mansions constructed of gold and jewels covered in leafy vegetation. The city seemed to be endless. Susan’s attention though turned back to the wall that surrounded it, and the small buildings that lined it. She strained her eyes and looked at the nearest one to her. It seemed to have the same lattice work. She struggled to see if there were women inside it, but it was too far away for her to be able to tell.
“In each building is a group of Kafir women. Such as yourselves. They have an eternity to repent for their ways, just as you do.”
There was not another round of rebuttal from the women in the room. The overwhelming sight of what they had just seen had them in shock.
The veiled woman pressed a stack of papers through a slot in the lattices and they rested on the bookshelves.
“These sheets contain a detailed list of all the sins each of you has committed. This will help you to understand how you have made an error of your life. It is too late to enter Paradise as those who were believing women have. However, you may still enter to a lower level. Declare your willingness to submit to Allah and you will be allowed to enter.
One quick woman fired off a question. “Why the lower levels?”
“As I said, you erred in life. You can not expect the same rewards as of the devout Muslimah who followed the true path in life.”
“So we will be in a separate Heaven?”
“Not physically separate. Your rewards will be separate.”
“How?” Another woman, seemingly desperate for the answer lurched forward.
“You will have different rewards. Those Muslimah who lived the true path will be closer to Allah, they will have a greater variety of fruit and food to choose from, they will get to live with their husband from life if he was a believer. If he was not or they had no husband a perfect husband will be fashioned for him.”
A different woman stepped forward, her hands shaking. “Will we get to be with our husbands?”
“You had no husbands.”
There were several dissenting shouts made in response to this statement. Without any change in emotion the veiled woman continued.
“Those were Kafir relationships that have no validity in the eyes of Allah.”
More disagreeing comments but they died down quickly when another question was asked. “What will become of our husbands?”
“They will have a chance to enter Paradise as well. But you will not see them. You have a greater honor. There are many good believing men who have entered Paradise and deserve to have their pleasures fulfilled, you will give them company. Once you have shown yourself worthy you will become their concubines.”
The upset responses from the women reached a frenzied peak in response to that.
“I’ll never agree to that!”
“You are free to so long as you wish. But if you do not seek forgiveness you will be stuck in this room forever.”
With that the curtain descended over the center room and a multitude of loud conversations began.
Some women argued that this had to be some sort of elaborate trick, but the sight beyond the lattice weakened their case considerably. What followed was mostly the confusion that always follows when people have no options but an undesirable one. There was denial that quickly gave way to despair.
Several women went over to grab their personal piece of paper with their sins listed. Susan was one of them. She picked it up and went to a relatively empty part of the room to read it. Her most damning sin was no submitting herself to Allah but there were others included such as small thefts when she was younger and lying and strange ones such as disobeying her husband. She let the paper slip to the ground as her thoughts turned to Phillip.
She did not know if he was dead or alive, but she felt in her heart that she would never see him again and as soon as she accepted that as a fact the tears started streaming down her face. Other women were as despondent, others were angry, some just bewildered.
At some point the tears stopped and Susan wondered how her life could have brought her here. One day she had been a happily married woman in her early 40s with blonde hair and a mortgage. Now she was a captive, either physically or spiritually, destined to be married off to some stranger forever in the afterlife.
Susan was not sure how long it was until the young woman came by and sat next to her. She was in her early thirties with straight black shoulder length hair.
“Hi, I hope you don’t mind. I thought you could use the company.”
“I suppose I could.”
“My name is Jessica Benjamin.”
“I’m Susan Miller.”
“I would say that it is a pleasure to meet you, but not in the present circumstances.”
“Jessica, what do you remember before being here.”
“I was finishing up a paper for class, I’m a graduate student, and I decided to go downstairs to use the shower. I remember tripping on something…and then this place. What about yourself?”
“I was driving home from work. I was passing through an intersection and I remember a car coming at me…”
“So…you think it might be possible that we are dead?”
“What do you think?”
“I think that there is no place on Earth like what we see out there.”
The two were quiet for a moment before Susan resumed the conversation.
“So…do you think our only option is do what the woman in the burqa said?”
“I have to admit that it is a little disconcerting for me. I’m Jewish. So to learn that I have to pray to the Muslim god and marry a Muslim to get into heaven is a bit disappointing. How about yourself?”
“Well, I never went to church but I always considered myself Christian so I thought I was safe.”
“I guess we are both unlucky. Another regrettable point for this being the real deal, I’ve talked with a lot of the women in this room. They come from all over the world and yet I could understand every single one.”
“You mean they all spoke English?”
“No. The women from China insist I was speaking Mandarin. The women from India insist I was speaking Hindi. Etc. We are in the after life so all of us can now understand each other.”
“So, are you going to do as she says?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen anyone else jumping on board yet.”
The Middle Eastern women in the room began praying. Susan had seen Muslim prayers on television before so she recognized them. They had been talking amongst themselves for several hours. When they finally did it some of the other women watched them with a variety of emotions: suspicion, wariness, curiosity and even hope. Most of the women however were engaged in other discussions for the moment. Susan watched them for a while, but then her attention turned to the one they left behind.
She wore a leather jacket and jeans and seemed terribly alone. She did not cry, but her demeanor seemed completely crestfallen. Susan excused herself from Jessica and walked over to the girl.
“Hello, my name is Susan.”
“Jamilah.” The girl eyed her with caution.
“Listen, if you don’t want to talk about it I understand. But I was curious…”
“Why I’m not with them?”
“When we first found ourselves in this room I gathered together with them. We’re all Muslims you see, or at least we were. Some of us left the faith, some of us never really practiced it, some were just really bad Muslims I guess. We had an idea what was happening before the rest of you but we were still confused. We thought hell was fire, not a boring room. Then the woman in the green burqa appeared and told us what she told us. We spent a few hours talking it out and all of them decided it was better to get in Allah’s good graces.”
“But not you?”
“I’ve never been a Muslim. I mean my parents were, but they were secular and I grew up in the United States. They are Muslims but ones who lost their way.”
“You don’t plan on joining them?”
“If this is all hell is than it can’t be that bad right? It is just a boring room.”
As it turned out, a boring room could be quite a hell indeed. Except for talking with the other women there was nothing to do other than just sit. It turned out that since they were dead they could not sleep which made the lack of anything to do even more difficult to endure. Susan tried to keep herself busy. She talked with Jessica quite a bit and sometimes visited with Jamilah. She met several women from all over the world. It would have been thrilling and fascinating were it not for the circumstances.
One of the women she met was Janet. Janet was in her early forties and had curly dark brown hair. She had been quiet for most of their stay. She stayed to herself mostly. What caught Susan’s attention was the cross she wore around her neck. She held it in her hands and rubbed it constantly. Janet was pleasant enough when Susan introduced herself. However, her thoughts seemed to always be distracted.
“Janet…what do you think about what has happened to us?”
Janet looked up at Susan for a moment and then resumed staring at the floor. “I think it is a cruel joke. I’ve been a Christian all my life. I read the Bible everyday and really did believe what it said was true. I did missionary work, I tried to get people to believe in God to save their souls.” At that Janet made a contemptuous snort. “That is almost funny now. I married a God fearing man and I tried to be a dutiful Christian wife. I guess it looks like I was suppose to be a dutiful Muslim wife.”
“Are you…thinking of doing what she said?”
The fingers stopped rubbing the cross for a moment, then continued. “I don’t know.”
Out of curiosity Susan went over to the Middle Eastern women to listen in to their religious sermons. Several days, at least it felt like days, had passed and they were less shy about their intentions. Most of the other women left them alone.
The woman who seemed to be leading the group was talking when Susan sat near by. “Remember, the rights of the husband over his wife are greater than her rights over him.” Why is that? Another woman spoke up “Because Allah says that ‘men have a degree over women.’”
“Yes, very good Rahida. Also, remember what the Prophet said “If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself before another, I should order a woman to prostrate herself before her husband.”
Very quickly Susan was sufficiently disturbed by what she heard that she returned back to her usual place. As she was walking she looked over at Jamilah who gave a shrug that seemed to suggest ‘What did you expect?’
When Susan sat down at the opposite side of the room Jessica joined her.
“I take it they were not saying anything you wanted to hear.”
“What little I heard sounded pretty backwards.”
“I suppose in a way it would make sense.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if you think about it…suppose there is a God in the Abrahamic tradition. Suppose the traditionalist and literal interpretation is correct. Then regardless of whether God is the god from Jewish, Christian or Islamic traditions it would seem rather backwards to us. I was always a very liberal Jew but I knew Jews who were as conservative as any Islamic Fundamentalist.”
“Surely this can not be the way heaven works?”
“Because it is barbaric!”
“I agree with you. But it would seem that we were the losers in the end.”
They both looked at each, a feeling of dread welling up inside of both. A minute or two later they were joined by a woman named Rika. Susan had seen her many times during the increasingly long stay in the room. She had learned from someone else that she was Japanese.
“Hello. May I visit with you two?” Both Susan and Jessica nodded their approval. Rika sat down crossed legged in front of them.
“My name is Rika.”
“It is nice to meet you. I was curious, what do you think of out current situation.”
“We were just discussing that. Jessica is Jewish and I am a Christian so we are both worried about the implications of this place. We thought our religions were the right ones.”
“Yes, I understand. Back home in Japan I was a Buddhist. I never even suspected that this would be waiting for me after I passed away. I would have thought things would be better for you two. Are not Jews and Christians similar to Muslims?”
Susan found herself unable to answer that but than Jessica answered with some of the differences and similarities between the three faiths. Rika nodded in understanding, “I see.”
“So…what do you think you will do?
Rika became quiet and looked for a while at the small group of women discussing Allah. “I do not know. They seem to be sure.”
“Surely you do not want to join them! Even if everything we have been told is true it is almost too terrible to contemplate.”
“I know. But that about the alternative. Would you want to stay here for all eternity. What kind of existence would that be? What if everyone else leaves and you are left alone. At least this other place would have things to do, so that you would not become bored.”
Susan thought about what Rika said. She made a good point, would Susan be able to endure being alone in this room for all time. Wouldn’t she eventually yearn for what was beyond the doors? Susan tried to suppress that thought and continued her conversation with Rika. Soon the topic changed to what life was like in their respective countries.
The countless moments continued to pass by. During this time even the most die hard atheist in the group came to accept that they were definitely in the after life. However, many still found the situation sufficiently unacceptable so as to have no part in in it. No one joined the small group of Middle Eastern women, though more than one lingered nearby listening to what they had to say out of curiosity.
Susan had spoken with just about every woman in the room by this time and eventually found that the lack of anything to do did indeed begin to make her long for the chance to be someplace else. The long monotony was only broken when one of the women from the group stood up.
It was Rahida. The others in her group watched her.
‘There is no god but God and Mohammed is His Prophet’
She made the pronunciation with unwavering confidence. The curtains raised again as the veiled room appear in the interior room. Where before there was a seem less wall a doorway appeared. With only a little bit of trembling Rahida approached it and entered the room. The doorway sealed behind her.
Susan, along with every other woman in the room got up and hurried over to see what would happen next. The pressing of bodies was reminiscent of her first experience upon coming to this place. Everyone strained to get a good look.
However, the curtains descended and Rahida and the green ghost disappeared from view.
As soon as the curtain closed behind them the women started talking excitedly. Someone noticed the women were outside of the building, visible through the lattice. There were two women in green burqas, one of them presumable Rahida. They walked along the sand. Their trek gradually went down hill into the great city below. A long time afterwards the ghost was see returning. She disappeared off to the side, presumably she was back in the concealed center room.
After a short while people returned back to where they had been only several were engaged in speculative discussion about what just happened. Susan was about to talk with Jessica about it when something caught her eye. Three women went over to where the Middle Easterners were studying and joined them. Two of the women had been from China and another from Benin in Africa. The room was mostly silent as everyone else watched this scene for several moments. The three new women were welcomed into the circle and began participating in the conversation.
“I was wondering when something like that would happen.” Jessica said.
“Do you think they want out of here that badly?”
“They must. I think they were probably the most restless and having seen that it is indeed possible to leave the room they are taking this as their chance to escape.”
The countless moments continued to drift by. The three new women in the group seemed to be genuinely engaged with the discussion. While watching them at one point Susan was joined by Janet. The brown haired Christian had become more sociable with the other women and sometimes came by to visit.
“What do you think of that, Janet?”
“I guess they must really want to leave. I can not say that I blame them. It is difficult to just sit around here. I feel like I’ve had the same conversation with everyone I talk to. Not being able to sleep also makes it difficult to endure this place.”
“Do you ever think about going over there to join them.”
Janet was quiet for a while. “Sometimes. I do not think I ever seriously contemplated it, but I have thought about it. I’m still not sure what this place is but I know it is not anything I was ever taught about. I’m not sure I could stay in this place forever. I suppose it is fatalistic but I suspects that after only a couple of thousand years it would be enough to make anyone convert to Islam.”
“But this can not be, can it? I mean, who would have ever thought that this would be where we would end up.”
“You know, back….before. I use to feel so smug about being a Christian. I knew that all non-believers were going to Hell. I almost feel like this place is a punishment for my arrogance.”
Janet looked down at the floor. Her face suggested guilt more than any other feeling.
“You should not talk like that Janet. You don’t deserve to be here, neither do I.”
“Then why are we here?”
Eventually two more of the Middle Eastern girls left the room and were escorted down to the massive city. Neither departure was met with a new wave of women eager to join. Even the event itself only drew slight interest. The women still got up to watch, but there was less urgency to it.
Time continued to pass. Days, months, years? So difficult to be sure.
The endless routine of nothingness eventually broke some. At one point least a dozen women walked over to join group. Susan paused when she saw that one of these women was Janet.
When Janet saw Susan watching her she paused for a moment and then walked over. Her body language made clear she felt as though she had to explain herself.
“Susan…I…” Janet looked down at the ground for a moment before looking back up to face her. “I want to enter Paradise. When I was alive it was all I ever wanted, to enter Paradise when I die. Everything I did in that life was for that purpose. I use to think that if you did not make it to Paradise you would be cast down into Hell. I suppose I should count it a miracle that I was sent to this place and not Hell. We have a chance Susan, we have a chance to make ourselves right with God.” Janet then turned and went over to the much enlarged group. Introductions were made and the new people were slowly oriented into what the group was doing.
Susan watched from a distance for some time. The new woman in the circle came from countries all over the world with different backgrounds, but they all seemed similarly fixated on their studies now. Susan watched Janet in particular. Janet seemed to be reading the Quran with the same uninterrupted focus that she surely had read the Bible when she was alive. Susan wondered what it must be like for Janet. To have every bit of your convictions torn away from you. Maybe that was why she was able to readjust so much sooner than Susan. Susan had had doubts, she was not sure about God when she was alive, so she had doubts in this place. Janet had been completely sure when she was alive. The certainty had been taken from her, thus she was quicker to accept this new truth.
Gradually but steadily things began changing from that point. From time to time a new woman would go over to join the group preparing to enter Paradise. Some of them seemed resigned to their fate when they weakly went over. Others seemed to have some trouble adjusting themselves to what was being taught. Susan observed some newcomers seeming to be completely exasperated by what they heard, but eventually they settled back and seemed to accept what was being studied.
Occasionally a woman from the group would stand up and make a declaration of her faith. She would join the green ghost in the central room and they would disappear behind the curtain. The green ghost would then lead the now burqa covered woman her down to the city.
Soon Susan one of about only about half a dozen women who had not begun the studies. Jessica was still with her but almost everyone else has joined what was now a large mass of women seated on the floor, preparing themselves to enter Paradise. There were about forty of them, with over forty having left for the city. Susan looked at the women. They came from everywhere: Europe, Africa, Latin American, North America, Asia.
More time passed…
At some point Susan and Jessica soon found that other than a laconic woman with short red hair, they were the only ones who had not joined in. The remaining women studying numbered eighteen, the rest had gone to the city.
Susan and Jessica had had many discussions up to this point. They speculated whether they would be able to hold out for all eternity. If they kept each other company it might not be so bad. But slowly both came to the belief that there was little hope of holding out forever. How long had they lasted so far, a year perhaps? Did time even have any meaning here?
The two women made an agreement that if one of them was to leave the other would join her. So it was after the latest woman had left for the city, shrouded in a green burqa, that Susan and Jessica came over and joined the circle. It almost broke Susan’s heart to do it. She knew that she would never see Phillip again and she hoped he would understand.
The women already there were reciting passages of the Quran and Susan and Jessica began to follow along. A couple of times Susan looked over at Jamilah who had finally caved in and was now putting all of her attention on each word she said from the Quran. It was difficult at first but Susan and even Jessica began to accept that there seemed to be a logic behind such things.
Finally one day Susan made her declaration of faith, “There is no god but God and Mohammed is His Prophet”
It almost felt like she was in a dream as she entered the center room. The curtain descended and she was alone with the woman in the green burqa.
“Remove your clothes. They are an unwelcome holdover from your days as a non-believer.”
Susan began removing her Western clothing without protest. When she was done she stood naked before the green ghost.
“You are to be a Maiden of Jannat. A companion for a believing man. Your master in Paradise has already been selected for you by Allah. First, your beauty must be so that you are pleasing for your master.”
A mirror appeared before Susan and in it she could she her naked reflective. First her body subtly changed and so instead of a forty year old woman she looked like she was in her early thirties. Next her blonde hair lengthened until it was below her waist. Then her eyes changed, they seemed larger and doe like. Then her hips and thighs began expanding while her waist narrowed. Then her breasts, they started to increase in size. Susan went from average to becoming well endowed and then she felt alarm as she went from being well endowed to beyond. When it was over Susan brought shaking hands up and cupped her enormous breasts. They looked like something out of a pornographic movie. They felt so heavy in her hands. Before Susan’s stunned mind could form some sort of protest she felt a sensation between her legs. Reaching down with a hand she discovered that she had returned to being a virgin.
The woman in the green burqa continued.
“Now that your body is pleasing for your master, we must make your mind pleasing as well. First, you will be content in his company.”
Susan felt something stir inside of her. What the woman in the green burqa said seemed to make sense. Of course she would be content in her master’s company. How could she not be?
“Second, listen to him for listening to one’s master pleases Allah.”
Again, Susan felt something change inside of her. Soon she found herself with a desire to listen attentively to anything her master might say.
“Third, Make sure you smell and look good for him.”
Susan pictured herself dressed in enticing lingerie with carefully applied perfume. The idea of looking pleasing for her master began to excite her.
“Fourth, take care of his property and wealth.”
The idea of submissively dedicating herself to the care of her master’s things made the sexual hunger almost too much to bear.
“Fifth, never disobey him.”
It was almost too much for Susan to endure. She moaned slightly, desperate to know her master’s touch.
“You are to dress now.”
In place of her Kafir clothing she put on the green garments, culminating in the burqa. The green ghost led her out a door and soon they were making their way to the massive city below.
And give good news to those who believe and do good deeds, that for them are Gardens in which rivers flow. Whenever they are given a portion of the fruit thereof, they will say: This is what was given to use before; and they are given the like of it. And for them therein are pure companions and therein they will abide.
Sayed was only momentarily confused. Once he saw the hallway he was in and the doors before him he knew where he was. Somehow his life had ended on Earth and he was now at the gates of Jannat. He humbly approached.
Out of a side door a man of perfect beauty wearing a green tunic and trousers emerged.
“Welcome Sayed. Peace be upon you! Well have you done! Enter here, to dwell therein.”
The double doors in front of Sayed opened and the sight before him was just as he hoped. Off in the distance was a vast city, greater than any mountain, large it was impossible to see the other end. Each building in this city seemed to reach up towards the sky. All the buildings must have been made of gold because they shone like gold, creating a great bright light. Its beauty was surely paradise made manifest.
As Sayed stepped through the doors he realized his own garments had changed. Instead of the brown rough spun material they were now green silk. His beard had gone from grey to black. He was a young man again! The slow movements that he had become accustomed to from his age were gone. Every bone and muscle in his body felt alive.
Accompanied by the angel, Sayed began the slow walk down to the magnificent city. At one point he turned to look behind him and saw the wall that separated Jannat from the outside. He also noticed the small structures placed at intervals along the wall.
“May I ask what those buildings are?”
“You may ask anything you wish Sayed. In Jannat there is no chance for Allah to be upset at you.”
Those words filled Sayed with a joy so immense he could not measure it.
“What are those buildings over there?”
“You need not worry about them. As soon as they are empty Allah will remove them.”
Sayed did not think to ask further. Instead he kept his eyes steady on the magnificent paradise ahead of him. As they approached he realized just how tall the mansions were. Larger than any building made on Earth. The angel explained that each mansion was reserved for a single believer. Sayed marveled at the grandeur of it. When he was at the base of the buildings and looked up he could not see their tops.
As they walked down the streets he saw many fellow believers. The men dressed in green tunics and trousers, the women either in burqas or abayas and niqabs or other forms of concealment. It was impossible to tell with the women as they were concealed from sight, but the men were from all races of the planet. Sayed felt his heart warm to see his brother Muslims.
Finally they reached a tower of gold covered with precious gems.
“This is my new home?”
He stared up at it in wonder. “Surely I am not worthy of this!”
“But you are Sayed. Your list of deeds justifies this. You were a pious man who devoted his life to Allah. You studied the Quran at every available moment. You fulfilled all that was asked of you.”
Sayed felt more humbled than he ever had when he was living.
They entered the door to the mansion and the sight of what was inside was staggering. A vast space stretched out before them, a single room that was larger than his village had been. Furniture of the finest brocade in the colors of gold and silver decorated the room. Carpets with such intricate patterns that no human could have made them. Everything was gilded and immaculately cleaned. Sayed almost felt like he was going to stumble as he entered. The angel followed behind him.
Sayed slowly took all of it in. If this place had been back in his small rural village it would have been taken for a palace. And this was but a single floor of it!
Sayed was in the middle of the room when a door opened. He turned to look at who had entered the room and froze. It was his wife Aisha. She had been dead for many years but she was here now, before him. And she looked no older than the day he married her. They ran to each other and embraced warmly.
“I have missed you so much my dear wife.”
“And I have missed you my dear husband.”
“I prayed everyday that Allah would reunite us.”
They kissed tenderly. The angel then said something indiscernible and a long line of men came into them room. They were clothes of green but their outfits were simpler, less elaborate. Eventually a great long line of them came to a stop. Sayed felt uncomfortable as his wife was without her burqa. He knew this was Jannat but he was uneasy about the situation. When he expressed his concerns to the angel the angel spoke.
“There is no need to worry about your wife’s modesty around these. They are your servants. They are here to take care of your mansion and its gardens.”
“But what about my wife’s modesty?”
“In here, around them there is no threat to her modesty. Please understand that these servants were crafted specifically by Allah for this duty.”
Sayed again took a look at the men. They did not have the kind of beauty of the angel. They looked like ordinary men, of various races.
“How were they made?”
“These use to be non-believing men.”
Sayed looked at the men with renewed fascination. “Allah allows non-believers into Jannat?”
“Under certain conditions. Since they were not believers they were not worthy of the rewards you have received. But Allah is ever merciful, ever beneficent. Allah decided that they could have a place in Jannat, by serving those who were good believing men and women.”
“Ahhh…” Sayed was beginning to understand. “Surely Allah is most merciful. He allows these men who erred in life entry into Jannat. As servants to believers they are higher than they ever were in life. How have they been changed?”
“First they had to submit to Allah. Then they were refashioned so that they would not look at a woman with lust. First, they were physically changed as Allah made them eunuchs. He removed their manhoods. In addition to this though he changed their minds and their spirits. They have no thoughts of sin. All they desire is to take care of your needs. They gladly do so because they are in awe of you.”
“I see.” Sayed felt reassured by the angel’s explanation and the knowledge that Allah knows best. “May I ask another question?”
“What have you do with the non-believing women?”
“They have also been transformed to serve you.”
“Yes. In your mansion there is a hallway. On the left side there are 36 doors, each leading to a bedroom with a virgin. On the right side there are 36 doors, each leading to a bedroom with a virgin. They are exclusively for you.”
“These were non-believing women?”
“Yes. After submitting to Allah they were refashioned so as to be pleasing to you in appearance and demeanor. All of their infidel thoughts were removed from them and they were made to think only of pleasing you.”
Sayed looked at his wife who smiled back at him.
“What about my wife?”
“She is still your wife, and she is above the hur’ayn that await you. We have removed all jealously out of the hearts of your women, both your human wife and the hur’ayn.”
Truly this was Paradise!
After the angel departed Sayed’s wife, his human wife, sat down to a glorious banquet. They were brought lamb too tender to be real and they drank out of silver cups filled with milk sweeter than any desert. When Sayed tried to offer some to the servants they declined, stating that they were not worthy of such treats.
When they were done eating they retired to the bedroom. The bed was gigantic, larger than what Sayed’s house had been. Sayed’s mind was filled with wonder about the delights that awaited for him in the hallway the angel mentioned. However, it was his Islamic duty to provide his wife with sexual pleasure first so he made love to her until she was sublimely satisfied. Three times their bodies joined, and each time he discovered that his wife had become a virgin again.
After satisfying his wife he set about exploring his mansion. The thought of the hallway with the hur’ayn residing within was never far from his mind. Each new room or level he explored provided new reasons for wonder. He came across a library so vast that it was not unreasonable to suspect that every book ever written was held within. He suspected that his mansion possessed greater wealth than all of what could be found on Earth.
Finally he came across a gilded hallway with the doors laid out as had been said by the angel. A nervous energy ran through Sayed’s body and he found himself nervous. He felt like he did before the first time he had ever had sex.
He approached the first door on his left and paused before it. He felt anxious, like a child about to receive a gift. What kind of delights could he expect at the hands of the hur’ayn. If they were fashioned by Allah himself surely the experience would be greater than any man ever had. He slowly, cautiously opened the door.
Inside was a room with walls fashioned from pearl and a bed crafted from rubies. On the silken sheets of gold was sitting a woman of such beauty that truly only Allah could have created her.
“All praise is for Allah who has created you for me and has created me for you.”
Sayed could only stare with a gaping jaw at this expression of feminine beauty before him. Surely no one had ever received what he had just received. She looked Arab in appearance. Her long black hair was silken. Her svelte body was fitted into exciting garments and her pert bosom rose and fell with her breaths. Her sloe eyes looked up at him submissively.
“What is your name, my concubine?”
“I am Jamilah, my master.” She rose from the bed and came over to him. She planted her lips on his and softly kissed him. The taste of her lips was like the taste of sweet candies. Sayed returned the kiss which made Jamilah moan with pleasure. His hands began exploring her body and she reacted with equal melting arousal. It was not long before she had removed all of his clothes for him and brought him over to the bed where she used her body to please him. Upon entering her he found that she was indeed made into a virgin for him and would be so again each time he entered her.
After what felt like years of love making they laid together on the bed. She was snuggled up against him and he held her close. Truly there could be no doubt that he had found Paradise. Some time elapsed before he stood up and got dressed. After leaving the room he looked down the hallway at all the other doors still unopened. He would save those for later. He returned to his wife and after eating another banquet of a meal they decided to leave the mansion to explore the city. His wife put on her green burqa. They stepped out and began to walk down the street.
Every man that Sayed passed he happily greeted and his greeting was returned with the same enthusiasm. The women passed by in silence. Sayed was pleased to see that all of them women were completely concealed from sight. A woman’s beauty was for her husband and Allah alone.
Sayed would occasionally see some more of the servants made from non-believing men. They were busy cleaning the buildings or tending to the gardens. Each one of them rendered genderless by Allah. The more Sayed thought about their condition and the more he saw of it the more it made sense to him. He had always assumed that the non-believers were destined for the fires. But this was more appropriate. Allah in his mercy had allowed them in Jannat but at a level that was suitable for those who had rejected the call to worship the only one true God. Sayed thought back to his time with Jamilah and the wisdom of this made all the more sense.
The vastness of it all never ceased to amaze Sayed. Just down the very street he was walking on there was a seemingly endless stretch of towering mansions decorated with precious metals and gems. Each mansion was occupied by a believer. Even now his hard scrabble life in a remote mountain village seemed like a distant memory.
At one point Sayed found himself at the base of a tower that was higher than all the others. He asked an angel standing at the entrance what the tower was for and he was informed that at the very top of it the very best of men and women were in the direct presence of Allah.
Sayed looked up at the tower that seemed to vanish into the sky before it ended. The sky itself was a marvel. There was no sun or moon and yet there was light to see by. Sayed continued to explore the city before returning home…
After another banquet and another time of satisfying his wife Sayed returned to the hallway. He was amazed at his stamina. Even in his youth he would not be able to keep up this pace. He made his way to the second door on the left. Pausing briefly in front of it he opened it up. Inside was another room fashioned from riches and awaiting him another hur’ayn. This maiden looked to be from the West. She had dark brown hair that cascaded down her shoulders in curls.
“All praise is for Allah who has created you for me and has created me for you.”
“What is your name, my concubine?”
“I am Janet, my master.”
They made love for years and years before Sayed got up to visit another of his hur’ayn.
Susan busied herself in preparation for the arrival of her master. She had brushed her hair with a silver hairbrush until it practically shined. She applied kohl to her eyes and perform to her body. She slipped on her lingerie. It was green, a kindness provided by Allah that she should be allowed to wear the same color as those who had been believers in life. Susan did not feel worthy but Allah was most merciful.
She first slipped on the green pantyhose up her legs to rest at the mid point of her fleshy thighs. Then she slipped on the barest of panties. Next came a green bra that almost groaned from the effort of support her enormous breasts. A sheer green robe that concealed nothing of her body came over this. She then slipped into a pair of extremely high heels. She placed herself on the bed and patiently waited for the time when her master would choose her.
All of her thoughts were focused on pleasing her master. Her entry into paradise had been only possible because of him. It was still too good to be true that she was to be married to a pious man. How could she have ever hoped for that considering how she had failed Allah? Only his eternal mercy had saved her. She thought back to her time when she had been alive. What a dreadful waste it had been. Not once had she performed prayer or worshiped Allah. Now she was fortunate enough to share the master of a woman who had lived her life the right way. Susan thought back to when she had first entered the after life. She, along with all the other kafir women had been waiting in the corridor. Then that small group of pious women had arrived. In her life she had pitied the women forced to wear the burqa. Now she was in awe of them. They were the women she should of been emulating. They were the first to enter Jannat, so much did Allah smile upon them.
These stray thoughts were interrupted when her master entered the room. The sight of him was enough to melt Susan. He looked strong and had the devout beard of a pious man. She knew just how to greet him.
“All praise is for Allah who has created you for me and has created me for you.”
“What is your name, my concubine?”
“I am Susan, my master.”
He came over to the bed. His eyes were fixated on her breasts, he looked amazed by the size of them. The knowledge that she was pleasing to her master was pleasing for Susan. Soon he was on top of her. His hands were spending a good deal of time exploring her breasts. Each time he touched them her body felt pleasure radiate from the contact. Allah had refashioned her body so that the only way she could feel pleasure was from the pleasure of her master.
They made love for forty years.
Of course forty years was nothing compared to eternity, like a handful of water out of the ocean. When her master was finally satisfied he allowed her the honor of snuggling up against him. The large flesh of her breasts pressing against his chest. He brushed her hair and occasionally kissed her on the forehead. The knowledge that her master was pleased warmed her insides yet again.
It turned out that her master was so pleased with her that he allowed her out of her room most of the time and to be in the company of him and his human wife. He occasionally brought one or more of the other girls out but nowhere near as often as he kept her company. His human wife was not jealous, like Susan her heart was free of jealously and she simply enjoyed the knowledge that her master was happy. Many times Susan found herself seated on her master’s lap. He would gently caress her body or fondle her breasts, sometimes pinching her nipples. Allah had crafted each of his maidens in a distinct way that he would find pleasing. With Susan he had created the big breasted blonde sex toy that so many men craved.
Sometimes her master would bring out another of his concubines and the two of them would snuggle with him, one on each side. Susan recognized each and every one of them. They were all women from the same building she had been held in when she first arrived. She realized that each of those buildings along the wall held the future concubines of a believing man. Once the entire content of a building had become hur’ayn the pious man was able to enter Jannat so that he could experience their pleasures. Each building held a mixture of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists and agnostics from all the continents of the Earth so that the pious man could know every possible pleasure.
Once the additional concubine Sayed brought out was Jessica. The two women recognized each other from their time waiting for entry into Jannat. Of course, Susan had been turned into a big breasted blonde bunny while Jessica, having received some enlargement but not as much, had been turned something like a runway model. They recognized each other but their focus was on their master and no words or looks were exchanged between the two, so occupied were they with planting kisses onto Sayed.
Susan was thrilled when she learned that Sayed was to be having a guest over. She and all of his other concubines would be dressed in burqas during the duration of the meal.
Burqas! The attire of a believing woman. She could not believe her luck. At the time when Sayed’s friend arrived all of his hur’ayn were seated at a long table, 36 on one side and 36 on the other. A separate long table was set aside for hur’ayn of Sayed’s friend. Sayed’s human wife would have the honor of sitting behind him.
Soon the guests arrived and as soon as all were seated Sayed and his friend began eating and talking with each other. The two separate groups of hur’ayn sat in silence, feeling privileged by the honor of being in the company of their respective masters. It was difficult for Susan to see through the grill of her burqa. The world had a green haze to it. She began to understand why the pious women in life had been able to live in a way to be emulated. Through the vision of the burqa it was more difficult to be tempted to sin.
Despite her inhibited sight she was able to see one thing clearly. One of the servants tending to her master and his friend was Phillip. She did not call out to him, she was not tempted to. He was part of her old, wasted life. The two of them had lived in sin together and now both were lucky to be here. While she was pleased that he had become a eunuch servant and allowed entry in Jannat, it was not because of feelings for him. Rather it was being pleased with the knowledge of how merciful Allah was. She was sure that if Phillip could see her he would have similar feelings himself.
There were so many wonders to explore in his mansion Sayed had hardly experienced any of them yet. He had not even sampled all of this virgin concubines yet. He was taking his time, sampling each of them so as to savor the experience. In addition he was taking his time to get to know Susan. Her voluptuous body and blonde hair was very pleasing. He often wondered if she had been an American prior to her death and rebirth as a Maiden of Jannat. He sometimes had a mind to ask her, but whenever he found himself in her company with the beauty to please the eyes and the voice to please the ears he found all interest in anything other than exploring her body evaporate.
It was while exploring his mansion’s extensive library that he found the books that explained the life story of each of his hur’ayn. They were not books in the sense he had know them. Rather, when a book was taken from the library and placed on the stand it produced an image. It was a moving image like a television but also the words quietly found their way into one’s mind. He had experienced many books in this manner before finding the biographies.
When he sat them down he wondered which to start with. He was tempted to start with Susan’s, but he wanted to save hers until last. He began with some of the other Maidens. It was immensely fascinating experience. It was interesting to see what his Maidens looked like before their transformation. Just ordinary women. It was also interesting to see the wide variety of lives they lived. From lives of poverty to wealth, on farms or in towns or in cities, some were wives and homemakers and others had jobs. The one thing they all had in common was that they lived in defiance of Allah.
If Sayed had seen these images when he was alive he would likely have been angered by their actions. However, here in Jannat he found anger impossible to conjure. He reflected on how unfortunate it was that they had not embraced Islam. However, he was also aware that they had turned their backs on Allah, even if they had never heard of Allah in their hearts they had known their actions were wrong. Included in the books was a list of every sin they had committed, including all the times they had mocked believing women for their hijab. Sayed began to feel his manhood stiffen as he became aroused by thinking about how these non-believing women had become Maidens for believing men. It was also interesting to know that many of his eunuch servants had been married to his hur’ayn in life.
He came across Jamilah’s book. He saw her life as a secular Muslim who never gave a thought about Allah. She spent all of her time wearing infidel clothes and drinking and partying. Sayed thought about the transformed Maiden that awaited him in her room. How fitting that one such as her, who had mocked believing women and looked down on believing men should be changed into a servant to those same believers.
He saw the stories of all of his Maidens. He saw Rika’s life in Japan. Janet’s life of devout worship to her erroneous faith. Jessica’s life of studies. He saw one story after another. He saw that one of his Maidens had been a police officer in her life. He smiled as he thought about the submissive pleasures she had performed for him. Jessica’s life of study and feminism was next. The former career driven woman in the law profession was now an enchanting creature of sexual pleasures.
Finally Sayed had experienced every woman’s story but Susan’s. He put her book on the stand and watched with rapt attention. Susan had been an American and Sayed watched her life unfold with fascination. As he watched he realized that his interest was not in seeing another infidel’s futile existence. He was specifically interested in Susan. She had long been his favorite hur’ayn and having her company was almost as pleasing as his wife’s company. Often he would not even use her body for his pleasure, but simply enjoy her presence. Something stirred in Sayed, and it was not arousal…
Susan waited along with all the other concubines of Sayed in the main room of his mansion. They were all dressed in the burqa. Sayed had been invited over to the mansion of a man who had been a Cleric in his life. For this special occasion Sayed would be taking all his concubines, so they were all dressed in the burqa.
Susan found it thrilling to be wearing such a beautiful garment. It completely concealed her body as if she deserved to have her modesty protected. Of course as a human she had engaged in all manner of sin and had not spared a thought for her modesty. It was fitting that Allah should turn her into a Maiden of Jannat. She had cared only for Earthly pleasures in her life so in her after life she cared only for providing heavenly pleasures. As Sayed’s hur’ayn she had gained some dignity and so she now had the honor to wear the burqa.
Surely the other hur’ayn of Sayed felt the same way. They all patiently waited in their concealment, their vision reduced to what the veil and grill in front of their eyes permitted. Once Sayed was properly dressed in his fine robes a led their long procession out of the mansion and into the streets of Jannat.
Although her vision was much reduced she could still see the splendor of it. How fitting that the believers should be blessed with such a paradise to spend eternity. Susan knew that her and all the other non-believers should count themselves fortunate that they were permitted entry at all. As their procession made its way down the street, Sayed in front with his wife behind him and two lines of hur’ayn behind her, they would pass by others. Sayed would exchange his greetings with the men. His wife and his hur’ayn lowered their eyes. Even if she did not lower her eyes Susan would have felt no lust for the man. As a Maiden of Jannat she was incapable of having feelings for anyone other than her master. She was bound to him by a bond more powerful than anything. Her supple and pleasing body was for his enjoyment alone. She was to be a source of pleasure for him…for all time.
It was not a surprise when the angel visited Sayed. I had been expecting it. For some time and uneasiness had been developing in him.
“Allah has sent me to you Sayed.”
“I hope I have not upset Allah.”
“Of course not. That is incapable of happening now. However, we sense that your peace here in Paradise is not complete. Is there something you desire?”
“Well…” Sayed hesitated for a moment. “I have a question about one of my hur’ayn.”
“Is it possible that some of them may eventually be rewarded with a higher level in heaven?”
“Why do you ask?”
“I have been thinking about one of my hur’ayn.”
“You have been thinking about Susan.”
It was not possible for Sayed to be surprised that the angel knew. He had expected his thoughts to already be known.
“Yes. I was wondering if it might be possible for Susan to be elevated to a higher level.”
“Why do you ask this?”
Sayed paused and thought about the question. For some time his thoughts had been heavy with thoughts about Susan. He had found himself feeling more and more attached to her. His thoughts often strayed to a desire to see her become more than a hu’ayn. Wishes that she had been a believer in life.
“Because I love her.”
“Are you sure that you love her? The Maidens of Jannat are very pleasing to the eye and the touch. Perhaps you are confusing your enjoyment of her for love?”
“No, I do not think so. I find myself wishing that she was a believer in her life so that her and I could be married.”
“But she was a non-believer in life. Why would you want one such as that for a wife?”
“I suppose I can not explain it. All I know is that I love her.”
The angel did not say anything more. He turned around left the house. Sayed stood still for a long time wondering if the angel would return with an answer when he heard movement behind him. He turned and what he saw froze him still. Susan was standing before him only she was different. She still had the youth and beauty of one in Paradise but her body had been changed, gone were the enormous breasts and sexy features. Instead she looked as she had did in life.
She looked at him for a long time. Tears slowly trickled down her eyes.
“Sayed. Thank you.”
He approached her and stopped right in front of her. Her eyes looked up at him. Her facial expression was so difficult to read.
“I had been a non-believer in life. When I died all I could be was a hur’ayn. But you loved me so much you made me your wife. I am amongst the believers now. Why did you do this?”
“Because I love you.”
She brought her mouth up to his. They tenderly kissed, the first of an eternity’s worth of kisses.
When she broke the kiss she looked at him intently. “There is just one thing. Except for when we are together I always want to be wearing the burqa. I erred in life, I now want to please Allah just as I want to please you.” Sayed looked down at his second wife. He knew he had made the right decision. She was greater than a non-believer or a Maiden of Jannat now. She was a pious believing woman.
“I love you so much my dear wife.”
“And I love you my dear husband.”