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What Does Islamic Faith Promise Martyrs?

Voice of Reason: Predictions for 2004 Revisite

Early Monday morning, two female suicide bombers set off explosions in two of Moscow's busy subway stations, killing 38 people and wounding 60 others.

The attack comes on the heels of several high-profile killings of Islamic militant leaders in the Caucasus region, and Russian officials are reportedly blaming the attacks on rebels from the area, which is located on the border of Europe and Asia.

Islamic extremists who believe in suicide bombing as martyrdom expect rewards in the afterlife, as specified by the Quran. According to the religious text of Islam, male martyrs will receive 72 virgin maidens in paradise as a reward for their sacrifice.

But what about female martyrs? What is promised to them in the afterlife?

According to Muslim scholars, female martyrs can expect to find their husbands in paradise. A woman who had multiple husbands in life will be able to choose the best one as her eternal spouse in the afterlife.

Religious commentators state that paradise will make female martyrs beautiful and happy, and satisfied to be with only one man. Additionally, their earthly devotion to Allah will make them superior to the virgin maidens in heaven, and thus their husband's affections will never stray.

Denise Chow

Denise Chow was the assistant managing editor at Live Science before moving to NBC News as a science reporter, where she focuses on general science and climate change. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for, writing about rocket launches and covering NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.