"traditions" of Muhammad or the story of his life). Most distressing is the way in which this folk Islam has given rise to many of the "fundamentalist" Islamic movements that are responsible for and associated with acts of terrorism. Muslims today face the struggle of how to embrace their folkloric traditions while discounting the more troubling folk beliefs that are distorting the public image of what is an inherently peaceful religion. But as with the Jewish Talmud and all religious folklore, one cannot simply ignore its existence. By exploring what the actual stories, customs, and traditions tell us about the Islamic culture, we can attempt to distinguish whether the violent Islamic movements are derivations or merely distortions of Islamic folk belief.

Move your mouse over the picture above to find hotspots. Click on the hotspots to learn about different Islamic folklore about the afterlife, what it may tell us about the Islamic culture, and how Christians can relate their myth to the general Islam myth.

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Al-Janna
The Garden:
A Muslim Vision Of
Paradise

Al-Janna is well documented in the
Qur'an as the eternal reward for
those who serve Allah, do good,
endure, etc ("Comparative Index").
In fact, the Qur'an gives far more
physical details about its Paradise
than the Bible does about its
Heaven: the Qur'an cites eight
levels of Paradise, most gardens of
some form or another, and it
describes reclining couches,
abundant fruits, food, spring water,
goblets of silver, and so on
("Comparative Index"). But the
currently popular "knowledge" of
Al-Janna in our Christian dominated
society involves martyrs receiving
virgins. But this idea does not come
from the Qur'an; it is from the
from the Hadith, a word originally
meaning "saying" and referring to
the canon of sayings and stories
attributed to Muhammad and other
prophets (Campbell II). In other
words: Islamic folklore. There is
dispute in the Islamic community
over the sanctity of the various
Hadith and the Sunnah (the