houri (hōˈrē, houˈ–) [key] [Arab., = black-eyed], one of the beautiful maidens said by some Muslims to dwell in paradise for the enjoyment of the faithful. The passages in the Qur'an detailing the physical delights of heaven are considered by many Muslim critics as allegorical.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.