What is established in the authentic sunnah of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam is that each believer shall have two wives. However, there comes some narrations which indicate that some shall have more than that amount such as the shaheed [i.e. martyr] having a number of seventy two (72) wives in Paradise.
للشهيد عند الله سبع خصال : يغفر له في أول دفعة من دمه و يرى مقعده من الجنة و يحلى حلة الإيمان و يزوج اثنين و سبعين زوجة من الحور العين و يجار من عذاب القبر و يأمن من الفزع الأكبر و يوضع على رأسه تاج الوقار الياقوتة منه خير من الدنيا و ما فيها و يشفع في سبعين إنسانا من أهل بيته
It was reported in the hadeeth of al-Miqdaam ibn Ma’di-Karib that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“The martyr [shaheed] has seven blessings from Allaah:
- he is forgiven from the moment his blood is first shed
- he will be shown his place in Paradise
- he will be spared the trial of the grave
- he will be secure on the Day of the Greatest Terror [the Day of Judgement]
- there will be placed on his head a crown of dignity one ruby of which is better than this world and all that is in it
- he will be married to seventy-two of al-hoor al-‘iyn
- he will be permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives.”
[Saheeh al-Jaami by Albany rahimahullah #5182]
A Side Note: This is not according to the myth of some that the suicide bombers will have seventy two wives for killing themselves and for committing acts of terrorism since these actions are absolutely condemned in Islam.
Ash-Shaykh Bin Baaz, rahimahullah, said:
لكل واحد منهم زوجتين من الحور العين، غير ما يجود الله تعالى للآخرين مزيد الزوجات من الحور وما يحصل لهم من الزوجات من نساء الدنيا، فلا يحصيi عددهن إلا الله سبحانه وتعالى،
“… For each one amongst them [i.e. believers] will have two wives from Hoorul I’yn though it is exempted from that what Allah will honour others with of an additional increase of wives.
وهم في الجنة متفاوتون ليسوا على حد سواء، فهذا يعطى مئات وألوف وهذا يعطى أقل من ذلك، وهذا أكثر من ذلك؛ لأن نعيمهم متفاوت على حسب أعمالهم في الدنيا،
“They are in different levels in Paradise, [and] they aren’t equal; one will be given hundreds and thousands [of wives] and another will be given less than that and another would get more than that since their bliss is at different levels according to their deeds in the dunya…. ”
Also others said the minimum amount of wives a person will have in Paradise is two wives and according to the reward of the person in Paradise, the number of his wives will vary from one person to another. And Allah knows best.
AbdulFattah bin Uthman