Why are eating and sexual relations included in the pleasures of paradise?
A living body is in constant formation and deformation and subject to disintegration;
therefore it cannot be eternal. Eating and drinking are for the perpetuation
of the individual, and sexual relations are for the perpetuation of the species.
These are fundamental to the worldly life but there is no need for them in the
world of eternity. So why have they been included in the greatest pleasures
Firstly, a living body is doomed to decline and death because of the imbalance
between what it takes in and what it consumes. From childhood to the age of
maturity, what it takes in is more than it expends. Afterwards its expenditure
increases until it results in the destruction of the balance and death. In the
world of eternity, however, the particles of the body remain constant and are
not subject to disintegration and reformation. Or the balance between the body’s
income and consumption remains constant. Like moving in perpetual cycles, a
living body gains eternity together with the constant operation of the factory
of bodily life for pleasure. Although in this world eating, drinking and sexual
relations between married couples arise from a need and per-form a function,
a great variety of excellent pleasures are ingrained in them as an immediate
wage for the functions performed, which are superior to other pleasures. Since
in this world of ailments eating and marriage are means to many wonderful and
various pleasures, for sure, in Paradise, which is the realm of happiness and
pleasures, those pleasures will take on a most elevated form, and with the addition
to them as pleasures of the otherworldly wages for the duties performed in the
world and of the need felt for them in the world in the form of a pleasant,
otherworldly appetite, they will become an all-encompassing, living source of
pleasure, appropriate to Paradise and eternity.
This life of the world is nothing but a pastime and a game, but the Abode
of the Hereafter, it is all living indeed.
According to the verse, all the lifeless and unconscious substances and objects
in this world are living and conscious there. Like human beings and animals
here, the trees and stones there will understand commands and carry them out.
If you tell a tree to bring you such-and-such a fruit, it will bring it. If
you tell a stone to come, it will come. Since stones and trees will take on
such an elevated form, for sure and of a necessity, together with preserving
their bodily realities, eating, drinking and marital relations also will take
on a form as much higher than their worldly forms as Paradise is higher than