Similarity of Paradise to wordily life only in names
Fatwa No: 334756

  • Fatwa Date:25-9-2016 - Thul-Hijjah 23, 1437
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Question

I have heard that you claim in your fatwa that nothing resembles Paradise except in name only? Does this mean that the descriptions are simply analogies and are not meant to be taken literally? If so, then what is the purpose of the description? What have the scholars said?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

We did not produce this statement as suggested by your words "you claim". Rather, it was reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him cited by Al-Bayhaqi, and judged as saheeh (sound) by Al-Albaani in his book As-Silsilah As-Saheehah. You can find it in fatwa 319582.

Al-Munaawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on the meaning of the statement, “Nothing in Paradise resembles anything in the life of this world except in name,” saying:

It means that only the names are similar when it comes to what is in this worldly life and what is in Paradise. The pleasures, delights, and all things in Paradise are far superior to their counterparts in the worldly life; the scope of the difference between them is beyond the knowledge of human beings. The foods of Paradise, marriage, and all the states therein share only the names with their worldly counterparts and are similar to them in some qualities and considerations. They are given the same names metaphorically, but they are different in the perfection of their essence.

This difference between the worldly pleasures and delights and their counterparts in the worldly life is indicated by the description of the wine in Paradise stated in the Quran. The wine of Paradise is free from all the evils that are associated with the wine of this worldly life, which makes people lose their mind, causes headaches, stomachaches, and other physical disorders. The wine of Paradise is free from all such faults and evils.

The purpose of making mention of the worldly counterparts of the delights and pleasures in Paradise, despite the difference between them, is to make it easier for the human mind to imagine them by highlighting these (slight) aspects of similarity between them.

Allaah knows best.

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