The Description of Paradise - I

13/02/2013| IslamWeb

There is nothing Like It

The delights of Paradise surpass imagination and defy description. They are like nothing known to the people of this world no matter how advanced we may become.

What we achieve is nothing in comparison with the joys of the Hereafter. As is mentioned in several Ahadeeth, there is nothing like Paradise: “It is sparkling light, aromatic plants, a lofty palace, a flowing river, ripe fruit, a beautiful wife and abundant clothing, in an eternal abode of radiant joy, in beautiful, soundly-constructed high houses.” [Ibn Maajah] 

The Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was asked by his companions  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them about the buildings of Paradise and he replied with a wonderful description: “(In it are) Bricks of gold and silver, mortar of fragrant musk, pebbles of pearl and sapphire, and soil of saffron. Whoever enters it is filled with joy and will never feel miserable; he will live there forever and will never die; their clothes will never wear out and their youth will never fade.” [Ahmad and others]

Describing Paradise, Almighty Allah Says (what means): {And when you look there [in Paradise], you will see pleasure and great dominion."} [Quran 76:20]
What Allah Almighty has kept hidden from us of the delights of Paradise is beyond our ability to comprehend. Almighty Allah Says (what means):
{And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes [i.e. satisfaction] as reward for what they used to do.} [Quran 32. 17]
Besides, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:

“Allah, the Exalted, has said: “I have prepared for My righteous Slaves [in Paradise] what no eyes have ever seen, no ears have ever heard of, and what has never come to the mind or heart of a human being.”; recite, if you wish {And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes [i.e. satisfaction] as reward for what they used to do.} [Quran 32:17] [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Moreover, Imaam Muslim reported that Sahl Ibn Sa’d As-Saa’idi  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said: I attended a gathering where the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) described Paradise, and I stayed until he finished speaking. At the end of the description, he said: “In it is what no eyes have ever seen, no ears have ever heard of, and what has never come to the mind or heart of a human being.” He then recited the verse (which means): {Their sides part [i.e. they arise] from [their] beds; they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend ). And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes [i.e. satisfaction] as reward for what they used to do.} [Quran 32: 16-17]

The Gates of Paradise

Paradise has gates through which the believers will enter, as the angels enter therein, as Allah, the Most Exalted, Says (what means): {Gardens of perpetual residence, whose doors will be opened to them.} [Quran 38: 50]

Allah, the Most Exalted, Says (what means): {Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying]. ‘Peace [i.e. security] be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.’} [Quran 13: 23-24]

Allah, the Most High and Exalted, has told us that these gates will be opened when the believers reach them, and they [the believers] will be welcomed by the angels with greetings of peace. Almighty Allah Says (what means): {…when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, 'Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein,'} [Quran 39: 73]

The number of gates of Paradise is eight; one of them is called Ar-Rayaan, which is exclusively for those who fast. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “In Paradise there are eight gates. There is one gate called 'Ar-Rayyaan'. No-one will enter it except those who fast, and when they have entered, it will be locked behind them, and no-one else will enter it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

There are also gates for those who pray much, those who give charity and those who fight in Jihad, as well as the gate called Ar-Rayyaan for those who fast.

In a Hadeeth reported by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Abu Hurayrah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:

“Whoever spends a pair (of anything) from his wealth for the sake of Allah, will be called from the gates of Paradise, Paradise has eight gates. Whoever will be from the people of the prayer (i.e. the people who observe the prayer regularly, properly, and perform both obligatory and supererogatory prayers), will be called from the gate of prayer; whoever will be from among the people of Sadaqah (charity, i.e. spend money in charity) will be called from the gate of charity. Whoever will be from among the people of Jihad will be called from the gate of Jihad, and whoever will be from among the people of fasting (obligatory and optional) will be called from the gate of fasting.”

Furthermore, Abu Bakr  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said: “By Allah, it would not matter if a person was called from any of them, but will anyone be there to be called from all of them, O’ Messenger of Allah?” He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, “Yes, and I hope that you will be one of them.” [Al-Bukhari Muslim]

Abu Bakr’s question refers to a person who has all these good qualities: prayer, fasting, charity, Jihad, etc., in order to be called from all the gates. In another Hadeeth, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:

“Whoever spends a pair (of anything) for the sake of Allah will be called from all eight gates of Paradise. He also spoke of the person who performs ablution and does it properly, then lifts his gaze to the sky and says: ‘Ashhadu an laa ilaaha illallaah wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu,’ the eight gates of Paradise will be opened to him, and he will enter it through any gate he wishes.” [ibid]

Additionally, ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said: “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever performs ablution and does it well, then lifts his gaze to the heavens and says: ‘Ashhadu an laa ilaaha illa Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu (I bear witness that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, He has no partners nor associates, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger), the eight gates of Paradise will be opened to him, and he will enter it through any gate he wishes." [Muslim]

Allah also Says (what means): {…when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, 'Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein'.} [Quran 39:73]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) told us that there is a gate, which is specific for those who will not be called to account: this is the right-hand gate of Paradise. The rest of them will enter Paradise with all other nations through other gates. In a Hadeeth about Ash-Shafaa‘ah (intercession), the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:

“Allah will say: ‘O Muhammad, admit those of your Ummah (followers) who do not need to be brought to account through the right hand gate; and the others will enter through other gates like the rest of the people.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In the same Hadeeth, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) described the width of the gate of Paradise, stating that the width between the two sides of the gate is like the distance between Makkah and Hajar, or between Makkah and Basra.” [ibid]

The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The distance between the two gate-panels of one of the gates of Paradise is the distance of forty-year’s walking, but a time will come when it would be very crowded.” [Ahmad]

To be continued…

 

www.islamweb.net