Jannah (Paradise) (Part 2 of 5)

The People of Paradise

The Deeds for Which People Will Deserve to Enter Paradise

The people of Paradise are the believers and strict monotheists. All those who associate others with Allaah or disbelieve in Him, or deny any of the principles of faith will not be allowed to enter Paradise. Their destination will be Hellfire.

The Qur’aan often states that the people of Paradise are the believers who do righteous deeds, to quote one of many examples:

“But whoever comes to Him as a believer [in tawheed] and has done righteous good deeds, for such are the high ranks [in the Hereafter] – ‘Adn [Eden] Paradise [everlasting gardens] under which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever: such is the reward of those who purify themselves”. [20:75-76]

* Believers may earn Paradise through their eemaan and Islaam:

“My worshippers! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve – [you] who believed in Our aayaat and were Muslims, enter Paradise you and your wives in happiness” [43:68-70]

* Or because they were sincere in their devotion to Allaah:

“Save the chosen slaves of Allaah [al-Mukhliseen]. For them there will be a known provision, fruits and they shall be honoured, in the gardens of delight.” [37:40-43]

* Or for the strength of their relationship with Allaah, their longing for Him and worship of Him:

“Only those who believe in our aayaat who, when they are reminded of them fall down prostrate, and glorify the praises of their rabb, and they are not proud. Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Rabb in fear and hope, and they spend [charity in Allaah’s Cause] our of what We have bestowed on them”. [32:15-16]

* Or for their patience and reliance upon Allaah Ta’ala:

“..Excellent is the reward of the workers, those who are patient and put their trust [only] in their Rabb[29:58-59]

* Or for their steadfastness in faith:

“Verily those who say “Our Rabb is Allaah” and remain firm [on that path], on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Such shall be the Companions of the Garden dwelling therein: a recompense for their good deeds”. [46:13-14]

* Or for their humility:

“Verily those who believe and do righteous deeds and humble themselves [in repentance and obedience] before their Rabb – they will be dwellers of Paradise to dwell therein forever” [11:23]

* Or for their fear of Allaah Ta’ala:

“But for him who fears standing before his Rabb there will be two Gardens” [55:46]

* Or for their hatred of the kuffaar and mushrikeen and their refusal to befriend them:
“You will not find any people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and His messenger, even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred [people]. For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Ruh [proof, light and guidance] from Himself. And We will admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein [forever]. Allaah is pleased with them and they with Him”. [58:22]

Some aayaat discuss in detail the righteous deeds for which a person may deserve Paradise; for example, Surah ar-Ra’d states:

“But it is only the men of understanding who pay heed, those who fulfill the Covenant of Allaah and break not the mithaaq, those who join that which Allaah has commanded to be joined, [i.e. good to relatives and not severing the ties of kinship], fear their Rabb and dread the terrible reckoning, and those who remain patient, seeking their Rabb’s Countenance, perform as-Salaat, and spend out of that which We have bestowed on them, secretly and openly, and defend evil with good, for such there is a good end ‘Adn [Eden] Paradise which they shall enter and [also] those who acted righteously from among their fathers and their wives, and their offspring. And angels shall enter unto them from every gate [saying] Salaamun ”alaykum for that you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!” [13:19-24]

And at the beginning of Surah al-Mu’minoon, Allaah explains that success is for the believers and then described the deeds that will qualify them for success:

“Successful indeed are the believers, those who offer their salaah with khushoo’, and those who turn away from al-laghw [dirty, false, evil, vain talk, falsehood and all that Allaah has forbidden], and those who pay the zakah, and those who guard their chastity, except from their wives or those whom their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame; but whoever seeks beyond that then those are the transgressors; those who are faithfully true to their amaanah [all duties that Allaah has ordained: honesty, moral responsibility, and trusts] and to their covenants and those who strictly guard their prayers [at the fixed times]. These are indeed the inheritors who shall inherit al-Firdaws. They shall dwell therein forever” [23:11]

The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salaam) also said, “The people of Paradise are three: a ruler who is fair and just; a man who is compassionate and gentle towards every relative and Muslim; and a man with a large family who is proud and does not beg” [Muslim, see Sharh an-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim, 17/198] 

The Way to Paradise is Very Hard

Paradise is very high, and ascending lofty places takes a great deal of effort. The way to Paradise is filled with things that go against human wishes and inclinations. This needs strong determination and willpower. In a hadith narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah (Radiyallahu Anhu) the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salaam) said,“Hell has been veiled with desires, and Paradise has been veiled with [surrounded by] hardships.”

an-Nasaa’ee, at-Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawud report from Abu Hurayrah (Radiyallahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salaam) said, “When Allaah created Paradise, He told Jibreel, “Go look at it”. So he went and looked at it, then he came back and said, “By Your Glory, no-one will hear of it but he will enter it”. So He surrounded it with hardships and said, “Go and look at it”. So he went and looked at it, then came back and said, “By Your Glory, I fear that no-one will enter it””. [Jaami al-Usool, 10/520, 8068]

an-Nawawi commented on the first hadith:

“This is an example of the beautiful, eloquent and concise speech which the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salaam) was capable, in which he gives a beautiful analogy. It means that nothing will help you to reach Paradise except going through hardships, and nothing will lead you to Hell, but whims and desires. Both are veiled as described, and whoever tears down the veil will reach what was hidden behind it. The veil of Paradise is torn down by going through hardships and the veil of Hell is torn down by giving in to whims and desires. Hardship including striving consistently and patiently in worship, restraining one’s anger, forgiving, being patient, giving in charity, being kind to those who mistreat you, resisting physical desires, etc” [Sharh an-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim, 17/165]

The People of Paradise

Description of the People of Paradise and the Delights They Enjoy Therein

The people of Paradise will enter in the most perfect and beautiful form, in the image of their father, Aadam (Alaihis Salaam), for there is no human form more perfect and beautiful than that of Aadam, whom Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) created very tall. He was as tall as a great palm tree, sixty cubits tall. Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah (Radiyallahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salaam) said,

“Allaah, Subhaanahu wa ta’aala, created Aadam in his own image, sixty cubits tall… everyone who enters Paradise will be in the image of Aadam, sixty cubits tall. People kept getting shorter and shorter after the time of Aadam.” [Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Jannah, Baab Yadkhul al-Jannah Aqwam Af’idatuhum mithl af’idatah at-Tayr 4:2183, no. 2841]

Their external appearance will be in harmony, and their hearts will be as one. Their hearts and souls will be clean and pure. Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah (Radiyallahu Anhu) a hadith in which the Prophet describes people entering Paradise including a group whose light will be like the full moon. He (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salaam) said, Their form will be that of a single person, after the image of their father Aadam, sixty cubits tall.” [Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Jannah, Baab Awwal zumrah yadkhuluna al-Jannah, 4/2179, no. 2834]

Another aspect of their beauty is that they will have no body hair, and will look as if their eyes are anointed with kohl. Each of them will enter Paradise aged thirty-three, the age of strength, vitality and youth. Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi report from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salaam) said, The people of Paradise will enter Paradise hairless, looking as if their eyes are ringed with kohl, aged thirty three.” [Saheeh al-Jaami’ 6/337, no. 7928]

The people of Paradise will not sleep. Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah and ‘Abdullaah ibn Abi Awfaa reported that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Salaam) said, “Sleep is the brother of death; the people of Paradise will not sleep” [Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 3/74, no. 1087, al-Kaamil of Ibn ‘Adiyy, al-Hilyah of Abu Na’eem, Taareekh Isbahaan, by Abul-Sheikh] 

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