The Poor Will Enter Jannah Ahead of the Rich
Muslim reports from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr (Radiallaahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said “ The poor of the Muhajireen will enter Paradise forty years ahead of the rich “. (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/663, no. 5235)
at-Tirmidhi reported from Abu Sa’eed, and Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah reported from Abu Hurayrah, that the Messenger of Allah (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said: “ The poor of the Muhajireen will enter Paradise five hundred years ahead of the rich of the Muhajireen ” (Saheeh al-Jaami’ 4/90, no.4104).
Elsewhere the Prophet (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) explained that these are the people who have nothing to be brought account for, and this is in addition to their jihaad and virtue. al-Haakim reported from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr that the Messenger of Allah (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said, ” Do you know who will be the first of my ummah to enter Paradise?” I said, “Allah and His Messenger know best”. He said, “The poor of the Muhajireen. They will come to the gate of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection and ask for it to be opened. The gatekeepers will say to them, “Have you been brought to account?” They will say, “What do we need to be brought to account for? We were carrying our swords and fighting for the sake of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) until we died.” Then the gates will be opened for them and they will stay there for forty years before anyone else enters “. (Silsilah al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 2/532, no. 853, al-Haakim said it is sahih according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari and Muslim).
al-Bukhaari reports from Usaamah ibn Zayd that the Prophet (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said, ” I stood by the gate of Paradise and saw that the majority of those who entered were the poor and wretched. The rich [Muslims] were detained while the people of Hell were ordered to be taken to Hell “. (Sahih al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, BAab Sifaat al-Jannah, wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 2/345)
Some of the hadith quoted above stated that the poor will enter Paradise forty years ahead of other people while others state that the difference will be five hundred years. The two statements may be reconciled by pointing out that the poor are not all alike, neither are the rich. As al-Qurtubee suggested (at-Tadhkirah, p.470) the poor vary in the strength of their imaan and their achievements, and the same applies to the rich. If we think in terms of the first of the poor and the last of the rich to enter Paradise then the time-span will be five hundred years, but if we are thinking of the last of the poor and the first of the rich, then the time span is forty years. And Allah knows best.” (Ibn Katheer, an-Nihaayah, 2/345)
The Gates of Paradise
Paradise has gates through which the believers, like the angels, will enter:
“‘ Adn [Eden – everlasting gardens] of Paradise, whose doors will open for them” [38:50]
“… And angels shall enter unto them from every gate [with the salutation]: “Peace be unto you for that you persevered in patience! How excellent is the final home!” [13:23-24]
The number of gates in Paradise is eight, one of which is called ar-Rayyaan, which is exclusively for those who fast.
al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Sahl ibn Sa’eedi that the Messenger of Allah (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said,
“ In Paradise there are eight gates, one of which is 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” . [Ibn Katheer, an-Nihaayah, 2/214]
In addition to ar-Rayyaan, there are also gates for those who pray much, those who give in charity and those who fight in jihaad; Abu Hurayrah (Radiallaahu Anhu) reported that the Prophet (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said,” Whoever spends a pair [of anything] from his wealth for the sake of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) will be called from the gates of Paradise, and Paradise has eight agates. Whoever used to pray [regularly and properly] will be called from the gate of prayer; whoever use to give in charity will be called from the gate of charity’ whoever used to fight in jihaad will be called from the gate of jihaad, and whoever used to fast [regularly] will be called from the gate of fasting”.
The Prophet (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) also said, ” Whoever performs wudhu and does it properly, then lifts his gaze to the sky and says, “Ashhadu an laa ilaaha illa Allah, wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abdahu wa rasuluhu, the eight gates of Paradise will be opened to him, and he will enter it through whichever one he wishes”. [Muslim, Ahmad and others on the authority of ‘Umar, an-Nihaayah, 2/219]
The Prophet (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) described the width of the gates of Paradise:
“By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the distance between two panels of the gates of Paradise or between the two gateposts, is like the distance between Makkaah and Hajar, or between Makkah and Basra” [an-Nihaayah, 2/221]
The Prophet (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) has told us that the gates of Paradise are opened during Ramadhaan. al-Bukhaari, Muslim, and Ahmad report from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said, ” When the month of Ramadhan comes, the gates of heaven are opened” .
In the narration of at-Tabaraani reported in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer from ‘Abdullaah ibn Salaam, it is said “.. and it [the gate] will become as crowded as a drinking-trough surrounded by thirsty camels”.