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al-Jannah wa an-Naar - Part 3

al-Jannah wa an-Naar - In The Light of the Qur'aan and Sunnah - Part 3
Based on the Book by Dr. Umar Sulaiman al-Ashqar
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:

"..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:

"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 (saw) 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 People of Paradise: 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 (ra) the Messenger of Allaah (saw) 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 (ra) that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) 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 (saw) 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: The People of Paradise Will Inherit The Portion of Paradise That Would Have Gone to the People of Hell
Allaah has given two positions to every descendent of Aadam: a position in Jannah and a position in Jahanam. Then whoever is destined to damnation of the kuffaar and mushrikeen will inherit the positions in Hell that had been allocated to the people of Paradise, and those of the people of Paradise for whom eternal bliss is decreed will inherit the portions of Paradise that had been allocated to the people of Hell. After describing the good deeds that would earn Paradise for the successful believers, Allaah said, "These are indeed the inheritors, who shall inherit the Fridays"

Ibn Katheer said in his commentary on this aayah: "Ibn Abi Haatim said - and he quoted to the isnaad going back to Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said:

"There is no one among you who does not have two positions, one in Paradise and one in Hell. The believer will have a house built for him in Paradise, and his house in Hell will be demolished"
. A similar report was narrated from Sa'eed ibn Jubayr.

The believers will inherit the positions of the kuffaar, because those positions were created for those who worship Allaah (swt) alone and do not associate anything in worship with Him, because they did what they were commanded to do as far as worship is concerned, whilst the kuffaar neglected the duty for which they had been created. So the believers gained the share that the kuffaar would have gained if they had obeyed Allaah (swt) and they will gain even more than that. Muslim reported from Abu Burdah from Abu Musaa that the Prophet (saw) said: "Some people amongst the Muslims will come on the Day of Resurrection with sins as great as a mountain. Allaah will forgive them, and will pass [the burden of sin] to the Jews and Christians". According to another version of this hadith, the Prophet (saw) said, "When the Day of Judgement comes, Allaah (swt) will allocate a Jew or Christian for every Muslim and will say, "This is your ransom from the Fire". This hadith reflects the words of Allaah (swt):

"Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our slaves who have been al-Muttaqoon"
[19:63] and

"This is the Paradise which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds which you used to do [in the life of this world]"
[43:72] [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/10]


The People of Paradise: The Weak and Destitute Will Form the Majority in Paradise
Most of those who will enter Paradise will be the weak and destitute, whom people tend to ignore and care little about, but in the sight of Allaah (swt) they are important, becuse they fear Him and worship Him faithfully and with humility. al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Hareethah ibn Wahb that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said:

"Shall I not tell you about the people of Paradise? They said, "Of course". He said, "Every weak and oppressed person; if he were to implore Allaah for anything, He would grant it to him."
[Jaami' al-Usool, 10/535]

An-Nawawi said, commenting on this hadith: "It refers to those who others despise, scorn and oppress because of their weak position in this world. What is meant is that most of the people of Paradise will be of this type, but it does not meant that all of them will be". [Sharh an-Nawawi alaa Muslim, 17/187]

al-Bukhaari, Ahmad and Muslim reported from Usaamah ibn Zayd that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said: "I stood at the gate of Paradise and saw that most of those who entered were the poor and destitute. The people of means were held back, whilst the people of Hell had been ordered into the Fire. I stood by the gate of Hell, and saw that most of those who entered it were women". [Mishkaat al-Masaabih, 2/663 no 5233]

The People of Paradise: Will There Be More Men or Women in Paradise?
Men and women engaged in this dispute when the Sahaabah were still alive. Muslim reports from Ibn Sireen:

"Men and women disputed as to which of them would form the majority in Paradise. According to another report, either they were competing, or they were discussing, whether there would be more men or women in Paradise. They consulted Abu Hurayrah, who said that women would form the majority, on the basis of the words of the Prophet (saw):

"The first group to enter Paradise will be as beautiful as the full moon, and the group that follows them will be like the brightest shining stars in the sky: each man of them will have two wives, the marrow of whose leg-bones will be visible through the flesh because of their extreme beauty. There will be no one who is unmarried in Paradise""
[Sahih Muslim, Kitaab al-Jannah, Baab awwal zumrah tadhkul al-Jannah, 4/2179, hadith no. 2834]

This hadith clearly indicates that there will be more women than men in Paradise. Some others though that there would be more men, because of the hadith, "I saw that they [women] formed the majority of the people of Hell". The response to this is the fact that women will form the majority of the inhabitants of Hell does not necessarily mean that they will be a minority in Paradise, as Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalaani said [Fath al-Baari 6/325]

The two hadiths may be reconciled by stating that women will be in the majority in both Paradise and Hell, just as there are more women than men in this world. We could say that the hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah indicates that the total number of women in paradise, including women of this world and al-Hoor al-'Eeyn will outnumber men. The question then is, who will be greater in number in Paradise: the men of this world or the women? al-Qurtubee reconciled between these two hadiths by suggesting that women will form the majority of the inhabitants of Hell before the Shafaa'ah [intercession], when the sinners from amongst the muwwahideen will be brought out of Hell. Thereafter women will form the majority of the people of Paradise. [at-Tadhkirah, al-Qurtubee, p. 475]

The small number of women in Paradise is indicated in a report narrated by Ahmad and Abu Ya'laa from 'Amr ibn al-'Aas who said, "Whilst we were with the Messenger of Allaah (saw) on this mountain path, he said, "Look, can you see anything?" We said, "We see crows, and one of them stands out because its beak and feet are red". The Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "No women will enter Paradise except those who are as rare among them as this crow is among the others"" [Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 4/466, no. 1851]

The People of Paradise: The Children of the Believers
The children of the Believers who die before reaching the age of puberty will be in Paradise, insha'Allaah, by the Grace and Mercy of Allaah. He (swt) says:

"And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in faith - to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything. Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned"

'Ali ibn Abi Taalib understood this aayah - "Every person is a pledge for what he has earned" [74:38] - to indicate that the children of the believers would be in Paradise, because they did not earn anything for which they would be considered a pledge. [at-Tadkhirah, p. 511]

al-Bukhaari included a chapter in his Saheeh entitled "The virtue of one whose child dies and he bears it with patience for the sake of Allaah", in which he quoted the hadith of Anas who said that, "A Muslim whose three children die before reaching the age of puberty will be admitted to Paradise by Allaah out of Mercy towards them."

According to a hadith narrated by Abu Sa'eed the women asked the Prophet (Saw) "Set aside a day for us". So he preached to them and said, "Any woman whose three children die will be shielded from the Fire by them." A woman asked, "What about two?" He said, "And if two [die]." [Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Janaa'iz, Baab fadl man mata lahu walad fa ahtasaba, Fath al-Baari, 3/118]

According to a hadith narrated by al-Baraa' (saw), "When [the Prophet's son] Ibraaheem, died, the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "There is a wet nurse for him in Paradise"". [Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Janaa'iz, Baab ma qila fi awlaad al-Muslimeen, Fath al-Baari, 3/244]

The conclusion that may be drawn from this hadith is that the children of the believers will be in Paradise as Ibn Hajar says, "The one who is the reason for his parents being shielded from the Fire should be protected himself, because he is the means and cause of mercy". [Fath al-Baari, 3/244]

A number of reports clearly indicate this for example, "The Muslims and the children will be in Paradise" [narrated by 'Ali, quoted by 'Abdullaah ibn Ahmad in Ziyaadat al-Musnad]

"A Muslim couple whose three children die before reaching the age of puberty will be admitted by Allaah to paradise, they and their children, by His Grace and Mercy"
[Fath al-Baari, 2/245]

From Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said: "Their little ones are the pageboys of Paradise. One of them will meet his father - or his parents - and take hold of his clothes - or his hand - just as I am taking hold of the hem of your garment, and he will not let go" Or he said," And he will not let go until Allaah admits him to Paradise." [Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 1/184, no. 342]

"The children of the believers will be in Paradise, being cared for by Ibraaheem and Sarah until they give them back to their parents on the Day of Resurrection".
[narrated by Abu Na'eem, ad-Daylami and Ibn 'Asaakir from Abu Hurayrah - Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 3/451 no. 1467; see also 2/156 no. 603 narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan, al-Haakim]

an-Nawawi referred to the ijmaa'' of reliable Muslim scholars that any Muslim child who dies will be in Paradise. [Fath al-Baari, 3/244]. al-Qurtubee stated that Hammaad ibn Zayd, Hammad ibn Salamah and Ishaaq ibn Rahawayh refrained from giving an opinion [at-Tadhkirah, p.511]. an-Nawawi said, "Some of them refrained from giving an opinion because of the hadith of 'Aaishah which was reported by Muslim with the wording, "A boy of the Ansaar died, and I said, "It is good for him, because he did not do or know any evil". The Prophet (saw) said, "You should not say that because Allaah (swt) has created its own people for Paradise.." The response to that is that he was most likely rebuking her for hastening to say something so decisive with no proof, or else he said that before he knew that the children of the Muslims would be in Paradise." [Fath al-Baari, 3/244].

I suggest that the best opinion is that this hadith indicates that it is not permitted to state definitely that any one particular person is one of the people of Paradise, even if we know that in general they will be in Paradise.

The second point is that we should not be hasty in such matters, so that people will not dare to do what happens so often nowadays, when the bereaved claim that their departed loved one is in Paradise, even though he was the worst of people. Ibn Taymiyyah said, "We should not say every single child of the believers that he is in Paradise, but we accept that this is the case in general." [Majmu' Fataawa Shaykh al-Islaam, 4/281]

The People of Paradise: The Children of the Mushrikeen
The Messenger of Allaah (saw) was asked about the children of the Mushrikeen and he said, "Allaah who created them knows best what they would have done". [on the authority of Ibn 'Abbaas, Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Janaa'iz, Baab ma qilaa fi awlaad al-Mushrikeen, Fath al-Baari, 3/246]

Abu Hurayrah (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) said, "Every child is born in a state of fitrah [the natural state of man] and his parents make him a Jew or a Christian, or a Magian, just as an animal produces a perfect baby animal: do you find it mutilated?" [Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Janaa'iz, Baab ma qilaa fi awlaad al-Mushrikeen, Fath al-Baari, 3/246]

As Ibn Hajar said, "al-Bukhaari may Allaah have mercy on him, indicated that he was refraining from giving an opinion on the children of the mushrikeen.

Later in his Saheeh, in the tafseer of Surat ar-Rum, he indicates that he favoured the suggestion that they are in Paradise. He also organised the hadith in this chapter in such a way that shows this was his favoured opinion. He starts with a hadith which indicates that we cannot say one way or the other, then quotes a hadith which indicates that they are in Paradise, and follows that with a hadith that clearly states that this is the case:

"As for the children around him, they are the children of mankind." In another version, "As for the two children around him, every child is born in a state of fitrah." Some of the Muslims asked, "Even the children of the Mushrikeen?" He said, "Even the children of the mushrikeen"

Ibn Hajar said, "This is supported by the hadith of Anas reported by Abu Ya'la, in which the Prophet (saw) said, "I asked my Rabb for the laheen [those who play or those who are unaware] of the children of mankind, that they would not be punished, and that was granted to me." [its isnaad is hasan] Laheen was explained as meaning children, because of the hadith of ibn 'Abbaas nrarted by al-Bazzar. Ahmad reported from al-Khansaa bint Mu'aawiyah ibn Suraym from her paternal aunt who said, "I said, "O Messenger of Allaah, who is in Paradise?" He said, "Prophets are in Paradise, martyrs are in Paradise and newborn babies are in Paradise". Its isnaad is hasan. [Fath al-Baari, 3/246]

They also took as evidence the hadith, "The children of the mushrikeen are servants of the people of Paradise" [Ibn Mandah in al-Ma'rifah, Abu Na'eem in al-Hilyah, Abu Ya'la in al-Musnad and al-Albaani deemed it saheeh by the sum of its isnaad, Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 3/452, no. 1468]

The idea that they are in Paradise is the opinion of some scholars, such as favoured by Abul-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzee [Majmu' Fataawa, 24/382, 4/303] an-Nawawi said of this opinion, "This is the correct position favoured by those who study the words of Allaah,

"..And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger [to give warning]"
[17:15]" [Fath al-Baari, 3/247]

al-Qurtubee also considered this the most likely t be corrected, reconciling the apparently conflicting reports by saying that the Prophet (saw) initially said they would be in Hell with their parents, then he refrained from passing any judgement and said "Allaah knows best what they would have done", then it was revealed to him that no one would be punished for the sins of another [17:15] so he stated that the would be in Paradise [at-Tadhkirah, p.515]. The trouble with this way of reconciliation, as Ibn Hajar said, is that this is not a matter that can be subjected to study and examination. It is a matter of al-Ghayb, which can only be known through revelation. And Allaah knows best.

Some scholars such as Hammaad ibn Zayd, Hammaad ibn Salamah, Ibn al-Mubaarak and Ishaaq, say that they are subject to the will of Allaah. It was also transmitted by al-Bayhaqee in al-I'tiqaad from ash-Shaaf'iee. Ibn 'Abdul-Barr said "This might be the opinion of Maalik, although there is no written evidence for that" [Majmu' Fatawah, 4/281-404, 24/372] and Abul-Hasan al-Ash'ari attributed this opinion to Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah, [Majmu' Fatawah, 24/372].

This is also the favoured view of Ibn Taymiyyah, who suggested that they will be tested of the day of Resurrection - "The correct view is what was said concerning them, Allaah knows best what they would have done". We cannot say of any particular individual that he will be in Paradise or Hell. A number of hadiths state that on the Day of Resurrection they will be tested in the arena of judgement: they will be given commands and prohibitions and those who obey will enter Paradise, whilst those who disobey will be sent to Hell." He attributed this to Imaam Ahmad and Abul-Hasan al-Ash'ari who attributed it to Ahlus-Sunnah [Majmu' Fataawa, 24/372, 4/303, 4/281].

Ibn Hajar also stated that they would be tested in the Hereafter by being shown the Fire: whoever enters it will find it cool and safe, but whoever refuses to enter it will be punished. Ahadeeth to this effect were reported by al-Bazzar from Anas and Abu Sa'eed and by at-Tabaraani from Mu'aadh ibn Jabal. It has been proven through saheeh asaanid that the insane and those who lived between the time of Jesus (as) and Muhammad (saw) will also be tested in the Hereafter. al-Bayhaqee stated in al-I'tiqaad that this is the correct opinion. [Fath al-Baari 3/246].

The soundness of this opinion is indicated by the clear unambiguous aayaat of the Qur'aan which tells the story of the righteous slave whom Musa (as) travelled to meet at the junction of the two seas. Explaining the reason why he killed the boy he said,


"And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief" [18:80].

Muslim reports from Ibn 'Abbaas (ra) "The Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, concerning the boy was killed by al-Khidr, "He was decreed from the beginning to be a kaafir and if he had been left, he would have oppressed his parents with his rebellion and disbelief." Commenting on this hadith, Ibn Taymiyyah said "It means that Allaah decreed it in Umm al-Kitaab [the Register Book in Jannah] i.e. it was written that he would be a kaafir and if he had lived he would have been a kaafir indeed."

al-Qurtubee said, in at-Tadhkirah [p.514]: "What makes this idea [that they will be tested in the Hereafter] weak is the fact that the Hereafter is not the place of testing; it is the place of recompense - reward of punishment. al-Hulaymee said "This hadith is not proven to be sound, and it contradicts the basic beliefs of the Muslims, because the Hereafter is not the place of testing. Everyone will inevitably know about Allaah, and there is no test when a thing is inevitable."

This is incorrect and was refuted by Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah who said, "Responsibility only ceases when one enters the abode of recompense, which is either Paradise or Hell. In the arena of judgement they will be tested just as they are tested in al-Barzakh. The individual will be asked, "Who is your Rabb? What is your deen? Who is your Prophet?" Allaah (swt) says, "[Remember] the Day when the Shin shall be laid bare and they shall be called to prostrate to Allaah but they [hypocrites] will not be able to do so" [68:42]..." [Majmu' Fataawa, 24/ 372]

Testing will only cease when a person enters Paradise or Hell. al-Qurtubee's suggestion that everyone will inevitably know Allaah on that Day is correct, but the testing will take the form of orders and prohibitions as is reported in a number of texts. Allaah (swt) will test them by ordering them to enter the Fire: whoever obeys will be blessed, whilst whoever disobeyed will be doomed.

The People of Paradise: The Number of People from This Ummah in Paradise
Many people from this ummah will enter Paradise, but only Allaah knows their exact number. al-Bukhaari reports from Sa'eed ibn Jubayr who said, "Ibn 'Abbaas told me that the Prophet (saw) said, "I was shown the nations, and I saw a Prophet passing by with his ummah, another with a band of followers, another with ten followers, another with five, and another who was alone. I looked and saw a huge crowd of people, and I asked, "O Jibreel, are these my ummah?" He said, "No look at the horizon." I looked and saw a vast multitude. He said,"These are your ummah, and the seventy thousand in front will not be brought to account or be punished." [al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab Yadhkul al-Jannah Sab'oona Alfaan, Fath al-Baari, 11/406]

The first crowd which the Prophet (Saw) thought was his ummah was in fact the Children of Israel as is stated in a number of saheeh reports, "I hoped that this would be my ummah, but I was told that this was Musa and his people." [Fath al-Baari, 11/407].

Concerning the words "a vast multitude" Ibn Hajar said, "A report from Sa'eed ibn Mansoor says, "huge" [Adheem] and adds, "It was said to me, "look at the horizon" So I looked and I saw a huge multitude. Then I was told, "Look at the other horizon, it is just like the first one."" According to a report given by Ibn Faadil, "[I saw] a multitude that filled the horizon and it was said to me "Look here and here, all across the horizon". According to a version narrated by Ahmad, "I saw my ummah filling the plains and the mountains, and I was amazed at the numbers and their appearance. I was asked, "Are you pleased O Muhammad?" and I said, "Yes O Rabb."" [Fath al-Baari, 11/408]

Some hadiths state that along with every thousand of the seventy thousand will be another seventy thousand plus three handfuls added by Allaah.

Our Prophet (saw) hoped that this ummah would constitute half of the population of Paradise. In a hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon, Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri said that when the Messenger of Allaah (saw) was speaking about who would be sent to hell, he said, "By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise. Among the people you are no more than a black hair on the hide of a white bull.." [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/8]

Some hadith state that this ummah will constitute two thirds of the population of Paradise. at-Tirmidhi reports with a hasan isnaad and ad-Daarimee and al-Bayhaqee also report, from Buraydah, that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "The people of Paradise are one hundred and twenty ranks, eight from this ummah and forth from the rest of the nations." [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/92, no. 5644]

Muslim reports from Anas (ra) that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "I will be the first intercessor in Paradise. No Prophet was believed in as I was believed in. Among the Prophets is one who was believed in by only one man." [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/124, no. 5744].

The reason why so many people of this ummah believed is because of the great miracle of the Messenger of Allaah (saw), which was a recited revelation which is addressed to hearts and minds. It is a miracle that is preserved and will remain until the Day of Judgement. al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said,

"There is no Prophet who was not given a sign [or miracle] in which people believed and followed him. That which I have been given is a Revelation from Allaah and I hope that I will have the greatest number of followers on the Day of Resurrection."
[Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/142, 5746]

The People of Paradise: The Leaders of the People of Paradise
(i) The Leaders of the Men

A number of the Sahaabah, including 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib, Anas ibn Maalik, Abu Hudhayfah, Jaabir ibn 'Abdullaah, and Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri reported that the Messenger (saw) said, "Abu Bakr and 'Umar will be the leaders of men of Paradise from the earlier and later generations." [Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 12/487, no. 824]

(ii) The Leaders of the Youth

at-Tirmidhi, al-Haakim, at-Tabaraani, Ahmad and others reported that Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri said, that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "Hasan and Husayn are the leaders of the youth of Paradise". This is proven by so many reports that reach the level of tawatur. [see also the narration from Hudhayfah and from 'Abdullaah ibn 'Umar in Ibn 'Asaakir - Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, no. 797]

(iii) The Leaders of the Women

The true female leader is the one with whom her Rabb is pleased and whose deeds He accepts. The best women are those who attain the Paradise of delights. The women of Paradise are of different levels, and the Messenger (saw) told us about their leaders:

"The Messenger of Allaah (saw) drew four lines and said, "Do you know what these are?" They said, "Allaah and His Messenger know best." He said, "The best women of Paradise are Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Faatimah bint Muhammad, Maryam bint 'Imraan and Aasiyah bin Muzahim, the wife of Fir'awn" [Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 4/13, no. 1508, from Ahmad at-Tahhaawi, al-Haakim from Ibn 'Abbaas, saheeh]

Maryam and Khadeejah are the best of the four - "The best of its women is Maryam and the best of its women is Khadeejah" [from 'Ali in al-Bukhaari, Kitaab Manaaqib al-Ansaar, Fath al-Baari, 7/133] - and Maryam is the "First Lady" - "The leaders of the women of Paradise, AFTER Maryam bint 'Imraan will be.." [Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 3/410, no. 1424, from Jaabir in at-Tabaraani, saheeh]. The reason why Maryam is considered the best of all women is clearly stated in the Qur'aan:

"Behold! the angels said, "O Maryam! Allaah has chosen you and purified you, chosen you above the women of all nations."

How could she not be the best of women when Allaah has clearly stated that,

"..her Rabb accepted her with a goodly acceptance. He made her to grow in a good manner".

These four women are beautiful examples of perfect, righteous women. Maryam, the daughter of 'Imraan, is praised by Allaah in the Qur'aan:

"And Maryam, daughter of Imraan, who guarded her chastity; and We breather into [the sleeve of her shirt/garment] through Our Ruh [i.e. Jibreel] and she testified to the truth of the Words of her Rabb, and [also believed in] His Scriptures and she was one of the Qaaniteen [obedient to Allah]"

Khadeejah as-Siddeeqah believed in the Messenger (saw) without hesitation; she consoled him and supported him in every way. Her Rabb gave her the good news, during her lifetime, of a place in Paradise in which there would be no noise or exhaustion [al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Manaaqib, Fath al-Baari, 7/133]

Aasiyah the wife of Fir'awn, despised the power and luxuries of this world and rejected Pharaoh and his false claims of divinity, so her husband tortured her until her soul departed to her Creator:

"And Allaah sets forth an example for those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, "My Rabb! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Pharaoh and his works, and save me from the Dhaalimoon [those that do wrong]"

Faatimah az-Zahraa, the daughter of the Prophet (saw) was patient and forbearing, and feared Allaah. She was a branch from the pure tree, brought up by the educator of humanity.

The People of Paradise: The Ten Who Were Given Glad Tidings of Paradise
The Messenger (saw) clearly stated that ten of his Companions would be in Paradise:

"Abu Bakr will be in Paradise, 'Umar will be in Paradise, 'Uthmaan will be in Paradise, 'Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, az-Zubayr will be in Paradise, 'Abdur-Rahmaan ibn 'Awf will be in Paradise, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqaas will be in Paradise, Sa'eed ibn Zayd will be in Paradise and Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah will be in Paradise." [sahih, Ahmad from Sa'eed ibn Zayd, at-Tirmidhi from 'Abdur-Rahmaan ibn 'Awf, Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer, 1/70, no. 50]

"Ten will be in Paradise: the Prophet will be in Paradise. Abu Bakr will be in Paradise, 'Umar will be in Paradise, 'Uthmaan will be in Paradise, 'Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwaam will be in Paradise, 'Sa'd ibn Maalik will be in Paradise, Abdur-Rahmaan ibn 'Awf will be in Paradise, and Sa'eed ibn Zayd will be in Paradise." [sahih, Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah, ad-Diyaa, from Sa'eed ibn Zayd Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 4/34, no. 3905]

The Books of the Sunnah tell us that one day the Prophet (saw) was sitting at the well of 'Arees, with Abu Musa al-Ash'ari acting as his gatekeeper. Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq came and asked permission to see him, and the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "Let him in, and give him the glad tidings of Paradise". Then 'Umar came and he said, "Let him in and give him the glad tidings of Paradise". Then 'Uthmaan came and he said, "Let him in, and give him the glad tidings of Paradise because of an affliction that will befall him" [al-Bukhaari, Muslim and at-Tirmidhi. Jaami' al-Usool, 8/562, no. 6372]

Ibn 'Asaakir reported with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn Mas'oud that the Prophet (saw) said, "My successor will be in Paradise, his successor will be in Paradise, and the third and fourth will be in Paradise." [namely, the Khulafaa Rashida] [Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 4/149, no. 4311]

at-Tirmidhi and al-Haakim reported with a saheeh isnaad from 'Aa'ishah that the Prophet (saw) said to Abu Bakr, "You are free from the Fire." [Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer, 2/24, no. 1494]


The People of Paradise: Others Who It Was Reported Will Be In Paradise
* Ja'far ibn Abi Taalib and Hamzah ibn 'Abdul-Muttaalib

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said "I saw Ja'far ibn Abi Taalib flying like an angel with his two wings in Paradise" [at-Tirmidhi, Abu Ya'laa, al-Haakim and others, saheeh]

Ibn 'Abbaas narrated that the Prophet (saw) said "I entered Paradise yesterday and looked at it, and saw Ja'far flying with the angels, and I saw Hamzah reclining on a couch" [at-Tabaraani, Ibn 'Adiyy, al-Haakim, Saheeh al-Jaami', 3/140, no. 3358]

In a saheeh hadith the Prophet (saw) said, "The leader of the martyrs is Hamzah ibn 'Abdul-Muttaalib" [Saheeh al-Jaami', 3/219, no. 3569]

* 'Abdullaah ibn Salaam

From Mu'aadh that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "'Abdullaah ibn Salaam is the tenth of the first ten to enter Paradise" [Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer, 4/25, no. 3870, Ahmad, at-Tabaraani, al-Haakim]

* Zayd ibn Harithah

ar-Rawayanee and ad-Diyaa reported from Buraydah that the Prophet (saw) said, "I entered Paradise and I was welcomed by a young girl. I asked, "Who do you belong to?" She said, "To Zayd ibn Harithah" [Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 3/141, no. 3361]

* Zayd ibn 'Amr ibn Nufayl

From 'Aa'ishah (ra) that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "I entered Paradise and I saw that Zayd ibn 'Amr ibn Nufayl had two levels." [Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 3/141, no. 3362. Ibn 'Asaakir]

This Zayd used to preach tawheed at the time of Jaahileeyyah; he was a Haneef, a follower of the way of Ibraaheem.

* Harithah ibn al-Nu'maan

at-Tirmidhi and al-Haakim narrated from 'Aa'ishah that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "I entered Paradise and I heard someone reciting. I asked, "Who is that?" They said, "Harithah ibn al-Nu'maan; this is the righteous man" [Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 3/142, no. 3366]

* Bilaal ibn Abi Rabah

at-Tabaraani and Ibn 'Adiyya report with a saheeh isnaad from Abu Umamah that the Prophet (saw) said, "I entered Paradise, and heard footsteps ahead of me. I asked, "What is this sound?" I was told, "This is Bilaal, walking in front of you"" [Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer, 3/142, no. 3364]

Ahmad reported with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn 'Abbaas that the Prophet (saw) said, "I entered Paradise on the night of Israa' and I heard an indistinct sound from the side. I asked "What is this, O Jibreel?" He said, "Bilaal, the muadhin" [Saheeh al-jaami' as-Sagheer, 3/142, no. 3367]

* Abud-Dahdah

Muslim, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi and Ahmad reported from Jaabir ibn Samurah that the Messenger (saw) said, "How many bunches of dates are hanging for Abud-Dahdah is Paradise!"

This is the one who gave his garden called Bayrahaa, the best garden in Madinah, in charity when he heard that Allaah (swt) had revealed,

"Who is he that will lend to Allaah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times?"

* Waraqah ibn Nawfal

al-Haakim reported with a saheeh isnaad from 'Aa'ishah that the Messenger (saw) said, "Do not slander Waraqah ibn Nawfal for I have seen that he will have one or two gardens in Paradise" [Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 6/1534, no. 7197]

Waraqah believed in the Prophet (saw) when Khadeejah brought him to him at the beginning of his Call; he had asked Allaah to let him live until he saw His Messenger so that he could support him.

Paradise is Not the Equivalent of Deeds
Paradise is something of immense value; a person cannot earn it by virtue of his deeds alone - Muslim reported from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said,

"No one of you will enter Paradise by his deeds alone." They asked, "Not even you, O Messenger of Allaah?" He said, "Not even me, unless Allaah covers me with His Grace and Mercy"
[Saheeh Muslim, 4/2170, no. 2816]

The fact that some texts indicate that Paradise is the equivalent reward for deeds could be problematic, for example:

"No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as reward for they used to do." [32:17].

However there is no conflict between these aayaat and the meaning of the hadith. The
aayaat indicate that good deeds will be a reason, not the price, for admission to Paradise. The hadith say that good deeds are not the price.

Two groups were misled in this matter: The Jabaariyyah, who took the hadith to mean that the reward is not connected to deeds, because man has nothing to do with deeds [i.e. everything is foreordained]; and the Qaadariyyah who took the hadith to mean that Paradise was the equivalent of good deeds, and man has the right to enter by virtue of his good deeds.

The commentator on at-Tahhaawiyyah said, "As for the idea that recompense results directly from one's deeds, the Jabaariyyah and the Qaadariyyah are misled, and Allaah has guided Ahl as-Sunnah. The ba' of negation [nafyi] is not like the ba' used for affirmation. The negation in the hadith "No one will enter Paradise by virtue of his deeds" [bi' amaalihi] is the ba' of substitution or exchange, as if good deeds were not the price of a man's admission to Paradise. This is like the [false] Mu'tazili claim that good deeds will give a person the right to enter Paradise, whereas the truth is that admission to Paradise is by the Grace and Mercy of Allaah. The bi' in the aayah "a reward for what they used to do [jazaa'an bi maa kanoo ya'maloon]" [32:17] is known in Arabic grammar as the bi' of causation, i.e. because of their deeds. But Allaah is the Creator of Cause and Effect, so everything is referred back to His Grace and Mercy" [Sharh at-Tahhaawiyyah, 495]

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 (as), for there is no human form more perfect and beautiful than that of Aadam, whom Allaah (swt) created very tall. He was as tall as a great palm tree, sixty cubits tall. Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) 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 (ra) a hadith in which the Prophet describes people entering Paradise including a group whose light will be like the full moon. He (saw) 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 (saw) 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]

As reported in the hadith narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayrah (ra), the people of Paradise "will not spit, blow their noses or excrete".

The people of Paradise will not sleep. Jaabir ibn 'Abdullaah and 'Abdullaah ibn Abi Awfaa reported that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) 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]

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Superiority of Paradise Over the Pleasures of This World

The pleasures of this world are tangible and present, whilst the delights of Paradise are as-yet unseen promises. People are readily influenced by what they can see and know instantly; it is hard enough for them to forgo something that is in front of them for the sake of something else that is in the future, so how much harder it is if the promise will not be attained until after death! So Allaah (swt) drew a comparison between the pleasures of this world and the joys of Paradise, and explained that the delights of Paradise are far superior to this world's pleasures. The Qur'aan speaks at length denouncing this world of instant, fleeting pleasures and stating that the rewards with Allaah as far better, to encourage man to strive hard for success in the next world:

"And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given them for enjoyment to various groups of them [mushrikeen and kuffaar] the splendour of this life that We may test them thereby. But the provision [good reward in the Hereafter] of your Rabb is better and more lasting
" [20:131]

And "Beautified for men is the love of things they covet: women, children, much of gold and silver [wealth], branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world's life but Allaah has the excellent return with Him. Say: "Shall I inform you of things far better than those? For al-Muttaqoon there are Gardens with their Rabb, under which rivers flow. Therein [is their] eternal [home] and Azwaajun mutahharatun [purified mates or wives], and Allaah will be pleased with them. And Allaah is All-Seer of [His] Slaves" [3:14-15]

There are many reasons why the delights of Paradise are superior to the pleasures of this dunyaa; Amongst them:

(i) The Pleasures of this Dunyaa are Fleeting:

"Say: Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is [far] better for him who fears Allaah.."

The Prophet (saw) illustrated the inferiority of this dunyaa by comparing it to what Allaah has prepared in Paradise, "By Allaah, this world in comparison with the Hereafter is nothing more than as if one of you put his finger" - and he gestured with his forefinger - "in the sea; let him see how much water he would retrieve" [Saheeh Muslim, 4/2193, no. 2858]. A finger dipped in the ocean would not even pick up one drop; this is how little this world is worth when compared with the Aakhirah.

Because these pleasures are so insignificant, Allaah (swt) has rebuked those who prefer the pleasures of this world to the joys of the Aakhirah:

"O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth in the Cause of Allaah [Jihaad] you cling heavily to this earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter"

We have already quoted numerous texts that indicate the inexhaustible abundance of the blessings and joys of the Aakhirah.

(ii) The Hereafter is also better from the perspective of quality.

The clothing, food, drink, jewellery and palaces of the people of Paradise will be far superior to their counterparts in this world. There is in fact no room for comparison, as even the smallest space in Paradise is better than this world and all that is in it. al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "The space of a whip in Paradise is better than this world and everything in it" [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/85, no. 5613]

Also narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (saw) said, "The space of the bow of any one of you in Paradise is better than all that the sun rises upon" [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/85, no. 5615]

The comparison between the women of Paradise and the women of this earth serves to demonstrate the superiority of that which is in Paradise. al-Bukhaari reports from Anas that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said,

"If a woman from the people of Paradise were to look at this earth, she would light up everything between it and fill it with her fragrance; the veil on her head is better than this world and all that is in it"
[Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/85, no. 5614]

(iii) Paradise is free from all the impurities and disappointments of this world.

Eating and drinking in this life results in the need for excretion and its associated unpleasant odours. If a person drinks wine in this world, he loses his mind. Women in this world menstruate and give birth, which are sources of pain and hurt. Paradise is fre from all of these discomforts: its people will not urinate, defecate, spit or suffer from catarrh. The wine of Paradise, as described by its Creator, is:

"Crystal-white, delicious to those who drink [thereof], free from intoxication, nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom"

The water of Paradise does not become brackish, and its milk never changes in flavour:

"..rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes.."

The women of Paradise are pure and free from menstruation, nifaas [postnatal bleeding] and all the other impurities suffered by women in this world, as Allaah (swt) says:

"...and they shall have therein Azwaajun Muttaharatun [Purified mates having no menses, urine, stools, etc]"

The hearts of the people of Paradise will be pure, their speech will be good, their deeds righteous. There will be no hurtful, upsetting, offensive or provocative talk there, for Paradise is free of all worthless words and deeds:

"...free from any laghw [dirty, false, evil, vague talk], and free from sin"

The only speech that is heard there is good, sincere and pure, free from all the shameful shortcomings of earthly speech:

"No Laghw [dirty, false, evil talk] will they hear therein, nor lying"

"They shall not hear therein any Laghw, but only salaam [salutations of peace]"

"Where they shall hear neither harmful speech nor falsehood"

Paradise is the abode of purity and peace, "No laghw will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech [like backbiting, etc], But only the saying of Salaam! Salaam! [greetings with peace]" [56:25]

For this reason, when the people of Paradise have been saved from the Fire, they will be detained of a bridge between Paradise and Hell, where they will be purified by settling any wrongs that may be outstanding, so that they may enter Paradise, pure of heart and soul, free from any resentment, envy or other negative emotions of this world. al-Bukhaari and Muslim report that when the people of Paradise enter Paradise, "There will be no hatred of resentment among them, their hearts will be as one, and they will glorify Allaah, morning and evening" [al-Bukhaari from Abu Hurayrah, in Kitaab bid' al-Khalq, Baab maa jaa'a fi Sifaat al-Jannah, Fath al-Baari, 6/318]

Allaah indeed spoke the truth when He (swt) said,

"And We shall remove from their breasts any lurking sense of injury: [they will be] brothers [joyfully] facing each other on thrones [of dignity]"

A "sense of injury" is hatred. It was reported from Ibn 'Abbaas and 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib that when the people of paradise enter Paradise they will drink from one spring, and Allaah (swt) will remove all sense of injury or hatred from their hearts, then they will drink from another spring, and their faces will become pure and bright [al-Qurtubee, at-Tadhkirah, p. 499]. This is probably what is meant by the aayah, "And their Rabb will give them a pure drink" [76:21]

(iv) The Pleasures of This World are Transient Whilst the Joys of the Hereafter are Lasting and Eternal

This is why Allaah (swt) calls the pleasures of this world "temporary conveniences" because they are enjoyed for a short while, then come to an end, but the joys of al-Aakhirah have no end:

"What is with you, must vanish, and what is with Allaah will endure..
" [16:96]

"[It will be said to them]: This is Our Provision, which will never finish"

"...its provision is eternal and so is its shade.."

Allaah (swt) gave an example of how quickly this world will pass away:

"And put forward for them the example of the life of this world, it is like the water [rain] which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But [later] it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allaah is Able to do everything. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds that last are better with your Rabb for rewards and better in respect of hope"

Allaah (swt) likened this life to the rain that falls from the sky and causes plants to grow and flower and bear fruit. This lasts for only a short time, before they shrivel and are blown away by the wind. Such are the luxuries of this life, such as youth, wealth, sons, lands and fields. All of this passes away; youth fades, health and vitality are replaced by sickness and old age, wealth and children may disappear, a man may be taken from his family and wealth, but the Hereafter will never vanish or go away:

"...And excellent indeed will be the home of the Muttaqoon, 'Adn Paradise which they will enter, under which rivers flow.."

(v) Seeking to Enjoy the Pleasures of this World and Neglecting the Hereafter Will be Followed By Regret and Sorrow When One Enters the Fire of Hell

"Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection will you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception [a deceiving thing]"

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Food and Drink of the People of Paradise
We have already discussed the trees and fruits of Paradise, including the ripe fruits, which hang within easy reach, so that the people of Paradise may pick whichever fruits they desire. The people will also have whatever food and drink they desire:

"Any fruit [any] that they may choose, And the flesh of fowls that they desire"

"...there will be there all that the souls could desire, all that the eyes could delight in.."

Allaah (swt) will permit them to take whatever they want of the good food and drink of Paradise:

"Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!"

We have also mentioned above that in Paradise there will be a sea of water, a sea of wine, a sea of milk and a sea of honey, and the rivers of Paradise will flow out of these seas. There will be also many springs in Paradise, and its people will drink from these seas, rivers and springs.

(i) The Wine of the People of Paradise

One of the drinks that Allaah will bestow on the people of Paradise will be wine. The wine of Paradise is free of all the troubles and problems that characterise the wine of this world, which makes people lose their minds, and causes headaches, stomach aches and other physical disorders, or which may have something wrong in the way it is made, or its colour, etc. But the wine of Paradise is free from all such faults; it is pure and beautiful:

"Round them will be passed a cup of pure wine; white, delicious to the drinkers. Neither will they have ghoul [any kind of hurt, abdominal pain, headache, etc] from that, nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom"

Allaah described the beauty of its white colour, then explained that its drinker enjoy it very much, without is affecting their minds:

"..rivers of wine delicious to those who drink.."

And they will never be adversely affected by drinking it:

"..nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom
" [37:47]

Elsewhere in the Qur'aan, Allaah describes the wine of Paradise,

"They will be served by immortal boys, With cups and jugs, and a glass from the flowing wine, Wherefrom they will get neither any aching of the head, nor any intoxication"

Commenting on this passage, Ibn Katheer said, "it does not cause their heads to ache or their minds to be fogged; it is pure, although it still contains the ingredients that make it a delight to the drinker. ad-Dahhaak narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas said, "Wine produces four things: drunkenness, headache, vomit and urine. Allaah (saw) has mentioned the wine of Paradise, and He has purified it of all these things." [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 6/514]

In another part of the Qur'aan, Allaah (swt) says:

"They will be given to drink pure sealed wine, the last thereof will be the smell of musk..
" [83:25-26]

This wine is sealed or covered, and at the end of it, the drinker will find the scent of musk.

(ii) The first food of the people of Paradise

The first food which Allaah (swt) will present to the people of Paradise will be the caudate [extra] lobe of fish-liver. al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (ra) that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said,

"On the Day of Resurrection, the earth will be like one loaf of bread, which Allaah will turn around in His hands, just as any of you prepares bread whilst he is travelling, to offer it as food to the people of Paradise."
A Jewish man came and said, "May the Most Merciful bless you, O Abul-Qaasim. Shall I not tell you what food [nuzul] will be offered to the people of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection?" The Prophet (saw) said, "Of course." The Jew said that the earth would be a single loaf of bread, just as the Prophet (saw) has said. The Prophet (saw) looked at us and smiled so broadly that his back teeth were visible, then he said, "Shall I not tell you of their food? Balam and noon [a large fish]". They asked, "What is that?" He said, "A bull and noon seventy thousand people will eat from the caudate [extra] lobes of their livers" [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/56]

an-Nawawi's comments on this hadith may be summarised as follows: "Nuzul is the food prepared for a guest upon his arrival. Turning the bread around in one's hands means kneading it and tossing it from hand to hand, until it is flat and round like a disk. The meaning of the hadith is that Allaah (swt) will make the earth like a huge loaf of bread to feed the people of Paradise. Noon is a whale or large fish; balam is a Hebrew word that means "bull"; the caudate [extra] lobe of a fish liver is the best part of it." [Sharh an-Nawawi 'alaa Muslim, 17/136]

al-Bukhaari reports that 'Abdullaah ibn Salaam asked the Prophet (saw) a number of questions when he first came to Madinah, one of which was, "What is the first thing that the people of Paradise will eat?" He said, "The caudate [extra] lobe of fish liver" [Ibn Katheer, an-Nihaayah, 2/270]

Muslim reports from Thawban that a Jew asked that the Prophet (saw), "What will they be presented with when they enter Paradise?" He said, "The caudate [extra] lobe of fish liver." The Jew asked, "What will they eat after that?" The Prophet (saw) said, "The bull, which is grazing now in Paradise, will be slaughtered for them." The Jew asked, "What will they drink after that?" He said, "From a spring called Salsaabeel." The Jew said, "You have spoken the truth." [Ibn Katheer, an-Nihaayah, 2/270]

(iii) The food and drink of the people of Paradise does not produce any impure excrement.

It might cross one's mind that the food and drink of Paradise might produce the same as the food and drink of this world, namely excrement, urine, mucus, saliva, and so on. But this is not the case. Paradise is a place that is free from all impurities, and its people are free of all the blemishes of people of this world. A hadith reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah clearly rejects such a nation: the Prophet (saw) said, "The first group to enter Paradise will be as beautiful as the full moon; they will not spit or blow their noses." [al-Bukhaari, Kitaab Bad' al-Khalq, Baab Maa jaa'a fi Sifaat al-Jannah, Fath al-Baari, 6/317, also Muslim in Kitaab al-Jannah, Baab Awwal Zumrah Tadhkul al-Jannah, 4/2178, no. 2834]

This does not only apply to the first group to enter Paradise, all those who enter will be similarly pure. Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "The first group of my ummah to enter Paradise will be as beautiful as the full moon and those that come after them will be like the brightest shining star, and those that follow them will be ranked according to their status. They will not defecate, urinate or blow their noses or spit." [Muslim in Kitaab al-Jannah, Baab awwal zumrah tadkhul al-Jannah, 4/2188, no. 2834]

It might be asked where will the waste produces go? This question was posed to the Prophet (saw) by his Sahabah and he replied, "[It will come out as] burps which are like musk." [Muslim in 4/2180, no. 2835]. Other parts the excretions will be turned into sweat like musk that will come out of their bodies.

(iv) Why Will the People of Paradise Eat and Drink and Comb their Hair?

If the people of Paradise are to abide there forever, and it is free form all discomfort, pain and sickness, if there is no hunger or thirst there, and no impurities or dirt, then why will the people of Paradise eat and drink, and wear perfume and comb their hair?

al-Qurtubee answered this question in at-Tadhkirah [p. 475, see also al-Fath, 6/325]: "The luxuries and clothing of the people of Paradise will not be for the purpose of warding off potential pains; they will not eat because of hunger or drink because of thirst, or wear perfume because of some offensive odour, because Paradise is a never-ending succession of delight and joy. Do you not remember the words of Allaah (swt) to Aadam?

"Verily you have [a promise from Us] that you will never be hungry therein nor naked. And you [will] suffer not from thirst therein nor from the sun's heat
." [20:118-119]

The wisdom behind it [food and drink, etc] is so that Allaah will introduce Paradise to them in ways similar to the good things that they enjoyed on earth, but He will increase it in ways known only to Him."

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Vessels and Cups of the People of Paradise

The vessels from which the people of Paradise will eat and drink will be of gold and silver. Allaah (swt) says:

"Trays of gold and cups will be passed round them.."
[43:71] i.e. cups of gold.

And Allaah (swt) says, "And amongst them, will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal, crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof according to their wishes." [76:15] i.e it will combine the purity of crystal with the whiteness of silver.

al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported from Abu Musaa al-Ash'ari that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "The believer in paradise will have a tent made of a hollowed out pearl.. and two gardens of silver, their vessels and everything in them, and two gardens of gold, their vessels and everything in them." [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/86]

Among the vessels from which they will drink will be cups and jugs and glasses:

"They will be served by immortal boys, with cups, and jugs and a glass from the flowing wine."

The "cup" [koob] is something that has no handle or spout, the "jug" [ibreeq] has a handle and a spout and the "glass" [kaa's] is a cup that is filled with drink.

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Clothing, Jewellery and Incense-Burners Of the People of Paradise

The people of Paradise will wear the most luxurious clothes, amongst other things, garments of silk and bracelets of gold, silver and pearls. Allaah (swt) says:

"And their recompense will be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient."

"...wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments will be of silk."

"'Adn Paradise they will enter, therein will they be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments there will be of silk."

"...They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Rabb will give them a pure drink."

Their clothes will be colourful, including garments of green silk and brocade:

"..They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade. They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on."

"Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver.."

Their clothing will be far superior to any man-made garment. al-Barraa ibn 'Aadhib said, "A silken garment was brought to the Messenger (saw) and we began to admire its beauty and softness." The Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "The handkerchiefs of Sa'd ibn Mu'aadh are better than this." [al-Bukhaari, Kitaab Bid' al-Khalq, Baab Maa Jaa'a fi Sifat al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 6/319]

The Prophet (saw) also told us that the people of Paradise will have combs of gold and silver, and that they will perfume themselves with 'Ud at-Teeb, even though the scent of musk will be emanating from their pure bodies. al-Bukhaari narrates from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (saw) said of those who will enter Paradise:

"Their vessels will be of gold and silver, their combs will be of gold and the coals of their incense-burners will be of aloe-wood [Abul-Yaman said, "of 'Ud at-Teeb] and their sweat will be musk."
[al-Bukhaari, Kitaab Bid' al-Khalq, Baab Maa Jaa'a fi Sifat al-Jannah wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 6/319]

Their jewellery will include crowns. at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah report from al-Miqdaam ibn Ma'd Yakrib that among the honours bestowed upon the martyr will be: "..there will be placed upon his head a crown of dignity, one ruby of which is better than this world and all that is in it." [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/358, no. 3834, Saheeh Muslim, saheeh]

The clothing and jewellery of the people of Paradise will never wear out or fade. Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said, "Whoever enters Paradise is blessed, and will never be miserable, his clothes will never wear out and his youth will never fade away." [Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Jannah, Baab fi Dawam Na'eem al-Jannah, 4/2181, no. 2836]

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Couches of the People of Paradise
The palaces of Paradise have been prepared, and in their gardens are places to sit and recline, beautiful couches of delightful colours and high beds whose interiors are lined with silk brocade, let alone how magnificent their outward appearance must be. There are cushions and splendid carpets laid out in the most delightful fashion. Allaah (swt) says:

"Therein will be thrones raised high, And cups set at hand, and cushions set in rows, and rich carpets [all spread out]"

"They will recline [with ease] on thrones arranged in ranks. And We shall marry them to Houris [female fair ones] with wide lovely eyes."

"A multitude of those [foremost] will be from the first generations [who embraced Islaam] and a few of those [foremost] will be from the later time [generations]. [They will be] on thrones woven with gold and precious stones,reclining thereon, face to face."

This reclining on those thrones and couches will be one of the luxuries that the people of Paradise will enjoy when they gather together, as Allaah (swt) says,

"And we shall remove from their breasts any lurking sense of injury; [they will be like] brothers [joyfully] facing each other on thrones [of dignity]."

"Reclining on green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses"

"Reclining upon the couches lined with silk brocade"

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Servants of the People of Paradise
The People of Paradise will be served by boys whom Allaah (swt) will create to serve them and who will be most beautiful and perfect in form:

"They will be served by immortal boys, With cups, and jugs, and a glass from the flowing wine."

"And round about them will [serve] boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls."

Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, "Boys of eternal youth will go around to serve people of Paradise, boys who remain in that youthful form forever, never changing or advancing in age. It was said that they will be wearing earrings, to emphasise their youth, because such a thing is appropriate for young people, but it does not befit those who are older. And Allaah (swt) said [76:19] i.e. if you saw them going around to attend to the needs of their masters, with their beautiful faces and splendid colourful clothes and jewellery, you would think that they were scattered pearls. There is no more beautiful description than the picture of pearls scattered in a place of beauty." [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 7/184]

Some scholars suggested that these boys are the children of the Muslims and Mushrikeen who die in childhood, but this was refuted by al-'Allaamah Ibn Taymiyyah (ra), who explained that these boys of eternal youth are part of the creation of Paradise: "..they are not the children of this world. When the children of this world enter Paradise, they will do so in a perfect form, like all the other people of Paradise, in the form of their father, Aadam." [Majmu' al-Fatawa, 4/279, 4/311]

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Market of the People of Paradise
Muslim reported from Anas ibn Maalik that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said;

"In Paradise there is a market to which the people will come every Friday, then a wind will come from the north and blow on their faces, and clothes, and they will increase in beauty. Then they will return to their wives, who will also have increased in beauty. Their wives will say to them, "By Allaah, you increased in beauty after you left us." And they will say,
"And you too, by Allaah, you have increased in beauty since you left us." [Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab al-Jannah, Baab fi Sooq al-Jannah, 4/2178, no. 2833]

an-Nawawi commented on this hadith, "What is meant by a market is a gathering place where the people will come together, just as they gather in marketplaces in this world. Gathering together every Friday means that they will meet once a week, or what approximates to once a week; there will be no real weeks there, as there will be no sun or moon or days. The wind of Paradise was described specifically as being the north winds, because for the Arabs this is the wind that brings rain, coming from the direction of Syria, so they always hoped for a wind coming from the north. In the hadith this wind is called al-Mutheerah, i.e. something that carries things, because it will blow the sand or dust of Paradise into their faces, which is musk." [Sharh an-Nawawi ala Muslim, 17/170]

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Gatherings and Conversations of the People of Paradise
The people of Paradise will visit one another, in delightful gatherings where they will remember their lives in this world and how Allaah (swt) has blessed them by admitting them to Paradise. Allaah (swt) described the gatherings of the people of Paradise:

"And We shall remove from their breasts any lurking sense of injury, [they will be like] brothers, [joyfully] facing each other on thrones [of dignity]."

Allaah (swt) has also described some of the kinds of conversation that will take place in their gatherings:

"And some of them draw near to others, questioning, saying, "Aforetime we were afraid with our families [of the punishment of Allaah], but Allaah has been gracious to us, and has saved us from the torment of the Fire. Verily, we used to invoke Him [Alone and none else] before. Verily He is Al-Barr, the All-Merciful."

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Wishes of the People of Paradise
Some of the People of Paradise will wish for things that will be fulfilled in the strangest ways, unlike anything that happens in this world. The Messenger (saw) told of some of these and how they will be fulfilled.

Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (saw) was speaking and a bedouin man was present. The Prophet (saw) said: "A man from the people of Paradise will ask his Rabb for permission to grow things. Allaah will ask him, "Do you not have what you want?" He will say, "Of course, but I love to grow things." So he will sow the seeds and in the blinking of an eye the plant will grow and its fruit will ripen and become like mountains. Allaah (swt) will say, "Here it is. O son of Aadam nothing satisfies you!" The Bedouin said, "By Allaah! you wont find him except he is from Quraysh or the Ansaar for these are the people that love to grow things. As for us, we don't grow anything!" The Messenger of Allaah (saw) laughed." [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/95, no. 5653]

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Wives of the People of Paradise
(i) The Wife Of The Believer In This World Will Be His Wife In The Hereafter If She Is Righteous

"Gardens of 'Adn, which they shall enter, and [also] those who act righteously from among their fathers, and their wives and their offspring..."

"They and their wives will be in pleasant shade, reclining on thrones."

"Enter Paradise, you and your wives, in happiness"

(ii) A Woman [Who Was Married More Than Once] Will Be With The Last of Her Husbands

In Taareekh ar-Raqqah, Abu 'Ali al-Hurani reported from Maymun ibn Mahran that "Mu'aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan (ra) proposed to Umm ad-Darda' but she refused to marry him, saying, "I heard Abud-Dardaa' say that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "A woman will be with the last of her husbands."" The men in its isnaad are trustworthy apart from al-'Abbaas ibn Saalih, whose biography is unknown. Abul-Shaykh reported it in at-Taareek with a saheeh isnaad only quoting the marfoo' version of it. at-Tabaraani reported it with a da'eef isnaad in al-Mu'jam al-Awsat but taking both isnaads into account strengthens it. The marfoo' version is saheeh, and it also has two corroborating reports that are mawqoof.

The first of these was reported by Ibn 'Asaakir from 'Ikrimah:

"Asmaa bint Abi Bakr was married to az-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwaam who was harsh towards her. She came to her father and complained to him, and he said,
"O my daughter, have patience, for if a woman has a righteous husband, and he dies and she does not remarry after his death, they will be reunited in Paradise." [The men of its isnaad are thiqaat [trustworthy] but is it mursaal because 'Ikrimah never met Abu Bakr; he only heard it from Asmaa]

The second report was narrated by al-Bayhaqee in as-Sunan, where he says that Hudhayfah said to his wife, "If you want to be my wife in Paradise, do not remarry after I die, for the woman in Paradise will be with the last of her husbands on earth."

For this reason, Allaah forbade the wives of the Prophet (saw) to remarry after his death, because they will be his wives in the Hereafter.


(iii) al-Hoor al-'Eeyn

Allaah (swt) will marry the believers in Paradise to beautiful women who were not their wives in this world, as Allaah (swt) says:

"So [it will be] and We shall marry them to Houris with wide lovely eyes."

al-Hoor is the plural of Hooraa', which is a woman, the white parts of her eyes intensely white, and the black is intensely black. al-'Eeyn is the plural fo 'Aynaa, which is the woman whose eyes are wide.

The Qur'aan describes al-Hoor al-'Eeyn as being firm and full-breasted:

"Verily, for al-Muttaqoon, there will be a success; gardens and grapeyards and young full-breasted [mature] maidens of equal age."

Al-Hoor al-'Eeyn are creatures that Allaah (swt) has made especially for Paradise, and has made them virgins:

"Verily, We have created [their companions] of special creation, and made them virgin-pure [and undefiled], beloved [by nature], equal in age."

The fact that they are virgins means that no-one has ever married them before:

"...whom no man or jinn has touched before them.
" [55:56]

This refutes the idea that the wives that Allaah (swt) will create for them in Paradise will be their wives from this life, made young again after old age had overtaken them. That idea if correct in that Allaah (swt) will admit the believing women to Paradise with their youth restored but they are not al-Hoor al-'Eeyn whom Allaah created in Paradise.

The Qur'an also speaks of the beauty of the women of al-Jannah:

"And [there will be] Houris with wide lovely eyes [as wives for the pious], Like unto preserved pearls."

Maknoon ["preserved"] means hidden or protected, something whose colour is not changed by exposure to sunlight or by being tampered with. Elsewhere, Allaah likens them to rubies and coral, two beautiful precious stones:

"In them will be [maidens] restraining their glances, whom no man or jinn has touched before them, Then which of the favours of your Rabb will you deny? Like unto rubies and coral."

al-Hoor are also described as restraining their gaze upon their husbands i.e. they restrict their gaze and don't let their eyes wander to others. Allaah (swt) has stated that they are very beautiful, and it is sufficient to know that Allaah (swt) said:

"In them will be fair [companions] good and beautiful; then which of the favours of your Rabb will you deny? Companions restrained [as to their glances] in [goodly] pavilions"

The women are not like the women of this world. They are free of al-Hayd [menstruation], an-Nifaas [post-natal bleeding], spittle, mucus, urine and stools. This is what is referred to in the aayah:

"..And they shall have therein Azwaajun Mutahharatun [purified mates]"

The Prophet (saw) told us about the beauty of the wives of the People of Paradise. al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger (saw) said, "...the marrow of whose leg-bones will be visible through the flesh because of their extreme beauty." [as-Saheeh, Kitaab al-Khalq, Baab Maa Jaa'a fi Sifaat al-Jannah, Fath al-Baari, 6/318 and Muslim in Kitaab al-Jannah wa Sifaat Na'eem ahlilhaa, Baab awwal zumrah tadkhul al-Jannah, 4/2178, no. 2834]

Look at this beauty that the Prophet (saw) described! Can you find any comparison to it in the world that you know?! :

"If one of the women of Paradise were to look at the people of this world, everything in between them would be lit up and filled with her fragrance. The veil on her head is better than this world and everything in it."
[al-Bukhaari, in as-Saheeh, Kitaab al-Jihaad, Baab wa Zawwajnahum bi Hoor-'Eeyn. Fath al-Baari, 6/15]

The smallest number of wives that any one man will have in Paradise is seventy-two. It was reported that the Shaheed will have seventy two wives from amongst al-Hoor a--'Eeyn [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/357, no. 3834, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah from al-Miqdaam ibn Ma'd Yakrib]

The Song of al-Hoor al-'Eeyn

The Messenger (saw) told us that al-Hoor in Jannah sing with sweet, beautiful voices. In al-Mu'jam al-Awsat, at-Tabaraani reports with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet (saw) said,

"The wives of the people of Paradise will sing to their husband in the most beautiful voices that anyone has ever heard. What they will sing is: "We are good and beautiful, the wives of a noble people, who look at their husbands content and happy." And they will sing, "We are eternal, and will never die, we are safe and will never fear, we are remaining here and will never go away.""
[Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 2/48, no. 1557; also Abu Na'eem, ad-Diyaa in Sifaat al-Jannah]

Samawayh reported in al-Fawaa'id from Anas that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "al-Hoor al-'Eeyn are singing in Paradise saying, "We are the beautiful houris, we are being kept for noble husbands."" [Saheeh al-Jaami', 2/58, no. 1598]

The Jealousy of al-Hoor al-Eeyn over their Husbands in this World

The Prophet (saw) told us that al-Hoor feel jealous over their husbands in this world, if the wife of one of them upsets him. Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi report with a saheeh isnaad from Mu'aadh that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said,

"No woman in this world upsets her husband but his wife from among al-Hoor al-'Eeyn will say, "Do not upset him, may Allaah kill you! For he is with you only temporarily, and soon he will leave you and come to us.""
[Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer, 6/125, no. 7069]

(iv) The believer in Paradise will be given the Strength of One Hundred Men

Anas reported that the Prophet (saw) said, "The believer in Paradise will be given such and such strength." He was asked, "O Messenger of Allaah, will he really be able to do that?" He said, "He will be given the strength of one hundred men." [it was reported by at-Tirmidhi, Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/90, no. 5636, at-Tirmidhi said: "ghareeb saheeh."]

The People of Paradise Will Laugh at the Fire

After Allaah (swt) admits the people of Paradise to Paradise, they will call out to their opponents among the kuffaar in Hell, rebuking and scolding them:

"And the dwellers of Paradise will call out to the dwellers of the Fire [saying]: "We have indeed found true what our Rabb promised us; have you also found true, what your Rabb promised [warnings, etc]? They will say "Yes". Then a crier will proclaim between them: "The Curse of Allaah is on the Dhaalimoon [wrongdoers]"

The kuffaar used to dispute with the believers in this world, making fun of them and insulting them, but on that Day the believers will be victorious: they will be in a state of everlasting joy, looking at the wrongdoers and making fun of them:

"Verily, al-Abraar will be in delight, on thrones, looking [at all things]. You will recognise in their faces the brightness of delight. They will be given to drink pure sealed wine, the last thereof will be the smell of musk, and for this let [all] those strive who want to strive. It [that wine] will be mixed with Tasneem, a spring whereof drink those nearest to Allaah. Verily [during the earthly life] those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed, and whenever they passed by them, used to wink to one another [in mockery]; and when they returned to their own people, they would return jesting; and when they saw them, they say, "Verily! These have indeed gone astray!" But the [disbelievers] had not been sent as watchers over them [the believers]. But this Day those who believe will laugh at the disbelievers on [high] thrones, looking [at all things]. Are not the disbelievers paid [fully] for what they used to do?"

By Allaah, the kuffaar will finally get the punishment that they deserve, a punishment that fits their crimes. The believer who is now in the luxury of Paradise will remember that colleague or friend who used to encourage him to follow kufr in this world and called him to embrace those misguided principles that would have placed him in the ranks of the kuffaar and enemies of Allaah (swt). He will tell his companions about that former colleague, and tell them to look at him and his punishment. When he sees how he is being punished, he will realise the extent of the blessing that Allaah (swt) has bestowed upon him, and how Allaah (swt) has saved him from a similar fate. Then he will address his former companion and rebuke him:

"Then they will turn to one another, mutually questioning. A speaker of them will say, "Verily I had a companion [in the world] who used to say, "Are you among those who believe [in resurrection after death], [that] when we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed [be raised up] to receive reward or punishment [according to our deeds]?" The Man said, "Will you look down?" So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire. He said, "By Allaah! You have nearly ruined me. Had it not been for the Grace of my Rabb, I would certainly have been among those brought forth [to Hell]." [Allaah (swt) informs about the true believer that he said], "Are we not then to die [any more]? Except our first death and we shall not be punished? [after we have entered Paradise] Truly this is the supreme success! For the like of this let the workers work."

Tasbeeh And Takbeer Are Among The Delights Of The People Of Paradise
Paradise is the abode of reward and delight, not of trials and testing. A problem might arise concerning the hadith reported by al-Bukhaari and others from Abu Hurayrah, according to which the Prophet (saw) described the first group to enter Paradise and said,

"They will glorify Allaah (swt) morning and evening."
[Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab Bid' al-Khalq, Baab maa jaa'a fi Sifaat al-Jannah, Fath al-Baari, 6/318]

But there is nothing problematic in this report, insha'Allaah, because, as al-Qurtubee said "This tasbeeh is not the matter of obligation or imposition." As was reported by Muslim, Jaabir explained it as follows, "They will be inspired with tasbeeh and takbeer as they are inspired with breathing." The analogy of breathing was used because it is something man does with no conscious effort. Their breathing will become tasbeeh, and the reason for this is that their hearts will be illuminated with the knowledge of their rabb, may He be glorified, and filled with love for Him, and whoever loves a thing remembers it frequently."" [Fath al-Baari, 6/326]

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah stated that this tasbeeh and takbeer will be one of the pleasures enjoyed by the people of Paradise. He said, "This is not the kind of obligatory work that is done for the sake of a specific reward. It is the same as the kind of deeds that people do for pleasure and enjoyment." [Majmu' Fataawa, 4/330]

The Greatest Delight: Ridwaan Allaah and Looking At His Face
"Some faces that Day will be Nadhirah [shining, radiant], Looking at their Rabb." [75:22-23]

Ibn al-Itheer said, "Seeing Allaah is the ultimate joy in the Hereafter, the most precious gift of Allaah. May Allaah (swt) help us reach that goal." [Jaami' al-Usool, 10/557]

Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri reported that the Prophet (saw) said that "Allaah will say to the people of Paradise, "O People of Paradise! They will say, "We are at Your Worship, our Rabb, and all goodness is in Your hand." He will say, "Are you content?" They will say, "Why should we not be content, O Rabb, when you have given us what you have not given to anyone else of Your Creation?" He will say, "Shall I not give you better than that?" They will say, "O Rabb, what could be better than that?" He will say, "I grant you My pleasure and I will never be displeased with you after that." [al-Bukhaari and Muslim, Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh]

Muslim and at-Tirmidhi reported from Suhayb ar-Rumi that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said: "When the people of Paradise enter Paradise, Allaah will say: "Do you want anything more?" They will say, "Have You not made our faces white [i.e. honoured us]? Have You not admitted us to Paradise and saved us from the Fire?" Then the veil will be lifted, and they will never have been given anything more dear to them than looking at their Rabb, may He be Blessed and Exalted."

One report adds, "Then the Prophet (saw) recited the aayah, "For those who have done good is the best [reward i.e. Paradise] and even more [i.e. the honour of glancing at the Countenance of Allaah]..." [10:26]

Thus seeing the Face of Allaah (swt) was interpreted as part of the "more" [mazeed] which Allaah has promised to al-Muhsinoon [those who have done good]:

"There they will have all that they desire - and We have more [for them, i.e. a glance at the All-Mighty, All-Majestic."

This is a joy and honour that will be denied to the Kuffaar and Mushrikeen:

"Nay, surely they [evildoers] will be veiled from seeing their Rabb that day."

Imaam Maalik ibn Anas, the Imaam of al-Madinah, used this aayah as proof that "Looking at their Rabb" [75:23] literally meant they would see the face of Allaah, as some had interpreted it as meaning the people would be waiting for their reward. Maalik said, "They have lied.... The people will look at Allaah on the Day of Resurrection with their own eyes. If the believers are not going to see their Rabb on the Day of Resurrection, why did Allaah (swt) say that the kuffaar would be veiled from Seeing Him?" [See Sharh as-Sunnah, Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/100 no. 5662]

at-Tahhaawi, the great Hanafi Imaam, said in his "al-'Aqeedah at-Tahhaawiyyah", "This seeing [Allaah] is true, something that will happen to the people of Paradise; it is not necessary to attempt to define it or describe how it will happen. It is mentioned in the Book of Our Rabb [75:23]. The way it will happen is according to the will and knowledge of Allaah and we have to believe in it as it was narrated from the Messenger of Allaah in the saheeh hadith. We should not interpret it according to our own inclinations and opinions, for no one is sound in his deen except the one who submits fully to Allaah and His Messenger. What is ambiguous should be referred to one who has knowledge (i.e. a scholar)" [Sharh at-Tahhaawiyyah, 203]

The Refutation of Those Who Differ
The commentator of at-Tahhaawiyyah explained the different misguided opinions on this matter: "Those who differed with regard to the believers seeing Allaah (swt) on the Day of Resurrection are the Jahmiyyah and al-Mu'tazilah, and those who followed them of the Khawaarij and Imaamiyyah. Their false opinion is refuted by the Qur'aan and Sunnah. The fact that the believers will see Allaah (swt) is confirmed by the words of the Sahaabah, Taabi'een, well known scholars of Islaam, Ahl al-Hadith and by all the groups of philosophers (Ahl al-Kalaam) who belong to Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah."

"This issue is one of the most important matters of Usool ad-Deen [the fundamentals of religion] for it is the ultimate goal for which people are striving and competing, and it will be denied to those who are "veiled from seeing their Rabb" and who will be turned away from His Mercy."

He then explained the dangers of misinterpretation:

"This is what corrupted both the world and religion. This is what the Jews and Christians did to the texts of the Tawraat and Injeel, and Allaah (swt) warned us against doing likewise, but the confused people insisted on following their path. How much harm has been caused to the religion and its followers by wrong interpretations! Was 'Uthmaan killed except as a result of misinterpretation? Would the Battle of Siffeen, the Battle of the Camel, the killing of Husayn and the Battle of al-Harrah have happened without there being misinterpretation? Would the Khawaarij, Mu'tazilah and Rawaafid have emerged, and would the ummah have split into seventy-three sects, if there had been no misinterpretation?"

He explained that there were two reasons that the aayah should be taken to mean the believers will see Allaah

(1) the Understanding of the Text itself

"an-Nadhar (looking) is connected by Idaafah (genitive grammatical possessive structure) to al-Wajh (face) which is the location of looking (because the face is the site of the eyes). The use of the word "ilaa" (here translated as "at") clearly means that they will be looking and seeing with their eyes; the wording has no indication that it could mean anything other than that. It is crystal clear that what Allaah meant is that they will see their Rabb, subhaanahu, with their own eyes, which are located in the face.

"The Arabic word Nadhar is used in a number of ways and may mean different things, depending on the context:

"If it stands alone with nothing following it, it means "stopping" and "waiting" - "...Wait for us! (undhuroonaa) Let us get something from your light!.." [57:13]

"If it is followed by "fi" (lit. "in") it means "thinking" or "pondering": "Have they not considered (yandhuru fi) the dominion of the heavens and the earth?" [7:185]

"If it is followed by ilaa (at) it refers to looking or seeing with the eyes: "Look at (undhuru ilaa) their fruits when they begin to bear" [6:99]

So how can it be interpreted otherwise when it refers to the face, which is the site of the eyes?"

(2) the way in which the Salaf understood the text.

He quotes a number of reports to illustrate this:

al-Hasan said, "[Their faces] will look at their Rabb and will become radiant with His light."

Abu Saalih reported from Ibn 'Abbaas (ra) that "Looking at their Rabb" [75:23] meant, "They will be looking at the face of Allaah, azza wa jall."

'Ikrimah said that "Some faces will be Nadhirah" indicated "because of joy, and looking at their Rabb" meant "truly looking at their Rabb" and he reported a similar opinion from Ibn 'Abbaas. This is the opinion of the Mufassireen of Ahlus-Sunnah.

Concerning the aayah, "There they will have all that they desire - and We shall have more [for them]" at-Tabari reported that 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib (ra) and Anas ibn Maalik said, "This means that they will see Allaah, azza wa jall."

He explains the meaning of "even more" [az-Ziyaadah] as looking at the face of Allaah, as the report narrated by Muslim in his saheeh from Suhayb "..then the veil will be lifted and they will see Him, and they will never be given anything more precious to them than seeing Allaah (swt). This is az-Ziyaadah [the "even more" referred to in the aayah]". The same hadith was narrate with a number of isnaads and slightly different wording from others, and this is how it was interpreted by the Sahaabah as Ibn Jareer reported from Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, Hudhayfah, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari and Ibn 'Abbaas (ra).

at-Tabari and others quoted from ash-Shaafi'ee via al-Mazani, and al-Haakim said, "al-Asaam told us that ar-Rabee' ibn Sulayma said, "I was with Muhammad ibn Idrees ash-Shaafi'ee when a letter reached him from Upper Egypt in which he was asked his opinion about the aayah [83:15], and he said, "As those [evildoers] will be veiled from Seeing Allaah because of His wrath towards them indicates that these people (the believers) will see Him because He will be pleased with them."""

The Mu'tazilah however concluded from the aayaat "You cannot see Me..." [7:143] and "No vision can grasp Him.." [6:103] that therefore no one would see Allaah, but these can in fact be used as proof against their position, for the first aayah proves that the believers will see Allaah for a number of reasons:

(i) Nobody could think that Musaa (as), the Messenger of Allaah and the most knowledgeable about Allaah at that time, the one who spoke with Allaah, would ask to see Allaah [as is stated in the earlier part of this aayah] if it were improper to do so.

(ii) Allaah did not rebuke Musaa for this request although when Nuh asked Allaah to save his son, He rebuked him for doing so [see 11:46]

(iii) Allaah said, "..You cannot see Me..", but He did not say, "I can never be seen" or "It is not possible to see Me" or "I am invisible". There is a difference. This indicates that Allaah could be seen but that Musaa did not have the strength to see him in this life because human beings in this world are too weak to be able to endure seeing Allaah.

(iv) The ideas mentioned in (iii) can be explained by referring to the next part of the aayah

"...but look upon the mountain. If it stands still in its place then you shall see Me." [7:143]

Allaah showed Musaa that despite its strength and solid nature, a mountain in this world could not withstand exposure to the sight of Allah, so how could a human being who was created weak, endure it?

(v) Allaah could have made the mountain stable, which is possible, but he had placed a condition for seeing Him. If the mountain stood form when he appeared to it, then Musa would be able to see Him

(vi) Allaah said,

"..When his Rabb appeared to the mountain, He made it collapse to dust.."

If it is possible for Him to reveal Himself to a mountain, which is an inanimate object how could it be impossible for Him to reveal Himself to His Messengers and those whom He loves (awliyaa) in the abode of honour which is Paradise?

(vii) Allaah spoke to Musa and if a person is permitted to speak and converse with no mediator, then it is more befitting for him to be able to see the One to whom he speaks. No one could deny that people may see Allaah unless they also deny that Allaah may speak to them and those who denied that Allaah could be seen did in fact also deny that Allaah could speak to his slaves. Their claim that "Lan" (never) implies absolute and eternal negation can be answerd by the fact that the people will see Allaah in the Hereafter and such a negation will not necessarily be carried over into the Hereafter, especially as in this case a condition was attached. There are other similar instances in the Qur'aan -
"But they will never long for it.." [2:95] although elsewhere He says, "And they will cry, O Maalik! Let your Rabb make an end of us." He will say, "Verily you shall abide forever" [43:77]. If "lan" meant absolute and eternal negation (i.e. that such and such a thing would never happen), it would not be possible to impose conditions, but Allaah (swt) says, "Therefore I will not leave this land until my father permits me.." [12:80] which proves that "lan" does not imply absolute negation.

The evidence that people may see Allaah is presented in the most eloquent fashion, and in the context of praise, and it is well-known that praise is something positive; a thing that does not exist cannot be praised. When Allaah (swt) praises by negation it implies something positive; a thing that does not exist cannot be praised. When Allaah (swt) praises by negation it implies something positive, like when He is praised by saying that He neither slumbers nor sleeps, which implies that He is the Eternal One; or by saying that He never dies, which implies that He is the eternally living; or by saying that He never feels tired or exhausted, which implies He is the All-Powerful; or by saying that He never forgets or lacks awareness, which implies that He is All-Knowing. So there is no praise in negation unless it implies something positive. The One Who is Perfect cannot share in the quality that is denied. The meaning is that Allaah (swt) may be seen but He cannot be seen in His entirety. The aayah "No vision can grasp Him" indicates that He is Almighty and because of His greatness he cannot be fully comprehend, for idraak [comprehension] is something that surpasses seeing, as Allaah (swt) says,

"And when the two hosts saw each other the companions of Musa said, "We are sure to be overtaken."

Musaa did not deny that they saw them but he denied that they would overwhelm them because seeing [ru'yah] and overwhelming or surrounding [idraak] could take place independently of one another. Allaah may be seen [ru'yah] but He may never be fully comprehended just as He may be known, but never completely. This is how the Sahaabah and Imaam understood this aayah, as their opinions are recorded in its tafseer. Even the Sun, which is a mere created entity, cannot be fully comprehended by the one who sees it.

The hadith narrated by the Prophet (saw) and his companions concerning the believers seeing Allaah has also reached the level of tawaatur and were recorded by the compilers of the six books, for example, the hadith of Abu Hurayrah, "Some people asked, "O Messenger of Allaah, will we see our Rabb on the Day of Resurrection?" The Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "Do you doubt that the moon is seen when it is full?" They said, "No, O Messenger of Allaah." He said, "Do you doubt that the sun is seen when there are no clouds to hide it?" They said, "No." He said, then you will see Him just as clearly." [narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim, who narrated a similar hadith from Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri, and narrated by Jareer ibn 'Abdullaah al-Bajlee narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim; Abu Musa narrated in al-Bukhaari, Sharh at-Tahhawwiyah, p.204-210]

Earning The Blessings Of Paradise Does Not Mean One Has To Forego The Pleasures Of This World
Monks and ascetics, and many of the believers of this ummah think that the blessings of the hereafter cannot be attained without giving up the good things and pleasures of this world. So you see them punishing themselves and making life hard for themselves with non-stop fasting and [qiyaam] praying at night. Some of them even deny themselves good food, drink and clothing and reject work and marriage. All of this is wrong, for Allaah has created the good things of this world for the believers, and He denounces those who forbid the beautiful things that Allaah (swt) has created for His slaves:

"Say: "Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His slaves, and at-Tayyibaat [all kinds of lawful things] of food?" Say: "They are in the life of this world, for those who believe, [and] exclusively for them [believers] on the Day of Resurrection [the disbelievers will not share them].
" [7:32]

This world is only condemned when it distracts the believer from the Hereafter, but if he treats it as a means of achieving success in the aakhirah then its pleasures need not be spurned, as some people think.

The Conclusion Of Their Prayer Will Be Al-Hamdulillaahi Rabbil-Aalameen
The believers will pass through the turmoil of the Day of Judgement, then they will cross as-Siraat [the bridge over Hell] and will witness its horrors. Then Allaah (swt) will admit them to gardens of delight in Paradise, after removing all grief and sorrow from their hearts. They will see the wonders that Allaah has prepared for them in Paradise and they will raise their voices in praise and glorification of Allaah because He will have lifted their sorrow, fulfilled His promise to them, and caused them to inherit Paradise:

"And they will say, "All praise and thanks be to Allaah, Who has removed from us [all] grief. For Our Rabb is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate [good deeds and recompense] Who out of His Grace, has lodged us in a home that will last forever, there, toil will not touch us, nor will weariness touch us"

"And they will say, "All the praises and thanks be to Allaah Who Has fulfilled His promise to us and has made us inherit [this] land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent a reward for the [pious good] workers!" And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne [of Allaah] from all around, glorifying the praises of their Rabb. And they [all the creatures] will be judged with truth, and it will be said, "All the praises and thanks be to Allaah, the Rabb of the Aalameen" [39:74-75]

And the conclusion of their prayer will be al-Hamdulillaahi Rabbil Aalameen:

"Their prayer will be Glory to You, O Allaah! and their greeting therein will be Peace, and the conclusion of their prayer will be, "Praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds
" [10:10]






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