Fruits for the Week

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Paradise is the tremendous reward that Allah, the All-Powerful, has prepared for His beloved servants and those who obey Him. It is perfect joy and pleasure, where nothing is lacking and nothing can disturb its purity. What Allah, the Almighty, and His Messenger (saw) have told us about it makes us mystified with indescribable joy because our minds are not able to comprehend the greatness of such blessings.

Listen to the words of Allah in the following hadith Qudsi: “I have prepared for My righteous slaves that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and has never crossed the mind of any human being.” Then the Prophet said: “Recite if you wish: ‘fala ta’lamu nafsun ma ukhfiya lahum min qurrati a’yunin jaza-an bima kanu ya’malun’ (no person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do).” (Qurán 32:17).

The joys of Paradise are far greater than the pleasures of this world, which pale into great insignificance in comparison. Bukhari reports from Sahl ibn Saád as-Sa’dee that the Messenger of Allah (SWT) said: “A space the size of a whip in Paradise is better than this world and all that is in it.” (Fathul Bari, 6/319)

Paradise has been described as follows:

  1. 1. There is nothing like it

The delights of Paradise surpass the imagination and defy description. They are like nothing known to the people of this world; no matter how advanced we may become, what we achieve is nothing in comparison with the joys of the Hereafter. As is mentioned in several reports, there is nothing like Paradise: “It is a sparkling light, aromatic plant, a lofty palace, a flower river, ripe fruit, a beautiful wife and abundant clothing, in an eternal abode of radiant joy, in beautiful, soundly-constructed high houses.” (Ibnu Majah)

The companions asked the Prophet (SAW) about the buildings of Paradise. He replied with a wonderful description: “Bricks of gold and silver, and mortar of fragrant musk, pebbles of pearl and sapphire, and soil of saffron. Whoever enters it is filled with joy and will never feel miserable; he will live there forever and will never die; their clothes will never wear out and their youth will never fade.” (Ahmad)

Allah (SWT) described: “And when you look there (in Paradise) you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion.” (Qurán 76:20). What Allah (SWT) has kept hidden from us of the delights of Paradise is beyond our ability to comprehend: “No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” (Qurán 32:17).

Muslim reported that Sahl ibn Saád as-Sa’dee said: I attended a gathering where the Messenger of Allah (SAW) described Paradise, and I stayed until he finished speaking. At the end of the description, he said: “In it is what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart can imagine.” He then recited the verse: “Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (in Allah’s cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” (Qurán 32: 16-17)

  1. 2. The gates of Paradise

Paradise has gates through which the believers will enter, as the angels enter therein. Allah (SWT) said: “(Everlasting Gardens) of Paradise, whose doors will be opened for them.” (Qurán 38: 50). He said further: “And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): ‘Peace be unto you for that you preserved in patience! How excellent is the final home!’” (Qurán 13: 23-24)

Allah has told us that these gates will be opened when the believers reach them, and they will be welcomed by the angels with greetings of peace: “When they reach it, its gates will be opened, and its keepers will say: ‘Salamun álaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.” (Qurán 39: 73)

The number of gates in Paradise is eight; one of them is called Ar-Rayyan, which is exclusively for those who fast. Bukhari and Muslim report from Sahl ibn Saád as-Sa’dee that the Prophet (saw) said: “In Paradise, there are eight gates. There is one gate called Ar-Rayyan. No one will enter it except those who fast, and when they have entered it will be locked behind them, and no one else will enter it.” (Ibn Kathir).

(to be continued)

by Umar S. al-Ashqar

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