The Secret Beyond Matter

Never forget that only the true believers will enter paradise, the place of rewards

And Paradise will be brought up close to the righteous, not far away: "This is what you were promised. It is for every careful penitent: those who fear the All Merciful in the Unseen and come with a contrite heart. Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Timeless Eternity." (Surah Qaf: 31-34)

Those who deserve "the best homecoming in the presence of Allah," as defined in the Qur'an, their Book, in which everything they did in this world is recorded, will be handed to them from their right hand, and they will feel no difficulty in accounting for their deeds. From then on, they will be in a life of bliss. Believers are given the glad tidings of this pleasant state in many verses of the Qur'an:

As for him who is given his Book in his right hand, he will be given an easy reckoning and return to his family joyfully. (Surat al-Inshiqaq: 7-9)

As for him who is given his Book in his right hand, he will say, "Here, come and read my Book! I counted on meeting my Reckoning." He will have a very pleasant life in an elevated Garden. (Surat al-Haqqa: 19-22)

Believers who will have earned this future life will be welcomed by angels with the words, "Peace be upon you! You have done well so enter it timelessly, for ever." (Surat az-Zumar: 73) Then they will be led to Paradise in companies and will enter it in peace and security:

…such people will be repaid for their steadfastness with the Highest Paradise, where they will meet with welcome and with "Peace." They will remain in it timelessly, for ever. What an excellent lodging and abode! (Surat al-Furqan: 75-76)

Remember that you can earn a similar welcome and enter the abode of bliss and joy only if you have an unswerving faith in the hereafter, fear Allah and the Day of Account, and perform good deeds. Allah informs us in the Qur'an that people of Paradise will say the following:

"Truly We fear from our Lord a glowering, calamitous Day." So Allah has safeguarded them from the evil of that Day and has made them meet with radiance and pure joy. (Surat al-Insan: 10-11)

A superb vista of lakes, rivers, and lush greenery is the sort of Paradise people imagine. However, Paradise is not limited to these qualities alone. Paradise is the eternal residence of believers, and is resplendent in ultimate beauty and the most sublime blessings, beyond what we could ever imagine or wish for. We form a mental picture of Paradise based on what we know in this world; but any notion that we may gain about Paradise from what we know in this world is inevitably inadequate; we can only derive certain hints by which to paint a general picture. We will only be able to comprehend the real nature of Paradise once we have entered it. Indeed, a verse draws our attention to this fact as the following manner:

No soul knows the delight that is hidden away for it in recompense for what it used to do. (Surat as-Sajda: 17)

Whatever pleases you in this world exists in Paradise, in its best and most perfect state. Paradise, an abode of numberless blessings, includes everything a man can desire and take pleasure from. In a verse of the Qur'an, Allah describes Paradise in the following manner:

Seeing them, you see delight and a great kingdom. (Surat al-Insan: 20)

In one of his sayings, Allah's Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) described Paradise as follows:

When the dwellers of Paradise enter Paradise, an announcer will call: (you have a promise from Allah that) you will live therein and you will never die; you will stay healthy therein and you will never fall ill; you will stay young and you will never become old; you will be under a constant bliss and you will never feel miserable. (Muslim)

Believers in Paradise will be offered many types of food and drink. (Surat al-Mursalat: 43) Allah will provide them with any kind of fruit and meat, (Surat at-Tur: 22) and any meat of fowl they desire. (Surat al-Waqi'a: 21) Furthermore, this sustenance will never run out. (Surah Sâd: 54) The Qur'an describes that gardens of deep viridian green (Surat ar-Rahman: 64) will have rivers flowing underneath, and their foodstuffs and cool shade will abide forever. (Surat ar-Ra'd: 35) The fruit-laden branches of trees in these gardens will have ripe fruit hanging ready to be picked. (Surat al-Insan: 14) (Surat al-Waqi'a: 28-29) And, gushing water and springs are other natural features referred to about Paradise in the Qur'an. (Surat ar-Rahman: 66)

There will also be rivers of water which will ever remain pure, and rivers of milk whose taste will never change, and rivers of honey of undiluted purity, delightful to all who drink it. (Surah Muhammad: 15) While some of the blessings of Paradise will resemble those in this world, others will consist of an entirely unknown nature. (Surat ar-Rahman: 48) Numberless favours and unimaginable splendour awaits believers in Paradise as proclaimed in the verse 22 of Surat ash-Shura.

Believers will live in splendid dwellings in Paradise (Surat at-Tawba: 72), and will recline on sumptuous couches of brocade (Surat al-Waqi'a: 15-16). Other blessings that believers are promised are as follows:

Vessels of silver and goblets of pure crystal will be passed round among them. (Surat al-Insan: 15)

And (Allah) will reward them for their steadfastness with a Garden and with silk. (Surat al-Insan: 12)

They will wear green garments of fine silk and rich brocade. They will be adorned with silver bracelets... (Surat al-Insan: 21)

Certainly, enjoying the company of our loved-ones is one of the favours of this world. Believers take great pleasure in spending time with their brothers and sisters who are truly devoted to Allah. Therefore, the thought of being together again with them in Paradise is a great source of motivation for believers, who are, by nature of their faith, inclined to this sentiment. However, this companionship is not limited to a mere few years, as is in the case of this life. Rather, it is destined to last for all eternity:

Gardens of Eden which they will enter, and all of their parents, wives and children who were righteous. Angels will enter in to welcome them from every gate: "Peace be upon you because of your steadfastness! How wonderful is the Ultimate Abode!" (Surat ar-Ra'd: 23-24)

In Paradise, believers will also be with spouses who they themselves desire. As is stated in the Qur'an, "in them they will have spouses of perfect purity..." (Surat an-Nisa': 57). Purified of any worldly imperfection, spouses in Paradise will be created differently:

We have created (their Companions) of special creation. (Surat al-Waqi'a: 35)

The people of Paradise will take up their time enjoying themselves, reclining on couches in the shade with their spouses. (Surah Ya Sin: 55-56)

Allah, Who grants many favours to His servants in Paradise, will create everything in such a way as to offer ultimate pleasure. Allah will reward His servants by creating for them anything they desire. The following verse makes clear that there will be no limits to these favours in Paradise:

They will have there everything they want and with Us there is still more. (Surah Qaf: 35)

To ensure that people long for Paradise and seek His good pleasure, Allah has made this world imperfect. In this world, which is created with far fewer blessings than there are in Paradise, everything comes to an end. The imperfect nature of this world is not limited to death alone; as a trial inflicted on disbelievers by Allah, they enjoy things only briefly, as they quickly become bored with even with the best things in this life. Paradise, however, is a place where one will never be able to tire of the enjoyment of its blessings. No weariness or fatigue, though, will come upon the believers, both in Paradise and in this world. (Surah Fatir: 35)

But, never forget that far greater than these blessings, the utmost benefit of Paradise, is the good pleasure of Allah. For believers, no material gain can bring greater pleasure than earning Allah's good pleasure. As is stated in the Qur'an, "...Allah's good pleasure is even greater...". (Surat at-Tawba: 72)

What makes the pleasures of Paradise so supreme is that they are given as a result of the good pleasure of Allah. Allah has been pleased with the deeds of those whom He considered worthy to enter Paradise, forgiven their errors, and placed them in the most beautiful abode, where they will enjoy a blissful life for all eternity. The good news of Paradise is given in the Qur'an as follows:

O self at rest and at peace, return to your Lord, well-pleasing and well-pleased! Enter among My servants! Enter My Paradise. (Surat al-Fajr: 27-30)

This is Allah's promise to those who please Him. Never forget, only those who know that this world is a test, heed the warnings from Allah, follow their consciences, and try to earn Allah's good pleasure attain this good end.

2009-02-07 20:12:45

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