How Beautiful HEAVEN:
In the Qur'an, Allah describes a wonderful life of perfect and endless beauty in Paradise. Someone who does not know this beauty's extent or how the Qur'an describes it may have difficulty envisioning Paradise and the kind of life there.
This book tells people about Paradise, which Allah offers to them, describes its great blessings, and proclaims its beauties to everyone. It informs people that Paradise is one of two ways of life prepared for them in the afterworld, and that every good thing will be theirs in Paradise to a degree that surpasses our present ability to imagine. It also shows that Paradise, is a place where all blessings have been created perfectly and where people will be offered everything their souls and hearts will desire; that people will be far removed from want and need, anxiety or sadness, sorrow and regret. Every kind of beauty and blessing exists in Paradise and will be revealed with a perfection never seen or known before. Allah has prepared such blessings there as a gift, and these will be offered only to people with whom He is pleased.
This book describes everything about Paradise in the light of the Qur'an's verses. So, as you read this information and try to envision that blessed place, remember that the Qur'an is the truth. Based on this information, consider the perfection of the real land that is waiting for you, and make every effort to be worthy of it. Be aware that Allah will give you all of these things by His grace, and that they can be yours forever. Given all of this, if you still cannot decide in favor of eternal beauty, remember that the only choice left is Hell, a place full of anguish from where you will observe the comfort of those in Paradise and experience eternal anxiety, sadness, misery, and sorrow.
Gardens of Eden which the All-Merciful has promised to His servants in the Unseen. His promise is always kept. (Surah Maryam, 61)
The fact that Allah has promised Paradise to believers brings them an indescribable joy and enthusiasm. They know that Allah wills Paradise for His faithful servants, and that He has made them its heirs. Here is another verse that mentions this promise:
Is someone to whom We have promised good and who then obtains it like someone to whom We have given enjoyment in the life of the world and then, on the Day of Rising, is one of those brought to punishment? (Surat al-Qasas, 61)
If Allah has promised Paradise to any individuals, they will attain eternal blessings with Allah's permission. And when believers enter Paradise, they will certainly express their thanks to Allah in this way:
They will say: "Praise be to Allah Who has fulfilled His promise to us and made us the inheritors of this land, letting us settle in Paradise wherever we want. How excellent is the wage of those who work." (Surat az-Zumar, 74)
Believers who have been given the good news several times during their earthly lives, and to whom Allah has promised Paradise, will receive at the end of their lives that for which they hoped. Finally, that long-awaited moment will come. The place that they have contemplated throughout their lives, prayed to attain, and striven to be worthy of is Paradise - "the best place to be," and "the most beauteous of all goals." This perfect place was prepared for believers, and its doors are opened to them.
The following verse gives a unique view about their entrance into Paradise:
Gardens of Eden that they will enter, and all of their parents, wives, and children who have acted honorably. 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)
They will be welcomed into Paradise "with greetings and [words of] peace" (Surat al-Furqan, 75), and enter there "in peace, in complete security!" (Surat al-Hijr, 46). There is only one thing left to do: to discover the beauties of this eternal land prepared for believers and endowed with every kind of blessing.
One of the natural beauties most mentioned by Allah in the Qur'an is that of "outpouring water" (Surat al-Waqi'a, 31).
As we observe in this earthly life, the human spirit derives great pleasure from water, especially flowing water. Lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and streams flowing in a forest all speak to the human spirit. All artificial pools and fountains in mansions, residences, estates, and villa gardens, as well as artificial and natural streams, arise from this longing for the spiritual aesthetic.
The main reason why these esthetic views are so pleasurable is because the human spirit has been created for Paradise. These beauties are described elsewhere, as follows:
In them [two other Gardens] are two gushing springs. (Surat ar-Rahman, 66)
The sight and sound of flowing water comfort and gladden the human heart. The sight and sound of water falling from above give pleasure and are a means whereby people can give thanks to Allah and praise His name. Especially if the water flows in the hills, among trees and greenery or runs over stones, it is a really impressive sight. It either collects in the place where it falls, or forms pools and flows from one place to another. Continually flowing water is a sign of endless and inexhaustible plenty.
As we learn in Surat al-Hijr, 45: "The heedful will be amid Gardens and Springs." Another verse reads: "The heedful will be in shady nooks by springs" (Surat al-Mursalat, 41)
The "shady nooks" may be special spaces created so that believers can sit and observe all of this beauty. (Allah knows best) As with mansions, these shady nooks also are placed in high places so that the people in Paradise can view the beauty below and see its many details. Shady nooks offer special pleasure to believers. For example, people are served various kinds of food and fruits there, come together there and hold pleasurable conversations, and enjoy themselves there. Their being placed next to springs, spaces that give pleasure to the human soul, adds to their attractiveness. From these springs flow delicious waters.
Another natural beauty is the gardens. For example, the "lush Meadows of the Gardens" mentioned Surat ash-Shura, 22 have been prepared only for believers. One of their particular features is the harmony of natural beauty contained therein. Within them grow a never-ending variety of plants, similar to the most delicate and sweet-smelling ones on Earth, and several species of animals, both known and unknown to us.
The gardens are adorned with various fruit and other types of trees, plains of "deep viridian green" (Surat ar-Rahman, 64) plants and flowers, and, in some places, pools and fountains. Surat al-Waqi'a also mentions "fruit-laden lote-trees with thorns removed" and "[banana] trees layered [with fruit]" (28-29).
By reflecting upon all of these things, we can form a general view of Paradise. Some of its characteristics remind us of things in this world; others are unique blessings and beauties of Paradise that no one has ever seen or known, and that our minds cannot imagine or express. We must be aware that beautiful things and surprises are waiting for believers in Paradise, things and surprises prepared by Allah's infinite knowledge and beyond our imagination. As Surat ash-Shura, 22 tells us: "They will have whatever they wish for with their Lord. That is the great favor," everything in Paradise, including all of its natural beauties, are brought into being in accordance with a believer's own desire and pleasure. In other words, Allah allows a believer's imagination a role in forming Paradise's environment as a favor from Him.
Allah has promised the men and women of the believers Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever, and fine dwellings in the Gardens of Eden. And Allah's good pleasure is even greater. That is the great victory. (Surat at-Tawba, 72)
Earlier, we looked at the dazzling blessings found in Paradise. The picture that emerges is one of letting people experience the greatest pleasures and delights of the five senses.
But the biggest blessing of all is Allah's good pleasure, and the joy and happiness a believer feels when he or she wins it. As one hadith also relates: "Allah would say to the inmates of Paradise: 'I shall cause My pleasure to alight upon you' " (Muslim). Moreover, being content with everything that Allah has given and offering Him continual thanksgiving brings a noble contentment. The Qur'an draws our attention to this, as follows:
Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. That is the Great Victory. (Surat al-Ma'ida, 119)
The most striking expression of what believers feel when they win Allah's good pleasure is that He will manifest Himself to them in a way that they can see Him. This is impossible in the world because, as the Qur'an says: "Eyesight cannot perceive Him" (Surat al-An'am, 10) But according to the Qur'an, in the next life and in a certain way Allah will manifest Himself to His believing servants. Only Allah knows how this will happen. But we are informed in the Qur'an that the believers' "faces that Day will be radiant, gazing at their Lord" (Surat al-Qiyama, 22-23) and "'Peace!' A word from a Merciful Lord" (Surah Ya sin, 58) will be heard. Believers will be "on seats of honor in the presence of an All-Powerful King" (Surat al-Qamar, 55).
In other words, the greatest possible blessing that believers can have is the deep sense of Allah's mercy and will. By winning His good pleasure, they experience a joy and a happiness that cannot be compared with any material blessing.
Actually, it is Allah's will that gives value to Paradise's other blessings. The same blessings may exist on Earth to a certain extent, but they have no meaning for believers as long as they surpass the limits Allah established.
Believers should think carefully about this extremely important point. The real thing that gives a blessing its value is something far beyond its intrinsic pleasure and delight, for its real value lies in the fact that Allah "granted" it. Believers who use the blessing and thank Allah for it feel that they have received Allah's gift; that the Lord loves, protects, and looks after them; and gives them a taste of His mercy. They take real joy from this.
A blessing is not an end; rather, it is a means to an end. As its purpose is to encourage men and women to offer greater thanksgiving to Allah, all of Paradise's blessings have only one goal: To lead believers to offer eternal thanksgiving to Allah. This is what gives them their value. In short, the blessings of Paradise are no more than a means whereby believers can approach Allah and attain the indescribable joy of winning His eternal friendship, love, and approval. This is why Allah's good pleasure is the greatest blessing of Paradise and far above all other material pleasures.
Let us consider one of Paradise's most striking blessings, one that is frequently mentioned in the Qur'an: beautiful women, who represent the height of the aesthetic idea. Just to be with them is a great blessing. The Qur'an describes the beauty of their faces, their skin, and even their bosoms. With these magnificent women, one of Allah's greatest material blessings - sexuality - can be experienced eternally in the most wonderful way. In the same manner, unmarried women will be married to young palace servants. This also is a free gift to them from Allah.
However, what makes these women so valuable is not merely their beauty, but the fact that they are known to be a gift from Allah. Indeed, the greatest pleasure that can be had is that which comes from receiving the love, closeness, grace, and benevolence of the Giver. No matter how valuable a gift may be, Allah's gift is more valuable for the pleasure it gives in being deemed worthy to be of the gifts of Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and in receiving it.
Accordingly, if they were not Allah's gifts, all blessings would lose their meaning for a believer. Prophet Yusuf's (as) great nobility orients a believer's moral sense in that direction. The Qur'an tells how the wife of an Egyptian governor, desired Yusuf (as) and even forced herself on him. We are told that Yusuf (as) found her attractive, but avoided this forbidden relationship due to Allah's sign to him. When she continued to press him, he preferred to go to prison rather than to commit adultery. He said: "My Lord, prison is preferable to me than what they call on me to do" (Surah Yusuf, 33).
The fact that he found the prison's extremely difficult conditions preferable to what the governor's wife wanted him to do shows the importance that a believer places upon Allah's good pleasure. To act in such a manner and to know that you have gained His approval is the most important thing in a believer's heart. If material blessings present themselves to a believer in a way that goes against Allah's good pleasure, they lose their value.
In Paradise, all material blessings are approved by Allah. He especially created beautiful women and gives them as a gift to believers. Houses, food, natural beauty, and everything else are blessings that Allah offers, and this is what makes them valuable.
Thus, the human heart can be satisfied only in Paradise, for it was created to serve Allah and takes pleasure only in His generously given gifts. In this world, it takes refuge in places that are reminiscent of Paradise; that is, in places whose blessings are used with thanks and in a way that gains Allah's good pleasure. This is why Paradise on Earth, the ideal long cherished by unbelievers and atheists, is impossible. If you were to take things in this world that resemble Paradise's material beauties and gather them in one place, they would have no meaning without Allah's approval. Moreover, He may also destroy the pleasure that might be derived from such material beauties.
In short, Paradise is a gift of Allah and is valuable only because of that. The people of Paradise experience eternal happiness and joy because "they are honored servants" (Surat an-Anbiya', 26).
The wisest word that can be spoken there is a word that praises Allah's mighty name: "Master of Majesty and Generosity" (Surat ar-Rahman, 78).
Allah, Who created human beings, certainly knows better than they what their hearts desire, and so will create these things for believers as a reward in Paradise. The Qur'an announces some of these blessings; the rest are left to the pleasure and desire of the believers' imagination. Generally speaking, all believers delight in the same things, with only slight differences in details. A person can ask the Lord for blessings that appear impossible under this world's conditions, or for blessings of which they have no knowledge. Another verse describes the incomparable beauty of these things:
Platters and cups of gold will be passed around among them, and they will have there all that their hearts desire and in which their eyes find delight. You will remain in it timelessly, forever. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 71)
From this verse, we can understand that believers expect surprises in Paradise; that they will be pleased with, and derive pleasure from, what they see. They also feel happiness when they see the pleasure and happiness experienced by other believers.
Also, we must not forget that one of the greatest blessings of Paradise is protection from the agonies of Hell (Surat ad-Dukhan, 56). All of these things provide a great means of thanksgiving for believers, who can see Hell when they desire and speak with its inhabitants. The Qur'an describes how believers give thanks to Allah, as follows:
They will say: "Beforehand we used to live in fear among our families. But Allah was gracious to us and safeguarded us from the punishment of the searing wind. Beforehand we certainly used to call upon Him because He is the All-Good, the Most Merciful." (Surat at-Tur, 26-28)
In the Qur'an, Allah uses different names when referring to the gardens of Paradise, such as Gardens of Eden, Gardens of Refuge, Gardens of Firdaws, and Gardens of Delight. These names may express the different sections in which various pleasures are to be experienced. (Allah knows the truth.) It is also possible that Paradise may have various degrees or different sections. We can infer this from the following verse:
But as for those who come to Him as believers, having done right actions, they will have the highest ranks. (Surah Taha, 75)
The Qur'an describes Paradise as: "Wherever you look, you will see pleasure and great dominion." (Surat al-Insan, 20)
The following hadith indicates that every detail found in Paradise holds great beauties and blessings: "There is no tree in Paradise that does not have a trunk of gold" (Tirmidhi). Every corner is furnished with countless blessings, thanks to Allah's incomparable knowledge. These things are prepared only for believers, whom Allah forgives in His mercy and accepts into His Paradise.
In the Qur'an, Allah describes the believers' state in Paradise as follows:
We will strip away any rancor in their hearts - brothers, resting on couches face-to-face. (Surat al-Hijr, 47)
Remaining in them timelessly, forever, with no desire to move away from them. (Surat al-Kahf, 108)
The reality of Paradise is something which people will never be able to understand until they actually enter it, but God has shown us glimpses of it in the Quran. He has described it as a place essentially different to the life of this world, both in the very nature and purpose of life, as well as the types of delights which people will enjoy therein. The Quran tells people about Paradise, which God offers to them, describes its great blessings, and proclaims its beauties to everyone. It informs people that Paradise is one of two ways of life prepared for them in the afterworld, and that every good thing will be theirs in Paradise to a degree that surpasses our present ability to imagine. It also shows that Paradise is a place where all blessings have been created perfectly and where people will be offered everything their souls and hearts will desire, and that people will be far removed from want and need, anxiety or sadness, sorrow and regret. Every kind of beauty and blessing exists in Paradise and will be revealed with a perfection never seen or known before. God has prepared such blessings there as a gift, and these will be offered only to people with whom He is pleased.
But what is the nature of these delights in Paradise, and how will it be different from the delights of this world? We will try to highlight a few of these differences.
Pure delight without pain and suffering
While people in this world experience some delight, they also face much toil and suffering. If one was to scrutinize the life which they live, they will find that the amount of hardship they face is much more than the ease and comfort. As for the life of the Hereafter, there will be no hardship nor suffering in it, and people will live therein in pure joy and delight. All the causes of sorrow, pain and suffering which people experience in this life will be absent in the Hereafter. Let’s take a look at some of these causes.
When one thinks of success in this life, they usually conjure the image of big houses, fine jewelry and clothing, and expensive cars; financial stability is seen to be the key to a happy life. To most people, success is inseparably related to wealth, even though this is the furthest from the truth. How many times have we seen the wealthiest of people living such miserable lives, that it sometimes even leads them to commit suicide! Wealth is something which humans in their very nature desire at any cost, and this desire has been created for a great and wise purpose. When this desire is not satiated, it causes some extent of grief in a person. For this reason, God has promised the inhabitants of Paradise that they will have all that they imagined as far as wealth and belongings are concerned, both for those who were extremely poor, experiencing even hunger and thirst, to those well-to-do but who desired even more. God gives us a glimpse of this when he says:
“... there will be there all that the souls could desire, all that the eyes could delight in …” (Quran 43:71)
“Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent forth (good deeds) in days past!” (Quran 69:24)
“… 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 [is] the recompense! How beautiful a couch [is there] to recline on!” (Quran 18:31)
Disease and Death
Another cause of pain and suffering in this life is the death of a loved one or disease, which are both non-existent in Paradise. None will feel any sickness or pain in Paradise. The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said about the people of Paradise:
“They will never fall ill, blow their noses or spit.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
None will die in Paradise. All shall live eternally enjoying the pleasures therein. The Prophet Muhammad said that a caller will call out in Paradise when people enter it:
“Indeed may you be healthy and never be sick again, may you live and never die again, may you be young and never grow feeble again, may you enjoy, and never feel sorrow and regret again.” (Saheeh Muslim)
As for the remorse felt due to a rift in personal relationships, people will never hear any evil or hurting comments or speech in Paradise. They will only hear good words and words of peace. God says:
“They will not hear therein ill speech or commission of sin. But only the saying of: Peace! Peace!” (Quran 56:25-26)
There will be no enmity between people nor ill-feelings:
“And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury (which they had, if at all, in the life of this world)…” (Quran 7:43)
The Prophet said:
“There will be no hatred or resentment among them, their hearts will be as one, and they will glorify God, morning and evening.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
People will have the best of companions in the Hereafter, who were also the best people in the world:
“And whoever obeys God and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom God has bestowed favor – of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions!” (Quran 4:69)
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. If we were to discuss all the causes for anguish in this life, we would surely find its absence or opposite to be true in Paradise.
The Pleasures of this world are transient whilst the joys of the hereafter are lasting and eternal. In this life when a person enjoys something, it is only a short while before they get bored with it and proceed to search for something they feel is better, or they may not feel a need for it altogether. As for the delights of Paradise, a person will never feel bored with anything, but rather, its goodness will increase each time they indulge in it.
Also, the life of this world is very short. Humans only live on this earth for a short while, and very few people reach the age of seventy.
“…Say: Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears God...” (Quran 4:77)
As for Paradise, people will live forever. God says:
“...its provision is eternal and so is its shade…” (Quran 13:35)
“What is with you must vanish, and what is with God will endure …” (Quran 16:96)
“(It will be said to them): This is Our Provision, which will never finish” (Quran 38:54)
The delights of the people of Paradise, such as their clothing, food, drink, jewelry and palaces, 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. The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, 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)
Free from all Impurities
Paradise is free from all the impurities of this world. Eating and drinking in this life results in the need for excretion and its associated unpleasant odors. 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 free 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” (Quran 37:46-47)
The water of Paradise does not become brackish, and its milk never changes in flavor:
“...rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes...” (Quran 47:15)
The women of Paradise are pure and free from menstruation, postnatal bleeding and all the other impurities suffered by women in this world, and all are free from stool and feces. God says:
“...and they shall have therein purified mates…” (Quran 2:25)
The prophet answered a person when they asked how the people of Paradise will relieve themselves:
“They relieve themselves by perspiring through their skins, and its fragrance will be that of musk, and all stomachs will have become lean.” (ibn Hibbaan)
What we have mentioned has been a mere comparison in order to understand the nature of Paradise, but as God said, its delights are truly hidden:
“No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.” (Quran 32:17)
Paradise: 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 as nothing in comparison with the joys of the Hereafter. As is mentioned in several reports, there is nothing like Paradise:
“It is sparkling light, aromatic plants, a lofty palace, a flowing river, ripe fruit, a beautiful wife and abundant clothing, in an eternal abode of radiant joy, in beautiful soundly-constructed high houses”. (Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan)
The Sahabah asked the Prophet about the buildings of Paradise and 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 never die; their clothes will never wear out and their youth will never fade.” (Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, ad-Daarimee)
“And when you look there (in Paradise) you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion.” (Quran 76:20)
What God has kept hidden from us the delights of Paradise is beyond our ability to comprehend. The Prophet said that God said:
“I have prepared for My slaves what no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no human heart can imagine.” Recite if you wish:
“No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” (Quran 32:17)
In another report:
“Never mind what God has told you; what He has not told you is even greater.” (Saheeh Muslim)
In other articles, we will attempt to mention some of the specific details of Paradise and the delights therein described to us by God and His last Prophet.
God has said in the Quran:
“And give good news (O Muhammad) to those who believe and do good deeds, that they will have gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow....” (Quran 2:25)
God has also said:
“Race one with another for forgiveness from your Lord and for Paradise, whose width is as the width of the heavens and the earth, which has been prepared for those who believe in God and His messengers....” (Quran 57:21)
The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, told us that the lowest in rank among the dwellers of Paradise will have ten times the like of this world, and he or she will have whatever he or she desires and ten times like it. Also, the Prophet Muhammad said: “A space in Paradise equivalent to the size of a foot would be better than the world and what is in it.” He also said: “In Paradise there are things which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has thought of.” He also said: “The most miserable man in the world of those meant for Paradise will be dipped once in Paradise. Then he will be asked, ‘Son of Adam, did you ever face any misery? Did you ever experience any hardship?’ So he will say, ‘No, by God, O Lord! I never faced any misery, and I never experienced any hardship.’”
If you enter Paradise, you will live a very happy life without sickness, pain, sadness, or death; God will be pleased with you; and you will live there forever. God has said in the Quran:
“But those who believe and do good deeds, We will admit them to gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow, lasting in them forever....” (Quran 4:57)