al-Jannah wal an-Nār-The Paradise and the Hellfire #7/12

by 'Umar Sulayman al-Ashqar

Paradise: the Eternal Abode

Paradise is the tremendous reward which Allāh (swt) has prepared for His beloved (awliyā) and those who obey Him. It is complete joy and pleasure, where nothing is lacking and nothing can disturb its purity. What Allāh (swt) and His Messenger have told us about it makes out heads spin because our minds are not able to comprehend the greatness of such blessings. Listen to the words of Allāh (swt) in this hadīth 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 (saw) said,

"Recite, if you wish: "No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do". (32:17)

The joys of Paradise are far greater than the pleasures of this world, which pale into insignificance in comparison. Al-Bukhāri reports from Sahl ibn Sa'd as-Sa'idī that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"A space the size of a whip in Paradise is better than this world and al that is in it". (Fath al-Bāri, 6/319, an-Nawawi's commentary on Muslim 17/166)

Because admittance to Paradise and salvation from the Fire are according to Allāh's will and judgement, it is a great victory and tremendous success, as Allāh (swt) says:

"Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden, will have indeed attained the object of life [or: been successful]" (3:185)

"Allāh has promised to believers - men and women - Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein [forever], and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allāh. That is the supreme felicity [or success]". (9:72)

"...and those who obey Allāh and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing underneath, to abide therein [forever] and that will be the supreme achievement". (4:13)

Admittance to Paradise

There is no doubt that the joy of the believers will be incomparable when they are led, group by honourable group, to the blessed Gardens of Paradise. When they reach Paradise its gates will be opened for them, and they will be welcomed by noble angels congratulating them on their safe arrival after suffering so much hardship and witnessing so much horror:

"And those who feared their Rabb will be led to the garden in crowds, until, behold, they arrive there; its gates will be opened and its keepers will say "Peace be upon you! Well have you done! Enter here, to dwell therein". (39:73)

In other words, your words, thoughts and deeds were good so your hearts and souls became pure and for that you deserve Paradise.

The Believers Will Be Purified Before They Enter Paradise

After the Believers have passed over as-Sirāt (the bridge over Hell), they will be kept on a bridge between Paradise and Hell, where they will be purified by means of their settling any wrongs that existed between any of them in this world. Then when they enter paradise they will be pure and clean, none of them bearing any ill-will towards another or demanding anything of another. Al-Bukhāri reported from Abū Sa'īd al-Khudri (ra) that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"The believers will be saved from the Fire then they will be kept on a bridge between Paradise and Hell. They will settle their accounts with one another for any wrongs that existed between them in this world, until they are purified and cleansed, and will be permitted to enter Paradise. By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, each of them will know his dwelling in Paradise better than he knew his dwelling in this world". (Sahīh al-Bukhāri, Kitāb ar-Riqāq, Bāb al-Qisas Yawm al-Qiyamah, Fath al-Bāri, 11/395)

Our Prophet (saw) will be the first to ask for the gates of paradise to be opened, after Aadam, the father of mankind, and all the other great Prophets refuse this task.

The First People to Enter Paradise

The first of mankind to enter Paradise will be our Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the first nation to enter Paradise will be his ummah. The first member of this ummah to enter will be Abū Bakr as-Siddiq (ra).

Ibn Kathīr quotes a number of Hadīth [an-Nihayah, 2/213] that state this such as the report of Muslim from Anas (ra) according to which the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said,

"I will be the first one to knock at the gates of Paradise".

Muslim also reported from Anas that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"I will come to the gates of paradise and ask for it to be opened. The gatekeeper will ask, "Who are you?" I will say, "Muhammad". The gatekeeper will say, "I was ordered not to open the gate for anyone else before you"".

Al-Bukhāri, Muslim and an-Nasā'ī report from Abū Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said:

"We are the last, but we will be the first on the Day of Resurrection. We will be the first of mankind to enter Paradise".

Abū Dawūd reports from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said,

"Jibrīl came to me, and showed me the gate of Paradise through which my ummah will enter". Abū Bakr said, "O Messenger of Allāh (saw), would that I had been with you to see it!". The Messenger of Allāh (saw) "But you, O Abu Bakr, will be the first of my ummah to enter Paradise".

Those Who Will Enter Paradise Without Being Called to Account

The first group of this ummah who will enter Paradise will be those who were pre-eminent in their imān, taqwā, righteous deeds and adherence to the true religion. They will enter Paradise in one rank: the first of them will not enter until the last of them enters, and they will be as beautiful as the full moon.

Al-Bukhāri reports from Abū Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"The first group to enter Paradise will be as beautiful as the full moon. They will not spit, blow their noses or excrete. Their vessels will be gold, their combs of gold and silver, their incense o aloe, and their sweat of musk. Each of them will have two wives, the marrow of whose leg-bones will be visible through their flesh because of their extreme beauty. There will be no differences or hatred among them (the people of Paradise); their hearts will be as one, and they will glorify Allāh (swt) morning and evening". (Kitāb Bid' al-Khalq, Bāb Ma Jā' fi Sifāt al-Jannah, Fath al-Bāri, 6/318; Muslim, at-Tirmidhi)

Al-Bukhāri reports from Sahl ibn Sa'd (ra) that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"Seventy thousand - or seven hundred thousand - of my ummah will enter Paradise; the first of them will not enter until the last of them does so, and their faces will look like the full moon". (Fath al-Bāri, 6/319)

It is true that with each one of these seventy, Allāh (swt) will give His Prophet seventy thousand. Ahmad reports with a sahīh isnād from Abū Bakr (ra) that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"I have been given seventy thousand of my ummah, who will enter Paradise without being called to account. Their faces will be like the full moon, and their hearts will be as one. I asked my Rabb, may He be glorified, for more, and He gave me, along with each of them, seventy thousand more". (Sahīh al-Jāmi', 1/350, no. 1068)

Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Hibbān report with a sahīh isnād from Abū Umāmah that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said,

"My Rabb promised me that seventy thousand of my ummah would enter Paradise without being called to account and without being punished, and with each one will be seventy thousand, and three handfuls of people picked up by my Rabb [i.e. it will be a great number]". (Sahīh al-Jāmi' 6/108, no. 2988).

The Prophet (saw) described the characteristics of these seventy thousand. Al-Bukhāri reports from Ibn 'Abbās that the Prophet (saw) said,

"I was shown the nations, and I saw a Prophet pass by with a group of his people, and another with a band of his people, another with only ten, another with five, and another on his own (with no followers). Then I looked and saw a large crowd of people. I asked, "O Jibrīl, are these my ummah?" He said, "No, but look at the horizon." So I looked, and saw a huge multitude of people. Jibrīl said, "These are your ummah, and those seventy thousand in front will not be called to account or punished." I asked, "Why?" He said, "They did not treat themselves with branding (cauterisation) or with ruqyā (charms) and they did not see evil omens in things (i.e they were not superstitious): they put their trust only in their Rabb"". 'Ukāsha ibn Mihsan stood up and said, "Pray to Allāh (swt) to make me one of them". The Prophet (saw) said, "O Allāh (swt) make him one of them". Then another man stood up and said, "Ask Allāh (swt) to make me one of them". The Prophet (saw) said, 'Ukāsha has preceded you". (Sahīh al-Bukhāri, Kitāb ar-Riqāq, Bāb Yadhkul al-Jannah Sab'un Alfan bi Ghayri Hisāb, Fath al-Bāri, 11/405)

These may be the ones whom Allāh (swt) has called al-Muqarrabūn (those nearest to Allāh swt):

"And those foremost [in faith] will be foremost [in the Hereafter]. These will be those nearest to Allāh [al-Muqarrabūn], in the Gardens of Bliss". (56:10-12)

More of them will come from the early generations than from the later generations:

"A multitude of those [foremost] will be from the first generations [who embraced Islām], and a few of those [foremost] will be from the later generations". (56:13-14)

The Poor Will Enter Jannah Ahead of the Rich

Muslim reports from 'Abdullāh ibn 'Amr (ra) that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"The poor of the Muhajirīn will enter Paradise forty years ahead of the rich". (Mishkāt al-Masābīh, 2/663, no. 5235)

At-Tirmidhi reported from Abū Sa'īd, and Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Mājah reported from Abū Hurayrah, that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"The poor of the Muhajirīn will enter Paradise five hundred years ahead of the rich of the Muhajirīn" (Sahīh al-Jāmi' 4/90, no.4104).

Elsewhere the Prophet (saw) explained that these are the people who have nothing to be brought account for, and this is in addition to their jihād and virtue. Al-Hākim reported from 'Abdullāh ibn 'Amr that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said,

"Do you know who will be the first of my ummah to enter Paradise?" I said, "Allāh and His Messenger know best". He said, "The poor of the Muhajirīn. They will come to the gate of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection and ask for it to be opened. The gatekeepers will say to them, "Have you been brought to account?" They will say, "What do we need to be brought to account for? We were carrying our swords and fighting for the sake of Allāh (swt) until we died." Then the gates will be opened for them and they will stay there for forty years before anyone else enters". (Silsilah al-Hadīth as-Sahīhah, 2/532, no. 853, al-Hākim said it is sahīh according to the conditions of al-Bukhāri and Muslim).

Al-Bukhāri reports from Usāmah ibn Zayd that the Prophet (saw) said,

"I stood by the gate of Paradise and saw that the majority of those who entered were the poor and wretched. The rich [Muslims] were detained while the people of Hell were ordered to be taken to Hell". (Sahīh al-Bukhāri, Kitāb ar-Riqāq, Bāb Sifāt al-Jannah, wan-Nār, Fath al-Bāri, 2/345)

Some of the hadīth quoted above stated that the poor will enter Paradise forty years ahead of other people while others state that the difference will be five hundred years. The two statements may be reconciled by pointing out that the poor are not all alike, neither are the rich. As al-Qurtubī suggested (at-Tadhkirah, p.470)

“The poor vary in the strength of their imān and their achievements, and the same applies to the rich. If we think in terms of the first of the poor and the last of the rich to enter Paradise then the time-span will be five hundred years, but if we are thinking of the last of the poor and the first of the rich, then the time span is forty years. And Allāh knows best." (Ibn Kathīr, an-Nihāyah, 2/345)

The First Three to Enter Jannah

At-Tirmidhi reported with a hasan isnād from Abū Hurayrah that the Prophet (saw) said:

"I was shown the first three to enter Paradise: the Shahīd (the martyr); the one who is chaste and proud; and the slave who worships Allāh (swt) with devotion and is faithful and sincere towards his master" (Jāmi' al-Usūl, 10/535, attributed to Ahmad, al-Hākim and al-Bayhaqi)

The Sinners Among the Believers Will Enter Paradise

(i) They will be brought forth from Hell and will enter Paradise by means of intercession.

Muslim reports from Abū Sa'īd that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"The people of Hell will remain there, never dying, and never living. But there are people who will enter Hell because of their sins, and will be killed therein, so that they become like coals. Permission will be granted for intercession to be made, and they will be brought forth in groups and spread on rivers of Paradise, and it will be said, "O people of Paradise, pour water on them. Then they will grow like seeds in the silt left by a flood". [Muslim, Kitāb al-Imān, Bāb as-Shafa'ah wa Ikhrāj al-Muwahiddin min an-Nār, 1/172]

Muslim also reports from Jābir ibn 'Abdullāh that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said,

"Some people will be brought out of the Fire, having been burnt all over except for their faces, and they will enter Paradise". [Muslim, Kitāb al-Imām, Bāb adna Ahl al-Jannah Manzilatan, 1/178]

The people of Paradise will call these people who are brought out of Hell and admitted to Paradise, al-Jahannamiyyūn. Al-Bukhāri reports from 'Imrān ibn Husayn (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said,

"Some people will be brought out of Hell through the intercession of Muhammad (saw). They will enter Paradise and will be known as al-Jahannamiyyūn." [Sahīh al-Bukhāri, Kitāb ar-Riqāq, Bāb Sifāt al-Jannah wan-Nār, Fath al-Bāri, 11/418. They are also mentioned in a hadīth narrated from Jābir by Muslim, 1/179 and al-Bukhāri from Anas, Fath al-Bāri 11/416]

According to another sahīh hadīth narrated by Jābir:

"The Prophet (saw) said,"They will be brought out of the Fire through intercession, as if they are tha'arīr". I asked, "What are tha'arīr?" He said, "Daghabis [snake cucumbers]"". [al-Bukhāri, Kitāb ar-Riqāq, Bāb Sifāh al-Jannah wan-Nār, Fath al-Bāri, 11/416]

Muslim reports a lengthy hadīth from Abū Hurayrah, in which the Prophet (saw) describes the Hereafter, and in which he says:

"...When Allāh (swt) has finished judging mankind, and wants to bring whomever He wills out of Hell by His Mercy, He will order angels to bring forth those upon who He wishes to bestow His mercy of the people who never associated anything in worship with Allāh (swt), and who said, "Lā ilāha illāh Allāh". The angels will recognise them in Hell, and will known them by the mark of sujūd on their foreheads. The Fire will consume all of a man except the mark of sujūd which Allāh (swt) has forbidden the Fire to consume. They will be brought forth, having been burned in the Fire, the water of life will be poured on then, and they will grow like seeds left by still after a flood". [Sahīh Muslim, Kitāb al-Imān, Bāb ar-Ru'yah, 1/299, no. 182]

It was reported in more than one hadīth that Allāh (swt) will bring forth from hell whoever has a dinār's weight of faith in his heart, or even half a dinār's weight or an atom's weight. Moreover, people will be brought forth who never did any good deeds at all. Abū Sa'īd al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said,

"Allāh (swt) will admit the people of Paradise to Paradise and He will admit whomsoever He will by His Mercy. And He will admit the people of Hell to Hell, then He will say, "Look for anyone who has the weight of a mustard seed of faith in his heart, and bring him out"". [Sahīh Muslim, Kitāb al-Imān, Bāb Ithbat ash-Shafa'ah wa Ikhrāj al-Muwwahhadīn, 1/172]

One of the reports about Hell is the hadīth narrated by Jābir ibn 'Abdullāh (ra) concerning entering Hellfire:

"Then intercession will be permitted and they will interceded until whoever says Lā ilāha illa Allāh and has a barley grain's worth of goodness in his heart will be brought forth. They will be made to stand in the courtyard of paradise and the people of Paradise will start to pour water over them, until they begin to grow like seeds left by silt after a flood. All traces of the Fire will disappear, then he [the person who was brought out of Hell] will keep asking until he is given the equivalent of this world and ten times more". [Sahīh Muslim, Bāb adna Ahl al-Jannah Manzilatan, 1/178]

Anas ibn Mālik reported that the Prophet (saw) said:

"Whoever says Lā ilāha illā Allāh and has a barely grain's weight of goodness in his heart will be brought out of the Fire. Then whoever says, "Lā ilāha illā Allāh" and has a wheat grains weight of goodness in his heart will be brought out of the Fire. Then whoever says, Lā Ilāha illā Allāh and has an atom's-weight of goodness in his heart will be brought out of the Fire". [Sahīh Muslim, Kitāb al-Imān, Bāb adna Ahl al-Jannah Manzilatan, 1/182]

There are many hadīths that discuss this matter. (ii) Opinions of different groups on intercession.

The Khawārij and Mu'tazilah deny that there will be any intercession to protect those who are guilty of major sins and have been ordered to enter Hell from doing so, or to bring forth those who have already entered. Al-Qurtubī said,

"This intercession was denied by the innovators, Khawārij and Mu'tazilah. Their denial is based on their corrupt principles, which are based on what they saw as rational thinking". [[1]]

These reprehensible ideas which go against the muttawātir sahīh hadīth, emerged while the Sahabah were still alive. Muslim reports in his sahīh from Yazīd al-Faqīr, who says:

"I was infatuated with one of the ideas of the Khawārij, so a large group of us went out, intending to go for Hajj and then go out to fight the people. We came to Madinah, where we found Jābir ibn 'Abdullāh sitting by a pillar, narrated hadīth to the people. When he mentioned al-Jahannamiyyūn, I said, "O Companion of the Messenger of Allāh, what is this that you are narrating, when Allāh (swt) says:

"And who You admit to the Fire, truly You cover with shame." [3:192]

and

"....everytime they wish to get away therefrom, they will be put back thereto.." [32:20]

So what is it that you are saying?" He said, "Have you read the Qur'ān?" I said, "Yes." He asked, "Have you heard about the [exalted] position of Muhammad [i.e. the position to which Allāh swt would raise him]?" I said, "Yes". He said, "That is the honoured position of Muhammad by which Allāh (swt) will bring out whosoever He wishes to bring out". Then he described as-Sirāt [the bridge over Hell] and the passing of the people over it, then said, "I am afraid that I may not have remembered exactly what he said. But he said that people would be brought out of Hell after entering it. He meant that they would come out looking like the wood of the ebony tree; they would enter one of the rivers of paradise and bathe in it, then they would come out looking [white] like sheets of paper". We turned back and said, "Woe to you! Do think this sheikh would tell lies about the Messenger of Allāh (saw)? We turned back [from the views of the Khawārij] and by Allāh (swt) every one of us abandoned this group except for one man". [Sahīh Muslim, Kitāb al-Imān, Bāb adna Ahl al-Jannah Manzilatan, 1/179, no.191]

The Khawārij and Mu'tazilah went to extremes with their claim that people guilty of major sins [al-Kabāir] would never come out of Hell, and that the intercession of those who interceded would be of no avail for them. The Murji'ah went to the opposite extreme by stating that no-one who was guilty of major sins would necessarily enter Hell, and believing that all such people would enter Paradise without being punished at all. Both groups are in conflict with the well-known muttawātir Sunnah and with the consensus of the Salaf and Imāms of this ummah.

Allāh (swt) has guided Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah to the truth in this matter where others have erred, by His Will. They [Ahl as-Sunnah] believe that those who are guilty of major sins are subject to the will of Allāh (swt); if He wills, He will forgive them, out of mercy, and If He wills, He will punish them for His sins then admit them to Paradise by His Mercy.

"Allāh forgives not that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases." (4:48)

"Say: O My Slaves who have transgressed against themselves [by committing evil deeds and sins]! Despair not of the Mercy of Allāh, verily Allāh forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-forgiving, All-Merciful". (39:53)

Shirk will not be forgiven, but any other sin is subject o the Will of Allāh. The one who repents will be as if he never sinned. The āyāt that the Khawārij use to prove that intercession will not be accepted actually refers to the kinds of intercession believed in by the mushrikīn. They think that interceding with Allāh is like interceding with rulers or authorities on earth, where a person may intercede with someone (an authority figure) without that person's permission and even if the one in authority is displeased with the one on whose half intercession is made. This is not so in the case of Allāh (swt) may He be glorified. Several texts reject this type of intercession, for example:

"Then guard yourselves against A Day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall intercession be accepted from him nor will compensation be taken from him nor shall anyone be helped [from outside]" (2:48)

"Then will no intercession of [any] intercessors profit them". (74:48)

"..No intimate friend, nor intercessor will the wrongdoers have, who could be listened to". (40:18)

Several texts explain that no-one can intercede with Allāh except with His permission and unless He is pleased both with the intercessor and the one for whom he seeks to intercede:

"Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission?" (2:255)

"and they cannot interceded except for him with whom He is pleased" (21:28)

"And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allāh has given leave for whom He wills and pleases". (53:26).

Allāh (swt) also says about the angels:

"He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear of him". (21:28)

"No intercession can avail in His presence, except for those to whom He has granted permission". (34:23)

These āyāt reject and refute the kind of intercession believed in by the mushrikīn, i.e. intercession via angels, prophets and righteous people, ("saints"), and confirm only that intercession which takes place with the permission of Allāh (swt) and when He is pleased with both the intercessor and the one on whose behalf he intercedes. Allāh (swt) is not pleased with the kuffār and mushrikīn. As for the disobedient monotheists, intercessors will interceded for them, but they will not intercede for a mushrik.

Al-Bukhāri narrated that Abū Hurayrah (ra) said,

"I said, "O Messenger of Allāh, who will be the most happy with your intercession on the Day of Resurrection?" He said, "I thought, O Abū Hurayrah, that no one would ask me this question before you, because I have seen that you are so eager to learn hadīth. The one who will be the most happy with my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who says Lā ilāha illā Allāh sincerely and from the heart"". [al-Bukhāri, Kitāb ar-Riqāq, Bāb Sifāt al-Jannah wan-Nār, Fath al-Bāri, 11/418]

The Last Person to Enter Paradise

The Prophet (saw) has told us about the last man who will be brought out of Hell and into Paradise and the conversation that will take place between him and his Rabb, and the incredibly great honour that Allāh (swt) will bestow upon him. Ibn al-Ithir collected all the hadīth on this topic in Jami' al-Usūl from which we will quote the following:

(i) 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (ra) said:

"The Messenger of Allāh (saw) said, "I know the last of the people of Hell who will be brought forth from it, and the last of the people of Paradise to enter it. It is a man who will come out of Hell crawling on all fours." Allāh will say to him,

"Go and enter Paradise".

So he will come to it and will suppose that it is full. He will go back and say, "My Rabb, I found it full". Allāh (swt) will say,

"Go and enter Paradise for there you have something like the world and ten times over [or you have something ten times better than the world].

He will says, "Are you making fun of me - or laughing at me - and You are the Sovereign of all?"
I ['Abdullāh] saw the Messenger of Allāh (saw) smiling so broadly that his back teeth were visible. He used to say, "That is the one who is lowest in status of the people of Paradise".

[al-Bukhāri, 11/386, ar-Riqāq, at-Tawhīd Bāb Kalām ar-Rabb 'azza wa jall yawm al-qiyamah ma'a al-anbiyā wa ghayrihim; and Muslim, with slight variation, no. 186, Bāb ākhir Ahl an-Nār Khurujan; and at-Tirmidhi, no. 2598 in Safah Jahanam, Ch. 10]

(ii) 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd reported that the Messenger of Allāh (Saw) said:

"The last person to enter paradise will be a man who will alternately walk, stagger and be touched by the Fire. Once he has passed out of the Fire, he will turn to face it and say, "Blessed be He Who has saved me from you. Allāh (swt) has given me something that He did not give to the earlier and later generations. Then a tree will be raised up for him, and he will say, "O my Rabb, bring me closer to this tree so that I may enjoy its shade and drink of its water". Allāh (swt) will say,

"O son of Aadam perhaps if I grant you this, you will ask Me for something else?"

He will say, "No, O Rabb, I promise that I will not ask for anything else". Allāh (swt) will excuse him because he is seeing something that he has no patience to resist so he will bring him closer and he will enjoy its shade and drink its water. Then another tree, better than the first, will be raised up for him and he will say, "O my Rabb, bring me near to this tree so that I may drink its water and enjoy its shade, then I will not ask you for anything more". Allāh (swt) will say,

"O son of Aadam did you not promise Me that you would not ask me for anything else? Perhaps if I bring you closer to this tree you will ask for more?"

So the man will promise not to ask for any more, and Allāh will excuse him because he is seeing something that he has no patience to resist, so He will bring him closer and he will enjoy its shade and drink its water. Then a third tree will be raised up at the gate of paradise, and it will be better than the first two. The man will say, "O My Rabb, bring me closer to this [tree] so that I may enjoy its shade and drink its water, and I will not ask for anything more." Allāh will say,

"O son of Aadam, did you not promise Me that you would not ask Me for anything more?"

He will say, "Yes, O Rabb, I will not ask you for anything more." His Rabb, may He be glorified, will excuse him because he is seeing something which he has no patience to resist, so He will bring him closer. When he is brought close, he will hear the voices of the people of Paradise, and will say, "O my Rabb, admit me to it." Allāh (swt) will say,

"O son of Aadam what do you want so that you will never ask Me for anything else? Will it please you if I give you the world and as much again?"

He will say, "O Rabb, are You making fun of me when You are the Rabb al-Aālamīn?"

Ibn Mas'oud smiled and said, "Why do you not ask me why I am smiling?" They asked, "Why are you smiling?" He said, "Because the Messenger of Allāh (saw) smiled". They asked, "Why are you smiling, O Messenger of Allāh (saw)?" He said,

"Because the Rabb of the Worlds will smile when He is asked, "Are You making fun of me when You are the Rabb of the Worlds?" He will say, "I am not making fun of you, but I am able to do whatever I will""". [Muslim, no. 187, Kitāb al-Imān, Bāb ākhir an-Nār khurujan]

And in the version of Abū Sa'īd, he adds,

"Allāh (swt) will tell him,

"ask for such and such"

and when he has stated his wishes, Allāh (swt) will say,

"You will have them and ten times more".

Then he will enter his house [in Paradise] and his two wives from among al-hūr al-'īyn will enter and say, "Praise be to Allāh (swt) who has created you for us and created us for you". He will say, "No one has ever been given anything like that which I have been given." [reported by Muslim, no.188 Kitāb al-Imān, Bāb adna Ahl al-Jannah manzilatan]

Those Who Will Enter Paradise Before the Day of Resurrection

The first human being ever to enter Paradise was the father of mankind, Adam (as),

"O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Garden and enjoy [its good things] as you wish, but approach not this tree or you run into harm and transgression". (7:19)

But Aadam disobeyed Allāh by eating from the tree which Allāh (swt) had forbidden him to eat from, so Allāh (swt) sent him down from the Garden of Paradise to this world of distress and misery:

"We had already, beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot, and We found on his part no firm will-power. When We said to the angels, "Prostrate yourselves to Adam". They prostrated themselves but not Iblīs, he refused. Then we said, "O Adam! Verily, this is an enemy to you and your wife. So let him not get you both out of the Garden, so that you are landed in misery. There is in it [enough provision] for you not to go hungry nor to go naked, Nor to suffer from thirst nor from the sun's heat". But Shaytān whispered evil to him, he said, "O Adam, Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that never decays?" As a result they both ate of the tree and so their nakedness appeared to them, and they began to sew together leaves from the Garden for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Rabb and allow himself to be seduced. But his Rabb chose him [for His Grace]; He turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance. He [Allāh] said, "Get you down, both of you - all together - from the Garden, with enmity one to another." [20:115-123]

The Messenger of Allāh (saw) also saw Paradise. Al-Bukhāri reports from 'Imrān ibn Husayn that the Prophet (saw) said,

"I have seen Paradise and I saw that its inhabitants are the poor.." [Sahīh Bukhāri, Kitāb Bad' al-Khalq, Bāb ma jā fi Sifāt al-jannah, Fath al-Bāri, 6/318]

Among those who will enter paradise before the Day of Resurrection are ash-Shuhadā [the martyrs]. Muslim reports that Masruq said,

"We asked Abdullāh ibn Mas'oud about this āyah:

"Think not of those who are slain in Allāh's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Rabb" (3:169)

He said, "We asked about that too, and the Prophet (saw) said, "Their souls are in the bellies of green birds, and they have lights suspended from the Throne. They wander about in Paradise wherever they wish, then they take shelter in those lights. Their Rabb will suddenly come to them and ask

," Do you desire anything?"

They will say, "What thing could we wish for when we can wander wherever we wish in Paradise?" Allāh will come and ask this three times. When they see that they will not be allowed to giver no reply, they will say, "O Rabb, would that we could return our bodies and be killed for Your sake one more time." When Allāh (swt) sees that they have no wants or needs, they will be left alone"
". (Mishkāt al-Masābīh, 2/351, no. 3804)

Whoever dies will be shown his position in Paradise or Hell morning and evening. Muslim reports from Ibn 'Umar (ra) that the Messenger of Allāh (saw) said:

"When any one of you dies, he will be shown his position morning and evening. If he is one of the people of Paradise, then he will be one of the people of Paradise, and if he is one of the people of Hell, then he will be one of the people of Hell and he will be told, "This is your position until Allāh (swt) resurrects you to it on the Day of Resurrection"". [Muslim, see Muslim bī sharh an-Nawawī, 17/300]




[1] Al-Khawārij are a sect that emerged after the battle of Siffin; they denounced 'Alī and Mu'awiyah, and whoever followed them, as kāfirs, and claimed that whoever was disobedient to Allāh (swt) would remain forever in Hell.

The Mu'tazilah are the followers of Wāsil ibn 'Atā' who believe in the Mu'tazilī doctrine that whoever commits major sins will remain eternally in Hell, but does not judge their position in this life.


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