Al-Jannah wal An-Nâr-The Paradise and the Hellfire [10/12]

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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 Allâh or disbelieve in Him, or deny any of the principles of faith will not be allowed to enter Paradise. Their destination will be Hellfire.

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The Qur’ân 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 tawhîd] 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 Imân and Islâm:

“My worshippers! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve –
[you] who believed in Our âyâh and were Muslims, enter Paradise you and
your wives in happiness” [43:68-70]

Or because they were sincere in their devotion to Allâh:

“Save the chosen slaves of Allâh [al-Mukhlisîn]. 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 Allâh, their longing for
Him and worship of Him:

“Only those who believe in our âyâh 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 Allâh’s Cause] our of what We have bestowed on them”. [32:15-16]

Or for their patience and reliance upon Allâh:

“..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 Allâh” 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 Allâh:

“But for him who fears standing before his Rabb there will be two Gardens”
[55:46]

Or for their hatred of the kuffâr and mushrikîn and their refusal to befriend them:

“You will not find any people who believe in Allâh and the Last Day,
making friendship with those who oppose Allâh 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].
Allâh is pleased with them and they with Him”. [58:22]

Some âyâh 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 Allâh and break not the mithâq, those who join that which
Allâh 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-Salâh, 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] Salâmun ”alaykum for that you
persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!” [13:19-24]

And at the beginning of Surah al-Mu’minûn, Allâh 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 salâh with
khushû’, and those who turn away from al-laghw [dirty, false, evil, vain
talk, falsehood and all that Allâh 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 amânah [all duties that Allâh 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 ﷺ 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 ‘alâ Muslim, 17/198]

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 hadîth narrated by Al-Bukhâri and Muslim from Abû Hurayrah (ra) the
Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said, “Hell has been veiled with desires, and
Paradise has been veiled with [surrounded by] hardships.”

An-Nasâ’î, at-Tirmidhi, and Abû Dawud report from Abû Hurayrah (ra) that
the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said,

“When Allâh created Paradise, He told
Jibrîl, “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””. [Jâmi al-Usûl, 10/520, 8068]

An-Nawawi commented on the first hadîth:

“This is an example of the beautiful, eloquent and concise speech which
the Prophet ﷺ 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 dowm 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 Will Inherit The Portion of Paradise That Would
Have Gone to the People of Hell

Allâh has given two positions to every descendent of Adam: a position in
Jannah and a position in Jahanam. Then whoever is destined to damnation
of the kuffâr and mushrikîn 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, Allâh said,

“These are
indeed the inheritors, who shall inherit the Fridays”

Ibn Kathîr said in his commentary on this âyah:

“Ibn Abi Hâtim said –
and he quoted to the isnâd going back to Abû Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger
of Allâh ﷺ 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’îd ibn Jubayr. The believers will
inherit the positions of the kuffâr, because those positions were created
for those who worship Allâh (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 kuffâr neglected the duty for which they
had been created. So the believers gained the share that the kuffâr
would have gained if they had obeyed Allâh (swt) and they will gain even more
than that. Muslim reported from Abû Burdah from Abû Musâ that the Prophet
ﷺ said:

“Some people amongst the Muslims will come on the Day of
Resurrection with sins as great as a mountain. Allâh will forgive them, and will pass
[the burden of sin] to the Jews and Christians”.

According to another
version of this hadîth, the Prophet ﷺ said,

“When the Day of Judgement
comes, Allâh (swt) will allocate a Jew or Christian for every Muslim and
will say, “This is your ransom from the Fire”.

This hadîth reflects the
words of Allâh (swt): “Such is the Paradise which We shall give as aninheritance to those of Our slaves who have been al-Muttaqûn” [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]
[Tafsîr
Ibn Kathîr, 5/10]

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 Allâh
(swt) they are important, becuse they fear Him and worship Him faithfully and
with humility. Al-Bukhâri and Muslim report from Harîthah ibn Wahb that the
Messenger of Allâh ﷺ 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 Allâh
for anything, He would grant it to him.”
[Jâmi’ al-Usûl, 10/535]

An-Nawawi said, commenting on this hadîth:

“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 alâ
Muslim, 17/187]

Al-Bukhâri, Ahmad and Muslim reported from Usâmah ibn Zayd that the
Messenger of Allâh ﷺ 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”. [Mishkât al-Masâbih, 2/663 no 5233]

Will There Be More Men or Women in Paradise?

Men and women engaged in this dispute when the Sahâbah were still alive.
Muslim reports from Ibn Sirîn:

“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 Abû Hurayrah, who said that women would form the majority, on
the basis of the words of the Prophet ﷺ: “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”
” [Sahîh Muslim, Kitâb al-Jannah, Bâb awwal zumrah tadhkul
al-Jannah, 4/2179, hadîth no. 2834]

This hadîth clearly indicates that there will be more women than men in
Paradise. Some others though that there would be more men, because of the
hadîth,

“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-‘Asqalâni said [Fath al-Bâri 6/325]

The two hadîths 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 hadîth narrated by Abû Hurayrah
indicates that the total number of women in paradise, including women of this world
and al-Hûr al-‘Eyn will outnumber men. The question then is, who will be
greater in number in Paradise: the men of this world or the women?
Al-Qurtubî reconciled between these two hadîths by suggesting that women
will form the majority of the inhabitants of Hell before the Shafâ’ah
[intercession], when the sinners from amongst the muwwahidîn will be
brought out of Hell. Thereafter women will form the majority of the people of
Paradise. [at-Tadhkirah, al-Qurtubî, p. 475]

The small number of women in Paradise is indicated in a report narrated by
Ahmad and Abû Ya’lâ from ‘Amr ibn al-‘As who said,

“Whilst we were with
the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ 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 Allâh ﷺ said, “No women
will enter Paradise except those who are as rare among them as this crow is
among the others”
” [Silsilat al-Hadîth as-Sahîhah, 4/466, no. 1851]

Those Who Die Before the Age of Legal Capacity

(i) The Children of the Believers

The children of the Believers who die before reaching the age of puberty
will be in Paradise, insha’Allâh, by the Grace and Mercy of Allâh. 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”
[52:21]

‘Ali ibn Abi Tâlib understood this âyah – “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-Bukhâri included a chapter in his Sahîh entitled “The virtue of one
whose child dies and he bears it with patience for the sake of Allâh”, in
which he quoted the hadîth of Anas who said that,

“A muslim whose three
children die before reaching the age of puberty will be admitted to
Paradise by Allâh out of Mercy towards them.”

According to a hadîth narrated by Abû Sa’îd the women asked the Prophet
ﷺ “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].” [Sahîh al-Bukhâri, Kitâb al-Janâ’iz, Bâb fadl man mata lahu walad fa ahtasaba, Fath al-Bâri, 3/118]

According to a hadîth narrated by al-Barâ’ ﷺ,

“When [the Prophet’s
son] Ibrâhîm, died, the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said, “There is a wet nurse
for him in Paradise”
“. [Sahîh al-Bukhâri, Kitâb al-Janâ’iz, Bâb ma qila fi awlâd al-Muslimîn, Fath al-Bâri, 3/244]

The conclusion that may be drawn from this hadîth 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-Bâri, 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 ‘Abdullâh ibn
Ahmad in Ziyâdat al-Musnad]

“A muslim couple whose three children die before reaching the age of
puberty will be admitted by Allâh to paradise, they and their children, by His
Grace and Mercy” [Fath al-Bâri, 2/245]

From Abû Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ 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 Allâh admits him to Paradise.” [Silsilat al-Hadîth as-Sahîhah, 1/184, no. 342]

“The children of the believers will be in Paradise, being cared for by
Ibrâhîm and Sarah until they give them back to their parents on the Day
of Resurrection”. [narrated by Abû Na’îm, ad-Daylami and Ibn ‘Asâkir from
Abû Hurayrah – Silsilat al-Hadîth as-Sahîhah, 3/451 no. 1467; see also 2/156
no. 603 narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Hibbân, al-Hâkim]

An-Nawawi referred to the ijmâ of reliable Muslim scholars that any
Muslim child who dies will be in Paradise. [Fath al-Bâri, 3/244]. al-Qurtubî
stated that Hammâd ibn Zayd, Hammad ibn Salamah and Ishâq 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 hadîth of ‘Aishah
which was reported by Muslim with the wording, “A boy of the Ansâr died,
and I said, “it is good for him, because he did not do or know any evil”. The
Prophet ﷺ said, “You should not say that because Allâh (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-Bâri, 3/244].

I suggest that the best opinion is that this hadîth 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’ Fatâwa Shaykh al-Islâm, 4/281]

(ii) The Children of the Mushrikîn

The Messenger of Allâh ﷺ was asked about the children of the
Mushrikîn and he said,

“Allâh who created them knows best what they would have
done”.

[on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbâs, Sahîh al-Bukhâri, Kitâb al-Janâ’iz,
Bâb ma qilâ fi awlâd al-Mushrikîn, Fath al-Bâri, 3/246]

Abû Hurayrah (ra) reported that the Prophet ﷺ 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?”

[Sahîh al-Bukhâri, Kitâb
al-Janâ’iz, Bâb ma qilâ fi awlâd al-Mushrikîn, Fath al-Bâri, 3/246]

As Ibn Hajar said,

“al-Bukhâri may Allâh have mercy on him, indicated
that he was refraining from giving an opinion on the children of the
mushrikîn. Later in his Sahîh, in the tafsîr of Surat ar-Rum, he indicates that he
favoured the suggestion that they are in Paradise. He also organised the
hadîth in this chapter in such a way that shows this was his favoured
opinion. He starts with a hadîth which indicates that we cannot say one
way or the other, then quotes a hadîth which indicates that they are in
Paradise, and follows that with a hadîth 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
Mushrikîn?” He said, “Even the children of the mushrikîn”

Ibn Hajar said,

“This is supported by the hadîth of Anas reported by Abû
Ya’la, in which the Prophet ﷺ said, “I asked my Rabb for the lahîn
[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 isnâd is
hasan] Lahîn was explained as meaning children, because of the hadîth of
ibn ‘Abbâs nrarted by al-Bazzar. Ahmad reported from al-Khansâ bint
Mu’âwiyah ibn Suraym from her paternal aunt who said, “I said, “O Messenger of
Allâh, who is in Paradise?” He said,“Prophets are in Paradise, martyrs are in
Paradise and newborn babies are in Paradise”.
Its isnâd is hasan. [Fath
al-Bâri, 3/246]

They also took as evidence the hadith, “The children of the mushrikîn are
servants of the people of Paradise”
[Ibn Mandah in al-Ma’rifah, Abû Na’îm
in al-Hilyah, Abû Ya’la in al-Musnad and al-Albâni deemed it sahîh by the
sum of its isnâd, Silsilat al-Hadith as-Sahîhah, 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-Jawzî [Majmu’ Fatâwa, 24/382, 4/303]
an-Nawawi said of this opinion,

“This is the correct position favoured by
those who study the words of Allâh, “..And We never punish until We have
sent a Messenger [to give warning]” [17:15]”
[Fath al-Bâri, 3/247]

Al-Qurtubî also considered this the most likely to be corrected,
reconciling the apparently conflicting reports by saying that the Prophet ﷺ
initially said they would be in Hell with their parents, then he refrained from
passing any judgement and said “Allâh knows best what they would have done”, then
it was revealed to him that no one would b 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 Allâh knows
best.

Some scholars such as Hammâd ibn Zayd, Hammâd ibn Salamah, Ibn
al-Mubârak and Ishâq, say that they are subject to the will of Allâh. It was also
transmitted by al-Bayhaqî in al-I’tiqâd from ash-Shâf’iî. Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr said “This might be the opinion of Mâlik, 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, Allâh 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 hadîths 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 Imâm Ahmad and Abul-Hasan al-Ash’ari who
attributed it to Ahlus-Sunnah [Majmu’ Fatâwa, 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. Ahadîth to this effect were
reported by al-Bazzar from Anas and Abû Sa’îd and by at-Tabarâni from Mu’âdh ibn
Jabal. It has been proven through sahîh asânid that the insane and those who lived between the time of Jesus (as) and Muhammad ﷺ will also be tested in the Hereafter. Al-Bayhaqî stated in al-I’tiqâd that this is the correct opinion. [Fath al-Bâri 3/246].

The soundness of this opinion is indicated by the clear unambiguous âyât
of the Qur’ân 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 ‘Abbâs (ra) “The Messenger of Allâh ﷺ
said, concerning the boy was killed by al-Khidr,

“He was decreed from the
beginning to be a kâfir and if he had been left, he would have oppressed
his parents with his rebellion and disbelief.”

Commenting on this hadîth, Ibn
Taymiyyah said “It means that Allâh decreed it in Umm al-Kitâb [the
Register Book in Jannah] i.e. it was written that he would be a kâfir and
if he had lived he would have been a kâfir indeed.”

Al-Qurtubî 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-Hulaymî 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 Allâh, and there is no test
when a thing is inevitable.”

This is incorrect and was refuted by Shaykh al-Islâm 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 dîn? Who is your Prophet?” Allâh (swt) says,
“[Remember] the Day when the Shin shall be laid bare and they shall be
called to prostrate to Allâh but they [hypocrites] will not be able to do so”
[68:42]
…” [Majmu’ Fatâwa, 24/ 372]

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

The Number of People from This Ummah Who Will Enter Paradise

Many people from this ummah will enter Paradise, but only Allâh knows
their exact number. Al-Bukhâri reports from Sa’îd ibn Jubayr who said, “Ibn
‘Abbâs told me that the Prophet ﷺ 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 Jibrîl, 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-Bukhâri, Kitâb ar-Riqâq, Bâb Yadhkul
al-Jannah Sab’ûna Alfân, Fath al-Bâri, 11/406]

The first crowd which the Prophet ﷺ thought was his ummah was in fact
the Children of Israel as is stated in a number of sahîh reports,

“I hoped
that this would be my ummah, but I was told that this was Musa and his people.”
[Fath al-Bâri, 11/407].

Concerning the words “a vast multitude” Ibn Hajar said,

“A report from
Sa’îd ibn Mansûr says, “huge” [Adhîm] 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 Fâdil, “[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-Bâri, 11/408]

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

Our Prophet ﷺ hoped that this ummah would constitute half of the
population of Paradise. In a hadîth whose authenticity is agreed upon, Abû
Sa’îd al-Khudri said that when the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ 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..”
[Mishkât al-Masâbîh, 3/8]

Some hadîth state that this ummah will constitute two thirds of the
population of Paradise. At-Tirmidhi reports with a hasan isnâd and
ad-Dârimî and al-Bayhaqî also report, from Buraydah, that the Messenger
of Allâh ﷺ said,

“The people of Paradise are one hundred and twenty
ranks, eight from this ummah and forth from the rest of the nations.” [Mishkât
al-Masâbîh, 3/92, no. 5644]

Muslim reports from Anas (ra) that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ 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.” [Mishkât al-Masâbîh, 3/124, no. 5744].

The reason why so many people of this ummah believed is because of the great miracle of the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ, 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-Bukhâri and Muslim report from Abû Hurayrah
(ra) that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ 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 Allâh and I hope that I will
have the greatest number of followers on the Day of Resurrection.”
[Mishkât al-Masâbîh, 3/142, 5746]

The Leaders of the People of Paradise

(i) The Leaders of the Men

A number of the Sahâbah, including ‘Ali ibn Abi Tâlib, Anas ibn Mâlik,
Abû Hudhayfah, Jâbir ibn ‘Abdullâh, and Abû Sa’îd al-Khudri reported that
the Messenger ﷺ said,

“Abû Bakr and ‘Umar will be the leaders of men of
Paradise from the earlier and later generations.” [Silsilat al-Hadîth as-Sahîhah, 12/487, no. 824]

(ii) The Leaders of the Youth

At-Tirmidhi, al-Hâkim, at-Tabarâni, Ahmad and others reported that Abû
Sa’îd al-Khudri said, that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ 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 ‘Abdullâh ibn ‘Umar in Ibn ‘Asâkir – Silsilat
al-Hadîth as-Sahîhah, 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 ﷺ told us about their leaders:

“The Messenger of Allâh ﷺ dew four lines and said, “Do you know what
these are?”
They said, “Allâh and His Messenger know best.” He said,
“The best women of Paradise are Khadîjah bint Khuwaylid, Fâtimah bint
Muhammad, Maryam bint ‘Imrân and Âsiyah bin Muzahim, the wife of Fir’awn”
[Silsilat al-Hadîth as-Sahîhah, 4/13, no. 1508, from Ahmad at-Tahhâwi, al-Hâkim
from Ibn ‘Abbâs, sahîh]

Maryam and Khadîjah are the best of the four –

“The best of its women is
Maryam and the best of its women is Khadîjah” [from ‘Ali in al-Bukhâri,
Kitâb Manâqib al-Ansâr, Fath al-Bâri, 7/133] – and Maryam is the “First
Lady” – “The leaders of the women of Paradise, AFTER Maryam bint ‘Imrân
will be..” [Silsilat al-Hadith as-Sahîhah, 3/410, no. 1424, from Jâbir in
at-Tabarâni, sahîh].

The reason why Maryam is considered the best of all women is clearly stated in the Qur’ân:

“Behold! the angels said, “O Maryam! Allâh has chosen you and purified
you, chosen you above the women of all nations.” [3:42]

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

“..her Rabb accepted her with a goodly acceptance. He made her to grow in
a good manner”. [3:37]

These four women are beautiful examples of perfect, righteous women.
Maryam, the daughter of ‘Imrân, is praised by Allâh in the Qur’ân:

“And Maryam, daughter of Imrân, who guarded her chastity; and We breather
into [the sleeve of her shirt/garment] through Our Ruh [i.e. Jibrîl] and
she testified to the truth of the Words of her Rabb, and [also believed in]
His Scriptures and she was one of the Qânitîn [obedient to Allah]” [66:12]

Khadîjah as-Siddîqah believed in the Messenger ﷺ 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-Bukhâri, Kitâb al-Manâqib, Fath al-Bâri, 7/133]

Asiyah 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 Allâh 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 Dhâlimûn [those that
do wrong]” [66:11].

Fâtimah az-Zahrâ, the daughter of the Prophet ﷺ was patient and
forbearing, and feared Allâh. She was a branch from the pure tree,
brought up by the educator of humanity.

The Ten Who Were Given Glad Tidings of Paradise

The Messenger ﷺ clearly stated that ten of his Companions would be in
Paradise:

“Abû Bakr will be in Paradise, ‘Umar will be in Paradise, ‘Uthmân will be
in Paradise, ‘Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, az-Zubayr
will be in Paradise, ‘Abdur-Rahmân ibn ‘Awf will be in Paradise, Sa’d ibn
Abi Waqqâs will be in Paradise, Sa’îd ibn Zayd will be in Paradise and
Abû ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrâh will be in Paradise.”

[sahîh, Ahmad from Sa’îd ibn Zayd, at-Tirmidhi from ‘Abdur-Rahmân ibn ‘Awf, Sahîh al-Jâmi’ as-Saghîr, 1/70, no. 50]

“Ten will be in Paradise: the Prophet will be in Paradise. Abû Bakr will
be in Paradise, ‘Umar will be in Paradise, ‘Uthmân will be in Paradise,
‘Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwâm
will be in Paradise, ‘Sa’d ibn Mâlik will be in Paradise, Abdur-Rahmân ibn
‘Awf will be in Paradise, and Sa’îd ibn Zayd will be in Paradise.”

[sahîh, Ahmad, Abû Dawûd, Ibn Mâjah, ad-Diyâ, from Sa’îd ibn Zayd Sahîh al-Jâmi
as-Saghîr, 4/34, no. 3905]

The Books of the Sunnah tell us that one day the Prophet ﷺ was sitting
at the well of ‘Arîs, with Abû Musa al-Ash’ari acting as his gatekeeper. Abû
Bakr as-Siddîq came and asked permission to see him, and the Messenger of
Allâh ﷺ 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 ‘Uthmân came and he said,

“Let him in, and give him the
glad tidings of Paradise because of an affliction that will befall him”

[al-Bukhâri, Muslim and at-Tirmidhi. Jâmi’ al-Usûl, 8/562, no. 6372]

Ibn ‘Asâkir reported with a sahîh isnâd from Ibn Mas’ûd that the Prophet
ﷺ said,

“My successor will be in Paradise, his successor will be in
Paradise, and the third and fourth will be in Paradise.” [namely, the
Khulafâ Rashida]

[Sahîh al-Jâmi as-Saghîr, 4/149, no. 4311]

At-Tirmidhi and al-Hâkim reported with a sahîh isnâd from ‘Â’ishah
that the Prophet ﷺ said to Abû Bakr,

“You are free from the Fire.” [Sahîh
al-Jâmi’ as-Saghîr, 2/24, no. 1494]

Others Who It Was Reported Will Be In Paradise

 

* Ja’far ibn Abi Tâlib and Hamzah ibn ‘Abdul-Muttâlib

Abû Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said

“I saw
Ja’far ibn Abi Tâlib flying like an angel with his two wings in Paradise”
[at-Tirmidhi, Abu Ya’lâ, al-Hâkim and others, sahîh]

Ibn ‘Abbâs narrated that the Prophet ﷺ 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-Tabarâni, Ibn ‘Adiyy, al-Hâkim, Sahîh
al-Jâmi’, 3/140, no. 3358]

In a sahîh hadîth the Prophet ﷺ said,

“The leader of the martyrs is
Hamzah ibn ‘Abdul-Muttâlib” [Sahîh al-Jâmi’, 3/219, no. 3569]

 

* ‘Abdullâh ibn Salâm

From Mu’âdh that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said, “‘Abdullâh ibn
Salâm is the tenth of the first ten to enter Paradise” [Sahîh al-Jâmi’
as-Saghîr, 4/25, no. 3870, Ahmad, at-Tabarâni, al-Hâkim]

* Zayd ibn Harithah

Ar-Rawayanî and ad-Diyâ reported from Buraydah that the Prophet ﷺ
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” [Sahîh al-Jâmi as-Saghîr,
3/141, no. 3361]

* Zayd ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl

From ‘Â’ishah (ra) that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said,

“I entered
Paradise and I saw that Zayd ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl had two levels.” [Sahîh
al-Jâmi as-Saghîr, 3/141, no. 3362. Ibn ‘Asâkir]

This Zayd used to preach tawhîd at the time of Jâhilîyyah; he was a
Hanîf, a follower of the way of Ibrâhîm.

* Harithah ibn al-Nu’mân

At-Tirmidhi and al-Hâkim narrated from ‘Â’ishah that the Messenger of
Allâh ﷺ said,

“I entered Paradise and I heard someone reciting. I asked, “Who is that?” They said, “Harithah ibn al-Nu’mân; this is the righteous man” [Sahîh al-Jâmi as-Saghîr, 3/142, no. 3366]

 

* Bilâl ibn Abi Rabah

At-Tabarâni and Ibn ‘Adiyya report with a sahîh isnâd from Abû Umamah
that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“I entered Paradise, and heard footsteps ahead of
me. I asked, “What is this sound?” I was told, “This is Bilâl, walking in
front of you”” [Sahîh al-Jâmi’ as-Saghîr, 3/142, no. 3364]

Ahmad reported with a sahîh isnâd from Ibn ‘Abbâs that the Prophet
ﷺ said,

“I entered Paradise on the night of Isrâ’ and I heard an indistinct
sound from the side. I asked “What is this, O Jibrîl?” He said,
“Bilâl, the muadhin” [Sahîh al-jâmi’ as-Saghîr, 3/142, no. 3367]

 

* Abud-Dahdah

Muslim, Abû Dawûd, at-Tirmidhi and Ahmad reported from Jâbir ibn Samurah
that the Messenger ﷺ said,

“How many bunches of dates are hanging for
Abud-Dahdah is Paradise!”

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

“Who is
he that will lend to Allâh a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him
many times?” [2:245]

 

* Waraqah ibn Nawfal

Al-Hâkim reported with a sahîh isnâd from ‘Â’ishah that the Messenger
ﷺ said,

“Do not slander Waraqah ibn Nawfal for I have seen that he
will have one or two gardens in Paradise” [Sahîh al-Jâmi as-Saghîr, 6/1534,
no. 7197]

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

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