Al-Jannah wal An-Nâr-The Paradise and the Hellfire [11/12]

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Paradise is Not the Equivalent of Deeds

Paradise is something of immense value; a person cannot earn it by
Virtue of his deeds alone – Muslim reported from Abû Hurayrah (ra) that the
Prophet ﷺ said,

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“No one of you will enter Paradise by his deeds alone.” They asked,
“Not even you, O Messenger of Allâh?” He said, “Not even me, unless
Allâh covers me with His Grace and Mercy”

[Sahîh Muslim, 4/2170, no. 2816]

The fact that some texts indicate that Paradise is the equivalent reward for deeds could be problematic, for example:

“No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as reward for they used to do.” [32:17].

However there is no conflict between these âyâh and the meaning of the hadîth.
The âyâh indicate that good deeds will be a reason, not the price, for admission to Paradise. The hadîth say that good deeds are not the price. Two groups were misled in this matter: The Jabâriyyah, who took the hadîth to mean that the reward is not connected to deeds, because man has nothing to do with deeds [i.e. everything is foreordained]; and the Qâdariyyah who took the hadîth to mean that Paradise was the equivalent of good deeds, and man has the right to enter by virtue of his good deeds.

The commentator on at-Tahhâwiyyah said,

“As for the idea that recompense results directly from one’s deeds, the Jabâriyyah and the Qâdariyyah are misled, and Allâh has guided Ahl as-Sunnah. The ba’ of negation [nafyi] is not like the ba’ used for affirmation. The negation in the hadîth

“No one will enter Paradise by virtue of his deeds…”

[bi’ amâlihi] is the ba’ of substitution or exchange, as if good deeds were not the price of a man’s admission to Paradise. This is like the [false] Mu’tazili claim that good deeds will give a person the right to enter Paradise, whereas the truth is that admission to Paradise is by the Grace and Mercy of Allâh. The bi’ in the âyâh

“a reward for what they used to do [jazâ’an bi mâ kanû ya’malûn]” [32:17]

is known in Arabic grammar as the bi’ of causation, i.e. because of their deeds. But Allâh is the Creator of Cause and Effect, so everything is referred back to His Grace and Mercy” [Sharh at-Tahhâwiyyah, 495]

Description of the People of Paradise and the Delights They Enjoy Therein

The people of Paradise will enter in the most perfect and beautiful form,
in the image of their father, Adam (as), for there is no human form more
perfect and beautiful than that of Adam, whom Allâh (swt) created very tall. He was as tall as a great palm tree, sixty cubits tall. Muslim reports from Abû Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said,

“Allâh, Subhânahu wa ta’âla, created Adam in his own image, sixty cubits tall… everyone who enters Paradise will be in the image of Adam, sixty cubits tall. People kept getting shorter and shorter after the time of Adam.”

[Sahîh Muslim, Kitâb al-Jannah, Bâb Yadkhul al-Jannah Aqwam Af’idatuhum mithl af’idatah at-Tayr 4:2183, no. 2841]

Their external appearance will be in harmony, and their hearts will be as one. Their hearts and souls will be clean and pure. Muslim reports from Abû Hurayrah (ra) a hadîth in which the Prophet describes people entering Paradise including a group whose light will be like the full moon. He ﷺ said,

“Their form will be that of a single person, after the image of their father Adam, sixty cubits tall.”

[Sahîh Muslim, Kitâb al-Jannah, Bâb Awwal zumrah yadkhuluna al-Jannah, 4/2179, no. 2834]

Another aspect of their beauty is that they will have no body hair, and will
look as if their eyes are anointed with kohl. Each of them will enter Paradise aged thirty-three, the age of strength, vitality and youth. Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi report from Mu’âdh ibn Jabal that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said,

“The people of Paradise will enter Paradise hairless, looking as if their eyes are ringed with kohl, aged thirty three.” [Sahîh al-Jâmi’ 6/337, no. 7928]

As reported in the hadîth narrated by al-Bukhâri and Muslim, from Abû
Hurayrah (ra), the people of Paradise

“will not spit, blow their noses
or excrete”.

The people of Paradise will not sleep. Jâbir ibn ‘Abdullâh and ‘Abdullâh
ibn Abi Awfâ reported that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said,

“Sleep
is the brother of death; the people of Paradise will not sleep”

[Silsilat al-Hadîth as-Sahîhah, 3/74, no. 1087, al-Kâmil of Ibn ‘Adiyy, al-Hilyah of Abû Na’îm, Târîkh Isbahân, by Abul-Sheikh]

The Delights of the People of Paradise: The Superiority of Paradise Over
the Pleasures of This World

The pleasures of this world are tangible and present, whilst the delights
of Paradise are as-yet unseen promises. People are readily influenced by
what they can see and know instantly; it is hard enough for them to forgo
something that is in front of them for the sake of something else that
is in the future, so how much harder it is if the promise will not be
attained until after death! So Allâh (swt) drew a comparison between
the pleasures of this world and the joys of Paradise, and explained that the
delights of Paradise are far superior to this world’s pleasures. The
Qur’ân speaks at length denouncing this world of instant, fleeting
pleasures and stating that the rewards with Allâh as far better, to encourage man to strive hard for success in the next world:

“And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given them
for enjoyment to various groups of them [mushrikîn and kuffâr] the
splendour of this life that We may test them thereby. But the provision [good
reward in the Hereafter] of your Rabb is better and more lasting” [20:131]

and

“Beautified for men is the love of things they covet: women,
children, much of gold and silver [wealth], branded beautiful horses,
cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present
world’s life but Allâh has the excellent return with Him. Say: “Shall I inform you of
things far better than those? For al-Muttaqûn there are Gardens with their Rabb,
under which rivers flow. Therein [is their] eternal [home] and Azwâjun
mutahharatun [purified mates or wives], and Allâh will be pleased with them.
And Allâh is All-Sîr of [His] Slaves” [3:14-15]

There are many reasons why the delights of Paradise are superior to the pleasures of this dunyâ; Amongst them:

(i) The Pleasures of this Dunyâ are Fleeting:

“Say: Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is [far]
better for him who fears Allâh..” [4:77]

The Prophet ﷺ illustrated the inferiority of this dunyâ by comparing
it to what Allâh has prepared in Paradise,

“By Allâh, this world in comparison
with the Hereafter is nothing more than as if one of you put his finger” – and he gestured with his forefinger – “in the sea; let him see how much
water he would retrieve” [Sahîh Muslim, 4/2193, no. 2858].

A finger dipped in the ocean would not even pick up one drop; this is how little this world is worth when compared with the Akhirah. Because these pleasures are so insignificant, Allâh (swt) has rebuked those who prefer the pleasures of this world to the joys of the Akhirah:

“O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are
asked to go forth in the Cause of Allâh [Jihâd] you cling heavily to this
earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the
comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter” [9:38]

We have already quoted numerous texts that indicate the inexhaustible
abundance of the blessings and joys of the Âkhirah.

(ii) The Hereafter is also better from the perspective of quality.

The clothing, food, drink, jewellery and palaces of the people of
Paradise 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. Al-Bukhâri and Muslim report from
Abû Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said,

“The space of a
whip in Paradise is better than this world and everything in it” [Mishkât al-Masâbîh, 3/85, no. 5613]

Also narrated by al-Bukhâri and Muslim from Abû Hurayrah that the
Prophet ﷺ said,

“The space of the bow of any one of you in Paradise is better than all that the sun rises upon” [Mishkât al-Masâbîh, 3/85, no. 5615]

The comparison between the women of Paradise and the women of this
earth serves to demonstrate the superiority of that which is in Paradise. Al-Bukhâri reports from Anas that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said,

“If a woman from the people of Paradise were to look at this earth, she
would light up everything between it and fill it with her fragrance; the
veil on her head is better than this world and all that is in it” [Mishkât al-Masâbîh, 3/85, no. 5614]

(iii) Paradise is free from all the impurities and disappointments of
this world.

Eating and drinking in this life results in the need for excretion and
its associated unpleasant odours. 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” [37:46-47]

The water of Paradise does not become brackish, and its milk never changes
in flavour:

“..rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste
never changes..” [47:15]

The women of Paradise are pure and free from menstruation, nifâs [postnatal
bleeding] and all the other impurities suffered by women in this world, as Allâh (swt) says:

“…and they shall have therein Azwâjun Muttaharatun [Purified mates
having no menses, urine, stools, etc]” [2:25]

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:

“…free from any laghw [dirty, false, evil, vague talk], and free
from sin” [52:23]

The only speech that is heard there is good, sincere and pure, free from all
the shameful shortcomings of earthly speech:

“No Laghw [dirty, false, evil talk] will they hear therein, nor lying” [78:35]

“They shall not hear therein any Laghw, but only salâm [salutations of peace]” [19:62]

“Where they shall hear neither harmful speech nor falsehood” [88:11]

Paradise is the abode of purity and peace,

“No laghw will they hear
therein, nor any sinful speech [like backbiting, etc], But only the saying of
Salâm! Salâm! [greetings with peace]” [56:25]

For this reason, when the people of Paradise have been saved from the Fire,
they will be detained of a bridge between Paradise and Hell, where they
will be purified by settling any wrongs that may be outstanding, so that
they may enter Paradise, pure of heart and soul, free from any resentment, envy
or other negative emotions of this world. Al-Bukhâri and Muslim report that when the people of Paradise enter Paradise,

“There will be no hatred of resentment among them, their hearts will be as one, and they will glorify Allâh, morning and evening” [al-Bukhâri from Abû Hurayrah, in Kitâb bid’ al-Khalq, Bâb mâ jâ’a fi Sifât al-Jannah, Fath al-Bâri, 6/318]

Allâh indeed spoke the truth when He (swt) said,

“And We shall remove from
their breasts any lurking sense of injury: [they will be] brothers [joyfully] facing each other on thrones [of dignity]” [15:47]

A “sense of injury” is hatred. It was reported from Ibn ‘Abbâs and ‘Ali ibn Abi Tâlib that when the people of paradise enter Paradise they will drink from one spring, and Allâh (swt) will remove all sense of injury or
hatred from their hearts, then they will drink from another spring, and their faces
will become pure and bright [al-Qurtubî, at-Tadhkirah, p. 499]. This is probably what is meant by the âyah,

“And their Rabb will give them a pure drink” [76:21]

(iv) The Pleasures of This World are Transient Whilst the Joys of the Hereafter are Lasting and Eternal

This is why Allâh (swt) calls the pleasures of this world “temporary conveniences” because they are enjoyed for a short while, then come to an end, but the joys of al-Akhirah have no end:

“What is with you, must vanish, and what is with Allâh will endure..” [16:96]

“[It will be said to them]: This is Our Provision, which will never finish” [38:54]

“…its provision is eternal and so is its shade..” [13:35]

Allâh (swt) gave an example of how quickly this world will pass away:

“And put forward for them the example of the life of this world, it is
like the water [rain] which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation
of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But [later] it
becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allâh is Able to
do everything. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world.
But the good righteous deeds that last are better with your Rabb for rewards and better in respect of hope” [18:45-46]

Allâh (swt) likened this life to the rain that falls from the sky and causes plants to grow and flower and bear fruit. This lasts for only a short time, before they shrivel and are blown away by the wind. Such are the luxuries of this life, such as youth, wealth, sons, lands and fields. All of this passes away; youth fades, health and vitality are replaced by sickness and old age, wealth and children may disappear, a man may be taken from his family and wealth, but the Hereafter will never vanish or go away:

“…And excellent indeed will be the home of the Muttaqûn, Gardens of Eternity which they will enter, under which rivers flow..” [16:30-31]

(v) Seeking to Enjoy the Pleasures of this World and Neglecting the Hereafter Will be Followed By Regret and Sorrow When One Enters the Fire of Hell

“Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection will you be
paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception [a deceiving thing]” {3:185]

The Food and Drink of the People of Paradise

We have already discussed the trees and fruits of Paradise, including the ripe fruits, which hang within easy reach, so that the people of Paradise may pick whichever fruits they desire. The people will also have whatever food and drink they desire:

“Any fruit [any] that they may choose, And the flesh of fowls that they desire” [56:20-21]

“…there will be there all that the souls could desire, all that the eyes could delight in..” [43:71]

Allâh (swt) will permit them to take whatever they want of the good food and
drink of Paradise:

“Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!” [69:24]

We have also mentioned above that in Paradise there will be a sea of water, a
sea of wine, a sea of milk and a sea of honey, and the rivers of Paradise will flow out of these seas. There will be also many springs in Paradise, and its people will drink from these seas, rivers and springs.

(i) The Wine of the People of Paradise

One of the drinks that Allâh will bestow on the people of Paradise will be wine. The wine of paradise is free of all the troubles and problems that characterise the wine of this world, which makes people lose their minds, and causes headaches, stomach aches and other physical disorders, or which may have something wrong in the way it is made, or its colour, etc. But the wine of Paradise is free from all such faults; it is pure and beautiful:

“Round them will be passed a cup of pure wine; white, delicious to the drinkers. Neither will they have ghoul [any kind of hurt, abdominal pain, headache, etc] from that, nor will they suffer intoxication there from” [37:45-47]

Allâh described the beauty of its white colour, then explained that its drinker enjoy it very much, without is affecting their minds:

“..rivers of wine delicious to those who drink..” [47:15]

And they will never be adversely affected by drinking it:

“..nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom” [37:47]

Elsewhere in the Qur’ân, Allâh describes the wine of Paradise,

“They will
be served by immortal boys, With cups and jugs, and a glass from the flowing
wine, Wherefrom they will get neither any aching of the head, nor any intoxication” [56:17-19]

Commenting on this passage, Ibn Kathîr said,

“it does not cause their heads
to ache or their minds to be fogged; it is pure, although it still contains
the ingredients that make it a delight to the drinker. Ad-Dahhâk narrated that Ibn ‘Abbâs said, “Wine produces four things: drunkenness, headache, vomit and urine. Allâh ﷺ has mentioned the wine of Paradise, and He has purified it of all these things.” [Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr, 6/514]

In another part of the Qur’ân, Allâh (swt) says:

“They will be given to drink pure sealed wine, the last thereof will be the smell of musk..” [83:25-26]

This wine is sealed or covered, and at the end of it, the drinker will find the scent of musk.

(ii) The first food of the people of Paradise

The first food which Allâh (swt) will present to the people of Paradise will be the caudate [extra] lobe of fish-liver. Al-Bukhâri and Muslim report from Abû Sa’îd al-Khudri (ra) that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said,

“On the Day of Resurrection, the earth will be like one loaf of bread, which Allâh will turn around in His hands, just as any of you prepares bread whilst he is travelling, to offer it as food to the people of Paradise.”

A Jewish man came and said,

“May the Most Merciful bless you, O Abul-Qâsim. Shall I not tell you what food [nuzul] will be offered to the people of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Of course.”

The Jew said that the earth would be a single loaf of bread, just as the Prophet ﷺ has said. The Prophet ﷺ looked at us and smiled so broadly that his back teeth were visible, then he said,“Shall I not tell you of their food? Balam and noon [a large fish]”. They asked, “What is that?” He said, “A bull and noon seventy thousand people will eat from the caudate [extra] lobes of their livers” [Mishkât al-Masâbîh, 3/56]

An-Nawawi’s comments on this hadîth may be summarised as follows:

“Nuzul is the food prepared for a guest upon his arrival. Turning the bread
around in one’s hands means kneading it and tossing it from hand to hand, until
it is flat and round like a disk. The meaning of the hadîth is that Allâh (swt)
will make the earth like a huge loaf of bread to feed the people of Paradise.
Noon is a whale or large fish; balam is a Hebrew word that means “bull”;
the caudate [extra] lobe of a fish liver is the best part of it.” [Sharh an-Nawawi ‘alâ Muslim, 17/136]

Al-Bukhâri reports that ‘Abdullâh ibn Salâm asked the Prophet ﷺ a number of questions when he first came to Madinah, one of which was,

“What
is the first thing that the people of Paradise will eat?” He said, “The caudate [extra] lobe of fish liver” [Ibn Kathîr, an-Nihâyah, 2/270]

Muslim reports from Thawban that a Jew asked that the Prophet ﷺ,

“What will they be presented with when they enter Paradise?” He said,
“The caudate [extra] lobe of fish liver.” The Jew asked, “What will they eat after
that?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “The bull, which is grazing now in Paradise,
will be slaughtered for them.”
The Jew asked, “What will they drink after that?”
He said, “From a spring called Salsâbîl.” The Jew said, “You have spoken the
truth.” [Ibn Kathîr, an-Nihâyah, 2/270]

(iii) The food and drink of the people of Paradise does not produce any impure excrement.

It might cross one’s mind that the food and drink of Paradise might produce
the same as the food and drink of this world, namely excrement, urine, mucus,
saliva, and so on. But this is not the case. Paradise is a place that is free from all impurities, and its people are free of all the blemishes of people of this world. A hadîth reported by al-Bukhâri and Muslim from Abû Hurayrah clearly rejects such a nation: the Prophet ﷺ said,

“The first group to enter Paradise will be as beautiful as the full moon; they will not spit or blow their noses.”

[al-Bukhâri, Kitâb Bad’ al-Khalq, Bâb Mâ jâ’a fi Sifât al-Jannah, Fath al-Bâri, 6/317, also Muslim in Kitâb
al-Jannah, Bâb Awwal Zumrah Tadhkul al-Jannah, 4/2178, no. 2834]

This does not only apply to the first group to enter Paradise, all those who
enter will be similarly pure. Muslim reports from Abû Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said,

“The first group of my ummah to enter Paradise will be as beautiful as the full moon and those that come after them will be like the brightest shining star, and those that follow them will be ranked according to their status. They will not defecate, urinate or blow their noses or spit.”

[Muslim in Kitâb al-Jannah, Bâb awwal zumrah tadkhul al-Jannah, 4/2188, no. 2834]

It might be asked where will the waste produces go? This question was posed
to the Prophet ﷺ by his Sahabah and he replied,

“[It will come out as] burps which are like musk.” [Muslim in 4/2180, no. 2835].

Other parts the excretions will be turned into sweat like musk that will come out of their bodies.

(iv) Why Will the People of Paradise Eat and Drink and Comb their Hair?

If the people of Paradise are to abide there forever, and it is free form all
discomfort, pain and sickness, if there is no hunger or thirst there, and no
impurities or dirt, then why will the people of Paradise eat and drink, and
wear perfume and comb their hair?

Al-Qurtubî answered this question in at-Tadhkirah [p. 475, see also al-Fath,
6/325]:

“The luxuries and clothing of the people of Paradise will not be
for the purpose of warding off potential pains; they will not eat because
of hunger or drink because of thirst, or wear perfume because of some offensive
odour, because Paradise is a never-ending succession of delight and joy.
Do you not remember the words of Allâh (swt) to Adam?

“Verily you have [a promise from Us] that you will never be hungry therein nor naked. And you [will] suffer not from thirst therein nor from the sun’s heat.” [20:118-119]

The wisdom behind it [food and drink, etc] is so that Allâh will introduce Paradise to them in ways similar to the good things that they enjoyed on earth, but He will increase it in ways known only to Him.”

(v) The Vessels and Cups of the People of Paradise

The vessels from which the people of Paradise will eat and drink will be of gold and silver. Allâh (swt) says:

“Trays of gold and cups will be passed round them..” [43:71]

i.e. cups of gold.

And Allâh (swt) says,

“And amongst them, will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal, crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof according to their wishes.” [76:15]

i.e it will combine the purity of crystal with the whiteness of silver.

Al-Bukhâri and Muslim reported from Abû Musâ al-Ash’ari that the Messenger
of Allâh ﷺ said,

“The believer in paradise will have a tent made of a hollowed out pearl.. and two gardens of silver, their vessels and everything in them, and two gardens of gold, their vessels and everything in them.” [Mishkât al-Masâbîh, 3/86]

Among the vessels from which they will drink will be cups and jugs and glasses:

“They will be served by immortal boys, with cups, and jugs and a glass from the flowing wine.” [56:17-18]

The “cup” [kûb] is something that has no handle or spout, the “jug” [ibrîq] has a handle and a spout and the “glass” [kâ’s] is a cup that is filled with drink.

The Clothing, Jewellery and Incense-Burners of the People of Paradise

The people of Paradise will wear the most luxurious clothes, amongst other things, garments of silk and bracelets of gold, silver and pearls. Allâh (swt) says:

“And their recompense will be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient.” [76:12]

“…wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their
garments will be of silk.” [22:23]

“Adn Paradise they will enter, therein will they be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments there will be of silk.” [35:33]

“…They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Rabb will give them a pure drink.” [76:21]

Their clothes will be colourful, including garments of green silk and brocade:

“..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 the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on.” [18:31]

“Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be
adorned with bracelets of silver..” [76:21]

Their clothing will be far superior to any man-made garment. Al-Barrâ
ibn ‘Âdhib said,

“A silken garment was brought to the Messenger ﷺ and we began to admire its beauty and softness.” The Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said, “The handkerchiefs of Sa’d ibn Mu’âdh are better than this.”

[al-Bukhâri, Kitâb Bid’ al-Khalq, Bâb Mâ Jâ’a fi Sifat al-Jannah wan-Nâr, Fath al-Bâri, 6/319]

The Prophet ﷺ also told us that the people of Paradise will have combs
of gold and silver, and that they will perfume themselves with ‘Ud at-Tîb,
even though the scent of musk will be emanating from their pure bodies. Al-Bukhâri narrates from Abû Hurayrah that the Prophet ﷺ said of those who will enter Paradise:

“Their vessels will be of gold and silver, their combs will be of gold and the coals of their incense-burners will be of aloe-wood [Abul-Yaman said, “of ‘Ud at-Tîb] and their sweat will be musk.” [al-Bukhâri, Kitâb Bid’ al-Khalq, Bâb Mâ Jâ’a fi Sifat al-Jannah wan-Nâr, Fath al-Bâri,6/319]

Their jewellery will include crowns. At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Mâjah report from al-Miqdâm ibn Ma’d Yakrib that among the honours bestowed upon the martyr will be:

“..there will be placed upon his head a crown of dignity, one ruby of which is better than this world and all that is in it.” [Mishkât al-Masâbîh, 3/358, no. 3834, Sahîh Muslim, sahîh]

The clothing and jewellery of the people of Paradise will never wear out or
fade. Muslim reports from Abû Hurayrah (ra) that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“Whoever enters Paradise is blessed, and will never be miserable, his clothes will never wear out and his youth will never fade away.” [Sahîh Muslim, Kitâb al-Jannah, Bâb fi Dawam Na’îm al-Jannah, 4/2181, no. 2836]

The Couches of the People of Paradise

The palaces of Paradise have been prepared, and in their gardens are places to sit and recline, beautiful couches of delightful colours and high beds whose interiors are lined with silk brocade, let alone how magnificent their outward appearance must be. There are cushions and splendid carpets laid out in the most delightful fashion. Allâh (swt) says:

“Therein will be thrones raised high, And cups set at hand, and cushions set in rows, and rich carpets [all spread out]” [88:13-16]

“They will recline [with ease] on thrones arranged in ranks. And We shall marry them to Houris [female fair ones] with wide lovely eyes.” [52:20]

“A multitude of those [foremost] will be from the first generations [who embraced Islâm] and a few of those [foremost] will be from the later time [generations]. [They will be] on thrones woven with gold and precious stones, reclining thereon, face to face.” [56:13-16]

This reclining on those thrones and couches will be one of the luxuries
that the people of Paradise will enjoy when they gather together, as Allâh (swt)
says,

“And we shall remove from their breasts any lurking sense of injury; [they will be like] brothers [joyfully] facing each other on thrones [of dignity].” [15:47]

“Reclining on green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses” [55:76}

“Reclining upon the couches lined with silk brocade” [55:54]

The Servants of the People of Paradise

The People of Paradise will be served by boys whom Allâh (swt) will create to serve them and who will be most beautiful and perfect in form:

“They will be served by immortal boys, With cups, and jugs, and a glass from the flowing wine.” [56:17-18]

“And round about them will [serve] boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls.” [76:19]

Ibn Kathîr, may Allâh have mercy on him, said,

“Boys of eternal youth will go around to serve people of Paradise, boys who remain in that youthful form forever, never changing or advancing in age. It was said that they will be wearing earrings, to emphasise their youth, because such a thing is appropriate for young people, but it does not befit those who are older. And Allâh (swt) said [76:19] i.e. if you saw them going around to attend to the needs of their masters, with their beautiful faces and splendid colourful clothes and jewellery, you would think that they were scattered pearls. There is no more beautiful description than the picture of pearls scattered in a place of beauty.” [Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr, 7/184]

Some scholars suggested that these boys are the children of the Muslims and
Mushrikîn who die in childhood, but this was refuted by al-‘Allâmah Ibn Taymiyyah (ra), who explained that these boys of eternal youth are part of the creation of Paradise:

“..they are not the children of this world. When the children of this world enter Paradise, they will do so in a perfect form, like all the other people of Paradise, in the form of their father, Adam.” [Majmu’ al-Fatawa, 4/279, 4/311]

The Market of the People of Paradise

Muslim reported from Anas ibn Mâlik that the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said;

“In Paradise there is a market to which the people will come every Friday, then a wind will come from the north and blow on their faces, and clothes, and they will increase in beauty. Then they will return to their wives, who will also have increased in beauty. Their wives will say to them, “By Allâh, you increased in beauty after you left us.” And they will say, “And you too, by Allâh, you have increased in beauty since you left us.”[Sahîh Muslim, Kitâb al-Jannah, Bâb fi Sûq al-Jannah, 4/2178, no. 2833]

An-Nawawi commented on this hadîth, “What is meant by a market is a gathering place where the people will come together, just as they gather in marketplaces in this world. Gathering together every Friday means that they will meet once a week, or what approximates to once a week; there will be no real weeks there, as there will be no sun or moon or days. The wind of Paradise was described specifically as being the north winds, because for the Arabs this is the wind that brings rain, coming from the direction of Syria, so they always hoped for a wind coming from the north. In the hadîth this wind is called al-Muthîrah, i.e. something that carries things, because
it will blow the sand or dust of Paradise into their faces, which is musk.” [Sharh an-Nawawi ala Muslim, 17/170]

The Gatherings and Conversations of the People of Paradise

The people of Paradise will visit one another, in delightful gatherings where
they will remember their lives in this world and how Allâh (swt) has blessed them by admitting them to Paradise. Allâh (swt) described the gatherings of the people of Paradise:

“and We shall remove from their breasts any lurking sense of injury, [they will be like] brothers, [joyfully] facing each other on thrones [of dignity].” [15:47]

Allâh (swt) has also described some of the kinds of conversation that will take place in their gatherings:

“and some of them draw near to others, questioning, saying, “Aforetime we were afraid with our families [of the punishment of Allâh], but Allâh has been gracious to us, and has saved us from the torment of the Fire. Verily, we used to invoke Him [Alone and none else] before. Verily He is Al-Barr, the All-Merciful.” [52:25-28]

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