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Conversations in Paradise

They will say: "Praise be to Allah, Who has removed all sadness from us. Truly our Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful: He Who has lodged us, out of His favor, in the Abode of Permanence, where no weariness or fatigue affects us." (Surah Fatir, 34-35)

The Qur'an contains detailed accounts of conversations among believers, to whom Allah has given an exalted position in Paradise. These conversations are important, because they provide a good example for believers in this life. The verses: "They will hear no idle talk in it, nor any call to sin. All that is said is: 'Peace! Peace!''' (Surat al-Waqi'a, 25-26) show the importance of avoiding empty talk. Elsewhere, the same point is expressed as:

They will hear no idle talk nor any lying there, as a recompensation from your Lord, a commensurate gift. (Surat an-Naba', 35-36)

 Now, let us look at every word of wisdom in the conversations taking place in Paradise.

After giving their account, believers are sent to Paradise in groups. The gates of Paradise are opened for them, and they are greeted by the gatekeeper, who says to them:

…"Peace be upon you! You have done well, so enter it timelessly, forever." (Surat az-Zumar, 73)

In another verse, it is said that angels who will come in to welcome them from every gate will say to them:

"Peace be upon you because of your steadfastness! How wonderful is the Ultimate Abode!" (Surat ar-Ra'd, 24)

 Believers answer:

"Praise be to Allah, Who has fulfilled His promise to us and made us the inheritors of this land, letting us settle in the Garden wherever we want. How excellent is the wage of those who work!" (Surat az-Zumar, 74)

"Beforehand we used to live in fear among our families. But Allah was gracious to us and safeguarded us from the punishment of the searing wind. Beforehand we certainly used to call upon Him because He is the All-Good, the Most Merciful." (Surat at-Tur, 26-28)

"Praise be to Allah, Who has guided us to this! We would not have been guided had Allah not guided us. The Messengers of our Lord came with the Truth." (Surat al-A'raf, 43)

This verse continues:

It will be proclaimed to them: "This is your Garden, which you have inherited for what you did." (Surat al-A'raf, 43)

In another verse, the believers' thanksgiving in Paradise is described as:

Their call there is: "Glory be to You, O Allah!" Their greeting there is: "Peace!" The end of their call is: "Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds!" (Surah Yunus, 10)

Another verse says:

They will say: "Praise be to Allah, Who has removed all sadness from us. Truly our Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful: He Who has lodged us, out of His favor, in the Abode of Permanence, where no weariness or fatigue affects us." (Surah Fatir, 34-35)

The conversation between believers in Paradise is related as follows:

They will turn to one another, asking each other [about their past lives]. One of them will say: "I used to have a friend who would say to me: 'Are you one of those who say that it is true, that after we have died and are turned to dust and bones, we will face a Reckoning?'"

[And] he will add: "Would you like to look [and see him]?"

So he will look down and see him in the midst of the Blazing Fire and say: "By Allah, you almost ruined me! If it were not for the blessing of my Lord, I would surely be [now] among those who are given over [to suffering]. But then [Omy friends in Paradise,] is it [really] so that we are not to die [again,] beyond our previous death and we shall never [again] be made to suffer? Truly this is the Great Victory!" (Surat as-Saffat, 50-60)

As we see from these verses, believers are aware that they have arrived at this final happy end only by Allah's merciful will. Their consciences are keen, and they remember the past. Perhaps their whole lives are shown to them in detail, where they see the members of their intimate circle trying to make them deviate from the right path. And they understand that if Allah had not protected them with His endless grace, they could have followed the wrong path. Believers who come to this awareness give thanks to Allah in Paradise, just as they did in the world.

The verses below tell about the words spoken between the people of Paradise and those in Hell, and give expression to the latter group's sorrow:

In Gardens they will ask the evildoers: "What caused you to enter Saqar [Hell]?"

They will say: "We were not among the prayerful, and we did not feed the poor. We plunged with those who plunged, and denied the Day of Judgment until the Certainty came to us." The intercession of those who intercede will not help them. (Surat al-Muddaththir, 40-48)

So, the people in Hell confess the evil that they did during their earthly lives, and understand that there is no escape from their new abode. Another such conversation is related in these verses:

The Companions of Paradise will call out to the Companions of Hell: "We have found that what our Lord promised us is true. Have you found that what your Lord promised you is true?" They will say: "Yes, we have!" Between them a herald will proclaim: "May the curse of Allah be upon the wrongdoers, those who bar access to the Way of Allah, desiring to make it crooked, and reject the hereafter." (Surat al-A'raf, 44-45)

The Companions of Hell will call out to the Companions of Paradise: "Throw down some water to us, or some of what Allah has given you as provision." They will say: "Allah has forbidden them to the disbelievers." (Surat al-A'raf, 50)

So, the suffering of those in Hell increases several fold. In addition to the many pains they endure, they can see the blessings of Paradise and speak with the people there. However, they cannot attain the blessings that those people enjoy, and it is too late to be sorry. This spiritual suffering is described in another verse:

On the Day when those who were unbelievers are exposed to the Fire, [it will be said to them]: "You dissipated the good things you had in your worldly life, and enjoyed yourself in it. So today you are being repaid with the punishment of humiliation for being arrogant in the earth without any right, and for being deviators." (Surat al-Ahqaf, 20)

So, disbelievers are imprisoned forever in Hell as a "reward" for the evil that they committed during their earthly lives. But believers have found their perfect happiness and salvation.

 

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