Paradise: Real home of the believers

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Be foremost in seeking Forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden of Bliss, as vast as heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His messengers: that is the Grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom he pleases: and Allah is the Lord of Grace abounding. (Surat Al-Hadid, 21)

There will be for them therein all that they wish,- and more besides in Our Presence. (Surah Qaf, 35)



The eternal home of the believers is Paradise. Allah will reward them by leading them into the gardens, where they will dwell forever. Paradise is a place where believers will find whatever they want and even more than what they want, for the beauties of Paradise are beyond their imagination.

Yet the common perception of Paradise is significantly different from what is described in the Qur’an. According to the traditional point of view, Paradise is an improved version of the East, especially where Arab culture prevailed, again, according to this view, Paradise is a place lacking technology place where people mostly enjoy its natural beauties, trees, streams, etc. As to the chalets of Paradise, they are thought to be similar to those chalets of 17th century Middle Eastern Culture, Ottoman culture for example. People usually visualize clothing in Paradise to be a somewhat modernized version of baggy trousers, robes in religious style and turban. They imagine a “houri” whose beauty is highly praised in the Qur’an, to be very beautiful, yet their conception of this beauty is limited to the standards of traditional Ottoman harems, or to some other standards, depending on the country they are from, or the cultural background they have.

All these wrong assumptions stem from the flawed mentality of those who consider the eastern world as a creation of Allah and the western world as something apart from His creation. While they try to avoid certain low moral standards of the western world, they also try to ignore its  good parts, as if the technology, luxury and western style of aesthetics were not owned by Allah; Who is the owner of everything. What this twisted logic claims, in fact, is that Allah exists in Mecca but not in Los Angeles. Even most of the Muslims who live in the western world are convinced that Paradise will be in oriental style.

The reality is not like that, however? “...Allah has power over all things, encompassing all things in His Knowledge.” (Surat Al-Talaq, 12) and He is “...the Lord of all points in the East and the West.” (Surat Al-Maarij, 40) So, Paradise cannot be bereft of any of the beauties of this world, regardless of whether they belong to the East or to the West. Otherwise, Paradise would not be Paradise. The houses in Paradise will be much better than the most beautiful palaces of this world. The praised beauties of paradisiacal garments will be much more elegant and aesthetic than those of French or Italian fashion houses. The women in Paradise will not necessarily look like oriental dancers but they will be much more beautiful and attractive than any of the top models and cover girls, since their beauty as described in the Qur’an and Islamic literature is unparalleled.

Not all Islamic concepts are necessarily oriental. When anyone reads the Qur’an without giving it close attention, he may first get an impression that technology does not exist in the gardens of Paradise. That is because the Qur’an which was revealed 1400 years ago, describes Paradise in such a way as can be understood by people of all ages. Then Qur’an is universal and applies to all ages. It does not, of course, “directly” refer to any technological aspect of Paradise, since people of different ages, including ourselves, may not know of those technologies. On the other hand, we have been given to understand that we will be rewarded with anything we want: “There will be there all that your souls could desire, all that your eyes could delight in: and you shall abide therein forever.” (Surat Az-Zukhruf, 71) In another verse, it is stated that Paradise offers more than we want:“There will be for them therein all that they wish,- and more besides in Our Presence.”(Surah Qaf, 35) Therefore, everything including technology as well will be available in Paradise, as long as the inhabitants of Paradise so wish it.

The chapter of Ar-Rahman describes Paradise as below;

“But for such as fear the time when they will stand before the Judgment Seat of their Lord, there will be two Gardens. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
Containing all kinds (of trees and delights). Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
In (each) there will be a spring flowing freely. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
In them will be fruits of every kind, in pairs. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
They will recline on carpets, whose inner linings will be of rich brocade: the fruit of the Gardens will be near and easy of reach. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
In them will be maidens, chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
Maidens as fair as rubies and coral. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
Is there any reward for good - other than good?  Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
And besides these two, there are two other Gardens. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
Dark-green in colour (from plentiful watering). Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
A gushing fountain shall flow in each. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
In them will be fruits, and dates and pomegranates. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
In them will be fair Companions, good, and beautiful. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
Companions restrained as to their glances, in (goodly) pavillions. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
Whom no man or Jinn before them has touched. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
They shall recline on green cushions and rich, beautiful carpets. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
Blessed be the name of you Lord, full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour.” (Surat Ar-Rahman, 46-78)

Other verses : Paradise is described in a number of;
 

“And when you gaze upon that scene, you will behold a kingdom which is blissful and magnificent.” (Surat Al-Insan, 20)

“Reclining in the Garden on raised thrones, they will feel neither the sun’s excessive heat nor the moon’s excessive cold.” (Surat Al-Insan, 13)

“There they shall hear no word of vanity” (Surat Al-Ghashiya, 11)

“And beside them will be chaste women, restraining their glances, with big eyes (of wonder and beauty), as if they were (delicate) eggs closely guarded.” (Surat As-Saffat, 48-49)

“And they will say: ‘Praise be to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) sorrow: for our Lord is indeed Oft-Forgiving and Ready to appreciate service: Who has, out of His Bounty, settled us in a Home that will last: no toil nor sense of weariness shall touch us therein.’” (Surat Al-Fatr, 34, 35)

“But it is for those who fear their Lord, that lofty mansions, one above another, have been built: beneath them flow rivers of delight: such is the Promise of Allah: never does Allah fail in His promise.” (Surat Az-Zumar, 20)
 

Allah welcomes his servants as below:


“(To the righteous soul it will be said:) ‘O serene soul’ Come back to your Lord, joyful yourself and pleasing to Him! Enter, then, among My devotees! Yes, enter My Heaven!’” (Surat Al-Fajr, 27-30)
2009-05-25 19:11:23

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