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Jannat (Arabic: جنّة‎), or Jannah is the Islamic conception of paradise. The Arabic word Jannah is a shortened version meaning simply "Garden". According to Islamic eschatology, after death, one will reside in the grave until the appointed resurrection on Yawm al-Qiyāmah. Muslims believe that the treatment of the individual in the life of the grave will be according to his or her deeds in the worldly life. Jannah is often compared to Christian concepts of Heaven. According to Muslim belief, everything one longs for in this world, will be there in Paradise.[1]

Paradise itself is commonly described in the Qur'an. The highest level of Paradise is Firdaws (فردوس), which is where the prophets, the martyrs and the most truthful and pious people will dwell. In contrast to Jannah, the words Jahannam and Nār are used to refer to the concept of hell.

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Descriptions of Paradise

The descriptions of paradise are mentioned in significant detail in the Qur'an, hadiths and traditional tafsir (exegesis). Paradise is described as surrounded by eight principal gates, each level generally being divided into a hundred degrees. The highest level is known as firdaws (sometimes called Eden). It will be entered first by Muhammad, then those who lived in poverty, and then the most pious. Entrants will be greeted by angels with salutations of peace or As-Salamu Alaykum.[2]

And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying) Salaamun ‘Aleykum (peace be upon you) for you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!’— (Ar-Ra'ad 13:23-24)

The Islamic texts describes life for its immortal inhabitants as: one that is happy — without hurt, sorrow, fear or shame — where every wish is fulfilled. Traditions relate that inhabitants will be of the same age (33 years), and of the same standing/equal. Their life is one of bliss including: wearing costly robes, bracelets, perfumes as they partake in exquisite banquets, served in priceless vessels by immortal youths, as they recline on couches inlaid with gold or precious stones. Other foods mentioned include meats, scented wine and clear drinks bringing neither drunkenness nor rousing quarrelling. Inhabitants will rejoice in the company of their parents, spouses, and children (provided they were admitted to paradise) — conversing and recalling the past. The dwellings for inhabitants will be pleasant, with lofty gardens, shady valleys, fountains scented with camphor or ginger; rivers of water, milk, honey and wines; delicious fruits of all seasons without thorns; . One day in paradise is considered equal to a thousand days on earth. Palaces are made from bricks of gold, silver, pearls, among other things. Traditions also note the presence of horses and camels of "dazzling whiteness", along with other creatures. Large trees are described, mountains made of musk, between which rivers flow in valleys of pearl and ruby.[2]

The names of four rivers are Saihan (Syr Darya), Jaihan (Amu Darya), Furat (Euphrates) and Nil (Nile).[3] Salsabil is the name of a spring that is the source of the rivers of Rahma (mercy) and Al-Kawthar (abundance).[4] Sidrat al-Muntaha is a lotus tree that marks the end of the seventh heaven, the boundary where no creation can pass.

In spite of the goodly dwellings given to the inhabitants of paradise, the approval of God and nearness to him is considered greater. According to the Qur'an, God will bring the elect near to his throne (`arsh), a day on which "some faces shall be shining in contemplating their Lord." The vision of God is regarded as the greatest of all rewards, surpassing all other joys.[2]

Conditions of going to Paradise

According to the Qur'an, the basic criteria for salvation in afterlife is the belief in one God (Tawhid), Last Judgment, good deeds, and in all the messengers of Allah, as well as believing that Muhammad is the final prophet of God.

Though one must do good deeds and believe in God, salvation can only be attained through Allah's judgement.[5]

Conditions of going to Paradise according to the Qur'an:

Those who spend their days (benevolently) in ease as well as in straitness, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good (to others).

And those who when they commit an indecency or do injustice to their souls remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their faults—and who forgives the faults but Allah, and (who) do not knowingly persist in what they have done. (As for) these—their reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and excellent is the reward of the laborers.

Qur'an3:134–136

And certainly Allah made a covenant with the children of Israel, and We raised up among them twelve chieftains; and Allah said: Surely I am with you; if you keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and believe in My apostles and assist them and offer to Allah a goodly gift, I will most certainly cover your evil deeds, and I will most certainly cause you to enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow, but whoever disbelieves from among you after that, he indeed shall lose the right way.

Qur'an5:12

As in life there are many trials which one must face. This is also a condition individuals must encounter in order to enter Jannah.

Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah." Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near!

Qur'an2:214

Did ye think that ye would enter Heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (In His Cause) and remained steadfast?

Qur'an3:142

The Qur'an also asserts that those who reject the Messengers of God with their best knowledge are damned in afterlife[5] and if they reject in front of the Messenger of God, then they also face dreadful fate in this world and in afterlife (see Itmam al-hujjah). Conversely, a person who discovers monotheism not having been reached by a messenger is called Hanif.

Qur'anic names of Paradise

  • Firdaws — The Highest Gardens of the Paradise (al-Kahf:107, Al-Muminun:11)
  • Dār al-maqāmah — The Home (Fatir:35)
  • Dār al-salām — Home of Peace (Yunus:25)
  • Dār al-akhira — The Home in the Hereafter (al-Ankabut:64)
  • al-Jannah — This is the most commonly used term in the Qur'an and Hadith. (Al-Baqara:35, Al-i-Imran:133 & 142, Al-Ma'ida:72)
  • Jannat al-‘adn — Gardens of Everlasting Bliss (At-Tawba:72, Ar-Ra'd:23)
  • Jannat al-khuld — The Eternal Gardens (Al-Furqan:15)
  • Jannat al-ma’wá — Garden of Abode (An-Najm:15)
  • Jannat al-na‘īm — The Gardens of Delight (Al-Ma'ida:65, Yunus:9, Al-Hajj:56)
  • Maq‘ad al-ṣidq — Assembly of Truth (Al-Qamar:55)
  • al-Maqām al-amīn — The House of Security (Ad-Dukhan:51)

How many will enter heaven

A few hadith, for example those narrated by Sahl bin Sad, Ibn 'Abbas, and Abu Huraira, suggest that some who were born before Islam, during the "Period of Ignorance", but who then believed in Allah in the Islamic period, would be allowed into heaven without a full reckoning of their behavior.[6][7][8][9]

Doors of Jannah

There are eight doors of Jannah. Their names are as following.

  1. Baabus Salaah: Those Muslims who were punctual in observing their Salaah will be granted entry through this door.
  2. Baabul Jihad: Those Muslims who participated in Jihad will be granted entry through this door.
  3. Baabus Sadaqah: Those Muslims who frequently gave Sadaqah will be admitted into Jannah through this door.
  4. Baabur Rayyaan: The Muslims who constantly observed the fast will be granted entry through this door.
  5. Baabul Hajj: Those Muslims who observe their annual pilgrimage will be admitted through this door.
  6. Baabul Kaazimeenal Ghaiz Wal ‘Aafina ‘Anin Naas: This door is reserved for those Muslims who suppress their anger and pardon others frequently.
  7. Baabul Aiman: This door is reserved for the entry of such Muslims who by virtue of their faith are saved from reckoning and chastisement.
  8. Baabuz Zikr: Those Muslims who excessively remembered Allah will be admitted through this door.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ Annemarie Schimmel. Islam and The Wonders of Creation: The Animal Kingdom. Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, 2003. Page 46
  2. ^ a b c "Jannah", Encyclopaedia of Islam Online
  3. ^ Hughes, Patrick (1995). "EDEN". A Dictionary of Islam. New Delhi, India: Asian Educational Services. p. 106. ISBN 8120606728.. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=O84eYLVHvB0C&pg=PA106#v=onepage&q=&f=false. 
  4. ^ Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi (2004). Divine sayings (Mishkat al-Anwar). Oxford, UK: Anqa Publishing. pp. 105, note 7. ISBN 0953451356. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dC0WiC__jtoC&pg=PA105. 
  5. ^ a b Moiz Amjad. "Will Christians enter Paradise or go to Hell?". Renaissance - Monthly Islamic journal 11(6), June, 2001.
  6. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 470, http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/054.sbt.html#4.54.470
  7. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 605, http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/071.sbt.html#7.71.606
  8. ^ Volume 7, Book 71, Number 648, http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/071.sbt.html#7.71.648
  9. ^ Volume 7, Book 72, Number 702, http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/072.sbt.html#7.72.702
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