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Jannah (Arabic: جنّة‎), 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 Firdaus (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.

Descriptions of ParadiseEdit

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]

Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation):
"Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final home!"
—Qur'an, sura 13 (Ar-Ra'd), ayat 23-24[3]

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).[4] Salsabil is the name of a spring that is the source of the rivers of Rahma (mercy) and Al-Kawthar (abundance).[5] 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 ParadiseEdit

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 God, 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 God's judgement.[6]

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

Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good;-
And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.
For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!
—Qur'an, sura 3 (Al-i-Imran), ayat 134 - 136[7]

Qur'anic names of ParadiseEdit

How many will enter heavenEdit

A few hadith, for example those narrated by Sahl bin Sad, `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas, and Abu Hurairah, suggest that some who were born before Islam, during the "Period of Ignorance", but who then believed in God in the Islamic period, would be allowed into heaven without a full reckoning of their behavior.[25]

Doors of JannahEdit

According to hadith, there are eight doors of Jannah. Their names are as following:[26]

  1. Baab us-Salaah: For those who were punctual in prayer.
  2. Baab ul-Jihad: For those who took part in jihad.
  3. Baab us-Sadaqah: For those who gave charity more often.
  4. Baab ur-Rayyan: For those who fasted (sawm).
  5. Baab ul-Hajj: For those participated in the annual pilgrimage.
  6. Baab ul-Kaazimeenal Ghaiz Wal ‘Aafina ‘Anin Naas: For those who forgave others and withheld their anger.
  7. Baab ul-Aiman: For those who by virtue of their faith are saved from reckoning and chastisement.
  8. Baab udh-Dhikr: For those who showed zeal in remembering God.

References Edit

  1. Annemarie Schimmel. Islam and The Wonders of Creation: The Animal Kingdom. Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, 2003. Page 46
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Jannah", Encyclopaedia of Islam Online
  3. Qur'an 13:23–24
  4. Hughes, Patrick (1995). "EDEN". A Dictionary of Islam. New Delhi, India: Asian Educational Services. ISBN 8120606728.. 
  5. Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi (2004). Divine sayings (Mishkat al-Anwar). Oxford, UK: Anqa Publishing, 105, note 7. ISBN 0953451356. 
  6. Moiz Amjad. "Will Christians enter Paradise or go to Hell?". Renaissance - Monthly Islamic journal 11(6), June, 2001.
  7. Qur'an 3:134–136
  8. Qur'an 18:107
  9. Qur'an 23:11
  10. Qur'an 35:35
  11. Qur'an 10:25
  12. Qur'an 29:64
  13. Qur'an 2:35
  14. Qur'an 3:133
  15. Qur'an 5:72
  16. Qur'an 3:72
  17. Qur'an 13:23
  18. Qur'an 25:15
  19. Qur'an 53:15
  20. Qur'an 5:65
  21. Qur'an 10:9
  22. Qur'an 22:56
  23. Qur'an 54:55
  24. Qur'an 44:51
  25. Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:54:470, Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:71:605, Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:71:648, Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:72:702
  26. The Eight Doors of Jannah

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