Paradise

 

 

The Qur'an always speaks of paradise in parables. For example: A parable of the Garden which is promised to those who keep their duty (13:35, 47:15). Thus, anyone who conceives of the blessings of paradise as resembling the material things of this life has not the least understanding of the Holy Qur'an.



       

What does Quran say about Paradise?

 

 

 

"No soul knows what is hidden for it of that which will refresh the eyes: a reward for what thy did" (Qur’an 32:17).

 

Taken from the footnotes of Maulana Muhammad Ali's commentary to the Qur'an: This is the true description of what the blessings of paradise are: No soul knows what is hidden from them. These blessings are hidden from the physical eye of man, and therefore their description in words which convey to the mind an idea of the blessings of this life is metaphorical. Words can not reveal to us the real nature of those blessings. The Holy Prophet’s own comment on these words show the truth to this statement, for he is reported to have said: “Allah says, I have prepared for My righteous servants that which no eye has seen and no ear has heard, and which the heart of man cannot conceive” (B. 59:8)

 

The Qur'an always speaks of paradise in parables. For example: A parable of the Garden which is promised to those who keep their duty (13:35, 47:15). Thus, anyone who conceives of the blessings of paradise as resembling the material things of this life has not the least understanding of the Holy Qur'an. lbn 'Abbas, a notable companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad .is reported to have said that “nothing that is in paradise resembles anything that is in this world except in name” (RM„ vol. I, p. 172). Such is the case with the water, the milk, the honey, the cushions, the thrones, the clothes and the adornments of the next life, etc; these descriptions are of the nature of similes as the Qur'an expressly calls them a mathal or simile.

 

About the Gardens and Rivers for example, Maulana Muhammad Ali writes: Gardens with rivers flowing in them is the ever-recurring description of a future life of the righteous that occurs in the Holy Qur’an. Elsewhere, the pure word of faith is compared to a tree which gives its fruit in all seasons (14:24-25)And those who believe and do good are made to enter Gardens, wherein flow rivers, abiding therein by their Lord’s permission. Their greeting therein is, Peace! Seest thou not how Allah sets forth a parable of a good word as a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are high.” (Qur’an 14:23-24)

 

The parable likening a good word to a good tree follows immediately a description of the final abode of those who do good, which is repeatedly described in the Holy Qur’an as being a Garden or Gardens wherein rivers flow. This gives us a clue to the real nature of paradise. A good word is like a good tree which gives its fruit in every season, and therefore the fruits which a man will find in paradise, ever ready and within his reach, are only the fruits of his own good deeds. The trees of paradise are in fact man’s own good deeds, which have grown into trees, bearing a fruit which is an embodiment of the spiritual fruits of the good deeds of this life. It should also be noted that, as good deeds are likened to fruit-bearing trees, faith is likened to water repeatedly in the Holy Qur’an, being the source of physical life. It is for this reason that, just as the righteous are always spoken of as being those who believe and do good, paradise is always described as being a Garden in which rivers flow, the rivers corresponding to faith and the trees of the Garden corresponding to the good which a man does.

 

Another example, is about the wine of paradise.

 

We read:

 

"Wherein there will be no intoxication, nor will they be exhausted thereby" (Qur’an 37:47)

 

Again: “They pass therein from one to another a cup, wherein is neither vanity, nor sin” (Qur’an 52:23)

 

Again "And their Lord will give them to drink a beverage that is pure" (76:22)

 

As against this, the wine of this world is described in the Qur’an as: "O you who believe! intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shaitan's work; shun it therefore that you may be successful."(Qur’an 5:90-91)

 

“They ask thee about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them is a great sin and (some) advantage for men, and their sin is greater than their advantage." (Qur’an 2:219).

 

This proves that the wine of the next world is quite different; it is pure and purifying and nothing material. Again, similar is the case with the water, the milk, the honey, the cushions, the thrones, the clothes and the adornments of the next life. The water of this world putrefies, but the believers would have water in the next which will not putrefy. Gardens are blessings but they become decayed; so believers will have Gardens will last forever. It has been described that faith as a garden beneath which rivers flow, and has thus indicated that faith is related to righteous action as a garden is related to the water of the river or stream. Just as a garden cannot flourish without water, faith cannot survive without righteous action. If there is faith but no righteous action the faith is vain, and if there are actions but not faith, the actions are mere show or display. The unbelievers drank intoxicating wine which them drunk and which dulled their senses; but the wine which the believers will get in Heaven will be pure and purifying. It is to bring out this important contrast that familiar words are used; otherwise there is nothing in common between the delights of this world and the blessings of the next. These descriptions are of the nature of similes as the Qur'an expressly calls them a mathal or simile, thus all these are not things of this life as the Qur'an makes it crystal clear in unequivocal terms.

 

Moreover, it is stated plainly and clearly in the Qur'an that women are equally entitled to all the blessings of paradise that men are entitled to. See 4:124; 9:72; 13:23; 36:55–56; 40:8 and 43:70; 57:12.

 

“If any do deeds of righteousness, be they male or female, and have faith, they will enter heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” (Qur’an 4:124)

 

 

 

 

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