Tipping the Scales

Vol 6 -Issue 2 tipping the ScaleIqra Asad draws a comparison between worldly rewards and rewards in Jannah.

The Prophet (sa) said: “Allah (swt) said: ‘I have prepared for My pious worshipers such things as no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and no mind has ever thought of. All that is reserved, besides what you have seen, is nothing.’” Then he recited: “No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” (As-Sajdah 32:17) (Bukhari)

We can never actually perceive what heaven is like. The Divine description paints a portrait with words that blow us away, and when we try to imagine it, our minds get jammed. We can, however, aid our comprehension by comparing the nature of the rewards in heaven with the nature of the rewards in this world. By putting the materialistic rewards of this temporary life in perspective, we understand the silliness of spending so much time in pursuit of them.

Food and drink is the most natural point to begin with – a part of every human’s afterlife as well as present life. The Quran says: “The description of Paradise which the Muttaqûn (the pious) have been promised (is that) in it are rivers of water the taste and smell of which are not changed, rivers of milk of which the taste never changes, rivers of wine delicious to those who drink, and rivers of clarified honey (clear and pure) therein for them is every kind of fruit…” (Muhammad 47:15)

Though simple and straightforward, this description raises some questions. It is obvious that in taste, the nourishment of Paradise is greatly superior to that of this world, but what is meant by “taste never changes”? There are two meanings to this. One is that while worldly edibles differ in taste due to pollution, adulteration, use of chemicals, improper cooking and other such factors, heavenly edibles are consistently pure and free from imperfections. The other is a concept that beautifully illustrates the difference between this life and the hereafter. The pleasure felt in eating or drinking something in this earthly existence is directly associated with the degree of hunger or thirst. For example, the first slice of cake eaten when one is hungry tastes delicious, the second not so much, and the third would seem quite bland. Not so in Paradise, where there is neither thirst nor hunger. Every bite is as tasty as the first one.

The second question is regarding the mention of wine. Isn’t it forbidden because it has bad effects? The Quran clears this confusion: “For them there will be a known provision (in Paradise). Fruits; and they shall be honoured, in the Gardens of delight (Paradise), facing one another on thrones, round them will be passed a cup of pure wine; white, delicious to the drinkers, neither they will have Ghoul (any kind of hurt, abdominal pain, headache, a sin, etc.) from that, nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom.” (As-Saffat 37:41-47) As all heavenly things are completely pure, they do not have any adverse effects. You can consume as much of it as you like, without any harm.

The defining characteristic of this life is work. The defining characteristic of life in Paradise is ease. For instance, when Allah (swt) grants us food on earth, we have to buy, prepare or make an effort for it in some way. A person seeking shade in this world will have to seek it himself. In Paradise, the trees themselves will spread their branches low, there will be servants for the people, and the doors will obey them:

“And the shade thereof is close upon them, and bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach.” (Al-Insan 76:14)

“And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls.” (Al-Insan 76:19)

“’Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens), whose doors will be open for them, [It is said (in Tafsir At-Tabari, Part 23, Page 174) that one can speak to the doors, just one tells it to open and close, and it will open or close as it is ordered].” (Sad 38:50)

Purity is, of course, not limited to the food and drink of Paradise: “…they (the believers) shall have therein Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives i.e. having no menses, stool, urine, etc.)…” (Al-Baqarah 2:25)

Apart from the great beauty of these companions, which is incomparable to human beauty, there is another aspect: “And with them will be chaste females, restraining their glances (desiring none except their husbands), with wide and beautiful eyes. (Delicate and pure) as if they were (hidden) eggs (well) preserved.” (As-Saffat 37:48-49)

This aspect is twofold, i.e., the companions are not only kept ‘preserved’ (untouched) just for the believers, but there is also the security that they keep themselves for their human mates. Bluntly said: where loyalty is concerned with human companions in this world – one has trust; with heavenly companions – one has a guarantee. In any case, one of the greatest blessings of Paradise is peace of mind in all matters, something that is impossible to attain in the world:

“And they will say: ‘All the praises and thanks be to God, Who has removed from us (all) grief. Verily, our Lord is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (good deeds and to recompense). Who, out of His Grace, has lodged us in a home that will last forever; there, toil will touch us not, nor weariness will touch us.’” (Fatir 35:34-35)

“And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury (which they had, if at all, in the life of this world).” (Al-Araf 7:43)

It often happens that a sad or upsetting experience steals our sense of peace or happiness. Only Allah’s (swt) healing can remove such pain and hurt completely, leaving the dwellers of Paradise mentally free to truly enjoy the smallest delights of the afterlife in a way they could never take pleasure in their greatest joys on earth. The biggest factor in this regard is, however, as follows:

“Allah has promised to the believers – men and women – Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of ‘Adn (Eden/Paradise). But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is the supreme success.” (At-Taubah 9:72)

What accomplishment, greater than pleasing Allah (swt), can forever quell the restlessness of the human soul? When we follow the straight path effectively, we can feel the soothing effect on our hearts, but the feeling of striving towards a goal is nothing compared to actually crossing the finishing line and receiving the trophy. That is the true reward, in front of which anything of this earth is worthless.

Holding Infinity in the Palm of your Hand

Once, one of my friends said to me: “There are so many things I want to do, books I want to read, people I want to meet that I would need several lifetimes for it all.” Somewhere between the morning rush and afternoon hustle, one sometimes gets the irrational feeling to throw one’s routine in the trash and spend the rest of the day doing something else. We long for limitless time, but when we mentally consider this temporary life forever, we can never actually grasp the concept of eternity. Think about it. A two-year swim in the pool? Months-long chitchat with friends?

Anas Ibn Malik (rta) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “There is a tree in Paradise (which is so large that) if a rider travelled in its shade for one hundred years, he would not be able to cross it.” (Bukhari)

This is in direct contrast to the concept of time in this world – as Surah Al-Asr tells us, man is at a disadvantage because of time slipping by, and not returning, whereas in Paradise the dimension of time will cease to exist. It is hard to imagine, because it is on a different scale from anything we are used to. After all, who has an instrument for measuring infinity?

Jannah: The Forgotten Reward

Vol 6 -Issue 2 JannahBy Uzma Jawed

Almost all religions and cultures offer the promise of Paradise. For the Celtics, it was the Mag Mell; for the ancient Greeks, it was Elysium; for the Indo-Europeans, it was Svarga and the Fortunate Isles. Christians call it the Kingdom of God, while Jews call it the Olam Haba (Garden of Eden). Islam not only promises the Gardens of Everlasting Bliss but also describes them in vivid detail and explains how one can be eligible to enter the fabulous realm of Jannah.

Our belief and actions are the two primary factors that can lead us to Jannah. Allah (swt) promises in the Quran: “And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date-stone), will be done to them.” (An-Nisa, 4:124) Furthermore, Allah (swt) says in Surah Al-Imran that those, who spend benevolently, restrain their anger, pardon men, treat others with kindness and repent, Allah (swt) will reward them with gardens beneath which rivers flow.

It says in the Quran that every man will taste death. Life, as we know it, is only temporary – it is a transition period. It is where every man, woman and child is tested. We try to get through this test by attesting that there is only one God, emulating the lives of His prophets, seeking guidance from the Quran, trying to do good deeds and asking for His forgiveness. Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqun (the pious)” (Al-Imran, 3:133) Once this test comes to an end, we will all receive our grades. That is what the Judgement Day is for. Once all our deeds are reviewed, we will be given our verdict: guilty or innocent.

After the judgements, all the people will have to journey over a bridge called the Sirat – a thin, narrow bridge over the chasm of Hell, which leads to Paradise on the other side. The sinful people will stumble and fall into the pit. The prophets and the righteous people will be able to make it into Jannah. They will feel relief and joy, when they will hear the angels standing by the gates of Jannah, telling them to enter with peace. (Ar-Ra’d, 13:23-24)

The Gates of Paradise

There are eight gates leading into Jannah – one for every major deed. For example, there will be gates named after Salah, Jihad, Sadaqa, struggling against evil and Ar-Rayyan (exclusively for those who fast). Each of these gates will call to that person, who used to perform that activity the best. In some cases, people may be called by more than one or all the gates! The Prophet (sa) said: “Whoever performs Wudhu and does it properly, then lifts his gaze to the sky and says ‘Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la shareeka lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abdahu wa rasuluhu,’ the eight gates of Paradise will be opened to him, and he will enter it through whichever one he wishes.” (Muslim and Ahmad)

As the believers enter through the gates, the awe and amazement that they will feel cannot even be imagined. The Prophet (sa) said that Allah (swt) said: “I have prepared for My slaves what no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no human heart can imagine.” (Bukhari)

Allah (swt) describes Jannah in earthly terms, so that the believers can relate and draw mental images. The scene will be exquisite and compelling. There will be lush gardens, rolling meadows, mountains made of musk and rivers flowing in valleys of pearl and ruby. The fresh scents, vibrant colours and the delightful sounds will make the believer feel magnetised.

A Sahabah asked the Prophet (sa) about Paradise, and he replied with a wonderful description: “Bricks of gold and silver, and mortar of fragrant musk, pebbles of pearl and sapphire, and soil of saffron. Whoever enters it is filled with joy and will never feel miserable; he will live there forever and never die; their clothes will never wear out and their youth will never fade.” (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi)

Trees of Jannah

Amidst rivers of water, milk and honey, there will be grapevines, date palms, pomegranate trees, as well as lotus trees and banana trees.

Allah (swt) describes for us in the Holy Book: “And those on the Right Hand – who will be those on the Right Hand? (They will be) among thornless lote-trees, among Talh (banana-trees) with fruits piled one above another, in shade long-extended, by water flowing constantly, and fruit in plenty.” (Al-Waqiah 56:27-32)

The lotus tree (As-Sidr) is a thorny plant, but in Paradise it will be thornless. At-Talh (banana tree) is large sized thorny shrub, but in Paradise its fruits will be ready to eat, with no effort required. Another wondrous fact about the trees in Jannah is that all the trunks are of gold!

Levels of Jannah

Jannah has several levels, in which the believers will reside. The higher the level, the more the reward and delight associated with it. According to the Prophet (sa), the level that each believer will be in is determined by their good deeds, actions, perseverance and their knowledge of the Deen.

Bukhari and Muslim report that the Prophet (sa) said: “The people of Paradise will look at the people dwelling in the chambers above them in the same way that people look at a brilliant star shining far away on the horizon, in the East or West, because of their superiority (in reward) over them.” The people asked: “O Messenger of Allah, are these the dwellings of the prophets, which no one else can attain?” He replied: “No, by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, they are for the men who believed in Allah and also in His messengers.”

People of Paradise

Since all the levels are so exquisite, there will be no feeling of jealousy. In fact, such sentiments will not exist in Jannah; there will be no hurtful and offensive talk, gossip and rivalry. The hearts of the people of Paradise will be pure and their speech will be good. No one will be sick, old, handicapped or deformed. The people of Jannah will be perfectly healthy and in the prime of their life. Their physical appearance will be in the image of their father prophet Adam (as), as there is no human form more perfect and beautiful than that of Adam (as), whom Allah (swt) created very tall (like a great palm tree – sixty cubits tall).

Another aspect of their beauty is that they will have no body hair and will look as if their eyes are anointed with kohl. Each of them will enter Paradise aged thirty-three, the age of strength, vitality and youth. The Prophet (sa) further mentioned that the people of Jannah will never need sleep, nor will they ever spit, blow their noses or excrete. Everything that an individual will do there is for their pure pleasure. They will eat and drink there not because of hunger or thirst, but just out of pleasure and enjoyment that they derive from it.

Food and Drink

There will be an abundant and myriad supply of food available: fowl, fruits, cakes, honey and everything that your heart desires (Al-Waqiah 56:32-33). One of the delights that the people of Jannah will enjoy will be that its fruits are similar in appearance, but different in taste. There will be a never-ending supply of fruits, whose season will never end. Also, the fruits of the trees will be low-hanging, within easy reach of the people of Paradise: “And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach.” (Al-Insan 76:14)

The believers will recline on raised thrones that are encrusted with gold and precious stones. (Al-Waqiah 56:15) There will be green, comfortable cushions and rich, beautiful carpets. While leisurely lounging among relatives and friends, the believers will be served by special servants, whose purpose is only to serve and please. They will cater to every need and whim of the immortal inhabitants and never get tired of serving them. They will be served wine in chalices of crystal and silver. (Al-Insan 76:15)

The most honoured treasures of Allah (swt) will be visible to the inhabitants of Jannah, such as the fountain of Salsabil, the stream of Kauthar and the spring of Kafur. People, who drink from these, will experience unimaginable delights and purest of pleasures. A drink from the fountain of Tasneem is reserved for the best people in Jannah. The glasses of wine will be filled from clear flowing fountains of Salsabil and Kafur. (Al-Insan 76:5,18) This wine will have the sweetest taste and will never cause intoxication or make you sick. (Al-Waqiah 56:19)  


People of Paradise will live in palaces and mansions made from pearls. Each house in Jannah is made from a single, hollowed-out pearl and is sixty miles high. (Bukhari) There also will be no night or day in Paradise; rather, there will be an eternal everlasting light.

The weather will also be prefect. It won’t be too hot or too cold. The lives of believers will be eternal bliss. They will never experience boredom and will rejoice in the company of their parents, wives and children (provided they were permitted to Jannah). They will converse about how Allah (swt) has blessed them by admitting them to Paradise, and recall their past lives.

There will also be pure pleasure companions called Hoors that will provide their companions with endless delights. (As-Saffat 37:48) People will be dressed in garments of fine silk and heavy brocade and will wear gold bracelets. (Al-Kahf 18:31) People will be able to attend exquisite banquets, go to Bazars for shopping and travel if they wish.

Jannah is everyone’s dream – it will provide its inhabitants unimaginable joy and happiness. Greater than all these pleasures, however, is the ability to see Allah (swt). The ultimate triumph would be the opportunity to see the fantastic spectacle of indescribable light and sound beyond the highest level of Jannah.

If all of us want to achieve this amazing reward, then we need to plan for it. We never know when our time in this world and our chances to make preparations will be over. All we will have in the end is ourselves, our Iman and our actions that have been recorded by the angels. Hence, we need to be ready at all times so that we, Insha’Allah, won’t have to feel any grief when we hear our verdict.

Allah (swt) says: “Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah…” (An-Nisa 4:77) The vivid descriptions of the Hereafter in the Quran and Ahadeeth make the believer strive harder for it. His firm belief in life after death is what helps him live a better life in this world and encourages him to do good and avoid evil.

“Truly, this is the supreme success! For the like of this let the workers work.” (As-Saffat 37:60-61)

Story of Hiba


Celebrating “Hiba’s” five successful years – it seems almost unbelievable. But Allah (swt) makes things happen! He is also the only One, Who makes miracles. If this would have been someone else’s story, it would have seemed almost fictitious, but “Hiba” is a reality, and so are the people behind it.

It all began in 2003, when extremely frustrated with the secular print media I approached my teacher Huma Hassan, complaining bitterly about their ridiculous and biased editing policy that simply chopped off an innocent Quranic verse or Hadeeth from my articles, submitted as a freelance writer. Following my mournful expression, she casually suggested: “Why don’t you start a publication of your own?” I smiled at the notion and brushed it aside politely. But Allah (swt) knows that this idea stuck in my head like glue.

Together with a newly discovered friend Sabahat Anwar, I started exploring the possibility of the project. Family, friends and experts in the field all discouraged me, some hesitantly, while others quite candidly. It hurt that my skills and integrity were constantly questioned. But today I understand and even respect their sentiments. They could never see what I saw. The more people disappointed me, the more I inclined towards Allah (swt) for guidance and help.

“Hiba’s” pioneer team was formed with Amena Lali, Laila Brence, Mehreen Ganny, Roomana Khan, Rubina Mohsin and Uzma Rizvi. A few family members, certain friends and some complete strangers all coming together for one reason: Allah’s (swt) love. These ladies provided the initial fuel for launching “Hiba’s” value driven mission. We just believed in “not accepting failure without trying our best.” And surely Allah (swt) is with those who persevere, stand steadfast in His way and are ready to give sacrifices.

Struggle has very few friends and success has many. I feel gratitude for all those individuals, who believed in my leadership and supported “Hiba”, when it had no financial stability or credibility. They proved to be the pillars for “Hiba’s” fragile structure and helped it rise on firm footing. To me they will always be Assabiqoon Awwaloon.

The Ministry of Information’s bureaucratic procedures to grant permission for “Hiba” took a good nine months and proved to be a trial for the nerves. In 2004, after our feasibility report was prepared and the necessary ground work completed, “Hiba” was finally launched. We started operating from my two-bedroom apartment. We used my home furniture and computer for work.

However, the real challenge was not the non-availability of a properly equipped office. It was about establishing credibility with the readers. Since malice and mistrust is rife in our society, people eyed us with suspicion, caution and even disdain. Having no affiliation or patronage of any religious organization made matters even more difficult. People just could not understand the sanity behind a mission that was just meant to share knowledge, re-instate forgotten values and offer solutions in Islam. They kept digging deeper for hidden agendas.

The year 2005 was slightly comforting, as some caring individuals stepped forward to nurture “Hiba” in its infancy.

As the team expanded, the publication started to show hope for survival. But the bank accounts still sounded clink! clink! We prayed harder for finances and ran from pillar to post looking for benefactors for the cause.

A few of “Hiba’s” important team members made an exit by the year 2006, due to their personal commitments. This left us gasping for human resources. The subscribers’ strength picked up and started to show signs of growth. New writers, local as well as international, were discovered, who injected fresh ideas into the publication. However, advertisers and sponsors remained shy. A circulation of 3000 copies was not attractive enough for them to invest in “Hiba”. Nevertheless, Allah (swt) remained on our side and kept “Hiba” going.

The next year, the team focused harder on reaching out to more readers, acquiring subscriptions and generating funds for subsequent issues. They also ventured once again in search of sponsors to make “Hiba’s” balance sheet look more presentable and eventually be able to increase its circulation, but had little success. Interestingly, we found out that people not only mix business with pleasure, but also do not believe in mixing business with their faith! Nearly everyone had a piece of advice for us but not much to offer other than that. But when Allah (swt) decides to grant life to something, no amount of losses can seize it. The publication always had sufficient funds to bring out the next issue. How did that happen? Beats me!

The year 2008 brought challenges on a national level, when the country’s crippling economy was literally breathing its last. The little sponsorship that “Hiba” had was also withdrawn. Subscriptions were terminated by readers. Obviously, when the common man was suffering in misery, he hardly had time to think of holy causes. Nevertheless, “Hiba” still marched on. In fact, we launched our website and offered exclusive benefits to our readers. Our subscribers continued receiving free mailers, including free Dua pamphlets, etc. Since Allah (swt) had been so merciful to us all this time, “Hiba” did not want to strip itself of its sense of generosity.

It is 2009, and here we are alive and kicking by Allah’s (swt) grace! “Hiba” still operates from my residence; however, we have a bigger and more exclusive space. The team is more organized and the processes are improving. We continue to strive for excellence and explore new ideas. In spite of constant human and financial crises, “Hiba” moves forward and will continue doing so, until Allah (swt) has ordained it to!

When people around us criticize, complain, lament or do nothing, “Hiba’s” team works diligently to offer them hope, joy and purpose in life. Rain or shine, they neither stop nor look back. Rather, they just believe in fulfilling their commitments with sincerity. Dawah has unique dynamics of its own. Every day is a journey towards self-discovery, in which we confront our own fears and shortcomings. That’s when we find ways to help ourselves and others. Not a single day passes, when we don’t learn something truly splendid – something almost divine to help us become better human beings. And that’s how the team of “Hiba” aspires to extend the same benefit to others.

Thanks to Allah’s (swt) power of healing, I faintly remember the painful beginning of “Hiba” but will never forget His mercy and my team’s personal sacrifices. I am also greatly indebted to all my colleagues, who have joined later on and contributed meaningfully along the way. It is not possible to mention everyone’s name here, but whether they are with “Hiba” or not, may Allah (swt) preserve their Sadqa-e-jariya for them. They are the real strength behind “Hiba.”

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude towards the readers and partners of “Hiba.” They have truly been the main marketers of “Hiba” especially in the absence of an appropriate marketing budget. Their gift subscriptions, verbal and written appreciations, and recommendations to others have really helped “Hiba” grow.

On a personal note, I would like to mention my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, my dear husband and our kids for their concern, love and understanding. Behind every successful woman is Allah’s (swt) grace and a supportive family unit!

As for me, I cannot thank Allah (swt) enough for granting me an opportunity to offer my humble skills and services. All my life I had been searching for something substantial. I did not know that I will find it only when serving Allah (swt). I earnestly beseech my Lord (swt) for His continued forgiveness and guidance, and pray that He accepts this modest contribution from His faulty servants. Ameen.

Men and Women of Jannah

By Hafsa Ahsan

Did you know that apart from the ten blessed Companions of the Prophet (sa), who were given the glad tidings of Jannah, there are other extraordinary individuals, whom the Prophet (sa) foretold also to be among the dwellers of Jannah? Here is a brief look at some of these individuals.

Haritha Ibn Suraqa (ratm)

Haritha (rta) was very attached to his mother. When he became a young man, she expressed her desire to get him married. But Haritha (rta) pleaded with her to let him participate in the Battle of Badr first. It was only after his repeated insistence that she relented, vowing that she would not rest till he returned.

However, before the battle had begun, Haritha (rta) was killed mistakenly by a fellow Muslim. Upon the return of the victorious Muslim army, Umm Haritha was informed that her son was not considered a martyr, because he was mistakenly killed by another Muslim. A shell-shocked Umm Haritha went to the Prophet (sa) to clarify the matter.

The Prophet (sa) told her: “Woe to you! Have you taken leave of your senses? Is there only one Garden? There are many gardens within the Garden, and your son has obtained the Highest Paradise.” (Bukhari)

Umm Sulaym (rta)

Anas (rta) reported that Allah’s Apostle (sa) said: “I entered Paradise and heard footsteps. I said: ‘Who is it?’ They said: ‘She is Rumaisa, daughter of Milhan, the mother of Anas Ibn Malik.’” (Muslim)

The life of Umm Sulaym (rta) or Rumaisa (rta), mother of Anas Ibn Malik (rta), is filled with inspiring incidents, which bear testimony to the fact that she indeed deserved Jannah. For starters, when Abu Talha (rta) sent her a marriage proposal, she declared that she would only marry him, if he would become a Muslim, and that would be her Mahr (dowry). Abu Talha (rta) accepted Islam and the marriage took place accordingly.

Umm Sulaym (rta) presented Anas Ibn Malik (rta) to the Prophet (sa) as his servant. She also expressed a commendable fortitude after one of her sons expired. She was at the forefront in the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of Hunain – in the latter war, she was pregnant.

Anas (rta) reported that Allah’s Apostle (sa) did not enter the house of any woman, except that of his wives and that of Umm Sulaym (rta). When asked why, he (sa) said: “I feel great compassion for her. Her brother was killed, while he was with me.” (Muslim)

The Lady of Jannah

Ata Ibn Abi Rabah (rta) narrated that Ibn Abbas (rta) said to him: “Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?” I said: “Yes.” He said: “This black lady came to the Prophet (sa) and said: ‘I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please, invoke Allah for me.’ The Prophet (sa) said (to her): ‘If you wish, be patient and you will have Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allah (swt) to cure you.’ She said: ‘I will remain patient,’ and added, ‘but I become uncovered, so, please, invoke Allah (swt) for me that I may not become uncovered.’ So he invoked Allah (swt) for her.” (Bukhari)

It is notable that the name of this woman is not mentioned in the pages of history. But what is known is that she became a dweller of Jannah on account of her commendable fortitude in the face of illness.

Sad Ibn Muadh (rta)

Al-Bara reported that a garment of silk was presented to Allah’s Messenger (sa). His companions touched it and admired its softness; thereupon, he (sa) said: “Do you admire the softness of this (cloth)? The handkerchiefs of Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) in Paradise are better than this.” (Muslim)

Who is Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) and why was he worthy of such honour? After Muslims emerged victorious in the Battle of Trench, the Jewish tribe Banu Quraiza declared that they would accept any punishment given by Sad Ibn Muadh (rta). Banu Quraiza had been a constant source of worry for Muslims during that battle. Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) declared that all the men of the treacherous tribe were to be executed, and all the women and children taken captive. And so it was done.

A look at the lives of these individuals, albeit briefly, indicates that each of them had a distinct quality, despite their different natures – their preference for Akhirah was apparent through their actions. The lady of Jannah decided to endure epilepsy attacks in this world – patience in the face of illness. Sad Ibn Muadh (rta) displayed an exemplary sense of justice on his deathbed. Haritha (rta) expressed his profound love for Jihad, even as his mother was talking about his marriage and her future grandchildren. These men and women did not just desire or fantasize about Jannah – they truly strived for it, embracing all the worldly difficulties which such a struggle requires. It is then no wonder that the Prophet (sa) foretold their destination in this world only.

Paradise on Earth

By Naureen Aqueel

Allow me to introduce you to a new destination: Paradise on Earth. Hmm… Is this an exotic island or a beautiful landscape that I recommend you to visit? How big a budget will you need to travel to this place? How much will you need in terms of worldly resources to take this trip? Now, if I tell you that you can take this tour without paying anything in terms of worldly currency, how overjoyed would you be?

Well, nothing is for free. There is surely a currency involved. But this currency has nothing to do with your worldly bank accounts, but everything to do with your heart. Often, in our pursuit of happiness, most of us fall into the vulnerable error of linking happiness to the ephemeral things of this world. However, what most of us do not realize is that true happiness is not dependent on the transitory things of this life; in fact, it is linked most intricately to the state of our hearts. And it is in this way that the happiness of this life is connected to the happiness of the eternal life.

So now you see it. The Paradise on Earth, that I speak of, is the Paradise that the heart experiences in the nearness and love of Allah (swt), while striving to achieve His pleasure. One of the great scholars of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, summed this up quite beautifully when he said: “There is a Paradise in this life. Those, who do not enter it here, shall not enter it in the Hereafter.”

Scholars of Islam describe this ‘early paradise of the heart’ as the sweetness of knowing Allah (swt), loving Him, finding peace in His remembrance and desiring to meet Him. Those known for their love of Allah (swt) have been recorded in our history to have said: “The truly unfortunate people of this world are those, who leave the world without tasting the sweetest thing it contains.” When they were asked what it was, they replied: “The love of Allah (swt), to feel comfortable in His company, desire to meet Him, turn towards Him and turn away from everything besides Him.”

This precondition of Jannah does not by any means require us to cut ourselves off from the world and become ascetics. Indeed, the great prophets and their righteous companions attained this state, while being active members in the world carrying out their duties as generals, scholars, students, governors, traders and businessmen.

What this does require, however, is a pure and sound heart that has tasted the sweetness of faith. Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allah (swt) with a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and Nifaq (hypocrisy)].” (Ash-Shuara 26:88-89)

Prophet Muhammad (sa) is reported to have said: “Three qualities are such that if found in one, he shall have tasted the sweetness of faith: that Allah (swt) and His Messenger become more beloved to one than all else; that one loves a person only for Allah’s (swt) sake; that one hates to revert to disbelief, as he hates to be thrown into the Fire.” (Bukhari)

Scholars have also talked at length about the state of Ridha (contentment or pleasure) with Allah (swt). The state of Allah (swt) being pleased with His slave and the slave being pleased with Allah (swt) are among the few blessings of Jannah that Allah (swt) gives us a glimpse of in the world. After describing Jannah in one verse of the Quran, Allah (swt) says: “But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is the supreme success.” (At-Taubah 9:72)

The peace and satisfaction that one finds in trusting Allah (swt), remembering Him and remaining pleased with His decision is something we should all be searching for. And once we find it, no worldly worries will be able to disturb the Paradise that our hearts are in, Insha’Allah.

The Prophet’s (sa) Visit to Jannah

Vol 6 - Issue 2 Prophet's sa visit to jannahBy Asma Siddiqui

Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him] Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-Al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Al-Isra 17:1)

The incident of the above Ayah is famous as the event of Isra. ‘Isra’ literally means ‘travelling in the night’. This Ayah mentions the journey of Prophet Muhammad (sa) from Masjid-Al-Haram to Masjid-Al-Aqsa.

During this journey, the Prophet (sa) saw great signs of Allah (swt). The main reason behind this journey was for him to witness the eventual abode of the good as well as the bad, in order that he might convey it to all fellow human beings. It was a little glimpse into Hell as well as Jannah, so that people learn to abstain from punishable acts and, instead, do activities that would bless them with Allah’s (swt) love.

There are many notable incidents, as reported in the Ahadeeth, which give one a glimpse of Jannah and the reward of those, for whom Jannah is the eternal abode.

One such Hadeeth mentions the following incident during the Isra journey. The Prophet (sa) passed though a village. As soon as the people there would harvest their land, it would grow back again immediately. The Prophet (sa) asked Jibrail (as), who these people were. He replied, they were fighters in the way of Allah (swt). Their good deeds grow 700 times in reward, and whatever they spend, they get rewarded for it. Indeed, Allah (swt) is the best Sustainer. (Bukhari)

Prophet Muhammad (sa) also said: in another Hadeeth: “Then, Jibrael brought me to Sidrat Al-Muntaha, which was veiled in colors indescribable. Then, I entered Paradise, and its lights were of pearls and its soil was musk.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (sa) also visited a valley, which was filled with a pleasant, cool, fragrant air. There, he heard a voice. He asked what this was. Jibrael (as) replied, this was the voice of Jannah. Jannah was saying: “Oh, Lord! Fulfill your promise to me. My wealth, silk, gold, honey, wine, everything is getting excessive. There should be someone to use it.”

Jannah then got the following reply from Allah (swt): “Every Momin, man or woman, who believes in Me and My Prophet (sa), does good deeds, who does not include anyone else with Me, does not consider anyone My equal, all those will enter you. Listen, whoever has fear for Me in their heart is free of fear from anyone else; who turns to Me for help, he is not deprived of Me; who gives loan to Me, I reward them; who has faith in Me, I become enough for him. I am the True Lord. There’s no God other than Me. My promises are not unfulfilled. The true Momin is forgiven already. Allah (swt) is the best Creator.”

Hearing this, Jannah said: “I am happy.”

It was narrated by Ibn-e-Abbas (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said that on the night of Isra, he smelled a very nice and precious fragrance. I asked: “What is this fragrance?” The reply that came was that that this is the pharaoh’s daughter’s hairdresser’s (female) and her children’s palace.

That is because once she was combing the pharaoh’s daughter’s hair, and the comb fell, and she immediately picked it up and uttered: “Bismillah.”

To this, the princess said: “My father is the only God.”

She said: “No, Allah is the only Creator, Who gives sustenance to me, to you and to your father.”

The princess said: “Really! Do you think anyone else is God other than my father?”

She replied: “Yes, mine and yours and your father’s Rab is Allah.”

The princess told this to her father, who got very angry. He called her immediately and asked: “Do you consider anyone else as God other than me?”

She said: “Yes, mine and your Rab is Allah, who is Great and Mighty.”

The Pharaoh immediately ordered that a bronze pot be heated. When it became hot, he ordered her children to be thrown into it. The hairdresser requested that her and her children’s bones be placed in the same place. The pharaoh agreed and one by one threw her children into the pot.

Finally, they turned to the youngest child, who was at its mother’s breast. The mother could not bear it. Allah (swt) bestowed the child with speech, and he spoke loudly: “Dear mother, don’t feel sorry. Do not falter. To die for truth is the best deed.” So the mother became calm. The infant was thrown into the pot, and so was the mother. The result was this fragrance that emerged from their palace. (Baihaqi)

During his journey, the Prophet (sa) also saw the Kauthar River. He said: “When I entered Jannah during Shab-e-Mairaj, I walked about and came to a stream, on either bank of which stand hollow domes made of pearls. They are hollow inside so that heavenly people may inhabit there. I asked Jibrail, what this was. ‘This is the same stream of Heaven (Kauthar), which is God’s blessing upon you.’ When I examined the soil of this stream, it had a sweet smell like the scent of musk.” (Bukhari)

Prophet Muhammad (sa) has vividly described Jannah in many Ahadeeth. Abu Hurairah (rta) asked Allah’s Messenger (sa), what the creation was made of, and he replied that it was made of water. He was asked, what Paradise was constructed of, and he (sa) replied: “A brick of gold and a brick of silver with mortar of strong-scented musk; its pebbles are pearls and rubies and its soil is saffron.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (sa) has also mentioned that person, who is rewarded even with the lowest level in Jannah, will be blessed with a space equal to ten times the area of the world. The distance between the two arms of the frame of each door of Jannah will be so wide that if a person wants to cover this width, it would take him forty years to do so. (Muslim)

The Prophet’s (sa) visit to Jannah is of great significance. It has given the pious a picture of the lovely things that are awaiting them. This should serve as a motivation for us to live a life that will lead us to the eternal Paradise.

Destination: Jannah

Hafsa Ahsan takes a look at how an individual, destined for Jannah, will breeze past the various stages after his/her death

It is a great blessing of Allah (swt) that He has not only promised Jannah to His obedient servants, but has also described for them the road leading to their eternal abode. The Quran and Ahadeeth give numerous glad tidings to these fortunate individuals, detailing the different stages, which will lead them to Jannah. These tidings are a great motivation for the believers currently striving for Jannah and facing worldly trials on their way. Following is a brief look at the different stages an individual destined for Jannah will pass through, after he/she leaves this world.


For a believer destined for Jannah, death will be easy and painless. His/her soul will be taken out quite easily and angels will welcome this soul. A detailed Hadeeth describes, how death comes to those, whose final abode is Jannah.

“When the believing slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with white faces like the sun, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. They bring with them shrouds from Paradise and perfumes from Paradise. Then, the Angel of Death comes, sits by his head and says: ‘O, good soul, come forth to forgiveness from Allah (swt) and His pleasure.’

Then it comes out easily like a drop of water from the mouth of a water skin. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant, before they take it and put it in that shroud with that perfume, and there comes from it a fragrance like the finest musk on the face of the earth. Then they ascend, and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say: ‘Who is this good soul?’ And they say: ‘It is so-and-so the son of so-and-so,’ calling him by the best names, by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven.

They ask for it to be opened to them and it is opened, and (the soul) is welcomed and accompanied to the next heaven by those, who are closest to Allah (swt), until they reach the seventh heaven. Then Allah (swt) says: ‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon in the seventh heaven and return him to the Earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them, and from it I will bring them forth once again.’

So his soul is returned to his body and there come to him two angels, who make him sit up and they say to him: ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says: ‘Allah (swt).’ They say: ‘What is your religion?’ He says: ‘My religion is Islam.’ They say: ‘Who is this man, who was sent among you?’ He says: ‘He is the Messenger of Allah (sa).’ They say: ‘What did you do?’ He says: ‘I read the Book of Allah, and I believed in it.’

Then, a voice calls out from heaven: ‘My slave has spoken the truth, so prepare for him a bed from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise and open for him a gate to Paradise.’ Then, there comes to him some of its fragrance, and his grave is made wide, as far as he can see. Then there comes to him a man with a handsome face, handsome clothes and a good fragrance, who says: ‘Receive the glad tidings that will bring you joy this day.’ He says: ‘Who are you? Your face is a face, which brings glad tidings.’ He says: ‘I am your righteous deeds.’ He says: ‘O Lord, hasten the Hour, so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’(…)” (Ahmad and Abu Dawood)


The last part of the aforementioned Hadeeth clearly states that the individual destined for Jannah would successfully answer the questions asked to him by the angels in the grave. By Allah’s (swt) mercy, he would also be spared from the torment and terror at the time of questioning. Authentic Ahadeeth also detail that once the questioning is over, the grave will expand for such a person, a window to Jannah will open for him, and he will fall into a deep sleep, looking forward to his reward in the Hereafter.

Ibn Umar (rta) reported Allah’s Messenger (sa) as saying: “When any one of you dies, he is shown his seat (in the Hereafter) morning and evening; if he is amongst the inmates of Paradise, (he is shown the seat) from amongst the inmates of Paradise, and if he is one from amongst the denizens of Hell, (he is shown the seat) from amongst the denizens of Hell, and it would be said to him: ‘That is your seat, until Allah (swt) raises you on the Day of Resurrection (and sends you to your proper seat).’” (Muslim)

Day of Judgement

Those destined for Jannah will definitely have an easier time of it on the Day of Resurrection. They will be in the shade of Allah’s (swt) mercy, and their accountability will be easier and faster. They will be given their register of deeds in their right hand, after which they will be able to swiftly cross the bridge of Sirat and enter Jannah. This has been described in numerous places in the Quran and Ahadeeth.

“Then, as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand, he surely will receive an easy reckoning, and will return to his family in joy!” (Al-Inshiqaq, 84:7-9)

The Prophet (sa) said: “The Quran will meet its companion on the Day of Resurrection, when his grave is opened for him, in the form of a pale man. It will say to him: ‘Do you recognize me?’ He will say: ‘I do not recognize you.’ It will say: ‘I am your companion the Quran, who kept you thirsty on hot days and kept you awake at night. Every merchant benefits from his business, and today you will benefit from your good deeds.’

He will be given a dominion in his right hand and eternity in his left, and there will be placed on his head a crown of dignity, and his parents will be clothed with priceless garments, the like of which have never been seen in this world. They will say: ‘Why have we been clothed with this?’ It will be said: ‘Because your son used to recite Quran.’ Then, it will be said to him: ‘Recite and ascend in the degrees of Paradise,’ and he will continue to ascend so long as he recites, either at a fast pace or a slow pace.” (Ahmad)

The above clearly shows that a believer has to bear trials and tribulations only in this world. As soon as he takes his last breath, his suffering ends. From then onwards till eternity, his is a ‘life of comfort’, whether it is life in the grave or life in Jannah. Now, the question is – who is willing to sacrifice the worldly comforts for this eternally comfortable life?