Reviewed by Asma Imran
Compiled by: Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan is currently teaching at the Islamic University in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah. By gathering together Quranic verses and Ahadeeth related to the concept of Paradise, under the supervision of Abdul Malik Mujahid, he has produced a book that enlightens us about Jannah and what should be done in order to achieve it.
Reading this book has brought to me immeasurable surprise and delight, as it mentions the delicacies and pleasures of Paradise promised to the believers by Allah (swt). However, this book is also liable to make one shudder and wince at the descriptions of the punishments, which await the wrongdoers in the torment and pain of Hell.
The volume has been divided into seven chapters: ‘Introduction’, ‘Road to Paradise’, ‘The Characteristics of Paradise and the fact that it has been created (and does exist now)‘, ‘Who will enter Paradise and who will enter Hell fire’, ‘Deeds that will lead to Paradise’, ‘Message to the Disbelievers’ and ‘Conclusion’.
The first chapter stresses the fact that the road to Paradise is full of hurdles. Patience, self-control and unwavering faith are the virtues a Muslim needs for travelling along that path and finding a reward befitting the pains he has endured. It also briefly mentions the apostles and prophets Allah (swt) sent to various nations and tribes for their guidance.
The second chapter lightly touches the deeds that one needs to perform, in order to gain entry in Paradise. The third chapter contains the holy Prophet’s (sa) account of Ascension and all the things related to Paradise that Muhammad (sa) or Allah (swt) have ever mentioned.
The fourth chapter contains the differences between the dwellers of Paradise and the dwellers of Hell, and how their lifestyles will differ in those abodes. The deeds that the pious believers performed are also mentioned along with their efforts and hardships braved for the sake of Islam. Basically, the fourth chapter describes everything that Allah (swt) wants Muslims to do, in order to attain Jannah.
Most of the fifth chapter is comprised of the verses of Surah Maryam, which Jafar Ibn Abu Talib recited to the Abyssinian court on the occasion of defending the refugee Muslims against the claims made about them by the Makkan pagans. This is an appeal to the disbelievers that the differences in both religions are those of alteration and refinement.
The last and shortest chapter in the book summarizes all the discussed content and gives a true and accurate account of the deeds that a Muslim needs to follow to enter Paradise.
The book has made me wonder, how people can afford to go astray, if they are fully aware of the pain that they will have to endure in the Hereafter, and how people can abstain from doing good, even if they know that unimaginable delights and pleasures are present in Paradise. Free will has been given to the mankind and Jinn, so that they may choose their ways. According to the lives they lead, they will be presented with their achievements in the form of eternity in Paradise or pain in Hell.
Nowadays, Muslims seem to have forgotten that their accounts will be made according to their own deeds. They seem to be under the delusion that all that has to be cherished is in this world only; or, perhaps, they live with the illusion that it is enough for them to be Muslims to gain entry into Paradise. This book can change our very perspective of life and can alter our lifestyle. Dr. Khan himself mentions that he has written this book for the salvation of the mankind and Jinn.