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?