A glimpse of Jannah on Earth!

housebyriverWorld cup vs. Jannah cup

There is one thing about paradise that really fascinates me. I mean there are so many descriptions of Jannah in the Quran, right? Rivers flowing and cups being offered. I used to wonder why are cups being offered and Allah (swt) says “cups that are placed”- what’s the point in that? You ever throw a BBQ, you ever go to somebody’s backyard and they are throwing a BBQ party; and they buy those cups from like Walmart and Cosco, serving drinks and whatever. Right? That’s a little homely party. You have to go, pour your own drinks. Have you ever gone to an expensive restaurant? Like at a really elite restaurant, you got to pay 50-fifty bucks just to sit down. What do you see on the table before even you get there? Cups. Those 1400 years ago, Allah (swt) knows how we think. Allah (swt) says water flowing, rivers flowing. Have you ever been to a lobby of a very expensive hotel? What do they have? Have you ever been to the CEO’s office of a corporate executive at the top floor of New York City? What do they have? Artificial water fall.

Do you dream of a heavenly vacation?

Same thing Allah (swt) has described. You must have seen a commercial where they tell you to go take a vacation in the Bahamas; or take a vacation in you know Hawaii or something- escape to paradise, it says. What do they show you? A Palm tree, water, drinks, relaxation; these are the pictures they show you on TV commercials. What is Allah (swt) describing? He talks about waterfalls, trees, fruits, drinks, people reclining and relaxing, enjoying each other’s company. And, you are looking at that and going, wow. These guys made a commercial about escape to paradise, and it’s like they read the Quran and made that. Allah (swt) knows who He is talking to, He knows what we want. Now look at this, I don’t even care about what religion you are, everyone has to get, especially men and even women, older and older. There is one thing in our head.

It’s programmed, we can’t even get rid of it; it’s the love of a beautiful house. You go through a nice neighbourhood, what are you going to do? Wow, that’s nice. Look at that yard, oh my God, did you see that one? People can’t help themselves, I don’t care what religion, what background you are from- everybody has desires to save up and have a stable place to live. They don’t want to live on rent, they want to own a place, want to have a nice house, want to have it just the way they like it.

Allah (swt) offers an eternal beach fund property

It’s incredible. He says I will give you a house. And it will have, what’s the most expensive real estate in the world? Beach Fund Property, Manhattan is one of the most expensive cities in the world. What’s the most expensive part of Manhattan? It is anything that looks over to that water- the higher up, the more expensive. And Allah (swt) puts houses on top of mountains, mansions; they overlook the entire garden, they overlook the water fall; these are the things that Allah (swt) has put inside our psyche. He wants us to desire these things in this world. So that when he talks about these in a much superior version in the next world, then we truly want them there. We say, if this mansion can exist here, oh my God! What does Allah (swt) have for me there? If these beautiful vacation spots like the beaches in California, the Canyons in Arizona, you know, the water falls in Niagara. If that can exist here, what does Allah (swt) have for me in the Akhirah? What amazing things is He going to give me?

The price for paradise

In order to get Jannah, to get paradise, what are the simple things we have to? Is it something very complicated? What should we do to achieve eternity, bliss, and perpetual happiness? Do you ever get tired or bored in Jannah?

No, you would never get bored in Jannah- that’s one of the joys of Jannah. You have beautiful company in Jannah. You know, when in this world, we take a vacation- especially we take a vacation with the family, kids might love it, it’s a nightmare for parents, because they take care of everything and this and that; when people get together for a break, like you know Christians get together for Christmas break.

World is not a wish-granting factory- Jannah is!

Maybe families get together for Eid break or something, fights break out, arguments happen; this is supposed to be a time for celebration, but at the best celebrations when you are with others, what happens? Arguments, right? Oh God, this is supposed to be a happy time, what happened here? People are crying at weddings and things like that. Then, here Allah (swt) says, in Jannah, one of the great joys of it first of all, boredom is taken away; second of all, you get whatever you want; third of all, Gil, this ill feeling towards each other is eliminated, we are not even capable of it in Jannah. You can’t even say something that hurts somebody else’s feelings. It’s gone.

So, you only have this beautiful relationship, you know how sometimes husband and wife get into arguments, and they don’t even know where it came from. Like, they are both confused; like how did we end up here, how did this conversation even start, why did it get so nasty? Allah (swt) will take that ability away from us in Jannah. We can only have wonderful conversation, I have something I am looking forward to like being at peace all the time. You know when people are happy, they sit and say: “Man, I wish life could be like this all the time, and they know it’s not going to be; they know round the corner, a problem is awaiting them; something’s coming- whether its physical, emotional- something is coming, just to know that there is nothing problematic coming.

Transcribed for Hiba by Sana Mohsin

A Handful of Earth

Imagine you are standing in the middle of a very large train station. Young people, old people and children are all rushing past; they are all in a great hurry. They are all trying to get on the same train, because they will all be setting out on the same journey. Some have carefully packed all they own. They are unaware that they will not need any of it at the end of the journey. Some are bidding farewell to their families. They do not realize there can be no return at the end of the journey. We are just some of the millions of travelers who will board that same train when the time comes. We stand there and wait for the train that will take us off to our eternal lives in the Hereafter – a train that we shall one day have to board.

At the end of the journey lie death and angels to meet us. We all carry ledger books that we cannot see. If we think of that train trip as the brief life we spend in this world, then everything we do on that journey, all our sins and merit, is written down in fine detail in those ledgers. We may not be aware of it, but the angels carefully write down every word we say, every step we take, and all our sins and merit. The opening of those ledgers is the best of tidings for believers, because the believer has filled his brief lifetime with good deeds, worship and prayer. He realizes that death lies at the end of that journey, after which will begin the unending life of the Hereafter. That is why he stands before our Lord in submission and trust:

“Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand will say: “Take, read my Record!” “Surely, I did believe that I shall meet my Account!” (Al-Haqqa 69:19-20)

Deniers, on the other hand, embark on that train journey with great joy and delight, since they are deceived by Satan into being caught up by this world. There is no training of the lower self on their journeys, no religious observances and no relying on and trusting in God; just living for the transitory joys of this world. Yet, the ledgers they carry with them all unaware will inevitably be opened at the end of the journey, and everything on that journey will be written down, day by day and hour by hour:

the ledgers they carry with them all unaware will inevitably be opened at the end of the journey, and everything on that journey will be written down, day by day and hour by hour:

“And the Book (one’s Record) will be placed (in the right hand for a believer in the Oneness of Allah, and in the left hand for a disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah), and you will see the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.), fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. They will say: “Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers!” And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice.” (Al-Kahf 18:49)

In fact, if you look, there is a huge crowd full of false and insincere souls all around at the station that millions of people are passing through. It is such a vast crowd that people become lost in it. They may see one another’s faces but forget to see the face of God. They value one another very much. What their spouses and friends say is of enormous importance to them. They become so caught up by the events of the day that everything they say revolves around this world. They talk about how they make money, how they put their children through the best schools, and how they accumulated wealth and possessions; yet, they do not know that they will have to leave all these behind at the stations they stop at. They do not know that all that awaits them at the end of the journey is God.

“So leave them in their error for a time. Do they think that We enlarge them in wealth and children, We hasten unto them with good things (in this worldly life so that they will have no share of good things in the Hereafter)? Nay, but they perceive not.” (Al-Muminun 23:54-56)

Believers, on the other hand, board that train with deep faith, submission and a sincere heart. They know that the journey is actually quite short. God will test them with difficulties and sickness in the brief life of this world, and they will respond to these tests with fortitude and goodness. Their journeys will be filled with good works, prayer and worship. They will also have to leave behind their wealth, possessions, spouses, friends and children at every stop because all that awaits them at the end of the line is the cold ground and a white shroud. Since they are aware of this, they have no passion for the life of this world; and realize that the life of this world is not a place for greed and desire. At the end of this journey, which they make with a sincere heart and deep faith, stands open the gates to the Gardens of Paradise to meet them.

“For such, the reward is Forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allah’s Orders).” (Al-Imran 3:136)

“And this life of the world is only amusement and play! Verily, the home of the Hereafter, that is the life indeed (i.e. the eternal life that will never end), if they but knew.” (Al-Ankabut 29:64)

It is a fact that not a single person will be able to avoid waiting at that station and boarding that train. All the people we value so much in the life of the world will board that train, and at the end of the journey, those millions of much-valued bodies will turn into a mere handful of earth. As those bodies all enter the ground at the end of the journey, the bones will fall apart and not a trace will remain of all those millions of people; all that will remain is the souls bowing in awe before our Lord and hoping for forgiveness.

“Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Furqan 25:70)

“The Forgiver of sin, the Acceptor of repentance, the Severe in punishment, the Bestower (of favours), La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), to Him is the final return.” (Ghafir 40:3)

Abuse to Earth – Are we Accountable for it?

Vol 4-Issue 1 Abuse to the EarthI was inspired to write this article, when my 5 year old son informed me about celebrating the Earth Day at school. It is common perception that scientists, researchers, climatologists, environmentalists, and economists must resolve the problems plaguing our planet. We are most content and stay aloof, thinking it to be someone else’s job, or worst, someone else’s challenge to fix everything that has gone wrong.

I was surprised to learn that the Quran has addressed ways to handle ecological issues in about 500 verses. And why not? If the Creator can give us laws for our spiritual guidance, won’t He equip us with the knowledge of physical well-being of humanity.

Some concerned green activists have been harping that it is the responsibility of the inhabitants of the Earth to protect and preserve its resources. Most of their laments have fallen upon deaf ears, and the Earth continues to ail. Islam goes a step further. Yes, Muslims out there, please, read this carefully. We are not just responsible but accountable for the resources we are expending in this world.

Allah (swt) states: “The sun and the moon run on their fixed courses (exactly) calculated with measured out stages for each (reckoning). And the herbs (or stars) and the trees both prostrate themselves (to Allah). And the heaven: He has raised it high, and He has set up the balance. In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient.” (Ar-Rahman 55:5-9).

“And do not do mischief on the Earth after it has been set in order; that will be better for you, if you are believers.” (Al-Araf 7:85)

Al Hafiz B. A. Masri, an environmentalist, author, and the first Sunni Muslim to be appointed Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque Woking, Surrey, states: “Mankind’s freedom of choice, based on knowledge and intelligence, places on it the added responsibility of caring for the rest of God’s creation and for those very resources of nature, which help all kinds of life to stay alive.”

Another reason, why Allah (swt) has enabled the humans to serve the Earth, is because of the special and superior qualities bestowed upon them, of which concept of ethics reigns supreme. Allah (swt) states: “By Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul) and Him, Who perfected him in proportion; then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him” (Ash-Shams 91:7-8)

The laws of nature have been laid down and enforced by Allah (swt), as this universe was His scheme. So, naturally He knows, what is required to run it most efficiently. Allah (swt) thus provided resources with due measure. Unfortunately, until a few centuries ago, it was believed that the space on the Earth was limitless and that its resources were endless. This led to wasteful usage of scarce and some non-renewable resources, ending up either in severe corruption or absolute exhaustion.

The lives of early Muslims bear evidence that the right to the use of natural resources is only in the sense of usufruct, which means being given the right to use another person’s property on the understanding that he will not damage, destroy or waste what is in his trust. The Quran states: “… and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly, He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifun (those, who waste by extravagance).” (Al-Araf 7:31)

Prophet (sa) said: “The merit of utilization lies in the benefit it yields, in proportion to its harm.” (Tirmidhi)

There is an Islamic legislation on the preservation of trees, plants, and the wildlife laid down some fourteen hundred years ago. According to these laws, certain areas, called Harim or Hima, are set aside, where development and cultivation is prohibited. The code of ecological legislation was based on numerous verses of the Quran and Ahadeeth, such as: “The world is green and beautiful, and God has appointed you as His stewards over it. He sees, how you acquit yourselves.” (Muslim)

Similarly, to preserve the habitats of animals, Allah (swt) clearly states: “There is not a moving (living) creature on Earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are communities like you…” (Al-Anam 6:38)

Allah’s Apostle (sa) says: “A good deed done to a beast is as good as doing good to a human being; while an act of cruelty to a beast is as bad as an act of cruelty to a human being.” (Mishkat)

Allah (swt) repeatedly draws our attention to the fact that plants and animals, just like human beings, need to be protected, in order for them to reproduce themselves and preserve their species. But it is a common knowledge that numerous species of animals are on the verge of extinction or have already been eliminated, due to nefarious designs of humans.

Forests are supposed to cover a third of the planet to regulate the world climate, keep the air clean of lethal gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and provide us with medicines for chronic diseases. But human driven deforestation has tipped the balance of world climate, resulting in global warming and related miseries.

Islam really seems like an extremist’s way of life, when one reads the Hadeeth concerning mount Uhud close to Makkah: “It is a mountain that loves us and we love it” (Bukhari), or when on the occasion of an earthquake, Allah’s Apostle (sa) addressed it: “Be calm, Uhud!” (Bukhari) Such was the character of our role model, who respected, loved, and cared for anything created by Allah (swt), even if it were rocks and stones.

I sincerely pray to Allah (swt) that my child extends his duties as a responsible and accountable Muslim by taking care of his environment beyond his classroom in all the capacity he can. Let him live by our beloved Prophet’s (sa) example, who advised: “A true believer is one, who does not hurt others with his thoughts, words, or actions.” (Bukhari)


Allah’s (swt) Prophecy Comes True!

“Corruption has appeared over land and water on account of what man’s hands have earned.” (Ar-Rum 30:41)

Some leading cosmologists state that the Earth is 4,600 million years old. It has an estimated land area of 329 million hectares, out of which only 226 million hectares are available for use. The remaining 103 million are either barren, or inaccessible, or unsuitable for agriculture.

Similarly, three quarters of the Earth are covered by water, 98% of which is sea water, and 1% of which is in the form of ice. Thus 99% of the Earth’s water cannot be used directly for human consumption. It is only 1% of the total water supply that living beings depend upon.

Regretfully, the existing 226 million hectares of land and 1% of water are diminishing fast, because of our wasteful and unwise usage. There are vast hectares of land that are turning into deserts or being flooded. Pakistan is already witnessing this disaster.

Source: “Islam and Ecology” by Fazlun Khalid and Joanne O Brien