The key to Heaven is found in the declaration that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (La Ilaha Illa Allah, Muhammad ar-rasul Allah). This statement is the foundation of Islam, the beginning of faith, the source of virtues, and the means of happiness in the Hereafter for those who actualize its meaning. Allah says:
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
“But those who believe and do [the] righteous deeds, not We burden any soul except (to) its capacity. Those (are the) companions (of) Paradise, they in it (will) abide forever.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:42)
How is heaven (Jannah) described?
Throughout our lives, Muslims strive to believe in and serve Allah, with the ultimate goal of being admitted to heaven (Jannah). They hope that their eternal lives will be spent there, so of course, people are curious about what it is like. Only Allah knows for certain, but heaven is described in the Quran. Allah says:
الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ يَقُولُونَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
“Those who take them in death the Angels (when they are) pure saying, “Peace (be) upon you. Enter Paradise for what you used (to) do.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:32)
The phrase “gardens beneath which rivers flow” is a very common scene depicted about the eternal Heaven. Other descriptors mentioning lush, green, and life is also common elements that arise. A great reward is God’s pleasure, for that is what any practising Muslim is working toward. Heaven is a result of that pleasure, but ultimately His approval, love, and glad tidings are what we hope to achieve.
Let’s take a look at a unique attraction in Heaven:
- Heaven cups are crystal-clear and made of gold and silver
- Heaven has gates through which the believers will enter
- Heaven buildings are made of bricks of gold and silver
- Heaven contains rivers of pure non-intoxicating wine
- Heaven sky look at the shining star that is visible
- Heaven rivers of milk whose taste do not change
- Heaven will have ranks according to their piety
- Heaven leaves are softer than the softest cloth
- Heaven will live in uninterrupted enjoyments
- Heaven is eternal and reserved for believers
- Heaven contains rivers of pure honey
- Heaven contains rivers of pure milk
- Heaven provides great enjoyment
- Heaven rocks are like pearls and jewels
- Heaven is located above the seventh sky
- Heaven, there will not disturb the enjoyment
- Heaven will look like the moon when it is full
- Heaven is of different levels, that greatly pious
- Heaven roof is like a throne of the Most Merciful
- Heaven surpass imagination and defy description
- Heaven ground and its soil is of musk and saffron
- Heaven has shown mankind the path of repentance
- Heaven contains in the enjoyment by both body and soul
- Heaven does not contain a single tree except that its trunk
- Heaven fruits are softer than butter and sweeter than honey
Ultimately, all the earth and the heavens belong to Allah, and only He grants rewards and elevates a person’s status. As humans, however, we must strive for this lofty position where we are known in the heavens for good things. Allah informs people that Paradise is one of two ways of life prepared for them in the afterworld and that every good thing will be theirs in Paradise to a degree that surpasses our present ability to imagine. Allah says:
وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden – its width (is like that of) the heavens and the earth prepared for the pious.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:133)
The reality of Paradise is something that people will never be able to understand until they enter it, but God has shown us glimpses of it in the Quran. He has described it as a place essentially different from the life of this world, both in the very nature and purpose of life, as well as the types of delights which people will enjoy therein. Allah says:
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
“But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are companions of the garden. Therein shall they abide forever.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:82)
- This Heaven goes on forever: Most of us would prefer to live longer than the time allotted to us. Ageing sucks, and losing a loved one is one of the most painful wounds we can experience.
- The pleasure of Allah: Of course, the greatest reward in Heaven is receiving Allah’s pleasure and mercy. This honour is saved for those who believe in Allah and strive to live by His guidance.
- Greetings of “Peace!”: Those who enter Heaven will be greeted by angels with words of peace. In Heaven, one will have only positive emotions and experiences; there will be no hatred, anger, or upset of any kind.
- Thrones of Dignity: In Heaven, every comfort will be afforded. “They will recline (with ease) on Thrones (of dignity) arranged in ranks…” (Quran 52:20)
- Recite the Quran: The popularity that lasts long is the one that we have acquired with Allah. It is the one where the angels are used to witnessing us recite the Qur’an or do good deeds, and they are used to hearing Allah mention us to them.
All of those who will enter Paradise shall be purified. Whoever does good deeds in this life will enter in Jannah and the wrongdoers will enter in Jahannam. We should try to do good deeds in this life so we will enter into Heaven in the hereafter.
- Allah’s Pleasure: The greatest reward in Jannah is the pleasure and mercy of Allah Almighty. This great reward is for those who believe in Allah and work hard for the pleasure of Allah (SWT).
- Gardens: The most important or convincing definition of paradise is a beautiful garden with greenery and flowing water.
- Family: In Jannah, many families will be reunited.
- Food and Drink: The description of Heaven in the Quran includes unlimited food and drink, without any feelings of intoxication.
- Eternal Home: Heaven is the everlasting place to live life according to Islam where believers will stay forever in peace and happiness.
Allah Almighty says about Heaven in the Holy Quran:
Throughout our lives, we compete to believe and serve Allah Almighty so that we can gain Jannah in the hereafter. We can just imagine how paradise will be look alike. Only Allah Almighty knows it but He (SWT) describes it for us in the Holy Quran.
- “And Hellfire will be brought forth for the deviators,” (Quran 26:91)
- “And Paradise will be brought near to the righteous, not far.” (Quran, 50:31)
- “Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent forth (good deeds) in days past!” (Quran 69:24)
- “Say: Shall I give you glad tidings of things far better than those? For the righteous are Gardens in nearness to their Lord… and the good pleasure of Allah? For in Allah’s sight are (all) His servants.” (Quran, 3:15)
- “Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent forth (good deeds) in days past!” (Quran, 69:24)“From Allah, verily nothing is hidden on earth or in the Heavens.” (Surah Al-Imran, 5)
- “But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow” (Quran, 2:25)
It also shows that Paradise is a place where all blessings have been created perfectly and where people will be offered everything their souls and hearts will desire and that people will be far removed from want and need, anxiety or sadness, sorrow, and regret. Every kind of beauty and blessing exists in Paradise and will be revealed with a perfection never seen or known before. God has prepared such blessings there as a gift, and these will be offered only to people with whom He is pleased. Allah says:
أَهَٰؤُلَاءِ الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمْتُمْ لَا يَنَالُهُمُ اللَّهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَا أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ
“Are these the ones whom you had sworn that Allah (will) not grant the Mercy? “Enter Paradise. (There will be) no fear upon you and not you will grieve.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:49)
The ultimate goal of all Muslims is to be rewarded with a place in Heaven (Jannah). The Quran describes Heaven as a beautiful garden, close to Allah, filled with dignity and satisfaction. We ask Allah to make us steadfast upon true faith and to endow us with such virtues that earn His pleasure and reward in the Hereafter. May Allah The Almighty guide us, forgive all our sins, help us to stay firm on the right path and unite all of us with our family and friends in His Jannat-ul-Firdaus. Ameen.