THOSE WHO ARDENTLY HOPE FOR
THE PARTY OF ALLAH
Allah has inscribed faith upon such people's hearts, will reinforce them
with a spirit from Him, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing
under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever. Allah is pleased with
them, and they are pleased with Him. Such people are the party of Allah.
Truly it is the party of Allah who are successful. (Surat al-Mujadala,
Those believers to whom Allah has announced His promise of good news
have important qualities, as revealed in the Qur'an:
-They believe and do right actions. (Surat al-Baqara,
- They fear Allah. (Surah Al 'Imran, 15)
- They spend for the cause of Islam in times both
ease and hardship. (Surah Al 'Imran, 134)
- They control their rage. ( Surah Al 'Imran, 134)
- They pardon other people.( Surah Al 'Imran, 134)
- After they act indecently or wrong themselves,
they remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their wrong actions. (Surah
Al 'Imran, 135)
- They do not knowingly persist in doing wrong
actions. (Surah Al 'Imran, 135)
- The obey Allah and his Messenger. (Surat an-Nisa',
- They keep up prayer, spend in charity, believe
in and support Allah's messengers. (Surat al-Ma'ida, 12)
- They are truthful. (Surat al-Ma'ida, 119)
- They leave their homes for the cause of Allah
and strive in Allah's way with their souls and possessions. (Surat at-Tawba:
- They do good. (Surah Yunus, 26)
- They humble themselves before their Lord. (Surah
-They repent of their sins. (Surah Maryam, 60)
- They honor their trusts and contracts. (Surat
- They safeguard their prayers. (Surat al-Mu'minun:
- They compete with one another in the doing of
good deeds. (Surah Fatir, 32)
- They are Allah's chosen servants. (Surat as-Saffat,
- They believe in the Qur'an. (Surat az-Zukhruf,
- They say "our Lord is Allah" and thereafter stand
firm in their faith. (Surat al-Ahqaf, 13)
- They are heedful. ( Surah Muhammad, 15)
- They turn toward Allah with their whole heart.
(Surah Qaf, 32)
- They stand in awe of the Most Gracious, although
He is beyond the reach of human perception, and come unto Him with a heart
returning in repentance. (Surah Qaf, 33)
- They are the doers of good. (Surat adh-Dhariyat,
- They ask for Allah's forgiveness before the dawn.
(Surat adh-Dhariyat, 18)
- They are the forerunners. (Surat al-Waqi'a, 10)
- They always keep their word and fear a day whose
evil will spread far and wide. (Surat al-Insan, 7)
- They give food, despite their love for it, to
the poor and orphans and captives. (Surat al-Insan, 8)
- They give the appropriate respect to the Messenger
of Allah. (Surat al-Hujurat, 3)
AN EASY PASSAGE TO THE NEXT WORLD
Those the angels take in a virtuous state. They
say: "Peace be upon you! Enter Paradise for what you did."(Surat an-Nahl:
Death in a Virtuous State
Up to this point, we have seen that sincere believers live a good life
in this world, are not overcome with fear or pessimism, and have a healthy
and comfortable spiritual life. Since those who believe seek Allah's pleasure,
we learn from the Qur'an that they have won His special assistance, support,
and protection; their misdeeds will be removed from them and that they
will be rewarded according to the best of what they did; and they will
not be wronged. Since they "purchase" the next life in exchange for this
life, they have made what the Qur'an calls a "good bargain." Allah is
pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him.
But what will happen to them at the end of their lives? Where and when
will Allah meet them at the hour He has appointed for their death? Neither
believers nor unbelievers know where and when they will die. This fact
is explained in Surah Luqman in these words:
Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour, sends down
abundant rain, and knows what is in the womb. And no self knows what it
will earn tomorrow, and no self knows in what land it will die. Allah
is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surah Luqman, 34)
Together with this, the Qur'an informs us how death will come to believers,
how their souls will be taken, and what will happen at the moment of death.
As far as we know, believers experience death as a very gentle passage,
like a momentary change in dimension. Just like the person whom Allah
causes to be "as dead during his sleep" (Surat az-Zumar,
42) and wakes up the next morning to a new day, when believers
die, they will be taken out of the worldly dimension and pass to the next
dimension (Certainly Allah knows the truth.)
Allah announced this gentle and easy passage in Surat an-Nazi'at, 2,
where He points to the appointed angels and says
"those who draw out gently."
Another verse tells about the angels' conversation when they come to
take a believer's soul:
Those the angels take in a virtuous state. They
say: "Peace be upon you! Enter Paradise for what you did." (Surat an-Nahl,
The following verse describes a believer's death:
The greatest terror will not upset them, and the
angels will welcome them: "This is your Day, the one that you were promised."
(Surat an-Anbiya', 103)
Clearly, believers who have led a good life in this world will have
a beautiful and easy death, and their life in the next world will begin
when they are met by angels. From that moment on, all of their relations
with this world will cease, and they will be sent to an appointed place
where they will come before Allah's Presence. As it was from the beginning,
so it continues: comfort and ease await all believers.
AN EASY ACCOUNTING
After the believers' souls are taken gently by angels comes the moment
of accounting, when all human beings will come before our Lord's Presence
with all that they have done.
The course of events begun on the Day of Rising will continue with the
resurrection of everyone who has ever lived with a new body and their
gathering around the flames of Hell. Later, all of the witnesses will
be brought in, each person's book of deeds will be opened, and everyone
will account for what he or she did in the world. After this, all believers
will be saved from the flames of Hell by Allah's mercy and taken to Paradise.
The Qur'an describes the end of the world and the believers' state on
that day in some detail.
The end of the world begins with the first blow of the trumpet. The
world and the universe will be destroyed forever, mountains will break
into pieces, the seas will boil, and the sky will be destroyed…
With the second blow, human beings will be resurrected and gather in
one place to account for their actions. Everything they did, no matter
how small, will be revealed to witnesses and to the one giving the account.
This moment will bring a deadening shame to unbelievers, but joy and excitement
to believers, for the Qur'an refers to that day as the
"Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who had faith
along with him" (Surat at-Tahrim, 8)
Allah promises: "We will certainly help Our Messengers
and those who believe both in the life of this world and on the Day the
witnesses appear," (Surah Ghafir, 51)
On the last day, sincere believers will receive the book of their worldly
deeds on their "right side." Their accounting will be
easy, as the Qur'an says, and they will be considered worthy enough to
As for him who is given his Book in his right hand,
he will say: "Here, come and read my Book!" (Surat al-Haqqa, 19-22)
Believers, who are to receive what our Lord has promised, are excited
and happy on "the Day of Timeless Eternity" (Surah
Qaf, 34), and their state is described as follows:
As for him who is given his Book in his right hand,
he will be given an easy reckoning and return to his family joyfully.
(Surat al-Inshiqaq: 7-9)
When they have given their account, believers experience the joy of
being saved. One verse says: "Enter them [Gardens
and Springs] in peace, in complete security!" (Surat al-Hijr, 46)
This is also described in another verse:
O self at rest and at peace, return to your Lord, well-pleasing and
well-pleased! Enter among My servants! Enter My Paradise. (Surat al-Fajr,
By then, Allah has forgiven the sins of those servants upon whom He
has mercy, transformed their wrong actions into good, and given them permission
to enter Paradise. These servants say:
..."If my people only knew how my Lord has forgiven
me and placed me among the honored ones!" (Surah Ya sin, 26-27)
In another verse, Allah announces this good news to the people of Paradise:
This is the Day when the sincerity of the sincere
will benefit them. They will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them,
remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. (Surat al-Ma'ida, 119)
My servants, you will feel no fear today; you will
know no sorrow. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 68)
In another verse, Allah informs us that
"Paradise will be brought up close to the righteous, not far away" (Surah
THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF PARADISE
"What is the example [i.e., description] of Paradise
promised to the righteous like? It has rivers flowing under it, and its
foodstuffs and cool shade never fail. That is the final fate of those
who have done their duty. But the final fate of the disbelievers is the
Fire." (Surat ar-Ra'd, 35)
Natural beauty and greenery are among Paradise's wonderful blessings.
Mansions built in gardens, right next to springs, are another beauty.
Paradise, in which there is "neither burning sun
nor bitter cold" (Surat al-Insan, 13), has such a pleasant climate
that no one is made uncomfortable. It contains no exhausting sweaty heat
or freezing cold. In Paradise, Allah will admit believers into "cool,
refreshing shade" (Surat an-Nisa', 57)
The expression "refreshing shade," along with revealing that the climate
will be comfortable and just as a person would want it, points out that
Paradise's environment and conditions have been designed to give the human
spirit true satiety and comfort. Every thing and condition in Paradise
will be just as a believer desires.
One of the natural beauties most mentioned by Allah in the Qur'an is
that of "outpouring water" (Surat al-Waqi'a, 31).
As we observe in this earthly life, the human spirit derives great pleasure
from water, especially flowing water. Lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and streams
flowing in a forest all speak to the human spirit. All artificial pools
and fountains in mansions, residences, estates, and villa gardens, as
well as artificial and natural streams, arise from this longing for the
The main reason why these esthetic views are so pleasurable is because
the human spirit has been created for Paradise. These beauties are described
elsewhere, as follows:
In them [two other Gardens] are two gushing springs.
(Surat ar-Rahman, 66)
The sight and sound of flowing water comfort and gladden the human heart.
The sight and sound of water falling from above give pleasure and are
a means whereby people can give thanks to Allah and praise His name. Especially
if the water flows in the hills, among trees and greenery or runs over
stones, it is a really impressive sight. It either collects in the place
where it falls, or forms pools and flows from one place to another. Continually
flowing water is a sign of endless and inexhaustible plenty.
As we learn in Surat al-Hijr, 45: "The heedful
will be amid Gardens and Springs." Another verse reads: "The heedful will
be in shady nooks by springs" (Surat al-Mursalat, 41)
The "shady nooks" may be special spaces created so that believers can
sit and observe all of this beauty. (Allah knows best) As with mansions,
these shady nooks also are placed in high places so that the people in
Paradise can view the beauty below and see its many details. Shady nooks
offer special pleasure to believers. For example, people are served various
kinds of food and fruits there, come together there and hold pleasurable
conversations, and enjoy themselves there. Their being placed next to
springs, spaces that give pleasure to the human soul, adds to their attractiveness.
From these springs flow delicious waters.
Another natural beauty is the gardens. For example, the "lush
Meadows of the Gardens" mentioned Surat ash-Shura, 22 have been
prepared only for believers. One of their particular features is the harmony
of natural beauty contained therein. Within them grow a never-ending variety
of plants, similar to the most delicate and sweet-smelling ones on Earth,
and several species of animals, both known and unknown to us.
The gardens are adorned with various fruit and other types of trees,
plains of "deep viridian green" (Surat ar-Rahman,
64) plants and flowers, and, in some places, pools and fountains.
Surat al-Waqi'a also mentions "fruit-laden lote-trees
with thorns removed" and "[banana] trees
layered [with fruit]" (28-29).
By reflecting upon all of these things, we can form a general view of
Paradise. Some of its characteristics remind us of things in this world;
others are unique blessings and beauties of Paradise that no one has ever
seen or known, and that our minds cannot imagine or express. We must be
aware that beautiful things and surprises are waiting for believers in
Paradise, things and surprises prepared by Allah's infinite knowledge
and beyond our imagination. As Surat ash-Shura, 22 tells us: "They
will have whatever they wish for with their Lord. That is the great favor,"
everything in Paradise, including all of its natural beauties,
are brought into being in accordance with a believer's own desire and
pleasure. In other words, Allah allows a believer's imagination a role
in forming Paradise's environment as a favor from Him.
Eat and drink with relish for what you did.(Surat
The Qur'an announces that the people of Paradise are blessed with the
finest food and various drinks. But since these people require no nourishment,
we can understand that such food and drink have been created only to give
This food resembles the food of this world. The people of Paradise will
express this similarity in the following way:
Give the good news to those who believe and
do right actions, that they will have Gardens with rivers flowing under
them. When they are given fruit there as provision, they will say: "This
is what we were given before." But they were only given a simulation of
it. They will have there spouses of perfect purity, and will remain there
timelessly, forever. (Surat al-Baqara, 25)
Many foods in this world address people's appetites and give pleasure
by their appearance and taste. Of course Allah can easily create similar
foods in Paradise to give pleasure to believers. But, unlike with earthly
food, there will be no need to worry about gaining weight, cholesterol,
overeating, and so on, for Allah tells them: "Eat and drink with relish
for what you did" (Surat al-Mursalat, 43) Being able to eat and drink
beyond any reckoning is a delightfully pleasant reward.
In order to attain Paradise, people are tested in this earthly life.
Believers show great effort and zeal in order to please our Lord, for
they turn to Him sincerely, thank Him continually, pray to Him, and repent
of their sins. As a reward, Allah offers them the blessings of Paradise.
Leading all of the food mentioned in the Qur'an is meat. In Paradise,
Allah gives believers "any kind of fruit and meat that they desire"
(Surat at-Tur, 22), and will offer them "any bird-meat they desire"
(Surat al-Waqi'a, 22). Moreover, their food will "never run out"
(Surah Sad, 54), because believers will"enter Paradise, provided
for in it without any reckoning" (Surah Ghafir, 40).
They will be able to eat as much as they want, for the amount and types
of food available will never decrease, and no one will be forced to stop
eating due to being full or feeling sick.
Fruit is perhaps the food most often mentioned in the Qur'an. In Paradise,
believers receive whatever type of fruit they desire. The Qur'an describes
Its shading branches will droop down over them,
its ripe fruit hanging ready to be picked. (Surat al-Insan, 14)
Thus, we understand that fruits of Paradise grow on trees in natural
surroundings and that believers can easily pick and eat them. Surat al-Waqi'a
28-29 mentions ""fruit-laden lote-trees with thorns
removed" and "[banana] trees layered [with
fruit]," meaning that the fruit can be obtained easily due to Paradise's
The fruit it so plentiful that the tree branches cannot bear its weight,
and it is easy to reach because the branches bend down to the ground.
This fruit may be offered freely on golden and silver trays and tastefully
designed plates to believers, who are sitting on thrones and conversing
with one another. Certainly all seeds and traces of rot and bruising that
annoy people in this world have been removed, as befits Paradise. All
fruits are offered to believers freely, with their eye-catching beauty
and without blemish.
Fruit also adds further color and aesthetic beauty to Paradise. The
sight of trees laden with all sorts of colorful fruits lends even more
beauty to the wonderful landscape. The predominant color is green, and
within that green are yellows, oranges, and reds that form a beautiful
view that strikes the human eye. As an indication of Allah's mighty artistry,
this view is another cause for thanksgiving.
Certainly, many kinds of drinks are also desirable. For instance, Surat
as-Saffat, 45 mentions "a cup from a flowing spring
passing round among them." In Paradise, believers are given "the
choicest sealed wine to drink, whose seal is musk" (Surat al-Mutaffifin,
25-27). As these verses state, whatever they drink is also sweet-smelling
and, of course, this wine is unlike any earthly wine.
The people who drink it will not become intoxicated or have their awareness
impaired. Allah says that these drinks will be offered in glasses. They
will not cause headaches, a loss of control of themselves, or any alteration
in their minds. Young men whom Allah appointed for this service freely
offer these drinks.