Heaven in Islam
Heaven is a high place of no more pains or sorrows, promised by God to give as a reward to those who fear and strive so hard to please Him." [Therein are] gardens of perpetual residence which the Most Merciful has promised His servants in the unseen. Indeed, His promise has ever been coming."(Quran 19:61).The bounties and beauty of heaven are huge,so much so that it is beyond abilities of our little narrow minds to imagine and count.The Prophet Mohamed , peace be upon him, says: “ Allah the Exalted and Glorious, said: I have prepared for My pious servants which no eye has ever seen, and no ear has ever heard, and no human heart has ever perceived but it is testified by the Book of Allah. He then recited:” No soul knows what comfort has been concealed from them, as a reward for what they did” “.( Sahih Muslim.Book 040, Number 6780)
I . Names of Heaven:
Paradise has more than eight names in the Quran:
1.Firdaws :The highest level of Paradise " Who will inherit al-Firdaus. They will abide therein eternally ".(Quran 23:11).
2.Darul al-Salam : Home of Peace "And Allah invites to the Home of Peace and guides whom He wills to a straight path (Quran 10:25).
3.Jannatu al-Khuld :Garden of eternity:" Say, "Is that better or the Garden of Eternity which is promised to the righteous? It will be for them a reward and destination. (Quran 25:15)
4.Jannatu an-Naaim: The Gardens of Delight "[All] sovereignty that Day is for Allah ; He will judge between them. So they who believed and did righteous deeds will be in the Gardens of Pleasure. "( Quran 22:56).
5.Jannatu al-Adn: gardens of perpetual residence" [For them are] gardens of perpetual residence which they will enter. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments therein will be silk."(Quran 35:33).
6.llliyin:a garden on high" No! Indeed, the record of the righteous is in 'illiyyun. "(Quran 83:18)
7.Jannat al-maawa :"Garden of Refuge" Near it is the Garden of Refuge " (Quran 53:15)
8. Al-Maqam al-Amin :The place of Security "Indeed, the righteous will be in a secure place" (Quran 44:51)
9.Dar al-akhira :The Home of the Hereafter "And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter - that is the [eternal] life, if only they knew".(Quran 29:64)
10.Maqaad al-ṣidq :seat of honor "In a seat of honor near a Sovereign, Perfect in Ability"(Quran 54:55)
11.Al-Jannah :Paradise "They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.(Quran 5:72)
II.Description of Heaven:
1.Gates of Heaven:
Heaven is surrounded by eight gates as reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim:
" Uqba bin Amir (may God bless him) said: “We were entrusted with the task of tending the camels – On my turn, when I came back in the evening after grazing them in the pastures, I found Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) stand and address the people. I heard these words of his ‘If any Muslim performs ablution well, then stands and prays two rak’ahs, setting about them with his heart as well as his face, Paradise will be guaranteed to him.’ I said, ‘What a fine thing this is!’ A narrator who was before me said, ‘The first was even better than this.’ When I cast a glance, I saw that it was Umar who said, ‘I see that you have just come and observed. If anyone among you performs the ablution, completes the ablution well and says, “I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His Messenger,” then the eight gates of Paradise will be opened for him and he may enter by whichever of them he wishes."(Muslim Book 002, Number 0451)
In another Hadith ,the Prophet is reported to have said:“Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah’s Cause, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, ‘O slaves of Allah! Here is prosperity.’ So, whoever was amongst the people who used to offer their prayers, will be called from the gate of the prayer; and whoever was amongst the people who used to participate in Jihad, will be called from the gate of Jihad; and whoever was amongst those who used to observe fasts, will be called from the gate of Ar-Rayyan; whoever was amongst those who used to give in charity, will be called from the gate of charity.” (Bukhari, Vol 3, Book 31. Fasting. Hadith 121)
In the narration found in Sahih Muslim ,those eight gates are summarized in this Hadith:
“It will be proclaimed in Paradise for whoever spends twofold in the path of Allah: O servant of Allah, this is good. So whoever had been of those devoted to prayer, he will be called to the Gate of Prayer. Whoever had been engaged in striving in the defense of Islam, will be called to the Gate of Striving. Whoever had been devoted to charity will be called to the Gate of Charity. Whoever had been committed to the observance of fasts will be called to the Gate of Luxuriance.” Abû Bakr, upon hearing this, asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Is it absolutely necessary for someone to enter form one of these gates? Will anyone be called to enter from all the gates?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Yes, and I hope that you will be one of them.”1
2.Food & Drink:
There are plenty of food and drinks in the Heaven.The qualified entrants will never fell stuffed or intoxicated:
"Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit therefrom, they will say, "This is what we were provided with before." And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally. " (Quran 2:25)
“[They will be told], "Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past." (Quran 69:24).
“[They will be] reclining therein on adorned couches. They will not see therein any [burning] sun or [freezing] cold.“ (Quran 76:13)
Heaven has no dimensions or boundaries.It is so spacious so that it could hold all."Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous" ( Quran 3:133).Length of the day:One day in heaven is considered equal to a thousand years on earth:"Yet they ask thee to hasten on the Punishment! But God will not fail in His Promise. Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning." (Quran 22:47).
5.No death,No sickness:
None will die or be fallen by sorrow.All shall live eternally and in good health enjoying the merits.“But those who feared their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, "Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein," [they will enter]. ”(Quran 39: 73).
" Abu Sa'id al-Khudri and Abu Huraira both reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There would be an announcer (in Paradise) who would make this announcement: Verily I there is in store for you (everlasting) health and that you should never fall ill and that you live (for ever) and do not die at all. And that you would remain young and never grow old. And that you would always live in affluent circumstances and never become destitute, as words of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, are: "And it would be announced to them: This is the Paradise. You have been made to inherit it for what you used to do"(Muslim ,Book:40 Number:6803)
6.Marriage in Heaven:
When a qualified entrant set his foot on the heaven.He will marry tall gorgeous ever-young virgin women who have wide eyes,very swollen bosoms and fair skins.They are called :Houris or (hoor al-Ayn) .Importantly,they are not from the off-spring of Adam."In them are women limiting [their] glances, untouched before them by man or jinni -So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? -As if they were rubies and coral."(Quran 55:56-58)
"Fair ones reserved in pavilions -So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? -Untouched before them by man or jinni "( Quran 55:72-74)
"They will not urinate, relieve nature, spit, or have any nasal secretions. Their combs will be of gold, and their sweat will smell like musk. The aloes-wood will be used in their censers. Their wives will be houris. All of them will look alike and will resemble their father Adam (in stature), sixty cubits tall." (Sahih Bukhari, vol.4, book 55, number 544.)
"It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that the prophet(peace be upon him) said:" If a woman from among the people of Paradise were to look at the people of this earth, she would light up all that is in between them and fill it with fragrance. The veil on her head is better than this world and all that is in it.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 2587)
Interestingly,the purpose they are created for is to serve the male s sexual desires. ”Indeed, We have produced the women of Paradise in a [new] creation,devoted [to their husbands] and of equal age,”(Quran 56:35-36),and the man will be given huge sexual power. ”It was narrated from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believer in Paradise will be given such and such strength for sexual 1ntercourse.” He was asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, will he really be able to do that?” He said, “He will be given the strength of one hundred (men).” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2459).
The Prophet Muhammad said"Every man who enters paradise shall be given 72 (seventy-two) houris; no matter at what age he had died,when he is admitted into paradise, he will become a thirty-year-old, and shall not age any further.A man in paradise shall be given virility equal to that of one hundred men" (At-Tirmizi, vol. 2 page:138)
Some people will ask here a question:If Muslim men will enjoy the merit of having multiple wives and Houris ,what about women?will they enjoy too the merit of sleeping with 72 men?If not,could we consider it as a feature of the Islamic oppression of women?.Obviously not.God says :”And their Lord responded to them, "Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another”(Quran 3:195) and "it is reported by Anas that: Umm Habeebah the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O Messenger of Allaah, if a woman had two husbands in this life, then they all died and came together in Paradise, with which of them would she be – the first or the last?” He said: “With the one whose attitude and conduct with her was best, O Umm Habeebah; a good attitude brings one the best of this world and the Hereafter.”(Al-Tadhkirah fi Ahwaal al-Mawtaa wa’l-Aakhirah,2/278).2
The one who are eligible to enter Heaven are those who believe that there is no god but Allah and Mohamed the Messenger of Allah,including of course,those who follow the teachings of the past prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus...And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow ( Quran 2:25)" It is narrated on the authority of 'Uthman that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said. He who died knowing (fully well) that there is no god but Allah entered Paradise. "(Muslim, Book:Kitab Al Iman,Number ;39) "
* The Quranic verses are taken from: http://quran.com/
2. For further information,check this Website: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/8068