Paradise, The Place of Endless Happiness
Our concern here is with Paradise and the happiness which will be experienced there, rather than Hell which is the place of torment which Allah has prepared for disbelievers.
In His verses, Allah tells us that the life of the Hereafter is the real life of the human being. In Paradise, the defects and shortcomings of the life of this world will no longer exist. There will be everything the human heart desires. Allah has informed us of the perfection of the Garden and the details of the life believers will live there in the Qur'an. He mentions the surroundings in which believers will live, what they will eat, the natural beauties of Paradise and the spouses the believers will have there. A great deal of information concerning the Garden is contained in the Qur'an for us to reflect upon. In order to understand better life in Paradise and the limitless happiness which is promised there, let us briefly examine its wonders in the light of the verses of the Qur'an.
If we consider first the natural beauties of the Garden, we can say that Allah describes it as "neither burning sun nor bitter cold" (Surat al-Insan: 13), telling us that it has a climate so beautiful as to cause no discomfort at all to anybody. The heat which makes people sweat and stupefies them, and the freezing cold in this world do not exist there. This points to the perfection of the climate in Paradise. Amongst other natural beauties referred to in the Qur'an by Allah in connection with Paradise are "outpouring water." (Surat al- Waqi'a: 31) Water which flows unceasingly gives people great pleasure and is at the same time soothing and restful. The pools and fountains which in the life of this world people build in the gardens of their houses and villas provide both an aesthetic view and a cooling environment. Allah tells us about this characteristic of Paradise in another verse: "In them are two gushing springs." (Surat ar-Rahman: 66)
In addition, Allah informs us that believers will live in soothing, pleasant places: "Those who guard against evil will be amid Gardens and Springs." (Surat al-Hijr: 45) and "The heedful will be amid shade and fountains." (Surat al-Mursalat: 41) Amongst other things of great beauty which Allah mentions in the Qur'an are the flowers and plants of every type which are brought together in perfect harmony and from which people will take indescribable pleasure. As well as these, fruit trees described as "thornless lote-trees" (Surat al-Waqi'a: 28) and "fruit-laden acacias," (Surat al-Waqi'a: 29) are another blessing. Allah adds to this that Paradise has an appearance which is "of deep viridian green." (Surat ar-Rahman: 64)
Bringing all these together sets before people a vision of enchanting beauty. Neither is there any question of this vision fading or being lost with the passage of time. It will remain eternally untouched and unblemished. The beauties and blessings which await believers in Paradise are not limited to these. In addition to these natural wonders, Allah tells us in the Qur'an of the beauty of the places where believers will live:
But those who have fear of their Lord will have high-ceilinged Halls, and more such Halls built one above the other, and rivers flowing under them. That is Allah's promise. Allah does not break His promise. (Surat az-Zumar, 20)
As Allah informs us in this verse, believers will live in pavilions constructed on the heights of Paradise and looking out on inspiring views. As well as this Allah has created handsome servants for believers. He tells us that they will provide believers with continual and uninterrupted service in this verse:
Circulating among them there will be youths like hidden pearls. (Surat at-Tur, 24)
Furthermore, Allah tells us that the clothing of believers in Paradise will be beautiful: "[Believers will be] wearing fine silk and rich brocade, face to face with one another." (Surat ad-Dukhan: 53), and "... they will be adorned with gold bracelets and pearls..." (Surat al-Hajj: 23) As we know, silk and satin, gold and pearls are very valuable in this world. At the same time, this wealth and abundance are an expression of the high station of the believers. In the Garden, they will wear clothes made from silk and satin and jewelry of gold and pearls and their appearance will be aesthetically magnificent. Allah also brings us the good news in the Qur'an that in Paradise He will give believers spouses of unblemished and flawless beauty for themselves alone:
In [the Gardens] are maidens with eyes for them alone, untouched before them by either man or jinn. (Surat ar-Rahman, 56)
With expressions such as "just like closely guarded pearls" (Surat as-Saffat: 49) and "dark-eyed maidens like hidden pearls" (Surat al-Waqi'a: 23), Allah describes the faultless beauty of these spouses created solely for believers. They are without any worldly defect and will never lose any of their beauty. All these are blessings which Allah will grant only to believers. Believers will be pleased with all these blessings and grateful to their Lord. Allah tells us that the eternal happiness believers will feel and their joy is reflected in the illumination of their faces in the verse, "You will recognize in their faces the radiance of delight." (Surat al-Mutaffifin: 24)
Another cause of happiness for believers is the perfection of Allah's creation of everything in Paradise. In the Garden there will be none of the faults and flaws which annoy people in the life of this world and which make them uncomfortable, troubled and unhappy. Allah tells us in the Qur'an that in Paradise there will be no worldly discomforts such as tiredness, death, illness, pain, ageing, dirtiness, thirst, hunger and so forth:
You will not go hungry in it or suffer from nakedness. [We said to Adam,] "You will not go thirsty in it [the Garden] or burn in the sun." (Surah Ta Ha, 118-119)
Without doubt, a place where a person is cleansed of all the factors which trouble and discomfort him and make him unhappy, is also the source of the greatest comfort and luxury he can possibly experience.
In addition, in Paradise, there will be no such concept as "need" for believers. There they will do nothing out of necessity. Everything will be at their service and everything their hearts desire will be theirs. Allah has created all these blessings so that believers can take pleasure from them and be happy. He has turned everything they do into a pleasure and an entertainment. They will never feel any annoyance or boredom with these things.
Another great blessing for believers which brings peace and happiness is that they will live together with other sincere believers. Without doubt, in Paradise believers will be cleansed of all moral characteristics which annoy, anger and discomfort people in the life of this world. In a verse of the Qur'an, Allah tells us that in Paradise there will be no anger or hatred in the hearts of believers:
We will strip away any rancor in their hearts. Rivers will flow under them and they will say, "Praise be to Allah Who has guided us to this! We would not have been guided, had Allah not guided us. The Messengers of our Lord came with the Truth." It will be proclaimed to them: "This is your Garden which you have inherited for what you did." (Surat al-A'raf, 43)
Of course, living in Paradise with perfectly pure people who have been purged of every low attribute and negative characteristic will be a great blessing for the true believers and a source of peace and happiness. Allah tells us that in Paradise believers will express their happiness as follows:
"Praise be to Allah Who has removed all sadness from us. Truly our Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful. He Who has lodged us, out of His favor, in the Abode of Permanence where no weariness or fatigue affects us." (Surah Fatir, 34-35)
As we can see from these verses, in Paradise Allah will give people the greatest pleasure and happiness. The joy and happiness they feel because they have earned the approval and love of Allah will be the source of the highest form of contentment. All the blessings of the Garden are the gift of Allah to His sincere followers. The greatest incentive for believers is the hope that Allah will have mercy on them and admit them to Paradise because of their striving to be pleasing to Him.
Paradise is the gift of Allah, our Lord, and is beyond comparison for that reason. Paradise will unite those people who sincerely believe in Him and who are worthy of the eternal gift of joy and happiness. Thus, the greatest happiness and salvation for a person is earning the approval of Allah and being united with His mercy in Paradise.