Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jannah – have you ever tasted, seen it or felt it?

Jannah – have you ever tasted, seen it or felt it?

In Sahih Muslim, Abdullah Ibn Mas'ood narrates from Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) the warming story of the last man to escape Hellfire:

HIS crawl away from Hellfire is filled with his face slipping into the dirt, a tremoring walk, and a fire that licks him until he finally escapes.

When he is past it, he looks back, horrified, and announces with the loudest voice, "All praise is due to Allah Who saved me from you." Then he says, most proud, "Verily I have been rewarded with something that no one from the beginning to the end of creation has been blessed with."

At that moment, a tree catches his eye – a tree that was commanded to be raised for him. He quickly raises his hands, "O Allah! Allow me to draw near to that tree so that I can cool off under its shade and drink from its water."

Then Allah calls him, "O son of Adam! If I grant you what you ask, you shall ask for more."

"Nay, O Allah!" pleads the man and he testifies that he shall ask no more.

As the man basks in the glory of the tree, another tree is raised, one more bounteous and lush than the first. The man pleads, "O Allah! Allow me to draw near to that tree so that I can cool off under its shade and drink from its water.

Allah then says, "Did you not promise me that you would ask no more? Perhaps if I give it to you, you shall ask for yet even more."

The man testifies that he will not, and is permitted that tree.

Just then a tree is raised near the doors of Jannah (paradise), one bigger and lusher than all the rest and the man's heart sinks.

"O Allah, that tree, that tree. I'll ask for nothing else."

"Did you not promise you would ask for nothing more?"

"After that tree, yaa Allah, nothing more!"

He is permitted to draw nearer to the tree and there, as he nears the doors of Jannah, he hears the sounds of its inhabitants and he leaps, "O Allah! Enter me into Jannah!"

"O son of Adam!" Allah announces, "What shall satisfy you and finish your pleading?"

Then Allah offers, "Will it please you if I give you all the treasures and bounty of the entire world and then double it!"

The man's smile shuts off and his eyes lock up. "My Lord, You're the Lord of the universe… Are You mocking me?"

At this point Ibn Mas'ood started laughing. He said to his students, "Ask me why I'm laughing. I'm laughing because Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) laughed when he told us this. And he also asked us, 'Do you know what makes me laugh? I'm laughing for Allah's laughter when the man said, 'You are the lord of the universe… are You mocking me?'"

Allah then tells him, "I am not mocking you, rather I am capable of doing whatever I so wish." Allahu Akbar!

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) taught us that in Jannah there is that "which no eye has witnessed, no ear has heard, and that which has never been imagined by any human." (Bukhari and Muslim)

"No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do." (Qur'an, 32:17)

Imagine yourself in Jannah

Imagine yourself present on the day when the gates of Jannah will be opened with all of the splendor that lies beyond it. Allah tells us in the Qur'an about when the muttaqoon are escorted to the gates of Jannah by the most handsome of angels.

"And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salâmun 'Alaikum (Peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein." (Qur'an, 39:73)

The Shade in Jannah

"Verily, the Muttaqun (the pious. See V.2:2) shall be admidst shades and springs. And fruits, such as they desire. Eat and drink comfortably for that which you used to do. Verily, thus We reward the Mushsinun (good-doers.)" (Qur'an, 77/41-44)

The Ambience in Jannah

Imagine yourself in Jannah. Your face is shining with joy and you're so glad that you woke up for Fajr all those days, glad you paid your Zakah, glad you wore Hijab all those summer days. This is what the atmosphere is like in Jannah:

"(Other) faces that Day will be joyful, glad with their endeavor (for their good deeds which they did in this world, along with the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism), in a lofty Paradise, Where they shall neither hear harmful speech nor falsehood." (Qur'an, 88/8-11)

Jannah is the fruit of a seed planted in this world. Let's go driving towards Jannah!

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