The Yearning of the Pious for Paradise

   

Paradise, that noble goal which aspiring eyes are fixed towards and which yearning souls long for, in all times and in all places.

bismallah

  

  This was the case in the days of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), as Anas (raḍi Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu) related, 'Once Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) and his Companions proceeded towards Badr and arrived there before the disbelievers of Makkah.'


Descriibng Paradise, Allāh - the Most High – said,

‘‘Indeed Allāh will enter those who believe and do righteous and correct actions into Paradise, beneath which rivers flow. Wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments will be made of silk.’’ [Sūrah al-Ḥajj 24:23]

‘‘Indeed the pious and obedient ones will be in Paradise, amongst gardens and water-springs. It will be said to them, ‘Enter in peace and safety.’ And We shall remove from their hearts any ill-feeling, so they will be like brothers, facing each other on thrones. No sense of hardship shall touch them, and they will be of those who never leave.’’ [Sūrah al-Ḥijr 15:45-46]

‘‘Paradise, that precious sanctity to which, throughout the ages, the Believers run towards. Paradise, a burning flame that was in the hearts of our Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ (Righteous Predecessors), a flame that spurred them to aim for the highest examples of valour in jihādand sacrifice. Paradise, that noble goal which aspiring eyes are fixed towards and which yearning souls long for, in all times and in all places. They find worldly afflictions agreeable to them for the sake of achieving Paradise. Indeed, to enter into it and remain in it is considered the greatest goal for the Believers, and it is a hope, which is kept in view throughout life's journey. How often has Paradise been the incentive and a motivation for goodness and truth, despite the dangers, afflictions and thorns that lie along the path - even if it involves certain death.

This was the case in the days of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), as Anas (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu) related, ‘‘Once Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) and his Companions proceeded towards Badr and arrived there before the disbelievers of Makkah. When the disbelievers arrived, Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, ‘‘None of you should proceed ahead of me in anything.’’ The disbelievers then advanced towards us, and Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, ‘‘Rise up to enter Paradise, whose width is equal to the heavens and the earth.’’ ʿUmayr Ibn al-Humaam al-Anṣārī (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu) said, ‘‘O Messenger of Allāh! Is Paradise equal in width to the heavens and the earth? He said, ‘‘Yes!’’ ʿUmayr then exclaimed words of astonishment and excitement, so Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) asked him, ‘‘What made you say these words of astonishment and excitement?’’ He replied, ‘‘O Messenger of Allāh! It was nothing but the desire to be amongst its inhabitants.’’ Allāh’s Messeneger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) then said, ‘‘Indeed, you are surely from amongst its inhabitants.’’ So ʿUmayr then took some dates from his bag and began to eat them. Then he said, ‘‘If I were to live until I have eaten all the dates, then indeed this life would be too long.’’ He threw away the remaining dates which were with him and he fought until he was killed.’’ [1]

This was also the stance taken in later times, Abū Mūsá al-Ashʿarī (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu), whilst in the presence of his enemy, narrated, ‘‘Allāh’s Messenger ‘‘ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, ‘‘Indeed, the gates of Paradise are beneath the shade of swords.’’ A man who was in a shabby condition got up and said, ‘‘Abū Mūsá! Did you hear this from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam)? So he said, ‘Yes!’ He returned to his friend and said, ‘‘I bid you salām (a farewell greeting of peace).’’ Then he broke the sheath of his sword, threw it away, then rushed into the thick of the enemy and fought them until he was slain.’’ [2]

Imām al-Shāfiʿī (d.204H) - raḥimahullāh – said,


‘‘O my soul! It is not, except a few days of patience;
As if the extent were but a few dreams.
O my soul! Pass quickly on through this world;
And leave it, for indeed life lies ahead of it.’’ [4]

 
Endnotes:

[1] Related by Muslim (no. 1901)
[2] Related by Muslim (no. 1902) and al-Tirmidhī (no. 1659)
[4] Related by Ibn Rajab in Fadl ’Ilmus-Salaf (p. 63)

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