Fruits for the Week

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The pleasures of this world are tangible and present, “here and now,” whilst the delights of the Paradise are as yet unseen promises.

People are readily influenced by what they can see and know instantly. It is hard enough for them to forgo something that is in front of them for the sake of something else that is in the future, so how much harder it is if the promise will not be attained until after death! So Allah drew a comparison between the pleasures of this world and the joys of Paradise, and explained that the delights of Paradise are far superior to this world’s pleasures. The Qur’an speaks at length denouncing this world and extolling the virtues of the Hereafter, to encourage man to strive hard for success in the next world.

Many passages from the Holy Qur’an dismiss this world of instant, fleeting pleasures and state that the rewards of Allah are far better. For example: “But for those fear their Lord, are gardens under which river flow; therein are they dwell for ever, an entertainment from Allah; and that which is with Allah is the best for Al-Abrar (those who are obedient to Allah and follow strictly His orders).” (Ali-Imran: 198)

There are many reasons why the delights of Paradise are superior to the pleasures of this world.

1. The pleasures of this world are fleeting. Allah (swt) said: “Say, short is the enjoyment of this world. The hereafter is far better for him who fears Allah.” (An-Nisa’: 77). The Prophet (saw) illustrated the inferiority and fleeting nature of the pleasures of this world in comparison with the delights of Paradise: “By Allah, this world in comparison with the Hereafter is nothing more than as if one of you put his finger” - and he gestured with his forefinger – “in the sea: let him see how much water he would retrieve.” (Muslim) 

A finger dipped in the ocean would not even pick up one drop; this is how little this world is worth when compared with the Hereafter.

Because the pleasures of this world are so insignificant, Allah (swt) rebuked those who prefer the pleasures of this world to the joys of the Hereafter: “O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah you cling heavily to this earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. (At-Taubah: 38)

2. The Hereafter is also better from the point of view of quality. The clothing, food, drink, jewellery and palaces of the people of Paradise will be far superior to their counterparts in this world. There is in fact no room for comparison, as even the smallest space in Paradise is better than this world and all that that is in it. Bukhari and Muslim reported from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (saw) said: “The space of a whip in Paradise is better than this world and everything in it.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

According to another hadith also narrated by Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurairah, the Prophet (saw) said: “The space of the bow of any one of you in Paradise is better than all that the sun rises upon.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The comparison between the women of Paradise and the women of this earth serves to demonstrate the superiority of that which is in Paradise. Bukhari reported from Anas (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said: “If a woman of the people of Paradise were to look at this earth, she would light up everything in between and fill it with her fragrance; the veil on her head is better than this world and all that is in it.” (Bukhari)

3. Paradise is free from all the impurities and disappointments of this world. Eating and drinking in this life results in the need for excretion and its associated unpleasant odours. If a person drinks wine in this world, he loses his mind. Women in this world menstruate and give birth, which are sources of pain and hurt. Paradise is free from all of these discomforts; its people will not urinate, defecate, spite or suffer from catarrh. The wine of Paradise, as described by its Creator is: “Crystal-white, delicious to those who drink, free from intoxication, nor will they suffer intoxication there from.” (As-Saffat: 46-47). Allah said in different verse:” Rivers of water incorruptible; river of milk of which the test never changes.” (Muhammad: 15).

The women of Paradise are pure and free from menstruation, postnatal bleeding, and all the other impurities suffered by women in this world, as Allah said: “And they shall have therein purified mates or wives, and they will abide therein for ever.” (Al-Baqarah: 25).

(To be continued)

(Prepared by Umar S. Al-Ashqar)

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