Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Description of Paradise –II

The Grades of Paradise
The evidence that Paradise has various grades and its inhabitants will be in different ranks and categories:
Paradise consists of grades, some of which are above others, and its people will be of differing levels and categories according to their position in Paradise. Almighty Allaah Says (what means):
{But whoever comes to Him as a believer having done righteous deeds — for those will be the highest degrees [in position].}[Quran 20:75]
One of those who explained and clarified this issue was Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him who said: "Paradise has grades that are widely differentiated. The beloved Awliyaa’ (those close to Allaah because of their piety and heedfulness) will be placed in those levels according to their faith and piety. Allaah, the Most Exalted, Says (what means):
{Whoever should desire the immediate (worldly gratifications) — We hasten for him from it what We will to whom We intend. Then We have made for him Hell, which he will [enter to] burn, censured and banished.}[Quran 17:18]
Allaah, the Most High, explains how He gives more of His Bounty in this world or the next, as He wills, and His Bounty is not withheld [forbidden] from either the righteous or the sinful. Allaah, the Exalted, Says (what means):

{Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction.} [Quran 17: 21]
Allaah Almighty explains that the differences between people in the Hereafter will be greater than the differences between them in this life, and the difference between the levels or ranks of the Hereafter is greater than the differences here in this life. Allaah also differentiates between His Prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, as He does between the rest of His believing slaves. Allaah, the All-Majestic, Says (what means):
{Those messengers- some of them We caused to exceed others. Among them were those to whom Allaah spoke, and He raised some of them in degree. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs, and We supported him with the pure spirit [(Jibreel (Gabriel)].} [Quran 2: 253]
Allaah also Says (what means): {And your Lord is Most Knowing of whoever is in the heavens and the earth. And We have made some of the prophets exceed others [in various ways], and to Daawood (David) We gave the Book [of Psalms].} [Quran 17: 55]
On the other hand, the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said:
“A strong believer is better and more beloved to Allaah than a weak believer, although both are good. Pay attention to that which benefits you, seek Allaah’s help, and never feel helpless. If something happens to you, do not say, ‘If only such and such would have happened.’ Say instead: ‘Allaah has decreed it and He does what He wills.’ Saying ‘if only’ opens the way for Satan.” [Muslim]

Besides, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said:
“If a judge forms an independent judgment to decide an issue in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah (Ijtihaad) and is correct, he will have two rewards, and if he is mistaken, he will have one reward.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
Indeed, there are many verses in the Quran which indicate that there are different degrees and various ranks as a reward for the believers in Paradise (according to the excellence of their deeds). These verses are as follows:

{Not equal among you are those who spent before the conquest [of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than those who spent afterwards and fought. But to all Allaah has promised the best [reward] And Allaah, with what you do, is Acquainted....} [Quran 57: 10]
{Not equal are those believers remaining [at home] — other than the disabled — and the Mujahideen, [who strive and fight] in the cause of Allaah with their wealth and their lives. Allaah has preferred the Mujahideen through their wealth and their lives over those who remain [behind], by degrees. And to all [i.e. both] Allaah has promised the best [reward]. But Allaah has preferred the Mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with a great reward — Degrees [of high position] from Him and forgiveness and mercy.} [Quran 4: 95-96]
{Have you made the providing of water for the pilgrim and the maintenance of al-Masjid al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah) equal to [the deeds of] one who believes in Allaah and the Last Day and strives in the cause of Allaah? They are not equal in the sight of Allaah. And Allaah does not guide the wrongdoing people. The ones who have believed, emigrated and striven in the cause of Allaah with their wealth and their lives are greater in rank in the sight of Allaah.
And it is those who are the attainers [of success]. Their Lord gives them good tidings of mercy from Him and approval and of gardens for them wherein is enduring pleasure. [They will be] abiding therein forever. Indeed, Allaah has with Him a great reward.} [Quran 9: 19-22]
{Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.} [Quran 39. 9]
{... O you who have believed, when you are told, “Space yourselves” in assemblies, then make space; Allaah will make space for you.’ And when you are told, “Arise,” then arise; Allaah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allaah is Acquainted with what you do.} [Quran 58. 11]
Al-Bukhaari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reported from Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )said:
“Whoever believes in Allaah and His Messenger, offers prayer perfectly and fasts the month of Ramadhaan, will be granted Paradise as of right by Allaah, no matter whether he fights in Allaah’s cause or remains in the land where he is born.” The people said: “O Messenger of Allaah, shall we acquaint the people with this good news?” He said, “Paradise has one hundred grades (and ranks) which Allaah has reserved for the Mujaahideen who fight in His Cause, and the extent of difference (distance) between each of the two grades is like the distance between the heavens and the earth. So when you ask Allaah for something, ask for Al-Firdaws, which is the best and highest part of Paradise.” I (the narrator, Abu Hurayrah) thought that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Above it (Al-Firdaws) is the Throne of the Most Merciful, and from it originate the rivers of Paradise.” [Al-Bukhaari] 


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