THE INVITATION: Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala has given all of mankind a unique, clear and categorical invitation:
“And Allah in-vites you towards Jannah and His Forgiveness…” (Surah Baqarah)
When a person is invited, he ensures that he is at his best. He will make a note of the date, day and time. He will ensure that he observes the proper dressing code. He will make certain that he does not do any-thing that will annoy his host. He will verify the direc-tions to the place he intends going to. A person who treats an invitation with a slap dash, sloppy, casual and careless attitude clearly has no intention to hon-our the invitation. Without proper prior planning we will not get to our destination comfortably. Who but a fool will treat Allah Ta’ala’s invitation with such a lackadaisical approach? We need a plan — a good plan which we can easily implement.
The first thing which we need to do is to ask ourselves a serious question: Where am I heading in life? Do I have any other ob-jectives besides eating, sleeping, working, accumu-lating wealth and enjoying life? Am I prepared to meet my Maker and Creator at this very moment? To get to a “yes” answer, we need to deeply reflect what lies yonder. For a Muslim it is his home called Jannah. And what a home is it not! The rivers of Jannah “The description of Paradise which the Muttaqoon have been promised is that in it are rivers of water, the taste and smell of which are never changed. Rivers of milk the taste of which will remain un-changed. Rivers of wine that will be delicious to those who drink from it and rivers of clear, pure honey.
For them will be every kind of fruit and for-giveness from their Lord.” [ 47:15] The garments and weather of Jannah “And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining on raised thrones, they will see there neither the ex-cessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon). The fruits and vessels of Jannah The shade will be close upon them, and bunches of fruit will hang low within their reach. Vessels of silver and cups of crystal will be passed around amongst them, crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure of them according to their wishes. They will be given a drink mixed with Zanjabeel, and a fountain called Salsabeel. The servants of Jannah Around them will (serve) boys of perpetual youth. If you see them, you would think they are scattered pearls. When you look there (in Paradise) you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a Great Dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink.” [76:12-21] A detailed description of Jannah in Surah Waqi’ah “And those foremost (In Tawheed and obedience to Allah and His Messenger in this life) will be fore-most (in Paradise). They will be those nearest to Allah in the Gardens of Delight. A multitude of those (the foremost) will be from the first genera-tion (who embraced Islam) and a few of those (the foremost) will be from the later (generations). They will be reclining, face to face, on thrones woven with gold and precious stones. They will be served by immortal boys, with cups and jugs, and a glass from the flowing wine, from which they will have neither any headache, nor any intoxication. They will have fruit from which they may choose, and the flesh of fowls that they desire. There will be Houris with wide, lovely eyes (as wives for the pious), like preserved pearls, a reward for deeds that they used to do.
They will hear no vain or sinful speech (like backbiting, etc.) but only the saying of: Salam, Salam, (greetings of peace). And those on the Right Hand, who will be those on the Right Hand? They will be among thorn-less lote-trees among Talh (banana trees) with fruits piled one above another, in long-extended shade, by constantly flowing wa-ter, and fruit in plenty, whose season is not limited, and their supply will not be cut off. They will be on couches or thrones raised high. Verily, We have created for them (maidens) of equal age, loving (their husbands only). For those on the Right Hand.” [56:10-38] Allah’s Salaam in Jannah “Verily, the dwellers of Paradise that Day, will be busy in joyful things. They and their wives will be in pleasant shade, reclining on thrones. They will have therein fruits (of all kinds), and all that they will ask for. (It will be said to them): “Salamun” (Peace be on you), a Word from the Lord, Most Merciful.” [36:55-58]“And Allah invites you to Jannah…”
How will we see Allah Ta’ala in Jannah, Insha-Allah Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “The people of Paradise will look at the dwellers of lofty mansions (i.e. a superior place in Paradise) in the same way as one looks at a brilliant star, far away in the East or in the West of the horizon. This is because of their superiority over one another (in reward).” One of the people asked, “O Allah’s Mes-senger, are these lofty mansions for the Prophets which no one else can reach?” The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied, “No! By Allah, in whose Hands is my life, these are for men who believe in Allah and also believe in the Messenger.” [Bukhari and Muslim] The tents in Jannah Abu Musa al-Ash’ari narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Verily, for the believers in Paradise, are tents made of a single hollow pear. The length of which would be sixty miles long from all sides, their wives being therein. The believer will go around them (i.e., visit them) and they will not be able to see each other.” [Sahih al-Jami] The trees in Jannah Abu Hurairah said that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “There is not a tree in Paradise, except that its trunk is made of gold.” [Sahih al-Jami]
The markets of Jannah Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Verily in Paradise there is a market in which (the inhabitants of Paradise) will come to every Friday. The North wind will blow and scatter fragrances on their faces and on their clothes. This will add to their beauty and their attractiveness. They will then go back to their families after having an added lus-ter to their beauty and their attractiveness. Their families will say to them, ‘By Allah you have been increased in beauty and loveliness after leaving us,’ and they will say, ‘By Allah you too have increased in beauty and attractiveness after us.'” (Muslim) The Haud of Kaawthar in Jannah Anas ibn Malik said that Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “I entered Paradise and found myself by a river, by its edges were tents of pearls. Then I tapped with my hands where the water was running, and there was then a beautiful smell of Musk. I asked, ‘What is this O Jibraeel?’ He said, ‘This is Kawthar (river in Paradise) which Allah has given to you.'” [Sahih al-Jami]
The invitation has been given. Jannah awaits a Muslim with great anticipation. Are we preparing ourselves with the deeds to enter into Jannah or are we living as if we are going to live forever in this World?