Saturday, September 10, 2011

Whose Is The Paradise?

There are plenty of verses in the Quran that speak about the paradise, the unimaginable beauty of it and the ways to achieve it. And amongst those numerous verses one is the following one:

 Here Allah (swt) says,
"And vie with one another to attain to your Sustainer's forgiveness and to a paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, which has been readied for the God-conscious, who spend [in His way] in time of plenty and in time of hardship, and hold in check their anger, and pardon their fellow-men because God loves the doers of good;" (Holy Quran 3:133-134)

This verse speaks about a few qualities that are to be present in those who are wishing to be admitted into those magnificent gardens.

The first of these qualities is, God-consciousness:
The arabic word for God-consciousness is Taqwa. It means to alienate oneself from all that is evil and all that could anger Allah (swt), and to strive towards doing that which would please Him.
It is of course extremely difficult to always keep oneself in check and to always see that our deeds are not crossing the boundaries set by Allah (swt) in the least bit. But the fear of Allah (swt ) and the last day, and the hope that, He shall forgive us and keep the raging hell fires away from us, helps in building Taqwa.

The next quality that Allah (swt) speaks about, is the quality of willingness to spend in His way, both in times of prosperity and in times of hardships. A very well known incident from the lives of the sahaba comes to mind with regards to this topic, that, it once so happened that Salman Farsi, (ra) took a hungry person with him with the intention of feeding him through some of the better off sahaba, as he himself was a very poor person. So they both reached the house of Ali (ra) and fatima (ra) asked them their purpose of coming, and they told her their intention (expressed their need rather), she replied that she had absolutely nothing to give them at all, but nevertheless asked them to wait and brought a certain cloth and asked them to trade it with a Jewish tradesman for a few coins, and bring her grains with which she would then make bread for the hungry companion to eat.They did so and brought her barley, she made bread out of it and gave the whole of it to the two men, they requested that she keep a little of it for herself but she refused saying that it had been intended to be given to them, so it was theirs, though she herself had absolutely nothing to eat at all! Subhanallah!

The other quality is the ability to control one's anger. A beautiful hadith of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) goes, that " stronger is not he who can wrestle well but he who can control his anger." Anger though helps us in expressing that which annoys us or that which we find inappropriate, but if uncontrolled and left unchecked it can unleash unimaginable destruction. Ill-expressed anger results in damages caused not only to one's relations with friends and family, but also to one's own character and even health.

Forgiveness is the other quality talked about in this verse. Though taking revenge in a permissible way is allowed in Islam, still forgiveness is encouraged and also rewarded. The main thing about forgiving is to also forget the incident and the involved person's wrongdoing as well, because it is absolutely meaningless to forgive but still cling to whatever unpleasant incident it was. And it is worse still, to remind the person about his wrongdoing once he or she has asked forgiveness and we have forgiven too.

May Allah (swt) give us the hearts and the brains to be what this verse requires us to be. May we become one of those whom He loves. Ameen.

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