Monday, December 31, 2012

Description of Jannah (Paradise, Heaven) - Tawfique Chowdhury

The following information is based on my notes from a recent speech by Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury at the Twins of Faith Conference (2012) in Malaysia.  The topic was "A Day in Paradise", and it was a brief description of Jannah based on a poem of Ibn Qayyim (based on relevant hadiths.  I believe the work is called Haadi al-Arwaah ilaa Bilaad il-Afraah).  I will do my best to accurately convey the message of the speech, though there may be some mistakes here and there.  Any mistakes are from me, and I ask forgiveness for them.

To begin, the Sheikh posed the question of what is our ultimate purpose of our creation.   The answer of the participants followed along the lines of what is outlined in the Quran where it is stated that Man and Jinn were created for the worship of Allah.  The Sheikh continued asking if this was the ultimate purpose of our creation?  If this was it, why is it that we are not required to fast, pray, give charity, etc when we are in Jannah?  He stated that his opinion on the matter is that we were created for the purpose of entering Jannah and that Allah loves his creation.

To illustrate the love of Allah for his servant, he quoted Sufian Ath-Athari (spelling?), who once said something to the effect of: He would rather have Allah as a judge over him than have his parents as a judge over him.  As the love of Allah for his servant exceeds that of the love of a parent for a child.

(random point of note) The purpose of ibaadah in this  world could be said that it is our showing thankfulness for the fact that Allah created Jannah for us and wants us to be in it.

In another narration related to Jannah, there was a companion by the name of Haritha who was on the way to the battle of badr, but died in route due to an accident.  As he did not die as a matyr in battle, his mother was distressed about what his state would be in the hereafter.  The prophet (saw) said to her (paraphrasing here), Woe to you oh mother of Haritha, do you think there is only one Jannah?  There are hundreds of Jannah's, and Haritha is in the highest.

---Side note here.  When the phrase "Woe to you" is used by the prophet (pbuh), it can be either a sign of anger, or a sign of happiness (depending on the circumstance)

In reference to the levels of jannah, the scholars are of two opinions.  One opinion is that there are 100 levels and this is based on an authentic hadith that states the specific number.  The other opinion stated that there was (5600?, didn't catch the exact number) levels, and this was based on the hadith where people are told to recite the quran as they recited it in the world and with each verse they would raise on level in the heavens.  So the number here relates to # of verses?  Allah knows best.

As for the levels themselves, the difference between one level and the next is like the heavens and the earth is in this world.  When one raises a level he will think he has gone so far that there couldn't be any more levels above them.

As to how to get to Jannah, the Sheikh referenced a hadith where the prophet stated 3 times, Is not the price of Jannah expensive?  In relation to this we need to understand it cannot be bought.  We need to perform actions to make us worth of it.  We can't just say we love Allah, because speaking such words does not guarantee Allah loves us in return.  The sheikh then referenced the verse of the Quran (3:31):

Sahih International: Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." 

 To emphasis how special Jannah is, the Sheikh related a hadith that mentions that Allah has created 3 things with his own hands:
1) The Taurat
2) Adam (As)
3) Jannah

In the description of Jannah, we start out on the big plain in front of Jannah.  There will be 120 rows of people; not old (our age is changed to 33 years old), we have the beauty of Yusuf, and we are 60ft tall/7ft wide which is the size of Adam (as).  Additionally there is no hijab and no beard (These are tests of this life.  And in relation to modesty of sisters, men will just not be able to see them).  Of the 120 rows, 80 will be from the ummah of Muhammad (saw), and the other 40 will be from people of the earlier nations.  In the rows will also be Jinn, though one point of note here is that in Jannah, we can see the Jinn and they cannot see us [reverse of this world].

Servants (in the form of children), who look like scattered pearls will come out.  They will give you the clothes of Jannah and the drinks of Jannah (to prepare you to be in an appropriate state for your entry).  The Clothes are made of the Tuba tree's bark.  You will also be given ornaments of gold and other precious materials.

The smell of Jannah is so great that we won't be able to hold ourselves back.  It can be smelled at the distance of 500 years travel.   (one note from myself to those reading this.  Think of this along with the hadiths that mention that the people that do certain actions will not even smell the fragrance of Jannah; may Allah protect us).

Jannah itself is held by 70,000 rings.  Each ring is held by 70,000 angels.

There are 8 gates to Jannah, and the distance between each gate is 500 years of travel.  The gates have huge signs with names carved in stone.  The list will be the names of those allowed to enter through this gate.  Each gate will have a spring that will contain the drinks of Jannah.  The people will rush between gates looking for where they will be allowed to enter.  Fragrance of Jannah will be blown down from the gates.  The sheikh did not mention all of the gates, but specifically pointed out four: 1) Jihad, 2) fasting, 3) goodness to parents?, 4) charity

When you find a gate that you are allowed to enter, an Angel will permit you to come in.  When you enter, you will look up and see rows of Angels of all types (2 wings, 4 wings, etc etc).  The angels will greet you with the greetings of peace.  You will see flashes of lightning behind the angles that are so severe that you can't look at them.  You will ask the servants of Jannah what they lightning is and they will just smile, turn away and talk to the other servants.  An angel will inform you that the lightning is caused by the smiles of your wives in Jannah.  

In relation to the wives, ibn Qayyim said that if it wasn't forbidden for us to die in Jannah, we would die from looking at our wives. 

From here, the Sheikh discussed some of the scenery and geography of Jannah.  The ground of Jannah is like saffron with pebbles made of rubites and other precious stones.  We will try to pick them up, but there will be too many.  There are rivers of Wine, milk and honey which will always stay fresh.  When you intend to take a drink from one of them, a spring will pop up for you to drink.  There are trees with all forms of fruit.  When we want to eat a piece of fruit, the tree will bend to bring it to us for us to bite.  When we desire to eat a bird of paradise, we just think it and it will come in front of us fully cooked.  We can eat as much as we want and we don't have to worry about weight and health.

On the horizon we will see the massive tree of Tuba, which gives shade to half of Jannah.  The distance of travel under it is 100 years travel.  It only grows in Jannah, and its bark is very silky and peels off easily in this layers like an onion.

As for our places in Jannah, the last person to enter jannah will see his kingdom, and it will be a size of 2000 years travel (in size) [my note: so imagine the size of those who are of higher degrees] 

In our kingdom's we will have a tent which is made of a hollowed out pearl.  This will be 600ft tall.  From the outside you will be able to see the inside, and from the inside you will be able to see outside.  In the tent you will meet your first wife. 

The women of jannah will have petite faces, translucent type of skin so that you can see the nerves in their body, full lips, full breasted, etc...very beautiful.  When they see you they will sing to you, and when you meet them it is as though you have been absent from them for a long time (as they have been waiting you...and watching you in this world).  When a mujahidin goes to battle, the women of Jannah put on marriage clothes in anticipation of the Mujahidin's martyrdom.  When we meet them in Jannah, they will ask us if we remember what day Allah married us to them.  This day can be any point in your life; perhaps you met a point of great difficulty in your life and you had patience and firm faith.

Also in your place of Jannah you will have magnificent palaces on top of rivers.  In this palace will be the rest of your wives of Jannah, and you can also have your wife from dunia as well.  The female believers in jannah will be so much better in beauty than the women of Jannah.  The sheikh made a statement (possibly a quote that I didn't catch the author of): Does the king think of King think of the servant when the Queen is there? Not at all.

It is possible to have children in Jannah.  Pregnancy only lasts 1 hour, and you can decided what ages the children are.  So you could have children that are a specific age forever so they you can always enjoy them at whatever age you like best.

At the end of your first week in Jannah, on Friday, a beautiful northern wind will blow, which makes a beautiful sound from the leaves of the Tuba tree.  There will be a rain with a beautiful smell of perfume that will cleanse you.  Your Buraq will come to take you to a gathering of all of the residents of Jannah at one level of Jannah.  Here you can see friends, prophets, companions, etc.  You will be seated in a circle on thrones of light.  You can drink together and talk.  After a while, and Angel will come to bring you away to an hour long face to face session with Allah.  

Of all of the pleasures of paradise, nothing is better than being able to see Allah.   The created tragedy is to not be able to experience this.

After we leave the gathering, we pass through the markets of Jannah which is hosted by the Angels.  In it are all sorts of amazing creations of Allah.  When we want something, we will realized we don't have any money, but we will be given the items on the basis of our good deeds done in this life.

The Sheikh mentioned another hadith:  Whoever says: O Allah, enter me into jannah (3 times), Jannah will ask Allah to enter him into Jannah.

This is the extent of what I have in my notes.  A few additional points to consider, although the description above may be wonderful, we need to know that even with these descriptions, we are absolutely incapable of imagining how great Jannah is really like.  In some other narrations mentioned in other talks, 1) Allah has only given one part of his mercy in this dunia, and saved 99 for the hereafter.   2)  Everyone will enter Jannah, except for the one that refuses to enter.  Do not be the one that refuses to enter Jannah by the disobedience of Allah.  Strive as hard as you can in this life, and have sincere intentions in all that you do (Ikhlaas, inshallah will cover some notes about that from AdbulRahman Green's talk that followed this one).



  1. Thank you very much for the sharing. I have been searching for this lecture for a long time. Its the best lecture that moved my heart. I was so amazed during this speech of sheikh tawfique, that i wasn't able to write down any notes. I was searching for the video or mp3 on this lecture but i cant find one. please share if u have find it anywhere. thank you sir.
    -Asmaa, malaysia

  2. I think there's a mistake the tree of tooba is 500 years travel

  3. Maybe it was a copy error in my note taking. All I can find from hadith is mention of a tree whose shade would take 100 years travel. It doesn't mention the specific tree though.