The Blessings Allah has Prepared
for the People of the Garden
Sometimes films have been made and novels written about things people wish for but which are impossible to obtain because of the way the world is. These things are thought to be fantastic or utopian and beyond the realm of reality. Many people long for these imaginary perfections and want them to be real. But knowing that these wonderful things cannot happen in the real world and that they exist only in the imagination, people do not form a deep longing for them in their spirits. On the contrary, they become even more aware of the imperfections that surround them; they see the world’s real face, which makes them “feel depressed.” Of course, only people without faith get caught up in this state.
Those who believe with certainty in the existence of the Hereafter know that all possibilities that stretch the boundaries of the imagination can come to be by Allah’s command and that they will attain the blessing of the Garden in the Hereafter. This being the case, a person may hope to attain in the Garden all the blessings he would like to have had on Earth. With this hope, a person will exert himself seriously to be worthy of the Garden where he will be granted everything he desires.
Our Prophet is reported to have said that in the Hereafter for Allah’s faithful slaves, “there will be that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and has never occurred to a human heart.” (Sahih Muslim)
In the verses in which He describes the Garden, Allah opens a horizon to blessings that cannot be compared with anything in this world. In verse 35 of Surah Qaf, He reveals the expanse of these blessings: “They will have there everything they want and with Us there is still more.” In another verse, Allah reveals: No self knows the delight that is hidden away for it in recompense for what it used to do. (Surat as- Sajda: 17)
Allah will reward them for what they say with Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever. That is the recompense of the good-doer. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 85)
When considering the blessings that Allah will grant in the Garden, it must not be forgotten that the human mind is very limited. For this reason, people really cannot imagine the abundance, variety and incomparable beauty of the blessings promised. Any description of the blessings of the Garden, if it is to be enlightening for people, must be done by way of comparison with the beautiful things of this world. But the blessings of the Garden will be absolute in their perfection. In His infinite intelligence, Allah has created the Garden as a magnificent place free from all imperfection.
The following example illustrates the limitations of human thought. If a human being had been created with the senses of taste, smell, hearing and touch but without the sense of sight, he would never have been able to conceive of visual beauty no matter how much it was described to him. He would never be able to understand when people spoke to him of colour, daylight, proportion, symmetry or visual splendours. By the same token, there may be other senses that we know nothing about at present, but which Allah will create in the Garden to give us a totally new outlook. Therefore, in this world where we are limited to five senses, we cannot imagine what kind of blessings there may be that may be beyond our ability to conceive.
With our limitations of sight, thought and imagination, we are like people in a windowless house who never come out. Such people are unaware of the beautiful things outside the house – mountains, rivers, trees, beautiful flowers, animals, clear skies, bright sun-lit days – and so cannot be aware that they live deprived of many blessings. In addition, the comparison we make is based on the good things of this world. The blessings of this world are extremely lacking when compared with the blessings of the Garden and a person of faith must avoid the error of interpreting even the limited things he knows about the Garden from a narrow viewpoint. Apart from the things our Lord has revealed about the Garden, a person has no idea of what surprises have been prepared for the people of the Garden. Here is one of the verses of the Qur’an that tells us about this: “They will have there everything they want and with Us there is still more.” (Surah Qaf: 35)
It is said that our Prophet described the blessings of the Garden in these words:
Isn’t there anybody hastening to the Garden? Because in the Garden there are unimaginable blessings. (Mukhtasar at-Tadhkirah, al-Qurtubi, pp. 306-307/499)