How much space will be given to the last person to enter Paradise?

The Details of the Question

- A garden ten times as big as the world is given to the last believer to enter Paradise. (Tecrid-i Sarih, 2:845; 4: 264–275) That garden is the haram and private place of the believer. In addition, Allah Almighty allocates a garden of 500 years from Paradise to that believer. The believers will be as light as spirit and as fast as imagination there. (Sözler, 814; Tirmidhi, Jannah, 17)

- Is the hadith above sound? How should we understand it?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- According to the hadith included in Tirmidhi (Jannah, 17), the Prophet (pbuh) said,  

“Indeed, the least of the people of Paradise in rank is the one who shall look at his gardens, his wives, his bounties, his servants and his beds for the distance of a thousand years, and the noblest of them with Allah is the one who shall look at His Face morning and night.” Then the Prophet (pbuh) recited the following verses: “Some faces, that Day, will beam (in brightness and beauty), looking towards their Lord.” (al-Qiyamah, 75/22-23)

Tirmidhi states that there are a few versions of the hadith above and that three of them have been reported as mawquf (not the words of the Prophet, but Ibn Umar). It is stated that the narrator called “Thuvwayr” included in the narration is weak. (see Tuhfatul-Ahwazi, 7/227)

- Mughira Ibn Shu’ba (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“Hz. Musa asked his Lord: Who amongst the inhabitants of Paradise has the lowest rank? Lord Almighty said: The person who will be admitted into Paradise last of all among those deserving of Paradise who are admitted to it. It will be said to him, ”Enter Paradise!” He will say: O my Lord! How shall I enter? Everybody has settled in their places and taken the shares. It will be said to him:

Would you be pleased if you were given as much land as the kingdom of a king in the world?” He will say: “I would, my Lord.” Allah will say: “It has been given to you, and as much as that, and as much as that, and as much as that, and as much as that.” The man will say after the fifth one, “O Lord! I am pleased. (That is enough)”. Allah will say: “It has been given to you and ten times as many. And for you is what your heart desires and your eye enjoys.” The man will say, “O Lord! I am pleased. (That is enough)”. Hz. Musa continues asking:

“Who amongst the inhabitants of Paradise has the highest rank?” Lord Almighty said: “They are those whom I chose. I establish their honor with My own hand and then set a seal over it. No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no human mind has perceived what I have prepared for them.” (Muslim, Iman 312; Tirmidhi, Tafsir Sajda, 3196)

- Abu Said al-Khudri narrates: “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Allah will say to the people of Paradise: ”O people of Paradise!” They will say, “O our Lord! Yes. We are ready for your orders. You have what is good. Allah will say, ”Are you pleased?” They will say, “Why should we not be pleased since You have given us what You have not given to anyone of Your creatures?”

Allah will say, “Shall I give you something better than that?” They will say, ‘What can be better than what you have given to us?’ Allah will say, “I will bestow My pleasure and contentment upon you so that I will never be angry with you forever.(Bukhari, Riqaq 51, Tawhid 38; Muslim, Jannah 9; Tirmidhi, Jannah 18)

- The interpretation of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi regarding the issue is as follows:  

“An important question raised by a significant person: According to tradition, a five-hundred-year paradise will be given to everyone in Paradise. How can worldly intelligence comprehend this truth?”

“The Answer: In this world everyone has his private and temporally limited world as broad as the world, the pillar of which is his life. He makes use of his world through his inner and outer senses. He says to himself, “The sun is my lamp, the stars are my candles.” The existence of other creatures and animate beings in no way negates his ownership of these; on the contrary, they brighten and illumine his world.

In the same way, although on an infinitely higher plane, in addition to the garden of each believer that contains thousands of palaces and houris, there is a private five-hundred-year paradise for everyone, apart from the general Paradise. He will benefit from this paradise and eternity through his senses and feelings, according to the degree of development they have reached. The fact that others share in the general Paradise in no way harms his ownership or benefit, but on the contrary strengthens these, and adorns that vast Paradise.

Man in this world benefits from a garden lasting an hour, a spectacle lasting a day, a country lasting a month and a journey lasting a year, with his mouth, his ear, his eye, his taste and all his other senses. So too, in that realm of eternity, his sense of smell and touch, which in this transient world barely profit from a garden lasting an hour, will benefit as if from a garden lasting a year. The sense of sight and hearing which here barely profit from an excursion lasting a year, will there be able to benefit from a five-hundred-year excursion in a manner fitting that realm, adorned from end to end.” (see Lem’alar, p. 156)

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