Is it necessary to suffer in order to enter Paradise? Are there not any ways to enter Paradise without suffering?

Details of the Question
Is it necessary to suffer in order to enter Paradise? Are there not any ways to enter Paradise without suffering?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The purpose of man’s coming to this world is being tested. The word of testing in Arabic language is “imtihan” and it is derived from the root “mihnah” which has the meaning of boredom, suffering and misery. Thus, the existence of suffering is one the most important quality of this test.

Two opposite elements were created in man so that he will be tested in a just environment. One of them is the conscience and lofty senses that know why to thank Him and enable man to realize his thankfulness for the benefactions and remembering the giver of those benefactions with those blessings. Man must come face to face with these blessings to be tested in this sense.

The second element is the nafs (evil commanding soul) which is also the source of mean feelings and which boils over with rage and rebels when faced with troubles. It is a necessity for man to face troubles in order to be tested in this sense.

Kindnesses, beauties and benefactions are questions of the test whose answers are thanks; similarly, troubles, miseries and calamities are also questions of the test whose answers are patience. In order to answer the questions for benefactions correctly, it is necessary to believe in Allah (SWT) from heartily and with knowledge and reason. In order to answer the questions caused by troubles, it is necessary to believe in the hereafter with the body and soul.   

The necessity of the test is emphasized in the verses below:

Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of Bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah?" Ah! verily the help of Allah is (always) near! (al-Baqara, 2/214)

Do men think that they will be left alone on saying "We believe" and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false. (Al-Ankaboot, 29/2-3).

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