Is Paradise the fruit of the worshipping in the world?

Details of the Question

- Imam Rabbani states the following:

"The trees and rivers of Paradise do not resemble the ones in the world. What you find there are the fruits of the deeds of worshipping and good deeds in the world."

- What does it mean?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Nothing in Paradise resembles the things in the world. 

“Ibn Abbas indicates this with the following statement: لَيْسَ فِى الْجَنَّةِ اِلاَّ اَسْمَائُهَا "Paradise has only the names of the fruits of the world." (quoted from Bayhaqi, Alusi, 1, 204) That is, the names are the same but the tastes are different.” (Nursi, İşarat-ül İ'caz, 146)

The statement above also points out the same issue.

“What is meant by sustenance is righteous deeds. That is, 'What we are fed with here is the good works we performed in the world.' That is, there is such a strong tie between actions and requital that it looks as though the good actions were transformed in the hereafter into embodied rewards. And they rejoice at this.” (İşarat-ül İ'caz, p. 152)

As it is understood from this explanation, the food in Paradise is the reward of the righteous deeds in the world.

“Since reward is given based on deeds”, the rewards for the righteous deeds done in the world are the boons and fruits in Paradise.

It is understood from Badiuzzaman Said Nursi’s statement, which is a bit clearer, that Imam Rabbani includes metaphorical expressions in his statement.  

Accordingly, what is meant by the statement “What you find there are the fruits of the deeds of worshipping and good deeds in the world” is not the transformation of the good deeds into fruits but yielding those fruits as a result.

Besides, “Everything in Paradise is the fruits of the deeds of worshipping and good deeds in the world” means the boons there are rewards of the good deeds done in the world and their products.

However, it is also possible for the good deeds to be presented to people embodied as fruits in Paradise. We can see the explanation of the issue in the statement below:

“Yes, the immaterial workshops and universal laws of the lower world are in the higher worlds. And the fruits of the actions of jinn and men and the results of the actions of all the innumerable creatures on the earth, which is an exhibition of works of art, are also represented in the higher worlds. Moreover, a great many signs and the testimony of many narrations show that good deeds will take on the form of the fruits of Paradise and bad deeds the form of the bitter food of Hell. The wisdom in creation and the Divine Name of All-Wise necessitate this and the All-Wise Qur’an indicates it.

For sure, the multiplicity on the face of the earth is so widespread and the creation so ramified that its species of creatures and classes of beings are far more numerous than all the beings dispersed throughout the universe. In a state of constant change, they ever fill the earth and are emptied from it.

Thus, the sources and mines of this multiplicity and these particulars are universal laws and universal manifestations of the Divine Names. Those universal laws and universal, all-encompassing manifestations of the Names are to some extent sheer and undifferentiated and each forms a heaven which is like the Throne and ceiling of a world and its center of direction. One of those worlds is Paradise, the Garden of the Abode at the Lote-tree of the farthest limit. It is established by accounts given by the Bringer of Sure News (PBUH) that the praise and glorification on the earth takes on the form of the fruits of that Paradise.

Thus, these three points demonstrate that the treasuries of the results and fruits produced on the earth are there, in the heavens, and that the crops and produce of those results and fruits also return there.

Do not say: “How can it be that my words ‘All praise be to Allah!’, which are formed only of air, should become a corporeal fruit of Paradise?”, because, sometimes while dreaming you eat in the form of a delicious apple a good word you uttered during the day while awake. And sometimes you eat at night in the form of something bitter, an ugly word you uttered during the day. If you slander and backbite, you are made to eat it in the form of putrid flesh.

In which case, the good words and ugly words you say in the sleep of this world, you will eat in the form of fruits in the world of the hereafter, which is the world of consciousness. You should not consider it unlikely that you will eat them.” (Sözler (Words), p. 580-581)

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