What are the characteristics of paradise life? Is eternal life not boring even if it is in paradise?

Details of the Question

Would eternal life not be boring, even in Heaven? What are the characteristics of paradise life? Is eternal life not boring even if it is in paradise?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It would be a mistake for us to evaluate the life in Paradise by comparing it to life on Earth. In Paradise, human beings will be freed from all kinds of boredom and all characteristics which cause boredom. As the boons of Heaven are infinite and as one moment of us will be better than the previous one in Paradise, there will not be any boredom and routine there.

Moreover, one’s position will not be stable in Paradise and it will be promoted constantly and eventually the amount of joy one feels will not remain the same and it will increase gradually. For this reason, there will not be boredom in the form of a vicious cycle in Paradise.

Anything wished for comes true in Paradise

Everything existing in the universe reflects Allah’s infinite might and power. Allah creates everything in accordance with a law as a requirement of testing on earth and presents everything within a cause and effect relationship so that human mind can perceive. For this reason, when people see a fruit, they do not doubt that it is a fruit borne by a tree which grew from a seed. Of course, that is the cause of the fruit on earth according to the law of Allah, and it should be kept in mind that Allah can also create the whole universe independent from causes. Allah is the one who creates anything He wishes in any form and any time, whose creation is unique and who is not in need of anything. In this sense, there is no need for any causes, means or steps for Allah to create.

The fact that everything in the world is based on certain causes and natural laws must not deceive people. Allah, as the Creator of all these causes and laws, is free of all of them. In this sense, as there will not be creation based on causes in Paradise, a fruit taken off from a tree will be replaced by a new one right away and there will not be any diminution.

It is Allah who creates both causes and effects. For instance, when we look at the shadow of a tree, we have the knowledge that the reason of this shadow is the reflection angle of the sunlight. Shadow is an effect of the Sun; however, what makes the Sun to cause shadow is Allah. This occurrence is stated in a Quranic verse as follows:

Have you not turned your vision to your Lord?- How He does prolong the shadow! If He willed, He could make it stationary! Then do We make the sun its guide; then We draw it in towards Ourselves,- a contraction by easy stages.” (al-Furqan, 45-46)

“… Allah well-pleased with them, and they with Allah: That is the great salvation, (the fulfillment of all desires).” (al-Maidah,119).

It is an art of Allah to create everything on earth within a cause and effect relationship in this way and these manifestations of our Lord’s are infinite. Allah can create everything at any time He wishes and in any form He wishes, and He can turn them into any form He wishes. Allah, who created the universe out of nothing, will abolish all of the laws and causes which we try to comprehend on earth when He wishes. Righteous Muslims will be able to ask for anything that comes into their minds and anything they like, and as soon as they ask for, they will have them with the permission of Allah. Their physical appearance will be as they desire, they will do whatever they like and live amongst the boons they most enjoy, and their environment will physically look as they desire. Besides, none of them will happen in order to meet a need, to compensate for a defect or to cover up a flaw, but they will happen only for the people of Paradise to enjoy and have fun, as a blessing and kindness from Allah. (Allah knows the best.)

Some of the examples on the issue given in hadiths are as follows:

A man asked the Messenger of Allah: “Are there horses in Paradise?” And the Messenger of Allah answered:

“If Allah lets you into Paradise, and if you want to wander on the back of a horse made of red rubies, it will fly you wherever you want.”

Then, another one asked: “Are there camels in Paradise?” However, the Messenger of Allah did not answer it as he answered the other and said:

“If Allah lets you into Paradise, there will be everything you wish to have and you feel like seeing.”(Tirmidhi, Kutub Sitta, XIV/431).

“Everything you wish to have and you feel like seeing” expressed in the hadith is not limited to our worldly perception and imagination. Allah emphasizes the abundance of boons in Paradise with the verse

“…there will be there all that the souls could desire, all that their eyes could delight in: and ye shall abide therein (for aye).” (az-Zukhruf, 43/71).

The other verses about this issue are as follows:

“…therein shall ye have all that your souls shall desire; therein shall ye have all that ye ask for!”(Fussilat, 41/31).

“…what their souls desired, in that will they dwell.”(al-Anbiya,21/102).

There are lots of things which all of us wanted to do but could not do because sometimes we could not spare time for them and sometimes because they were risky. For instance, driving a car or riding a motorbike too fast can be such an exciting hobby for some people; some people may want to do dangerous sports such as diving into deep waters for long hours, or skiing in high mountains or parachuting at a height of hundreds of meters. However, all of them are branches of sports which risk one’s life.

“Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds. Except the Companions of the Right Hand. They will be) in Gardens (of Delight)”(al-Muddathir, 74/ 38-40).

Many people may want to have special talents such as playing a musical instrument and painting pictures professionally. Those kinds of things require technical knowledge and training in some cases, besides talent. However, one will have the opportunity to do them without any talent, without any struggle, when s/he wishes in Paradise. (Allah knows the best)

It is stated in Quranic verses and hadiths that anything desired by a person will come true in Paradise with the wishing of Allah. In this sense, in Paradise, it may be possible for people to experience things which they can only dream of but cannot be possible on earth. For instance, it is impossible to fly on horseback under earthly conditions; however, it is possible with the wishing of Allah in Paradise, as pointed out by the hadiths. In the following hadith, it is stated that whoever desires can fly:

“If you are intended for the Garden and say “I would like to ride a horse of red ruby you will do so. If you say you wish to fly, you will fly.” (Ramuz al-Ahadith, p.149/5)

The Prophet says in another hadith about the abundance of boons in Paradise following:

“Allah said:, ‘I have prepared for My righteous slaves (such excellent things)
as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human heart can ever think of.’"
(Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Kutub Sitta-14, p.4419/1).

Everything Desired Comes True Right Away in Paradise:

One who wants a fine dish on earth has to spend time and effort for it. The possibility that one will find those dishes in front of his/her as soon as s/he desires, without making any effort, is a situation which human soul will enjoy so much. However, it is not possible under earthly conditions. Boons will be offered to people in promised Paradise in a way that people will enjoy so much, without lots of causes and stages such as buying, spending time and making effort. That situation is described in a hadith as follows:

You will desire bird-meat in Paradise. It will be served in front of you right away as roasted.” (Büyük Hadis Külliyatı (Great Collection of Hadiths)-5, p.414/10123)

Another narration informs us of a hadith of the Prophet’s as follows:

“…if any of the inhabitants of Paradise wished to eat a bird, he would simply call it and the bird will drop on his table cloth. It would turn, part of it into roast bird meat and part of it into fried bird meat. When he completed eating it, the bird would reappear and fly back to its place on the tree. (Tadhkirat-al Qurtubi-1, p.58)

On the other hand, as one can do whatever s/he wishes in Paradise, it is stated in a hadith that it is possible for one to work on agriculture just for fun, though s/he does not need to work:

While Our prophet was talking to a man from the inhabitants of desert, it is narrated that He replied his questions as follows:

“One of the inhabitants of Paradise will seek permission from his Lord for cultivation. Allah will ask him: ‘Are you not in a state that you like?’ He will  say: ‘Yes, but I like to cultivate (the land).’ (When the man is permitted) he will soon sow the seeds. The plants will grow up get ripe and be ready for harvesting. Then the yield will develop into conglobation like huge mountain… (Bukhari, Büyük Hadis Külliyatı (Great Collection of Hadiths)-5, p.413/10119).

Changing Appearances as One Likes:

Everybody would doubtlessly want to have a flawless appearance if people were given the right of choice on their faces and physical structures because, people’s souls were created in a way to appreciate beauties and seek for the most flawless and the most perfect ones all the time. They can notice even the slightest flaw in a small detail. However, human beings cannot ever find the flawless beauty on earth. Even if a person is the most beautiful human being on earth, his/her beauty is shadowed by weaknesses, illnesses, and the most importantly, mortality because everything on earth is created with deficits and flaws as a requirement of testing. Those deficits and flaws play an important role and have wisdoms so that people will work for the hereafter and long for Heavenly life.

The original place of flawlessness and beauty human beings appreciate is Paradise. Allah will recreate a person in Paradise with a flawless beauty and in the form which s/he will like the best. Besides, this beauty is not limited to a single appearance. Allah will give people in Paradise an opportunity to choose whatever appearance they like at any time and this way people of Paradise will have different kinds of beauty whenever they wish.

“…therein shall ye have all that your souls shall desire; therein shall ye have all that ye ask for!” (Fussilat, 41/31).

The Prophet (pbuh) states that true believers in Paradise will get into any appearance they like from the markets in a hadith of his as follows:

“There is a market in Paradise. However, there is neither selling nor buying there. There are only appearances of men and women. If a man likes an appearance amongst them, he gets into that appearance.” (Tirmidhi, Kutub Sitta-14. p.434/17)

There is no Night in Paradise:

Night is created as a time of resting for people on earth. As there will not be a need for resting and sleeping in Paradise, there will not be a need for the darkness of the night as well. The fact that there will not be night in Paradise is stated in hadiths as follows:

“There is no night in Paradise. It (Paradise) consists of brightness and light…”(Ramuz al-Ahadith-2 p.366/4)

There is no Sleep in Paradise:

Sleep is one of the weaknesses that people experience on earth. All people are created in such a way that they will all need sleep and no matter how much they want to stay awake, they cannot resist it. When a body is exposed to lack of sleep, its resistance against illnesses will decrease and the person will look exhausted.

On the other hand, the time spent on sleeping is so long that it cannot be ignored. A person spends approximately one third of his life asleep. It means that a long part of the lifespan, which is already short, passes as if one is dead. As a matter of fact, Allah informs us that sleeping is a kind of death in the Quran with the following verse:

“It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep…”(az-Zumar, 39/42).

However, there are not weaknesses such as weariness and sleep in Paradise. Allah informs His slaves of that reality with the following verse:

“There no sense of fatigue shall touch them, nor shall they (ever) be asked to leave.”(al-Hijr, 15/48).

In another hadith, the fact that there is no sleep in Paradise is described as follows:

They asked the Prophet (pbuh): “Do people of Paradise sleep?” He answered: “Sleep is the brother of death. People of Paradise do not sleep.” (Büyük Hadis Külliyatı (Great Collection of Hadiths)-5, p.414/10125)

There is No Disagreement in Paradise:

One of the most important characteristics of people of Paradise is their high moral qualities. One hadith attracts attention to the moral beauties of the people of Paradise as follows:

“I guarantee a mansion in the gardens of Paradise, in upper Paradise and lower Paradise for the one who leaves quarrel though s/he is right, who does not lie even as a joke and improves his/her high moral qualities in order to set an example for people.”(Ramuz al-Ahadith-1, p.152/6)

Everybody feels comfortable in an atmosphere where there are people who use their consciousness and who fear Allah. And where there are no high moral qualities, there are quarrels, jealousy, fight, anger, hatred, mockery and touchiness. The people who live away from the moral values of the Quran form an atmosphere which reminds of Hell with their own hands because of these bad moral qualities they have.

“And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury: (they will be) brothers (joyfully) facing each other on thrones (of dignity).”(al-Hijr, 47)

They lose a great boon because they give in to their own desires and passions, running after their worldly ambitions though they could live in a blissful, peaceful and safe atmosphere in a friendly and brotherly way and in tolerance. Being patient, moderate, wise, reasonable, balanced, forgiving, affectionate, full of love and having high moral qualities on earth bear a deep joy of faithfulness for Muslims. When a Muslim sees those good characteristics in her/himself, s/he feels a different joy, and when s/he sees them in other Muslims, s/he feels a different joy, too. Those pleasures, joys and beauties, which will last to the eternity, will increasingly last in Paradise too. The Prophet talks about that atmosphere in Paradise in one of his hadiths as follows:

 “… Their hearts is like the heart of a single person. There is no disagreement, animosity among them…”(Kutub Sitta-14, p. 449/3)

In a similar hadith, the moral qualities of the people of Paradise are described as follows:

“Their moral qualities are like those of a single person.”(Tadhkirat-al Qurtubi, p.329/579)

Allah draws attention to the sincere and hearty friendship that people of Paradise experience in the Quran as follows:

“And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury: (they will be) brothers (joyfully) facing each other on thrones (of dignity).”(al-Hijr, 15/47).

There are not Negativities such as Sadness and Boredom:

Moods such as sadness and boredom which torture people are often seen in people who live away from the moral values of the religion. Those people, who ignore that Allah created everything with a destiny and for a good reason, fall into fear and panic when they encounter events which seem difficult. They fall into boredom; they complain because they do not submit themselves to Allah, and they even feel so great sadness that it harms their health. However, one cannot know what is good and what is bad for oneself; only Allah can know it. That reality is stated in the following verse:

“…But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.”(al-Baqarah, 2/ 216)

A situation which looks like a hardship, a trouble on earth can turn into a beauty which will lead one to Paradise in the hereafter. True believers who are aware of it ward off those negativities which seem to be troubles and hardships they encounter on earth with the help of the power of their faith. They consider every incident they encounter a beauty created by Allah, with the comfort and peacefulness of submitting to Allah and being consent with everything He created. For this reason, people who have the hope of entering Paradise do not evaluate any worldly thing as negativity. And they will live in Paradise eternally freed from all sadness, troubles and worries, with the mercy of Allah. This boon in Paradise is described in hadiths as follows:

“… And all worries will end. Expect those of people of Hell…”(Ramuz al-Ahadith-2, p.342/15).

“… and they will say:“We are eternal, we will never be destroyed, we are blissful people, we will never grieve…”(Tirmidhi, Büyük Hadis Külliyatı (Great Collection of Hadiths)-5, p.409/10099)

 “…No any trouble and danger therein…”(Ramuz al-Ahadith-1, p.170/1)

The issue is also mentioned in Bible as follows:

 “…Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation of John, 7:13-17)

Allah describes that peaceful state of true believers in the Quran as follows:

“They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah: And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (Martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.”(Aal-i Imran, 3/170)

“And they will say: "Praise be to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) sorrow: for our Lord is indeed Oft-Forgiving Ready to appreciate (service)”(al-Fatir, 35/34)

“But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that Day, and will shed over them a Light of Beauty and (blissful) Joy.”(al-Insan, 76/11)

“Thou wilt recognize in their faces the beaming brightness of Bliss.”(al-Mutaffifin, 83/24).

As we have stated before, everything on earth is created with deficits and flaws deliberately as a requirement of testing. True believers show patience in the face of all hardships and troubles on earth; they submit to Allah. The Prophet states that one will have real peace only when s/he enters Paradise in his hadiths:

“Only those who enter Paradise receive comfort.”(Ramuz al-Ahadith-1, p.138/13)

In another hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) describes the peaceful atmosphere in Paradise as follows:

“Paradise is a place of shining light, a widespread scent, a well-built mansion, a flowing river, a ripe fruit, greenness, joy, coolness and freshness as an eternal dwelling.”

[see Prof. Subhi Salih, Ölümden Sonra Diriliş (Trans. Prof. Dr. Şerafeddin Gölcük), Kayıhan Yayınları, İstanbul, 2004, s. 232]

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