What kind of intention and prayer should we use when pray to Allah for Paradise?

The Details of the Question

- I saw many people looking for Paradise but their intentions were questionable. Some people seek Paradise because they only want pleasure and they think only or mainly of their own pleasure, not of the love of Allah.
- I have heard that another group of people seek the pleasure of Paradise in order to see Allah and to attain love of Allah. They want Paradise because of the love of Allah.
- Will you guide us on how we should or should not intend to attain the love of Allah?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

First of all, we should know that all our deeds and naturally all our prayers should be sincere and include sincerity. As a matter of fact, our Prophet (pbuh) said, “Deeds are depended upon intentions.” (see Bukhari, Nikah, 5)

When we see someone doing something just for the sake of doing something, in a slapdash manner or to be liked by others, we do not like it? Similarly, our Lord expects us to be sincere and honest in all our deeds.

As for the second part of your question, our Lord tells us in verse 133 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran that we should strive for the blessings of Paradise and Paradise with sincerity:

“Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous.”

Apart from it, in many verses, Paradise and blessings of Paradise are shown to mankind as the eternal goal, and Hell is shown as the place to be avoided.

As a matter of fact, acting upon it, Nursi states the following: “The most momentous question facing mankind is to be saved from Hell.” (see Şualar, On Birinci Şua, Sekizinci Mesele).

In other words, our most important duty is to be saved from Hell and to attain eternal Paradise and its blessings. It should be the goal of all believers who have the basic belief.

As a believer’s knowledge increases and he knows Allah, his love for Allah also increases; so does his taqwa. As he progresses on this road with no borders, he does things only for the sake of Allah and to attain his love. As Allah’s consent and love are attained, as a natural consequence of it, hopefully, it will be followed by being saved from Hell, seeing Paradise and its blessings and the beauty of Lord in Paradise.

Therefore, instead of dealing with unnecessary things, we should always develop ourselves in the development of the realities of belief and Islamic sciences so that we can understand those realities with our abilities.

Immediately after belief will definitely come good deeds done with sincere intentions.

If we start every deed with “Bismillah”, if we abandon things that cannot be started with “Bismillah”, and if we ask ourselves by referring to the Quran, “I wonder if my Lord will be pleased with me doing this deed?” and by referring to the Sunnah, “I wonder if the Prophet (pbuh) would do it?”, we may realize that we change dimensions instead of pursuing temporary and deceptive pleasures of the world, just like the elevator of a high building suddenly going up 40-50 floors.

As a matter of fact, the Quran tells us in verse 10 of the chapter of Fatir that attaining the consent of our Lord and increasing our taqwa can only be achieved by doing good deeds after belief:

“If any do seek for glory and power, to Allah belong all glory and power. To Him mount up (all) Words of Purity: It is He Who exalts each Deed of Righteousness…”

It can be achieved only by clinging to Allah’s book, the Quran, and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah.

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