Will you explain the verses: “But for such as fear the time when they will stand before (the Judgment Seat of) their Lord, there will be two Gardens.” (ar-Rahman 39/46) and “And besides these two, there are two other Gardens.” (ar-Rahman, 39/62) ?

Details of the Question
Will you explain the verses: “But for such as fear the time when they will stand before (the Judgment Seat of) their Lord, there will be two Gardens.” (ar-Rahman 39/46) and “And besides these two, there are two other Gardens.” (ar-Rahman, 39/62) ?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

But for such as fear the time when they will stand before (the Judgment Seat of) their Lord, there will be two Gardens. (ar-Rahman, 55/46)

The words expressing "fearing the time when they will stand before (the Judgment Seat of) their Lord” can be understood in two ways. The first one: Fearing the Seat of the Lord, His qiyam, which expresses His sovereignty and self-existence, that is, fearing the seat of Allah, who always protects, sustains and supervises human beings and all of the other beings.. The second one: Fearing to be in the presence of Allah for being accounted on the Day of Judgment. The meaning of the verse, taking the two states into consideration, is as follows: There are definitely two gardens (in Paradise) for a person or jinni who fears the Seat of his Lord, who creates them, supervises them, records every act of them, and sees and checks all of their deeds, whether good or bad, and who fears to be in the presence of Allah for being accounted on the Day of Judgment, thus leading a life in accordance with it. (1)

According to the narration of Ibn Abi Hatim and Abu'sh-Shaykh, Hazrat Abubakr said the following due to the distress he felt about the Doomsday, mizan (the Scale), Paradise, Hell, the coming of the angels in ranks, the folding up of the skies, the crumbling and scattering of the mountains, the folding up of the sun and the scattering of the stars: "I wish I were like that grass and I wish animals ate me; I wish I had not been created (as a human being)”. Thereupon, this verse was sent down: " But for such as fear the time when they will stand before (the Judgment Seat of) their Lord, there will be two Gardens.” (2)

Fear of Allah: Lexically, fear means being worried because of feeling that something unpleasant will happen. However, fear of Allah does not consist of worry felt by the heart only; it also includes acting in accordance with the orders and prohibitions of Allah. (3)

According to a narration, Hazrat Umar asked Ubayy b. Ka'b what taqwa (fear of Allah) was. Ubayy said, "Have you ever walked on a thorny road?" When Hazrat Umar said, “Yes”, he asked again, “How did you walk?” Hazrat Umar said, “I pulled up my garment and stepped on the road very carefully." Hazrat Ubayy said, "That is taqwa", explaining the issue. Being inspired by that answer, Ibn Mu'taz explained taqwa as follows in a poem: "Beware of both the major and minor sins; that is taqwa. Be as cautious as a person who walks on a thorny road. Beware! Never despise minor sins! Large mountains consist of small stones." (4)

There are various types of fear: Fearing the torture of Allah; fearing His wrath; fearing His Seat; fearing His resentment; so to speak, fearing hurting Him, etc

Bayhaqi narrates the following incident from Hasan al-Basri in his book, "Shuabu'l-Iman": A young man fell in love with a girl during the caliphate of Hazrat Umar. Although the young man desired the girl, he fainted due to the fear of Allah and then died. Coming over to the dead body of the young man, Hazrat Umar said there were two gardens (of Paradise) for the young man. (5)

"Jannah" (garden) means garden having trees with branches and thick leaves that shade the ground under. (6)

The reason why jannah (garden) was given that name is based on its two features. The first one: it is likened to the gardens in the world. The second one: It is too beautiful to imagine. (7) The verse:" Now no person knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden (in reserve) for them as a reward for their (good) Deeds" (8) supports that meaning.

Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) said, “Allah prepared for His righteous slaves bounties that no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human can ever think of.” (9)

Two Gardens: The Quran described the situation of the bad and guilty people beforehand and stated that they would suffer two kinds of torture; they would go between boiled water and fire. In the verse in question, two kinds of gardens are promised to good servants with taqwa in compliance with the method of glad tidings and warning. Thus, the great difference between the two groups is presented for the eyes of the mind and the heart. (10)

The word jannah was used as a single word (jannah), as a dual word (jannatan) and as a plural word (jannat). It is used as a singular word because it has the same ground and the trees are closely connected; it is used as a dual word because it addresses both the spirit and the body due to its unique tastes; it is used as a plural word because  it is very large, it has various kinds of trees and it has various parts; all of those expressions are used in order to praise Paradise. (11)

According to a narration from Ibn Abbas, the reason why jannah is used as a plural word is the fact that there are seven of them. They are Firdaws, Adn, Naim, Daru'l-khuld, Jannatu'l-ma'wa, Daru's-salam and Illiyyun. (12)

The determination of Ibn Abbas is based on the Quran. In the Quran, the gardens are mentioned separately in the following chapters: Firdaws, (al-Kahf, 18/107);  Adn, (at-Tawbah, 9/72);  Naim, (al-Maida,5/65);  Daru'l-khuld, (al-Furqan,25/15); Jannatu'l-ma'wa, (an-Najm, 53/15);  Daru's-salam, (Yunus,10/25); and Illiyyun (al-Mutaffifin,83/18). However, instead of the word, "Illiyyun", the word “Aliyah” in the verse, "fi jannatin aliyah" (al-Haaqqa, 69/22) is more appropriate.  

A great majority of the Islamic scholars agrees that there are eight gardens and has named them accordingly. The word "Daru'l-muqama” (Fatir, 35/35) was mentioned as a feature of Paradise in the Quran . With the addition of this word, the number becomes eight. Some scholars add the names Daru’l-Muttaqin and Daru’l-Qarar to the first six names of Paradise listed by Ibn Abbas, determining the number of gardens as eight. (13)

There are various views regarding the phrase “two gardens”.

a. One is for the sound belief of a person; the other is for his good deeds.

b. One is because of avoiding committing sins; the other is because of obeying orders.

c. One is for the good deeds; the other is as a grace from Allah.

d. One is material and the other is spiritual Paradise.   

e. One is the garden of Adn the other is Naim.

f. One is for the people of taqwa; the other is for the jinn of taqwa. (14) 

And besides these two, there are two other Gardens. (ar-Rahman, 55/62)

The phrase "min dunihima" mentioned in the verse was given two meanings opposite to each other. The first one: better than and superior to other gardens. The second one: worse than and inferior to other gardens.

According to the first view, the first two gardens are superior to the second two gardens in terms of virtue and value. According to most of the scholars, the first two gardens are people with high ranks called “as-sabiqun”/”al-muqarrabun). The second two gardens are for the people whose books are given from the right hand side called “ashab al-yamin”. (15)

It is understood from the verses regarding the issue that there are some differences between the two types of the gardens. The first two gardens are said to be full of various trees; for the second two gardens, the following is stated: “Those gardens are dark green.” The following was said for the first two: "There are two springs that flow from both of them"; and the following for the second two: “There are two springs that continuously gush out from both of them”, which indicates water that is more powerful. For the first two gardens, the following expression was used: “There are fruits of every kind in them, two and two” and for the second two gardens: "There are fruits, dates and pomegranates in them." The first expression is more general and comprehensive. The following sentence was used for the first two gardens: "They recline on carpets whose inner linings are of rich brocade ", and the following for the second two: " They recline on green cushions and rich carpets of beauty"; the first expression is stronger because only the inner linings of the carpets were described, indicating that their outer surfaces were too beautiful to be described.    

The following was said for the first two gardens: "In them will be maidens, chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched" and the following for the second two: "Companions restrained as to their glances, in goodly pavilions"; the first expression is stronger and longer. The following was said for the first two gardens: "They are like rubies and coral" and the following for the second two: "In them will be fair Companions, good, beautiful"; the first expression is brighter and more comprehensive. (16)

The following was stated in a hadith: "In Paradise, apart from two gardens whose gates and other things are made of silver, there are two more gardens whose gates and other things are made of gold. In the garden of Adn, there is a curtain of greatness that covers His face between the glance of the people of Paradise and their Lord" (17)

The difference between the two gardens was expressed as silver and gold in the hadith.

Footnotes:

1.    cf al-Qurtubi, XVII/176.

2.    see as-Suyuti, Lubabu'n-nuqul, 401-402; al-Alusi,XXVII/117

3.    cf ar-Raghib, (KHVF) item.

4.    see al-Qurtubi, I/161-162.

5.    see al-Qurtubi, XVII/ 176-177;  al-Alusi, XXVI/116.

6.    see ar-Raghib, (JNN) item.

7.    see ar-Raghib ibid; al-Baydawi,I/84.

8.    as-Sajda, 32/17.

9.    see al-Bukhari, at-Tawhid, 35; Muslim, Iman, 213.

10.    cf ar-Razi, XXIX/ 123; as-Sabuni, as-Safwa, III/300.

11.    cf ar-Razi, ibid

12.    see ar-Raghib, (JNN) item; al-Baydawi, I/84.

13.    see as-Samurai, Dr. Munir, at-Tarbiyatu'l-Islamiyya magazine, April, 1987, p.40.

14.    cf al-Alusi, XXVII/116.

15.    cf al-Qurtubi, XVII/1832;  az-Zamakhshari, IV/453.

16.    cf Ibn Juzayy, at-Tashil, IV/86; al-Qurtubi,  XVII/183-184.

17.    at-Tirmidhi, al-Jannah, 3; al-Hazin, VI/149

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