Muslims and Heaven in Islam
Description of Heaven in Islam – The rewards for the Muslims saved
Muslims and Heaven in Islam is one of the most important topics when you want to understand the message of the Quran and of Islam. In any religion it is fundamental to know what will happen with you after you live your life in conformity with the will of the divinity of that religion. As we will see, there is a huge difference between the way the Quran describes Heaven and the way the Bible describes Heaven.
Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) Sahih International 2:25
“And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit therefrom, they will say, “This is what we were provided with before.” And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.”
“companions pure” in Yusuf Ali Translation
“pure mates” in Shakir Translation
Surat Ad-Dukhān (The Smoke) Sahih International 44:51-54
“Indeed, the righteous will be in a secure place;
Within gardens and springs,
Wearing [garments of] fine silk and brocade, facing each other.
Thus. And We will marry them to fair women with large, [beautiful] eyes.”
Yusuf Ali Translation 44:54 “So; and We shall join them to fair women with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes.”
Surat Aţ-Ţūr (The Mount) Sahih International 52:17-22
“Indeed, the righteous will be in gardens and pleasure,
Enjoying what their Lord has given them, and their Lord protected them from the punishment of Hellfire.
[They will be told], “Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you used to do.”
They will be reclining on thrones lined up, and We will marry them to fair women with large, [beautiful] eyes.
And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith – We will join with them their descendants, and We will not deprive them of anything of their deeds. Every person, for what he earned, is retained.
And We will provide them with fruit and meat from whatever they desire.”
Yusuf Ali translation
“They will recline (with ease) on Thrones (of dignity) arranged in ranks; and We shall join them to Companions, with beautiful big and lustrous eyes.”
“Reclining on thrones set in lines, and We will unite them to large-eyed beautiful ones.”
Yusuf Ali translation
“And We shall bestow on them, of fruit and meat, anything they shall desire.”
“And We will aid them with fruit and flesh such as they desire.”
Surat Al-Wāqi`ah (The Inevitable) Sahih International 56:11,12,20-23,34-37
“Those are the ones brought near [to Allah ]
In the Gardens of Pleasure,
And fruit of what they select
And the meat of fowl, from whatever they desire.
And [for them are] fair women with large, [beautiful] eyes,
The likenesses of pearls well-protected,
As reward for what they used to do.
Indeed, We have produced the women of Paradise in a [new] creation
And made them virgins,
Devoted [to their husbands] and of equal age,
For the companions of the right [who are].”
Surat An-Naba’ (The Tidings) Sahih International 78:31-34
“Indeed, for the righteous is attainment –
Gardens and grapevines
And full-breasted [companions] of equal age
And a full cup.”
Verse 33 in other translations:
Yusuf Ali Translation
“And voluptuous women of equal age;”
“And voluptuous women of equal age;”
Heaven in Islam for Muslim women as it is described in the Quran
Surat An-Nisā’ (The Women) Sahih International 4:32
“And do not wish for that by which Allah has made some of you exceed others. For men is a share of what they have earned, and for women is a share of what they have earned. And ask Allah of his bounty. Indeed Allah is ever, of all things, Knowing.”
Surat An-Naĥl (The Bee) Sahih International 16:97
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.”
Short review of of the view of Heaven in Islam as it is described in the Quran
The Quran speaks much about the rewards received by the saved Muslim men. For Muslim women saved there is just a general description of what Heaven will be for them. When you read the descriptions of the Heaven and what will happen there you can’t stop thinking that it will be very similar to the brothels from this earth, but in a very “upgraded” format: no fear that you are caught going there by people you know and you might be ashamed if you are seen going there (even killed in some countries). There will be free and unlimited access to very beautiful young girls, with big eyes, and all are virgins. In contrast, the Bible speaks about Heaven as a place of moral purity. When Adam and Eve were created in the first Eden, Adam had just one wife, not more. Moral purity had its place there and it will be found in the Heaven prepared for the people saved. Another difference is about diet. Adam and Eve were vegans: they ate only fruits, vegetables and cereals. They didn’t eat meat in Eden. Those who will be saved, according to the Bible, will have the same diet. Eating meat / flesh involves the death of the animals. There will be no death in Heaven. So it is strange that the Quran speaks about eating meat in Heaven.
Ethical implications of the views of Heaven in Islam
So, what will happen with the wives from earth of the men who are saved? How should they feel about this kind of heaven and the rewards their husbands will receive?
When you describe Heaven in those terms, what can you expect from men living on earth to dream about? How is it their imagination affected by those descriptions of Heaven from the Quran? The picture from above describes pretty accurate what the Quran says about heavenly rewards for men. The image is blured because it is too indecent to show it in the original, not modified version. May it play a part in the sexual obsessions some men have? Does it explain why in UK for example you have so many incidents when Muslim taxi drivers (click to read a newspaper article about this) become sexually aggressive towards some of their clients? If Heaven is about sex, unlimited sex with unlimited women, why life on earth should be lived in abstinence or self-control?
Description of Heaven in the Bible
The life in Heaven, according to the Bible, will be a return to the Eden conditions, before Adam and Eve fell into sin. Adam and Eve didn’t spend the time sitting in idleness, but working, doing some gardening. The saved believers will do the same, agriculture, gardening and even building work: “They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat…” Isaiah 65:21,22 It was not an exhaustive occupation. We can not compare the work of Adam and Eve with the hard work a farmer has to do today (and this is because the earth was cursed after the fall into sin). The saved ones will be vegans, like Adam and Eve, no harm will be done to any creature, the lion, the wolf and the sheep will live in peace together. “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together… The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” Isaiah 11:6,7
A very nice description of Heaven is found in the book of Revelation:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4
“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:22-27)
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” (Revelation 22:1-6)
There will be surprises of course, positive ones: “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”” 1 Corinthians 2:9