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The Way to Paradise

 
 
abdo911
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      01-24-2008


We are all in quest of true happiness. In this world, the idea of
true/perfect happiness is not feasible because this world is
inevitably doomed to total annihilation. True happiness is found only
in dwelling upon Paradise, and enjoying its blessings. However, none
would enter Paradise except the purified (those who are void of sins,
void of an atom of grudge or malignance). Since Paradise is created
only for the purified/pious, those who have evil looks (looking
lustfully at strange women, and vice versa), who envy others, treat
their fellowmen badly, hate mankind, or backbite cannot enter
Paradise. To conclude, none can enter Paradise unless totally
purified (sin-free).

Those who indulge in illegal talk (backbiting, using indecent
language, etc.), or have sinful hearts are denied entry to Paradise.
Allah (The sublime) said: "And those who kept their duty to Lord (AL-
Muttaquin) will be driven/led to Paradise in groups, and when they
reach there, its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their
reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun Alaikum (peace be upon
you)! How blessed you are (being sin-free and having done well), enter
here (Paradise) to abide therein eternally." Surat Az-Zumar/The
Groups: 73.

In another Surah, Allah says: "Those whose lives the angels take while
they are in a pious state (pure from all evil, and worshipping none
but only Allah) will be addressed as such: Salamun Alaikum (peace be
upon you) enter Paradise due to that which you used to do (during your
mortal life/in the world). Surat An-Nahl/The Bees: 32.

The above-mentioned verses set the condition that, in order to enter
Paradise, we have to be sin-free and void of an atom of guilt! One may
argue that since we are all sinners, it seems that none can enter
Paradise!

Well, it is true that only the pious can enter Paradise, but, Allah
(The Glorified), with His vast mercy, established eleven means to help
us be purified: 4 in this world, 3 in the grave, and another 4 on the
Day of Resurrection. These eleven means of purification aim at
enabling us to cross/walk on the straight path rather than to slip and
fall. This path is stretched over Hell fire and it is finer than a
hair and sharper than the edge of a razor/sword!



Knowing the nature of the straight path, one may question how people
would tread on that path! Well, some will cross/walk on it as fast as
the blink of an eye, others will be as fast as the light, others will
be as fast as the wind, others will crawl, and others will cling to
the path, then the angels will lead and/or encourage them onwards
(lest they should fall into Hell fire), while others will be snatched
by the hooks (attached to the path) to ensure/hasten their fall into
Fire.

4 Means/Standpoints of Purification in this World

1. Repentance:
Repentance is not limited to asking for forgiveness or invoking
Allah's mercy, rather, it is one of the greatest religious rituals to
win Allah's love/satisfaction and a means to get closer to Him. Allah
(The Sublime) says: "Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance
and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning
and washing thoroughly their private parts/bodies (in preparation for
their prayers)". Surat AL-Baqarah/The Cow: 222.

Repentance removes sins, as Allah (The Sublime) says: "And verily, I'm
indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes in My Oneness, and
associates none in worshipping with Me, did righteous good deeds, and
then remained faithful to such belief and good deeds". Surat Ta-Ha:
82.

Repentance changes evil deeds into good ones. Allah (The Glorified
and The Exalted) said: "Except those who repented, believed in
monotheism, and did righteous deeds; for those, Allah will change
their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful
". Surat AL-Furqan/The Criterion: 70.

2. Asking for Forgiveness:
We (Moslems) should always ask Allah to forgive our sins (whether
remembered or not). Allah's Messenger (PBUH), though being the most
pious, endowed with the most knowledge of his Lord, and having had
both his past and future guilt pardoned/forgiven (by Allah), he used
to ask for Allah's forgiveness as many as a hundred times a day (an
action that won't take more than a minute of your time). In this
respect, the prophet (PBUH) says: "I swear by Allah, I do ask for
Allah's
forgiveness more than 70 times a day". This Hadith is quoted by AL-
Bokhari.

Also, Bin Omar (the son of Omar)-may Allah be content with them all-
said: we used to count for the messenger of Allah (in one session and
before leaving his place) as many as 100 times saying: "O Lord!
Forgive me my sins and accept my repentance, you are the One Who
accepts repentance, the Most Merciful". This Hadith is quoted by Abu
Dawoud and AL-Turmuzi.

3. Good Deeds Remove Bad deeds:
Change bad deeds with good ones because Abu Dhar Ibn Jundub and Abu
abdulrahman Bin Muaz Bin Jabal (may Allah be content with them all)
narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "Fear Allah wherever you
are and be keen to always change your bad deeds with good ones, and be
nice to people." This Hadith is quoted by AL-Turmuzi.

Allah also said: "And perform As-Salaah (the daily five prayers) at
the two ends of the day and in some hours in the night. Verily, the
good deeds remove the bad ones. That is a reminder to those who
always remember Allah (in prayers, while standing, sitting, or lying
down on their sides)". Surat Hud: 114.

We must endeavor to do good deeds (no matter how simple they are).
For example, we can replace "Hi" and/or "Bye" (even these two simple
words are considered as "Good Deeds") with As-Salamu Alaikum and
utilize our leisure time by always remembering Allah at all times
(standing, sitting, eating, sleeping, working, driving, etc.).

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had always the desire to do a lot of
good deeds (on a daily basis). For example, he refused to accept a
present (a camel as a means of transportation) from his best companion
(Abu Bark) for free, and insisted that he share its cost, thus hoping
to be worthy of winning the reward of AL-Hijra (immigration to
Medina).

We, likewise, need to do good deeds (not in quantity but in quality).
Good deeds are best manifested in being wholly dedicated to your
parents (especially in their old age) praying in the late hours of the
night, praying in the early hours of dawn
time, wearing the veil, and performing work perfectly.

4. Purifying Calamities:
Allah puts His servants under severe tests (in this world) to
have them purified from their sins and to enter Paradise sin-free.
However, some people (not realizing the wisdom of such plights/tests)
lament their destiny by saying; "O Lord, why have You ordained us
(especially us) with such calamities?"

Those who did not repent, did not ask for forgiveness, did not do good
deeds, and/or were not put to tests (i.e., not purified) in this world
still have another chance for purification and that will take place in
their graves! Thus, missing purification in this world (while being
alive) will be completed in one's grave (while lying dead)! And that
shows how great this religion is, as you won't be left but sin-free
(either in this world or while lying dead in your grave).

To conclude, due to Allah's vast mercy and the simple demands for
entering Paradise, we can say that none (of the Moslems) will enter
Fire, (i.e., or more accurately, they will not abide there eternally).

3 Means/Standpoints of Purification in the Grave

5. The Funeral Prayer
In this prayer, it is not the number of those standing behind the
deceased (in a mosque) performing due funeral prayer that counts,
instead it is the quality of the true believers who are present in
this kind of prayer. The sincere supplications that come from such
believers (in such congregations) will benefit the deceased.
Though being dead, sincere supplication will greatly help the deceased
to be purified for Paradise.

6. The Trial of the Grave
Trial of the grave is best manifested in the questions asked by two
angels (immediately after lying the dead in his grave): Who is your
Lord? What is your religion? And what do you think about the man who
was sent amongst you? (Referring to Allah's Messenger, PBUH). Other
examples are: your fear facing these two angels, being alone in the
grave (nobody there to support you), the darkness of the grave and,
finally, your fear as you are enclosed therein. These trials are
other means to remove all of our sins.

Those who have already been purified (while alive in the world) will
not be subject to other trials (while lying dead in their graves.)


The prophet (PBUH) says: "A grave is either an orchard for Paradise or
a pitfall for Hell". To conclude, a grave is not (as it is thought to
be) a hideous dark place for beasts; on the contrary, it could be an
orchard for Paradise!

7. Contribution of the Living to the Dead:
When a Moslem dies, he can still have his sins removed by the good and
sincere deeds dedicated to him by the living (especially from his
relatives). The Ulamah (the religiously lectured of the nation)
unanimously agree that all good deeds done by the living such as
performing pilgrimage, Umrah (the visit to Al-Ka'ba in Makka), and
sincere supplications do reach the dead only to purify them and then
be sin-free.

In this respect, Abu Hurairah (one of the prophet's, PBUH, companions)
said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "When the son of Adam dies,
nothing will benefit him except one of the following three good
righteous deeds: a non-stop Sadakah (charity), some kind of knowledge
he left behind (useful to society), or a sincere supplication of his
son." This Hadith is quoted by Moslim.

Therefore, if someone (who is really dear to you) is dead, you can
perform pilgrimage, do Umrah, or pay Sadakah on their behalf (so that
they become sin-free). Remember that the more useful the Sadakah to
society is, the more the reward is, (needless to say that you will
have your share as well).

To realize how merciful/great this religion is, it is important to
know that somebody (while lying dead in his grave) can be freed from
suffering/torment by the supplications of others who wish the deceased
to be purified and sin-free for entry into Paradise.

4 Means/Standpoints of Purification on the Day of Resurrection

8. Horrors on the Day of Resurrection:
Seeing the sun folded-up, the stars fall (after loosing their light),
the seas blown-up, and the earth shaken with its (final) earthquake
are all sin removers.

9. Standing Before Allah (The Glorified, The AL-Mighty):
Another means to purify us from our sins is standing humbly


before Allah in an attempt to answer/face His following questions/
blame: My servant, didn't I bestow you with My blessings? Didn't I
give you wealth? Weren't I the Watchful when you had illegal looks
(Men looking lustfully at women, and vice versa, or at whatever you
shouldn't)? Weren't I the Watchful when you used indecent language
(thus misusing communication with others? Allah then keeps addressing
His servant as saying: My servant, you have underestimated the day
when you stand before Me! Were you fearless of the notion that the
time will come when you stand before Me! You have put on beautiful
masks (before all people) only to come before Me with the worst in
you! My servant, what made you fall into deception (ignoring that I Am
the Watchful)?

10.Allah's Amnesty:
This is the greatest means in purifying us from our sins. Just as the
prophets have already interceded, as did His Messengers and as did the
believers, Allah (The Glorified, the Sublime) says: Wouldn't I?

Even knowing that we can all enter Paradise, there are still those who
will fall off the path (for they deserve it). Others will not be
purified even after passing through the above-mentioned eleven means
of purification! They will fall into Fire, as they are sinful as well
as guilty of committing foul/bad deeds, full of hatred and ever
holding on to grudges. And the only way to purify such sinners is to
let Fire do its job (similar to a piece of gold, which doesn't get its
purity unless it is put into fire for the period required to make all
other alloys vanish! In fact, the more it stays there, the greater its
purity gets!

Likewise, whoever eventually falls into Fire will stay there long
enough to become purified (depending on how sinful he is). Immediately
after being completely purified (after dwelling in Hell for some
time), the angels will greet him saying: "Peace be upon you, dwell
here (in Paradise) forever."

In conclusion, in this world we own three of the means of the above-
mentioned eleven purification standpoints: repentance, asking for
forgiveness, and performing good deeds to remove the bad ones.
Therefore, let's make as much use of them as we can
(while we are still alive/before it is too late).



Remember that if you are a true believer (paying duty to Allah,
believing in monotheism and associating none with Allah in
worshipping), you will not suffer the trials in your grave and/or the
horrors of the Day of Resurrection.

(May Allah Bless You All)

 
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