These are short articles I am going to write about Paradise and Its description in light of the narrations from the Quran and the Hadeeths of the prophet, peace be upon him. The articles shall be presented in sequence, starting from the time when people attempt to cross the Path (As-Serat). In these series of articles, I am trying to shed light on the authentic Hadeeths that describe Paradise and some statements from the scholars such as Ibn Al-Qayyem and others. So let’s start with those who will cross the Path.
After staying for an entire day in the hereafter that is equal to “fifty thousand years” under the sun waiting for the judgement of the Lord the Almighty, the believers who received their books with their right hands will be permitted to cross the Path (As-Serat). They are those whom Allah the Almighty willed to cross the Path, for they will be the dwellers of Paradise. That is because they have believed in the Oneness of Allah, His messengers and the day of judgement. The only way to reach Paradise is to cross the Path (As-Serat) which was described to be: sharper than a sword, thinner than a hair and hotter than an ember and the only way to cross is to have good deeds. No one will cross it unless they have the good deeds that qualify people to pass. Abu Saeed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him (one of the companions of the prophet peace be upon him), said that the Prophet peace be upon him stated “.. so believers will pass (the path), some in the blink of an eye, some like lightening, some like wind, some like birds and some like best horses and riders. Therefore, some people shall be safe, some shall get scratches and some others will be thrown in Hell Fire”, related by Bukhari and Muslim.
In another Hadeeth, related by Imam Muslim, the prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said “.. they [the believers] will pass according to their deeds, and your prophet is standing by the Path (As-Serat) saying: “O Lord, Your safety we seek, Your safety we seek” until the deeds of some people are not strong enough so they start crawling”. In an interesting Hadeeth, furthermore, Abu Saeed Al-Kudari may Allah be pleased with him said that the Prophet peace be upon him stated “on the day of resurrection, a call upon people will be made “those who worship something let them follow it. Therefore, those who worship the sun will follow the sun, those who worship the moon will follow the moon and those who worship tyrants will follow them, then they will (all) be converted to Hell. Allah the Almighty says (Then they will be thrown on their faces into the (Fire), they and the Ghawun (devils, and those who were in error) *94* and the whole hosts of Satan together *95*).
By crossing the Path (As-Serat), believers will rush towards the gates of Paradise. On their way thereon, they will find pleasing and comforting scent. That is the scent of Paradise that will be described in the following section.
The Scent of Paradise
There are a number of traditions (Ahadeeth) describing the scent of Paradise. The prophet Mohammed peace and blessings be upon him stated that he did not see, during his lifetime, two types of people who will be in Hell (because of offending Allah’s orders and commandments). The first type are people who whip others out of authority and power, the second kind are women who do not wear proper clothes as commanded by Allah the Almighty and His messenger, i.e. they are semi-naked. “They – these two types of people – will not enter Paradise nor they will find its scent, though its scent could be found from such and such [great] distance”. Says the prophet peace be upon him (Related by Imam Muslim – may Allah have mercy on him). In another narration (by Imam Al-Bukhari – may Allah have mercy on him), the prophet peace and blessings be upon him said “And its scent could be smelt from forty years distance”.
In fact, there are several Hadeeths that describe the scent of Paradise and specifies some people who will not find that great breeze and scent for great sins they have done. We were also informed of some people who found that pleasing scent while they are still in this life, of them Anas Ibn Al-Nadher, on the day of Uhud battel. On that day, Anas said to Saa’d Bin Muadh “How great is that scent of Paradise, I can smell it on this battle of Uhud”.
Whenever there is a rain, a great feeling and nice smell fills out the entire area, filling the hearts of people around that place with great sense of pleasure and satisfaction as if that breeze touches their hearts. That is a smell in this life, which incomparable to the life of the hereafter. Allah the Almighty says “and If you see [O Mohammed] there, you will see a delight and great dominion”. Indeed, the first thing that believers will find is the scent of Paradise, as if Allah the Almighty is preparing them for the greatest thing they will ever find, and they are received with that great scent. They are now longing to see Paradise, enter it and enjoy what they have always dreamed of. In the next parts, we will get to know about the gates of Paradise and how believers will be admitted to Paradise, to find the eternal and everlasting life.