|Describing Paradise, Allaah - the Most High - said:
"Indeed Allaah will enter those who believe and do righteous and correct actions into Paradise, beneath which rivers flow. Wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments will be made of silk." [Soorah al-Hajj 24:23].
"Indeed the pious and obedient ones will be in Paradise, amongst gardens and water-springs. It will be said to them: Enter! In peace and safety. And We shall remove from their hearts any ill-feeling, so they will be like brothers, facing each other on thrones. No sense of hardship shall touch them, and they will be of those who never leave." [Soorah al-Hijr 15:45-46].
"Paradise, that precious sanctity to which, throughout the ages, the Believers run towards.
Paradise, a burning flame that was in the hearts of our Salafus-Saalih (Pious Predecessors), a flame that spurred them to aim for the highest examples of velour in jihaad and sacrifice.
Paradise, that noble goal which aspiring eyes are fixed towards and which yearning souls long for, in all times and in all places. They find worldly afflictions agreeable to them for the sake of achieving Paradise. Indeed, to enter into it and remain in it is considered the greatest goal for the Believers, and it is a hope which is kept in view throughout life's journey. How often has Paradise been the incentive and a motivation for goodness and truth, despite the dangers, afflictions and thorns that lie along the path - even if it involves certain death.
This was the case in the days of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as Anas radiallaahu 'anhu related: Once Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and his Companions proceeded towards Badr and arrived there before the disbelievers of Makkah. When the disbelievers arrived Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "None of you should proceed ahead of me in anything." The disbelievers then advanced towards us and Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Rise-up to enter Paradise, whose width is equal to the heavens and the earth."
Umayr ibn al-Humaam al-Ansaaree radiallaahu 'anhu said: O Messenger of Allaah ! Is Paradise equal in width to the heavens and the earth? He said: "Yes!" Umayr then exclaimed words of astonishment and excitement, so Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam asked him: "What made you say these words of astonishment and excitement?" He replied: O Messenger of Allaah ! Nothing but the desire to be amongst its inhabitants. Allaah's Messeneger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam then said, "Indeed, you are surely from amongst its inhabitants." So 'Umayr then took some dates from his bag and began to eat them. Then he said: If I were to live until I have eaten all the dates, then indeed this life would be too long. He threw away the remaining dates which were with him and he fought until he was killed. 1
This was also the stance taken in later times:
Abu Moosaa al-Ash'aree radiallaahu 'anhu, whilst in the presence of his enemy, narrated: Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Indeed, the gates of Paradise are beneath the shade of swords." A man who was in a shabby condition got up and said: Abu Moosaa! did you hear this from the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam? So he said: Yes! He returned to his friend and said: I bid you salaam (a farewell greeting of peace). Then he broke the sheath of his sword, threw it away, then rushed into the thick of the enemy and fought them until he was slain. 2,3
Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee (d.204H) - rahimahullaah -said:
"O my soul! It is not, except a few days of patience;
As if the extent were but a few dreams.
O my soul! Pass quickly on through this world;
And leave it, for indeed life lies ahead of it." 4
1. Related by Muslim (no.1901).
2. Related by Muslim (no.1902) and at-Tirmidhee (no.1659).
3. From the book: Jannah (pp.5-6) of Shaykh 'Alee Hasan al-Halabee.
4. Related by Ibn Rajab in Fadl 'Ilmus-Salaf (p.63).