Question: Will the blessings of Jannah (Paradise) be only for the body? Will Believers see Allahu ta’âlâ in the Hereafter and in Paradise?
It is wrong to assume that the blessings of Paradise are only for the body. Once a soul starts making progress in the world, it will carry on its progress even after it leaves the body and also until the Day of Judgement. In Paradise the body will be reconstructed so as to lead an eternal life and will be different from the one on earth. Life after death will start with the reunion of that exalted soul and that physical body modified for eternity. In Paradise the body and the soul will have very different blessings and pleasures. People with loftier spiritual acumen will give priority to the pleasures of the soul in Paradise as well. The pleasures of the soul will be much more different and much more than the enjoyments of the body. Seeing Allahu ta’âlâ in His attribute of Jamâl (Beauty) will be the ultimate and sweetest pleasure for the soul.
Relishing the pleasures in Paradise does not necessarily require having undergone troubles beforehand because the construction of the body in Paradise will not be like the construction of the earthly physical body. The earthly body is created with a construction which is good for a temporary life. It can last approximately one hundred years. The body we will have in Paradise will have a construction which will last forever. The similarity between the two is like the similarity of a person to his or her reflection in the mirror. The human mind cannot visualize the creatures in the Hereafter. The mind can comprehend only the things which it perceives through the sensory organs and can visualize only things which are similar to them. It would be tragically misleading to pass judgement on the pleasures and flavors of Paradise, which we do not know at all, by comparing them to worldly pleasures, which are what we know in the name of enjoyment. It is null and void to draw analogy for the unknown from the known.
It is possible (jâiz) to see Allahu ta’âlâ with the eyes of the head in this world, but no one ever has. During the Mi’râj (The Prophet’s ascension from Jerusalem to the heavens), our master the Prophet went into the next world and saw Him in the next world.
At the gathering place (mahshar) on the Day of Judgement, Allahu ta’âlâ will be seen by disbelievers in His Wrath and Glory, that is, as a Punisher, and by pious Muslims in His Kindness and Beauty, that is, as a great blessing and pleasure. In Paradise He will be seen in His attribute of Jamâl (Beauty).
The Holy Qur’an declares clearly that in the Hereafter Believers will see Allahu ta’âlâ before and after they enter Paradise:
(Faces shining brightly [Believers] on the Day of Resurrection will look at their Rabb.) [Sűrat-ul-Qiyâmah, 22-23]
The purport of a well-known hadîth-i sharîf is as follows:
On a fourteenth night (of the lunar month), our master the Prophet looked at the full moon and said:
(As you see that moon in the sky clearly, you [Believers] will see your Rabb in such a clear manner [in Paradise].) [Bukhârî, Muslim, Ibni Mâja, Tirmudhî, Abű Dawud, Nasâî, Imâm-i Ahmad, Ibni Huzayma, Ibni Hibbân]
Our master Rasűlullah explained the phrase “even more than it” that appears in the 26th verse of Yűnus Sűra, which purports as follows, “For those who do good deeds is Husnâ [Paradise] and even more than it” as ru’yat (seeing Allahu ta’âlâ) and stated, “You will see your Rabb clearly on the Day of Judgement as you see the full moon” (Bukhârî).
Disbelievers will be deprived of the blessing of seeing Allah in His attribute of Jamâl. The purport of an âyah (Qur’anic verse) is as follows:
(They [disbelievers] will be deprived of seeing their Rabb [in His attribute of Jamâl] on that Day.) [Sűrat-ul-Mutaffifîn, 15]
Seeing Allahu ta’âlâ in His attribute of Jamâl is a great favor, which is superior to all favors in Paradise. Disbelievers will be debarred from this great favor because they will not enter Paradise. Disbelievers will see Allahu ta’âlâ in His attribute of Wrath. But this seeing will not be a favor, but a great torment.
Such great scholars as Imâm-i Shâfi’î and Imâm-i Mâlik, who were madhhab owners, said, “This âyah is proof that Believers will see Allahu ta’âlâ in His attribute of Jamâl. If the case were otherwise, it would not have been said, “Disbelievers will not be able to see.” It is not said “no one” but said “Disbelievers will not be able to see.” (Hazin)
The 143rd verse of A’râf Sűra reveals that Műsâ ‘alaihis-salâm wanted to see Allahu ta’âlâ. This is also another proof that Allahu ta’âlâ will be seen, for it would be out of place, even ignorance, for a prophet to request something impossible from Allahu ta’âlâ. It is contrary to prophethood not to know proper and improper things about Allahu ta’âlâ.
Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî states:
“Ahl as-Sunnah scholars declared unanimously that Allahu ta’âlâ cannot be seen in the world” (Vol. I, Letter 283).
Hadrat Mawlânâ Khâlid-i Baghdâdî states:
“A person who says that he or she has seen Allahu ta’âlâ in this world is a zindîq. The observation of awliyâ’ through the eyes of their hearts is not ru’yat but shuhűd” (I’tiqâd-namâ).
Also, Hadrat Imâm-i Ghazâlî says, “It is not possible to see Allahu ta’âlâ in the world” (Ihyâ).
Since it is impossible to see Allahu ta’âlâ in the world, Hadrat Âisha said, “He who says that the Messenger of Allah saw Allahu ta’âlâ has told a lie” (Bukhârî).
Some exalted scholars, such as Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî, Hadrat Mawlânâ Khâlîd-i Baghdâdî, and Hadrat Sayyid ‘Abdulqâdir-i Ghaylânî, said that our master the Prophet saw Allahu ta’âlâ during the Mi’râj but this seeing was not a worldly seeing but a seeing that took place in the next world.
Sayyid ‘Abdulqâdir-i Ghaylânî, who was a mujtahid scholar in fiqh and hadîth branches and who was one of the greatest of awliyâ’, stated:
“We believe that the Messenger of Allah saw Allahu ta’âlâ with the eyes of the head on the Mi’râj Night and that this seeing was not through his heart or in his dream. For Jâbir bin ‘Abdullah reported that our master the Prophet said, ‘I certainly saw my Rabb’ and ‘I saw my Rabb at Sidratu-l-Muntahâ. It was such that His nűr became manifest for me,’ concerning the 13th and 14th verses of Najm Sűra, which reads (in English), “Verily, he had previously seen Him yet another time near Sidratu’l-Muntahâ.”
Hadrat Ibni Abbas expresses in the tafsîr of Isrâ Sűra that Allahu ta’âlâ showed Himself to His beloved [Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm] on the Mi’râj Night. He further states: “The Messenger of Allah saw Allahu ta’âlâ with worldly eyes twice on the Mi’râj Night. Hullat was for Hadrat Ibrâhîm; kalâm, for Műsâ ‘alaihis-salâm; and ru’yat, for Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm” (Gunya).
[Hullat means friendship; kalâm, speaking; ru’yat, seeing with the eyes of the head.]
Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî writes the following:
On the Mi’râj Night, that Sarwar [Master of Prophets, Best of Humankind] saw his Rabb not in this world but in the next world because that Sarwar transcended the usual limits of time and place on that night. He found eternity in the past and eternity in the future as a moment. He saw the beginning and the end as a dot. He saw on that night those people who are to enter Paradise thousands of years later in the state that they entered and were living in Paradise. Look! Seeing in that grade is not like seeing in the world. It is a seeing taking place in the next world. To say, “He saw Him in the world,” is a metaphoric expression. Because he went there from this world and saw Him and came back to this world again, it was described as “He saw Him in the world.” (Vol. I, Letter 283)
Allahu ta’âlâ cannot be seen in the world. If this blessing were attainable in this world, Hadrat Műsâ would have seen Him before anybody else. Our master the Prophet was honored with this good luck during the Mi’râj. Yet it did not happen in this world. He went into Paradise. He saw Him there. That is, he saw Him in the Hereafter. While being in the world, he went out of the world, went into the next world, and saw Him. (Vol. III, Letter 17)
Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî explains the 17th verse of Najm Sűra, which purports, “His eyes did not swerve, nor did they exceed the limit,” as “On the Mi’râj Night, he never took his eyes off Allahu ta’âlâ.” And he also declares that he saw Allahu ta’âlâ in the next world with worldly eyes. (Vol. I, Letter 129)
Hadrat Mawlânâ Khâlîd-i Baghdâdî says:
“The Messenger of Allah saw Allahu ta’âlâ during the Mi’râj. But this seeing was not like seeing in the world” (I’tiqâd-nâma).
Seeing Him in a dream is not seeing Him in the world. Our master the Prophet related in a hadîth-i sharîf written in Al-Jâmi’ As-Saghîr that he saw Allahu ta’âlâ in his dream. There are also those among Islamic scholars who saw Him in their dreams.
Hadrat Imâm-i Nawawî says, “The meaning of the statement ‘The eyes cannot reach Him’ that appears in the 103rd verse of An’âm Sűra is ‘The eyes cannot comprehend or encompass the essence of His Dhât.’ Otherwise, ru’yat is haqq (truth, fact).”
On the basis of 103rd verse of the An’âm Sűra, which reads (in English), “The eyes cannot reach Him,” some of the heretical sects asserted that it was impossible to see Allah in both the world and the Hereafter. However, the Qur’ân al-karîm and ahâdîth make it known that their assertion is wrong. (Baydâwî)
Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî says the following when he explains the 103rd verse of the An’âm Sűra:
“Believers will see Allahu ta’âlâ in the Hereafter and in Paradise” (Vol. III, Letter 44 and 90).
Hadrat Imâm-i A’zâm says:
“Allahu ta’âlâ will be seen in the Hereafter” (Fiqh-i Akbar).
The Qur’anic verse, “He who is blind in the world will be blind in the Hereafter, too,” refers to disbelievers. Believers will see Allahu ta’âlâ in the Hereafter. (Barîqa)
Those who are devoid of îmân in the world will be devoid of ru’yat in the Hereafter. (Madârik)
In the Hereafter Believers will see Allahu ta’âlâ before and after they enter Paradise. (Nuhbat-ul-La’âlî)
Ahl as-Sunnat scholars declare unanimously that Believers will see Allahu ta’âlâ, but disbelievers will not see Him in Hell. There is consensus on that Allahu ta’âlâ will be seen in the Hereafter. Those who disbelieve it argue that:
“There are five conditions to be met for being able to see something: (1) the seen must be in a place; (2) it must be opposite the one who sees it; (3) it must not be too close or too distant; (4) the rays coming out the eyes must reach the seen; (5) it is also a condition that there should be light between the seen and the seer. These conditions, however, cannot be a matter of discussion for Allah, so it is impossible to see Him.”
These conditions are worldly restrictions. The affairs of the next world, however, are nothing like the worldly affairs. A blind person who is in the western part of the world can see an ant that is in the eastern part of the world by Allahu ta’âlâ’s omnipotence. One must not doubt His omnipotence.
Furthermore, there is not an Islamic scholar who says that He will be seen as an object or with delimitation within any given limit.
Hadrat ‘Abdulhaqq-i Dahlawî says:
“As Allahu ta’âlâ is known in the world in an incomprehensible manner, so He will be seen in the Hereafter in an incomprehensible manner” (Takmîl-ul-Îmân).
Also, Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî says:
“In Paradise Believers will see Allahu ta’âlâ without a direction, without a mode, without likening Him to anything, and without finding any reminiscence in Him” (Vol. I, Letter 266).
Will He be seen all the time?
Question: Will the Believers in Paradise see Allahu ta’âlâ at any time they want?
Seeing Him will be of two kinds: general and particular.
General seeing lasts as much as a Friday day. A hadîth-i sharîf declares:
(Allahu ta’âlâ will show Himself to the dwellers of Paradise on every Friday.) [Al-Jâmi’ As-Saghîr]
People in Paradise are not equal in particular seeing. They will see Him according to their perfection in knowledge and deeds. Those who are in the highest degree will see Him all the time. (Farâid-ul-Fawâid)
What does seeing Allah in Paradise mean?
Question: ‘Abdurrahîm Samarkandî writes in his book Fusűl-i Imâdî: “If one says, ‘I see Allah in Paradise’, one becomes a disbeliever. But if one says, ‘I see Allah from Paradise,’ one does not become a disbeliever. The reason is that, in the former, place has been ascribed to Allah. On the other hand, if one’s intention when one is saying ‘I see Allah from Paradise’ is ‘I see Allah in Paradise because He will be there,’ one becomes a disbeliever, too.” The other Islamic books I have read write that Allah will be seen in Paradise. How does this statement cause disbelief?
To start with, the translation is not proper. One cannot say that one sees Him in Paradise or from Paradise because one has not entered Paradise yet. Therefore, one cannot say such a thing. Instead, one says, “He will be seen in Paradise or from Paradise.”
The translation is not correct, and the purpose has not been explained explicitly. Allahu ta’âlâ will be seen in the next world, at the gathering place. But this does not mean that Allah is in the next world or at the gathering place. He will also be seen in Paradise, and He will address Believers in Paradise. Saying so does not mean that Allah is in Paradise. Allah is free from place. Attributing a place to Allahu ta’âlâ, such as Paradise, Hereafter, world, universe, or ‘Arsh, is wrong. He will be seen in Paradise without place.
When we say that He will be seen from Paradise, it is not permissible either to say that He will be seen in a given direction. It would again mean ascribing a place to Him. Islamic books write:
In Paradise Muslims will see Allahu ta’âlâ without direction, without being opposite Him, without realizing how He is, without being surrounded, i.e., without being in any shape. We believe in seeing Allahu ta’âlâ in the Hereafter. We do not think of how He will be seen, for the mind cannot understand seeing Him. We have no choice but to believe. Shame upon philosophers, upon the Mu’tazila, and upon the all groups, except the Ahl as-Sunnat, because they were deprived of this belief because they were blind. Attempting to liken something which they did not see or know to those things which they saw, they deprived themselves of the honor of îmân. (Maktűbât-i Rabbânî: Vol. II, Letter 67)
Believers will see Allahu ta’âlâ in Paradise. But they will see Him with a seeing which is not known. Seeing something which is not known or comprehended will be a seeing which is not comprehended. (Maktűbât-i Rabbânî: Vol. III, Letter 17)
In Paradise Allahu ta’âlâ will address Believers, “My servants, what more would you like Me to give you?” And He will show His Jamâl in a manner free from place. (Miftâh-ul-Janna)
On the Day of Judgement, He will be seen by disbelievers in His Wrath and Glory, and by pious Muslims in His Kindness and Beauty. Believers will see Him in Paradise in His attribute of Jamâl. (I’tiqâd-nâma by Mawlânâ Khâlid-i Baghdâdî)