The Eight doors of Jannah
“To those who reject Our signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle. Such is Our reward for those in sin”. (Quran 7:40)
“And those who feared their Lord will be led to the Garden in crowds, until behold, they arrive there. Its gates will be opened, and its keepers will say: ‘Peace be upon you! You have done well! Enter here, to dwell therein.” (Quran 39:73)
The Jannah (Paradise) has eight doors as mentioned in many texts of Shari’a. Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Ubadah that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “If anyone testifies that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is his slave and His Apostle, and that Jesus is Allah’s slave and His Apostle and His word which He bestowed on Mary and a spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise through any of its eight gates he likes” .
There are other gates that have their own names established in many texts, such as the gate al-Salah (prayer), al-Jihad (struggle), al-Sadaqah (charity), al-Rayyan (door for fasting), al-Ayman and the door of al-Kazimen (who repress anger).
There are others names pointed out by scholars, based on what is mentioned in the texts, such as the gate of al-Tawbah, (repentance), al-Zikr (remembrance of Allah), al-Ilm (the knowledge), al-Razeen (satisfied persons) and al-Hajj.
The evidence for the first four names is the following Hadith that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah’s Cause, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, ‘O slaves of Allah! Here is prosperity’. So, whoever was amongst the people who used to offer their prayers, will be called from the gate of the prayer; and whoever was amongst the people who used to participate in Jihad, will be called from the gate of Jihad; and whoever was amongst those who used to observe fasts, will be called from the gate of Ar-Rayyan; whoever was amongst those who used to give in charity, will be called from the gate of charity” . [Bukhari and Muslim].
The fifth name al-Ayman is mentioned in the Hadith of intercession in which “… Allah Says to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) “O Muhammad! Let those of your followers who have no accounts, enter through the gate of al-Ayman, (a gate of the gates of Paradise that lies on the right); and they will share the other gates with the people” .
The sixth name al-Kazimen is mentioned in the Mursal Hadith reported from Hasan that he said: “There is a gate in Paradise that none will enter by except the one who forgives others’ injustice” . [ Ahmad as quoted by Ibn Hajr in al-Fath].
While commenting on these hadith, the great scholar of hadith and commentator of Sahih Al Bukhari, Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani writes, ‘This hadith tells of four gates (1) Babus Salaah (the gate of Salaah); (2) Babul Jihad (the gate of Jihad); (3) Babus Sadaqah (the gate of charity; (4) Babur Rayyan (the gate of the fasting people). It seems that one gate is also named (5)Babul Hajj (the gate for those who performed Hajj) and one more for those who suppress their anger. Similarly, one gate (6)Babul Aiman will be fixed for those totally relying on Allah and they will enter the gate without their account being taken. There would also be a gate named (7)Babuz Zikr which has been referred to in a hadith recorded by Tirmizi.’
The eight doors of Jannah are as follows:
1) Baabus Salaah: Those who were consistent in observing their Salaah will be granted entry through this door.
2) Baabul Jihad: Those who participated in Jihad will be granted entry through this door.
3) Baabus Sadaqah: Those who frequently gave Sadaqah will be admitted into Jannah through this door.
4) Baabur Rayyaan: The people who constantly observed the fast will be granted entry through this door.
5) Baabul Hajj: Those who observe the pilgrimage will be admitted through this door.
6) Baabul Kaazimeenal Ghaiz Wal Aafina Anin Naas: This door is reserved for those who suppress their anger and pardon others.
7) Baabul Aiman: This door is reserved for the entry of such people who are saved from reckoning and chastisement (The Awliyah).
8) Baabuz Zikr: Those who excessively remembered Allah will be admitted through this door.
The Levels of Jannah
In a narration from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), it is stated that jannah has seven levels which are “Firdaws, Jannat al- Adn, Jannat-an Naim, Dar-ul Khlud, Jannat-ul Mawa, Dar-us Salam and Illiyyun (these are not in order). In each of the levels, there are degrees and grades which the Mumin will have in return for their good deeds and righteousness. (Baydawi)
While explaining about the storeys (levels) and ranks in Paradise, the Prophet (s.a.s) is reported to have said, ‘Whoever believes in Allah and His apostle, offers salaah perfectly and fasts in the month of Ramadhan, will rightfully be granted Paradise by Allah, whether he fights in the cause of Allah or remains in the land where he is born.’ Upon this, the Companions said, ‘O Prophet of Allah! Shall we acquaint the people with this good news?’ The Prophet (s.a.s) said, ‘Paradise has one hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the fighters in His cause, and the distance between each of the two grades is like the distance between the sky and the earth. So when you ask Allah, ask for Al Firdaus, for it is the best and highest part of Paradise.’ (Bukhari)
(Jannah has seven levels and in each level of Jannah it is made up of 100 grades, due to its size)
Sahl bin Sa’ad (r.a) reported that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.s) said, ‘The people in Paradise will look to the upper apartment of Paradise in the same way as you see the stars in the sky.’ (Muslim)
Abu Sa’ed Al Khudri narrated that the Prophet (s.a.s) said , ‘The people of Paradise will look at the dwellers of the lofty mansions in the same way as one looks at a brilliant star far away in the east or in the west on the horizon. That is because of their superiority over one another in rewards.’ Upon hearing this, the Companions said, ‘O Apostle of Allah! Are these lofty mansions the Prophet’s mansions which nobody can reach?’ The Prophet (s.a.s) replied, ‘By Allah in whose hands my life is, some men who believe in Allah and testified to the truth of the Prophets will be able to reach there.’ (Bukhari, Muslim)
Narrated by Anas; The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: ‘…….A forenoon journey or an afternoon journey in Allah’s Cause is better than the whole world and whatever is in it; and a place equal to an arrow bow of anyone of you, or a place equal to a foot in (the lowest level of) Paradise is better than the whole world and whatever is in it; and if one of the women of Paradise looked at the earth, she would fill the whole space between them (the earth and the heavens) with light, and would fill whatever is in between them, with perfume, and the veil of her face is better than the whole world and whatever is in it.” (Bukhari)
Narrated by Sahl ibn Sa’d as-Sa’idi; I was in the company of Allah’s Messenger (saws) when he (saws) gave a description of Paradise, and then Allah’s Messenger (saws) concluded with these words: ‘There would be bounties in Paradise which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard and no human heart has even ever perceived!’ He (saws) then recited this verse of the Glorious Quran: (Surah As-Sajdah 32-16:17) (Muslim).
With respect to Al Firdaus, many traditions have indicated to the fact that it is the name of a place/Level in Paradise which is the best of all other places in Paradise. In this regard, Imam Tirmizi has recorded the tradition of Rubai bint An Nadhr who narrates that the Prophet (s.a.s) said, ‘Al Firdaus is a hill in Paradise, it is the middle of Paradise and the best and most virtuous of Paradise.’ (Tirmizi who said that the hadith is good and sound)
Narrated by Anas; Haritha was martyred on the day (of the battle) of Badr, and he was a young boy then. His mother came to the Prophet (saws) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (saws)! You know how dear Haritha is to me. If he is in Paradise, I shall remain patient, and hope for reward from Allah, but if it is not so, then you shall see what I do?” He (saws) replied “May Allah be merciful to you! Have you lost your senses? Do you think there is only one Paradise? There are many Paradises and your son is in the (most superior) Paradise of all, the ‘Al-Firdaus’.” (Bukhari)
Imam Bukhari has also recorded the tradition in which the Prophet (s.a.s) said, ‘When you ask from Allah, ask Him for Al Firdaus, for it is the middle of Paradise and it is the highest place and from it the rivers of Paradise flow.’ (Bukhari, Ahmad, Baihaqi) In this tradition, it is evident that Al Firdaus is the highest place in Paradise, yet, it is stated that it is in the middle. While giving an explanation of this description of Al Firdaus, the great scholar, Ibn Hibban states, ‘Al Firdaus being in the middle of Paradise means that with respect to the width and breadth of Paradise, Al Firdaus is in the middle. And with respect to being ‘the highest place in Paradise’, it refers to it being on a height.’ This explanation is in agreement to the explanation which has been given by Abu Hurairah (r.a.) who said that ‘Al Firdaus is a mountain in Paradise from which the rivers flow.’ (Tafseer Al Qurtubi Vol. 12 pg. 100)
Traditionally Firdaus is also understood as the Highest and nearest part of Jannah to Allah just beneath his throne, Jannatul Mawa is the lowest, Jannat-ul-Adan is the middle and Jannat-ul-Firdous is the highest, in the following order:
i) Jannatul Mawa
ii) Darul Maqaam
iii) Darul Salaam
iv) Darul Khuld
Al Firdaus being described as the middle could also mean in relation to the vastness of space, meaning the part we inhabit of paradise, the eight levels, and what is above that is the remainder of creation, “Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – they will have al-Firdaws as a lodging, wherein they abide eternally. They will not desire from it any transfer.” (Qur’an, 18:107-108).
The word firdaws is said to be of a non-Arabic origin, literally meaning vastness. The scholars give multiple meanings and descriptions of firdaws: a combined meaning of a trellised garden, specifically with grapevines, as well as fruits and vegetation of all kinds.wallahu allam.
Jannat al- Adn:
“Adn” means “recidence” and “eternal place”.
“(If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwelling in Gardens of ‘Adn [‘Adn (Edn) Paradise], that is indeed the great success.” (Surah as-Saf 12)
“Allah promiseth to the believers, men and women, Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide – blessed dwellings in Gardens of Eden. And – greater (far)! – acceptance from Allah. That is the supreme triumph.” (Surah at-Tawbah 72)
Our Blessed Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stated that:”While the dwellers of Adn Jannah see their Lord, there is just the “Curtain of Glorious” between them and Allah (swt).” (Bukhari)
“Allah (swt) created Jannat al- Adn, planted its trees meticulously. Then told her (the Jannah) to speak. And she said: “Mumins attended their desires.” (Hakim)
“Adn (Eden) Paradise (Gardens of Eternity) which they will enter, under which rivers flow, they will have therein all that they wish. Thus Allah rewards the pious.” (Surah Al Nahl, 31)
Jannat al- Firdaws
“Firdaws” means “garden which has all kinds of plants”. It is also described as the garden therein the grape vines.
“When you ask Allah (pbuh) for jannah, ask for Firdaws.” (Thirmidhi)
Because the Jannat al- Firdaws is over all jannahs and is superior to them, it is advised to be asked primarily. (Kutub-i Sitta)
“Naim” means a prosperous and peaceful life, living in wealth, welfare and blessings.
” Lo! those who believe and do good works, their Lord guideth them by their faith. Rivers will flow beneath them in the Gardens of Delight. (Jannat-an Naim)” (Surah al Yunus, 9)
“And make me one of the inheritors of the Paradise of Delight (Jannat an-Naim).” (Surah as- Shuara, 85)
Jannat al- Mawa
“Mawa” means “place to take refuge; dwelling, home.” This level is also mentioned as the abode for the martyred (shahid) and the Mumins.
“But as for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them are the Gardens of Retreat (Jannat al-Mawa)- a welcome (in reward) for what they used to do.” (Surah as- Sajdah, 19)
“And verily he saw him yet another descent (the night of Mi’raj- the Ascent) By the lote-tree of the utmost boundary. Nigh unto which is the Garden of Abode. (Jannat-ul Mawa)” (Surah an Najm 13, 14, 15)
Khuld means being eternal, everlasting; eternity, immortality.
“Say: Is that (doom) better or the Garden of Immortality (Dar-ul Khuld) which is promised unto those who ward off (evil)? It will be their reward and journey’s end.” (Surah al- Furqan, 15)
Means “the essence place to stay, land to dwell eternally, the safe place.”
“Who, of His grace, hath installed us in the mansion of eternity, where toil toucheth us not nor can weariness affect us.” (Surah al -Fatir, 35)
Means home of peace and safety; abode of well-being.
“Allah calls (you) to the home of peace (to Jannah) and guides whom He wills to a Straight Path.”(Surah al-Yunus)
“For them will be the home of peace (Paradise) with their Lord. And He will be their Protector because of what they used to do.” (Surah al An`am, 127)
“And Allah invites to dar al-salaam [the Home of Peace] and guides whom He wills to a straight path.” (Qur’an, 10:25)
Another meaning of dar al-salaam is that it is a place where its speech is salaam—meaning free of all negative and evil talk. As Allah (swt) describes, “They will not hear therein ill speech or commission of sin – Only a saying: ‘Peace, peace,’” (Qur’an, 56:25-26).
It is dar al-salaam because there will be no enmity nor hatred among the inhabitants of Paradise. The Prophet ﷺ said, “They will neither have differences nor hatred amongst themselves; their hearts will be as if one heart,” (Bukhari). Allah (swt) says, “And We will remove whatever is in their breasts of resentment, [so they will be] brothers, on thrones facing each other,” (Qur’an, 15:47).
Allah (swt) says about the Believer who dies in a good state, “Then [the angels will say], “Peace for you; [you are] from the companions of the right,” (Qur’an, 56:91). The believer will have salaam (peace): they will leave this worldly life in a good state, with the Angels giving them glad tidings of Paradise, protection from the Fire, and the ultimate pleasure of their Lord.
The highest level of Jannah…
Abode of the perfect Mumins…
The name of the lounge of the hafaza (protection) angels to where the deeds of the righteous are ascended. It is the closest level to the highest degree, the gate of consent in the hereafter.
“No! Indeed, the record of the righteous is in ‘illiyyun. And what can make you know what is ‘illiyyun? It is [their destination recorded in] a register inscribed” – 83:18-20
Tafsir al Jalalayn:[83:18]
Nay!, verily, the record of the pious, that is, the record of the deeds of the believers who were sincere in their faith, is in ‘Illiyyūn — this is said to be the book [containing] all the good deeds of the angels and the believers from among the two heavy ones [sc. mankind and jinn]; but it is also said to be a place below the Throne in the seventh heaven.
Tanwīr al-Miqbās min Tafsīr Ibn ‘Abbās:
(Nay) truly, O Muhammad, (but the record of the righteous) the works of those who are true in their faith (is in ‘Illiyyin)
Ah, what will convey unto thee) O Muhammad (what ‘Illiyyin is!) what is in ‘Illiyyin.
(A written record) it is said that the works of the righteous are written on tablets made of green chrysolite which are placed above the seventh heaven below the Throne of the Beneficent; this is ‘Illiyyin,
(Attested by those who are brought near (unto their Lord)) the works of the righteous are attested by the dwellers of heaven who are near their Lord.
(Lo! the righteous) those who are true in their faith, and these are the ones who do not harm even the tiniest ant (verily are in delight) in Paradise whose bliss is everlasting,
Tafsir al Tustari:
[83:18] Nay, the record of the pious is in Illiyyun. He said:
The record in its outward meaning in both of the two verses [18 and 19] is a reference to the [record of] deeds, the good and the evil. In its inner meaning it refers to the spirits of the believers and the spirits of the disbelievers. The spirits of the believers are gathered at the lote tree beyond which none may pass, in the form of green birds which fly freely in Paradise until the Day of Resurrection, stamped (marqūm) with [seal] of [God’s] good pleasure (ridā) and satisfaction (ridwān). On the other hand the spirits of the disbelievers are gathered at Sijjīn beneath the lowest earth, under the cheek of Satan, may God curse him, branded with hostility (adāwa) and wrath (ghadab).
There are One hundred levels in each level of Jannah
“Paradise is 100 levels; between each level and the next is the distance of 100 years and the Firdaws is the highest of them in degree, and from it the four rivers (of Paradise) emerge. And the throne is above it. So when you ask Allah, ask Him for al-Firdaws.” (Thirmidhi)
“Paradise is 100 levels; between each level and the next is the distance of 100 years (walking distance).” (Thirmidhi)
“Paradise is 100 levels. If all the worlds congregate in one of them, it surrounds in all.” (Thirmidhi)
Some scholars indicated that the expression of “100 levels” refers to the “grades” that exist in each level of paradise. (meaning 100 levels split up among the 7 or 8 stages of jannah)
Some scholars stated that expression of “100 levels” refers to the plurality. Jannah isn’t one level. It is 100 levels and the distance of each level is further than the other. The dwellers will dwell in the level appropriate to their deeds. (Kutub-i Sitta)
Qur’anic names of Paradise
- Firdaws — The Highest Gardens of the Paradise [18;107, 23;11]
- Dār al-maqāmah — The Home [35;35]
- Dār as-salām — Home of Peace [10;25]
- Dār al-ʾĀḫirah — The Home in the Hereafter [29;64]
- al-Jannah — This is the most commonly used term in the Qur’an and Hadith. [2;35, 3;133, 3;142, 5;72]
- Jannat al-ʿadn — Gardens of Everlasting Bliss [3;72, 13;23]
- Jannat al-Ḫuld — The Eternal Gardens [25;15]
- Jannat al-Maʾwā — Garden of Abode [53;15]
- Jannat an-Naʿīm — The Gardens of Delight [5;65, 10;9, 22;56]
- Maqʿad aṣ–Ṣidq — Assembly of Truth [54;55]
- al-Maqām al-ʾAmīn — The House of Security [44;51]
Allah knows best.