What is Jannah & why should we strive this Ramadan to reach it.
The Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Allah said, "I have prepared for My righteous slaves (such excellent things) as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human heart can ever think of.' (Bukhari)
Imagine being on a journey through a treacherous land, something like the Amazon rainforest. Imagine being blindfolded as you walk through the forest. Imagine every trip, every cut, and every wound you encounter is ignored because you failed to take off your blindfolds. Imagine the luscious plants, the beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and the birds of different colours all missed because you failed to take off your blindfolds. Had you removed the blindfold you would have known that every hardship and every ease was teaching you something about the nature of this world and giving us the chance to recalibrate ourselves. All of this would make sense if you are paying attention. In this example, we are reminded to turn the face of our heart back to Allah, and in doing so we are reminded that this journey we are on, in this Dunya, is a temporary one.
Had we reflected upon the wounds we encountered we would find in them a reminder about the nature of pain. Had we reflected upon the beauty of this world we would have realised that the beauty of those experiences is ever fleeting. This should take our attention to a deeper abode. Our purpose for being in this world and ultimately the temporal nature of these experiences. This is the example of this world. We are all here because we need to build ourselves for a place that is everlasting. Both examples offer us glimpses of this world but that is all they will ever be. Glimpses. In the end, when our souls leave our bodies, and we are raised on the Day of Judgement, we will see the reality of what our actions led us to. A life in two very different abodes, but now experienced in permanence. Jahannam or Jannah. Hellfire or Paradise.
But what is Jannah, why we should strive for it in this blessed month of Ramadan:
What is Jannah?
"...a beautiful place of final return—a garden of eternity whose doors will always be open to them." (Quran 38:49–50) The word "Jannah" comes from an Arabic word that means "to cover or hide something."
Paradise is a place that is unseen to us. Jannah is the final destination that Muslims hope to attain, through their good actions and most importantly through the mercy of Allah SWT.
It is often described as a Garden, with precious gems scattered throughout and rivers of different types that will satiate the appetite of the believers:
“People who enter Jannah "will say, ‘Praise be to Allah who has removed from us [all] sorrow, for our Lord is indeed Oft-Forgiving, appreciative; who has settled us in the house of lasting residence out of His bounty. No toil nor sense of weariness shall touch us therein.'" (Quran 35:34–35)
Why should we strive for it in Ramadan?
Ramadan is a great month for Muslims to reorient themselves. It is a month that helps us to realign our efforts with our greater purpose. To worship Allah SWT. When you restrict your food and drink intake, you will find yourself more mindful of your actions. It creates a sense of awareness and sensitivity to what you say and do. Jannah should be the goal of every Muslim and striving for it should be our daily endeavour. It helps create a deep sense of awareness that this life is temporary, and we are here just so we can go back to our real Home.
One of the ways to help yourself to strive for Jannah is in the month of Ramadan. By creating positive habits and focusing on your relationship with Allah, you can use this month as a vehicle for positive change for the rest of the year.
Ramadan helps us recharge and gives us a greater sense of clarity and direction. In this month we are more mindful of our tongues and the state of our hearts. It is a month that helps us perfect our obligatory acts of worship whilst emphasising the importance of the supererogatory acts of worship. It shows us being in a state that is focused on the remembrance of Allah SWT, be it through the Salah, giving charity, going to the masjid, helping our families set up iftar, eating together, and being kind to one another for the sake of Allah SWT, can help our spiritual health greatly.
Delights of Jannah
“The description of Paradise which the righteous have been promised is that in it are rivers of water the taste and smell of which are not changed; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine delicious to those who drink; and rivers of clarified honey (clear and pure) therein for them is every kind of fruit; and forgiveness from their Lord..” (Surah Muhammad 47:15)
Whenever you find the tests of this world overwhelming and difficult, remembering that this world is temporary can help heal us. It can give us a deeper perspective and sense of focus. It can help to remember the blessings of Jannah that await us all, Inshallah.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said to me, “Shall I not guide you to a treasure from the treasures of Jannah?” I said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” Thereupon he (SAW) said: "recite ‘Laa hawla wa la quwwata ‘illa billaah" (“There is no power and no might except by Allah.") [Bukhari and Muslim]
This amazing dhikr is one of the incredible ways to build your home in Jannah inshallah:
The Greatest Blessing in Jannah
Suhayb reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“When the people of Paradise enter it, Allah Almighty will say: Would you like anything more? They will say: Have you not brightened our faces? Have you not admitted us into Paradise and saved us from Hellfire? Then, Allah will lift the veil and nothing they are given will be more beloved to them than looking at their Lord Almighty.” Then, the Prophet recited the verse, “For those who do good is more.” (Sahih Muslim)
This is the GREATEST blessing we will ever experience in our existence, seeing the Face of Allah SAW. This is something that should soothe our aching hearts when we struggle with the tests endured in this world. Whenever life gets overwhelming, and you feel your heart being constricted, comfort it with the remembrance of Allah SWT, with the remembrance of the eternal abode the pain will perish, sadness will come to an end, and all lies will die. Here you will be with those whom you love and you will dwell in tranquillity with the Prophet (SAW) and our King, our Lord, the One and Only, Allah SWT.
May Allah SWT grant us victory by conquering our nafs in this blessed month and allow us to be with Him, In Jannah, ameen.