The Nature of Paradise


There are certain verses of the Quran which tell us about the nature of Paradise. One of these verses is about Pharaoh's wife Asiyah who had believed in the message proclaimed by Moses. This angered Pharaoh who then threatened to kill her. The Quran says at that time Asiyah had said this prayer: "My Lord, build me a house in nearness to You in Paradise." (66:11) From this prayer, I have learnt that Paradise is the neighbourhood of God. More verses of the Quran helped me understand the nature of Paradise. For example, a verse in the Quran says: "If the ocean became ink for writing the words of my Lord, surely the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord came to an end -- even if We were to add another ocean to it." (18:109) Another verse says: "If all the trees on earth were pens, and the sea [were] ink, with seven [more] seas added to it, the words of God would not be exhausted." (31:27) I understood that there are two worlds: material world and intellectual world. Intellectual world means the world of knowledge, for example, today the phrase 'knowledge explosion' represents the information unveiled by scientific discoveries. Although science as a whole has disclosed only a partial aspect of knowledge, even an infinitesimal constituent of any of the branches of science encompasses tremendous knowledge. Every branch and subbranch of science has its experts -- no one is together an expert of all of these. There is so much knowledge that somebody has said we are knowing more and more about less and less. The universe of knowledge is extensive and we know only a tiny fraction of it. Knowing only an aspect of this vast knowledge gives us immense pleasure. Those who are truly intelligent regard real pleasure as intellectual in nature and not material or physical in nature. The Quranic verses tell us that the real pleasure of Paradise will be unfolding the words of God.