When we look at the human world in comparison to the world of nature and are aware of the fact that man dreams of a perfect world, we get to the question—is there a perfect world? In answer to this, the beautiful world of nature in itself can be understood as a possibility of the existence of a perfect world. But, why is our human world full of imperfections?
The reason is the world of nature is governed by fixed laws and one can predict their pattern; an example to understand this would be the fact that man is able to predict the eclipses of the sun and the moon with precision and prepare calendars for the years ahead. In contrast to the above, as man is bestowed with freedom one cannot predict consistent behaviour. The whole history of mankind is full of incidents of man’s misuse of freedom and unpredictable behaviour.
The only exception is a few individuals who have lived a God-oriented life by surrendering themselves to God and living a life without misusing their freedom. Such precious people will get their desire fulfilled in a perfect world in the kingdom of God, which is Paradise.
Man has to start treading the journey to Paradise from this world itself. According to the following Quranic verse, those who have intellectually discovered Paradise in this world will alone find entry into Paradise in the Hereafter.
“He will admit them into the Garden He has already made known to them.” (47:6)
The above verse of the Quran affirms that the journey to Paradise begins from this world itself for those who discover Paradise at a psychological level in this world itself. So, we can say that the present world is just an introduction to Paradise. Paradise, without doubt, in its full sense, can be known only in the Hereafter. In the present world, man can know Paradise in terms of potential, and in the Hereafter, he will find it in terms of actuality.
Some years ago, a magazine published an article titled 'The Road to Paradise'. In the article, the authors related that they had travelled to a mountainous region situated amidst abundant beauty. However, traveling in that area, they also repeatedly faced bitter experiences. This area seemed very beautiful from afar, but one faced many challenges traveling on the roads there. The author explained it thus: 'Every Paradise has its serpent'.
This symbol is based on a story from the Bible. According to this story, a serpent was also present in Paradise, where Adam had been placed. However, this story is not true. There is no 'serpent' in the eternal Paradise made by God. However, in all the temporary 'paradises' that man seeks to make on his own in this world, 'serpents' do exist. No 'paradise' made by man is free of 'serpents'. Difficulties and challenges beset the human world.
The eternal Paradise made by God is an ideal abode. There is no sorrow, regret of the past, fear, or apprehension about the future. There are neither disadvantages nor limitations nor any pollution, strife, or violence. It is, in the total sense, an ideal realm.
This ideal Paradise has been made so that selected people can be settled there. Those who measure up to the high divine standards will be given this Paradise after death as a reward. They will live there forever and will never want to come out.
Man is a seeker of Paradise by birth. Every person, impelled by his Nature, seeks this Paradise. He is restless to obtain it. In the world before death, everyone is occupied with building the 'paradise' of his dreams here on Earth. The biggest concern of every person is to build the 'paradise' that exists in his dreams.
However, what every person gets in actual practice are only struggle and wasted effort. No one obtains the result that they had so desperately hankered after. People put in all their efforts to get the 'paradise' of their dreams here on Earth, but very soon, they suddenly die and head off towards the next world, taking along with them all their unfulfilled dreams!
The biggest secret of success is knowing that our life has two stages—the pre-death and the post-death stages. No one can obtain in the pre-death stage of life what the Creator has placed in the post-death stage. One can get Paradise only in life after death. For every person, the highest form of intelligence is to know these two stages and lead their lives accordingly. The world of 'today' is the place to make oneself eligible for Paradise, and the world of 'tomorrow' is the place to find the result of one's life based on how we fare in the world of 'today'. Every person's task is to regard the life of 'today' as an opportunity to prepare for the eternal Hereafter. Their time and energy should be used to discover the divine criterion to enter eternal Paradise and plan their life in line with this discovery so that they are declared qualified candidates for God's eternal Paradise when death comes to them.
Source: God’s Creation Plan
The Quran says that those who dwell in Paradise would say that in Paradise what we got was similar to what we received in the world. (Quran 2:25)
According to this verse, one should be a seeker of Paradise in this world and we should be able to discover Paradise in everything we have here. We are sitting here – around us is pleasant weather, green meadows, nice people—a small sample of Paradise can be seen by us here in this world itself. When you have this realization in the present world, it would make you a deserving candidate for Paradise. If you live in this world with complaints, you will risk your entry to Paradise. Everything in this world gives you a glimpse of Paradise. A person must understand that he has to discover Paradise before he can be settled in Paradise. Complaining, stooping to negative thinking, and developing hatred are not simple matters. By doing all of this, you are risking Paradise in the world Hereafter. The Quran says about those who will find a place in Paradise: “He will admit them into the Garden He has already made known to them.” (Quran 47:6)
Source: The Seeker’s Guide
The people of paradise are those who discover the Higher Being, that is God, and who are able to turn their natural potential to good account; who are able to awaken their spirituality to such a high degree that they can receive the realization of the Hereafter in the present world itself. While living in this world, they become inhabitants of the world of paradise on the conscious plane. They are physically in this world, but psychologically they are in the world of the Hereafter.
When this paradisiacal personality develops in human beings, the present world is rendered meaningless in their eyes. Their intellectual plane reaches to such heights that everything becomes immaterial. They do not find any fulfillment in the material things of the world. The world of paradise is so perfect that the riches of this world are nothing in comparison to it. Owing to their heightened consciousness, they realize that the present world is not the place that they have been created for. Their hearts cry out to God: “O God! Bestow on us, the paradise of the Hereafter. Give us a place in the world of Your neighbourhood.”
The present world is just an introduction to paradise. It is not paradise in itself. The present world is a passageway and not the destination. It is the place for preparation, and not for reaping the harvest. The present world is full of limitations. It does not have the means to fulfill the unlimited desires of man. It has all the means of subsistence at the animal level, but does not have the spiritual necessities of the higher level of man.
In the world of the Hereafter, all evil people will be separated from the good. Only good people will be given a place in the dwellings of paradise. Besides this, all such worldly events, like death, disease, and accidents, and mental states such as tension and boredom will be eradicated forever.
Thirdly, in that world all the sources of comfort and pleasure will be gathered in their ultimate form. How thrilling it would be to live in that world! So every man and woman must strive to make paradise their destination. They should devote themselves to preparing for this world of tomorrow.
Source: The Road to Paradise
The people who will inherit paradise are the souls who have discovered God, and whose greatest concern is the Almighty. They worship only one God and devote their lives to improving their intellectual and spiritual abilities to a high degree. They have shunned the life of falsehood and adhered steadfastly to the way of truth, staying away from hypocrisy and remaining resolutely on the path of sincerity. They have adopted the path of honesty throughout their lives, and have on their own imposed the divine discipline upon their words and deeds. They reserve their feelings of love and fear exclusively for God. Their life and death are for truth. They do not live their lives for anything less than the higher cause. Their activities are ‘hereafter’-oriented rather than world-oriented. They succeed in steering clear of all negative feelings such as hatred, jealousy, prejudice, selfishness, and other such shallow thinking, and raise themselves to the highest moral level. They associate themselves with people for the sake of truth and distance themselves likewise for the sake of truth. They give and take for God alone. Their lips open for the truth alone. They follow the way of forgiveness and not of revenge in this world and do not embroil themselves in the attractions of the world, but fix their gaze on the Hereafter in all situations.
A paradisiacal person, that is, one fit to inhabit paradise, is such an ardent seeker of paradise that he begins to feel as if he is living in paradise while remaining physically in this world. If he has found paradise in terms of such a feeling, in the next world he will physically become a resident of paradise.
God’s angels will welcome those men and women, who reach the Hereafter with all the above qualities. The angels will come forward and say: “Congratulations, O Blessed Souls! Enter God’s heaven by divine decree. Here, there is no death and no parting from this joyous world. The eternal life has been given to you for all eternity.” The Qur’an says:
O Soul at peace! Come to your Lord well pleased, and He will also be well pleased with you. So enter among My chosen servants. And enter My Garden. (89:27-30)
Source: The Road to Paradise