بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
When people think of grapes, they usually think of something like these:
However, there are certain types of grapes that are huge.
As in really, really huge.
No, those are not plums. They’re Muscadine grapes and they’re apparently only available in the southern United States.
This is the size of a coin compared to them.
Amazing, isn’t it?
You know what’s even more amazing than this? There are grapes which make these ones look really tiny.
Oh and they’re available in a place called “Jannah”. [For newbies: Jannah = Paradise]
عن عامر بن زيد البكالي أنه سمع عتبة بن عبدالسلمي يقول: جاء أعرابي إلى النبيّ صلى الله عليه وسلّم فسأله عن الحوض وذكر الجنة. ثم قال الأعرابي: فيها فاكهة؟ قال: نعم، وفيها شجرة تدعى طوبى، ـ فذكر شيئاً لا أدري ما هو ـ قال: أي شجر أرضنا تشبه؟ قال: ليست تشبه شيئاً من شجر أرضك، فقال النبيّ صلى الله عليه وسلّم: أتيت الشام؟ فقال: لا، قال: تشبه شجرة بالشام تدعى الجوزة تنبت على ساق واحد وينفرش أعلاها، قال: ما عظم أصلها؟ قال: لو ارتحلت جذعة من إبل أهلك ما أحاطت بأصلها حتى تنكسر ترقوتها هرماً، قال: فيها عنب؟ قال: نعم، قال: فما عظم العنقود؟ قال: مسيرة شهر للغراب الأبقع ولا يفتر، قال: فما عظم الحبة؟ قال: هل ذبح أبوك تيساً من غنمه قط عظيماً؟ قال: نعم، قال: فسلخ إهابه فأعطاه أمك قال: اتخذي لنا منه دلواً؟ قال: نعم، قال الأعرابي: فإن تلك الحبة لتشبعني وأهل بيتي؟، قال: نعم، وعامة عشيرتك
Amr ibn Zaid Al-Bakaali narrated that he heard Utbah ibn Abd As-Sulami (radiallahu anhu) say: “A Bedouin came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and asked him about the Hawd (cistern) and mentioned Paradise, then the Bedouin asked him, ‘Are there fruits there?’ He said, ‘Yes, and there is a tree called Tooba.’ [He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said something (more) that I do not recall.]
The Bedouin asked, ‘Which tree of this world does it resemble?’ He said, ‘It does not resemble any tree of your land. Then the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: Have you been to Syria?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘It resembles a tree in Syria called al-Jawzah (walnut) which grows on one trunk then spreads its branches higher up.’ The Bedouin asked, ‘How big is its trunk?’ He said, ‘If one of the camels of your people was to go around it, it would not complete one circuit before its neck broke of old age and exhaustion.
The Bedouin asked, ‘Are there grapes there?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He asked, ‘How big is a bunch?’ He said, ‘The distance a crow could fly in a month without stopping.’ He asked, ‘How big is one grape?’ He said, ‘Does your father ever slaughter a he-goat from his flocks?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘And does he skin it and give the hide to your mother, and say, “Make me a hanging bucket out of it”?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ The Bedouin asked, ‘Is one grape big enough to satisfy me and my family?’ He said, ‘Yes, and your whole tribe.’” [Musnad Ahmad, Hadeeth No. 17642. Shaikh Shuaib Al-Arnaut authenticated it saying “isnaadu qaabil lil-tahseen.]
Wait. One grape is enough for a tribe?!
Imagine serving a normal grape to a tribe.
Erm, no. Even a two year old wouldn’t be satisfied with that.
What if you served a Muscadine grape then?
Nope, still not enough.
To serve an entire tribe you’d need lots of grapes.
Or if you prefer Muscadine:
And a big dish, obviously.
Of course, if you’re serving Muscadine, you might need a box:
But the grapes of Paradise? One grape is enough for an entire tribe.
Here’s a water container made of goat skin. It’s something that might be similar (I’m assuming) to the hanging bucket mentioned in the above hadeeth.
Imagine a grape that size. Or maybe even larger.
That is one big grape.
Seriously. Just imagine eating that. Just one grape.
And of course, the tree holding these grapes is huge as evidenced by the size of the trunk mentioned in the hadeeth.
And that’s not all. The trunk is made of gold.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ مَا فِي الْجَنَّةِ شَجَرَةٌ إِلاَّ وَسَاقُهَا مِنْ ذَهَبٍ ”
Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There is not a tree in Paradise except that its trunk is made of gold.” [Jaami At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2525. Graded “sahih” (authentic) by Shaikh Al-Albani.]
Imagine picking out a grape from this tree.
And you don’t have to stretch for it. It will be within reach.
وَدَانِيَةً عَلَيْهِمْ ظِلَالُهَا وَذُلِّلَتْ قُطُوفُهَا تَذْلِيلًا
And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach. [Surah Al-Insan (76) : 14]
Oh wait, you’re not a grape person? Don’t worry. You can choose whatever fruits you want.
فِيهِمَا مِن كُلِّ فَاكِهَةٍ زَوْجَانِ
In them (both) will be every kind of fruit in pairs. [Surah Ar-Rahman (55) : 52]
وَفَاكِهَةٍ مِّمَّا يَتَخَيَّرُونَ
And fruit; that they may choose. [Surah Al-Waqiah (56) : 20]
And there’s no end to their supply. After all, everyone will be in Paradise for eternity.
لَّا مَقْطُوعَةٍ وَلَا مَمْنُوعَةٍ
And fruit in plenty. Whose season is not limited, and their supply will not be cut off. [Surah Al-Waqiah (56) : 32-33]
Imagine sitting in Paradise and eating these fruits.
Of course, because this is Paradise we’re talking about, even the sitting area is quite fancy.
مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَىٰ رَفْرَفٍ خُضْرٍ وَعَبْقَرِيٍّ حِسَانٍ
Reclining on green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses. [Surah Ar-Rahman (55) : 76]
Oh and the fruits are only similar in name, the taste is quite different.
وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۖ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُوا مِنْهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ رِّزْقًا ۙ قَالُوا هَـٰذَا الَّذِي رُزِقْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَأُتُوا بِهِ مُتَشَابِهًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا أَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ ۖ وَهُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwaajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), (having no menses, stools, urine, etc.) and they will abide therein forever. [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) :25]
Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) says in his explanation of this ayah (verse):
﴿كُلَّمَا رُزِقُواْ مِنْهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ رِّزْقاً قَالُواْ هَـذَا الَّذِى رُزِقْنَا مِن قَبْلُ﴾
“(Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before”).
Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Yahya bin Abi Kathir said, “The grass of Paradise is made of saffron, its hills from musk and the boys of everlasting youth will serve the believers with fruits which they will eat. They will then be brought similar fruits, and the people of Paradise will comment, `This is the same as what you have just brought us.’ The boys will say to them, `Eat, for the color is the same, but the taste is different. Hence Allah’s statement,
﴿وَأُتُواْ بِهِ مُتَشَـبِهاً﴾
(and they will be given things in resemblance). Abu Jafar Ar-Razi narrated that Ar-Rabi bin Anas said that Abu Al-Aliyah said that,
﴿وَأُتُواْ بِهِ مُتَشَـبِهاً﴾
(and they will be given things in resemblance) means, “They look like each other, but the taste is different.” Also, Ikrimah said,
﴿وَأُتُواْ بِهِ مُتَشَـبِهاً﴾
(and they will be given things in resemblance) “They are similar to the fruits of this life, but the fruits of Paradise taste better. ” Sufyan Ath-Thawri reported from Al-Amash, from Abu Thubyan, that Ibn Abbas said, “Nothing in Paradise resembles anything in the life of this world, except in name.” In another narration, Ibn Abbas said, “Only the names are similar between what is in this life and what is in Paradise.””
Imagine how delicious the fruits of Paradise will be.
Guess what? We don’t have to just imagine this – we can make this HAPPEN FOR REAL.
How? By working to attain Paradise and the Pleasure of Allah.
The problem today is that people have very small dreams. They only want the little things in life like a large house, an expensive car, many children, a good education, a well-paying job, a high status in society, etc.
That’s not correct.
Dream big = Paradise.
Dream really big = Al-Firdaus, the highest level of Paradise.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ” مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ، وَأَقَامَ الصَّلاَةَ، وَصَامَ رَمَضَانَ، كَانَ حَقًّا عَلَى اللَّهِ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ هَاجَرَ، فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ، أَوْ جَلَسَ فِي أَرْضِهِ الَّتِي وُلِدَ فِيهَا ”. قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفَلاَ نُنَبِّئُ النَّاسَ بِذَلِكَ. قَالَ ” إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ مِائَةَ دَرَجَةٍ أَعَدَّهَا اللَّهُ لِلْمُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ، كُلُّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ مَا بَيْنَهُمَا كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ، فَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللَّهَ فَسَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ، فَإِنَّهُ أَوْسَطُ الْجَنَّةِ وَأَعْلَى الْجَنَّةِ، وَفَوْقَهُ عَرْشُ الرَّحْمَنِ، وَمِنْهُ تَفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّةِ””
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and His Messenger, offers prayers perfectly and fasts (the month of) Ramadan then it is incumbent upon Allah to admit him into Paradise, whether he emigrates for Allah’s cause or stays in the land where he was born.” They (the companions of the Prophet) said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Should we not inform the people of that?” He said, “There are one hundred degrees in Paradise which Allah has prepared for those who carry on jihad in His Cause. The distance between every two degrees is like the distance between the sky and the earth, so if you ask Allah for anything, ask Him for Al-Firdaus, for it is the last part of Paradise and the highest part of Paradise, and at its top there is the Throne of Ar-Rahman (The Beneficent), and from it gush forth the rivers of Paradise.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Hadeeth No. 519]
That’s what we all need to dream about, prepare for and constantly do dua (supplication) to Allah for!
Now, everyone gets side tracked. We all have problems. Some people are in steep debt, others are in bad marriages, yet others have poor health, etc.
But guess what? We still need to focus on getting to Paradise. We can’t let these problems get in our way.
Yep, we need to work through the bad days. It’s not easy but it will be worth it.
Paradise won’t come easy but it’s worth working for and it’s what we actually need.
See, people do all that they do in this world so that they can be free of their problems and finally be happy. So, for example, they work hard so that they can have enough money to pay off their debts and put their children through school and university.
The irony is here is that this world will never cease to be full of problems. That’s what this world is: a place of trials where one will never be truly happy. Happy yes, but not completely happy.
It’s the next world i.e. Paradise, that is the problem-free place where one can be completely and eternally happy. That’s the Utopia that people are mistakenly looking for in this world.
And that’s the point of not being completely happy in this world. This world is a test to see whether we worship Allah (alone) or not, and the next world is the reward for doing that. If there was complete and eternal happiness in this world, would anybody work for the hereafter? It’s the trials that cause a person to remember Allah and the Last Day.
And it’s those trials that enable a believer to get closer to Paradise.
عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ هَمٍّ وَلاَ حُزْنٍ وَلاَ أَذًى وَلاَ غَمٍّ حَتَّى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا، إِلاَّ كَفَّرَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ ”.
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu) and Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadeeth No. 545]
And at the end, all these trials will be forgotten because one dip in Paradise will be enough to make a person forget everything they suffered through in this world.
And one dip in Hell will be enough to make a person forget every moment of happiness they felt in this world.
عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ يُؤْتَى بِأَنْعَمِ أَهْلِ الدُّنْيَا مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَيُصْبَغُ فِي النَّارِ صَبْغَةً ثُمَّ يُقَالُ يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ هَلْ رَأَيْتَ خَيْرًا قَطُّ هَلْ مَرَّ بِكَ نَعِيمٌ قَطُّ فَيَقُولُ لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ . وَيُؤْتَى بِأَشَدِّ النَّاسِ بُؤْسًا فِي الدُّنْيَا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيُصْبَغُ صَبْغَةً فِي الْجَنَّةِ فَيُقَالُ لَهُ يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ هَلْ رَأَيْتَ بُؤْسًا قَطُّ هَلْ مَرَّ بِكَ شِدَّةٌ قَطُّ فَيَقُولُ لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ مَا مَرَّ بِي بُؤُسٌ قَطُّ وَلاَ رَأَيْتُ شِدَّةً قَطُّ ”
Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said that one amongst the denizens of Hell who had led a life of ease and plenty amongst the people of the world would be made to dip in the Fire only once on the Day of Resurrection and then it would be said to him: O, son of Adam, did you find any comfort, did you happen to get any material blessing? He would say: By Allah, no, my Lord.
And then that person from amongst the persons of the world be brought who had led the most miserable life (in the world) from amongst the inmates of Paradise. and he would be made to dip once in Paradise and it would be said to him: O, son of Adam, did you face, any hardship? Or had any distress fallen to your lot? And he would say: By Allah, no, O my Lord, never did I face any hardship or experience any distress. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6738]
One dip. Just one dip. What about an eternity in either of them?
Who wants to be in Hell for eternity? Absolutely nobody.
Who wants to be in Paradise for eternity? Absolutely everybody.
Despite this, people still fail to realise that they need to work for Paradise and that it’s not going to drop in their laps.
So what can we do to get to Paradise? Well, we need to constantly do dua for it and keep doing good deeds – and do them based on knowledge (from the Quran and Sunnah) and with the proper intention (solely for Allah).
Of course, Paradise is attained through Allah’s Mercy but good deeds are a reason (not the cause) to enter. Also, the more good deeds a believer has, the higher their level in Paradise will be.
Remember: Only the people of Tawheed (worshipping Allah alone) will enter Paradise. So any and every good deed needs to be backed up by tawheed.
ِAlso, we need plan our lives in such a way that we can’t get sidetracked much. So, a person who always does their ibaadah (worship), regularly attends gatherings of Islamic knowledge and has righteous company would have triple protection from getting sidetracked, because each of these three things cause a person to remember the reality of this life.
Sweet talk and status may work in this world but they won’t work in the next. We need to put in the work to get to Paradise, even it’s a little bit each day.
So, the next time you sit in front of a bowl of grapes, Muscadine or otherwise, just imagine eating something even more delicious in Paradise.
Trust me, thinking about those grapes in Paradise will remind you of your actual goal so you won’t get sidetracked.
Remember: True success is entering Paradise. There’s no goal worth achieving more than that.
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ
Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing). [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 185]
May Allah make us of the inhabitants of Paradise.