In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Give glad tidings to those who believe and do good deeds; for
them are Gar-dens underneath which rivers flow; every time they are provided
with fruit thereof, they say: ‘This is what we were provided with before,’ and
it is given to them in resemblance. There for them are pure spouses and they
shall abide there for ever. (2:25)
The descriptions in the verses of the Qur’an about Paradise, which are more
beautiful than Paradise itself, and sweeter than the pleasant water of its springs,
leave no one anything to add. However, we shall point out some steps in order
to make understandable those brilliant, eternal, elevated, and beautiful verses,
and explain some fine points that are of the kind of the flowers from that Qur’anic
paradise. We shall point to them through five significant questions and answers.
Will spiritual pleasures be combined with
bodily ones in paradise?
What does the body, defective, changing, unstable and pain-stricken, have
to do with eternity and Paradise? The elevated pleasures of the spirit must
be enough. Why should a bodily resurrection take place for corporal pleasures?
Since, despite its darkness and density in contrast to water, air, and light,
earth is the means and source of all the varieties of the works of Divine art,
in meaning it has some superiority to the other elements. Also, despite its
density, on account of being comprehensive and provided it is purified, man’s
selfhood gains some kind of superiority to his other senses and faculties. Like-wise,
man’s body is a most comprehensive and rich mirror to the manifestations of
the Divine Names. It has been equipped with the instruments to weigh and measure
the contents of all of the Divine treasuries. For example, if the sense of taste
in the tongue was not the origin of as many measures as the varieties of food
and drink, it could not experience each and recognize them; it could not measure
them. Furthermore, the instruments with which to experience and recognize the
manifestations of most of the Divine Names, and the faculties for experiencing
the most various and infinitely different pleasures are also in the body.
Since, as is understood clearly from the conduct of the universe and the
comprehensiveness of man, the Maker of the universe wants through the universe
to make known all the treasuries of His Mercy, and all the manifestations of
His Names, and to make us experience all the varieties of His bounties, for
sure, the world of eternal happiness, which is a mighty pool into which the
flood of the universe flows and a vast exhibition of the products of the loom
of the universe and the everlasting store of the crops produced in the field
of the world, will resemble the universe to a degree. The All-Wise Maker, the
All-Com-passionate Just One, will give as wages for the duties of the bodily
organs and in reward for their services and particular types of worship, pleasures
particular to each. To think otherwise would be contrary to His Wisdom, Justice