Where Believers Live in Paradise
As we said earlier, the houses where believers live their earthly lives are "places in which Allah has permitted to be built and in which His name is remembered" (Surat an-Nur, 36), places that are cared for and kept spotlessly clean according to Allah's command. Houses in Paradise are like these, in that they are incomparably refreshing places in which Allah is remembered and offered thanksgiving.
In the same way as these beautiful houses and mansions may be built amid natural beauty, it is also possible that they may have been built in outstandingly modern cities with aesthetically beautiful architecture and superior technology.
The houses mentioned in the Qur'an are generally built amid natural beauty, as the following verse informs us:
But those who heed their Lord will have mansions raised upon mansions high, beneath which runnning waters flow. That is Allah's promise. Allah does not break His promise. (Surat az-Zumar, 20)
Mansions located in high places, with views around and below them, provide a detailed panorama that allows their inhabitants to perceive many beautiful things at the same time.
The Qur'an mentions that water runs below those mansions built in high places. Thus, in order to see this view, the mansions may contain sitting-rooms with picture windows or with glass on all four sides. In such mansions,"designed to provide the human spirit with the greatest amount of pleasure possible, believers lounge on their thrones, enjoy the best fruits and drinks and, as they look down from above, derive pleasure from looking at one beautiful view after another.
The mansions are designed and furnished with the highest quality materials and the most harmonious colors, and feature comfortable armchairs and thrones facing each other. As "gold-encrusted thrones" (Surat al-Waqi'a, 15) and "thrones lined up" (Surat at-Tur, 20) maintain, thrones are symbols of wealth, splendor, and power.
Believers, to whom Allah has granted Paradise's eternal blessings, have been found worthy of such beauty. Sitting and reclining on their thrones, and surrounded by unimaginable beauty, they continually remember Allah. The Qur'an states:
They will enter Gardens of Eden, where they will be adorned with gold bracelets and pearls, and where their clothing will be of silk. They will say: "Praise be to Allah, Who has removed all sadness from us. Truly, our Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful: He Who has lodged us, out of His favor, in the Abode of Permanence, where no weariness or fatigue affects us." (Surah Fatir, 33-35)
Reclining upon soft couches, believers "gaze around them" (Surat al-Mutaffifin, 23). Just seeing Paradise's magnificent views and beauties is a feast for the eyes and a great blessing. This will be an enjoyable banquet for believers to behold.
To share these beauties and pleasures with all believers, regardless of when they led their earthly existence, is a blessing that can be realized fully only in Paradise. For example, to sit on facing thrones and converse with Musa (as), 'Isa (as), or with pious believers and the Prophet's Companions, as well as to remember Allah with them, is not a pleasure that the world can grant; this pleasure belongs only to Paradise.
In Paradise, everything believers desire will be created and brought to them by special servants appointed for that task. The Qur'an informs us that:
Circulating among them will be youths like hidden pearls. (Surat at-Tur, 24)
Believers, whom Allah has made worthy of Paradise, are highly select and valuable persons. The fact that they are in a position of "high honor" (Surat as-Saffat, 42) shows the value that Allah places upon them. The servants mentioned above, who attend immediately to the believers' every wish and give them free and interrupted service, are described in the Qur'an as ageless young men:
Ageless youths will circulate among them, serving them. Seeing them, you would think them scattered pearls. (Surat al-Insan, 19)
These servants, whose sole purpose is to attend to the believers' wishes, and the fact that the blessings are freely offered with such perfect service, are other examples of glorious beauty. The gadgets used in this service also have great value and are of high quality, for:
Platters and cups of gold will be passed around among them, and they will have there all that their hearts desire and in which their eyes find delight. You will remain in it timelessly, forever. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 71)
While in this world, believers attend to many things, among them getting as close as possible to the blessings of life in Paradise. We can learn about the magnificent material used for clothing there. Allah teaches people in this world to wear fine clothing, as stated in:
O Children of Adam! We have sent down clothing to you to conceal your private parts, and fine apparel. But the garment of the fear of Allah - that is the best! That is one of Allah's Signs, so that hopefully you will pay heed. (Surat al-A'raf, 26)
In Surat al-A'raf, 31, Allah urges believers to wear clean and fine clothing: "O Children of Adam! Wear fine clothing in every mosque. Eat and drink, but do not be profligate. He does not love the profligate." Therefore, the clothing worn in Paradise will be several times more splendid and stylish than worldly clothing. The Qur'an especially mentions two kinds of material found in Paradise: silk and brocade. For example, it states that believers will wear "fine silk and rich brocade, face to face with one another" (Surat ad-Dukhan, 53). In this world, these two materials are rare, expensive, and of high quality. Such clothing will give great aesthetic pleasure both to the person wearing them and the one who sees them being worn. The beauty and splendor of this clothing only enhances the perfection of those who wear it.
Of course, the material and clothing found there is not limited to these two, for Allah, Who granted these great rewards, will clothe the people of Paradise in many more beautiful garments made of many more beautiful materials. He can create clothing styles and materials that are unknown to us in this world.
The Qur'an tells us that this beautiful clothing is ornamented with jewelry to enhance its attractiveness. Gold and silver bracelets and pearls are mentioned specifically, as in the following verses:
Allah will admit those who believe and do right actions into Gardens with rivers flowing under them, where they will be adorned with gold bracelets and pearls, and where their clothing will be of silk. (Surat al-Hajj, 23)
They will wear green garments of fine silk and rich brocade. They will be adorned with silver bracelets. And their Lord will give them a pure draught to drink. (Surat al-Insan, 21)
As this verse maintains, beautiful jewelry complements fine clothing, and both offered for the pleasure of believers.
The basic quality of the materials in Paradise is their varied delicacy and striking beauty, both of which are reflections of Allah's eternal knowledge and artistry. For example, thrones are inlaid with precious stones and arranged carefully in high places; clothing is made of silk and brocade, and adorned with gold and silver ornaments.
Allah has given many details about Paradise in the Qur'an, but the expressions that He has used allow believers to use their imagination open. In Paradise, (Allah surely knows best) every believer will have all kinds of blessings, views, and places especially designed for his or her own pleasure. Of course, apart from the blessings announced in the Qur'an, Allah has prepared many more surprises for believers, whom He has made worthy of Paradise.