The Creation of Paradise

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
"When Allah created Paradise and Hellfire, He sent Gabriel to Paradise, saying, ‘look at it and at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants.’ So Gabriel went to it and looked at it and at what Allah had prepared therein for its inhabitants. Then Gabriel returned it Allah and said, ‘By Your glory, no one hears of it without entering it.’ So Allah ordered that it be encompassed by forms of hardship, and He said, ‘Return to it and look at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants! So, Gabriel returned to it and found that it was encompassed by forms of hardship. Then he returned to Allah and said, ‘By Your glory, I fear that no one will enter it, Allah said, ‘Go to Hellfire and look at it and at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants.’ Gabriel found that it was in layers, one above the other. Then Gabriel returned to Allah and said, ‘By Your glory, no one who hears of it will enter it.’ So Allah ordered that it be encompassed by lusts. Then He said, ‘Return to it and Gabriel returned to it and said, ‘By Your glory, I am frightened that no one will escape from entering it.’
[at-Tirmidhi, abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i]

Masruuq (radiAllahu anhu) said: "We asked Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud about this verse: “And do not regard those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead, rather, they are alive with their Lord and being provided for."
[Surah ali' Imran, 3: 169]

He said, ‘We asked about that and the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said, “Their souls are in the insides of green birds, having lanterns suspended from the Throne, roaming freely in Paradise where they please, then taking shelter in those lanterns. Their Lord cast a glance at them and said, ‘Do you wish for anything?’ They said, ‘What shall we wish for when we roam freely in Paradise where we please?’ And He did that with them three times- when they saw that they would not be spared from being asked again, they said, ‘Oh Lord! We would like for You to put our souls back into our bodies so that we might fight for Your sake once again.’ When Allah saw that they were not in need of anything, they were let be.’
[Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, an-Naa'i and Ibn Majah]
 

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