Fatwa: # 44161
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Date: 13th February 2020

Title

How big is Jannah compared to the World we live in?

Question

Assalamualaikum sheikh im interested too about paradise .Yes i know we should strive before thinking too much about its delight and size.but I Always come across questions like is paradise bigger than whole universe ? Or are we All with stars and other galaxies in the first heaven ? In short is paradise bigger than observable or unobservable universe ?thanks for attention

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Allah Ta’ala, says in the Quran:

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ (سورة ال عمران: 130)

Translation: Hasten to the forgiveness of your Rabb and to that Jannah which has the vastness of the heavens and the earth. It has been prepared for those with Taqwa. (Surah Aal-Imraan: 130)

In the commentary of the above verse, the great Mufassir, Ibn Qurtubi (Rahimahullah) states the following with reference to Abdullah bin Abbas (Radhiyallahu Anhuma): [1]

تقرن السموات وَالْأَرْضُ بَعْضُهَا إِلَى بَعْضٍ كَمَا تُبْسَطُ الثِّيَابُ وَيُوصَلُ بَعْضُهَا بِبَعْضٍ، فَذَلِكَ عَرْضُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَلَا يَعْلَمُ طُولَهَا إِلَّا اللَّهُ. وَهَذَا قَوْلُ الْجُمْهُور (قرطبي)ِ

Translation: It is as if the heavens and the earth are joined together like garments spread out and attached to one another. That is the width of Jannah.  Its length however is only known to Allah Ta’ala. This is the view of the majority of scholars.

Kalbi (Rahimahullah) mentions that there are four Jannat’s, Jannatul- ‘Adn, Jannatul- Ma’wa, Jannatul-Firdaws and Jannatun-Na’eem. These four Jannat’s are equivalent to the width of the heavens and earth if they are joined.[2]

According to other Mufasireen, the statement عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ is a metaphor used by the Arabs to express the vastness of Paradise. For example, one may describe a learned man as being a sea of knowledge or a huge animal as a mountain. Hence, this verse is not intended to specify its precise width. It simply refers to Jannah being extremely vast.[3]

The vastness of Jannah can be understood from the following Hadith:[4]

إِنَّ فِي الجَنَّةِ لَشَجَرَةً، يَسِيرُ الرَّاكِبُ فِي ظِلِّهَا مِائَةَ عَامٍ لاَ يَقْطَعُهَا (البخاري: 6552)

Translation: There is a tree under the shadow of which a rider can travel for one hundred years without being able to cross it. (Bukhari: 6552)

You enquire if Jannah is bigger than the universe. In theory, the universe is what can be seen from earth which is around 93 billion years in diameter.[5] Jannah is from among the unseen. The exact size of Jannah is only known to Allah Ta’ala. Our minds are unable to fathom the exact reality of Jannah. This can be understood with an example of a baby in the womb of a mother. The nine months in the womb is all the baby is accustomed to and used to. According to the baby, there is nothing bigger and greater than the womb of the mother. Once the baby is born, then only the baby realizes that there is a world much bigger and greater than the womb.

As human beings, we will never be able to comprehend the reality of Jannah. See the following Hadith:

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: قَالَ اللَّهُ أَعْدَدْتُ لِعِبَادِي الصَّالِحِينَ مَا لاَ عَيْنٌ رَأَتْ، وَلاَ أُذُنٌ سَمِعَتْ، وَلاَ خَطَرَ عَلَى قَلْبِ بَشَرٍ، فَاقْرَءُوا إِنْ شِئْتُمْ فَلاَ تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَا أُخْفِيَ لَهُمْ مِنْ قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ (البخاري: 3244)

Translation: Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: Allah Ta’ala said: I have prepared for my pious slaves’ things which no eye has seen, no ear has heard nor has it crossed the mind of a human being. If you wish, recite this verse from the Quran: No soul knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do. (Bukhari: 3244)

Allah Ta’ala explains just the width of Jannah with an example according to our limited understanding. Allah Ta’ala did not explain the exact vastness of Jannah as Allah Ta’ala being Al-Hakeem (the All-Wise) knows we cannot comprehend the reality of Jannah. Hence our approach should be: [6]

أَبْهِمُوا مَا أَبْهَمَ اللَّهُ 

Translation: “Keep ambiguous that which Allah Ta’ala has kept ambiguous”

We should confine ourselves to what Allah Ta’ala and his Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam) described about Jannah and do not go beyond that. We should focus on worshipping Allah Ta’ala and following the Sunnah of Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam). Through this we will be successful and attain Jannah In Sha Allah.

Our focus should be in asking Allah Ta’ala to grant us Jannah. You may make the following Dua’s:

  • رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِنْدَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ  (التحريم: 11)

Translation: My Rabb, build for me a house near you in Jannah. (Tahreem: 11)

 

  • وَاجْعَلْنِي مِنْ وَرَثَةِ جَنَّةِ النَّعِيمِ (الشعراء: 85)

Translation: And make me one of the inheritors of Jannah. (Shu’araa: 85)

 

  • اللهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ، وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ (مسند احمد: 1483)

Translation: Oh Allah, I ask you for paradise and for that which brings one closer to it in word and deed. (Musnad Ahmed: 1483)

 

  • اللهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّار (مسند احمد: 15898)ِ

Translation: Oh Allah, I ask you of Jannah and I seek refuge with you from the fire. (Musnad Ahmed: 15898)

 

  • اللهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ إِيمَانًا لَا يَرْتَدُّ، وَنَعِيمًا لَا يَنْفَدُ، وَمُرَافَقَةَ نَبِيِّنَا مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي أَعَلَى دَرَجَةِ الْجَنَّةِ جَنَّةِ الْخُلْدِ( سنن الكبرى للنسائي: 10639)

Translation: Oh Allah, I ask you for an Imaan which does not renegade, and a bounty which does not fade away, and the company of our beloved Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam) in the highest stages of the everlasting Jannah. (Nasa’iee: 10639)

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mahmood Suliman

Student Darul Iftaa
Gaborone, Botswana

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


تفسير القرطبي (4/ 204) [1]

وَاخْتَلَفَ الْعُلَمَاءُ فِي تَأْوِيلِهِ، فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ: تقرن السموات وَالْأَرْضُ بَعْضُهَا إِلَى بَعْضٍ كَمَا تُبْسَطُ الثِّيَابُ وَيُوصَلُ بَعْضُهَا بِبَعْضٍ، فَذَلِكَ عَرْضُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَلَا يَعْلَمُ طُولَهَا إِلَّا اللَّهُ. وَهَذَا قَوْلُ الْجُمْهُورِ، وَذَلِكَ لَا يُنْكَرُ، فَإِنَّ فِي حَدِيثِ أَبِي ذَرٍّ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ (مَا السموات السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرَضُونَ السَّبْعُ فِي الْكُرْسِيِّ إِلَّا كَدَرَاهِمَ أُلْقِيَتْ فِي فَلَاةٍ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ وَمَا الْكُرْسِيُّ فِي الْعَرْشِ إِلَّا كَحَلْقَةٍ أُلْقِيَتْ فِي فَلَاةٍ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ (. فَهَذِهِ مَخْلُوقَاتٌ أَعْظَمُ بِكَثِيرٍ جِدًّا من السموات وَالْأَرْضِ، وَقُدْرَةُ اللَّهِ أَعْظَمُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ كُلِّهِ

 

 

تفسير القرطبي (4/ 204) [2]

وَقَالَ الْكَلْبِيُّ: الْجِنَانُ أَرْبَعَةٌ: جَنَّةُ عَدْنٍ وَجَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَى وَجَنَّةُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ وَجَنَّةُ النَّعِيمِ، وَكُلُّ جَنَّةٍ مِنْهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَوْ وُصِلَ بَعْضُهَا بِبَعْضٍ

 

 

تفسير القرطبي (4/ 205) [3]

وَقَالَ قَوْمٌ: الْكَلَامُ جَارٍ عَلَى مَقْطَعِ الْعَرَبِ مِنَ الِاسْتِعَارَةِ، فَلَمَّا كَانَتِ الْجَنَّةُ مِنَ الِاتِّسَاعِ وَالِانْفِسَاحِ فِي غَايَةٍ قُصْوَى حَسُنَتِ الْعِبَارَةُ عنها بعرض السموات وَالْأَرْضِ، كَمَا تَقُولُ لِلرَّجُلِ: هَذَا بَحْرٌ، وَلِشَخْصٍ كَبِيرٍ مِنَ الْحَيَوَانِ: هَذَا جَبَلٌ. وَلَمْ تَقْصِدِ الْآيَةُ تَحْدِيدَ الْعَرْضِ، وَلَكِنْ «3» أَرَادَ بِذَلِكَ أَنَّهَا أوسع شي رَأَيْتُمُوهُ

 

 

صحيح البخاري (8/ 114) [4]

وَقَالَ إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ: أَخْبَرَنَا المُغِيرَةُ بْنُ سَلَمَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا وُهَيْبٌ، عَنْ أَبِي حَازِمٍ، عَنْ سَهْلِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: إِنَّ فِي الجَنَّةِ لَشَجَرَةً، يَسِيرُ الرَّاكِبُ فِي ظِلِّهَا مِائَةَ عَامٍ لاَ يَقْطَعُهَا

 

[5] http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160610-it-took-centuries-but-we-now-know-the-size-of-the-universe

 

معرفة السنن والآثار (10/ 98) [6]

أَبْهِمُوا مَا أَبْهَمَ اللَّ

 

 

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