“As for those who believe and do good works, We shall make them enter Gardens through which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever; therein they shall have pure spouses, and We shall admit them into a dense shade” (Quran 4:57)
In the deserts of Arab where water and greenery are scarce and intensity of daylight is unbearable, there is no better expression of the grace of Almighty Allah than this. The literal meaning of Paradise is ‘Garden’. Imagination of the best place for the people living in the desert is that they are living in a garden in which canals flow. This garden must be so thick that in its shade both heating light of the desert and scorching wind become ineffective. The fruit of this garden becomes their food; their cattle keep on grazing in its greenery; their fields are watered through its water and they live their lives with their pure family members in such blessings. And above all, they have faith that the passage of time and the rotation of months and years would never deprive them of this universe and they would live there forever.
This is not only for the desert dwellers of Arab, but the life of a common person is also a journey through difficulty and ease of circumstances. Man naturally like convenience. He likes pleasure, desires easiness and wishes for peace. But it happens time and again that unwanted events disturb his peaceful life. The heat of circumstances scorches his existence. The fire of deprivation turns his abode into a heap of ashes.
In such situation, this verse assures man that he can make any map of his Paradise he wants, Almighty Allah will breathe life into this map and hand it over to him on the Day of Judgement. There he would live in the shade of peace being safe from the heat of anxieties and the irritations of regrets. A life that would be eternal.
However, this is necessary for the willing of this Paradise that he does what his Lord chooses in the difficulty and ease of this temporary world. He should become such a tree whose every branch bow before his Lord with faith and obedience, the fruits of pure morality and deeds continue to sprout from him and he becomes a shady tree in himself for the creatures of God. This is the tree that on the upcoming Day of Judgement will be planted in the garden of Paradise forever.
Translated by Muzamil Nazeer