Ibn Al Qayyim’s Description of Paradise



The Qaseedah is very long, but here’s a concise translation:

And if you ask about its ground and its soil, then it is of musk and saffron.

And if you ask about its roof, then it is the Throne of the Most Merciful.

And if you ask about its rocks, then they are pearls and jewels.

And if you ask about its buildings, then they are made of bricks of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its trees, then it does not contain a single tree except that its trunk is made of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its fruits, then they are softer than butter and sweeter than honey.

And if you ask about its leaves, then they are softer than the softest cloth.

And if you ask about its rivers, then there are rivers of milk who’s taste does not change, and rivers of wine that is delicious to those who drink it, and rivers of honey that is pure, and rivers of water that is fresh.

And if you ask about their food, then it is fruits from whatever they will choose, and the meat of whatever birds they desire.

And if you ask about their drink, then it is Tasneem, ginger, and Kaafoor.

And if you ask about their drinking cups, then they are crystal-clear and made of gold and silver.

And if you ask about its shade, then a fast rider would ride in the shade of one of its trees for a hundred years and not escape it.

And if you ask about its vastness, then the lowest of its people would have within his kingdom and walls and palaces and gardens the distance that would be traveled in a thousand years.

And if you ask about its tents and encampments, then one tent is like a concealed pearl that is sixty miles long.

And if you ask about its towers, then they are rooms above rooms in buildings that have rivers running underneath them.

And if you ask about how far it reaches into the sky, then look at the shining star that is visible, as well as those that are far in the heavens that the eyesight cannot possibly reach.

And if you ask about the clothing of its inhabitants, then they are of silk and gold.

And if you ask about its beds, then its blankets are of the finest silk laid out in the highest of its levels.

And if you ask about the faces of its inhabitants and their beauty, then they are like the image of the Moon.

And if you ask about their age, then they are young ones of 33 years in the image of Adam, the father of humanity.

And if you ask about what they will be hearing, then it is the singing of their wives from among the Hoor al-‘Ayn, and better than that are the voices of the Angels and the Prophets, and better than that is the Speech of the Lord of the Worlds.

And if you ask about their servants, then they are young boys of everlasting youth who resemble scattered pearls.

And if you ask about their brides and wives, then they are young and full-breasted and have had the liquid of youth flow through their limbs; the Sun runs along the beauty of her face if she shows it, light shines from between her teeth if she smiles; if you meet her love, then say whatever you want regarding the joining of two lights; he sees his face in the roundness of her cheek as if he is looking into a polished mirror, and he sees the brightness from behind her muscles and bones; if she were to be unleashed upon the World, she would fill what is between the Heavens and the Earth with a beautiful wind, and the mouths of the creation would glorify, praise, and exclaim greatness, and everything between the East and the West would be adorned for her, and every eye would be shut from everything but her, and the light of the Sun would be outshone just as the light of the Sun outshines the light of the stars, and everyone on the face of the Earth would believe in the Ever-Living, the One who Sustains and Protects all the exists.

And the covering on her head is better than the World and all that is in it, and she does not increase with age except in beauty; free from an umbilical cord, childbirth and menses, and pure of mucous, saliva, urine and other filthy things; her youth never fades, her clothing is never worn out, no garment can be created that matches her beauty, and no one who is with her can ever become bored; her attention is restricted to her husband, so she desires none but him, just as his attention is restricted to her so she is the sole object of his desire, and he is with her in utmost safety and security, as none has touched her before of either humans or Jinn.

And if you ask about the Day of Increase (in reward) and the visit of the all-Mighty,all-Wise, and the sight of His Face – free from any resemblance or likeness to anything – as you see the Sun in the middle of the day and the full Moon on a cloudless night, then listen on the day that the caller will call:

‘O People of Paradise! Your Lord – Blessed and Exalted – requests you to visit Him, so come to visit Him!’

So they will say:

‘We hear and obey!’

Until, when they finally reach the wide valley where they will all meet – and none of them will turn down the request of the caller – the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will order His Chair to be brought there.

Then, pulpits of light will emerge, as well as pulpits of pearls, gemstone, gold, and silver.

The lowest of them in rank will sit on sheets of musk, and will not see what those who are on the chairs above them are given. When they are comfortable where they are sitting and are secure in their places, and the caller calls:

‘O People of Paradise! You have an appointment with Allah in which He wishes to reward you!’

So they will say:

‘And what is that reward? Has He not already made our faces bright, made our scales heavy, entered us into Paradise, and pushed us away from the Fire?’

And when they are like that, all of a sudden a light shines that encompasses all of Paradise. So, they raise their heads, and, behold: the Compeller – Exalted is He, and Holy are His Names – has come to them from above them and majestified them and said:

‘O People of Paradise! Peace be upon you!’

So, this greeting will not be responded to with anything better than:

‘O Allah! You are Peace, and from You is Peace! Blessed are You, O possessor of Majesty and Honor!’

So the Lord – Blessed and Exalted – will laugh to them and say:

‘O People of Paradise! Where are those who used to obey Me without having ever seen Me? This is the Day of Increase!’

So, they will all give the same response:

‘We are pleased, so be pleased with us!’

So, He will say:

‘O People of Paradise! If I were not pleased with you, I would not have made you inhabitants of My Paradise! So, ask of Me!’

So, they will all give the same response:

‘Show us your Face so that we may look at it!’

So, the Lord – Mighty and Majestic – will remove his covering and will majestify them and will cover them with His Light, which, if Allah – the Exalted – had not Willed not to burn them, would have burned them.And there will not remain a single person in this gathering except that his Lord – the Exalted – will speak to him and say:

‘Do you remember the day that you did this and that?’

and He will remind him of some of his bad deeds in the Worldy life, so he will say:

‘O Lord! Will you not forgive me?’

So, He will say:

‘Of course! You have not reached this position of yours (in Paradise) except by My forgiveness.’

So, how sweet is this speech to the ears, and how cooled are the righteous eyes by the glance at His Noble Face in the Afterlife…

“Some faces that Day will be shining and radiant, looking at their Lord…” (Surah Qiyamah:22-3)


-The Sahara Bloggers


Hearts of Gold

 ألا وإن في الجسد مضغة إذا صلحت صلح لها سائر الجسد، وإذا فسدت، فسد لها سائر الجسد، ألا وهي القلب

“Indeed, there is in the body a morsel of flesh,

if it is sound and wholesome,

then the whole body will be sound and wholesome

and if it is corrupt,

the whole body will be corrupt.

Indeed it is the heart.” (Sahih Bukhari)

heart of gold

They’re people who refine themselves.

They know that if their hearts do not bow in humility to Him now, then their bodies never will. The heart is the king while the body is an army of soldiers- it will obey the commands of it’s leader. If the king is power-driven, blood-thirsty and corrupt, the soldiers will be obliged to fulfill it’s nasty objectives. If the king is noble, lofty and just, the soldiers will be a witness to these objectives.

Faith thrives and breathes in those hearts while the bodies receive eccentric energy; persistent in worship; bowing, prostrating, holding back some and moving forward some.

They know that the sole purpose of their hearts is to know, love and obey Him. When dark clouds of doubt and desire creep in, they hasten to seek refuge with their only Refuge- Al Samad. 

There is an emptiness in their hearts- a deep, dark void that is so vast and barren that no one but He can encompass and satisfy it. 

There is a disease in their hearts- a destructive, gnawing illness that can never be healed and cured except through pure, unadulterated reliance on Him.

They are horrified by the thought of ignorance and heedlessness because it is to them the worst of punishments- they fear becoming the living dead. 

They’re like new pieces of mined gold that haven’t been purified yet, so they go through extreme high pressures and extreme high temperatures, gold dust swirling in the air around them; they’re finally purified from the excess metal. They emerge as bars of pure gold on display for the oblivious world to see. The oblivious world that can only gasp and gawk at it’s blinding beauty because they are conveniently unaware of the struggles it went through. 

Their hearts of gold don’t tarnish-yet the pressures and blows that have dented their surfaces serve as proud reminders of another achievement and accomplishment. Dents that are reminders to these war-torn survivors who silently celebrate their victories.

 ‎They’re people who, when bricks and rubble is thrown at them, they pick up the bricks and make a castle, no, they make a kingdom. A kingdom that is ruled by Divine laws. They measure all their actions against the yardstick of the Quran and Sunnah.

‎They’re people who still believe that Allah’s laws are all manifestations of His mercy and love for us and that he didn’t create us to torture us. ‎They’re people who love wholeheartedly and believe that the best things in life are intangible and abstract. They’re people who come out of Fitnah-ridden societies unscathed and untouched by Shaitan’s call and by the demon of desire. They hold on to His rope that keeps them moving forward, and no matter how much they stumble and slip on the cracks and pit holes of the Dunya, they pull themselves back up with a heave because the thought of Heaven is like a magnet-a force they can’t see but it pulls and tugs and calls and beckons.

‎They’re people who spend long, dark nights rubbing their foreheads on the ground in Sujood to Allah while the moon and the stars bear witness to their pain,suffering, sighs and complaints while they beseech the One who hears the whispers from a broken heart. They’re weary and tired, yearning for Him. They see His blessings pouring down on them from everywhere and they have a zeal and vigor to selflessly give something in return, something beautiful, just like their hearts.

They’re people who know the meaning of the word Dunya.  They feel like strangers, and they desperately search for reminders of their real home. Their real home in Jannah where there will be no fear, grief or regret. They long for it  and cannot stand the thought of being deprived from it.  

These people carry Islam like they would carry hot coals. ‎It hurts them and it’s painful but they do it for a higher objective. They’re the ones who have tasted the bitterness of desire and the sweetness of faith. ‎And they realize that its all a test, and they cherish every moment of it-the bitter and the sweet- because they do it for Him, and they seek comfort and solace from the Highest source of love and protection.

‎And when they’re in Jannah through Allah’s mercy; they will look back and be glad they did what they did. These are the ones who truly believe Allah’s promises, and know that He’s the only one who ever keeps His promises. They long for peace and tranquility and love and they know that they’re doing alright because the Dunya was meant to break hearts; and the words of Allah give balm to their burning hearts… until they meet Him.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاء لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِين

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُواْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

 O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (the Quran), and a healing for that which is in your hearts,

it is a guidance and a mercy  for the believers. 

Say: In the Bounty of Allah, and in His Mercy;therein let them rejoice.

That is better than the wealth that they amass.” (Surah Younis: 57,58)

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

-Come back next week for a more detailed discussion about the healthy heart

Get up. Move on.


Don’t you get it?

Put a foot on it and don’t let it stir. Block out the sound and don’t give in. Let it suffocate. Let it die. Let it wither away into nothingness.

Clench your teeth. Breathe in. Hold it. Breathe out. Let the hot tears evaporate on your fiery cheeks and don’t wipe them away.

Hold your head high. Don’t look back. You were born alone, you live alone, and you shall die alone. Alone they will lower you into your grave and alone you shall answer your Lord. Alone.

Swallow the pill and relish its bitter sweetness. Don’t forget. Don’t be deceived by the fleeting moments. Do not dwell.

“Paradise is surrounded by hardships and undesirable difficulties.”

Be a stranger in this strange hole.


لا ترفع رأسك من السجود وفي قلبك شيء

Beg, nag, complain, cry, wail.

And when you find relief,

Remember this.

– Written by Umm Saifullah

-Posted by Niqabinja

Ramadan Reflections: Day 10


3980651 (1)

أغرى امرؤ غلاما جاهلا
بنقوده كيما ينال به الوطر
قال ائتني بفؤاد أمك يا فتى
و لك الجواهر و الدراهم والدرر
فمضى و أغرز خنجرا في صدرها
و القلب أخرجه و عاد على الأثر
لكنه من فرط سرعته هوى
فتدحرج القلب الجريح إذ عثر
ناداه قلب الأم وهو معفر
و لدي الحبيب هل أصابك من الضرر
فـكـأن ذاك الـصــوت رغـــم حـنــوه
غضب السماء به على الولد انهمر
و امتد نحو القلب يغسله بما
فاضت به عيناه من سيل العبر
و يقول يا قلب أنتقم في و لا
تغفر فإن جريمتي لا تغتفر
و استل خنجره ليطعن نفسه
حقا و يبقى عبرة لمن اعتبر
ناداه قلب الأم ولدي ولا
تذبح فؤادي مرتين على الأثر

One day a man tempted an ignorant youth

With his money, so that he may take from him his need

He said, “Bring me the heart of your mother,

And for you will be jewels and Dirhams and pearls

He went and stabbed a dagger into her chest

And the heart came out and he went on his way

But because of his haste he fell down

And the broken heart rolled as it slipped

The mother’s heart called out to him, covered in dust

“My son, my love, are you hurt?”

It was as though this voice despite its sweetness

Caused the wrath of the heavens to rain down on him

He turned towards the heart and washed it with what

no one except him could bring to her from all of mankind

He took the dagger to stab himself with a stabbing

that would be a reminder for those who are mindful

He said, “Oh heart, take revenge from me and don’t

forgive me because my crime is not one to be forgiven.”

The mother’s heart cried out to him,

“Hold back, and don’t

stab me again, repetitively.”

– The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

-The poem is written by Ibrahim Al Mundhir, translated by me 

Dedicated to Mom, شفاها الله 

Ramadan Reflections: Day 1


3980651 (1)اللهم أهله علينا بالأمن و الإيمان و السلامة و الإسلام ربي و ربك الله

“O Allah, let this moon month pass over us with blessings, Imaan, safety, and Islam.  (O moon) My Lord and Your Lord is Allah”.

The day started off with that jittery feeling of a special event approaching fast. I spent a few hours preparing and freezing perishable finger foods by the dozen; all the while hoping that it will pay off. There’s nothing worse than spending your whole day in the kitchen while fasting! After a quick dinner hastily put together by my younger sister, we began preparing for Taraweeh; couldn’t wait!

The masjid we go to is a few minutes away from home by car. Although not very large, the masjid accommodates many of the neighborhood residents. It is separated into two divisions. The womens’ prayer area is right behind the mens’, and is divided into two floors. The ground floor is reserved for ladies with children. Ten minutes before the call to prayer, I climbed the stairs up to the ladies’ prayer area of the masjid. I prayed Tahiyyat Al-Masjid and waited. Upstairs, a tinted glass window gives us view to the men’s side, so we can look without being seen. I got a spot in the front row and took a peak in the men’s Musallah. It was larger and more beautiful. The rows were divided by bookshelves lined with Mushafs. Rows and rows of men waiting for the prayer.  It was an incredibly breath-taking sight! There’s nothing comparable to the sight of diligent worshippers waiting for Salah, humble, humiliated and in need of mercy.

The Muezzin called the Iqamah; his melodious voice resonating and bouncing back from the walls of the Masjid. My breath caught, and a single thought echoed in my head, making my heart pound and my eyes well with tears: I need a Ramadan. A Ramadan that will shake me; wake me; and teach me. Allahu Akbar; Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illa Allah…

(يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ) (الَّذِي خَلَقَكَ فَسَوَّاكَ فَعَدَلَكَ)

(فِي أَيِّ صُورَةٍ مَّا شَاءَ رَكَّبَكَ)

“O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the Karim? Who created you, fashioned you perfectly, and gave you proportion. In whatever form He willed, He put you together.” Surah Al Infitaar

An overwhelming feeling of gratitude sent waves of emotion through me, Alhamdulilah for Ramadan. Alhamdulilah for another chance. There I stood by Allah’s Grace; my sinful, careless soul, beseeching His ever-lasting, infinite mercy and protection. More merciful to me than my own mother!

O you whose soul has been tainted! The month of purification is here. O you who has lost much! The month of fruitful trade is here. O you who has despaired, and whose heart is bolted and shackled! Ramadan is here to free you and bring you back! O you who has been absent from the Gardens of Paradise, and who had been turning away from the calls to success, come back to your Lord, repenting, begging and pleading.  Believe in His promises and be wary of losing hope:

 ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ

“Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Surah Ghafir, verse 60

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves by sinning, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” Surah Al Zumar, verse 39

امنع جفونك أن تذوق منامًا
وذر الدموع على الخدود سجامًا
واعلم بأنك ميت ومحاسب
يا من على سخط الجليل أقامًا

لله قوم أخلصوا في حبه
فرضي بهم واختصهم خدامًا

قوم إذا جن الظلام عليهم
باتوا هنالك سجدًا وقيامًا

خمص البطون من التعفف ضمرًا
لا يعرفون سوى الحلال طعامًا

تقر أعينهم بما أخفى لهم و سيسمعون من الجليل سلامًا

Prevent your eyelids from taking pleasure in sleep,

And let the tears flow on you cheeks,

Know that you will die and be brought to account,

O you who has lived in the wrath of Al-Jaleel!

Allah has people who have been sincere in there love for him,

So He was pleased with them and chose them as servants.

People who, when the night came over them, spent it in prostration and standing in Qiyam

Their stomachs are empty because of abstinence

And they know nothing other than Halal as provisions.

Their eyes are comforted by (the hope of reward) which is hidden from them,

And they shall hear from Al-Jaleel greeting of peace!

– The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

– The poem is from Shaikh Ibrahim ibn ‘Ubayd Abdul Muhsin’s book ‘Uqood Al-Lu’lu Wal Marjan Fee Fadhl Shahr Ramadan

-I roughly translated the poem, any corrections would be highly appreciated! 

“Were you not ashamed of disobeying Me?”

It is reported that Imam Ahmad was once in a gathering and his student asked him, “O Abu Abdullah! What do you think of poetry which mentions Heaven and Hell?” Imam Ahmad said, “Like what?” His student recited some verses of poetry to him. Imam Ahmed rahimahullah was so deeply affected that he left the gathering and entered his house. His companions could here him reciting the first verse over and over again; sobbing painfully as though his soul was being taken away…

إذا ما قال لي ربي أما استحييت تعصينـي
وتخفي الذنب عن خلقي وبالعصيان تأتيني 
فكيف أجيب يا ويحي ومن ذا سوف يحميني
أسلي النفس بالآمال من حين إلـى حيـن 
وأنسى ما وراء الموت ماذا بعـد تكفينـي
كأني قد ضمنت العيش ليس الموت يأتينـي 


وجاءت سكرة الموت الشديدة من سيحميني
نظرت إلى الوجوه أليس منهم من سيفديني 
سأُسأل ما الذى قدمت فى دنيـاي ينجينـي
فكيف إجابتي من بعد ما فرطت فى دينـي

ويا ويحي ألم أسمـع كـلام الله يدعونـي
ألم أسمع لما قد جاء فـى قـاف و ياسيـن 
ألم أسمع بيوم الحشر يوم الجمـع والديـن
ألم أسمع منادي الموت يدعونـي ينادينـي 


فيا ربـاه عبـد تائـب مـن ذا سيؤينـي
سوى رب غفـور واسـع للحـق يهدينـي 
أتيت إليك فارحمني وثقـل في موازينـي
وخفف فى جزائي أنت أرجى من يجازيني

I tried to translate it from Arabic as best as I could; any corrections would be much appreciated:

If my Lord asks me, “Were you not ashamed to disobey Me?

You hide sins from My creation, and with sins you come to Me.”

So how will I answer, woe to me! And who will protect me?

I keep stalling my soul with hope, from time to time,

And forget what comes after death, and what comes after I am shrouded

As though I have guaranteed life for myself, and death will never overtake me!

And when the severe stupor of death comes, who will protect me?

I look at all the faces, isn’t there one who can ransom me?

I will be asked about what I  prepared in my life that will save me, 

How will I answer after I have neglected my religion?

Woe to me! Did I not hear the speech of Allah inviting me?

Did I not hear of what came in Qaaf and Yaseen?

Did I not hear of the Day of Gathering, Assembling, the Day of Judgement?

Did I not hear the caller of death, calling me, inviting me?

O my Lord, -a repentant slave- who shall shelter me

Except a Lord of vast forgiveness- to the truth He shall guide me

I have come to you, so forgive me, and make heavy my scales

And lighten my account, You are the best of those who bring to account.

“The groaning of the sinners is more beloved to Allah than the tasbeeh of the conceited.” Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah

– The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)

The Enlightened City

Madinah…I Love You

By Asma Bint Shameem


In the middle of the desert, across the seven seas
Lies a lush valley most beloved to me

There are no skyscrapers, there is no fancy life
There is nothing of this dunya yet it’s the most beautiful sight

Beautiful are its little houses, so charming are its dusty roads
So gorgeous are its palm trees, bending over with their loads

Its nights are so fragrant, its days are so blessed
no one can describe it…no words to express it

In Madinah there is peace, Madinah is a healing
It is a sanctuary for every heart that is feeling

When I look in the streets, I see young children playing
I wonder if they realize the enormity of this blessing

To be brought up in the blessed streets of this sacred city
To wake up every morning and to enjoy its sanctity


What I would give to be in their place, I wish it were me instead
I wish…I make dua…as I lay here in my bed


Ya Rabbi, take me to Madinah…that’s where I belong
That’s my place…everywhere else seems so wrong


I just don’t belong here… I simply don’t blend in
Nothing else seems right, I just don’t fit in


It’s Madinah that I desire, to Madinah is my Calling
Madinah is the place my achy heart is longing


How my heart craves… How it yearns to be with you
Madinah is where I left my heart, O Madinah, how I miss you!


Every time I visit you, with immense peace I am overcome
My restless heart finds peace… a feeling… I’m finally home


I love you O Madinah, I love you in so many ways
I want to spend my life there, for the rest of my days


In Madinah I want to live and in Madinah I want to die
To be buried with ten thousand Sahaabah, in al-Baqee’ I want to lie


So maybe… when we are resurrected, with the Sahaabah I will be
I am hoping Allaah will forgive me, that’s the only chance for me


And just like how Umar al-Faarooq often used to pray
I make the same dua to Allaah as he; and I also say


O Allaah, give me Shahaadah and grant me this Sacred City
For indeed it is pure…. it is blessed….it is Madinatun-Nabi