The Price of Paradise

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When purchasing any item or commodity in the world, there will be a certain price to pay. At times, the price may be low and affordable, at times it may be moderate and reasonable, and at times it may be excessively high and exorbitant. Thus, we find that if there is a car in the market for R50 000, then there will also be a car on sale for R50 million!

The question is, “What are the factors that cause these variations and fluctuations in price?” The answer is that there are three primary factors that influence the price of an item. The first is demand, the second is supply and the third is quality. If an item is in high demand, it is only obtainable for a short period as it is a limited edition, and the quality is unsurpassed and unrivaled, then people will be willing to pay any amount of money to acquire it.

On the basis of these three factors, we find that the most expensive purchase will not be the purchase of a palatial home, a rare motor vehicle, a gem-studded necklace of solid gold or anything else of the world - it will be the ‘purchase’ of Jannah. Hence, in the blessed hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “Remember! The goods of Allah Ta‘ala are extremely valuable (and expensive)! Remember! The goods of Allah Ta‘ala are Jannah!” (Sunan Tirmizi 2450)

The bounties and blessings of Jannah have the highest demand, as there is no person who will not wish to gain entry into Jannah where he will reside in bliss for eternity. The period to acquire Jannah is limited and short, as one only has the few short years of his life in which he can raise the ‘funds’ to pay the admittance fee. Finally, the quality of Jannah is absolutely unsurpassed, unimaginable and unparalleled. Imagine a meal where every morsel tastes more exquisite than the last, a palace where the bricks are made from gold and silver, an orchard where the sand is fragrant musk, and over and above these bounties – Allah Ta‘ala has prepared other enjoyments which are such that no eye has ever seen them, nor has any ear ever heard of them, and neither has the thought of these bounties ever crossed the mind and imagination of any person!

When Jannah is the ultimate purchase, then the next question is, “What is the price of admittance and entry into Jannah?” The answer to this question can be found in the Quraan Majeed where Allah Ta‘ala says, “Indeed Allah Ta‘ala has purchased from the believers their lives and their wealth, in exchange of which they will receive Jannah.” (Surah Taubah v111)

In other words, when Jannah is the ultimate purchase, then we must be prepared to pay the ultimate price for it – our lives. We must be prepared to sacrifice our own desires and ways, and understanding and reasoning, and become completely obedient and subservient to Allah Ta‘ala. At every moment in our lives, our sole priority and concern should be to please Allah Ta‘ala by fulfilling His commands and firmly adhering to the blessed sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). In essence, giving our lives to Allah Ta‘ala means that we will not lead our lives as we wish, but will lead our lives as Allah Ta‘ala wishes.

It is reported that prior to being appointed as the khaleefah over the Muslims, Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) was living the best life possible. He would wear the best clothing and apply the best ‘itr (perfume). Even when it came to nikaah, he married his cousin who was regarded as the princess as she was the daughter of the khaleefah.

Finally, after enjoying the very best that this world has to offer, he realized that even the best bounties of this world can never compare to the bounties of Jannah. He said, “My nafs (carnal self) is such that it is always filled with longing and desire. Whenever my nafs was given something of the dunya (material), it longed and desired to acquire something better. Now that my nafs has been given that above which there is nothing better in the dunya (i.e. the position of rulership), it now yearns for that (sole bounty) which is the ultimate – (the bounty of) Jannah.” (Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 5, pg. 134)

Thereafter, the entire life of Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) took a different direction. He lost all interest in the dunya, to the extent that his food, every single day, was a simple dish of lentils which even his servant was tired of eating! (Taareekhul Khulafaa pg. 234) He devoted his life to pleasing Allah Ta‘ala, both in his capacity as the khaleefah and in his personal life, until he reached such heights in piety, righteousness, exercising justice and upholding the sunnah that he is regarded as the fifth righteous khaleefah of Islam, and his name is taken with reverence, together with that of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddeeq, Sayyiduna ‘Umar, Sayyiduna ‘Uthmaan and Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhum).

The sacrifice which Sayyiduna ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) made was very great, but when it is compared to that which he was acquiring in exchange – the eternal bliss of Jannah – then we realize that it was a most excellent bargain indeed.

May Allah Ta‘ala assist us to remain focused on the Hereafter, and may He bless us all to devote and dedicate our lives to pleasing Him, aameen.