Chapter Two: The Cow (Al Baqara)
Verse 25........Part 2
Chapter 2, Verse 25, Part B
And give glad tidings to those who believe and do good deeds that they will live in gardens from beneath which rivers flow. Anytime they are served with fruits and other provisions, they will say: “These are similar to what God was providing for us on earth”. The believers will have pure spouses and live in paradise forever.(2:25)
God gives those who have faith that is expressed through righteous deeds the good news of paradise. The gardens of the Heavens is used in the plural form because paradise has many different levels, and each level has its distinct classes of bliss. God states:
Look how We favor some of them over others. But the Next World has higher ranks and greater favors. (17:21)
One of the highest levels of the heavens is called 'Al Firdous'. There are the Gardens of Eden, the Gardens of Bliss, the Gardens of Eternal Life and The Upper Most Heaven. The Gardens of Illyoon is the most luxurious and the best of them all; It has the greatest honor of being in God company; a pleasure beyond all the pleasures of the heavens.
Moreover, food and drink in paradise is not related to hunger or thirst, rather it is given according to desire and enjoyment. In the following verse, Allah is promising you something that you do not know, and cannot see. He says:
No soul knows what joy is kept hidden in store for them as a reward for what they have done. (32:17)
No one in the world knows what pleasures exist in paradise; nor are there any words in the human language that can express these pleasures. Thus, God used words that our intellects understand and our minds can use to approximate these pleasures. Allah started the description with the phrase: ‘gardens from beneath which rivers flow’. The word 'from' indicates that the source of these rives is paradise itself. In other words, the springs sprout from the soil and rocks of paradise, and thus, gives its residents the added peace of mind that they control the water source and it will never be cut off, or diverted away from them. The pleasures of paradise are indeed eternal and ever-lasting.
Wherever water is plentiful, there will be plush greenery, pleasing scenery, and wonderful fruits. God says: Anytime they are served with fruits and other provisions, they will say: “These are similar to what God was providing for us on earth”. Let's take a few moments to talk about the fruits of paradise. In this world, if you want some fruit, you have to grow it, buy it, or maybe your family will bring you some according to their choosing. In paradise, on the other hand, the fruit will approach you by itself the moment you desire it. At the mere thought of something you would like, it will instantly appear before you. This fruit, that is now in your hand, will resemble the fruits of this world in appearance, but it will be nothing like it in taste or fragrance. It may look like the apple or mango that you and I know.....Allah made it so, because he wants you to feel at ease. We are comfortable eating something that is familiar to us, while we shy away from strange looking foods.
Moreover, the food you and I eat produces waste passed through urine or stool. The food of paradise will produce no such waste. You can eat as you wish without getting full, and without the need to use to the bathroom. These great bounties: the rivers, food, fruits and much more, are the direct grants of Allah through His command ‘be and it will become’. Human work and effort are not involved or required at any point.
God continues: “The believers will have pure spouses and live in paradise forever". A virtuous spouse is a source of comfort and pleasure. A spouse can also be the source of stress and misery. If the man or the woman initiates quarrelling and fights, has extreme jealousy, or neglects his or her duties, the result is an unhappy marriage. But in the hereafter all of these issues will be removed by God. Hence, your spouse in the hereafter will be cleansed from everything that may disturb you. This purification will extend to all matters physical and moral removing whatever troubles you in this world. God says:
and We shall remove any bitterness from their hearts: brothers, sitting on couches, face to face. (15:47)
Perhaps the most important point is saved for the end of the verse. God says: ‘and live in paradise forever"… this means that there will be no death; you will not leave this pleasure nor it will abandon you. You will have an eternal life in bliss.