“Paradise and Hell have already been created. They will never come to an end or cease to exist.
Allaah (swt) created Paradise and Hell before the rest of creation, and
He (swt) created inhabitants for each of them. Whoever He (swt) wishes (will enter)
Paradise by His grace and mercy, and whoever He (swt) wishes (will enter Hell)
as a result of His (swt) justice. Every person will behave according to that for which
he was created, and his destiny will be that for which he was created; good deeds and
evil deeds are foreordained for all men”.

Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abul-’Izz al-Hanafi remarked, in his commentary on
this text:

“With regard to his saying that Paradise and Hell have already been created,
Ahl as-Sunnah agree that Paradise and Hell have been created and are in
existence at the present moment. Ahlus-Sunnah continued to hold this view,
until some odd ideas of the Mu’tazilah and Qaadariyyah came along,
which denied that. These groups said: “Allaah will create them (ie Paradise and Hell)
on the Day of Resurrection.” They said this because of their false
arguments by means of which they seek to improve regulations on what
Allaah (swt) should do; (they say) it befits Allaah (swt) to do this, or it does not befit
Allaah (swt) to do that. They compare Him to His creation and their
actions. This is a kind of anthropomorphism with regard to deeds; they have allowed
the ideas of Jahmiyyah (a sect of Mu’tazilah named after the deviant, Jahm ibn Safwan)
to creep into their thinking, and have become mu’attalah
(those who deny that Allaah can see). They said, “It does not make sense for Paradise to
be created before the time of reward, because it will not be used or inhabited for a very
long time. They rejected the aayaat and reports that
contradict these false notions they seek to project onto Allaah (swt).
They misinterpreted the texts and accused those who disagreed with them of going
astray and concocting bid’ah”

Proofs from the Qur’aan and Hadeeth in support of this are, for example:

“Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord,
and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth,
prepared for those who believe in Allaah and His Messengers. That is the
Grace of Allaah, which He bestows on whom He is pleased with. And Allaah
is the Owner of Great Bounty”. (57:21)
“…for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for

al-Muttaqun” (3:133)
“And fear the fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers” (3:131)
“And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him (Jibreel) at a second descent (ie another
time), near Sidrat al-Muntahaa (lote tree of the utmost boundary (beyond
which none can pass), near it is the Paradise of Abode” (53:13-15)

The Prophet (saw) saw Sidrat al-Muntahaa, a tree in Heaven, and near it,
Paradise, as is mention in al-Bukhaari, and Muslim in the hadith of Anas
(ra). At the end of this narrative of al-Israa, the Prophet (saw) said,
“Then Jibreel brought me to Sidrat al-Muntahaa which was veiled in colours
indescribable. Then I entered Paradise, and its lights were of pearls and
its soil was musk”.

uslim, Abu Dawud and Imaam Ahmad report from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the
Messenger (saw) said, “When Allaah (swt) created Paradise and Hell, He sent
Jibreel to Paradise, saying “Go and look at it and at what I have prepared
therein for its inhabitants”. So he went and looked at it and at what Allaah
had prepared therein for its inhabitants…. then He sent him to Hellfire
saying, “Go and look at it and what I have prepared therein for its
inhabitants” So he looked at it and saw that it was in layers, one above the
Muslim reports from Aishah (ra) that there was a solar eclipse in the time of
the Messenger (saw) and he said, “Whilst I was standing here I saw everything
that you have been promised, I even saw myself picking some of the fruits of Paradise,
when you saw me stepping forward. And I saw Hellfire, parts of it consuming other parts,
when you saw me stepping backward”.

al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Ibn ‘Abbas the same incident, “I saw
Paradise and I tried to take a bunch of its fruit. If I had managed to do
so, you would have eaten from it until the end of time. And I saw the Fire
of Hell, and I have never seen anything so horrific or terrifying. I saw
that the majority of its inhabitants are women.”

Muslim also reports from Anas that the Prophet (Saw) said, “By the One in
Whose Hand is my soul, if you had seen what I saw, you would laugh little and
cry much.” They said, “What did you see, O Messenger of Allaah?”, He said,
“I saw Paradise and Hell”.
The Prophet (saw) also ascended into jannah on the night of Mi’raj in his
‘Isra (night journey): for example –

* “…I saw four rivers flowing out from beneath Sidrat al-Muntahaa, two visible and two hidden.”
(Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaan, Baab al-’Israa, 1/150, no.164)

* “Whilst I was walking in Paradise I saw a river whose banks were domes of
hollow pearls and I asked, “What is this, O Jibreel?” He said, “This is
al-Kawthar which your Rabb has given to you”. (from Anas ibn Maalik, Sahih
al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab fil-Hawd, Fath al-Baari, 11/464)

al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Jaabir that the Messenger of Allaah said,
“I entered Paradise where I saw ar-Rumaysa, the wife of Abu Talhah. And I
heard footsteps and asked, “Who is that?” He (Jibreel) said, “That is
Bilaal”. And I saw a palace with women in its courtyard. I asked, “Whose is
this?” They said, It is for ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab” (Mishkaat al-Masaabih,

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