Monday 9 Shawwal 1441 - 1 June 2020
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Characteristics of the people of Paradise

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Publication : 11-05-2020

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Question

I was trying to find some evidence for the following characteristics of the people of Paradise: the height of the believer will be like that of the height of Sayyiduna Adam (peace be upon him), sixty cubits or ninety feet; their beauty will be like that of Sayyiduna Yoosuf (peace be upon him); their age will be like that of Sayyiduna ‘Eesaa (peace be upon him), between thirty and thirty-three years; their melodious voices will be like that of Sayyiduna Daawood (peace be upon him); their forgiving and easy-going nature will be like that of Sayyiduna Ya‘qoob (peace be upon him); their patience will be like that of Sayyiduna Ayyoob (peace be upon him); their characteristics and habits will be like those of Sayyiduna Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Could you please shed light on the soundness of these characteristics?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

There are a number of hadiths which speak of the physical characteristics of the people of Paradise, through which we may learn some of the details about the world of the unseen with which we hope that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will honour us by causing us to see it and enjoy it.

Firstly: Their height will be sixty cubits

The evidence for that is the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), which he narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him):

“Allah created Adam in His image, and he was sixty cubits tall. When he created him he said, ‘Go and greet that group of angels who are sitting and listen to how they greet you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your descendants.’ So he said, ‘Al-salaamu ‘alaykum (peace be upon you),’ and they said, ‘Al-salaamu ‘alayka wa rahmat-Allah (Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah.’ So they added (the words) ‘wa rahmat-Allah.’ Everyone who enters Paradise will be in the form of Adam, but mankind continued to grow shorter until now.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6227) and Muslim (2834). A cubit is a measurement of length, which in modern terms is approximately 64 centimetres, as mentioned in al-Mu‘jam al-Waseet (1/311).

Secondly: their bodies will be free of hair.

Thirdly: their age will be between thirty and thirty-three years.

The evidence for that is the hadith of Mu‘aadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

“The people of Paradise will enter Paradise hairless and beardless, with kohl-rimmed eyes, with an age of thirty or thirty-three years.”

Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2545); he said: it is hasan ghareeb. Also narrated by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad (13/315), from Abu Hurayrah and other Sahaabah.

The hadith was classed as saheeh by Abu Haatim in al-‘Ilal (3/272) and al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah (6/1224).

It was classed as hasan by the annotators of al-Musnad (Mu’sasat ar-Risaalah edn.), and by al-Haythami in Majma‘ az-Zawaa’id (10/402).

The word jurda (translated above as “hairless”) is the plural of ajrad, which refers to one whose body is free of hair, as noted in al-Qaamoos (p. 347).

The word amrad (translated above as “beardless”) refers to a young man his moustache has started to grow, but his beard has not yet grown. Al-Qaamoos (p. 407).

Al-Mubaarakfoori (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

With regard to the word “or” [in the phrase “thirty or thirty-five years old”], the uncertainty is one the part of the narrator. In the hadith of Abu Hurayrah as narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Abi’d-Dunya, at-Tabaraani and al-Bayhaqi, it definiteively says, “thirty-three years old.” This is how it also appears in the hadith of al-Miqdaam which was narrated by al-Bayhaqi with a hasan isnaad, according to what is mentioned in at-Targheeb. End quote.

Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (7/254).

Fourthly: their beauty will be like the beauty of Yoosuf (peace be upon him).

Fifthly: their hearts will be like the heart of Ayyoob (peace be upon him).

These two characteristics are mentioned in two hadiths:

The first hadith was narrated by Ibn Abi’d-Dunya in Sifat al-Jannah (no. 210), where he says:

Al-Qaasim ibn Haashim told us: Safwaan ibn Saalih told us: Rawaad ibn al-Jarraah al-‘Asqalaani told me: al-Awzaa‘i told us, from Haaroon ibn Ri’aab, from Anas ibn Maalik, who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The people of Paradise will enter Paradise as tall as Adam (peace be upon him), sixty cubits of the cubits of the king, as beautiful as Yoosuf, the same age as ‘Eesaa, thirty-three years, speaking the language of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), hairless, beardless, with kohl-rimmed eyes.”

This is a da‘eef isnaad. There was a difference of opinion as to whether Haaroon ibn Ri’aab- who was trustworthy and a devoted worshipper – heard directly from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him). Jaami‘ at-Tahseel (p. 292).

Rawaad ibn al-Jarraah ash-Shaami was classed as da‘eef by many scholars. They criticized him for the presence of munkar (odd reports), reports narrated only by him and some discrepencies among his hadiths. Al-Bukhaari said: He got confused, and his hadith were of hardly any value. Abu Haatim said: His memory changed at the end of his life, although he was originally trustworthy. An-Nasaa’i said: He was not strong; he narrated more than one munkar (odd) hadith, and he got confused. Abu Ahmad Ibn ‘Adiyy said: Most of what he narrated is not accepted, although he was a righteous shaykh, and in the hadiths of the righteous there are some odd reports. But his hadith may be written down, and Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in the book ath-Thiqaat. He said: He makes mistakes and goes against the reports narrated by trustworthy narrators. Ad-Daaraqutni said: He is matrook [i.e., his hadiths are to be rejected]. See: Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (3/289).

The second hadith:

It was narrated that al-Miqdaam ibn Ma‘di Karib (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “On the Day of Resurrection, everyone from the miscarried foetus to the feeble old man will be gathered together in the form of Adam, with the heart of Ayyoob and the beauty of Yoosuf, beardless and with kohl-rimmed eyes.”

We said: O Prophet of Allah, and what about the disbeliever?

He said: “He will be made huge for the Fire, until the thickness of his skin is forty cubits, and his molars will be like Uhud.”

This hadith was narrated via three isnaads:

1.. Via Yazeed ibn Sinaan Abu Farwah ar-Rahhaawi. He said: Abu Yahyaa al-Kilaa‘i told me, from al-Miqdaam.

It was narrated by al-Fasawi in al-Ma‘rifah wa’t-Taareekh (2/59); Ibn Qaani‘ in Mu‘jam as-Sahaabah (3/106); at-Tabaraani in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabeer (20/280); al-Bayhaqi in al-Ba‘th wa’n-Nushoor (no. 410); ad-Daylami in Musnad al-Firdaws (8785); and Ibn ‘Asaakir in Taarekh Dimashq (60/193, 184). In al-Mataalib al-‘Aaliyah (no. 4750), Ibn Hajar attributed it to Abu Ya‘laa al-Moosili.

This is a da‘eef isnaad because of Yazeed ibn Sinaan. Ahmad, Ibn al-Madeeni and an-Nasaa’i said: It is da‘eef. Ibn Mu‘een said: His hadith is nothing. Ibn ‘Adiyy said: Most of his hadiths are not known. See: Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (11/336).

Al-Haythami said in Majma‘ az-Zawaa’id (10/334):

It was narrated by at-Tabaraani. Its isnaad includes Yazeed ibn Sinaan Abu Farwah ar-Rahhaawi, who is da‘eef, but was somewhat trustworthy. End quote.

2.. The second chain of narration is from Ishaaq ibn Ibraaheem ibn Zibreeq al-Homsi: ‘Amr ibn al-Haarith told us, from ‘Abdullah ibn Saalim, from Muhammad ibn al-Waleed ibn ‘Aamir az-Zubaydi: Saleem ibn ‘Aamir told us, that al-Miqdaam ibn Ma‘di Karib told them that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no one who dies in utero or old age – and all people are among that – but he will be resurrected thirty years old. Whoever is among the people of Paradise will have the frame of Adam, with the appearance of Yoosuf and the heart of Ayyoob. Whoever is among the people of Hell will be made huge and immense like mountains.”

Narrated by at-Tabaraani in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabeer (20/280); al-Bayhaqi in al-Ba‘th wa’n-Nushoor (no. 411).

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

This isnaad is not saheeh, for two reasons:

The first reason is that ‘Amr ibn al-Haarith al-Homsi was not proven to be of good character. Adh-Dhahabi said: He narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn Saalim al-Ash‘ari only, and the only one who narrated from him was Ishaaq ibn Ibraaheem ibn Zibreeq, and a slave woman of his whose name was ‘Alawah. Thus he is not known to be of good character, and Ishaaq ibn Ibraaheem ibn Zibreeq is da‘eef. Al-Haafiz said: He is acceptable, i.e., when corroborating reports are found, and that was done, as we shall see below.

The second reason is that there was a difference of opinion concerning Ishaaq ibn Ibraaheem. You have seen above that adh-Dhahabi stated definitively that he was da‘eef; something similar was stated by al-Haafiz when he explained the reason: he was sadooq (honest) but got confused a great deal. Muhammad ibn ‘Awf accused him of telling lies. End quote.

As-Silsilah as-Saheehah (6/47).

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said regarding the first and second chains of narration: There is weakness in both of them. End quote.

An-Nihaayah (p. 273).

3.. The third chain of narration was narrated by Abu Nu‘aym in Sifat al-Jannah (no. 268). He said: Abu Muhammad ibn Maasi told us: Ahmad ibn Abi ‘Awf told us: ‘Eesa ibn Musaawir told us: al-Waleed ibn Muslim told us, from ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Yazeed ibn Jaabir, from Saleem ibn ‘Aamir, from al-Miqdaam ibn Ma‘di Karib.

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

This isnaad would be saheeh were it not for the fact that al-Waleed ibn Muslim narrated it by saying ‘an [“from”, rather than saying “So-and-so told us”]. End quote.

As-Silsilah as-Saheehah (6/45).

Conclusion: each of the chains of narration of this hadith on its own is da‘eef (weak), but perhaps it may be regarded as stronger when the chains of narration are put together. Hence al-Mundhiri classed the hadith as hasan in at-Targheeb wa’t-Tarheeb (4/274), and Shaykh al-Albaani classed it as saheeh in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah (no. 2512).

Thus it becomes clear that what is mentioned in the question of the characteristics of the people of Paradise is true, apart from three characteristics:

A melodious voice like that of Sayyiduna Daawood (peace be upon him);

A forgiving and easy-going attitude like that of Sayyiduna Ya‘qoob (peace be upon him);

And characteristics and habits like those of Sayyiduna Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

We have not found any evidence for these three characteristics.

And Allah knows best.

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