Praise be to Allah
Al-Bukhaari (2790) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “In Paradise there are one hundred degrees that Allah has prepared for those who strive in the cause of Allah; the distance between each two degrees is like the distance between heaven and earth. So if you ask of Allah, then ask Him for al-Firdaws, for it is the middle of Paradise and the highest part of Paradise. I think that above it is the Throne of the Most Merciful, and from it spring the rivers of Paradise.”
Al-Haafiz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
This indicates that al-Firdaws is above all the gardens of Paradise, therefore the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said – teaching his ummah and making them aspire for greater things – “So if you ask of Allah, then ask Him for al-Firdaws.” End quote.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Jannat al-Firdaws is the highest of the gardens of Paradise, the noblest, the most light-filled, and the best, because of its closeness to the Throne. End quote.
Al-Fawaa’id (p. 27)
So al-Firdaws is the highest of the degrees of Paradise, and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) urged the Muslims to seek al-Firdaws and ask Allah to help hem attain this lofty degree in Paradise. That can only be achieved by striving hard in seeking it and taking measures that will help one reach it, not merely wishful thinking and wanting.
See the answer to question no. 135085.
The hadith quoted above indicates that it is encouraged to ask for the highest, al-Firdaws, which is the highest degree of Paradise, as mentioned above. Neither this hadith – nor any other, as far as we know – indicates that it is encouraged to ask Allah to let one attain all of the degrees and statuses of Paradise, so that the believer may dwell in all of them, one by one.
Muslim (384) narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas, that he heard the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “When you hear the muezzin, say what he says, then send blessings upon me, for whoever sends blessings upon me, Allah will send blessings upon him tenfold. Then ask Allah to grant me al-waseelah, for it is a station in Paradise which only one of the slaves of Allah will attain, and I hope that I will be the one. Whoever asks for al-waseelah for me, intercession will be permissible for him.”
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Al-waseelah: the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) explained it as being a status in Paradise. End quote.
Sharh an-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim (4/86)
At-Tirmidhi (3612) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Ask Allah to grant me al-waseelah.” They said: O Messenger of Allah, what is al-waseelah? He said: “The highest degree in Paradise which no one will attain except one man, and I hope that I will be the one.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi
Ahmad (11783) narrated that Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: Al-waseelah is a degree with Allah above which there is no other, so ask Allah to grant me al-waseelah.”
From these reports it is clear that al-waseelah is a degree in Paradise, and it is the highest degree therein, above which there is no other. No one will attain it except one man, namely the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is the leader of the sons of Adam, the best of them and the highest in status before Allah, and the closest of them to Him, may He be glorified. Yet despite that he did not ask Allah for anything but this sublime status; he did not ask Him for all the degrees of Paradise, from the lowest to the highest.
Based on that, it is not prescribed for a person to ask his Lord to grant him every degree of Paradise. Rather it is prescribed for him to ask Him for the highest Firdaws, then to strive to attain what he has asked for by fearing Allah and doing righteous deeds.
That is because, if he attains the highest level in Paradise, he will not miss out on any blessing that he hopes to attain in any of the lower degrees, so there is no need to ask for the lower degrees.
But it will be possible for him to go down to a lower degree in order to visit a brother of his there – as some of the scholars said – so that he may acknowledge the blessing that Allah has bestowed upon him and His great generosity.
See the answer to question no. 126349.
See also the answer to question no. 148176.
And Allah knows best.