Kifah MustaphaHeaven  (Part 2)
 
Road to Heaven
 
Believe and worship God alone
The foundation of the House in Heaven is to believe and worship the One and only God - Allah (SW).  This is the truth that if ignored or not practiced would deprive the person from Heaven, for we owe Allah to recognize this fact and act on it. Allah (SW) denounced people’s choices of worshipping deities of falsehood and ignoring all the signs that speak of the One and only God; {then is it in false (gods) that they will believe, while in the blessings of God they disbelieve} 29:67. That is why Allah (SW) spoke about those unworthy of His forgiveness (SW) thus His Heaven because they fell into (shirk) associating partners in worship with Him. He (SW) said: {indeed, God will not forgive associating any god with Him} 4:116. He (SW) also said: {very truly they have disbelieved who say: Indeed, God, Himself, is the messiah, son of Mary. While the Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel: Worship God, my Lord and you Lord! Indeed, as to anyone who associates gods with God, then truly God has prohibited for such a one the garden (of Paradise). And his abode shall be the Fire (of Hell)} 5:72.
 
Righteous Deeds
In many references in the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), you will see Heaven as the reward for those who verified their faith by the good righteous deeds. It is a clear indication to what is known of the true definition of faith where the Prophet (PBUH) said: “indeed, faith is not by wishes or descriptions but it is what settled in the heart and verified by actions (of good deeds.)”
 
Among many verses in the Quran that assured this fact is this one: {as for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them there are the Gardens of Paradise (awaiting) as an (everlasting) hospitality Therein they shall abide forever. Therefrom, they shall never seek removal} 18:107/108. And another verse is: {whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, and is a believer, We shall, most surely, cause him to live a good life. Moreover, We shall, most surely, recompense (all of) them with their reward, (in accordance) with the very best they ever did} 16:97.
 
Righteous deeds are of many forms. Allah (SW) gave us a variety of good deeds leading to His pleasure and His reward of Heaven. Some of these good deeds are obligations, like the five daily prayers, fasting, charity or pilgrimage, and some are voluntarily, like extra prayers, reading Quran, asking forgiveness, etc. 
 
Love and Mercy
Faith is love. Faith is not information to be memorized, but rather a feeling that reflects righteousness of the character, words and actions of individuals. The heart that feels love for Allah lives and experiences this feeling with the world around. Imam Qurtubi in his interpretation of Surat Al Asr explains the verse where it says: {and exhort one another to (uphold) the truth} by saying: “Love (each other) and remind each other.”    Look at how the Prophet (PBUH) related faith to love to Heaven! He (PBUH) said: “You shall not enter Heaven until you believe; and you will not believe until you love (one another); Shall I tell you of something to do to make you love each other? Spread peace among you.”
 
Mercy goes along with love because the heart full of love shall reflect mercy on others. In the Quran, Allah (SW) reminded us about such an important combination. Describing Himself, Allah (SW) used the two attributes: {yet He (alone) is the All-Forgiving (One), the All-Loving} 85:14, and forgiveness is one aspect of mercy. When describing the relationship between a husband and wife, Allah mentioned the combination of love and mercy, Allah (SW) said: {and of His (wondrous) signs is that He has created for you, from yourselves, mates, so that you may repose in them. And He has set between you genuine (mutual) love and (tenderhearted) mercy} 30:21. And when describing His messenger’s heart (PBUH) He (SW) related mercy to the Prophet’s ability of love, not harshness or hard-heartedness. Allah (SW) said: {and so, (O Mohammad), it was by the sheer mercy of God that you were lenient with them; for had you been harsh and hard-hearted, then they would have disbanded from around you} 3:158.
 
Patience
Reaching Heaven shall not be a simple easy task. The reward is great, and for that the sacrifices must match. If we don’t have patience we cannot sacrifice and reach Heaven. It was Allah’s wisdom for Heaven to be earned not given free. The Prophet (PBUH) narrated that when Allah created Heaven and Hell, He sent Gabriel to Heaven and said to him: “Look at it and to what I have prepared for its people in it.” Gabriel looked and said: “By Your Greatness no one hears about it but shall enter it.” Allah then ordered for Heaven to be surrounded by hardships and said to Gabriel: “Go back to it and look to what I have prepared for its people in it.” Gabriel after looking said: “By Your Greatness, I am afraid that no one would enter it.”
 
With all these challenges and hardships on the path to Heaven, only patience shall make us prevail. We must never forget that all these hardships are fair and can be handled because Allah (SW) would not burden us with something we cannot bear. Allah (SW) said: {God does not task a soul beyond its capacity} 2:286.
 
Allah is pleased with you; are you pleased with Him (SW)
In Heaven the combination of the physical and spiritual pleasure come together to prevail in a perfect life that everyone should look forward to. But the most important type of pleasure is the one that relates to how Allah (SW) thinks about you; it is greater (Akbar) and magnificent. He (SW) said: {God has promised the believing men and the believing women Gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they shall abide forever- and (therein shall they have) good (and pleasant) dwellings in a Garden everlasting. Yet the pleasure of God is greater (still)! Assuredly, it is this that is the magnificent triumph} 9:72. Allah (SW) tells us that He (SW) cares about our feelings although He (SW) is not in need to any of that at all. It is just through the love from Allah (SW) to His servants that such verses could be understood; Allah (SW) said: {God shall say: This is the Day when the truthful shall benefit from their truthfulness. For them are Gardens beneath which rivers flow- wherein they shall abide, forever and ever- God being well – pleased with them, and they well – pleased with Him. That is the magnificent triumph} 5:119.
 
Your supplications should always be: 
{My Lord! Build for me near You a house in the Garden (of Paradise)} 66:11.
 
Sh Kifah Mustapha