Being people of Jannah

Being people of Jannah

The people of Jannah

In Surat al-Dhariyat, where Allah describes the people of Jannah:

‘The mindful will be in the Gardens with flowing fountains, receiving what their Lord gives them. Indeed, before this, they were good in their deeds. [51:15-16]

There are similar descriptions in many surahs, especially towards the end of the Quran. However, getting to Jannah is not that easy, depending on where you are on your journey.

In these ayahs, Allah Almighty tells us how they got to Jannah. First, he calls them the muttaqeen – people of taqwa. Taqwa comes from the word wiqayah, literally meaning protection – i.e. they protected themselves from the wrath of Allah. How did they do this? By following His commands. As simple as that.

The people of ihsan

Allah Almighty says that even before they went to Jannah, they were muhsineen – people of ihsaan, not just people of imaan. We can think of imaan as the normal level and ihsaan as the level above this. In the famous Hadith Jibreel, the Angel Jibreel came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) in the shape of man, and asked him about Islam, imaan, and ihsan. He replied that ihsan is:

‘To worship Allah as if you see Him’ [Bukhari]

Thus ihsan is the core of ibadah. You can think of it as sincerity, carrying out all your actions knowing that Allah is watching and listening to you – not just during salah and siyam, but always. Worshipping Allah as though you can see him: this is what gets us from imaan mode to ihsan mode. This is what lets the people of Jannah enjoy Jannah.

Ihsan can come in different forms. It can also involve doing goodness, or being charitable and kind. We can have ihsan with relation to animals and plants, the planet and the environment. It’s a very broad concept. But anything you do has to be with Allah in mind.

Ramadan helps us improve our ihsan

The beauty of Ramadan is that it is a course in striving for excellence (ihsan). Fasting is worship between you and Allah. You could tell someone you are fasting, but actually have eaten a large meal – they wouldn’t know. Only Allah knows. It is your ihsan that stops you from eating throughout the day. Fasting as though you can see Allah increases ihsan in your life. When you fast, let your limbs, eyes, ears, and tongue fast with you as well, not just your tummy from eating and mouth from drinking. This is how Ramadan can sharpen our ihsan, and inshallah make us among the muhsineen.

Make Allah your target

The last thing Allah mentions in this set of ayahs is that the people of Jannah:

‘Used to sleep only little in the night, and pray for forgiveness before dawn.’ [51:17-18]

The people of Jannah did sleep, but not that much. They would wake up and pray tahajjud, and do istighfar during sahar time. They were concerned about the akhirah, over the enjoyment of the dunya – though that isn’t haram to enjoy yourself as long as it’s within the boundaries of what is permissible. However, the dunya wasn’t their main concern: Allah was their target.

We ask Allah to make us among people of ihsan, the people of Jannah, especially in these last 10 nights inshallah. Let’s roll up our sleeves and increase our ihsaan and taqwa.

Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Ramadan Night 20

Transcribed by Hana Khan

How to turn an ordinary fast, into a super fast

What is the connection between closeness to Allah, excellence and fasting?

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.