To Muslims: Why doesn't The Qur'an describe the spiritual aspects of heaven?

As far as I read it, I only hear about physical things, such as beauty, and things of the such.

Hi nanotwerp,

Can you be more specific. what do you mean by spiritual? Can you give some examples.

The way I understand the question is that Heaven in Islam has rivers flowing with wine, lots of sex, and other worldly things that are relatable to earth. What sort of Spiritual things are in Heaven in Islam? I’m curious as well. Here are some examples from Revelation 21. Although there’s much like this in the Bible.

Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place { Or b tabernacle b } of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, { Some manuscripts b peoples b } and God himself will be with them as their God. { Some manuscripts omit b as their God b }

4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. "

5 And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new. " Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. "

6 And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.

7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. "

9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb. "

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,

11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed –

13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls.

16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12, 000 stadia. { About 1, 380 miles; a Greek: b stadion b was about 607 feet or 185 meters } Its length and width and height are equal.

17 He also measured its wall, 144 cubits { A b cubit b was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters } by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement.

18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass.

19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,

20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.

22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.

23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,

25 and its gates will never be shut by day – and there will be no night there.

26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.

27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Here’s 20:

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit { Greek b the abyss b; also verse 3 } and a great chain.

2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,

3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.

6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison

8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.

9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven { Some manuscripts b from God, out of heaven b, or b out of heaven from God b } and consumed them,

10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.

12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.

14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

19… Last one, I promise; it’s so amazing.

1 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

2 for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants. " { Greek b bondservants b; also verse 5 }

3 Once more they cried out, "Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever. "

4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, "Amen. Hallelujah! "

5 And from the throne came a voice saying, "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great. "

6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.

7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;

8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure" – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9 And the angel said { Greek b he said b } to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. " And he said to me, "These are the true words of God. "

10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant { Greek b fellow bondservant b } with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. " For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.

13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in { Some manuscripts b sprinkled with b } blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.

14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.

15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, "Come, gather for the great supper of God,

18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, { Greek b bondservant b } both small and great. "

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.

20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence { Or b on its behalf b } had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

By spiritual, I mean talking about spirits instead of things that can happen on Earth, too; for example: Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom, they say: ‘Why, this is what we were fed before,’ for they are given things in similitude…" (2:25).
"Therein you shall have (all) that your inner‑selves desire, and therein you shall have all for which you ask. An entertainment from Allah, the Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” (41:31-32).
“Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent forth (good deeds) in days past!” (69:24).
“… rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes…” (Quran 47:15). The Qur’an just seems to focus on earthly aspects in the verses about heaven.

dronald,

Most of the things you mentioned are not spiritual and are very very similar to what will happen during the reign of the Mahdi (or maybe we might need to define spiritual to dispel ambiguity). Maybe what you believe is spiritual and will happen in heaven, are the things that Shia Islam state will happen on earth before the great Judgment day?

:slight_smile:

By example I meant spiritual examples. You gave non-spiritual examples. I need spiritual examples because I am not sure what you mean by spiritual, so unless you provide some examples I won’t be able to answer your question.

Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face:598

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.599
1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

1025 To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live "in Christ,"600 but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.601

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.602
1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has “opened” heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him."603

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man’s immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory “the beatific vision”:

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God’s friends.604
1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God’s will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever."605

In the Catechism, the spiritual aspects of heaven seem to be focused on.

Can you post something similar from the Qur’an compared to verse 19?

Just before I start, I must point out that according to Shia Islam the physical and spiritual realms are in many cases inseparable. That is probably why you’ll see a mixed spiritual and physical description of the afterlife in the Quran.

Anyway, I just did a quick search and I am still not sure if these are what you are looking for:

69:
13.Then when the Trumpet will be blown with one blowing (the first one),
14. And the earth and the mountains shall be removed from their places, and crushed with a single crushing,
15. Then on that Day shall the (Great) Event befall,
16. And the heaven will split asunder, for that Day it (the heaven will be frail (weak), and torn up,
17. And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them.
18. That Day shall you be brought to Judgement, not a secret of you will be hidden.
19. Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand will say: "Take, read my Record!
20. “Surely, I did believe that I shall meet my Account!”
21. So he shall be in a life, well-pleasing.

39:
67. They made not a just estimate of Allah such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified is He, and High is He above all that they associate as partners with Him!
68. And the Trumpet will be blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except him whom Allah will. Then it will blown a second time and behold, they will be standing, looking on (waiting).
69. And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord (Allah, when He will come to judge among men) and the Book will be placed (open) and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward, and it will be judged between them with truth, and they will not be wronged.
70. And each person will be paid in full of what he did; and He is Best Aware of what they do.
71. And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till, when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened (suddenly like a prison at the arrival of the prisoners). And its keepers will say, “Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves, reciting to you the Verses of your Lord, and warning you of the Meeting of this Day of yours?” They will say: “Yes, but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!”
72. It will be said (to them): “Enter you the gates of Hell, to abide therein. And (indeed) what an evil abode of the arrogant!”
73. And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun 'Alaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein."
74. And they will say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent a reward for the (pious good) workers!”
75. And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne (of Allah) from all round, glorifying the praises of their Lord (Allah). And they (all the creatures) will be judged with truth, and it will be said. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin.

5:
119. Allah will say: "This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) - they shall abide therein forever. Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. That is the great success (Paradise).

78:
35. No Laghw (dirty, false, evil talk) shall they hear therein, nor lying;
36. A reward from your Lord, an ample calculated gift (according to the best of their good deeds).
37. (From) the Lord of the heavens and the earth, and whatsoever is in between them, the Most Beneficent, none can dare to speak with Him (on the Day of Resurrection except after His Leave).
38. The Day that Ar-Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel) or another angel] and the angels will stand forth in rows, none shall speak except him whom the Most Beneficent (Allah) allows, and he will speak what is right.
39. That is without doubt the True Day, so, whosoever wills, let him seek a place with (or a way to) His Lord (by obeying Him in this worldly life)!

Thanks. What stood out the most were the books, and everyone being judged according to what they had done; similar to Revelation.

Looking objectively as a Muslim, what do you think of the book of Revelation?

And some other verses:

  1. And the Garden will be brought nigh to the Righteous,- no more a thing distant.

  2. (A voice will say:) "This is what was promised for you,- for every penitent heedful one,

  3. "Who feared the Most Gracious unseen, and brought a heart turned in devotion (to Him):

  4. “Enter ye therein in Peace and Security; this is a Day of Eternal Life!” Qaf(50):31-34

  5. Then he who is given his Record in his right hand,

  6. Soon will his account be taken by an easy reckoning,

  7. And he will turn to his people, rejoicing! Al-Inshiqaq(84):7-9

  8. Those are the ones who will be rewarded with the highest place in heaven, because of their patient constancy: therein shall they be met with salutations and peace,

  9. Dwelling therein;- how beautiful an abode and place of rest! Al-Furqan(25):75-76

  10. “We only fear a Day of frowning and distress from the side of our Lord.”

  11. But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that Day, and will shed over them a brightness and (blissful) Joy.

  12. And when thou lookest, it is there thou wilt see a Bliss and a Realm Magnificent.
    Al-Insan(76):10-11, 20

  13. Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation):

  14. “Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home!” Al-Rad(13):23-24

  15. Verily the Companions of the Garden shall that Day have joy in all that they do;

  16. They and their associates will be in pleasant shade, reclining on raised couches; Ya-Sin(36):55-56

  17. Allah hath promised to Believers, men and women, Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting stay. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. that is the supreme felicity. Al-Tauba(9):72

  18. (To the righteous soul will be said:) "O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!

  19. "Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him!

  20. "Enter thou, then, among My devotees!

  21. “Yea, enter thou My Heaven!” Al-Fajr(89):27-30

And a hadith (as meaning): The 1000 years most happiness of wordly life is not equal to a hour of Heaven life and the 1000 years of Heaven life is not equal to a hour seeing/being by Allah/God.

The heaven life will not be only a spiritual life but it wil be just as on the world with soul and fresh. There are both spiritual and physical pleasures and pains on the world. There will be pleasure in Heaven and pains in Hell but with a very high scale.

It also states in the hadiths there are rivers of alcohol and they get 72 virgins.
Almost sounds like going to a pub on a saturday night.
All jokes aside, do muslims believe this?

Well, some of it seems metaphorical and other sections literal. As I stated some aspects bear very clear resemblance to what Happens during the reign of the Mahdi and others are similar to what happens in the hereafter.

I can tell you one thing: there is no reference to alcohol being served in Heaven in Islamic scripture.

I think you’re asking the question with the assumption that the Qur’an’s description of Paradise is always meant in a literal sense. I don’t necessarily take it that way. The joys and rewards of Jannah [Paradise] are beyond our bodily senses, so we cannot fully comprehend what’s there. How do you describe a place that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen? you use analogies; analogies that use pleasures that we’re familiar with.

Prophet Muhammad’s environment was largely made up of deserts, so what would be the opposite of a barren desert where water is scarce? a garden with flowing rivers. The rivers and gardens are pictures of what is yet to come. There may be gardens and rivers in Paradise, but to take all of the Qur’an’s descriptions of Jannah as though they are literal is not very responsible, in my opinion (no offence).

For example, in Surah Muhammad: “Is the description of Paradise, which the righteous are promised, wherein are rivers of water unaltered, rivers of milk the taste of which never changes, rivers of wine delicious to those who drink, and rivers of purified honey, in which they will have from all [kinds of] fruits and forgiveness from their Lord…” [47:15]

Notice the four kinds of rivers there? water, milk, wine and honey.

Water is the one of the substances of from which God created biological creatures. There is no life without water. Milk is the first drink a baby has when it’s born into this world. Wine is a drink of class and nobility. What’s more, sufi poets have often compared spiritual ecstasy to wine. Not that wine is permissible, but the intoxicating drink is being compared to the intoxicating love of Allah azza wa jal. Last, but not least, is honey. Honey is the only food that never goes rotten and it has countless health benefits.

So, with that in mind, we have these illustrations of Paradise saying that it’s a place full of life [water], nurturing [milk], nobility, class and ecstasy [wine] and permenancy [honey]. Abdullah Yusuf Ali [may Allah have mercy upon him] gave this interpretation in his tafseer, so most of the credit goes to him.

Wine is a sign of nobility in Islam?

In no way, it is regarded as a means of eliminating ones intellect and reason and highly forbidden.

Okay. But if you read Drac’s statement you see where I get the impression.

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