So what is heaven? What does the Scriptures say?
We’re all aware that when we die, we go somewhere. Either that place is good which is called heaven or bad which is hell.
Unfortunately nowadays most of the people don’t believe in hell (except maybe the Jews and the Muslims). If we look from the XIX century and backwards every believer believed in hell, but since the half of XX century onwards it changed a LOT, here is a link you may read:
Even the Church don’t believe in hell anymore. Can you believe that? So do you really believe that all those assassins in the world such as Timothy McVeigh or Radovan Karadžić will go to heaven? Or those thieves that steel things that don’t belong to them? That’s wrong to think that God’s justice is weak. How can you possibly think that hell is a myth? It’s like saying that “evil” doesn’t exist, come on!
Ok, let’s leave hell for another time and continue to heaven.
Here is what the Bible tells us:
Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ ”
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 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 water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.
14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia [or 1,400 miles!] in length, and as wide and high as it is long [1,400 miles wide and tall!].
17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits [that is 200 feet!] thick.
18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.
19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst [these last two stones are unknown or only exist in heaven today].
21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.
27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.” I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“ ‘No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbors who are painful briers and sharp thorns. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign LORD. “ ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob. They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God.’ ”
Does that mean that Jerusalem is heaven? Because if it is, counting its 125.156 km2 or 48.323 sq mi of surface and taking note that each person needs 1 sq meter to stand freely, that means that there will be about 126 000 people in heaven. For those people it will look more a prison than heaven.
Now what does the Quran say?
Al Hijr 15:45-48
“Truly! The Muttaqun (pious and righteous people) will be amidst Gardens and water-springs (Paradise). “(It will be said to them): ‘Enter therein (Paradise), in peace and security.’ “And We shall remove from their breasts any sense of injury (that they may have), (So they will be like) brothers facing each other on thrones. “No sense of fatigue shall touch them, nor shall they (ever) be asked to leave it.”
The pilgrimage 22: 23
Truly, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds, to Gardens underneath which rivers flow (in Paradise), wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments therein will be of silk.
Ya-Sin 36: 55-58
Verily, the dwellers of the Paradise, that Day, will be busy in joyful things. They and their wives will be in pleasant shade, reclining on thrones. They will have therein fruits (of all kinds) and all that they ask for. (It will be said to them): Salamun (peace be on you), a Word from the Lord, Most Merciful.
The Groups 39: 73-74
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.” 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!”
The Smoke 44: 51-55
Verily! The Muttaqun (pious), will be in place of Security (Paradise). Among Gardens and Springs; Dressed in fine silk and (also) in thick silk, facing each other, So (it will be), and We shall marry them to Houris (female fair ones) with wide, lovely eyes. They will call therein for every kind of fruit in peace and security;
Muhammad 47: 15
The description of Paradise which the Muttaqun (pious) have been promised is that in it are rivers of water the taste and smell of which are not changed; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine delicious to those who drink; and rivers of clarified honey (clear and pure) therein for them is every kind of fruit; and forgiveness from their Lord. (Are these) like those who shall dwell for ever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels?
The Moon 54: 54-55
Verily, The Muttaqun (pious), will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers (Paradise). In a seat of truth (i.e. Paradise), near the Omnipotent King (Allah, the All-Blessed, the Most High, the Owner of Majesty and Honour).
The Event 56: 10-40
And those foremost [ in performing righteous deeds,] will be foremost (in Paradise). These will be those nearest to Allah. In the Gardens of delight (Paradise). A multitude of those (foremost) will be from the first generations (who embraced Islam). And a few of those (foremost) will be from the later time (generations). (They will be) on thrones woven with gold and precious stones, Reclining thereon, face to face. They will be served by immortal boys, With cups, and jugs, and a glass from the flowing wine, Wherefrom they will get neither any aching of the head, nor any intoxication. And fruit; that they may choose. And the flesh of fowls that they desire. And (there will be) Houris (fair females) with wide, lovely eyes (as wives for the pious), Like unto preserved pearls. A reward for what they used to do. No Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk) will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech. But only the saying of: Salam!, Salam! (greetings with peace) ! And those on the Right Hand, – Who will be those on the Right Hand? (They will be) among thornless lote-trees, Among Talh (banana-trees) with fruits piled one above another,In shade long-extended, By water flowing constantly, And fruit in plenty, Whose season is not limited, and their supply will not be cut off, And on couches or thrones, raised high. Verily, We have created them (maidens) of special creation. And made them virgins. Loving, equal in age. For those on the Right Hand. A multitude of those (on the Right Hand) will be from the first generation (who embraced Islam). And a multitude of those (on the Right Hand) will be from the later times (generations).
The Man 76: 12-21
And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining therein on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold. And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach. And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal, Crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof according to their wishes. And they will be given to drink there a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil (ginger, etc.), A spring there, called Salsabil. And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls. And when you look there (in Paradise), you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink.
The News 78: 32-38
Verily, for the Muttaqun, there will be a success (Paradise); Gardens and grapeyards; And young full-breasted (mature) maidens of equal age; And a full cup (of wine). No Laghw (dirty, false, evil talk) shall they hear therein, nor lying; A reward from your Lord, an ample calculated gift (according to the best of their good deeds). (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). 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.
The Cow 2: 25
And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), and they will abide therein forever.
The Criterion 25: 15-16
Say: “Is that (torment) better or the Paradise of Eternity promised to the Muttaqun (pious and righteous persons)?” It will be theirs as a reward and as a final destination. For them there will be therein all that they desire, and they will abide (there forever). It is a promise binding upon your Lord that must be fulfilled.
Sad 38: 49-54
This is a Reminder, and verily, for the Muttaqun (pious and righteous persons ) is a good final return (Paradise), -, Adn (Edn) Paradise (everlasting Gardens), whose doors will be open for them.Therein they will recline; therein they will call for fruits in abundance and drinks; And beside them will be chaste females restraining their glances only for their husbands, (and) of equal ages. This it is what you (Al-Muttaqun – the pious) are promised for the Day of Reckoning! (It will be said to them)! Verily, this is Our Provision which will never finish;
Qaf 50: 31-35
And Paradise will be brought near to the Muttaqun (pious ) not far off. (It will be said): “This is what you were promised, – (it is) for those oft-returning (to Allah) in sincere repentance, and those who preserve their covenant with Allah (by obeying Him in all what He has ordered, and worship none but Allah Alone). “Who feared the Most Beneficent in the Ghaib (unseen): (i.e. in this worldly life before seeing and meeting Him), and brought a heart turned in repentance, “Enter you therein in peace and security; this is a Day of eternal life!” There they will have all that they desire, and We have more.
Jonah 10: 9-10
Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, Day of Resurrection… ], and do deeds of righteousness, their Lord will guide them through their Faith; under them will flow rivers in the Gardens of delight (Paradise). Their way of request therein will be Subhanaka Allahumma (Glory to You, O Allah!) and Salam (peace) will be their greetings therein (Paradise)! and the close of their request will be: Al-Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil-‘Alamin [All the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of ‘Alamin( all that exists)].
Heaven is a reward, so we have to work for it. It works the same way as the wage we take for the work that we do everyday. You get paid for the work you do. You won’t get paid for doing nothing.
Heaven is the place of bliss, for those who are worthy. And God knows best who deserves it.