‘I want to go to Jannah (Paradise)’ should be our goal in life. It should be written in bold letters on our foreheads so that it serves a constant reminder for us. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has left with us a very small key to Jannah, which we Muslims today have become oblivious of. Just like you need a key to open your car’s door, or house door, or office door; similarly you need a key to open Jannah to you. What is this key?

The Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever goes down a path/road searching for knowledge, Allah will make it easy for him the road to Paradise.” (Sahih Muslim, Vol.3, Hadith no. 99)

Traveling on the path to knowledge refers both to walking or driving along an actual pathway, such as going to conferences or the local mosque whenever there is an Islamic lecture or seminar. Searching also entails, a metaphysical road, such as studying and memorizing the Qur’an and Hadith. Not just memorizing like a parrot, but understanding it and acting upon it.

For those who seek knowledge, Allah will make their learning easier, clearing the way for him, and smoothing his journey to Paradise. This is why some of our pious predecessors used to say, “Is there anyone seeking knowledge, so that we can assist him in finding it?”

Brothers and sisters, be LOVERS of Knowledge, be seekers of Knowledge. “Yes, where is my Qur’an, where is my Hadith Bukhari!” Let’s get up every morning with a purpose: to seek Jannah by seeking Knowledge. Knowledge is also the shortest path to Allah. Whoever travels the road of knowledge reaches Allah and Paradise by the shortest route. Knowledge also clears the way out of darkness, ignorance, doubt and skepticism. This is why Allah called His Book “Light.”

Knowledge is the ROAD to Paradise, and Islam is the vehicle that takes you to this destination of Paradise. Just like you get in a car to go from one destination to another, but how? By finding out the directions to get there, either by seeing a map or asking someone. Similarly, our Qur’an and Hadith are our maps, and our scholars are the people who give the directions from this map to get to our ultimate destination, Paradise.

Ask yourself, “Is Paradise easy?” Have you ever seen how easy it is for some brothers and sisters to memorize the whole Qur’an by heart? Have you ever seen how easy it is for some of us to study the Qur’an and Hadith for hours and hours, while others cannot even open the Qur’an or Hadith even once a year or month? Why?

Allah said in the Qur’an:

As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him,”

“And believes in Husna (the best).”

“We will make smooth for him the path of Ease (goodness, ie. Paradise).”

“But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient,”

“And gives the lie to Husna.”

“We will make smooth for him the path for Evil (ie. Hell-fire).” (Qur’an, 92:5-10)

What is mentioned in the above verses is so much prevalent in our societies today, yet we don’t learn any lessons from them. For example, how easy it is for some to observe the voluntary fasts whereas for some it is even hard to fast in Ramadan. Some face no problems to get up in the middle of the night and talk to their Lord in private in Salat-ul-Tahajjud, while for others it is hard to even make the Obligatory (Fard) prayers.

How easy it is for some to remain single and yet guard their chastity and protect themselves from illegal sexual intercourse, while others are married and yet indulge in adultery. Some easily memorize the Qur’an and Hadith, while others memorize the latest songs. Why?

For some of us it is EASY to practice Islam while for others it is very HARD to practice. The answer is in the verses quoted above. It is easy for them because they seek knowledge and act upon it, and thus Allah is easing their journey to Paradise.

Our Prophet (peace be upon him) used to supplicate in every prayer, “O Allah! I seek refuge in you from knowledge that does not benefit.

Sitting in front of TV for hours and hours does not benefit us and it does not lead us to Paradise. We waste so much time on magazines and novels, which if we were using to read the Qur’an and Hadith or Islamic books we would be making our road to Paradise easier, In Sha Allah.

Not only does it not benefit us, but more so it harms us. Those TV programs are not teaching us Qur’an and Sunnah, rather they are teaching us how to date or how to be violent and use foul language. They instill evil and wicked ideas into our minds and hearts, making us further away from your destination of Paradise.

We need to get our “cars” (Islam) fixed and focused on the right direction to our destination of Paradise. We need to pick up the “maps” (Qur’an and Hadith) and ask knowledgeable people (scholars) for directions to Paradise.