Muslim reports from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said “The poor of the Muhajireen will enter Paradise forty years ahead of the rich”. (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/663, no. 5235)

at-Tirmidhi reported from Abu Sa’eed, and Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah reported from Abu Hurayrah, that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ” The poor of the Muhajireen will enter Paradise five hundred years ahead of the rich of the Muhajireen” (Saheeh al-Jaami’ 4/90, no.4104).

Elsewhere the Prophet (saw) explained that these are the people who have nothing to be brought account for, and this is in addition to their jihaad and virtue. al-Haakim reported from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said , “Do you know who will be the first of my ummah to enter Paradise?” I said, “Allah and His Messenger know best”. He said, “The poor of the Muhajireen. They will come to the gate of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection and ask for it to be opened. The gatekeepers will say to them, “Have you been brought to account?” They will say, “What do we need to be brought to account for? We were carrying our swords and fighting for the sake of Allah (swt) until we died.” Then the gates will be opened for them and they will stay there for forty years before anyone else enters”. (Silsilah al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 2/532, no. 853, al-Haakim said it is sahih according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

al-Bukhaari reports from Usaamah ibn Zayd that the Prophet (saw) said, ” I stood by the gate of Paradise and saw that the majority of those who entered were the poor and wretched. The rich [Muslims] were detained while the people of Hell were ordered to be taken to Hell”. (Sahih al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, BAab Sifaat al-Jannah, wan-Naar, Fath al-Baari, 2/345)

Some of the hadith quoted above stated that the poor will enter Paradise forty years ahead of other people while others state that the difference will be five hundred years. The two statements may be reconciled by pointing out that the poor a re not all alike, neither are the rich. As al-Qurtubee suggested (at-Tadhkirah, p.470) the poor vary in the strength of their imaan and their achievements, and the same applies to the rich. If we think in terms of the first of the poor and the last of the rich to enter Paradise then the time-span will be five hundred years, but if we are thinking of the last of the poor and the first of the rich, then the time span is forty years. And Allah knows best.” (Ibn Katheer, an-Nihaayah, 2/345)