Many people from this ummah will enter Paradise, but only Allah knows their exact number. al-Bukhaari reports from Sa’eed ibn Jubayr who said, “Ibn ‘Abbaas told me that the Prophet (saw) said, “I was shown the nations, and I saw a Prophet passing by with his ummah, another with a band of followers, another with ten followers, another with five, and another who was alone. I looked and saw a huge crowd of people, and I asked, “O Jibreel, are these my ummah?” He said, “No look at the horizon.” I looked and saw a vast multitude. He said,”These are your ummah, and the seventy thousand in front will not be brought to account or be punished.” [al-Bukhaari, Kitaab ar-Riqaaq, Baab Yadhkul al-Jannah Sab’oona Alfaan, Fath al-Baari, 11/406]
The first crowd which the Prophet (Saw) thought was his ummah was in fact the Children of Israel as is stated in a number of saheeh reports, “I hoped that this would be my ummah, but I was told that this was Musa and his people.” [Fath al-Baari, 11/407].
Concerning the words “a vast multitude” Ibn Hajar said, “A report from Sa’eed ibn Mansoor says, “huge” [Adheem] and adds, “It was said to me, “look at the horizon” So I looked and I saw a huge multitude. Then I was told, “Look at the other horizon, it is just like the first one.”” According to a report given by Ibn Faadil, “[I saw] a multitude that filled the horizon and it was said to me “Look here and here, all across the horizon”. According to a version narrated by Ahmad, “I saw my ummah filling the plains and the mountains, and I was amazed at the numbers and their appearance. I was asked, “Are you pleased O Muhammad?” and I said, “Yes O Rabb.” [Fath al-Baari, 11/408]
Some hadiths state that along with every thousand of the seventy thousand will be another seventy thousand plus three handfuls added by Allah.
Our Prophet (saw) hoped that this ummah would constitute half of the population of Paradise. In a hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon, Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said that when the Messenger of Allah (saw) was speaking about who would be sent to hell, he said, “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise. Among the people you are no more than a black hair on the hide of a white bull..” [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/8]
Some hadith state that this ummah will constitute two thirds of the population of Paradise. at-Tirmidhi reports with a hasan isnaad and ad-Daarimee and al-Bayhaqee also report, from Buraydah, that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The people of Paradise are one hundred and twenty ranks, eight from this ummah and forth from the rest of the nations.” [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/92, no. 5644]
Muslim reports from Anas (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “I will be the first intercessor in Paradise. No Prophet was believed in as I was believed in. Among the Prophets is one who was believed in by only one man.” [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/124, no. 5744].
The reason why so many people of this ummah believed is because of the great miracle of the Messenger of Allah (saw), which was a recited revelation which is addressed to hearts and minds. It is a miracle that is preserved and will remain until the Day of Judgement. al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
“There is no Prophet who was not given a sign [or miracle] in which people believed and followed him. That which I have been given is a Revelation from Allah and I hope that I will have the greatest number of followers on the Day of Resurrection.” [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/142, 5746]