The pleasures of this world are tangible and present, whilst the delights of Paradise are as-yet-unseen promises. People are readily influenced by what they can see and know instantly; it is hard enough for them to forgo something that is in front of them for the sake of something else that is in the future, so how much harder it is if the promise will not be attained until after death! So Allah (SWT) drew a comparison between the pleasures of this world and the joys of Paradise and explained that the delights of Paradise are far superior to this world’s pleasures. The Qur’an speaks at length denouncing this world of instant, fleeting pleasures and stating that the rewards with Allah as far better, to encourage man to strive hard for success in the next world:

And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given them for enjoyment to various groups of them [mushrikeen and kuffaar] the splendour of this life that We may test them thereby. But the provision [good reward in the Hereafter] of your Rabb is better and more lasting” [20:131]

And “Beautified for men is the love of things they covet: women, children, much of gold and silver [wealth], branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life but Allah has the excellent return with Him. Say: “Shall I inform you of things far better than those? For al-Muttaqoon there are Gardens with their Rabb, under which rivers flow. Therein [is their] eternal [home] and Azwaajun mutahharatun [purified mates or wives], and Allah will be pleased with them. And Allah is All-Seer of [His] Slaves” [3:14-15]

There are many reasons why the delights of Paradise are superior to the pleasures of this Dunya; Amongst them:

(i) The Pleasures of this Dunyaa are Fleeting.
Say: Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is [far] better for him who fears Allah..” [4:77]

The Prophet (saw) illustrated the inferiority of this Dunya by comparing it to what Allah has prepared in Paradise, “By Allah, this world in comparison with the Hereafter is nothing more than as if one of you put his finger” – and he gestured with his forefinger – “in the sea; let him see how much water he would retrieve” [Saheeh Muslim, 4/2193, no. 2858]. A finger dipped in the ocean would not even pick up one drop; this is how little this world is worth when compared with the Aakhirah.

Because these pleasures are so insignificant, Allah (SWT) has rebuked those who prefer the pleasures of this world to the joys of the Aakhirah:

O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth in the Cause of Allah [Jihaad] you cling heavily to this earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter” [9:38]

We have already quoted numerous texts that indicate the inexhaustible abundance of the blessings and joys of the Aakhirah.

(ii) The Hereafter is also better from the perspective of quality.
The clothing, food, drink, jewellery and palaces of the people of Paradise will be far superior to their counterparts in this world. There is in fact no room for comparison, as even the smallest space in Paradise is better than this world and all that is in it. al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The space of a whip in Paradise is better than this world and everything in it” [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/85, no. 5613]

Also narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (saw) said, “The space of the bow of any one of you in Paradise is better than all that the sun rises upon” [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/85, no. 5615]

The comparison between the women of Paradise and the women of this earth serves to demonstrate the superiority of that which is in Paradise. al-Bukhaari reports from Anas that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
If a woman from the people of Paradise were to look at this earth, she would light up everything between it and fill it with her fragrance; the veil on her head is better than this world and all that is in it” [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/85, no. 5614]

(iii) Paradise is free from all the impurities and disappointments of this world.
Eating and drinking in this life results in the need for excretion and its associated unpleasant odours. If a person drinks wine in this world, he loses his mind. Women in this world menstruate and give birth, which are sources of pain and hurt. Paradise is free from all of these discomforts: its people will not urinate, defecate, spit or suffer from catarrh. The wine of Paradise, as described by its Creator, is:
Crystal-white, delicious to those who drink [thereof], free from intoxication, nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom” [37:46-47]

The water of Paradise does not become brackish, and its milk never changes in flavour:
“..rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes..” [47:15]

The women of Paradise are pure and free from menstruation, nifaas [postnatal bleeding] and all the other impurities suffered by women in this world, as Allah (SWT) says:
“…and they shall have therein Azwaajun Muttaharatun [Purified mates having no menses, urine, stools, etc]” [2:25]

The hearts of the people of Paradise will be pure, their speech will be good, their deeds righteous. There will be no hurtful, upsetting, offensive or provocative talk there, for Paradise is free of all worthless words and deeds:

“…free from any laghw [dirty, false, evil, vague talk], and free from sin” [52:23]

The only speech that is heard there is good, sincere and pure, free from all the shameful shortcomings of earthly speech:
No Laghw [dirty, false, evil talk] will they hear therein, nor lying” [78:35]
They shall not hear therein any Laghw, but only salaam [salutations of peace]” [19:62]
Where they shall hear neither harmful speech nor falsehood” [88:11]
Paradise is the abode of purity and peace, “No laghw will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech [like backbiting, etc], But only the saying of Salaam! Salaam! [greetings with peace]” [56:25]

For this reason, when the people of Paradise have been saved from the Fire, they will be detained of a bridge between Paradise and Hell, where they will be purified by settling any wrongs that may be outstanding, so that they may enter Paradise, pure of heart and soul, free from any resentment, envy or other negative emotions of this world. al-Bukhaari and Muslims report that when the people of Paradise enter Paradise, “There will be no hatred of resentment among them, their hearts will be as one, and they will glorify Allah, morning and evening” [al-Bukhaari from Abu Hurayrah, in Kitaab bid’ al-Khalq, Baab maa jaa’a fi Sifaat al-Jannah, Fath al-Baari, 6/318]

Allah indeed spoke the truth when He (SWT) said,
And We shall remove from their breasts any lurking sense of injury: [they will be] brothers [joyfully] facing each other on thrones [of dignity]” [15:47]

A “sense of injury” is hatred. It was reported by Ibn ‘Abbaas and ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib that when the people of paradise enter Paradise they will drink from one spring, and Allah (SWT) will remove all sense of injury or hatred from their hearts, and then they will drink from another spring, and their faces will become pure and bright [al-Qurtubee, at-Tadhkirah, p. 499]. This is probably what is meant by the ayah, “And their Rabb will give them a pure drink” [76:21]

(iv) The Pleasures of This World are Transient Whilst the Joys of the Hereafter are Lasting and Eternal.
This is why Allah (SWT) calls the pleasures of this world “temporary conveniences” because they are enjoyed for a short while, then come to an end, but the joys of al-Aakhirah have no end:

What is with you, must vanish, and what is with Allah will endure..” [16:96]
“[It will be said to them]: This is Our Provision, which will never finish” [38:54]
“…its provision is eternal and so is its shade..” [13:35]

Allah (SWT) gave an example of how quickly this world will pass away:
And put forward for them the example of the life of this world, it is like the water [rain] which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But [later] it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is Able to do everything. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds that last are better with your Rabb for rewards and better in respect of hope” [18:45-46]

Allah (SWT) likened this life to the rain that falls from the sky and causes plants to grow and flower and bear fruit. This lasts for only a short time before they shrivel and are blown away by the wind. Such are the luxuries of this life, such as youth, wealth, sons, lands and fields. All of this passes away; youth fades, health and vitality are replaced by sickness and old age, wealth and children may disappear, and a man may be taken from his family and wealth, but the Hereafter will never vanish or go away:
“…And excellent indeed will be the home of the Muttaqoon, ‘Adn Paradise which they will enter, under which rivers flow..” [16:30-31]

(v) Seeking to Enjoy the Pleasures of this World and Neglecting the Hereafter Will be Followed By Regret and Sorrow When One Enters the Fire of Hell.
Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection will you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception [a deceiving thing]” [3:185]