Heaven, the heavens or seven heavens, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where heavenly beings such as gods, angels, jinn, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. It is commonly believed that heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate and that earthly beings can ascend to Heaven in the afterlife or in exceptional cases, enter Heaven alive.
Heaven is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a Paradise, in contrast to Hell or the Underworld or the "low places", and universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith, or other virtues or right beliefs or simply the will of God. Some believe in the possibility of a Heaven on Earth in a World to Come.
Another belief is in an axis mundi or world tree which connects the heavens, the terrestrial world, and the underworld. In Indian religions, Heaven is considered as Svarga loka, and the soul is again subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma. This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Moksha or Nirvana. Any place of existence, either of humans, souls or deities, outside the tangible world (Heaven, Hell, or other) is referred to as otherworld.
The Qur'an contains many references to an afterlife in Eden for those who do good deeds. Regarding the concept of Heaven (Jannah) in the Qu'ran, verse 35 of Surah Al-Ra’d says, "The parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised! Beneath it flow rivers. Perpetual is the fruits thereof and the shade therein. Such is the End of the Righteous; and the end of the unbelievers is the Fire."[Quran 13:35] Islam rejects the concept of original sin, and Muslims believe that all human beings are born pure. Children automatically go to Heaven when they die, regardless of the religion of their parents, contrary to Christianity that specifies that the souls of the unborn go to Limbo, although recently the Catholic Church has changed that view in the favor of Heaven as the sole destination for the souls of the infants.
The concept of Heaven in Islam differs in many respects to the concept in Judaism and Christianity. Heaven is described primarily in physical terms as a place where every wish is immediately fulfilled when asked. Islamic texts describe immortal life in Heaven as happy, without negative emotions. Those who dwell in Heaven are said to wear costly apparel, partake in exquisite banquets, and recline on couches inlaid with gold or precious stones. Inhabitants will rejoice in the company of their parents, spouses, and children. In Islam if one's good deeds weigh out one's sins then one may gain entrance to Heaven. Conversely, if one's sins outweigh their good deeds they are sent to hell. The more good deeds one has performed the higher the level of Heaven one is directed to. It has been said that the lowest level of Heaven, the first one, is already over one-hundred times better than the greatest life on Earth. The highest level is the seventh Heaven. Houses are built by angels for the occupants using solid gold.
Verses which describe Heaven include: Quran 13:35, Quran 18:31, Quran 38:49–54, Quran 35:33–35, Quran 52:17–27.
Islamic texts refer to several levels of Heaven: Firdaus or Paradise, 'Adn, Na'iim, Ma'wa, Darussalaam, Daarul Muaqaamah, Al-Muqqamul, Amin & Khuldi.
Uploaded: Dec 26, 2015