Are There People in Paradise or the Fire Now?
by The Albaani Blog
Questioner: O Utsaadh! Are there people who have now entered Paradise or people who have entered the Fire? Like the aayah in Surah Yaa Seen, “It was said to him, ‘Enter Paradise.’” [Yaa Seen 36:26]
Al-Albaani: This is about what will be. As for now, there is nothing but the life of al-Barzakh. Entering Paradise or the Fire is appointed at the Reckoning … [at] the resurrection on the Day of Resurrection.
Questioner: Even the martyrs and Prophets?
Al-Albaani: All of them. But their souls are in a specific state of bliss as he عليه السلام said, “The souls of the martyrs are in the crops of green birds, eating from the fruits of Paradise,” and likewise, “The souls of the believers are in the bellies of green birds, eating from the fruits of Paradise.” So this bliss is that of the souls, as for the bliss of the body and soul together and likewise the torment [of them both together], that will not be except after the resurrection.
Questioner: Okay, O Ustaadh! What we understood, according to our intellect, is that when a person is living, his soul and body are interconnected …, when Allaah the Mighty and Majestic says, “Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive …” [Aali-Imraan 3:169] what I mean is [i.e., what I understand from the aayah is], ‘Nay, they are alive …’ i.e., alive as in the soul is in the body, connected.
Al-Albaani: This is something well-known which does not need to be asked about, the Prophet explained it for you and gave you the answer and I mentioned it to you earlier … the souls of the martyrs are in the crops of green birds, what does this mean? That firstly, the life of a martyr is commensurate with his rank before Allaah and, secondly, [at the same time it is also commensurate] with his existence in barzakh.
Life differs. Life in Barzakh differs from life in this world, and life in the Hereafter differs from both of those forms of life together, life in the Hereafter is different from life in al-Barzakh and life in this world too.
For this reason it is not permissible for a person to employ analogical reasoning [qiyas] … making an analogy of that which is Unseen based upon that which is, such that you say, ‘We don’t know life except in this manner!’
Don’t use this life which you are familiar with to make an analogy of that life which you are not acquainted with; especially when some texts have been related which totally clarify for you the fact that the life of martyrs which our Lord the Mighty and Majestic affirmed in the Quraan, saying, “Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, receiving provision …” … what is their provision?
It is not [various] dishes like those we have, their provision is that they eat by way of what that green bird eats, this is the provision [being referred to], the hadith explains the Quraan.
Questioner: When the Prophet عليه الصلاة والسلام saw Paradise and the Fire and found those who were being punished therein and those who were in bliss, how is that then?
Al-Albaani: Yes, the [differing] states that the Companions of Paradise and those of the Fire will be in [i.e., after Barzakh, on the Day of Judegement] was unveiled to him–this is the true unveiling [kashf] which the Sufis have stolen and attributed to themselves; it [i.e., such kashf] is only for the Prophets and Messengers.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 28.