Each one of us pines after an entrance to Jannat-ul-Firdos, the ultimate sanctuary reserved for the believers in the Aakhirah (Hereafter). Granted, we all want a passage to that beautiful abode of eternal bliss, but one must pause and think, are we sincerely striving to attain our place in it? Or do we sometimes get too ‘attached’ to this transitory world and forget the higher purpose?
Every Muslim should do everything in their power to attain the pleasure of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and to work towards attaining the highest ranks in Jannah (Paradise). But only the righteous deeds in this world can pave the way for an eternal life in Jannah.
This article highlights ten easy ways through which every Muslim can attain the pleasure of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and in turn, book their ticket to Jannah, Allah-willing.
1- Believe and Do Righteous Deeds
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says in Quraan:
وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّلِحَتِ أُو۟لَٓئِكَ أَصْحَبُ ٱلْجَنَّةِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَلِدُونَ
As for those who believe, and do good deeds, they are the people of Paradise – there they will live forever. (Al-Baqarah 2:82)
This Aayah (Verse) is one of the many Aayaat (Verses) in the Quraan where Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) stresses greatly on the essential role of ‘Faith’ and ‘Good Deeds’ in our entrance to Jannah. The Shahaadah, belief in the oneness of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), and being a good person, carrying out righteous deeds in this world along with being a decent human being, lies at the core of Islam. Faith, on its own, renders as insufficient to get a place in Jannatul Firdos; our belief needs to be backed up by our actions as well. Only firm belief in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and His Powers will allow an individual to believe in an Aakhirah and the idea of an eternal Jannah and Jahannum (Hell). This faith, in turn, allows one to be more self-aware and more conscious of carrying righteous deeds in this World in order to attain Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s pleasure and a place in Jannah in the next world.
2- Repent Constantly
No human is perfect, and consequently, no one is sinless. Some sins are committed on purpose and some unconsciously. Therefore, Taubah (Repentance) is our saving grace. If we atone for our sins and Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) accepts it, our sins are wiped away and we are granted a clean slate. Even our Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam), the best of mankind and Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s creations, used to repent constantly and beg for Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s mercy and forgiveness.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ فَإِنِّي أَتُوبُ فِي الْيَوْمِ إِلَيْهِ مِائَةَ مَرَّةٍ
“O people! Turn to Allah in repentance. Verily, I repent to Him one hundred times in a day.” (Muslim)
3- Never Stop Being Grateful
Make it a habit to be grateful. Be thankful to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) for all that He has given you and for what He deprives you of, for He knows best for His servants. We should look towards the favors and blessings that he bestows on us every single day and the calamities that He protects us from. Even a whole lifetime spent in constant gratitude and worship of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), can never surmount to the blessings, and Kindness He bestows on us. As He says in the Quraan:
فَٱذْكُرُونِىٓ أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَٱشْكُرُوا۟ لِى وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ
“So Remember Me, and I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and be not ungrateful to Me” (Al-Baqarah 2:152)
4- Offer Tahajjud
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) loves those who sacrifice their sleep just to seek the pleasure of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and worship Him. According to our Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam):
أفضل الصلاة بعد الفريضة: صلاة الليل
“The best Salaah (Prayer) next after the Fardh (Mandatory) Salaah is Salaah at night (Tahajjud Prayers).” (Muslim)
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) gives all His believers the opportunity to turn to Him during the night and offer Tahajjud (Optional late night) Salaah so He may forgive them and send His eternal Blessings on them. Offering Salaatut Tahajjud grants us a higher status in Jannah. Hence, we should overcome our desire to sleep and take out time to stand in front of our Lord, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and pour our heart out. The time of Tahajjud is also one of the most opportune times for Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) to listen to His believers, so if we pray with our heart, our prayers will surely be heard and accepted.
5- Be Kind to Your Parents
Kindness and obedience towards one’s parents is one of the most emphasized matters in Islam. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) enjoins us to treat our parents with nothing but love and respect and to take care of them without so much as a ‘huff’ of complaint, for they are most precious. Every parent gives sacrifice and bears hardships for the sake of their children, and hence, it is the duty of their children to love and cherish them. The Quraan says:
وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا [الإسراء: 23]
” Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and do good to parents. If any one of them or both of them reach old age, do not say to them: Uff (a word or expression of anger or contempt) and do not scold them, and address them with respectful words” (Israa 17:23)
6- In the Face of Hardships, be Patient
Trials and hardships are all part of our ultimate test in this world and what matters most is how we react to them. Whatever trials and tribulations we go through in this world, we will be compensated for them in the next world, but that is only if we choose to adopt a patient approach and endure the difficulties with a steady heart and unwavering trust in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and His Will. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) loves those who bear calamities with patience and resilience, rather than hopelessness and despondence. We need to have faith in the fact that everything happens for a good reason and have faith in Him, for He only ever wants good for His servant. The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said:
حْفَظْ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ أمامك، تَعَرَّفْ إلَى اللَّهِ فِي الرَّخَاءِ يَعْرِفُك فِي الشِّدَّةِ، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ مَا أَخْطَأَك لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُصِيبَك، وَمَا أَصَابَك لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُخْطِئَك، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ النَّصْرَ مَعَ الصَّبْرِ، وَأَنْ الْفَرَجَ مَعَ الْكَرْبِ، وَأَنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
“Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. Recognize and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. And know that what has passed you by [and you have failed to attain] was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and hardship with ease.” (Al-Arba’oon An-Nawawiyyah)
The hardships and trials in this world only pave the way for a surer passage of rewards and Jannah in the next world. Whenever you feel like hope and strength is slipping away, turn to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). Surrender yourself and your afflictions to Him and He will never let you down. Have faith in Him and He will never leave you alone.
7- Be Kind and Just to the People Around You
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) loves those who are good to His creation. We are instructed to integrate kindness in our everyday dealings with the people around us and to act justly towards them. Kindness comes in all shapes and forms, be it helping out your neighbor, doing a favor for a friend, supporting a person in need etc.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَفِيقٌ يُحِبُّ الرِّفْقَ وَيُعْطِي عَلَى الرِّفْقِ مَا لَا يُعْطِي عَلَى الْعُنْفِ وَمَا لَا يُعْطِي عَلَى مَا سِوَاهُ
“Verily, Allah is Kind and He loves kindness. He rewards for Kindness what is not granted for harshness and He does not reward anything else like it.” (Muslim)
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) also instructs us to treat people fairly and justly, and granting them their full rights. A core element of being a decent and good human being means being a source of comfort and ease to the people around you. And it is kindness and justness, that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) favors in His believers.
8- Recite Aayatul-Kursi After Every Salaah
Every Muslim is well aware of the importance of offering the five daily Fardh (Mandatory) Salaah and its rewards. However, one simple task has been suggested that can increase your blessings and reserve a place for you in Jannah. And that is to recite the Aayat-ul-Kursi after each Salaah. It barely takes half a minute to recite but the rewards and blessings it incites as a consequence can last forever.
9- Forgive Others
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says in Quraan:
وَسَارِعُوا إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ o الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ [آل عمران: 133-134]
“Race with one another towards Forgiveness from your Lord and towards a paradise the width of which spans the heavens and the earth. It has been prepared for the Allah-fearing, the ones who spend (for Allah‘s sake) in prosperity and adversity, and those who control anger and forgive people. And Allah loves those who are good in their deeds.” (Aale ‘Imraan 133-134)
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) implores us to forgive, just as we would want Him to forgive us for our mistakes. Anger, spite, revenge and hate cause nothing but more pain and damage, to not only ourselves but to the people around us. Nothing good ever comes out of holding grudges against people who have wronged us. Instead of harboring anger and ill feelings towards a person, forgive them and have faith in the fact that everyone has to answer to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and they will be dealt with accordingly.
Forgiveness not only cleanses the soul but incurs blessings from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) as well.
Tawakkul is trust in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). He says in Quraan:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ [آل عمران: 159]
“Surely, Allah loves those who place their trust in Him.” (Aale ‘Imraan 3:159)
To put your complete trust in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is to surpass all words and to rely on Him with all your heart and soul. Reliance on Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) means you do everything that is within your locus of control to pursue your life aims and at the same time, have blind faith in the fact that whatever the future holds, it is in our best interest and whatever the outcome is, it is the Divine Will of the Almighty and it is what He has ordained.
لَوْ أَنَّكُمْ تَوَكَّلْتُمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ حَقَّ تَوَكُّلِهِ لَرَزَقَكُمْ كَمَا يَرْزُقُ الطَّيْرَ تَغْدُو خِمَاصًا وَتَرُوحُ بِطَانًا
“If you were to rely upon Allah with the reliance He is due, you would be given provision like the birds: They go out hungry in the morning and come back with full bellies in the evening.” (Tirmizi)
Having Tawakkul and complete trust in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) saves one from anxiety, depression and the feeling of helplessness, because having faith in Him means leaving everything up to Him with the expectation that He will not forsake you. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) adores His servants who rely on nothing but Him, and Him alone.
In short, we must constantly strive towards carrying out righteous deeds that please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) to grow closer to Him. We have a limited time in this world to do as much good as we possibly can to secure a place for ourselves in the eternal bliss of Jannah.