“Truly there is a paradise in this world. Whoever does not enter it, will not enter the Paradise of the hereafter.”
Ibn Taymiyyah (raḥimahullāh)
The ‘paradise in this world’ refers to the heart that is filled with bliss, contentment and pleasure. This state is only possible when the heart becomes deeply acquainted with Allah (ʿazza wa jall), loves Him, turns to Him and relies on Him alone. It attains contentment by remembering Him, being alone with Him and attaining closeness to Him. It yearns to meet Him and its greatest desire is to see Him.
Ibn Rajab (raḥimahullāh) wrote: “There is an ‘early paradise’ in the world. It is to know Allah, to love Him, find comfort in Him, long to meet Him, fear Him and obey Him. Beneficial knowledge leads one to attain this. Whoever’s knowledge leads him to enter this ‘early paradise’, will enter Paradise in the next world. And whoever does not sniff the fragrance of the ‘worldly paradise’, will not sniff the fragrance of the Paradise of the hereafter.”
Mālik b. Dīnār (raḥimahullāh) lamented, “The people of the world left the world without having experienced its greatest delight.” When he was asked, “What is its greatest delight?”, he replied, “The maʿrifah (knowledge) of Allah (ʿazza wa jall).”
It is these actions of the heart that will bring you true joy. Once you are blessed with them, you will realise that no other blessing can compare. You will experience the ‘sweetness’ of worship, and your heart will overflow with happiness and contentment. You will carry this wherever you go and it will fortify you against whatever you encounter.
“If the servant was to gain every fortune of the world, its pleasures and desires, but he did not attain the love of Allah, longing for Him and being in His company – then it is as though he did not attain any (real) joy, happiness and bliss.” – Ibn al-Qayyim (raḥimahullāh)
A life in which your heart is attached to Allah (ʿazza wa jall) is truly special. A saint of Allah said, “There are times when I say: if the people of Paradise have anything like this, then how blissful must their lives be!”
Another stated, “There are times when the heart bursts in joy (out of the love for Allah).”
After quoting the above, Ibn al-Qayyim (raḥimahullāh) writes, “Glorified is the One who lets His slaves witness His Paradise well before they meet Him, who opens its doors to them in this world of deeds; and who gives them some of its joy, its breeze and its perfume, so that they may seek it and hasten towards it with all their strength.”
“Truly in the heart there is a certain loneliness that cannot be removed except by spending time with Him in solitude. In it there is a sadness that cannot be removed except through the happiness of knowing Him and being true to Him … In it there is a void that cannot be filled except through loving Him, turning to Him constantly, always remembering Him, and being sincere to Him. Were a person to be given the entire world and everything in it, it would never fill this void.” – Ibn al-Qayyim (raḥimahullāh)