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Summary of question
If the pleasures and joys of Paradise are not humdrum and boring, why do the dwellers of Paradise give up one pleasure for another?
question
If the pleasures and joys of Paradise are not humdrum and boring, why do the dwellers of Paradise give up one pleasure for another?
Concise answer

It seems that the reason for this question originates in a kind comparison or similarity drawn between worldly and heavenly features. The questioner is presumably under the impression that Paradise has features as those of the world whereas it is quite the opposite.  Deficiency, defect, disease, death, lethargy and shortcomings or perversity are features characteristic of this world. The Quranic verses and traditions clearly indicate that the characteristics and features of the afterworld are not similar to those of this world.

Giving up one pleasure for another, assuming it to be as such, is not because of getting bored or tired of a bounty; in fact, it is because of the freshness and diversity of pleasures. Paradise is the ultimate objective of all the prophets, religious leaders and believers. The Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) said: If you cast your mind's eye at what is described to you about Paradise, your heart would begin to hate the delicacies of this world that have been displayed here, namely its desires and its pleasures, and the beauties of its scenes."

A heavenly man is dynamic because he is constantly exposed to various manifestations. He ascends from the physical manifestations to the divine pleasure where he sits watching the creations in a heavenly atmosphere.

The next point is that the base of pleasure for a heavenly man is that he is his own Creator's guest sitting at His table. That is to say, he is united with him and it is for the same reason that fatigue and boredom do not have meaning in regards to him.

Detailed Answer

It seems that the reason for this question originates in a kind comparison or similarity drawn between worldly and heavenly features. The questioner is presumably under the impression that Paradise has features like those of the world whereas it is quite the opposite. Deficiency, defect, disease, death, lethargy and shortcomings or perversity are features characteristic of this world. The verses and hadith clearly indicate that there not any deficiency or lacking in Paradise. Its pleasures are permanent; destruction, failure and anxiety do not have any meaning in Paradise. God, the Sublime, says:

 "Verily, the Home in the Hereafter,- that is life indeed, if they but knew."[1]

Therefore, the next world and everything in it is full of life and freshness. A heavenly man is dynamic because he is constantly exposed to various manifestations. He ascends from the physical manifestations to the divine pleasure where he sits watching the creations in a heavenly atmosphere. Giving up one pleasure for another is not because of getting bored or tired of a bounty; in fact, it is because of the freshness, liveliness and diversity of pleasures. Paradise is the ultimate objective of all the prophets, religious leaders and believers. In other words, Paradise is the ultimate achievement, the epitome of success and the greatest of rewards.

The Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) describes Paradise in one of his sermons as such:

"If you cast your mind's eye at what is described to you about Paradise, your heart would begin to hate the delicacies of this world that have been displayed here, namely its desires and its pleasures, and the beauties of its scenes, and you would be lost in the rustling of the trees whose roots lie hidden in the mounds of musk on the banks of the rivers in Paradise and in the attraction of the bunches of fresh pearls in the twigs and branches of those trees, and in the appearance of different fruits from under the cover of their leaves. These fruits can be picked without difficulty as they come down at the desire of their pickers. Pure honey and fermented wine will be handed round to those who settle down in the courtyards of its palaces. They are a people whom honour has always followed till they were made to settle in the house of eternal abode, and they obtained rest from the movement of journeying. O' listener! If you busy yourself in advancing towards these wonderful scenes which will rush towards you, then your heart will certainly die due to eagerness for them, and you will be prepared to seek the company of those in the graves straight away from my audience here and hasten towards them. Allah may, by His mercy, include us and you too among those who strive with their hearts for the abodes of the virtuous."[2]

The next point is that Paradise is the promise to believers for their dealing with God.

The base of pleasure for a heavenly man is that he knows he is his own Creator's guest sitting at His table. That is to say, he is united with him and it is for the same reason that fatigue and boredom do not have any meaning in regards to him. If the effects and pleasure of marriage, delicious foods and taking tasty drinks dwindle in this world, it is because of the deficiency of this world. If it were not for the deficiency and shortcoming of this world, the happiness and felicity of this world would never turn into sadness and misery. Every pleasure would remain everlasting and never-ending without the least shortcoming, failing and deficiency.

There is a verse in the Holy Quran which appears as though it underscores the same point: "Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, their place of entertainment shall be the gardens of paradise, Abiding therein; they shall not desire removal from them."[3] That is to say, those who dwell in Paradise, they do not want any change, and Paradise is not boring for them.



[1] - Al-Ankaboot, 64

[2] - Nahjul Balaghah, sermon 165.

[3] - «ان الذین امنوا و عملوا الصالحات کانت لهم جنات الفردوس نزلا، خالدین فیها لایبغون عنها حولا » Al-Kahf, 108

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