بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحـمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آلـه وصحبه ومن والاه
The Qur’an is perfect Speech of Allah sent down to mankind. There is not a single word or letter without significance or a purpose. Even the letter و (waw) that is translated as ‘and’. Let us consider the following two Ayaat:
وسيق الذين كفروا إلى جهنم زمرا حتى إذا جاءوها فتحت أبوابها
“And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened.” [Az-Zumar, 71]
وسيق الذين اتقوا ربهم إلى الجنة زمرا حتى إذا جاءوها وفتحت أبوابها
“And those who kept their duty to their Lord, will be led to Paradise in groups, till when they reach it, and its gates will be opened.” [Az-Zumar 73]
Allaamah Al-Sa’di said, “Concerning the disbelievers who will be driven to the gates of Hell, Allah will Call out, ‘open the gates of Hell’, without using the letter (waw /و / and). As for those who feared Allah will be led to Paradise, and Allah will call out, ‘and open the doors of Paradise’.”
Al-Sa’di continued, “This shows that the people of Hell, when they are driven to Hell and arrive at its gates, the gates of Hell will instantly open in front of them without any delay. The lesson here is that the wide open gates of Hell will give them a glimpse into the severity of the Fire in front of their faces, and how hard the Punishment of Allah will be.
“As for Paradise, it’s a place of high nobilty and not anyone can simply enter and claim it. Only those who strived and worked hard for it will be led to Paradise. Therefore its destined occupants will (need to wait a little longer) for the most glorious intercession. The gates of Paradise will not immediately be opened for them. They will have to seek intercession of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, until he implores his Lord to accept his intercession and open the gates…” [see ‘Tafseer al-Sa’di, Surat Az-Zumar, 71-75]
This wait at the gates of Paradise is further detailed in the hadeeth found in Saheeh Muslim where the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is the first to open the gates of Paradise, “I will go to the door of Paradise and will be asked by the gate-keeper, ‘who are you?’ I will reply, ‘I am Muhammad’, then the keeper will say, ‘I was ordered not to open the gate for anyone else before you.’”
Those who are righteous and worked hard for the akhirah, will pass through the mighty gates of Paradise and enter the place of high nobility. While the disbelievers will enter into a place of abject punishment and humiliation.
May Allah grant us the intercession of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and make us from the people of Paradise. Ameen.