Doors of Jannah

In addition to other descriptions of Jannah (heaven), Islamic tradition describes heaven as having eight "doors" or "gates." Each one has a name, describing the types of people who will be admitted through it. Some scholars interpret that these doors are found inside Jannah, after one enters the main gate. The exact nature of these doors is unknown, but they were mentioned in the Quran and their names were given by the Prophet Muhammad.

To those who reject Our signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle. Such is Our reward for those in sin. (Quran 7:40)
And those who feared their Lord will be led to the Garden in crowds, until behold, they arrive there. Its gates will be opened, and its keepers will say: 'Peace be upon you! You have done well! Enter here, to dwell therein.' (Quran 39:73)

Ubadah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad said: "If anyone testifies that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is his slave and His Apostle, and that Jesus is Allah's slave and His Apostle and His word which He bestowed on Mary and a spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise through any of its eight gates he likes."

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said: "Whoever spends two things in the way of Allah will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, 'O slave of Allah, here is prosperity!' So whoever was among the people who used to offer their prayers will be called from the gate of prayer; and whoever was among the people who used to participate in jihad will be called from the gate of jihad; and whoever was among those who used to observe fasts will be called from the gate of ar-Rayyaan; and whoever was among those who used to give in charity will be called from the gate of charity."

It is natural to wonder: What will happen to those people who have earned the privilege to enter Jannah through more than one gate? Abu Bakr had the same question, and he eagerly asked the Prophet Muhammad: "Will there be anyone who will be called from all these gates?" The Prophet answered him, "Yes. And I hope you will be one of them."

The most commonly-cited list of the eight doors of Jannah includes:

Baab As-Salaat

Getty Images / Tareq Saifur Rahman

Those who were punctual and focused in their prayers (salaat) will be granted entry through this door.

Baab Al-Jihad

Those who have died in the defense of Islam (jihad) will be granted entry through this door. Note that the Quran calls upon Muslims to solve issues by peaceful means, and only engage in defensive battles. "Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression" (Quran 2:193).

Baab As-Sadaqah

Those who frequently give away in charity (sadaqah) will be admitted into Jannah through this door.

Baab Ar-Rayyaan

The people who constantly observed fasting (especially during Ramadan) will be granted entry through this door.

Baab Al-Hajj

Those who observe the Hajj pilgrimage will be admitted through this door.

Baab Al-Kaazimeen Al-Ghaiz Wal Aafina Anin Naas

This door is reserved for those who control their anger and forgive others.

Baab Al-Iman

This door is reserved for the entry of such people who have sincere faith and trust in Allah, and who strive to follow the commands of Allah.

Baab Al-Dhikr

Those who constantly remembered Allah (dhikr) will be admitted through this door.

Striving for these gates

Whether one believes that these "gates" of heaven are metaphorical or literal, it helps one to see where the core values of Islam lie. The names of the gates each describe a spiritual practice that one should strive to incorporate into one's life.
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Huda. "Doors of Jannah." ThoughtCo, Apr. 8, 2016, Huda. (2016, April 8). Doors of Jannah. Retrieved from Huda. "Doors of Jannah." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 24, 2018).