Islam defines heaven as Jannah, the paradise where good people rest after leaving their earthly body. The holy Quran describes it as ‘gardens of pleasure’, where people are rewarded after death for the good actions that they commit during their lifetime. Hence, it is believed that if one follows the rules set by Allah, commits no sin, and stays good throughout life, they go to heaven. There are seven levels of heaven in Islam, and each level has a different core and construction with a different prophet residing in them.
The Quran calls hell ‘Jahannam’. It is a place of blazing fire and painful torments. It is described as a landscape of pits with boiling water and fire to physically torture one’s spirit. Its vivid descriptions in the Quran are a means to prevent Muslims from committing sins. Therefore, Muslims must follow every word of the holy book and take responsibility for their actions.
Levels of Jannah
As per Sahi and Al Bukhari, there are 100 levels of Jannah. The fact can be traced back from a hadith saying:
“Jannah has one hundred levels and between each level is remoteness like the remoteness between the earth and the sky”.
But with the inclusion of several other trustable narrations, scholars suggest that there are majorly seven levels of heaven in Islam. Muslims believe that an individual will enjoy the blessings and benefits of any level of heaven depending upon their deeds on earth.
What are the seven levels of heaven?
Each of the seven levels of heaven in Islam has a degree or grade according to which each soul is given a place. The righteousness of one’s deeds decides the level of heaven where one will reside after death. Further, there are particular names of heaven in Islam depending upon their virtues. The seven levels of heaven are as follows:
This is the ‘eternal place’. After repenting and facing punishments for every committed sin, a Muslim is given a place in this heaven. In Surah Tawbah, Allah SWT said that He assured His believers that they would find a place in the Gardens of Adan. This is where one finds the greatest acceptance from Allah and marks the biggest conquest. The rivers that flow below the gardens provide everything that one wished for.
Firdaws refers to a garden with all kinds of plants. There are grapevines in the place. It is the most prestigious level and is described as superior to all levels in Kutub-i-Sitta.
In Surah Yunus, the Almighty spoke about this level and said that people who have faith in Allah do good work. Their conviction directed them to stay good throughout their life and led them to this level. Such devotees would come across rivers flowing underneath them in the ‘Paradise of Delight’ and become a part of this level made of iron.
It is a resting place made of brass for devotees and martyrs. Mawa is defined as a place where people take refuge. It has homes and dwellings. Surah An Najm speaks about this level and calls it the ‘Garden of Adobe’ for refugees. It exists by a lote-tree, which stands at the periphery of heaven.
This level is the ‘Garden of Immortality’ where one becomes eternal or immortal. Here one lasts forever. The level is promised to those who follow their path with the utmost devotion without transgressing from their path. This level of heaven compensates for the loss and hardship that one faces in the journey and brings the voyage to halt.
It is a level of intrinsic nature. It is where the soul finds an eternal place to stay. Surah al Fatir mentions this stage of heaven as a safe place where all sufferings and tiredness vanish. It is where nothing affects the soul.
It is the abode of well-being. This is the seventh level of heaven, which is the home of safety and peace. In Surah al Yunus, the Almighty calls back people whom he had willed to walk the Straight Path. Surah al Ana’am, Allah calls it a place where He would protect them.
Many scholars believe that there is the eighth level of heaven, called Illiyyun. It is a home for the perfect Mumins (devotees/ believers). It is an abode of the Hafaza angels, who protect the souls. This is where people get the fruit for their righteous deeds. A few scholars even believe that there are a hundred levels of heaven in Islam. Each level refers to a different grade. Another interpretation of hundred levels refers to the plurality of Jannah where believers fall according to their good deeds and sins. It is believed that the distance between two levels increases with flight.
Mention of Seven Heavens in the Quran
- He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things. (Surah 2, The Cow)
- The seven heavens declare His glory and the earth (too), and those who are in them; and there is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification; surely He is Forbearing, Forgiving. (Surah 17, The Children of Israel)
- So He ordained them seven heavens in two periods, and revealed in every heaven its affair; and We adorned the lower heaven with brilliant stars and (made it) to guard; that is the decree of the Mighty, the Knowing. (Sura 41, Ha Mim)
Characteristics of the levels of heaven in Islam
The levels of heaven are have detailed descriptions. Additionally, the characteristics of heaven can be understood in the following points:
- The paradise is considered to have multiple gardens with each level with elevated status
- Heaven is the place where people achieve eternal bliss and pleasure
- It is also the place where people get eternal youth and immortality
- With the elevation in the level of heaven, people get closer to Allah
How does one attain a higher level of heaven in Islam?
Here are some of the ways to attain a higher level of heaven in Islam
- Having strong faith and belief in Allah and Islam
- Performing righteous deeds and actions
- Obeying Allah and his messenger
- Seeking forgiveness and repentance
- Asking for Allah’s mercy and grace
Seven Heavens FAQs
What are the seven levels of Jannah?
The names of heaven in islam are Jannat al Adan, Firdaws, Jannat-ul-Mawa, Jannat-an-Naim, Dar al-maqama, Dar al-salam, and Dar al-Akhirah.
How can one ensure entry into jannah or heaven?
It is believed that if a devotee follows every word of the Quran and does good in their life, they go to heaven. The count of righteousness defines the level of heaven.
What is Barzakh?
Before Allah decides Jannah or Jahannam for a Muslim, the person goes to Barzakh. It is a place that differentiates between the living and the dead.
Can a Mumin in hell go to heaven?
According to the beliefs of Islam, Mumins go to heaven after repenting for their sins in hell. In one of the Hadiths, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has mentioned this.
What is the eighth level of heaven?
The eighth level of heaven is called Illiyyun, where the the Hafaza angels protect the souls who reach here.
How many levels of jannat are there in Islam?
Seven levels of jannat is Islam are mentioned in the holy Quran.
Are there specific names for each level of heaven in Islam?
There are no official names assigned to the seven levels of heaven; however, some scholars have proposed names for several levels such as Garden of Eternity for Jannat al-Khuld, Garden of Eden for Jannat al-Adn, etc.