It is not only heaven that has a name based on the degree of splendor and the level of its inhabitants. But the door to enter the various levels of heaven also has a special name.
Know the Door of Heaven
Mentioned in the hadith sahl bin Sa’ad As Sa’idi radhiallahu’anhu, the Prophet Shallallahu’alaihi Wasallam said:
فِي الجَنَّةِ ثَمَانِيَةُ أبْوَابٍ، فِيهَا بَابٌ يُسَمَّى الرَّيَّانَ، لا يَدْخُلُهُ إلَّا الصَّائِمُونَ
“In heaven there are eight doors, of which there is a door called ar-Rayyan. No one can enter it except those who fast.” Bukhari no. 3257).
From Ubadah bin Ash Shamit radhiallahu’anhu, that the Prophet Shallallahu’alaihi Wasallam said:
مَن قالَ: أشْهَدُ أنْ لا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ له، وأنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ ورَسولُهُ، وأنَّ عِيسَى عبدُ اللهِ، وابنُ أمَتِهِ، وكَلِمَتُهُ ألْقاها إلى مَرْيَمَ ورُوحٌ منه، وأنَّ الجَنَّةَ حَقٌّ، وأنَّ النَّارَ حَقٌّ، أدْخَلَهُ اللَّهُ مِن أيِّ أبْوابِ الجَنَّةِ الثَّمانِيَةِ شاءَ
“Whoever says: I testify that there is no god but Allah alone, no ally for him, and testify that Muhammad is a servant of Allah and His messenger, and testify that Jesus is a servant of Allah and the son of His people, and he is the word of Allah given to Mary and the spirit of Him, and testify that paradise is true and that hell is true, Then Allah will put him into heaven from any of the eight gates of paradise.” Muslim no.28).
So we must believe and justify the news of the Prophet Shallallahu’alaihi Wasallam, that paradise has eight doors.
What are the eight doors?
It is mentioned in the hadith of Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu’anhu, that the Prophet Shallallahu’alaihi Wasallam said:
مَن أنْفَقَ زَوْجَيْنِ مِن شيءٍ مِنَ الأشْياءِ في سَبيلِ اللَّهِ، دُعِيَ مِن أبْوابِ، – يَعْنِي الجَنَّةَ، – يا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ هذا خَيْرٌ، فمَن كانَ مِن أهْلِ الصَّلاةِ دُعِيَ مِن بابِ الصَّلاةِ، ومَن كانَ مِن أهْلِ الجِهادِ دُعِيَ مِن بابِ الجِهادِ، ومَن كانَ مِن أهْلِ الصَّدَقَةِ دُعِيَ مِن بابِ الصَّدَقَةِ، ومَن كانَ مِن أهْلِ الصِّيامِ دُعِيَ مِن بابِ الصِّيامِ، وبابِ الرَّيّانِ
“Whoever gives a little for two vehicles in the way of Allah, he will be called from the gates of paradise: O servant of Allah this is the result of your goodness! If he is a member of prayer, he will be called from babus shalah (door of prayer), if he is a jihadi expert then he will be called from babul jihad (the door of jihad), if he is a member of almsgiving then will be called from babus shadaqah (door of almsgiving), if he is a fasting expert then will be called from the door of fasting or babur rayyan (door of ar Rayyan)” (Hr. Bukhari no.3666, Muslim no.1027).
Al Qadhi ‘Iyadh rahimahullah commented on this hadith:
ذكر مسلم في هذا الحديث من أبواب الجنة أربعة، وزاد غيره بقية الثمانية، فذكر منها: باب التوبة، وباب الكاظمين الغيظ، وباب الراضين، والباب الأيمن الذي يدخل منه مَن لا حساب عليه
“The Muslim Imam in this hadith mentions the 4 gates of Paradise, then he mentions the remaining 4. Among them: babut taubah (door of repentance), babul kazhiminal ghaizha (door of holding anger), babur radhiin (door of pleasure), and babul ayman (right door) entered by people who enter paradise without hisab” (At Tadzkirah bi Ahwalil Mauta wal Akhirah, 16/183).
Then in another explanation, from Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani rahimahullah, he explained:
وقع في الحديث ذكر أربعة أبواب من أبواب الجنة … وبقي من الأركان الحج فله باب بلا شك، وأما الثلاثة الأخرى فمنها” باب الكاظمين الغيظ والعافين عن الناس… ومنها: باب الأيمن وهو باب المتوكلين الذي يدخل منه من لا حساب عليه ولاعذاب. وأما الثالث: فلعله باب الذكر، فإن عند الترمذي ما يومئ إليه، ويحتمل أن يكون باب العلم
“In the hadith there are 4 gates of paradise… Then the one who performs the pillars of Hajj will get a special door, without hesitation. There are 3 more doors left, including babul kazhiminal ghaizha wal ‘afina ‘anin naas (door to anger and forgiveness of man)… Among them also babul ayman (right door) is the door entered by people who are perfect tawakalnya so that they enter paradise without hisab and without punishment. As for the third, it could be babudz dzikri (door of dhikr). Because there is a hadith of Tirmidhi’s narration that hints at it. Or it could be babul ilmi (door of science)” (Fathul Baari, 7/34).
There is also a hadith about babul walid (filial door to the elderly). From Abud Darda’ radhiallahu’anhu, that the Prophet Shallallahu’alaihi Wasallam said:
الوالِدُ أوسطُ أبوابِ الجنَّةِ، فإنَّ شئتَ فأضِع ذلك البابَ أو احفَظْه
“Old people are the middle gate of heaven. If you want to waste it, go ahead. Or if you want to take care of it, go ahead.” Tirmidhi no.1900, al Albani in the Genealogy of Ash Shahihah, no. 914).
From the hadith and explanations above, we can conclude that the gates of paradise are eight, but what the scholars agree on is four:
- Babus shalah (prayer door), which is entered by those who set up prayers
- Babul jihad (the door of jihad), which is entered by those who fight in the way of Allah.
- Babul shadaqah (door of almsgiving), which is entered by those who like to give alms.
- Babul rayyan (door ar rayyan) or also called babus shiyam (door of fasting), which is entered by those who fast.
But the remaining four dissented opinions. Among the possibilities is,
- Babul kazhiminal ghaizha (door to restrain anger), which is entered by those who are able to control his anger.
- Babul ayman (right door), who is entered by perfect people.
- Babul radhiin (door of pleasure), which is entered by those who are pleased with the destiny of God.
- Babul taubah (door of repentance), which is entered by those who repent nasuha.
- Babul walid (door of filial service to the elderly), which is entered by those who are devoted to the elderly.
- Babul hajji (hajj door), which is entered by those who perfect the Hajj.
- Babul dzikri (door of dhikr), which is entered by people who preach a lot of dhikr
- Babul ilmi (the door of knowledge), which is entered by people who have useful knowledge.
How do I understand the naming of the 8 gates of heaven?
Etymologically, the meaning of naming this door is the person who will enter it is a person who has the same criteria as the name of the heaven’s door. For example, a person who is always devoted to parents when he lives on earth, then later he will enter heaven through the door of “babul walid” which means the door of heaven for people who are devoted to the elderly.
Or also the naming of the door can be understood terminologically / contextually that there are many things that can make humans have a ticket to enter heaven. Tickets to heaven can be obtained in a variety of ways. That is by controlling emotions, being devoted to parents, dhikr to Allah, performing Hajj, repenting to Allah, and studying the science of religion.