Stories and descriptions could have never prepared him for the sight that lay before him. As the velvet clouds parted, he witnessed a world far beyond his capability of imagination. Submerged in bewilderment and jubilation, he gaped in awe with his eyes widening with every passing second, for they could not withstand such beauty and splendor.
Expansive gardens of tranquility and everlasting bliss stretched out in front of him, bordered with colossal trees of succulent figs and dates, its branches spread out, basking in the celestial glow of the sun. Mansions accommodating elevated couches of perpetual residence were stationed around the verdant gardens.
His hand flew to his mouth as he gasped in disbelief bringing into his view his bejeweled wrists which were adorned with bracelets of gold that he failed to notice before. The green garments of fine silk and brocade caressed against his lustrous skin emitting an ethereal glow. However, there was no time for comprehension because soon after that, his eyes diverted to a curtain of crystalline water which gushed down with a soft rumble and splattered against the banks, wreathed with gold and its bed of luminescent pearls and scarlet rubies. That was when he was hit by the long-awaited understanding. He had successfully passed the test. Emotions of fulfillment and contentment engulfed him as a triumphant smile spread across his face and warmth surged through his body. His reward had come to him at last. The hardships had all been worth it.
Not far away, saccharine rhapsodies of emotion and melodious bubbles of laughter drifted to his ears. He listened to it with rapture and hypnotically advanced towards it. Upon reaching his desired station, he was welcomed with elated greetings and smiles from the residents of Paradise.
His eyes opened blearily, a euphoric smile playing on his lips as the memory of his recent dream echoed inside his head. Although the dream had ended, the feeling of warmth and contentment made him feel whole. A sudden realization got him reeling backward. All this ecstasy was nothing compared to the glory of Paradise. The Quranic verse came unbidden to his mind, “My Lord, build for me a home with You in Paradise….”.
By Amna Farhan