Entertainment of the Hereafter
In this day and age, there are so many avenues of entertaining oneself, it would not be possible to name all of these forms. Each of us chooses their own entertainment based on personal preferences and tastes. But in the aakhirah, there will only be two choices for entertainment. Allah ta’ala conveys to us:
إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ نُزُلًا
Indeed We have prepared Hell-fire as an entertainment for the disbelievers. (18:102)
نُزُلًا Nuzulan is from noon-zay-laam which literally means to descend and come down. From this root, the word nuzul is used for whatever is prepared for a guest’s entertainment and lodging. When a guest comes, you prepare their food, where they are going to stay, their lodging, where you will take them and what you plan to do with them. Nuzul is all that has been prepared as hospitality. Will the disbelievers be entertained in hell fire? No, rather nuzul here is being used for sarcasm. Jahannam will be their guest house and lodging, their clothes will be of fire, their skins will be replenished after being burnt, they will be arguing with their companions, rebuked by the Angels, abandoned by Allah ta’ala, and their food will be of Zaqqoom and Ghassaaq, and their drink of boiling water…This is their ‘entertainment’, abiding therein eternally.
So that’s lodging choice number one. What’s choice number two?
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ نُزُلًا
Indeed those who believe and do righteous deeds, shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaws for their entertainment. (18:107)
The believers will have Firdaws as their entertainment and lodging. Allah ta’ala says كَانَتْ لَهُمْ , kaanat lahum, it was for them. Why past tense? For two reasons: firstly to show that Allah ta’ala Knew these believers deserved Firdaws before they reached it and secondly, to add even more emphasis, FOR SURE they will have entertainment in Firdaws. Firdaws is the name of the highest level of Jannah and linguistically, it refers to a garden that has everything a garden should have: it is full of fruits, flowers, vines, rivers, ample in size, and comfortable. Everything you could want is in this Jannah, it is the perfect nuzul. What is their entertainment? They will have houses of gold and silver, springs and rivers, clothes of silk, jewelry of gems, drinks of milk, wine, honey, food of meat, trees of fruits, spouses of equal age and they will see Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala…This is their entertainment, abiding therein eternally.
The choice is yours: how do you want to be entertained?