Does Paradise have several gates and do those gates have specific names?

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SHAFAQNA - Paradise has eight different gates. As for their names and what group of people use which gate to enter, there are different reports and traditions. Their names – such as Baab al-Rahmah (Gate of Mercy), Baab al-Sabr (Gate of Patience), Baab al-Shukr (Gate of Gratitude) Baab al-Balaa (Gate of Tribulation) etc. – have been mentioned differently in different traditions. What is inferred from these narrations is that each one of these gates are for a specific group of the People of Paradise who were busy doing special good deeds in the world. Therefore the names have to do with the special good deeds characteristic of those people.
Paradise has many a number of gates since the Holy Quran says: “And those who are careful of (their duty to) their Lord shall be conveyed to the garden in companies; until when they come to it, and its doors shall be opened, and the keepers of it shall say to them: Peace be on you, you shall be happy; therefore enter it to abide.”[1] As well, the Quran says, ” Gardens of Eternity, whose doors will (ever) be open to them.”[2]
According to many reports transmitted by both Shia and Sunni schools, Paradise has as many as eight gates.[3] The Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib (AS) has been reported as having said: “Paradise has eight gates, a gates for our followers and lovers getting through, another for other Muslims who testified to the oneness of God by saying, “There is no god but Allah and …”[4]
It has been narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said: Paradise has eight gates and Hell has seven[5] as also evidenced by the Quran which says that “It has seven gates; for every gate there shall be a separate party of them.”[6]
It has been narrated by a Sunni narrator that: “Paradise has eight gates, one for those who establish prayers, one for those who observe fast, one for (Hajj) pilgrims,  one for those who perform umrah (of Hajj), one for Mujahideen (those who fight in jihad) and one for zakireen (those who remember God) and another for thanksgiving ones.”[7] It is deduced from narrations that there is a gate for every deed and action and that every good doer who will go to Paradise will be resurrected with his best deeds on the Day of Judgment. Hence, no matter what a person’s best action may be, he is invited with the same good action to enter through a special gate.[8]
Therefore, what is certain is that Paradise has multiple gates and each one has a name, describing the types of people who will be admitted through it.  They are eight. As for their names and what group of people enters through which gate, there are different reports and traditions. The names of all them have not been mentioned. However, we can quote some narrations in which names of some of those gates have been mentioned:
The Holy Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him and his family, said: “The Paradise has eight gates. One of them (these gates) is called Al Rayyan, only the fasting people (people who used to perform fasting during their lives) can come through it”. [9]
Bilal enquired the Holy Prophet (S) about the gates of Paradise and the Prophet (S) answered: “Paradise is surrounded by different gates, the “Gate of Mercy” (Baab al-Rahmah) made of red ruby… the Gate of Patience (Baab al-Sabr) a small gate with one bale or pendant and that is made of red ruby. As for the Gate of Gratitude (Baab al-Shukr), it is made of white ruby and it has two pendants with a breadth that takes five hundred years to cover… As for the Greater Gate (Baab al-A’zam), only the noble servants are admitted to enter through it. They are the pious and God-fearing ones and those who are interested in God and are intimate with Him.”[10]
Also, a tradition has been transmitted and narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) through Sunni sources that: “There is a gate in Paradise called Ad-Duha.” This is for the people who used to offer the Duhaprayer. When the Day of Judgment is established, the caller will call ‘where are those who kept offering the Duha prayers? This is your entrance gate, so enter with God’s Mercy.[11] Duha is performed when ¼ of the day has passed from Fajr and the sun has risen and its rays spread everywhere.
What is inferred from these narrations is that each one of these gates is for a specific group of the People of Paradise who were doing special good deeds in the world. Therefore the names have to do with the special good deeds characteristic of those people. 


[1] Quran, Al-Zumar: 73[2] Quran, Sad: 50[3] Muhammad bin Muhammad Reza Qommi Mashadi, Tafsir Kanz al-Daqaeq wa Bahr al-Gharaib, vol.11, p. 343; Jalaluddin Suyuti, Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthur fi Tafsir al-Ma’thur, vol.5, p. 342.[4] Sheikh Saduq, al-Khisal, vol.2, p. 407.[5] Abd Ali bin Jumu’ah Aroosi Huwaizi, Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn, vol.4, p. 506.[6] Quran, Al-Hijr: 44.[7] Al-Durr al-Manthur, vol.5, p. 343.[8] Ibid.[9] Tabarsi, Majma’ al-Bayan, vol.4, p. 511.[10] Sheikh Saduq, Man Laa Yahdhuruhu al-Faqih, vol.1, p. 192, 295.[11] Al-Durr al-Manthur, vol.5, p. 343.

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