Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Carpe Diem #538, Paradise

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

After a wonderful GW-Imagination post by Managua Gunn we have now a new episode of our regular CDHK episode in which we are 'reading' Sand and Foam by Khalil Gibran this month. Today our new prompt is paradise and that, of course, can not be that difficult to write haiku about.
As I was preparing this Khalil Gibran month and ran into this prompt the first thing I thought of was the "Garden of Eden".

[...] "And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed" (Genesis 2:8) [...]

There are several researchers who situated the "Garden of Eden" at the West coast of the Persian Gulf in Saudi Arabia. Others situated it in Ethiopia or Turkey. If it has really existed than this could have been the location as you can see on the map hereafter (at the red arrow).

The Garden of Eden (?)
Let us take a look at what Khalil Gibran has written about 'paradise' in his "Sand and Foam".

[...] "Paradise is there, behind that door, in the next room; but I have lost the key. Perhaps I have only mislaid it". [...]

[...] "He who would share your pleasure but not your pain shall lose the key to one of the seven gates of Paradise". [...]

I think these are strong and very spiritual. I especially like that 2nd 'verse' ... will there really be seven gates to enter Paradise? I don't know ... I have never heard about those seven gates to paradise. So I had to research that. It turned out that in the Qu'ran there are mentioned 7 gates to Hell (the Fire) and 8 gates to Paradise (Heaven) ... I wonder ... Does Khalil Gibran mean the 7 gates of Hell in this verse or the 8 gates to Heaven? 

We all know that Gibran was a Lebanese philosopher who was brought up with the Qu'ran, so here a little bit background on the thoughts about Paradise (Jannah) as according to the Qu'ran and Islamic Eschatology.

Jannah, an eternal place for Muslims, is the Islamic conception of paradise. The Arabic word Jannah is a shortened version meaning simply "Garden".
According to Islamic eschatology, after death, one will reside in the grave until the appointed resurrection on Yawm al-Qiyāmah. Muslims believe that the treatment of the individual in the life of the grave will be according to his or her deeds in the worldly life. Jannah is often compared to Christian concepts of Heaven. According to Muslim belief, everything one longs for in this world will be there in Paradise.
The highest level of Paradise is Firdaws
, which is where the prophets, the martyrs and the most truthful and pious people will dwell. In contrast to Jannah, the words Jahannam and Nār are used to refer to the concept of hell. There are many words in the Arabic language for both Heaven and Hell and those words also appear in the Quran and Hadeeth and most of them have become part of the Islamic traditions.

Credits: Mohammed's Paradise (Persian miniature)

The descriptions of paradise are mentioned in significant detail in the Qur'an, hadiths and traditional tafsīr (exegesis). Paradise is described as surrounded by eight principal gates, each level generally being divided into a hundred degrees. The highest level is known as firdaws (sometimes called Eden). It will be entered first by Muhammad, then those who lived in poverty, and then the most pious. Entrants will be greeted by angels with salutations of peace or As-Salamu Alaykum.
Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate. (Source: Wikipedia)

in my backyard
all trees, bushes and flowers in bloom
my own paradise

© Chèvrefeuille

It wasn't easy to write this post, but I think I have done it in the right way ... if not? Well ... I am just a man who loves to share his thoughts with the world.

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 16th at noon. I will post our next episode, trees, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your inspired haiku with us all.


  1. Amazing description, because I lived 10 years in that exact area, and know it very well, and for me it is DEFINITELY the garden of Eden. Nowhere is better.
    Hmmm..makes me think i gave to do a ghostwriter on the Tree of Life someday, a tree in Bahrain it is said from the garden of Eden, with no water source.

  2. Thank you, Kristjaan, for these details. It certainly is very interesting and look forward to try but mostly to read the amazing offerings and various interpretations, yours, as usual, shows such love for your home and family:)

  3. The garden of Eden inspires so much thought and imagination. To think of a garden that was perfect - no weeds.
    Ahhh paradise...