Doors of Jannah. Islam's Eight Doors, or Gates, to Heaven
Islamic tradition describes Jannah, or heaven, as having eight doors or gates. Each door has a name that describes the types or characteristics of the people who will be admitted through it. Some scholars surmise that these doors are found inside Jannah after one enters the main gate. The exact nature of these doors is unknown, but they were mentioned in the Quran and their names were given by the Prophet Muhammad.
"To those who reject Our signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle. Such is Our reward for those in sin." (Quran 7:40)
"And those who feared their Lord will be led to the Garden in crowds, until behold, they arrive there. Its gates will be opened, and its keepers will say: 'Peace be upon you! You have done well! Enter here, to dwell therein.'" (Quran 39:73)
It is natural for Muslims to wonder what will happen to those people who have earned the privilege to enter Jannah through more than one gate. Abu Bakr had the same question, and he eagerly asked the Prophet Muhammad, "Will there be anyone who will be called from all these gates?" The Prophet answered him, "Yes. And I hope you will be one of them."
Those who were punctual and focused on their prayers (salaat) will be granted entry through this door.
“Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (Quran 2:277)
Those who have died in the defense of Islam (jihad) will be granted entry through this door. Note that the Quran calls upon Muslims to solve issues by peaceful means and only engage in defensive battles.
"Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression." (Quran 2:193)
Those who frequently give to charity (sadaqah), whether to parents, orphans, the helpless, travelers in need, or others, will be admitted into Jannah through this door.
"Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity." (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 589)
The people who constantly observed fasting (especially during Ramadan) to obtain the blessings of Allah will be granted entry through this door.
"In Paradise there is a gate called Al-Rayyaan, through which those who used to fast will enter on the Day of Resurrection, and no one but they will enter it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who fasted?’ They will get up, and none will enter it but them. When they have entered, it will be locked, and no one else will enter.” (Bukhari 1763)
Those who observe the hajj pilgrimage will be admitted through this door. Prophet Muhammad commanded all Muslims to make at least one pilgrimage in their lifetimes, to the best of their abilities. As was reported by Al Bukhari, Prophet Muhammad said:
"Whoever performs Hajj with any obscenity shall return (from Hajj) like a new born baby."
Baab Al-Kaazimeen Al-Ghaiz Wal Aafina Anin Naas
This door is particularly restricted for those who suppress or control their anger toward other Muslims and are forgiving toward other everyone.
This door is reserved for the entry for those who have sincere faith and trust in Allah and who strive to follow Allah's commands. Such people have trusted Allah's decisions and are fulfilling their lives according to his demands.
Those who constantly and excessively remember Allah (dhikr) will be admitted through this door.
“Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying], 'Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.'” (Quran 13:23–24)
Striving for These Gates
Whether it is believed that these "gates" of heaven are metaphorical or literal, it helps to see where the core values of Islam lie. The names of the gates describe spiritual practices that Muslims strive to incorporate into their lives every day.