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Index / Religions / Afterlife /
Arabic: janna
Hebrew: tseden; gen tseden

1. Judaism
2. Christianity
3. Islam
4. Zoroastrianism
5. Alevism
6. Ahl-e Haqq
7. Yazidism
8. Ismailism
9. Druze religion
10. Baha'i
Dead religions
11. Ancient Egyptian Religion
12. Mesopotamian religions
13. Canaanite and Phoenician religions
14. Hittite religion

Artistic representation of the original Paradise by Pierre Lombart, from Ogilby’s 1660 Bible.
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Artistic representation of the original Paradise by Pierre Lombart, from Ogilby’s 1660 Bible.

Religious concept with several religions, which relates to a place of perfection, happiness and delight. Paradise can be in heaven or on earth, representing the perfect state of a distant past, like the beginning of time, or in the future, like at the end of time.
Paradise comes from the Greek word for "parádeisos" and originally from Avestan "pairi-daęza".
In Judaism and Christianity, paradise is synonymous with the Garden of Eden before the expulsion of Adam and Eve.
Paradise as a term is often also used to express other qualities.

In Judaism, Paradise is simply called Garden of Eden, the home of human beings before the banishment of Adam and Eve. In Genesis 2:10-14, the location of Eden is actually given, and may be reconstructed to point at Bahrain.
A promise for the true believer comes not as clear from Judaism as in other religions. Still, it is stated that the evil will go to Gehinnom, while the modest shall go to the Garden of Eden.
The Garden of Eden is described to a place of 4 rivers, one with milk, the second with wine, the third balsam and the last with honey. There are 800,000 kinds of trees. In each corner stands 600,000 angels singing the praise of God. God is present in the garden, sitting there and explaining the Torah to the righteous of all ages.
A Jewish Paradise as a reward for the just believers emerged quite late in the theological development, in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE.

In Christianity there is the promise of entry into a restored Garden of Eden, or a restored Jerusalem. This to be entered upon his or her death, or after the Day of Judgment. The Christian paradise is one of perfect rest and refreshment, and the glorious presence of God.
Fairly little is related to it in the New Testament.
Early Christian theology made a distinction between Paradise and Heaven, Heaven being the highest and reserved only the most worthy.
Some definitions of Paradise make it a place of an unclouded vision of God and eternal bliss.

Paradise in Islam, is often called Janna, has a great focus on sensual pleasures, descriptions are given in detail. Such are mentioned several times also in the Koran.
Islam's paradise has 7 heavens, the highest is Firdaws.
The dead of Islam will have to await Judgment Day, when ones wordly deeds will be judged. Still, there are accounts that suggest that heaven is inhabited by dead human beings already.
For Shi'is Karbala is considered to be a bridge to Paradise, hence many have over the centuries had their bodies transported to Karbala to be buried here.
There are in Islam references to a purgatory, in which everyone has to pass through Hell before being cleansed to enter Paradise.

There is a paradise of Zoroastrianism, reserved for the righteous, and called "Best Existence" and the "House of Song".

Alevism has no concept of neither a paradise nor a hell.

Ahl-e Haqq
Ahl-e Haqq teaches about a state called Haqiqat (truth) that can be reached by the good.

There appears to be the concept of a paradise in Yazidism, but there is very limited information describing it.

In Isma'ilism there is not a normal concept of paradise, rather a salvation of the soul from rebirths.

Druze religion
In Druze religion there is not a normal concept of paradise, rather a salvation of the soul from rebirths.

Baha'i reveals little about what awaits the just soul in the afterlife. It is only the soul, following a spiritual journey that will gain knowledge about a potential paradise.

Ancient Egyptian Religion
In Ancient Egyptian religion there is nothing that corresponds to a paradise concept, rather human beings could join the eternal cycle of nature.

Mesopotamian religions
In both Sumerian religion and Babylonian and Assyrian religion there appears not to have been any form of hell in the afterlife.

Canaanite and Phoenician religions
A dead person would in Canaanite and Phoenician religions be dead, still in the need of nutrition, which would come from sacrifices made by the families of the deceased. No matter how grand the sacrifices would be, this can never be called anything similar to a Paradise.

Hittite religion
In Hittite religion only the king and prominent royal members would ascended to the realm of the gods, where they would become gods, themselves. There was no hope for a paradise for the average man and woman.

By Tore Kjeilen