In the chapter Fussilat (Revelations Well Expounded) of the Qur’an there is mention of Paradise. The angels will tell the inhabitants of Paradise: Therein you shall have all that your souls desire, and therein you shall have all that you ask for. (41:34)
Here, the Qur’an uses two words: ishtiha and iddi‘a. Ishtiha means to desire and iddi‘a means to demand. By ishtiha is meant material desire and by iddi‘a intellectual demand. These two words refer to two aspects of the human personality. Ishtiha means that the material desires of the people of Paradise will be fulfilled in their perfect form. In the present world also there are things that we desire, but they are fulfilled in an imperfect way and the sense of fulfillment derived from them is temporary in nature. In Paradise, we will be provided with these in their perfect form and for eternity.
God Almighty will select such individuals from the whole of human history and settle them in Paradise. In this way, that kind of high society will be formed in Paradise which is the greatest need of a true believer. There are two aspects of intellectual demand. First, to find a universal framework in which one can think, where one can exercise one’s mind without any limit. This framework is not available in this world. But, it will be made available to us in Paradise. It will be possible for a man to carry on his thinking process in an unlimited way. And, it is this fact that is referred to in the Qur’an in these words: If all the trees on earth were pens, and the sea [were] ink, with seven [more] seas added to it, the words of God would not be exhausted: for, truly, God is Almighty and Wise. (31:27)
This Qur’anic verse tells us about the unlimited data and facts which are not available in the present world. However, in Paradise, these would become available to us. In this way, man will have that framework in the light of which he will be able to think according to his intellectual demand in an unlimited manner. The second aspect of the intellectual demand is for man to be able to live among those who have the same wavelength as he has, who have a high level of thinking, and with whom he can have the perfect kind of intellectual exchange. According to the law of nature, such people are not available on a mass level in this world. God Almighty will select such individuals from the whole of human history and settle them in Paradise. In this way, that kind of high society will be formed in Paradise which is the greatest need of a true believer. It is this fact that has been mentioned in the Qur’an in these words: Whoever obeys God and the Messenger will be among those He has blessed: the messengers, the truthful, the witnesses, and the righteous. What excellent companions these are! (4:69)