Paradise is built of Goodly Intentions

"Trees, fruits and clear water all converse
And discourse with the dwellers in Paradise.
Heaven was not built with the use of tools,
But constructed from acts and from intentions.
That Home is not built of dead water and mud;
It is built of living acts of pious worship.
This house, like its basis, is full of faults;
That one’s [strong] like its basis: knowledge and action.
Thrones, palaces, crowns and robes all converse
With the people residing in Paradise.
Carpets are rolled up without carpet-rollers;
Houses are swept clean without any brooms.
See the heart’s house, with all sorrow scrubbed away;
Hearts dusted by repentance, not by sweeping!
Its sedan chairs move around, not borne by bearers;
No knockers on doors, but singers and minstrels.
Life in the Realm Eternal dwells in the heart.
I can’t describe it; what’s the good [in trying]?"
(M IV, 474–478, 482)

As stated in the last couplet, the beauty and delights of Paradise are miraculous beyond all imagination or description, and are everlasting. The most alluring luxuries this world can offer must surely pale in comparison; what is more, ‘You can’t take it with you.’ How wonderfully Mawlana Rumi evokes the Afterlife of the blessed in this passage! Imagine being greeted by the glorious palaces and appurtenances of Heaven! Even in this world – ‘this building … full of defects’ – some blessed souls enjoy a state of heart that is a foretaste of ‘Life in the Final Abode.’

Such, then, is Paradise: infinitely precious, infinitely desirable. But it has a price: it cannot be attained without faith and striving. Mawlana underlines that it is not only one’s actions that may, God willing, help one to reach eternal happiness in the Hereafter. It is also, and above all, making good and sincere intentions. Sincerity, however, is something that can only be achieved with Divine help. Intentions
being a matter of the heart, we are given a further reminder of the importance of purifying it.

Excerpt is from A Treasury of Rumi

9781847741028 - A Treasury of Rumi - Muhammad Isa Waley