DO YOU HAVE A
When you walk into a hotel or a restaurant, you are often greeted with this question. Certainly if you tried to get into El Bulli in Spain, you would be laughed at if you simply walked in. Their reservation system is essentially “a lottery with slightly better odds than the Connecticut Powerball.” In New York, Rao’s and Momofuku Ko are extremely tough to reserve a table at. At Momofuku Ko, you have to call at exactly 10 am daily for a table eight days later, and they say the average open reservation lasts three seconds. Even small popular local restaurants may be difficult to reserve on weekends during the season.
However, if you know someone, or you are someone, or you can offer enough monetary incentive, you will often hear, “Oh, yes, a table has just opened up.”
We need a reservation for Heaven as well. The gardens of Eden are reserved for them, wherein rivers flow. They have anything they wish therein. GOD thus rewards the righteous. [16:31]
But God’s system is very different. We cannot buy our way in. We can’t bully our way in. Being President gets you no more points than being a house painter. The best table in the best
restaurant in the world will never compare to the joy and happiness of knowing that we will be in Paradise forever.
Adorned for the people are the worldly pleasures, such as the women, having children, piles upon piles of gold and silver, trained horses, livestock, and crops. These are the materials of this world. A far better abode is reserved at GOD. Say, "Let me inform you of a much better deal: for those who lead a righteous life, reserved at their Lord, are gardens with flowing streams, and pure spouses, and joy in GOD's blessings." GOD is Seer of His worshipers. [3:14-5]
So how do we guarantee our reservation at God’s table? He tells us throughout the Quran—worship God alone, do the practices that strengthen and grow our souls, meditate, commemorate His name, be generous and charitable and kind, be honest in all our dealings. This is not a single phone call we can make; it’s a life-long commitment. But God’s reservation line is always open. At any time, we can repent and reform and get our name back on the list for the best table at God. God tells us: We reserve the abode of the Hereafter for those who do not seek exaltation on earth, nor corruption. The ultimate victory belongs to the righteous. [28:83]
And: Those who proclaim: "Our Lord is GOD," then lead a righteous life, the angels descend upon them: "You shall have no fear, nor shall you grieve.
Rejoice in the good news that Paradise has been reserved for you.” [41:30]
And what will a table at God be like? It will be much more than we can ever imagine. The most beautifully decorated restaurant in the world, though it serves the finest, most delicious food, will be nothing in comparison to what God has promised. They have deserved provisions that are reserved specifically for them. [37:41]
As for the virtuous, they will drink from cups spiced with nectar. A spring that is reserved for GOD's servants; it will gush out as they will. [76:5-6]
So let’s be sure and book our reservation with God early and often. We need to keep checking our behavior to be sure we haven’t lost our place on the reservation list. It’s an easy reservation to get—God has unlimited tables—but in order to keep it, we have to do the things God tells us to do. Then we can avoid the retribution of Hell and walk happily into the “Paradise Restaurant,” where we can Eat and drink happily, in return for your works. [52:19, 69:24, 77:43].
This is a reward beyond our imagining. [32:17] You have no idea how much joy and happiness are waiting for you as a reward for your (righteous) works.