Allah Subhanuhu wa-T'ala says in the Holy Quran:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ يَهْدِيهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ بِإِيمَانِهِمْ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الأَنْهَارُ فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ
دَعْوَاهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلاَمٌ وَآخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Surely those who believe (in the truths revealed in the Book) and do righteous deeds their Lord will guide them aright because of their faith. Rivers shall flow beneath them in the Gardens of Bliss. Their cry in it will be: 'Glory be to You, Our Lord!', and their greeting: 'Peace!'; and their cry will always end with: 'All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe. (10:9-10)
The sequence of ideas presented here is quite significant because answers have been systematically provided to a number of highly relevant basic questions. Let us look at these answers in their sequence. Why will the righteous enter Paradise? The answer is: because they have followed the straight way in their worldly life. That is, in all matters and in every walk of life, in all affairs relating to the personal or collective life they have been righteous and have abstained from false ways.
This gives rise to another question: how were the righteous able to obtain a criterion that would enable them to distinguish, at every turn and crossroad of life, between right and wrong, between good and evil, between fair and unfair? And how did they come to have the strength to adhere to what is right and avoid what is wrong? All this, of course, came from their Lord Who bestowed upon them both the guidance which they needed to know the right way and the succour required to follow it. In answer to why their Lord bestowed upon them this guidance and succour, we are reminded that all this was in consideration for their faith.
It is also made clear that this reward is not in lieu of merely a verbal profession to faith, a profession that is no more than a formal acceptance of certain propositions. Rather, the reward is in consideration for a faith that became the moving spirit of a believer's character and personality, the force that led him lo righteous deeds and conduct. We can observe in our own physical lives that a person's survival, state of health, level of energy, and joy of living all depend upon sustenance from the right kind of food. This food, once digested, provides blood to the veins and arteries, provides energy to the whole body and enables the different limbs to function properly.
The same holds true of man's success in the moral domain. It is sound beliefs which ensure that he will have the correct outlook, sound orientation and right behaviour that will ultimately lead to his success. Such results, however, do not ensue from that kind of believing which either consists of a mere profession to faith, or is confined to some obscure corner of man's head or heart. The wholesome results mentioned above can only be produced by a faith which deeply permeates man's entire being, shaping his mental outlook, even becoming his instinct; a faith which is fully reflected in his character, conduct and outlook on life. We have just noted the importance of food. We know that the person who, in spite of eating remains like one who has not partaken of any food, would not be able to enjoy the healthy results that are the lot of the person who has fully assimilated what he ate. How can it be conceived that it would be different in the moral domain of human life? How can it be that he who remains, even after believing, like the one who does not believe, will derive the benefit and receive the reward meant for those whose believing leads to righteous living?
"...their cry will always end with: 'All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe."
This should remove any misconceptions about Paradise which seem to have been formed by some people of frail understanding. Subtly, the verse suggests that when people are admitted to Paradise, they will not instantly pounce upon the objects of their desire as the starved and hungry are wont to do when they observe food. Nor will they frantically go about giving vent to their lusts, impatiently demanding their cherished objects of enjoyment - beautiful women, wine, dissolute singing and music.
The fact is that the men of faith and righteousness who are admitted to Paradise will be those who, during their life in the world, have embellished their lives with sublime ideas and noble deeds, who have refined their emotions, who have oriented their desires in the right direction, and who have purified their conduct and character. Thus, the nobility which they have developed in their personalities will shine in even greater splendour when they set their feet in the pure and clean environment of Paradise. Those same traits which characterized their behaviour in the world will appear with even greater lustre.
The favourite occupation of such people in Paradise will be the same as during their life on the earth - to celebrate the praise of God. Likewise, their relationships in Paradise will be imbued with feelings of mutual harmony and concern for each other's well-being as had been the case in this world.
The Life of Prophet Muhammad
Taken, with some editorial changes, from Pickthall’s introduction to his translation of the Qur’an.
The Prophet’s Birth
The Ka`bah today
Muhammad, son of Abdullah, son of Abdul Muttalib, of the tribe of Quraysh, was born in Makkah fifty-three years before the Hijrah. His father died before he was born, and he was protected first by his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, and after his grandfather’s death, by his uncle Abu Talib.
As a young boy he traveled with his uncle in the merchants’ caravan to Syria, and some years afterwards made the same journey in the service of a wealthy widow named Khadijah. So faithfully did he transact the widow’s business, and so excellent was the report of his behavior, which she received from her old servant who had accompanied him, that she soon afterwards married her young agent; and the marriage proved a very happy one, though she was fifteen years older than he was. Throughout the twenty-six years of their life together he remained devoted to her; and after her death, when he took other wives he always mentioned her with the greatest love and reverence. This marriage gave him rank among the notables of Makkah, while his conduct earned for him the surname Al-Amin, the “trustworthy.”Read more...
1638. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) forbade shaving a part of the head.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
1639. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saw a boy, some portion of whose head was shaved and some of it was left out. He prohibited them from that and said, "Shave the whole of it or leave the whole of it.''
Commentary: This order of Prophet (PBUH) was based on the reason that that hair-style was then in vogue among the Jews and Christian priests and ascetics. This style was also popular with the group which was given to mischief and disobedience. This is, however, permissible in exceptional circumstances. In any case, either one should shave the hair completely or keep them in such a style that there is no resemblance with women.
1640. `Abdullah bin Ja`far (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (PBUH) gave respite for three days to the family of Ja`far (after his martydom). Then he came and said, "Don't weep for my brother after this day.'' He said, "Bring all of my nephews to me.'' We were accordingly brought as if we were chickens. Then he said, "Call for me a barber.'' He directed him to shave our heads which he did.
Commentary: Ja`far was the cousin of the Prophet (PBUH) and he was martyred in the battle of Mu'tah. Although martyrdom is an honour but even then the bereaved family does feel the shock of the loss. For this reason, the Prophet (PBUH) permitted them to give vent to their grief for three days. It should not, however, be taken to mean that he allowed them to lament and wail, because that is prohibited. What he actually allowed them was the natural weeping which does occur when people come for condolence and speak of the deceased. Such expression of grief is permissible after a period of three days also.
Therefore, what the Prophet (PBUH) had advised them was not in the nature of unlawful but natural. The children of the deceased called themselves "chickens'' as they were greatly enervated by the tragedy. This Hadith has been mentioned here to confirm the validity of shaving the hair of the head, especially of children, although keeping bobbed hair is more meritorious because the Prophet (PBUH) himself did so. Bobbed hair are cut short and allowed to hang loosely.
1641. `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) prohibited a woman from shaving her head.
Commentary: This Hadith is also included in At-Tirmidhi but Sheikh Al-Albani has regarded it "Da`if'' (weak). Please see Ahadith Ad-Da`ifah. However, in order to avoid resemblance with men, this prohibition for women will stand. If it is required on medical ground then it will be permissible.