The Rivers of Paradise

Aziz an-Nasafi in his “Unveiling of the Realities” gives this beautiful explanation in regard to the rivers of paradise and the water/milk/honey/wine mentioned:

Know that water causes life and its benefit is common for everything in all times, and the reality of these rivers of water in heaven is that they are the waters of life for all the people of heaven who enjoy all of them.

The cause which nurtures children is milk which is more particular than water, since the benefit of milk is common for all but only at a certain time. The reality of these rivers of milk in heaven is that they are the rivers of common sense which is the basis and exoteric aspect of wisdom, and the common pleasure in heaven is derived from these rivers.

The cause of healing sickness and suffering is honey which is more particular than milk since the benefit of honey is particular for some people. The reality of these rivers of honey in heaven is that they are the rivers of wisdom for the special ones and the pleasure of the special ones in heaven is derived from these rivers.

The cause which removes grief and sadness is wine which is more particular than honey since wine is unlawful and impure for all the people of the world but it is lawful and pure for the people of heaven. The purification and reality of these rivers of wine in heaven is that they are the wisdom and pleasure of the special ones among the special ones in heaven and their pleasure is derived from these rivers.

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