The Number of Gardens in Paradise
Concerning the fourth alleged contradiction:
How many gardens are there in paradise? ONE [as stated in 39:73, 41:30, 57:21, 79:41] or MANY [18:31, 22:23, 35:33, 78:32]?
Before we explain this allegation, we will quote a few of the verses in question.
39:73 And those who feared their Lord will be led to the Garden in crowds: until behold, they arrive there; its gates will be opened; and its keepers will say: “Peace be upon you! well have ye done! enter ye here, to dwell therein.”
18:31 For them will be Gardens of Eternity; beneath them rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade: They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on!
The answer to this may have already become obvious to the reader.
Nevertheless, we shall briefly summarise the explanations on this verse.
1. Paradise is one large garden offered as a reward for the believers, composed of many individual gardens within it.
2. If we look at the way the question is phrased, we note that it says, “How many gardens are there in paradise?” Since the actual arabic word used for ‘garden’ is ‘Jannah’, which can also be used for ‘paradise’, the question is exactly the same as if one were to ask, “How many gardens are there in the garden?”, thus lending more support to the first explanation.
3. Jannah is used in the Qur’an as a generic noun, referring to paradise, which is composed of many individual gardens. This is as if one were to say, “The computer is a great invention”. By this we understand that the statement is not referring specifically to any one computer, but is rather a reference to all computers oin general.