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In Christian tradition (and popular culture), the role of keeper of the Pearly Gates is often taken by Simon Peter, one of the companions of Jesus who was reportedly given "the keys of the kingdom of heaven", who admits those written in the Book of Life into Heaven (and denies access to those who aren't).

Islamicly, there are various reports of gatekeepers (e.g. this account of the Mi'raj) similarly controlling access to the gates of Heaven, however I don't know that they are ever named or described; I know that the role is traditionally considered to be handled by angels, but I don't know whence this tradition comes from or how reliable it is.

So I pose the question: Who keeps the gates of Heaven, and is there any reliable evidence that can refute or confirm Simon Peter's role thus?

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1 Answer 1

Keeper in Arabic means 'خَازِن' khāzin, Keepers 'خَزَنَة' khāzanah. Heaven has many gatekeepers:

وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ

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."

Az-Zumar, ayah 73

And they are angels, not human:

وَالَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنْفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً وَيَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ

Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance their Lord; establish regular prayers; spend out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home

جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا وَمَنْ صَلَحَ مِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ ۖ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ يَدْخُلُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ كُلِّ بَابٍ

Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation):

سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ ۚ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ

"Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home!"

Ar-Rad, ayat 22, 23, 24

It's common that the name of Heaven's gatekeeper is Radwan 'رضوان', however, there is no reliable resource that this is his name.

If you know some Arabic, you can look at this research: هل صح أن خازن الجنة رضوان ؟ (Is it confirmed that Radwan is Heaven's keeper?).

I'm sorry but I couldn't find such research in English.

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Do you have a citation for "Heaven has many gatekeepers and they are angels, not human?" The quoted ayah just mentions the keepers but doesn't describe their nature. –  goldPseudo Jan 8 '13 at 15:14
@goldPseudo I've gust updated my answer. –  BSH Jan 8 '13 at 15:40

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