So I am just a run of the mill guy who makes a decent living. I don't expect to go to Jannah unless I mend my ways, and Allah forgives me. However, I am kinda confused if I would enjoy Jannah. I love science, research learning new stuff and fixing things around me. I always need something to work on to give me a sense of purpose and fulfillment. If Jannah is perfect then this place doesn't need any fixing or evolution and there's no sense of purpose other than indulging in hedonistic pursuits. I may not be exactly following the Koran/Hadiths but I've a lot of empathy in me. The realization that people are being tortured and burnt in hell would disturb me and Jannah wouldn't be that much fun any more. Does everyone who go to Jannah love being there? People in Jannah are of great moral character, don't they feel distress at what's going on in Jahannam.
The answer to your main question is "yes." Many, many verses clarify much of your confusion.
For example, Allah says:
Which means, "And he (human beings) will be satisfied." (Surat Al-Layl)
Another verse says:
Which means, "they will have whatever they desire, with their Master. That is the reward of those who do good." (Surat Az-Zumar)
The summary answer of your question is in the second verse. Whatever desires you have, whatever things you like to do -- be it altrustic, research, personal, or anything else -- you will have exactly what you want.
This extends to needs beyond physical needs -- including psychological needs. There is no worry in Jannah. Allah says, in many verses:
The beginning means, "they will be no fear on them (from things in the future) and they will not grieve (for things from the past)." (Surat Yunus)
Just because everything is perfect, doesn't mean things don't change. In fact, we know from several ahadith that the quality of Jannah is always increasing; it's always getting better.
There's a hadith (I can't find the source right now) where some of the people of Jannah will be given an orange to eat. They will say "I/we already tried/tasted that." This indicates how spoiled they are -- that they only eat each type of food once -- but they will be told, try it. So they will, and they remark how much better and more amazing it tastes the second time.
As for worrying, crying over people of Hellfire, that's a deep topic and not an easy one to explain.
In Surat Naba, Allah describes Hellfire, and the people of Hellfire, and then says:
These two words mean "an exactly fitting and suitable (punishment)," or as we say in English today, "exactly what you deserve."
Don't misunderstand. There will be people in Hellfire, including Muslims, who will eventually be released (see this question and answer for more details). Other than those, who will be the people of Hellfire?
Here's a sample of people mentioned in the Qur'an and in the sunnah:
- People who disbelieved
- People who realized this is the truth, and rejected it.
- People who put the believers through trials, and don't repent (Surat Al-Burooj)
- Firawn, aka the baby killer
- Whoever kills a Muslim, intentionally
- Whoever dies without repenting of their sins
- Every mutakabbir (person with extreme pride in themselves) and jabbaar (people who have tyrannical force and use it on others)
In short, you find a list of people who insist and persist on evil, in spite of the truth coming to them.
Final comments: you mention that you're a"run-of-the-mill guy" who is "not exactly following the Qur'an or Hadith." I leave you with some small advice: the recipe to go to Jannah is very, very easy to remember:
- Do more good deeds. Pretty much every good deed you can think of (or any normal deed, with a good intention for the sake of Allah) will get you a step closer.
- Leave every bad deed that you can. This is a long-term and gradual process. You need to start disengaging right now.
The most important two things to do, specifically:
- Learn about Islam, and specifically about Allah, the day of Judgment, the hereafter, the messengers, etc. Take classes, find books (or e-books), reputable websites, courses/lectures, local events, whatever you can.
- Start praying (more). If you're not praying at least once a day, you are in a grey area where you may not be Muslim. If you are praying, work towards 5x a day (the minimum obligation), then start adding extra sunnah/bonus stuff to it.
May Allah make us all among the people of Jannah (ameen). Please post a follow-up comment if there's something you didn't understand or need clarification on.
I feel the same but its tauheed that helps clear the doubt. Tauheed is giving our creator his true status. Even if heaven seems boring we need to remind ourselves that he is almighty and wise. To make tauheed stronger we need to focus on the quranic verses that are clear and precise(muhkam) in meaning. Refer to 3:7. All ayahs about jannah and jahanam are allegorical (mutashabe).
According to Allah life in Akhira (Hereafter) is better than this life.
And the Hereafter is better for you than the first [life].
And furthermore, Allah is informing us:
But you prefer the worldly life,
While the Hereafter is better and more enduring.
Besides, Allah describes Jannah to be the best place in various verses in the Qur'an. For example Surat Al-Ghāshiyah:
[Other] faces, that Day, will show pleasure.
With their effort [they are] satisfied
In an elevated garden,
Wherein they will hear no unsuitable speech.
Within it is a flowing spring.
Within it are couches raised high
And cups put in place
And cushions lined up
And carpets spread around.
And in Surat An-Naba' there are very beautiful verses reading them increases one's appetite for Jannah:
Indeed, for the righteous is attainment -
Gardens and grapevines
And full-breasted [companions] of equal age
As you can see Jannah is very nice place to be in. And Allah's generosity has no bound.