Assalamualaikum ustaz. Is it true that we’ll enter paradise before any other ummah? And that other ummah will not enter paradise before the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH enters it? Hope for an explanation.
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.
Rasullullah PBUH is the noblest most honoured amongst the creations of Allah SWT on this earth. Every believer wishes to be with the Prophet PBUH just like how the companions are.
Furthermore, Allah SWT also characterizes us as the best ummah because we were sent the best Messenger among all the Messengers. Allah SWT states:
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.” 
This verse shows that Allah SWT praise this ummah saying that it is the best nation produced by Allah SWT from among all mankind. This is due to the perfection in themselves, for the presence of iman and determination to uphold the commandments of Allah SWT at the same time perfecting others by calling towards good and preventing evil. 
In answering the above question, we cite a hadith from Abu Hurairah RA, he heard Rasullullah PBUH say:
نَحْنُ الآخِرُونَ السَّابِقُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، بَيْدَ أَنَّهُمْ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِنَا، ثُمَّ هَذَا يَوْمُهُمُ الَّذِى فُرِضَ عَلَيْهِمْ فَاخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ، فَهَدَانَا اللَّهُ، فَالنَّاسُ لَنَا فِيهِ تَبَعٌ، الْيَهُودُ غَدًا وَالنَّصَارَى بَعْدَ غَدٍ
“We (Muslims) are the last (to come) but (will be) the foremost on the Day of Resurrection though the former nations were given the Holy Scriptures before us. And this was their day (Friday) the celebration of which was made compulsory for them but they differed about it. So, Allah gave us the guidance for it (Friday) and all the other people are behind us in this respect: the Jews’ (holy day is) tomorrow (i.e. Saturday) and the Christians’ (is) the day after tomorrow (i.e. Sunday).” 
The above hadith shows that the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH will be the first to enter paradise before any other nations. This is strengthened with a hadith of Rasullullah PBUH:
إِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ حُرِّمَتْ عَلَى الأَنْبِيَاءِ كُلِّهِمْ حَتَّى أَدْخُلَهَا ، وَحُرِّمَتْ عَلَى الأُمَمِ حَتَّى تَدْخُلَهَا أُمَّتِي
“Indeed, paradise is prohibited on all the prophets until I enter it. Likewise, it is prohibited for all the previous nations until my ummah enters it first.” 
Imam al-Nawawi in explaining the first hadith above said: Previously, for the Jews, they worship on Saturdays. While the Christians on Sundays. Then, Allah SWT made us and guided us to Friday and created Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They will also follow us in the hereafter.
We are the last nation created on this earth although we are the first in the hereafter to be judged. Scholars’ interpretation regarding the word ‘the last’ (الآخِرُونَ) means the time and presence in this world. While ‘the first’ (السَّابِقُونَ) means blessed and enters paradise. Thus, this ummah will enter paradise before any other nation. 
Imam al-Baghawi in Syarh al-Sunnah stated: We are the last nation to be created in this world while the first blessed and loved by Allah SWT in the hereafter. 
Mulla Ali al-Qari in Mirqat al-Mafatih said: We are the last in terms of creation and the first in terms of living and status in the hereafter. 
Thus, the blessings Allah SWT granted for us as the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH are too many and special. Thus, the phrases of Alhamdulillah showcasing our gratitude should always be on our tongues and we should make the above hadith as an inspiration to get closer to Allah SWT which will ultimately lead us to Allah SWT’s paradise.
We close this discussion supplicating to Allah SWT:
اللَّهُمْ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قُرِّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ ، وَأَعُوذُّ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قُرِّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ
“O Allah, I ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and I seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And I ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning me good).”
 (Surah Ali Imran: 110)
 See Taisir al-Karim al-Rahman, pg. 143
 Narrated by al-Bukhari (836) and Muslim (855)
 Narrated by al-Tabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Awsat (942)
 See Syarh al-Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim, 11/19-20
 See Syarh al-Sunnah, 4/201
 See Mirqat al-Mafatih Syarh Misykat al Masabih, 3/1008