Download PDF: [S] The World is a Prison for a Believer

It is reported that one day, Qadi Sahl Muhaddith was once riding on a horse which looked very aristocratic and he himself was looking very noble and regal.


Suddenly, a Jew who was wearing old and tattered clothing and which was also dusty and sandy appeared in front of him. The Jew then asked him, “Qadi Saheb! Your Prophet had mentioned that, ‘the world is a prison for the believer and a Jannah for the Kaafir.’ Can you please explain this to me because you seem to be living in comfort and luxury and me being a Kaafir, I am surrounded by poverty and need. How can I accept that the world is a prison for the Muslims and Jannah for a disbeliever.”


Qadi Sahl immediately gave him an answer, he explained, “On the Day of Judgement, when they place you in the Fire of Hell, then the difficulties and trials you used to endure in this world, would look like you were in Jannah in this world. And when I experience the rewards of Jannah and when I think of what I went through in this world, it would make me feel that I was in prison.” (Tafseer Ruhul Bayan)


This certainly was answer full of wisdom. In other words, whatever greater pleasure you experience after a lessor pleasure, the next pleasure will always look greater. In like manner, when you experience greater difficulty after a small difficulty, the next difficulty will look far greater. This is the reason that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him –has stated that we should look at those lower or below us to be able to appreciate what we have or what we have been given.


There is no doubt that when a person sees a blind person and he is able to see, he will certainly give thanks to Allah Almighty. In the same manner, when you see a person who is deaf and you are able to hear, you will give thanks for this great gift.