Download PDF: [S] The Strange Example of the World
The same reports from Hadrat Hasan – may Allah be pleased with him – who mentions that a report reached him that once the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – mentioned to his blessed companions, “The example of me, you and the world is like a group of people who travel in the wild. When they reach the middle of the journey they do not know whether they have travelled a long distance or how much of the journey is still to be undertaken. The provisions which they had is also depleted and even their animals have been destroyed. They now stand in this barren place without food and transport. They are also certain of their ultimate destruction.
“While they are in this state of gloom, they suddenly see a person appear who is wearing clean white clothing and his hair is also oiled. It appears like the person had just had a bath and appeared from somewhere very close. The group also mentions that this person has come from a very near town. When they question him, he asks them, ‘If I am able to take you people to a lush and green area which has fresh sweet water what will you people do?’ The people reply that if the person takes them to this place, they would never disobey his orders. He then asks them, ‘Do you swear in the Name of Allah Almighty and make a promise?’ Everyone also makes promise that they would never disobey his orders. He then leads them to a green and lush area which also has fresh sweet water.
“However, after a few days, the same group of people begin to mumble among themselves and then say to the person who led them here that they need to travel to a place which has even more greenery than this place and even more sweeter water than this place. In fact most of the people begin to feel that they can get a better place than this.
“There are however, a few people in the group who say to the others, ‘Did we not take a promise with this person in the Name of Allah Almighty that we will never disobey him. If he had spoken the truth the first time, certainly he will speak the truth the second time also.’ A few people then begin to follow their new leader while the majority of them remain in this green lush valley. Suddenly, while they travel forward, enemies appear in front and kill some of them and take the rest as prisoners.” (Kitaab Az Zuhd, Taarik Ibn Asaakir)
The same reports from Hadrat Hasan – may Allah be pleased with him – who mentions that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – once declared, “The example of the world is like that person who walks on water. Can a person who walks on water protect his feet from getting wet?” (Al Ihya, Al Ittihaaf)