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15 July 2019 CE | 13 Dhul-Qadah 1440 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation

Unsuccessful Fisherman

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If Allah has decreed a rank for one of his servants to reach, but his deeds will not suffice him to reach this rank, then Allah afflicts him with hardship with respect to his body, wealth and children. Then he perseveres through this until he reaches the high rank that Allah has decreed for him to reach.” [Ahmad]

Once upon a time two men went fishing. One was a disbeliever and the other was a Muslim. When the disbeliever would throw his fishing net he would take the names of his gods and his net would fill with fish. When the Muslim would throw his net out he would do so with Allah’s name, but no fish would get caught in his net. This state of affairs continued till sunset when, finally, the Muslim caught one fish.

However, this fish jumped out of his hands back into the water. So this poor Muslim had to return home without a single fish, while the disbeliever’s bag was overflowing with fish. On witnessing this strange and sad outcome the angels accompanying the Muslim were upset and asked Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), “O our Lord! How is it that your Momin servant, who takes Your Exalted Name returns empty handed while your disobedient, disbelieving servant returns with such success that his bag is full of fish?”

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) showed the Muslim’s angels the beautiful palace that He had prepared for him in Paradise and asked, “O angel, after reaching this place do you think that any of the anguish and sadness that my Momin servant experienced because of his failure to catch fish will remain with him?”

And showing the horrible place prepared for the disbeliever in Hell, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) asked: “Will those things that were granted to the disbeliever in life, be able to rescue him from the eternal punishment of Hell?”

The angel replied, “O my Lord! I swear by Your existence that this can never happen.” [Imam Ahmad]

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