What does Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) explicate in the translation of the following hadith? "Hell has been surrounded with desires, and Paradise has been surrounded with hardships.(1)?
Evil self, because of its inborn characteristics while running towards sins, escapes from difficulties, which should actually be shown patience. While, sins and prohibitions give pleasures in the beginning, but bring material and spiritual sufferings in the end; faith, obedience, and prayers although to their hardships in the beginning brings peace and comfort in the end. Therefore, pleasures in the sins are expressed as poisonous honey. (2)
Hadith scholar Imam Nawawi, likens the surrounding in the hadith to a veil. It means that nothing will help you to reach Paradise except going through hardships, and nothing will lead you to Hell but whims and desires. Both are veiled as described, and whoever tears down the veil will reach what was hidden behind it. The veil of Paradise is torn down by going through hardships, and the veil of Hell is torn down by giving in to whims and desires. Hardship includes striving consistently and patiently in worship, restraining ones anger, forgiving, being patient, giving in charity, being kind to those who mistreat you, resisting physical desires, etc."
The following hadith is another way of explicating the truth, The world is a prison for the believers and paradise for the unbelievers. It is certain that world is described as a prison for the believer compare to the eternal bliss that he will reach in the Hereafter and that world is described as a paradise for the unbeliever compare to the eternal torment of the Hell fire that he will indeed receive. Actually, a believer finds more pleasure by following the course of mind and heart in this world. Because the conception of an eternal doom that preoccupy the minds of an unbeliever decreases the pleasures to the level of nothingness. (6)
In Mesnevi-i Nuriye, it is stated as:
Even though the pleasures, enjoyments, and adornments of the world are Paradise like, failing to know our Creator and Owner, makes it Hell. (7)
The grave that is expecting you, and that you are running through it fast does not accept the pleasures and adornments of the world as presents. For, things that are considered as beauteous by the men of the world are indeed unsavory in the grave. (8)
Therefore, we should not be after the temporary happiness in the enjoyment of our evil selves, which our souls and hearts do not like indeed, only in that way we can reach to the assent of God, to the Paradise and be sure of the existence of the Hell.
1. Tirmidhi, Paradise, 31
2. Meyve Risalesi, s. 25; Mesnevi-i Nuriye, s. 118.
4. Muslim, Paradise 1.
5. Tirmizi Zuhd, 56.
6. Lem'alar.s. 201.
7.Mesnevi-i Nuriye s, 98
8. A.g.e. s, 118