How should we understand the hadith, “If this world were worth a wing of a mosquito in the eye of Allah, He would not give the disbeliever a drink of water thereof”?
Submitted by on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 09:52
Dear Brother / Sister,
Hadith scholars like Imam Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Imam Tabarani included this hadith in their books. (1)
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi attracts attention to the fact that “the world’s not being worth a wing of a mosquito in the eye of God Almighty” is “compared to the eternal and everlasting realm of the hereafter”. This worldly life has a mortal, temporary and ephemeral nature. However, a light that is as little as a mosquito wing in the life of the hereafter is bigger than a temporary light that will fill the earth in terms of being eternal and infinite.
Another point that is taken into consideration in the explanation of the hadith is as follows: The world mentioned in the hadith is not the huge world we know, but the personal and special world of each person. In other words, man’s own world, many blessings he uses and enjoys do not correspond to even a blessing as little as a mosquito wing of the everlasting realm; those blessings are superior and valuable because they are eternal.
The world and things have three faces, that is, three meanings and natures. The first and most important of them is that the world is a mirror for the names of God Almighty. Everything that exists in the world is the work and art of the Creator. This world, which is a work of art of God Almighty, has become a mirror for the names of its Creator such as “Muqtadir (Powerful), Badi (Incomparable), Kabir (Great), Alim (Knower of All), Semi (Hearer of All), Basir (All Seeing)”. It acts as a mirror for people to read and see those names.
The second face of the world looks at the hereafter; it is the field of the hereafter. That is, man sows spiritual seeds such as charity, good deeds, worship and belief in this world and reaps the crops in the hereafter.
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi describes this face of the world in “the Eighth Hope” in his book Lem’alar:
“I saw that both for myself and everyone else, this world is a temporary place of trade, a guesthouse which is every day filled and emptied, a market set up on the road for the passers-by to shop in, an ever-renewed notebook of the Pre-Eternal Inscriber which is constantly written and erased, and every spring is a gilded letter, and every summer a well-composed ode; that it is formed of mirrors reflecting and renewing the manifestations of the All-Glorious Maker’s names; is a seed-bed of the hereafter, a flower-bed of divine mercy, and a special, temporary workshop for producing signboards which will be displayed in the world of eternity.”(2)
The world cannot be insulted, defamed, or regarded as worthless in terms of those two faces. Those two sides of the world are not despised in the hadith.
The side of the world that is worthless compared to the everlasting realm is the third side, which is the world of the people who indulge in illegitimate pleasures and entertainment. This face of the world and this worldly life of those who love the world as if they will not die is not worth a particle or a mosquito wing compared to the eternal blessings given to believers in the hereafter. (3)
1) Ibn Majah, Zuhd 3; Tirmidhi Zuhd: 13
2) Lemalar, p. 220.
3) Sözler, p. 320.
Questions on Islam
- Ninth Principle: The explanation of matters that are regarded as exaggeration concerning riwayahs about the insignificance of the world and the reward for actions and merits of some of the chapters of the Qur'an.
- How should it be understood that the Quran was sent down clearly? Is it possible for everybody to read the translation of the Quran and practice it?
- What does it mean to love ones child, a friend, and parents for the sake of Allah? What are the criteria of loving for the sake of Allah?
- Question 34: Gannets lay two eggs. One of the eggs develops; the young gannet that comes out of the second egg is killed by the older one. Is it not mercilessness?
- Seeds of Reality are aphorisms from the booklet called Seeds of Reality, which was first published in 1920.
- What is the criterion for man to love himself in Islam? How can a person love his self by separating his soul?
- Second Question: How can a companion who was involved in the world be superior to a saint who abandoned the world?
- Third Stopping-Place: The point of views of the people of misguidance and the people of guidance on the worldly life.
- Tenth Truth: The indication of beings and incidents to wisdom, grace, mercy and justice that encompass everything and the indication of these truths along with the names the All-Wise, the Generous, the Just and the Merciful to the hereafter.