SAMEER’S BIG CATCH
It is narrated by Hadrat Abu Huraira Radiyallaahu Anhu: I heard Allah’s Apostle Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam saying,
“My example and the example of the people is that of a man who made a fire, and when it lighted what was around it, Moths and other insects started falling into the fire. The man tried (his best) to prevent them, (from falling in the fire) but they overpowered him and rushed into the fire. The Prophet added: Now, similarly, I take hold of the knots at your waist (belts) to prevent you from falling into the Fire, but you insist on falling into it.” (Bukhari)
In the above hadith the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam cites the example of moths circling around a flame and then eventually falling onto the flame thereby destroying themselves. As much as one would try to save them from going even anywhere near the flame, the effort would be a dismal failure simply because to the moths the temptation is far too great to resist.
And then the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam speaks about the condition of his beloved ummah. The hurt and pain of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam is almost tangible when he reminds his beloved ummah that O my beloved and dear Ummah you too are exactly like the moths. With your constant sinning you are also falling headlong into the fire of Jahannum. And here I am clutching, with all my life, your waists to prevent you from falling into the blazing fires of Jahannum.
Once an Ummah of virtue, today we have become an ummah of vice. Sin has permeated and saturated our lives to such an alarming level that we do not even bat an eyelid on the perpetration of sin. The only reason as to why this is done with such ease is that we feel the pleasure of sin in this world. The pain of sin we have become numb to. Below is a beautiful story of how sin has masked itself so perfectly that only the short-lived pleasure is felt.
Sameer was a good-looking young boy who lived in the deep south. His summer days were filled with times of walking through the woods, playing with friends, and fishing in the pond down the dirt road. Fishing was by far his favourite past-time. Just about every day during his summer vacation, he would dig up some worms and head off, pole in hand, for a day of fishing.
This sizzling hot day was like most others during Sameer’s summer break. Waking early, he could hear as though the pond was calling him to come and fish. Sameer quietly walked out the front door, grabbed his pitchfork and worm pail from the porch and walked into the woods to search for bait. He turned over old stumps and dug under leaves hoping to find worms. Under one old stump he hit the jackpot. The ground was writhing. In two minutes he had all the bait he needed, and in 15 minutes he was at the pond.
Reaching into his bait bucket, Sameer pulled out a big worm. He double hooked it and tossed it into the water. He noticed a stinging in his hand, but filled with the excitement of the moment, he paid no attention to it. Within 30 seconds, Sameer had a strike and pulled in a nice catfish. Wow, he thought, a fish in the first minute. This is unbelievable!
He put the catch on his stringer, hurried to re-bait his hook, and tried his luck again. Once again he felt a stinging sensation in his hand as he threw his hook into the pond. He didn’t have time to worry about it. Within just a few seconds, he had another huge fish. He fumbled the next time he baited his hook–his hand felt numb and stiff. But Sameer was too excited about catching another fish to give it much thought.
At the end of only an hour of fishing, Sameer had caught eight large fish. This was definitely his best fishing day ever. He was so proud of his accomplishment that, even though there was plenty of day left to fish, he threw the heavy stringer of fish over his shoulder and dashed down the dirt road toward home to show off his catch to his mum and dad.
The local sheriff happened to drive up alongside Sameer and started to congratulate him on his catch of fish. With a smile and a victory whoop, Sameer held up the stringer. The sheriff gasped, parked his car and ran over to Sameer.
His eyes hadn’t deceived him–Sameer’s arms really were red and swollen to about twice their normal size. Exactly where have you been and what bait did you use to catch all those fish?” the sheriff asked Sameer, already guessing the answer.
“I found some special bait under an old stump,” Sameer boasted. “These worms really wiggle good,” he commented, handing up the bait bucket for inspection. After a close look at the worms, the sheriff went into fast-forward. Securing the bucket in his truck, he then scooped Sameer and his stringer of fish into the back seat of his patrol car. Spinning a U-turn on the gravel road, he sped off to the hospital, but Sameer was already dead.
What the sheriff had discovered was that Sameer had been fishing with baby rattlesnakes. Sameer’s deadly bait brought him a good morning’s fishing but cost him his life. Had Sameer stopped fishing after that first sting, he could have been saved. One bite from a baby rattler won’t kill a person who gets treatment in time. But Sameer was having fun and didn’t bother himself with the “small voice of pain” in his hand. Then, as his hand grew numb, even that small voice was silenced.
Playing around with sin is like using baby rattlesnakes for bait. Sinning seems harmless to people who don’t recognize sin and are unaware of its deadly consequences. The more sin we get into, however, the more numb we become to its sting. In the excitement of the moment, we ignore the still small “voice of the Creator” warning us of danger and encouraging us to choose good rather than that which is evil.
Hadrat Abu Hurairah Radiyallaahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa sallam has said: When a mu’min (believer) sins, a black spot appears in his heart and then when he does taubah (repentance) and istighfaar (forgiveness) his heart is cleansed (of the black spot). And when he sins more, the spot enlarges till it covers the entire heart. Hence this is the rust which Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Glorious Qur’aan thus: “Kaallaa barRaana ‘Alaa quloobihim maa kaanoo yaksiboon” Translation:” By no means! But what they have earned is rust upon their hearts”. (Surah 83, verse: 14). (Tirmidhi)
When the heart has a strong attachment to the life of this world, and the bearer of this heart is immersed in sin, “Raan” (a black covering) overcomes the heart. Because, every sin is a black stain on the heart. These black stains accumulate until the “Raan” is total and prevents the penetration of light to the heart.
When the heart is darkened, things no longer appear as they truly are, for Truth is confused and its face no longer apparent. The heart is inverted and sees Truth as falsehood and falsehood as Truth.