This worldly life is like a Toothless Old Woman

Shaykh Ahmad ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (rahimahullaah) mentions in his book, “Mukhtasar Minhaaj al-Qaasideen”:

قيل : إن عيسى عليه السلام رأى الدنيا في صورة عجوز هتماء عليها من كل زينة .فقال لها : كم تزوجت ؟قالت : لا أحصيهم .قال : فكلهم مات عنك أو كلهم طلقك ؟قالت : بل كلهم قتلت،فقال عيسى عليه السلام : بؤساً لأزواجك الباقين، كيف لا يعتبرون بأزواجك الماضين، كيف تهلكينهم واحداً بعد واحد، ولا يكونون منك على حذر .

It was said that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) saw worldly life in the form of a toothless old woman who had been adorned with all kinds of adornments.

He asked her. “How many men did you marry’?”

She replied: “They are uncountable”

Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) asked: “Well, Did they all die or did they all divorce you?”

The Old woman answered, “No. I killed them all.”

Thereupon Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) commented, “How miserable your would be husbands are! How can they not take admonition from what happened to your ex-husbands? How can it be that you destroy them, one after another, while they pay no attention to this?” [1]

Here is another example indicating what life is, but it may be a different one. Know that man experiences three conditions with regard to worldly life: a condition in which he is nothing, and that is before his existence in life; another condition is experienced from the moment he dies up to endless existence. After this momentary death, your soul after it leaves from your body will be present either in Paradise or Hell, and it will reside therein forever.

Between these two conditions is a halfway condition represented in man’s days in worldly life. Man’s lifetime is nothing when compared to the time of the other two conditions; it is simply less than the twinkling of an eye in the time of the world.

Whoever looks at the world from this perspective will never adhere to it nor will it ever concern him as to whether he spends his lifetime in ease or ill adversity. That is why the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not pay attention to it and said,

((مالي ولِلدُّنيا إنَّما مَثَلي ومَثَلُ الدُّنيا كمثل راكبٍ قالَ في ظلِّ شجرةٍ ثم راحَ وتركها))

“I have nothing to do with the (pleasures of) worldly life. It is only that my likeness and the likeness of this worldly life is that of a traveler who takes a nap under a tree and then leaves it away.” [2]

Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) said,

((الدنيا قنطرة فاعبروها ولا تعمروها))

“Worldly life is (Iike) a bridge, so cross it and do not populate it.” [3]

This is an explicit example of worldly life, for it is only a “bridge” on which man crosses to the Hereafter; his cradle is the first part of this bridge and his grave is its second and last part.

End Quote from Mukhtasar Minhaaj al-Qaasideen.

[Source: Mukhtasar Minhaaj al-Qaasideen of ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (rahimahullaah), pages 192-193]


[1] ‘Ihya ‘Uloom al-Din, Kitab Dham ad-Dunya, 3/214-215

[2] Recorded in at-Tirmidhi (no. 2377), al-Hakim (4/310), at-Tabarani (10327), Sunan Ibn Majah (2/526 no. 4109), Musnad Ahmad (1/391-441), also recorded by Abu Na’eem in “al-Hilyah” (2/102 and 4234)

Classed as Saheeh by Shaykh al-Albani (rahimahullaah) in “Silsilah al-Hadeeth as-Saheehah” (1/800 no. 438) and in “Saheeh al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer” (2/989 no. 5668)

[3] ‘Ihya ‘Uloom al-Din, Kitab Dham ad-Dunya, 3/215

Author: Islamic Treasure

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