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The Fish

Know that one who is devoted solely to the appetites and pleasures of the world, and is unable to discern between good things and those which only appear to be good, shunning the path of righteousness and success in the hereafter in pursuit of worldly pleasures, almost certainly his fate will be as what befell this man:

A huge river flowed down from the mountains upon which there was a bridge that people crossed. A man who was walking across the bridge stopped and looked into the swiftly flowing river. He saw a huge fish, the best of its kind, and said to himself, “I shall not return home except with this magnificent fish. I shall roast it and gather my family and children around it and eat a delicious meal. I am afraid however, that the flowing water will come between me and the fish.” His appetite got the better of him and he went where he could see the fish.

Strengthening his spirits, he took off his clothes and jumped in, plunging behind it until he caught it with one hand. He was overjoyed. He realized that he could not swim now, as he feared the fish might escape from him. The water overpowered him due to its force and carried him away from where he had entered. He was on the verge of perishing. His greed for the fish prevented him from letting it go and save himself. He continued in this condition, heading towards his end along with his catch until the water brought him to a high precipice filling a great depression under the earth and he fell headlong into it.

A river man who lived along the bank saw him and approached, saying “What are you doing in this place where anyone who comes drowns and dies?”He replied, “I am the one who has left the clear, wide, illuminated road on which there is victory and peace and find myself in this perilous situation because of a little pleasure and paltry appetite.”

“Let go of what is in your hands and save yourself!” said the River Man.

The drowning man said, “Greed prevents me from letting go.”

“Indeed you are ignorant” stated the River Man, “I do not see anyone more deserving to drown than you!” So saying he put his hand on the man’s head, and did the deed himself.

We ask Allah (TA) to protect us from becoming amongst those to whom this parable applies. Instead, let us be the followers of Allah’s saying when he said to his prophet (SAW), “Then remember, indeed remembrance is beneficial to the believers.”