There was once a very wealthy king who had only one daughter. He loved her very intensely and had thus made various types of entertainment available for her enjoyment. Things continued in this manner for some time.

Beside the kings palace lived a pious person who would be engaged in the worship of Allah Ta‘ala. One night, while he was reciting the Quraan Majeed, (a condition of ecstasy overcame him and) he began reciting this verse aloud,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ

“O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from a fire, the fuel of which is human beings and stones” (Surah Tahreem v6)

The princess heard his recitation and thus instructed her female servants to stop (entertaining her). However, they ignored her instruction and continued with their entertainment. The pious person continued repeating this verse and she also continued instructing the servants to stop but to no avail. Eventually, she held on to her collar and tore her clothes (in anguish).

The attendants thus went to her father and explained what had transpired. The king came to her and exclaimed, “O my beloved (daughter), what has happened to you tonight? What causes you to cry?” Saying this, he took her in his arms. She responded, “O my beloved father, I ask you in the name of Allah Ta‘ala (to please tell me the truth). Does Allah Ta‘ala have a place wherein lies a fire whose fuel is humans and stones (i.e. Jahannam)?” When the king replied in the affirmative, she further asked, “O my beloved father, (if that was the case, then) why did you not inform me regarding it? By Allah, I will not eat any good food, nor will I sleep on a soft bedding until I know where my abode (in the Hereafter) lies – in Jannah or in Jahannam.”

(Sifatus Safwah vol. 2, pg. 531)


1. It may seem quite surprising that the princess did not know about Jahannam until this point. However, when a person’s only concern for himself and for his children is about the possessions and luxuries of this material world and he totally ignores the Aakhirah, such an outcome is not farfetched. Furthermore, many a time we or our children are in a similar predicament where despite knowing and hearing about Jahannam, its reality does not enter our hearts.

2. The effect of reciting or listening to just one verse of the Quraan Majeed is evident from this incident. If this girl’s life could change because she involuntarily heard one verse of the Quraan Majeed from the pious person, how much more would our lives change if we voluntarily adopt the company of the pious and wholeheartedly recite and listen to the Quraan Majeed.

3. The princess blamed her father for not informing her about Jahannam. It should not be that on the Day of Qiyaamah, our children blame us for not teaching them Deen and for not instilling the concern of the Aakhirah within them.