Have a look and make your decision before reading further....
Most people answer, the right center dot appears bigger in size, but on measuring both the center dots, we find they are of the same size !
You must be familiar with this image ? If no, its a very popular example of an optical illusion.
Hey! but wait, I do not intend to talk about optical illusions here. There is more to it, keep reading.
The meaning of Illusion according to the Pocket Oxford Dictionary is:
illusion n. 1 false impression or belief. 2 state of being deceived by appearances. 3 figment of the imagination. be under the illusion (foll. by that) believe mistakenly. illusive adj. illusory adj. [Latin illudo mock]
In this particular example of optical illusion our eyes compared the two dots based upon their surrounding objects and thus we concluded that the center dot on the right side looks bigger because its surrounded by dots even smaller, whereas the center dot on the left side is surrounded by dots much greater than its size.
Now the real thing
How many times we find ourselves comparing something with something else and fretting about it ?
for eg: people tend to compare ourselves with the bad guys in our society and end up being content that "atleast I am better than them" never realizing that they are people much better than us and when we compare ourselves with them, we have a long way to go in reforming ourselves and bringing it on best path. We are in an illusion, we are like the 'center dot on the right side' compared to the smaller ones around we feel bigger and better, whereas the same dot looks small when in company of the more bigger ones :) So, when it comes to good deeds and amount of Taq'wah, we should be the central dot in the left side, always in the company of the pious and better people, and comparing with them so that we remain aware of our shortcomings and thus strive harder to get better.
On the other hand, when it comes to misfortune, we always tend to compare with the people who are affluent and well-to-do. " He has a Mercedes and I just get a Ford we lament !" People always tend to compare their worldly achievement with those who have more than they have.
Like the center dot on the left side, feeling small when comparing with the more rich and more affluent of people, wanting for more to get bigger and this vicious cycle continues with an unquenchable thirst for this world. But, why not look at the center dot on the right side ? Compare with people who have less than you, who have more problems, who struggle much more than you do, on doing so we realize how fortunate we are and how ungrateful for the blessings Allah has given us.
Lets not fall into this worldly illusions, as Muslims we know this world is just a small phase. A short journey to the final destination, we are but travellers and travellers do not build mansions enroute, they gather the resources for their destination and keep moving. Our destination will be decided according to what we carry with us. A ticket to Jannah or a decree to Jahannum.
Let us take an example from this optical illusion to avoid falling into illusions and comparing situations with wrong ones and falling into the illusion setup by the accursed 'Shai'taan. Such wrong comparisons tend to weaken emaan and that is the last thing a Muslim would want.
May Allah help us comprehend the truth and walk the path