One day a very pious man was in conversation with Allah. He said, O my Creator! I wish to know what is hell and what is heaven.
Allah commanded an angel to lead the man to two doors, one after another. The angel opened one of the doors and let the pious man to peep inside.
The saint saw a room in the centre of which was laid a huge, round table. A big bowl of fresh, hot biryani was kept on the centre of the table. A rich, delicious aroma wafted across the room. Saint's nostrils got thrilled and mouth watered.
There were frail, pale and sickly people sitting around the table. They looked extremely starved. Attached to their arms were spoons with very long handles. All of them were able to reach their spoons to the bowl of the biryani placed at the centre, but since the spoons were longer than their arms, they could not put it to their mouths.
The saint froze with pity on seeing the misery of the people.
Leading him to the second door, the angel said, Now see this one. He opened the second door.
What the saint saw was not any different than what he saw behind the first door. There was a similar big, round table in the centre of which was a similar bowl of fresh and hot biryani, which made the saint's mouth water even more! The people who were sitting at the table had similar very long spoons attached firmly to their arms. However they looked healthy, happy and satisfied as they cheerfully spoke to each other.
The saint was confused. I don't understand, he said.
It's simple, replied the angel, It requires a simple skill. Knowing full well that the spoons cannot reach their lips, these people have learned to feed others with them and thereby making best use of their wares, whereas the greedy and the selfish think only of themselves. So those who were in the first room are making their life hell. While the people with the same resources can enjoy peace of heaven by sharing their resources.
Moral: Being selfish and self-centred will cause you misery.